Responding to the invitation sent by Sikkim Government College Burtuk, Dr. Terence Mukhia from Sonada and Mr. Peter from Siliguri left for the venue Chintan Bhavan, Gangtok, on 21 September 2018, at 5 am. A taxi had been arranged by the organizing team from Siliguri upto Gangtok. Dr. Terence Mukhia went upto Tista on a hired vehicle and joined Mr. Peter who arrived late at Tista with the vehicle arranged by the organizers. The vehicle from Siliguri reached Tista almost two hours behind schedule due to landslide on the way. The college team reached the venue, Chintan Bahavan, Gangtok around 11.30 am where they had just begun the inaugural session. Dr. Terence Mukhia was welcomed by a bouquet and a khada and was requested to take his seat on the dais.
Dr. S. Datta, the Principal of Sikkim Government College, welcomed all the participants and the resource persons during her inaugural speech. Dr. Chunku Bhutia, Co-ordinator, IQAC from Sikkim Government College, Burtuk, Gangtok addressed the audience during which she explained the purpose of the workshop. Her speech was followed by the keynote addresses of the four resource persons Dr. B.S. Madhukar, Adviser, NAAC, Bangalore, Mr. B. S. Ponmudiraj, Deputy Adviser, NAAC, Bangalore, Prof. Milap Punia, JNU, New Delhi and Dr. Terence Mukhia, Salesian College Sonada respectively. Dr. Mukhia shed more light on the title, theme and objectives of the workshop.
The Keynote addresses were followed by the address of the Guest of Honour, Prof. G.K. Niroula Chettri, Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim State University. Mr. D.K. Pradhan, another Guest of Honour, Director of HRDD, Government of Sikkim addressed the gathering. Mr. G. P. Upadhyaya, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, HRDD, Government of Sikkim delivered the final speech during which he also commented positively on the speeches of the keynote speakers. Finally, the vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Y. N. Nirola, the Vice-Principal of Sikkim Government College, Burtuk.
The participants were then requested to break for lunch.
The first technical session commenced around 2 pm. Mr. B. S. Ponmudiraj, Deputy Adviser, NAAC, Bangalore gave an elaborate presentation on NAAC. He spoke on the ‘Equity and Equality in Higher Education: New Methodology of NAAC Accreditation and Assessment’. After few questions and clarifications, the second technical session was taken up by another resource person Dr. B. S. Madhukar, Adviser, NAAC, Bangalore. He spoke on the ‘Role of IQAC in Quality Enhancement of Higher Education’. It was followed by the third technical session during which Prof. Milap Punia, JNU, New Delhi delivered his input session on the ‘Present System of Higher Education: A Critical Analysis’.
The three technical sessions were followed by tea. The resource persons were then taken to hotel Mayur, Zero Point, Gangtok. The dinner was served around 8 pm and we retired to bed.
The next day, 22 October 2018, breakfast was served at 8 am. Three professors from Burtuk College drove us to the Tourist Information Centre, for the second day’s workshop. The technical sessions resumed on the second day at 10.20 am with few words of introduction by the Principal of Sikkim Government College. The fourth technical session (first of the second day) was animated by Dr. Fr. Donatus Kujur, Principal, St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling during which he spoke on ‘Innovative Teaching Learning Process: Need of the Hour’. The final technical session was animated by Dr. Terence Mukhia, Salesian College Sonada. The title of the session was ‘Outreach Programme of the Institution: Role of the Community’. While speaking on the theme Dr. Terence also imparted a talk on ‘NAAC: Sharing an Experience’. It was followed by the presentation of Mr. Peter Lepcha during which he talked about the NAAC journey of Salesian College Sonada-Siliguri, especially how it moved from C++ to A grade.
The valedictory session began around 2 pm. After few words of Dr. Datta, the Principal of Sikkim Government College, Dr. Chunku Bhutia read out the reports of the workshop. It was followed by short speeches of the Guest of Honour and the Chief Guest. The resource persons were honoured with mementos, khadas and bouquet of flowers. Dr. Binu Thomas, the Convener of the national workshop, delivered vote of thanks.
The Salesian College team along with Dr. Fr. Donatus Kujur left the venue at 2.15 pm and reached Tista Bridge at 4 p.m. Dr. Terence got down at Tista and proceeded to Sonada on his own, whereas Mr. Peter and Dr. Fr. Donatus continued their journey to Siliguri on the same vehicle. As per the telephonic conversation all the three had reached back to their destinations safe and sound by 7 pm.
Report by Dr. Terence Mukhia,
Salesian College Sonada