When DLF City resident Lillu Bansi started looking around in Gurgaon for a good quality management institute for her only daughter Shivangi, all she got was disappointment. Shivangi wanted to pursue MBA after her graduation (BSc). With no options in Gurgaon, Shivangi landed up at IILM, Lodhi Road.
Today, Shivangi drives about 70 km daily from her home to the college and her mother waits at home and worries about her daughter.
Shivangi isn't alone. There are thousands of Gurgaon-based students who have to either travel long distances or leave their homes altogether and go to institutes in other cities, mostly in Southern India, for professional engineering, management medical and other degrees.
In such a situation, most of the national and multinational companies are forced to hunt for manpower in either Delhi or Noida or other metros of the country.
Gurgaon, with its dearth of professional institutes and thousands of students, gets bypassed.
Sunil Sukhija, deputy director, HUAWEI Telecommunications, an MNC, says, "When it comes to sourcing qualified and trained manpower from Gurgaon, we draw a complete blank. We are forced to turn to Delhi or elsewhere. Gurgaon lacks quality professional institutions to churn out the required manpower for the corporate world in this city."
While the students suffer, and companies look elsewhere, the Haryana Government hasn't set up a single professional degree college or university in Gurgaon ever since formation of the state in 1966.
Ironically, the major private players like DLF, Unitech, Maruti Suzuki and Honda Motorcycles, who need trained manpower, haven't done much either in this area.
Harsha Gulani, DLF City-I resident and a fresh graduate in Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida, is now looking at Mumbai and Pune for her masters.
"For the last three years, I travelled daily between my home in DLF City and Noida. Now, I have no option but to head to Mumbai or Pune for a masters course in advertising for which there is no reputed university in Gurgaon. I have no options here. I have applied at institutions like Sapphire Collage, Symbiosis, Amity University, Jamia Milia Islamia and Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC)."
But, there's some silver lining amid all this darkness: Amity Group of institutions has set up Amity University near Manesar on 110 acres of land and will start operations from August. Aseem Chauhan, Amity University Chancellor, says, "Gurgaon lacks world-class higher education infrastructure but has a huge number of corporate entities. It urgently needs private universities. Due to the concentration of MNCs here, it becomes easy for the foreign faculty and students to settle down quickly."
On the role of the corporate sector, major players like DLF and Maruti Suzuki have their versions.
"Our approach has been to train the manpower on the skill side in the field of driving. We, therefore, not only tied up with Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) but also set up four Institute of Driving Training & Research as well as 83 driving schools across the country. However, we haven't set up anything on the higher education front," said Ranjit Singh, Head, CSR, Maruti Suzuki Limited.
DLF Group set up DLF Foundation in 2008 to impart education to the underprivileged but in terms of higher education, this real estate giant hasn't done much either except for setting up Summer Field School in Gurgaon. "We will soon start a Rs 1 lakh scholarship for the underprivileged students who make it to engineering, management and medical colleges," said Lt. Gl. (Retd.) Rajender Singh, the CEO of DLF Foundation.
(inputs: Eshani Mathur)