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Srinagar, May 14 (UNI) Suggesting that certain level of disconnect between Kashmir University and the society needs should be removed, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today highlighted the need for greater interface between University and the society.

Talking with a group of Kashmir University professors led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Riyaz Punjabi here last evening, Mr Azad said, there should be exchange of teachers and students with other universities, and added the institution should catch up with the outside world in terms of research and scholarship.

The Chief Minister suggested exchange of students and teachers with other universities in and outside the country saying this would lead to sharing of knowledge and information and broaden their horizons.

He felt that, to begin with, such exchanges could be explored with the universities of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in central Asia which shared cultural similarities with Kashmir.

He said exchanges like these were in the pipeline with Pakistan as part of the peace and reconciliation process but the internal developments in that country did not allow any forward movement on this subject as on the entire dialogue process.

He said scholars could not pursue their academic activities oblivious of the society and interface between the two was imperative.

He said the State's oldest university was once the hub of cultural activities besides a place of serious academic pursuits and desired the scenario to be revived.

However, the vibrant academic atmosphere in the university had been disturbed by long turmoil. But he expressed satisfaction that things were changing for the better now.

Appreciating the improved academic scenario in the university he said he wanted to see it catching up with the outside world in terms of research and scholarship.

He said excellence in these areas was very important for the forward movement of a society.

Mr Azad said there was no dearth of talent in the society. The need, he added, was to properly harness and channelise it and asked the university teachers to rise to the occasion.

He hoped that the new VC would be able to take the institution to academic heights and assured him of his fullest support to make it a model university.

He, however, hoped that the threads would be picked up again soon to make headway.

Prof Riyaz Punjabi briefed the Chief Minister about the academic activities in the university and assured him that his dream of making the institution a seat of excellence would be realised.

UNI BAS QAB SLP HT1750

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