The Higher Education System is expected to provide adequate skilled human resources equipped with the knowledge and technical skills to cater to the global challenges in education as well as to the fast growing national economy. The main objective of 66 Academic Staff Colleges spread across 26 states in India is to provide adequate opportunities for the professional development of teachers in higher education system within the framework of knowledge society to inculcate values, motivation and skills in the art of teaching. They aim to provide opportunity for the teachers to update the knowledge in the subject, technology and acquire new methods of curricular transactions in each area of their chosen disciplines.

Specially designed orientation, refresher and short-term courses offered by the UGC-Human Resource Development Centre, formerly known as Academic Staff College of University of Kashmir are aimed at enhancing the core competencies and providing adequate opportunities to teachers as well as scholars, non-teaching staff, and administrators of various universities and colleges for their timely professional and career development and at sufficiently orienting them to the experiential methodologies for teaching/learning and the value of innovative and creative work to fulfill their roles and responsibilities effectively.

Eversince I took over as Director of this prestigious institution, it has been my endeavour to incorporate as many innovations as possible in the design and implementation of our training programmes. Top priority has been accorded to outreach and extension activities besides making best possible resource persons and useful resource material available to the participants. Greater thrust has been accorded to problem-solving mode and experiential mode of education by conducting workshops, presentations and case studies during our courses. Idea was to give the participants an insight on how to overcome various difficulties in pursuit of their academic goals and missions and that is surely going to stand them in a good stead in times to come. Regular feedback has been sought from the participants about the course, resource persons and the centre as well. Based on the feedback received we have tried to improvise upon the design and conduct of our courses.

While formulating the list of courses to be conducted by the centre, provision has been made to keep the duration of courses flexible so that it caters to the needs of a vast group of teachers belonging to different cadres. Simultaneously care has been taken to cover all the faculties and give more preference to the upcoming, key areas of crucial importance in every discipline so that our training curriculum does not become outdated and we are able to keep pace with changing times and trends.

Besides regular General Orientation, Refresher and Short-term Courses, our Academic Staff College has envisaged to conduct quality improvement programmes, methodology workshops, teaching-learning evaluation technology programmes, summer schools, seminars and symposia for college and university teachers, interaction programmes for M.Phil/Ph.D scholars, skill development programmes for non-teaching staff, professional development programmes for administrators and senior functionaries of colleges and universities, in future. Aim is to modernize, innovate and diversify the types of programmes offered by our College for the broad-based professional and career development of human resource in our higher education system. On the instructions of the Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor, a special Induction Programme was conducted last year for the newly appointed faculty of the Leh and Kargil Campuses. This centre plans to conduct more such courses in future with a view to acquaint newly appointed teachers with the university environment, administrative set-up, curriculum development, teaching pedagogies and evaluation mechanisms as are in vogue in the university. In addition to theoretical exposition, the newly recruited teachers need to be given hands-on orientation regarding functioning of University Library and the offices of DSW, Chief Proctor, Controller of Examinations etc.

In the coming days, it shall be our utmost priority to upgrade our programmes, staff, services, infra-structure and other facilities to the largest extent possible and raise the standards of our training programmes to the highest level possible so that we are able to carve a niche for ourselves in the national arena and figure among the topmost academic staff colleges of the country. I urge upon all teachers, administrators, resource persons and other stake-holders to extend their wholehearted support and cooperation in this endeavour and join hands with us in emerging as a centre of excellence in academics.

Prof. Gull Mohammad Wani