February 2018

AISECT University: Bridging the Skill and ICT Gap

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Dr Vijay Singh, Aisect UniversityAt AISECT University, we believe that a university is not only a place for knowledge creation and dissemination but has a wider role in empowering the society and building the nation, says Dr Vijay Singh, Registrar, Aisect University, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Being India’s first skill-based university, what practices are followed at AISECT to impart quality-based skill education?
At AISECT University (AU), our effort is to excel in skill development of our students and engaging their interest in research activities, in addition to formal education. AU is the first university in India to introduce compulsory skill courses at Undergraduate (UG) and Postgraduate (PG) levels and now we are associated with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to empower our students further with employment linked education. Eight departments at AU have Multi Skill Academies, providing over 30 skill development courses. This will help students to get hands-on experience, gaining confidence and reducing the academia-industry gap.

How is research driven advancement of knowledge promoted at AISECT University to nurture successful professionals?
The Core Research Group (CRG) is a unique initiative to foster research culture in the university. Research work demands resources in terms of money, time and infrastructure along with uncertainty of research outcome and longer scale for success. Private Universities have to mostly depend on own resources and this is one of the reasons in private universities behind lesser research activities. However at AU, research is a core area and to underline the concern, CRG has been set up. The CRG has the following objectives:

• Extend financial and administrative support for travelling and presenting papers abroad
• Set up research facilities and encourage a research culture
• Identify meaningful research projects and provide funds
• Encourage research Writing and provide support for publication • Function as the nodal point for research activity

What steps have been taken by AISECT University to prepare industry-ready professionals?
• Skill Development – At AU, we believe that a university should help in reducing the skill deficit in the country. We have addressed this requirement at two levels. Firstly, we have revived practical part of the curriculum by various collaborations with local industries, by installing industry-grade machinery in all the labs and by providing workshops for field experience in our labs. Secondly, we have started Skill Academies in each department in collaboration with NSDC. In addition to the normal curriculum, we have made one skill training compulsory for each student in every year during the course. So a UG student comes out with minimum 3 to 4 skills in addition to hands-on experience on industrial machines in labs.

• Entrepreneurial Efforts– We encourage students to think in terms of starting their own enterprise. To accomplish this, we organise various “entrepreneur development programs” regularly. In 2014, we organised an Entrepreneurial Programme for 16 starts- up ventures in association with Young India initiative of CII. Presently, four of them are at advanced stages.

• Research Environment – As a university, research is a very committed area of focus for us. We have active collaborations with several institutes/research centres and universities in India and abroad. Renewable Energy, Material Science and Environmental Science are our current areas of research. We also have started a project on developing efficient material for a solar cell to increase its efficiency by 100% in collaboration with Taiwan and IIT–New Delhi. We also have a project with Ukraine on earthquake prediction.

• Social Connect – We have adopted three nearby villages under our various Social Relationship ventures. Students and faculty members regularly visit these villages and organise activities like health camp, literary and education camps, cleanliness drive, awareness camp and women empowerment camp. Students and faculty members spend one to seven days in the areas to organise the camps effectively. Some research projects/ doctoral researches have also been taken up to identify and address social problems of these villages.

• Holistic Development – AISECT University believes that students and faculty have to think beyond the syllabus for holistic growth. We ensure this through a large number of cultural, social and sports activities/competitions/events at regional, national and international levels. At least one international event is organised by the university every year. We have done international collaborations with A&M Texas University, RPI USA, ICEWaRM Australia, KAIST Korea, NCTU Taiwan and KYIV University Ukraine for exchange. In India, we have MoUs and collaborations with more than 15 institutes like IITs, CSIR, NITs etc. In industries, we work with companies like Microsoft, Tata Motors, Reliance, BSNL, IT Power etc, with whom we have set-up joint skill development centres, research labs etc. thereby creating a vibrant platform for holistic development.

What is the vision and mission of AISECT University for the years ahead?
VISION To be valued as a coveted centre for nurturing talent, imparting skill based quality education and promoting research driven advancement of knowledge for creating responsible professionals who will build a progressive nation.

• To foster research-oriented culture in the university.
• To provide education through extensive and innovative use of technology.
• To nurture talent, stimulate thinking, impart skills and create competent and inspired professionals for the industry.
• To forge collaborations with academic and corporate bodies across the world.
• To be recognized as a premium national university providing dedicated services for the social and economic development of the nation.

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