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Dr. B K Chandrashekar inaugurating the Dialogue. Dr. N Sundararajan, Vice Chancellor, Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Dr Rajesh Tandon, Unesco Chair PRIA, Dr. Sandeep Shastri, Pro Vice Chancellor, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) are also seen

18 - 19 March 2015 

Two day dialogue on Community Engagement and Social Responsibility in Higher Education Institutions

CERSSE, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) in collaboration with Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) organized a workshop on “Community Engagement and Social Responsibility in Higher Education Institutions” and a report was released on the same. This Dialogue was discussion on the findings as contained in the Report.

Inaugurating the Dialogue, Dr. B K Chandrashekar, Former Education Minister of Karnataka, admitted that he approached the issue with an element of skepticism and not cynicism. He underscored the importance of Community Engagement by Higher Educational Institutions but was unsure whether they had the right academic ambience, autonomy and initiative to pursue the same. Dr. B K Chandrashekar highlighted the increasing politicization of Higher Education and the impact of the same.

Dr N Sundararajan, Vice Chancellor of Jain (Deemed-to-be University) highlighted the initiatives at Jain (Deemed-to-be University) towards Community Engagement and also highlighted the many efforts happening across the country towards promoting Community Engagement in Higher Education.

Dr. Rajesh Tandon, the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research in Social Responsibility in Higher Education at the Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), introduced the broad theme of the Workshop and Dr. Reetika Syal, Assistant Professor, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) and Ms. Nayanatara Kurpad, Research Assistant, CERSSE, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) presented the Draft Report.

At the different sessions of the Conference representatives from Bangalore, Tumkur, Mysore, Christ and Jain Universities spoke of the Community Engagement Initiatives in their Institutions.  Faculty from St Joseph’s College, National College and Kristu Jayanthi College also spoke of efforts at their Colleges towards Community Engagement. There was also a Panel discussion involving students from Universities and Colleges who reflected on their contribution to community engagement. An independent session had policy makers, representatives of NGO’s also speaking on the theme.

The valedictory address was delivered by Mr. Nanda Kumar IAS, Commissioner for Collegiate Education, Government of Karnataka. He lauded the initiative and spoke of the need for a more meaningful use of the autonomy available and the need to involve different stake holders in the educational system.

The Dialogue highlighted the importance of integrating Community Engagement Practices as part of the Curriculum. It was also felt that the Community and University need to effectively partner to achieve mutual benefit.

Draft Report being released

Dr. Reetika Syal, Co Author of the Report, speaking on the Report

Students participating in the Dialogue

Dr. R S Deshpande. Former Director of ISEC chairing the session where the Report was presented and Dr. P S Jayaramu, Former Dean of Arts, Bangalore University was a discussant on the Report

Dr. Uchil presiding over a session discussing policy implications. Dr. Meenakshisundaram, IAS (retd) Vice Chairman, Myrada, Dr Sheerin Nedungadi, Principal, National College and Ms Pinky Chandran from Radio Active were the panelists.

Mr. Nanda Kumar, IAS, Commissioner for Collegiate Education, GOK at the Valedictory.


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