Luminaries from private and deemed universities present views on shaping up higher education in India, in conversation with Chhavi Bakaria
Rajendra Kumar Pandey, President, NIIT University
Shaping Leaders for a Plural Society We are different from the traditional industrial universities and our aim is to develop a leading centre of innovation and learning in emerging areas of knowledge society. In the 21st century, India has to create leaders who should be prepared to face new challenges because they have to operate in a multicultural environment. So apart from developing the key knowledge of the chosen field, it is important that we must develop in our students understanding of not only our culture but also their specific concerns. Students must also be able to operate in different environments, language ambiences and so on. Our university’s role is to create leaders who respond to different challenges.
Prof C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor,O P Jindal UniversityEmpowering
Students through Flexible Courses Our university has always focused on developing a truly interdisciplinary education. The creation of our five schools of law, international affairs, business, government and public policy, and liberal arts and humanities has been done in that regard. The previous tight-jacketed approach of the conventional education has lost its relevance. The focus on interdisciplinarity is well-established in top universities across the world. We stress a lot on interdisciplinary interactions so our students have had the opportunity of cross registering for courses across all schools and in our undergraduate and post graduate programmes. We also strive to provide maximum academic freedom to our faculty members in order for them to research and teach at the best of their abilities.
Dr A S Zadgaonkar, Vice Chancellor, Dr CV Raman University
Aiming to Become a Centre for Innovation We are a relatively young private University, yet in this short period we have managed to carve out a niche for ourselves in terms of courses offered, quality teaching and students, placements and above all, research. Our focus lies on innovation and research. Research with applicability in various areas is what we are working for. We hope to establish credentials as a research oriented center with pure, integrated as well as inter-disciplinary research. Technological innovations are also in the offing. Our M Phil and PhD cells boast of relevant research with practical applications in our day to day lives.
Responsible Citizens I believe higher education in India is in a transition phase and private universities have a very vital role to play in shaping it up. Our university has introduced minimum two skills in every course curriculum that can range from four wheeler repair to repair of mobile, etc. Also in addition to industrial experience, we encourage students to undertake social projects in the villages adopted by the University. The aim is to understand problems faced by the society and try to find a solution together. A social tracking system has been designed by a team of students to monitor and advise villagers on various health and social issues.