GNDU 51st Foundation Day special ( November 24, 2020)
The COVID-19 period is the most challenging period of our times. The pandemic has affected the whole of humanity. Many precious lives have been lost; health hazards, food scarcity, depression, loss of jobs, isolation, ailments and other problems are being faced all over the world.
It has also been a testing time for educational institutions, its teachers as well as the students. It was a time when everything froze; kids and grown-ups were forced to lock themselves in their residences as per the safety precautions issued by the govt. But, Guru Nanak Dev University, accepting the big challenge of corona times, emerged stronger. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Jaspal Singh Sandhu ensured that the residents of the campus were never deprived of any essential commodity during the lockdown period. All the essential services were provided to the residents of the campus and others in need with full safety precautions. During this period sanitizers and masks were made in the university and distributed. The university not only fought the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, but also organized a large number of offline and online international and national conferences, seminars, symposiums and other academic functions successfully to enrich the academic world. During the lockdown period the teachers of the university engaged the students through online classes so that their studies might not suffer. The examinations for the final year students of all the subjects were conducted online and the university was able to declare their results in a timely manner. The admission process too was conducted online, with an increased number of student intake for most of the courses.
This year, Guru Nanak Dev University is celebrating its 51st Foundation Day on November 24, 2020, but due to COVID-19 pandemic and as per the instructions of the Government about keeping the numbers for gatherings limited, this mega event is being celebrated through online participation. It is expected that a large number of audience would register their presence for the online academic lecture sessions by Mr. Navdeep Singh Suri, IFS (Retd.), Former Ambassador to Egypt and UAE, apart from being a GNDU alumnus, and Dr. Jogishwar Singh, IAS (Retd.), ex-Managing Director at Edmond de Rothschild, Geneva, Switzerland.
During the lockdown period a special booklet ‘Summer of 2020’ had also been designed and printed to highlight the activities conducted by the university during COVID-19. Video documentaries on the blooming university campus named ‘Flora and Fauna at GNDU’ and ‘Sun and Shade at GNDU’ were also screened on the social media.
There were many other remarkable achievements of the University during this year. Five scientists of Guru Nanak Dev University have been listed in World ranking of top 2% scientists in an independent study conducted by the scholars of Stanford University. In this study the scientists of Stanford University created a database of more than 100,000 top scientists of the world and made rankings on the basis of standardized citation indicators such as citations, H-index, co-authorship and a composite indicator.
Guru Nanak Dev University signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), New Delhi for conducting innovative research on different aspects of highway design, safety and beautification. The University has instituted three prestigious awards to honor outstanding researchers in the field of Life Sciences. The Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences has signed an MOU for three prestigious academic awards for scientists and researchers working in the fields of plant and environmental sciences. The university signed another historic MoU with the Sports Authority of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India, New Delhi to set up residential Sports Academy under Khelo India Scheme in Guru Nanak Dev University in two sports disciplines: Fencing (Men & Women) and Archery (Men & Women). The Centre for Agriculture Research and Innovation and the Department of Agriculture of the University jointly signed an MoU with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, National Chung Hsing University (NCHU), Taiwan. NCHU. The University has also decided to start conferring the degrees of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.), Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) and Doctors of Laws (LL.D.). It is worth mentioning here that D.Sc., D.Litt. and L.L.D. are the highest research degrees a university can award.
This year, Guru Nanak Dev University improved its position in the National Institute Ranking Frame (NIRF) – 2020 Rankings which were released by the Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. As per the new ranking, Guru Nanak Dev University was placed 51st among all the central, public and private universities in India. This University now ranks 18th among the State funded universities of India. GNDU also figured among the top four Institutions in Punjab and the top ten institutions in North India by Nature Index. In the survey released this year by the OUTLOOK magazine, Guru Nanak Dev University is the only university of the State of Punjab to have bagged a position amongst the top state public universities in the country. It is ranked at 17 th position amongst 415 public universities of the country. Similarly, in “The Week–Hansa Research Survey-2020” released this year, Guru Nanak Dev University is the only university from Punjab to have bagged a position in the top ten State public Multidisciplinary universities with a ranking position of 7.
This year the Hon’ble Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh inaugurated the webinar organized by the University on Revisiting History and Literature of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 1919. Apart from this, a large number of academicians and scholars participated online in the various activities organized by various departments of the University.
The sacred forest established this year in the university was dedicated to the 550th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji. 28 percent shady trees, 24 percent fruit trees, 24 percent flower trees and 24 percent medicinal plants are being sown in an area of two acres for this sacred forest. The University compiled a handbook on “Plant Diversity of GNDU Botanical Garden”. A campaign to plant 2500 different varieties of saplings was also launched at the University Campus this year. With grants received this year from MHRD, activities relating to establishing the Centre for Interfaith Studies at University campus also got a boost.
This year, two eminent personalities Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman & Managing Director MedantaTM -The MediCity and Mr Pankaj Kapur, an eminent actor, director, writer and poet were honoured with degrees of Doctor of Medicine (in the Faculty of Medical Sciences) and Doctor of Philosophy (in the Faculty of Visual Arts & Performing Arts) respectively in the 46th Annual Convocation of the University. Eleven eminent personalities of Punjabi Literature were honored by Punjab Government in a special function organized at GNDU Campus.
In its the 52nd year now, a very young age for an institution, Guru Nanak Dev University, with its commitment to excellence, has its roadmap ready for continuing as one of the best universities in the country. All these achievements has been possible with the innovative guidance of Vice Chancellor Prof. Jaspal Singh Sandhu, faculty members, students, researchers and administrative staff of our university.