The Central University of Orissa Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi – Indigenous-University (University of Wananga), New Zealand for Collaborative Programme on Indigenous Studies Wednesday at the Office Chamber of Vice-Chancellor at Koraput.
The MoU was signed by Prof. (Dr.) Surabhi Banerjee, Vice-Chancellor Central University of Orissa and Professor Graham Smith, CEO/ Vice Chancellor of Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi: Indigenous-University (University of Wananga) New Zealand. The Registrar of Central University of Orissa Prof. A. K. Mishra, New Zealand High Commission education counsellor Melanie Chapman and international manager Perya Short were also present on the occasion.
The Central University of Orissa serves a large, economically deprived tribal population and is one of 12 central universities set up in 2009 to promote higher education in remote rural regions.
With the signing of MoU, the University proposes to launch a Centre for Indigenous Studies. The new Centre for Indigenous Studies will support higher education, skills development and research into tribal issues such as preservation of cultural heritage, agricultural practices, ecology, customs, professions, traditional practices, health, indigenous knowledge and education.
An academic exchange programme will also be developed to include student and faculty exchanges aimed at broadening the intellectual horizons and experience of students and faculties from both countries said Prof. (Dr.) Banerjee Vice-Chancellor of CUO while signing the MoU. Further she said that the event of signing an MoU is historic and a major landmark in the educational movement in India.
Speaking on the occasion Prof. Graham Smith said the Central University of Orissa is the suitable university for tribal development. As the University of Wananga is doing for Maori tribes in New Zealand, the CUO can also do a lot for the tribals of Koraput as well as of India. Teaching does not mean teaching the students mind only it is teaching mind, heart and nerves.
It is important to develop the minds and hearts of the tribals also to develop them. A critical approach to education should be taken into consideration for developing education. All the institutions should reach the rural community and tribal community for development of indigenous people.
On Tuesday the team from New Zealand Professor Graham Smith, CEO/ Vice Chancellor of Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi: Indigenous-University (University of Wananga) New Zealand, Ms. Melanie Chapman, International Coordinator and Perya Shot, International Manager reached Koraput and attended the University programme at University Main Campus, Sunabeda.
An interactive session was conducted at the University Campus between Professor Graham Smith & faculty members & students of the University.