International Pool Of Faculty To Help Higher Education In Odisha

Houston: The Odisha Society of the Americas (OSA) is working on five-fold initiatives for advancement in higher education in Odisha in collaboration with its faculty members.

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Speaking at a webinar on “Taking a quantum leap on higher education for universities of Odisha and how the OSA community can help”, organised on the occasion of its 52nd annual convention held in Houston, Texas recently, president of OSA Kuku Das said the initiatives included creation of an international pool of faculty/researchers and placement of faculties and research scholars in various universities.

The OSA also plans to foster international students/visitors/research-scholar exchange programs; strengthen and help build an alumni network at various universities in Odisha; recommend to OSHEC for formation of an external advisory for long-term goal setting of the universities; and foster industry/universities/government collaboration by setting up innovation/incubation centers and assisting in funding programs.

Supporting the initiatives, OSA president-elect Gyana Patnaik suggested that an exchange of ideas through continuous discussion is required for the advancement of higher education in Odisha. A mechanism should be developed so that successful faculty members in OSA community can collaborate with faculties in Odisha universities in research and academic activities, he added.

Prof Durgamadhab Misra of New Jersey Institute of Technology said he was working with his university administration to facilitate and subsidise the exchange programs. He also mentioned about the strong digital infrastructure for the universities and up-to-date university websites describing the research activities.

Dr Ajaya Mohanty of Deloitte & Touche said the OSA community is genuinely interested to help the advancement of Odisha higher education system.

Prof Prasant Mohapatra of University of California talked about the OSA Higher Education and Research Team (OSA-HEART) and how a strong interaction is possible via the OSA website to facilitate research webinars and training programs for academic leaders of Odisha.

Prof Kishore Kumar Basa, Vice-Chancellor, Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University said research in universities in Odisha should have global vision with local context and facilitate the individual excellence. Building a Center of Excellence in Tribal and Forest Studies will have global impact while helping the local needs, he added.

Prof Sanjay Nayak of Ravenshaw University (RU) said the proposed partnership between OSA and his university will help in upscaling higher education, developing international exchange of faculty and students and starting dual MS and PhD programmes through MOUs.

Prof Sabita Acharya, Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University outlined the recent developments in the university such as digital infrastructure for hybrid model of education and extension of WiFi facilities to all departments.

Prof Asoka Das, Vice-Chairman of Odisha State Higher Education Council said the OSA community can work with the mentors of the Centres of Excellence to come up with new projects and international level experiments. He also requested the OSA community to set up a memorial section in libraries and take advantage of the academic visitor programs.

Prof Raja Kumar, Director, IIIT-Bhubaneswar suggested that a champion in various universities should be empowered to take the leadership role to facilitate the international collaborations. Prof Chakrapani, VC of Berhampur University suggested that the universities should take advantage of various Central government schemes such as VAJRA to foster the international collaborations.

Dr Ajaya Mohanty concluded the seminar stating that OSA community is in standby to assist in anyway possible.

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