Yenepoya Abdulla Kunhi, founder, Yenepoya University believes professional education opens up greater opportunities for minorities and to join the mainstream. An ENN Report
Karnataka’s population has risen steeply in the last decade. The state ranks fifth in literacy with a sharp increase in the number of schools, colleges and IT companies. Literates out of the total population aged seven years and above stand at 75.36 per cent, up from 66.64 per cent in the last 10 years. Though educationally progressive, there were gaps in higher education (medical education in particular) for minority students in the district of Dakshina Kannada and neighbouring areas of Karnataka.
Things took a turn when Yenepoya Abdulla Kunhi, Chairman of the religious minority trust Islamic Academy of Education (IAE) established in 1991, and Director at the Yenepoya Group of Companies, and a few like-minded intellectuals recognised this gap. This led to the establishment of Yenepoya University, an initiative of IAE, a trust dedicated to the memory of legendary entrepreneur late Yenepoya Moideen Kunhi, who laid the basis of industrialisation in the region.
The Islamic Academy of Education (IAE) is today working the upliftment of the social, economical and educational status of the minority communities in the region. The IAE trust was created with the objective to establish and administer educational institutions, such as schools, colleges and institutes of general education, medical and dental education, engineering and commercial education. This dream was fulfilled with the help of Yenepoya University.
A minority institution, the Yenepoya University is the first private deemed university in Dakshin Kannada district and has a total intake of over 400 students with the Muslim community constituting 70 per cent of students at the medical college. Till date, 1,700 students from minority communities have been awarded degrees by this university and other institutions under the ambit of the IAE. These institutions have also generated employment for over 3000 people from minority communities alone. The founder Yenepoya Abdulla Kunhi firmly believes that professional education can provide greater opportunities for the Muslim community to join mainstream professional careers by utilising their knowledge and skills for the betterment of society.
Prior to the establishment of Yenepoya institutions, the number of minority students, especially Muslims, opting for professional courses such as medicine was limited as education in this particuar discipline was quite expensive. The opportunities were also limited in other institutions due to fierce competition from others. For minority students in this region, the establishment of Yenepoya institutions was a dream comestrue as it provided an opportunity to study medicine and health science subjects in affordable way. Till date, several thousands of students from minority communities, especially women, have graduated from Yenepoya institutions and are contributing to the society in a big way.
Running several specialised courses in medicine, admission to the university is through an all-India entrance test which is held in multiple centres throughout India. The selection is based on merit, which ensures selection of right students who can match industry standards. The placements records are proof of the quality education provided at the university.
Keeping in tune with times, Yenepoya University has also undertaken instructions through digital learning and etablished an e-learning centre in 2011. ‘Yengage’, the e-learning portal for Yenepoya University was setup by the Information Technology section to support ICT-based learning for its students. This is an online service which facilitates the students, staff, tutors and management with a friendly and interactive environ- ment, which will enable better learning by providing study information and learning content anytime anywhere.
“‘Yengage’, the e-learning portal for Yenepoya University was setup by the Information Technology section to support ICT-based learning for its students”
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Training
The E-learning centre undertakes onjob training on usage of electronic medical record-keeping, which is an essential part of any medical hospital abroad. The EMR modules are becoming an important feature of the Indian hospital environment. The e-learning centre at Yenepoya University started training on EMR modules for medical interns and the post-graduates as an add-on course. The university also received a National Award ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by e- INDIA for the innovative training programme on Health Information Management System (HIMS).
The Yenepoya Foundation, a unit of Yenepoya Moideen Kunhi Memorial Educational & Charitable Trust and the Yenepoya University jointly distribute academic excellence awards to students excelling in SSLC, PUC and under-grad- uate degree examinations and encour- age them through scholarships every year. These awards are given to students of Dakshin Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala purely on the basis of merit. Recipients of these awards are around 300 every year and the total budget allocated for this purpose is Rs 10 lakh. The award is given to individuals who score the highest percentage in their respec tive examinations and also to a few minority institutions which have secured 100 per cent results. The award consists of certificates and cash awards ranging from `3,000 to `10,000.
Today, Yenepoya institutions are a role model for making professional and technical education accessible, affordable and contemporary.