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As VC, Doon Varsity, I have opportunity to serve my Pitrbhumi: Dr CS Nautiyal

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By JASKIRAN CHOPRA

For Dr Chandra Shekhar Nautiyal, becoming the Vice Chancellor of Doon University in February 2018 provided the opportunity he was looking for to serve his “Pitrbhumi”. He had a strong wish to contribute to the development of the hill state through service to education. Talking exclusively to Garhwal Post, Dr Nautiyal, whose ancestors belonged to the Kaulagarh area of the Doon Valley, said that imparting education was a noble profession and he was grateful to God that he could contribute to the sphere of education in Uttarakhand as the VC of Doon University. “Our university is a state government institution and has the support of the Governor, the Chief Minister, ministers and bureaucrats,” he asserted. The Vice Chancellor said he had not spared and would not spare any efforts required to ensure that, within the next five years, Doon University features in the top fifty universities of the country. “That is our target and we are taking all steps needed to achieve it. Bringing quality teachers from across the country has always been our aim and we are working on this. Our objective is to enhance the quality and prestige of Doon University so that students from Uttarakhand do not have to leave the state in their quest for higher education of a good standard.” He disclosed that the university was now planning to set up a School of Biological Sciences as soon as some more land was acquired. “We have started many new courses this semester, including those in Geology, Geography and MSW, he revealed. “Recently, Psychology has also been introduced, widening the spectrum of subjects we teach at Doon University.” Dr Nautiyal added that the state government had sanctioned an auditorium that would have a seating capacity of five hundred. “Work on this auditorium will commence soon. This would be a welcome addition to the picturesque campus of the university. Students from well-known colleges and universities outside Uttarakhand are now joining various post graduate courses at Doon University. Also, students from many prestigious schools are joining the undergraduate courses.” “We are aiming at making this university the number one university of Uttarakhand and our efforts in this direction are ongoing,” said the VC, who has had an illustrious career as a scientist.He has held many important charges including that of Director/Outstanding Professor, CSIR-NBRI, Lucknow, JC Bose National Fellow, CSIR –NBRI, Lucknow, (since 2016 till date) and Director/Outstanding Professor (Additional Charge), CSIR– IITR, Lucknow (2014-2015). He did his PhD in Microbiology from MSUniversity,Baroda, in 1982. The VC emphasised that improving quality and fostering excellence was a major challenge faced today by institutions of higher education and these challenges needed to be met in the best way possible. “A strong academic niche needs to be created by higher education institutions of Uttarakhand. A distinctive identity and out-of-the-box thinking will make them stand out in the crowd. Research that will help resolve local problems needs to be encouraged by universities.” Emphasising that academic freedom and autonomy were vital to the success of universities, he said, “Education can be one of the important drivers for the growth of Uttarakhand and can contribute to removing social inequalities and accelerating economic development. Quality education can be helpful to the state in socio-economic transformation.Through it, we can make the seemingly unachievable into a realised dream. Job-oriented courses can help in this to a large extent as this will enhance the employability of our graduates.” The VC said it took several years of concerted efforts to build a quality university. “We are completely focused on making these concerted efforts and I am confident we will be able to fulfill our aims and move ahead on the path we have charted for ourselves at this university. Doon University is and will be a sought-after institution for higher education by students of Uttarakhand as well as other parts of the country.” For the youth of Uttarakhand, Dr Nautiyal says that they must passionately get into the profession of their liking. “Listen toyour inner voice and learn a lesson from your failures instead of getting disappointed by them. Give your best towards enhancing the quality of life of fellow citizens by using your expertise in your chosen profession.”