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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014
Change is in the air
HT Education Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 01, 2013
First Published: 14:19 IST(1/1/2013)
Last Updated: 15:53 IST(2/1/2013)
Foreign students love JNU’s inclusive culture.

It’s not just the University of Delhi which is in the throes of momentous change (for example, replacing the three-year degree with a four-year course). Institutions in different parts of the country are entering the New Year with a host of plans ranging from new courses, online admission system to improved infrastructure and CCTV cameras. Here’s a look at some of them

IIT Madras
This tech institution is all set to make a splash in the new year. An Olympic-size swimming pool for the students and faculty is expected to be ready in 2013. There will be new hostels for male (about 550) and female (about 800) students as well as for married research scholars, taking the total capacity to more than 8000 hostel seats. Another new feature is the Rs. 9 crore High Performance Computer, currently ranked 224 in the world and an advanced Tunnelling Electron Microscope, only the third in the country, informs Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director.

Students can also look forward to a completely revamped workshop with intelligent machining centres, a new incubation centre including a bio-incubator and “the country’s only university-based Research Park fully occupied with 50-plus companies collaborating with students and faculty,” says Ramamurthi. 

There are also 40 new members of the faculty recruited from top universities in the world.

Jamia Millia Islamia
The university aims to consolidate its current initiatives in academics and administration. “The concept of smart classrooms will be introduced across all faculties.

We will also focus on making the campus more clean and hygienic. We wish to improve the quality of all programmes and curricula. Earlier, we had introduced a concept of transfer of credits at the faculty of social sciences and humanities and languages. There is a proposal to introduce it across faculties and departments from 2013-14. For instance, a student who is majoring in history will be able to transfer credits from Islamic architecture. Similarly, a civil engineering student can take credits in architecture and social sciences,” says SM Sajid, registrar.

University of Hyderabad
For the first time, this Central-government university has advanced the admission schedule so that the academic year can begin in July, says an official. While till 2012, it used to put out the admission notification in April and hold the entrance test in the first week of June, now the advertisement is already out, the application process is online and the written competition is slated for February 21-26, 2013.

This PG and research institution is also starting a two-year master’s programme in public health and a five-year integrated master’s in oceanography.

In addition, as per official information, it is expected to open two new hostels which will house about 1600 male students on campus. At present, about 80% of its 5000 enrolees are hostellers.

IIT Kanpur
“The focus for the coming year will be on identifying new areas of interdisciplinary research and engaging students with a greater number of research projects,” says Indraneel Manna, director. 

IIM Calcutta
“We want our students to be suitably apprised of contemporary challenges in the domain of economics, international trade and law and politics so that they can be more effective managers. Keeping this in mind we intend to organise some conferences and seminars that will focus on real world interdisciplinary challenges,” says Shekhar Chaudhari, director, IIM Calcutta.

Pune University
The University of Pune is looking at improving safety for students in and around the campus. The brutal gangrape of the 23-year-old braveheart of Delhi has necessitated renewed focus on this vital area. “We want to install CCTV cameras in strategic locations around the university campus,” says Vasudev Gade, vice chancellor.

IIM Shillong
This year, the Indian Institute of Management Shillong is going to concentrate on organising short- and long-term courses for local tribal communities at highly subsidised rates. Students are involved in designing and imparting these courses. One of the proposed courses is on microfinance. IIM Shillong has already organised many management development programmes and collaborated with different government and non-government agencies for launching different programmes on topics like entrepreneurship, capacity and skill building (marketing handicrafts, indigenous food items etc) for the local tribes, says Keya Sengupta, director.

Panjab University
“Strengthening safety measures for our university students, particularly women students, is a priority in the coming year,” says Arun Kumar Grover, vice chancellor

Jawaharlal Nehru University
The number of fellowships is likely to be increased in the coming year. New building/s will come up for the School of Social Sciences, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies and School of International Studies. New hostels and research labs are also likely to be set up. The university is working in association with the ministry of social justice to make the campus barrier free for the differently-abled students. Remedial classes are also being planned for maths and computer science students.


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