Ranchi, Aug 28 (UNI) With an aim to provide a platform to the Vice-Chancellors to discuss significant issues of higher education and problems being faced by them, the two-day zonal conference of Eastern Zone VCs of Association of India Universities began at the Central University of Jharkhand campus at Brambe today.
Talking to reporters ahead of the conference AIU president and also the VC of Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Subhash Puri said about 34 VCs belonging to the varsities located in eastern zone, including Bihar, West Bengal and Northern States including Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and three others are participating in the conference.
'During the conference our main focus will be on issues required to address to improve the quality of higher education in the country', Mr Puri said.
'Issues like financial assistance, lack of infrastructure and unavailability of teaching faculty would also be discussed during the meet', he said.
By the end of 2025 we will be the major suppliers of technical manpower in the world and for that we need to prepare ourselves besides educational institutions, he said.
He said there are about 635 universities, including institutes of national importance, state varsities and private universities.
'Out of these 475 are funded by the state government or the Centre while 160 are self financed and the total enrollment in all the varsities stood to 1,69,00000 students annually', Mr Puri said adding that 31 per cent of the total enrollment belonged to women.
'Among the total 635, 330 are conventional universities with courses in different streams, 156 are technical universities, 55 medical universities, 53 agricultural universities, 15 open universities including IGNOU, 14 law universities and 13 sanskrit universities,' he said and added that 405 varsities are members of AIU.
Apart from Indian universities, six foreign varsities, including Kathmandu University, Nepal, Royal University of Bhutan, Thimpu, Middle East University, UAE, Open University Malayasia, Malaysia, University of Technology, Mauritius and the Maurititus University are the associate members of the AIU, he informed.
Speaking about the role of AIU he said in addition to other activities, it also acts as a liaison between the varsities and the governments and cooperates with other universities or bodies in matters of common interest.
'The association also helps to promote or undertake such programmes helpful in improving research and other literary works which may contribute in growth and propagation of knowledge.
Regarding achievements of the AIU he said two programmes known as Inter Universtity Soprts and cultural activities at zonal and national level are organised every year for the benefit of students.
The two-day conference with four separate sessions on the first day will end tomorrow.