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Brace for newer challenges posed by technology: KU VC tells academics

Brace for newer challenges posed by technology: KU VC tells academics

'With rapid technological advancements and newer challenges like ‘ChatGPT’, teachers should not find themselves wanting for answers in classrooms'

Srinagar, Apr 3: Vice-Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Nilofer Khan said on Monday that academics need to brace for newer challenges with the advent of artificial intelligence and focus of academia on multidisciplinary education.

She made the remarks while delivering the 36th regional convocation address of IGNOU Regional Centre Srinagar, held at Kashmir University’s Gandhi Bhawan. Prof Nilofer was the Guest of Honour on the occasion.

Congratulating students who received their degrees and medals, Prof Nilofer exuded confidence that after having passed their degrees by dint of hard-work, the students will secure a dignified space for themselves “in this world full of opportunities”.

“I am equally confident that you will excel further in life to become our future leaders, teachers, entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists and contribute to nation-building in a big way,” she said, addressing the galaxy of students.

She said the IGNOU is holding the 36th Convocation at a time when the country is celebrating “youth power” under the aegis of G-20 Presidency.

“I think it is a great opportunity for young students coming out from universities and colleges to become ambassadors of the message of the country's G20 agenda, which concerns the future of youth," she said. "It is equally a great occasion for universities to break the traditional shackles of education and produce not merely graduates having degrees in their hand, but scholars, thinkers and scientists who can contribute to making the lives of people, especially those from underprivileged sections of society, better,” the Vice-Chancellor said. 

Referring to implementation of flagship National Education Policy-2020, Prof Nilofer said faculty in higher education institutions today have a great responsibility to shoulder.

“This is an era of innovations and entrepreneurship, of 21st century skills, of Artificial Intelligence and Machine-Learning, and of multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary education. This calls upon academics to revisit the teaching-learning practices and pedagogies to stay relevant within and beyond their classrooms,” she said, adding that with rapid technological advancements and newer challenges like ‘ChatGPT’ which qualifies even high-end examinations in the world, teachers should not find themselves wanting for answers in classrooms which the students may be knowing well in advance.

“To meet these new and unique challenges, it is important for universities to collaborate and shun the age-old practice of working in isolation. The theme of country’s G20 Presidency, which is “One Earth, One Family, One Future” underlines the need for academic institutions in a particular region to share their resources, infrastructure and facilities so that very localised problems are taken up for joint research, especially related to environment conservation and social issues,” the VC said. “There is no escape route from building institutional tie-ups to realise these goals.”

The VC also said that NEP-2020 lays great emphasis on Open and Distance Mode Learning to enable students from downtrodden sections of society to have equitable access to education.

“Educational institutions will have to gear up to meet this challenge as well and make greater use of technology to further promote open learning so that education reaches the last person standing in queue,” she said. (Greater Kashmir)

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