Bhubaneswar: The All Indian Universities’ Eastern zonal meeting of the Vice Chancellors organized by KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, got off to a colorful start on Friday. Inaugurating the two-day conference, Orissa higher education minister Badri Narayan Patra assured all possible help in implementing the specific recommendation of the meeting landed the efforts of KIIT and its founder Dr. A. Samanta and that of the VC Prof. A. S. Kolaskar. With the inaugural address of Prof. P. T. Chande, Industry-Academic relationship, Prof. Chande asked the state governments to agree on a common state act for all the Universities. Higher education can never exist in isolation; hence he wanted some sort of linking between higher education and societal things, he said.

Highlighting the works of the AIU, Prof (Dr.) Arun Diwakar Nath Bajpai, VC, Himachal University, said about the working of the Association including the student information centre, Research, short-term courses for foreign students. In his address Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT and KISS and Member, UGC and AICTE commented on the existing system and informed about the UGC which has been doing its part in reforming higher education system in University level.

President of the Association of Indian Universities and vice chancellor Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Ramtek, and Maharashtra. Initiating the main theme of the 2-day meeting- ‘Bridging the gap in higher education’ Prof. Chande highlighted the huge tap exiting between central, states and self-financing Universities. He expressed his concerns over the problem of inadequate staff in the universities, absence of quality faculties, insufficient fund, he suggested for the removal of section of ’12B’ and the maintenance of parity in regulating bodies.

The Conference was attended by more than 50 VCs from different universities of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, MP, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, and East Uttar Pradesh. Showing concern over the fast emerging nation of China Prof. Chande wanted to put a curb on the entry of foreign Universities. Emphasizing on the research, There cannot be any bridge in the gap unless the people from the under privileged sections are not brought to the mainstream, he added.

Introducing the topic for the 1st technical session, Prof. Arun Kumar Pujari VC, Sambalpur University spoke extensively on three major problems like recruitment, retention and the improvement of quality in the academics. Dr. Sasmita Samanta, Registrar, KIIT proposed vote of thanks.