Towards excellence

Print edition : December 16, 2011

A view of the Institute of Science building on the GITAM University campus at Visakhapatnam. - C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

This three-decade-old institution, a deemed university, lays emphasis on quality education and socially relevant research.

GITAM University in Andhra Pradesh has completed three decades in the field of education. It attracts students from across the country to its campuses in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad, where it offers 106 undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes. The university has tie-ups with several Indian and foreign institutions in research and other areas.

Most of the courses have a multidisciplinary approach. Research and consultancy expertise available at the university is often translated into tangible benefits for the community at large, says Vice-Chancellor G. Subramanyam.

GITAM was started in 1980 as the Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management by a group of industrialists and educationalists led by M.V.V.S. Murthi, who later became a Member of Parliament. Its mission was to be an institution of higher learning that offers quality education and helps society through its research. It was accorded deemed to be university status under Section 3 of the UGC Act in August 2007.

Although GITAM started as an engineering college, several courses were introduced later. The university now has separate colleges for engineering, sciences, management, foreign trade, and pharmacy; it also has a dental college and a hospital. It included a course in architecture this academic year and is planning to introduce an innovative law programme soon. GITAM has been awarded A grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

The Hyderabad campus, near Rudraram, offers B.Tech in various subjects, a few postgraduate courses and some integrated programmes. GITAM also has a distance-learning centre with audio-video facility. Admission is through a test conducted online at 14 centres throughout India; this is followed by online counselling.

The lush green campus in Visakhapatnam is situated on 100 acres. In the past few years, new buildings, including hostels, have been constructed to meet the needs of the growing number of students in its colleges. The university boasts tennis courts with artificial turf, an indoor stadium and well-equipped playgrounds.

The university has an air-conditioned central library, called Knowledge Resource Centre, with modern facilities. The library has 1.60 lakh books, e-learning resources, periodicals, and national and international journals. It has an info-net service that facilitates online access to more than 40,000 books and 3,000 journals through its e-learning centre.

GITAM has a large, world-class data centre with a sophisticated wi-fi network that covers the entire campus. The network is capable of streaming video lectures to thousands of the university's distance-learning students. The Hyderabad campus and the Centre for Distance Learning are connected to this seamless network, integrating both campuses. The wired wi-fi networks together are capable of serving up to 15,000 students simultaneously.

Stress on research

The university lays a lot of emphasis on research activity and consultancy work. More than 90 research projects, many of them sponsored by reputed organisations, are under way. Members of the faculty have published more than 500 research papers in reputed national and international journals and completed 173 consultancy works.

Admissions to the university's PhD and M.Phil programmes are made through an all-India entrance test. During 2010-11, the number of research scholars in the university went up from 280 to 435.

M.V.V.S. MURTHI, the founder-president of GITAM University.-C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

For collaborative research and transfer of technology, GITAM has set up several research centres. Among them are the Centre for Integrated Rural Development, the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, the Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management, the Centre for Gandhian Studies, the Centre for Human Science and Service, the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the GITAM International Skin Centre.

This academic year, GITAM University opened the Centre for Finance and Banking Studies to provide an impetus to education and research in finance, banking and related fields.

Students and research

Students of GITAM University excel at technical youth fests and other all-India conferences. Students of the Department of Civil Engineering at its Hyderabad campus have conducted experiments on generating electricity using waste material drawn from drain pits of the university's hostels.

GITAM SCHOOL OF International Business on the Visakhapatnam campus.-C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

Students are involved in surveys conducted by the faculty of almost all departments. The faculty and students of the science discipline organise Weekly Colloquia to discuss and debate various research topics and the latest developments in research. Seminars and conferences are organised regularly to bring together academics and Indian and foreign experts to exchange ideas.

Memoranda of Understanding

GITAM is collaborating with reputed institutions in India and abroad and for this purpose has entered into MoUs with them. Nineteen MoUs were signed this year. Among the institutions are Tata Consultancy Services, Intelli Group, University of Glasgow, Central Michigan University, and the University of Nebraska.

Thanks to an MoU with Ericsson India, final year B.Tech Electronics and Communication Engineering students will be trained by experts from Ericsson in basic 2G, 3G, Internet Protocol, multimedia, VAS, and broadband communication technologies.

Close links with industry

Understanding the need for a close university-industry interaction, GITAM University has taken up several initiatives such as arranging meetings with industry officials, organising CEO meets, involving senior executives of industry as members of boards of studies and the academic council, conducting executive and management development programmes and taking up consultancy projects.

Many management development programmes were organised by GITAM institutions during 2010-11 for industry executives. Its Directorate of Consultancy Projects and Collaborations (CPC) brought out a brochure containing information on the capabilities of its academic departments so that the industry can utilise their services.

CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS engaged in surveying work.-C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

GITAM created a record among universities in the State when more than 1,600 of its students were selected through campus interviews in 2010-11. The highest package offered so far to a GITAM student in a campus interview is Rs.12 lakh, while the average package is around Rs.4 lakh.

The university, from its inception, has attracted reputed Indian and foreign companies for campus recruitment. Even during the economic meltdown, campus interviews were held successfully at the university.

Companies that have conducted campus interviews in GITAM include Ericsson India, Infotech Enterprises, Mahindra & Mahindra, Accenture Services, Hewlett Packard, MindTree, Tech Mahindra, Wipro Technologies, Hyundai Motors, the Indian Navy and Bank of America.

Its vision

GITAM formulated a Vision 2020 document, the core idea of which is to transform the university into a centre of excellence through appropriate initiatives and strategies.

The university aims to become one of the top 500 universities in the world within the next decade. For this, its plan is to concentrate on core areas such as establishing off-campus centres and off-shore campuses in suitable places; introducing academic programmes suitable to emerging needs and demands; doubling the regular student strength to 20,000; increasing enrolment in distance learning from the present strength of 5,000 to 70,000 by offering need-based programmes and penetrating hitherto untapped areas; multiplying sponsored research projects with an annual target of Rs.10 crore; increasing revenue substantially from consultancy projects; and grooming its students into responsible citizens who are culturally informed, technologically adept and ready to shoulder civic responsibilities.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
×