It is indeed an honour and privilege for me to take on the responsibility as the Principal, Sri Venkateswara College, a premier co-ed and constituent college of University of Delhi.
This academic year has been an extraordinary challenge on account of COVID-19. However, the pandemic gave an opportunity world-wide to rethink and reassess the strategies for higher education. Times of crisis ought to inspire creativity, critical reflection, transformation, and renewal. In the new normal, the challenge is to adapt, regenerate, and position the college for a strong and sustainable future.
Striving for a vibrant and dynamic academic atmosphere is a wholesome and holistic exercise. This calls for the integration of students in the qualitative processes of the college. It necessitates an innovation ecosystem to hone the skills of students in diverse programs to mould them to become notable change-makers of the society. The aim is to make learning an enriching, fulfilling, and enjoyable experience through a multidisciplinary approach, combining theory and practice in pedagogy. The focus should be on not only ‘what is taught’ but also ‘the way it is taught’. Research being an important pillar of academic growth, the thrust has to be on socially relevant, locally need-based, nationally important, and globally significant research initiatives. Creating fertile ground for effective synergies between research and teaching skills, nurturing and fostering critical thinking and problem-solving among students is imperative. Hence, our persistent efforts must be to leverage the intellectual and emotional capabilities of students, encourage the free and spirited exchange of ideas to celebrate diversity, while ensuring inclusivity. It should be our collective endeavour to promote an inspirational, motivational, value-abased academic, and administrative environment.
Our earnest attempt should be towards upholding academic integrity, accountability, sustaining open and transparent systems, and being sensitive to social responsibilities. This could be possible only through a collaborative, shared, and consultative work culture. Building on the strong foundation of the college, let us all strive for cautious, consistent, and catalytic improvement in the overall development, paving way for innovative ideas and thinking. Let us all invoke the blessings of Lord Venkateswara as we march ahead and gear up to myriad managerial, economic, societal, and environmental challenges.
“We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet” – Swami Vivekananda
This spirit should guide our intent and actions in shaping the destiny of the college.