Cutting edge education

A quiet revolution is unfolding on campuses as universities go that extra mile to create excellence and skilled man power, Prachi Rege discovers.

Updated: Sep 24, 2013, 16:59 PM IST

A quiet revolution is unfolding on campuses as universities go that extra mile to create excellence and skilled man power, Prachi Rege discovers.

Delivering his convocational address at the Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, early this year, President of India Pranab Mukherjee, emphasised the need for setting up Centres of Excellence (COE) on educational campuses. Not only would these Centres help in boosting research and development in the country but also in building industry ready labour, he said. Recently set up COEs are doing just that.

"With research reports forecasting a tremendous growth in number of jobs in the manufacturing sector, skilled employment is certainly the need of the hour," says Rajan Saxena, vice chancellor, NMIMS University.

McKinsey`s 2012 research report (Manufacturing the future: The next era of global growth and innovation) suggests that India`s Manufacturing sector will have 90 million jobs by 2025. To prepare students to meet the humongous demand for skilled labour, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) has created a centre for manufacturing excellence in partnership with the UK`s Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), part of Warwick University.

The Centre for Manufacturing Excellence will offer a Masters degree, executive MBA and also the doctoral programmes for those interested in joining the manufacturing sector. Those already in the field may sign up too. The Centre will follow the Warwick University curriculum.

"Agriculture, manufacturing and services are the three major components that drive a country`s economy,” says Dr. Saxena. “While India`s labour force is strong in the service and agriculture sectors, the economy is still lagging behind in finding potential for the manufacturing sector.” Besides taking up intensive research projects, the centre will also focus on developing skilled employees to match up to the needs of India`s booming manufacturing sector, he adds.

Technology is another sector which demands great expertise. Keeping this in mind, the MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT), Bangalore, has tied up with STYRE, an agency that offers a wide range of services in the field of education, software development, and branding. STYRE has developed the content of the country’s first Apple Authorised Training Centre for Education (AATCE), which will now be a part of MSRIT curriculum.

MSRIT will offer the courses as open electives to its students who would want to pursue a career in application development and network management. Its primary focus will be on the user friendly Mac OS X and iOS application, which is a fast growing trend in the technological world.

"Since iOS is a latest trend in technology, it seemed imperative to allow our students an opportunity to obtain knowledge on one of the fastest growing technological platforms," says Vijay Kumar, head, dept of information science, MSRIT. Students will earn certification from Apple at the end of their course tenure.

“Students will gain a competitive edge over others as they will be registered in the Apple Certi?ed Professional Registry. The Apple certification can be used in resumes and on business cards too,” explains Joseph S, deputy manager, pre-sales (Apple), Ingram Micro.

With a Rs. 100 Million grant from the Germany based Bosch and Rexroth group, Mumbai-based Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering (MPSTME) has started a centre of excellence in ‘Automation Technologies’. "We have set up four state-of-the-art automation laboratories- Mechatronics, Pneumatic, Hydraulic and PLC and Sensoric Centres- at our Mumbai and Shirpur campuses," says Sharad Y Mhaiskar, dean, MPSTME.

"Earlier we used to teach students these subjects through diagrams and/ or photographs. Now they can practice at the labs under the supervision of the professors," observes Mhaiskar, adding that 20 of their staff members have undergone rigorous training in Germany to gain expertise in the automation labs.

The University of Mumbai has started the “Confucius Centre” at its Kalina campus in partnership with China’s Tianjin University. “The Chinese counterpart has given an initial grant of Rs 50 Million towards the centre,” says Rambhau Badade, the Centre’s director.

The Centre will conduct short-term courses of 30 to 50 hour duration thrice a week. It will offer training in Mandarin, Chinese culture and Wushu form of martial arts. Any Mumbai University student may sign up for the courses. They will be awarded a joint certificate from the two universities.

Under the agreement, two instructors from Tianjin will also join the Centre as full time faculty members. To kick start the Centre`s functioning, a batch of 8 students from different streams have gone to Tianjin for an exchange programme. "These students will be trained in Chinese language and culture for the next four months," informs Badade.

Those interested in honing their marketing fundas may head towards the Kotler Centre of Excellence (KCoE) at Greater Noida. An endeavour of the JRE School of Management, KCoE, offers management development programmes and also certificate and diploma courses for executives, besides of course sharing the marketing guru Philip Kolter’s time-tested wisdom.

-With inputs from Caroline Diana in Bangalore

COE`s galore!

  • Centre for Analytical Finance
  • Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions
  • Centre for Investment
  • Centre for Leadership, Innovation, and Change
  • Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Case Development- all at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
  • Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, University of Mumbai
  • IIM Lucknow`s Noida Campus is being developed into a CoE with a focus on management education, research, consulting and corporate training.
  • Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Raibarely will set up a CoE in the area of biomedical sciences and modern biology.
  • SardarVallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), Surat will set up the World Bank funded CoE for water resources and flood management.