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Balwant Jani finds time for academic work Saturday, April 21, 2001
SOME years ago when Prof N R Dave took over as vice-chancellor, it was suggested in these columns that any teacher elevated to this position (Prof Dave was a professor at the L.D. College of Engineering for many years before he became the director of technical education, Gujarat) should do some teaching work at a college on the university's main campus.
Since there was no engineering college at Patan, he could not do any teaching or research there. With Dr Balwant Jani as vice-chancellor, the situation is entirely different. He was for a long time professor of Gujarati at Saurashtra University and to his credit, it must be said, that he has continued to guide research in Gujarati at Patan.
Last month under his guidance a student prepared a dissertation for the M.Phil degree. Despite his onerous duties, Balwant Jani has found time to guide research - a laudable effort, indeed. Pari Passu, this must apply to all those vice-chancellors whose academic qualifications entitle them to do teaching or guide research. Such a step would enable a vice-chancellor to not only to keep in touch with the subject but also benefit the students at the same time. To some extent it helps administrative work, too.
The UGC has generously donated Rs 25 lakhs for repair of buildings damaged in the earthquake. It has also sanctioned Rs 3 lakhs for 2000-01 for additional projects and the establishment of a SC/ST cell, the post of a co-ordinator, research statistical officer, a stenographer and a peon.
This would certainly help the SC/ST students in solving the problems they face at the colleges or the university. In addition, the UGC has given grants for buying computers at Mehsana, Vadnagar, Idar, Visnagar, Unjha, Himmatnagar, Vijaynagar to the tune of Rs. 1.25 lakhs each.
A camp for research in archaeology was organised at the Arts & Commerce College, Dhansura under the auspices of the university extra mural department. It dealt with various aspects of this work. Experts and the teachers took part in it. A camp for women's legal education was held at Dhansura.
An interesting seminar on the future of libraries in the 21st century held by the library & information department was addressed by cultural affairs minister Mahendra Trivedi and university textbook board chairman Keshubhai Desai. They elaborated on the vital importance of books even in the age of computers.
Dr S M Salgare of the UGC, in his keynote address, stressed on the need to use books even in the fast developing electronics media world.
Dr Jani also spoke on the importance of putting library officers on par with college and university teachers. At the book exhibition students, teaches and others lapped up books worth Rs 1 lakh. Librarian Manibhai Prajapati successfully organised the whole show.
At a lecture at the B.Ed college, Mehsana, B A Prajapati, Director, S K School of Business Management, spoke of the new parameters introduced in the system of education today.