22 of the major Delhi University colleges and departments have aimed to mentor educational institutions spread across the length and breadth of the country. They would mentor a total of 29 institutions, as a part of the Vidya Vistar scheme, backed by the varsity.
Under the program, there will be several facets to provide mentoring. These will include visits by faculty, online training, skill development modules and student exchange programmes. Under this scheme, most of the institutions picked are located in underdeveloped rural and urban areas, many being in the Northeast region of the country that is looking to expand the scope of its opportunities.
Hansraj College, one of the highest-rated colleges associated with the university, has picked three institutions of higher education for the mentoring program. These are located in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. Explaining the reason behind choosing these colleges, Rama Sharma, principal of Hansraj College said ‘We chose a college in the Northeast because we have an alumnus like Kiren Rijiju. We were already running a scheme called Vidya Setu where we had adopted many colleges. Once the university launched this scheme, we changed that to Gyan Setu.’
Part of the mentorship – the online teachers’ training programme – has already begun in full swing. In this regard, Sharma went on to add ‘We recently held an event where our students interacted with those of other colleges. Once the Covid-19 situation gets better, we have plans of holding exchange programmes for students of these colleges, so that they get to see and access our facilities.’
As a part of the training program being offered in the course of this mentoring initiative, students would be offered training in skills that are in demand like data analytics, data mining amongst many more.
Some of the colleges that are ready to mentor educational institutes and help expand knowledge are- Vivekananda College, Gargi College, Deshbandhu College, Daulat Ram College amongst many others. For instance, Ramanujan College is committed to developing related areas with its partners. It will also be sharing library resources and other academic facilities to ensure a proper flow of knowledge.
Mamta Sharma of Aditi Mahavidyalaya, talking about their partnering with a college in Barwani Madhya Pradesh, said ‘The teachers and researchers of both colleges will be engaging in joint research activities and will be co-investigators in the programmes submitted to funding agencies. We will initiate and assist innovation activities and boost start-ups. The idea is to cultivate the feeling of brotherhood among the two institutes through sports and extracurricular activities.’
This initiative of being a mentor to educational institutions by the University of Delhi while in its initial phases is likely to have several positive consequences on the overall development of every part of the country by offering top-class learning opportunities to scholars.