The second half of 2021 brought in some good news for university students across the nation. Many states decided to reopen college campuses in a phased manner, ensuring the safety, health and well-being of all students and staff. Reacting to this announcement, a senior academician said that his university is planning to welcome students with a rose, mask and sanitiser to motivate them to attend classes on campus and create awareness and sensitise them about Covid-19 protocols. There has been a definite eagerness among students and teachers to get back to the physical mode of teaching and learning. It also means, we as members of an extensive and diverse higher education system, have not been a big fan of online learning conducted during the pandemic’s peak. Why wouldn’t we? Virtual learning has posed a challenge to students without personal computers or reliable internet connections, particularly students from rural areas.
On the brighter side, the pandemic has also proved that our colleges and universities can adapt rapidly. More importantly, we have finally agreed to play our part in an education revolution that has been going on right in front of us. Along with the hybrid learning mode, many Indian universities now focus more on lifelong learning and reskilling rather than stamping a degree on young undergraduates. The past year’s understanding has helped our traditional brick-and-mortar institutions to work predominantly with online education platforms and foster collaborations with international providers, which is a good sign moving forward. In the post-pandemic world of education, our universities should strive to collaborate with the industry and other educational institutions around the globe to create a borderless higher education system for the benefit of our young population.
In this issue, we have identified ‘25 Much-Watch Universities in India – 2021’ that have successfully brought efficiency in the current education system to support our growing economy, to be recognised and commended by all. On the cover, we feature Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU), which is not just the best but also the safest place to study. Located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, the university has equipped and integrated all its classrooms for hybrid learning.