Having begun with an inspiration to meet the challenges of education in rural India, the Teerthanker Mahaveer University today strives to become the ultimate destination for world-class education
A small number of schools, unimpres- sive infrastructure, limited resources and lackluster faculty are some of the many issues that have, over the years, hampered access to education for many in the boondocks of India. Place these issues in the context of minority education and you get a gloomy picture.
They say it takes an optimist to find inspiration in adverse situations. The founders of Moradabad-based Teerthanker Mahaveer University (TMU) set one such example. The inspiration behind setting up this institution stems from the very issues that have plagued the spread of education in India. Prem Prakash Jain (father of the current university Chancellor Suresh Jain) was a teacher by profession, and a passionate one at that. What troubled his passion for teaching, however, was the limitation of resources and the absolute dearth of schools with a decent infrastructure.
This inspired his son Suresh Jain to dedicate his life to his father’s dream of upliftment of society through quality education. He decided to convert his village residence into a school, which soon turned into a hub for teaching activities in the rural area and is today known as the Madan Swarup Inter College, imparting education to about 3,000 children in Hariyana, Moradabad.
Setting up of an institute with a vision to impart professional education to the students of Moradabad was another milestone in this journey. Suresh’s endeavour soon began bearing fruits with the establishment of Teerthanker Mahaveer Institute of Management & Technology (TMIMT) in 2001 to offer programmes such as BBA, BCA, MCA, MBA, B.Ed, M.Ed and B.Sc. (Home Science) which brought employment opportunities for the young aspirants.
Seven years later, Teerthanker Mahaveer University finally came into existence in 2008. Set up as a Jain minority state private university established by Act No. 30 of 2008 of the Government of Uttar Pradesh and approved by University Grants Commission (UGC) under Section 2(f), the university is located on National Highway-24 and is barely 144 km from New Delhi. The university stands committed to the ideals of Lord Mahaveer i.e. right philosophy, right knowledge, and right conduct in all its operations. The university aims and aspires to be recognised as an ultimate destination for world-class education.
Awards and Recognition
- “The Best Private University of India Award” constituted by Journalists Federation of India in September 2012
- “Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award” for Best Higher Education Institution by Pehchan-International Social Organisation in August 2013
- “CIDC Vishwakarma Award 2013” for outstanding contribution towards “Mission Skilling India” by Construction Industry Development Council and CIDC Partner in Progress Trophy 2014
The driving force behind this gigantic task of setting up the university is Chancellor Suresh Jain, who along with the Group Vicechairman Manish Jain, continues to strive to raise its status to a world-class university. At present, over 100 programmes are being offered at under-graduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels through 17 on-campus colleges and six independent teaching departments in the disciplines of management, dental, medical, engineering, computing sciences, pharmacy, nursing, para-medical sciences, physiotherapy, architecture, law, journalism, education, physical education, agriculture sciences, home science, social work, hospital administration, fine arts, language studies and Jain studies. Programmes in medical, dental and engineering are the most sought after among these.
From a humble beginning of 1,055 in 2008-09 in the first academic session, TMU today provides education to more than 14,000 students from almost all states of the country, which includes around 100 foreign students from Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Maldives. This not only gives a pan-India outlook, but also promotes a multi-cultural environment for learning. The number of boys and girls are in 75:25 ratio. Out of the total strength of the students, 30 percent belong to minority communities.
The academic programmes are designed and reviewed in consultation with professional organisations and industry experts in order to provide a strong academic rigour and industrial perspective. These courses are delivered by a faculty known for its dedication to teaching and research and with close ties with the national/international academic and business communities. The initial faculty strength of 100 in 2008-09 has now increased to 750. The core strength of the faculty comes from the rich diverse group of men and women who are leaders in their respective fields. Some of these faculty members are educated abroad and also have research to their credit.
The university has provisions for liberal scholarship schemes and a safe and secure environment, which has resulted in a progressive increase in the enrollment of girl students in general and from the Muslim community in particular. In a short span of time, TMU has emerged as a catalyst in socio-economic transformation of the region and is nurturing professionals who are competent to meet the diverse needs of society and industry.
‘Set Measurable Objectives with Definite Timeline’
The country has high hopes from the new government at the Centre, says Suresh Jain, Chancellor of Teerthanker Mahaveer University. In an interaction with ENN, he stresses upon the need for identifying more measurable objectives with a definite timeline to gauge the effectiveness of efforts made by the state and central governments. Excerpts from an interview
Barring a few, why is it that many minority institutions do not become popular or sought after?
Most of the minority institutions offer few courses either in engineering, management or medical field. The students are doubtful about the quality of education imparted there. Though TMU is also a minority university, there is a wide variety of programmes on offer. This is why students are eager to join this university for quality education.
What were the challenges of management while setting up and in operating the institute and university?
The first challenge was to find the possibility to provide education to the increasing number of students who aspire to get higher education at par with global standards. Designing a curriculum in accordance with the higher education policy of the government was another challenge. Availability of resources was also one of the hurdles we faced.
Does your institute manage to attract best talent available? Do you believe that you can match industry standards?
Due to the quality of education that we are providing at an affordable cost, TMU manages to attract best talent available. The curriculum has been designed and is updated from time to time in accordance with industrial needs. Provision is also made to update students as per the requirement of the industry, specific to their specialisation for technical needs.
What is the level of industry interface?
The University Corporate Resource Centre regularly interacts with the industry to get inputs for review and upgradation of our curriculum. Corpo- rate meets are organised to assess the requirement of the industry and give students an insight into the working of the corporate world. It acts as an interface between industry and university.
Have you assessed whether graduates from your institution find immediate placement in corporate and government? Do they face problems?
The graduates get placement in corporate and government organisations.
Do you offer any career counselling services for students?
The University Corporate Resource Centre equips the students with necessary skills required for their employment in the industry and other organisations. This centre also organises personality development, career guidance and counseling pro- grammes for the students so as to gear them up to take on the stiff competition in the corporate world.
Any tie-ups with other central or foreign universities to offer more courses?
The University has MOUs with the following foreign universities to enhance global prospective: Polytech Nantes (France) Vanier College, Canada Sol Bridge International Business School (South Korea) Tabesh University, Afghanistan University Jean Moullin Lyon 3, France
Is your institution considering to introduce skill development and vocational courses?
The University has established four state-of-the-art language labs with 240 computer terminals provided with hi-tech language software for developing basic, intermediate and business level language skills. Various short-term courses are also offered in association with leading organisations such as SAP, Oracle, Red Hat, CISCO, IL&FS, TCS, IBM, CMS, Microsoft and CIDC.
In your view, have the central and state governments done enough to promote minority education?
Though the central and state governments are making efforts to promote minority education, more measurable objectives need to be set with a definite timeline to gauge the effectiveness of these efforts.
What are your expectations from the Narendra Modi government with the Prime Minister having stressed on education and a skilled India?
Education is the most important issue that any civilised society would like its government to address properly. The country has high hopes from the new government at the Centre. Certainly, through its policy and plans, it shall address the needs of education and help in skilling the youth for the present and future.
Any suggestions or grievances that you believe need to be urgently looked into?
There should be a level-playing field for private-funded educational institutions when it comes to policy and plan as compared to publicfunded institutions, especially in terms of research, consulting, students scholarship grants and representation on various policy and decision-making bodies of government such as councils, boards, commissions, task force and panels.