Prof Parimal H. Vyas, Vice Chancellor, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Q. How university system can be made transparent?
Prof Vyas. Now that we already in the information technology era and in various social media platforms, we see to it that the activities of the university can be coordinated properly. As of today we have 600 student interns working in the country. Recently the convocation event which was held was also managed by my students. We are using600 students out of 33000 to promotevarious social causes, inventions. We also provide remuneration to these students. After a proper screening test, we have included them in our university’s administrative activities and promotional activities in a big way. We have set up office of corporate affairs and also the directorate of student welfare.
Q. How helpful are alumni for an institution?
Prof Vyas. It is a very impressive question. I am happy to say that we have setup an alumni office in our university. Every fortnight there is an alumni meet in the university in which of our sell established students participate. I personally believe that we shouldn’t look at alumni only for fundraising. We should rather bring in quality, revamp things, bring advanced technology and all kinds of academic inputs by using our alumni. Even in the selection process they can play a significant role as they are already carrying the flag of the university. So we must have a big role and big participation of our alumni.
Q. How can research be improved at the university level?
Prof Vyas. The biggest challenge in carrying out research is bureaucracy. We need to remove the bureaucratic bottlenecks and we need to simplify our procedures. Moreover, the funding agencies should also support in terms of procedural aspects so that so that researcher can fully focus on their work. We have a ‘research and consultancy cell’ aided by professors in our university.
Q. What are the key challenges which you face as the VC of your university?
Prof Vyas. One of the big challenges which we face in managing in one of the best university of the country is to change the mindset of staff under the influence of information technology and to initiate various e-governance initiatives.
The second challenge is to motivate the faculty members to give their best efforts to see to it that we can exploit their potential and we can nurture their growth, creativity and innovativeness.
The third big challenge is housekeeping, security and maintenance and security of the big campus. Ours is a heritage campus and maintaining those colonial era buildings is a big challenge for us.
Q. What are some of the unique academic practices which you are following at your university?
Prof Vyas. I am very happy to say that we have recently submitted our self-study report. As per me the best academic practice in our university is that we are the only university in the country which conducts a pre-convocation ceremony titled as ‘we are proud of you’, where we invite gold medallists with their parents, dignitaries who made big achievements. We try to motivate students by offering them books on Bhagwat Gita, Swami Vivekananda ji. We are also member of the gold club constituted by the govt of Gujarat. Gold club is the accumulation of best brains that are available in various universities across the state.
Another very academic practice which we follow is ‘no queue in MSU’, which implies that all of our admissions of freshers and re-admission of existing students are made online. This practice has really brought a lot of transparency. We share everything with the media which is another great symbol of our transparency.