Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Union Minister of State for Education, pitches for MANODARPAN on the Campus of NEHU

Date: Feb 11, 2024

Honourable Union Minister of State for Education, Government of India, Dr. Subhas Sarkar had visited North-Eastern Hill University campus here on 11th February 2024. During the visit, the Minister interacted with the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Prabha Shankar Shukla along with the Deans, Heads of the Departments, and other administrative officials.  Prof. P.S. Shukla, the Vice-Chancellor of NEHU gave the opening remarks and welcomed the minister and oversaw the program and guided the intellectual discourse. It was an inordinately enlightening interaction between the Heads, Deans and faculties  with the revered Minister, a medico turned politician from the Bankura District of West Bengal. There were many questions that were asked during this edifying and technical verbalize by the Minister.

The visit aimed to underscore the Modi government's commitment to promoting education, research, and innovation in the state. The discussions revolved around various topics including implementation of NEP 2020 and best practices undertaken by the University arising thereof, the expansion of educational opportunities, strengthening research areas, and improving the ranking of the University.

The Minister urged all stakeholders to develop academic excellence by chalking out a holistic plan. He assured all support from the government for the academic development of the University. He specifically emphasised on the Antiragging Cell of the University and apprised everyone about MANODARPAN platform, an initiative of the Ministry of Education to provide psychosocial support to students for their Mental Health and Well-being. The platform features a nationwide toll-free helpline for students at schools, universities, and colleges, staffed by a team of expert counsellors, psychologists, and mental health specialists. It also offers a website, a nationwide directory of counsellors, an interactive online chat platform, advisories and suggestions via webinars, and other tools.

He held a special meeting with the faculties to explore creating a department specifically devoted to advancing the Indian Traditional Knowledge System. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sarkar said that for the upliftment of any individual, his or her roots must be strong, and to conserve these roots, one should know about the Indian Knowledge System. He added that in ancient India, the focus was placed on developing the inner aspects of a person's personality in addition to the external aspects of their chosen fields of study. In order to support interdisciplinary research to solve contemporary social challenges, he urged NEHU faculties to collaborate with AICTE-IKS and IKS@IIT Kharagpur. These organisations facilitate the integration of IKS into the curriculum and the dissemination of IKS expertise. He also enquired about the Sophisticated and Analytical Instrument facility (SAIF) of the University and its modus operandi.

In concluding remarks, the Vice-Chancellor expressed gratitude to the Minister for accepting his invitation to visit the University and informed that the University remains dedicated to advancing knowledge, nurturing talent, and contributing to the socioeconomic development of the state in a wholistic way. Earlier Col. Omkar Singh (Retd), the Registrar  of NEHU gave a presentation on the vision and mission of NEHU underpinning the various initiatives take up by the University to meet its objective for the welfare of the tribal students in the region in selected focus areas like Agriculture, Biodiversity, IT, Ecotourism, Healthcare and Livelihood.

The event ended with a vote of thanks from Prof. D.K. Biswal, In-Charge, Planning, NEHU followed by a dinner program with the Hon’ble Minister of State in the University’s Old Guest House.