|Courtesy NIIT University
President: Rajeev Shorey
Programmes: BTech, MTech, PhD, MBA
Approval/ Accreditation: Declared as a State university by Govt. of Rajasthan
Selection: Merit basis
Full-time faculty: 34
Top recruiters: NA
Student activities: NA
“A campus must be built with students as the focus”. These words by Rajendra Pawar, Founder Chairman - NIIT Ltd and Founder - NIIT University (NU), ring true when Air Cmde (Retd.) Kamal Singh, Advisor for Infrastructure Services, explains the spacing between two academic blocks (9 more are planned). With the hills on one side, they form an enclosed ‘courtyard’ that is sheltered from the harsh sun rays, giving students an ideal space to sit, reflect, engage. One is also encouraged to walk using specially created “spines” that are shaded and rain protected.
Though NU offers education at a price (Rs. 8.8 lakhs in just fees for the engineering course), the sheer thought that has gone into creating the student learning experience, may make it worth for those who can afford it. Teaching and learning process has been built around 4 principles: industry-linked, technology-based, research-driven and seamlessness (evident by campus structuring).
No departmental silos
There are no ‘departments’ for the faculty, and students belonging to different years and courses reside together, echoing one of the 4 core principles of the university: Seamlessness. 23 permanent faculty, 11 adjunct faculty and 3 visiting faculty, run its BTech (CSE, BT & ICT), MTech (four options), PhD and MBA programmes. Faculty-student ratio is high currently but as the students increase, this is an area that would need continuous augmentation. Group of 10 eminent people referred to as Founding Professors, provide the academic touch. They mentor the young faculty, offer few lectures and as Prof. Kamal says, “Keep us on our toes by their work ethics”.
An exciting feature of doing an MBA at NU is that 25 CEOs have agreed to mentor students, besides various senior executives from the industry who provide guidance on a more regular basis.
The nascent campus shows very little signs of active research activities. Since NU has just completed a year of existence it is almost impossible to assess its research capabilities. When quizzed, attention is drawn to the 25 acres of vacant land adjoining the two ready blocks. “This is where we will have incubation labs and industry people,” says Mr Pawar. When questioned about how he plans to sustain research at the campus, he says, with a twinkle in his eye, NU would get funds from the patents that will come out of the research.
Campus life and beyond
The small student body is beginning to show signs of life. Publications, Placements, and Patents, the three Ps that separate men from boys will manifest in the future, though the mentor list might come in handy. Only time will tell. Pawar’s philosophy of holistic learning translates to collective sunset and sunrise viewing for the students, trekking expeditions in Aravalli hills and experiential learning. Some students are amused, some are touched. But none seem unaffected. And that probably is the purpose of education!
“A campus must be built with students as the focus”
Chairman, NIIT Ltd & Founder, NIIT University
Practising green technology
The campus does not use ACs or desert coolers. It relies on the principle that a constant temperature of 24 degrees celsius is always found at a depth of 4m inside the earth irrespective of the temperature on the surface. NU has created 8-9 km of tunnel at this depth inside the earth.
So, the air from the building is sucked in and made to move for approx. 100 ft inside the tunnels to ensure it reaches 24 degrees. This cool air is blown into the buildings to keep them cool or warm depending on whether it is summer or winter respectively. Energy efficient, low carbon footprint, and therefore a green technology!
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