NEW UP Technical University (UPTU) vice-chancellor Prof Prem Vrat’s stress on “quality” is evident.
If one were to go by the number of times he mentioned the word after taking charge on Monday, one thing is for sure: the university won’t be short of quality in staff, teachers, course material, systems, procedures etc! This became apparent when he was interacting with mediapersons.
An outstanding scholar, Prof Prem Vrat, who was the founder director of IIT Roorkee and who has been a product of the IIT system throughout, played it safe while discussing his future plans with the media. All questions that were posed to Prof Vrat were answered with the word spelled as ‘quality’ (gunvatta was what he said in Hindi).
However, the new V-C did talk about some of the plans that he had in mind later. “A good teacher is the soul of any academic institution. Specially, in engineering, you require teachers with values, for unless a teacher imparts values to the students they wouldn’t make capable engineers,” he said, adding that his emphasis would be on “faculty development” at the UPTU as well.
Investing in teachers, he said, was an “investment in the future”. Prof Prem Vrat successfully created a ‘strategic management group’ at IIT Roorkee to discuss all development issues. “The group was very successful in formulating plans on how to develop the institute. At UPTU, we may think of setting up the strategic management group as well,” he said adding that the “think tank” would be crucial to the varsity’s development.
When asked whether there was a need for more government colleges in the technical education sector, the vice- chancellor said though more government colleges were indeed needed, what was important was whether the colleges, even if they were private, were imparting quality education.
“I don’t think parents would mind shelling out extra money if they were sure that their wards were receiving quality education,” he added. Asked whether there was a need to improve the salaries of teachers, he said, “In IITs, too the teachers’ salaries are almost the same as that of any other college. May be at IITs, the teachers get a little extra. But, that’s it. The difference is not all that big. So, I think I would lend more emphasis on the ‘psychic income’ rather than count it in monetary terms.” The UPTU authorities also announced that the ‘special back paper’ provision for final year students would continue this year as well.