Standing out

Print edition : August 13, 2010

At the Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science campus in St. Thomas Mount, Chennai.-R. SHIVAJI RAO

The established names in engineering education in Chennai come up with new programmes to attract students.

MANY of the self-financed engineering colleges in and around Chennai and the groups that own them have come up with innovative courses and programmes to make the training unique and value-oriented.

For instance, the Vel Tech group of institutions, near Avadi, Chennai, offers 451 finishing courses for their students. Mahalakshmi Rangararajan, chairperson, Vel Tech group, said that sticking to the prescribed syllabus alone was not enough. Students want additional inputs. So we offer value-added programmes, which help the students get good placements, she said.

The Vel Tech Technical University and the three engineering colleges of the group affiliated to Anna University of Technology, Chennai, have 795 tie-ups for industry-institution interaction. The university received grants worth Rs.7.71 crore for research from the Department of Science and Technology, the All India Council for Technical Education, the Central Power Research Institute, and so on. Under a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research [CSIR] programme, our students did research on e-governance, said Mahalakshmi Rangarajan.

The Hindustan group of institutions, which has had made a mark in aircraft maintenance engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics and automobile engineering, established the Orient Flight School in Puducherry in 1994 to train pilots. Anand Jacob Verghese, its director, said the OFS had two distinct training facilities, ground-training, which was given in Chennai, and flight training, which was given at the Puducherry airport. The school has 12 aircraft five Cessna 152s, four Cessna 172s, a Piper Seneca III, a Beechcraft King Air C90A and a Beechjet 400. The courses offered at the OFS are private pilot licence, commercial pilot licence and multi-engine rating. We undertake flight training contracts, leading to the commercial pilot's licence, on various aircraft. The OFS has successfully completed multi-engine training contracts on leading private airlines, said Anand Verghese.

The Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute at Maduravoyal a deemed-to-be university has the Dr. M.G.R. Engineering College and the Thai Moogambigai Dental College and Hospital as its constituent colleges. The university is to soon sign agreements with the governments of Malaysia and Dubai to establish off-shore campuses in those places. The university may also sign a memorandum of understanding for a twinning programme in dental sciences with Selangor University and Putra International College, Melaka, both in Malaysia.

Mahalakshmi Rangarajan, Chairperson, Vel Tech group.-V. GANESAN.

The Bharat University in Selaiyur, Tambaram, has well-equipped laboratories, a voluminous library and multimedia training facilities. Its placement cell has helped students find employment in companies such as Allsec, Sify (now Mahindra Satyam), Polaris, Wipro and Siemens. B.Tech. students at the university are encouraged to earn the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certificate to improve their job opportunities in networking. Students are also given coaching in GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) to help them pursue postgraduate courses in American universities.

The Alpha College of Engineering (ACE), affiliated to Anna University of Technology, Chennai, has modern laboratories and research and industry-oriented facilities, which form part of its Centre for Advanced Biomedical Instrumentation. Personality development, with training in communication skills, is part of the education imparted to students of Alpha. Internship for students during vacation and exchange programmes with universities abroad are some of the programmes in the offing.

Alpha conducts Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes in human resource management, finance, marketing, and systems and operations. Alpha has signed MoUs with Concordia University, Lake Superior State University and Ohlone College, all in the United States; Queensland University, Australia; Wales University, the United Kingdom; and School of Design, Nantes, France, for joint certification programmes. The MoUs will enable Alpha's students gain admission in these institutions with financial aid.

According to the MoU signed between Dr Viji George of Concordia University and Grace George, Alpha chairperson, Concordia will offer direct admission to Alpha students with financial aid up to $10,000 a year. Concordia will provide board and lodging facilities. Grace George said: This MoU is eventful for Alpha.

The Apollo group of educational institutions include the Apollo Engineering College, the Apollo Arts and Science College, the Apollo College of Education, the Apollo Polytechnic college, and the Apollo Computer Education Limited (an IT-training public limited company). The Apollo Engineering College, situated on a big campus near Poonamallee, has modern infrastructural facilities including well-equipped laboratories and a library.

Anand Jacob Verghese, Pro-Chancellor, Hindustan University.-R. SHIVAJI RAO

The Indira Educational and Charitable Trust runs the Indira Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Priyadarshini Dental College and Hospital, the Indira Teacher Training Institute, the Indhira College of Education, the Indira College of Nursing and the Indira School of Nursing at Pandur in Tiruvallur district.

The Priyadarshini Dental College and Hospital, which offers the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course, provides free medical treatment and medicines to the residents of nearby villages. It has a modern outpatient department.

The SRM University provides Founder's Scholarships for the first 15 ranks in the SRM Engineering Entrance Examinations. The scholarship provides free education to the students. Besides covering their tuition fee, hostel fee, mess fee and transport fee, it offers them a stipend of Rs.1,000 a month.

The scholarship is also given to 100 State toppers in the Central Board of Secondary Examination or any State Board examination and the top five rank-holders from each district in Tamil Nadu.

P. Satyanarayanan, Vice-Chancellor, SRM University, said: Students who secure more than 90 per cent in the CBSE stream or more than 95 per cent in the State Board examinations and also rank among the top 800 in SRMEEE will get a waiver of up to 50 per cent of tuition fee in the branch they are eligible to join. Sportspersons playing at the national and international level will be exempted from tuition, hostel and mess fees.

The SRM University provided suitable fee concessions to select students from economically backward families. Satyanarayanan said: Our university also offers scholarship to differently abled students and students belonging to the minority communities. For the former, the scholarship is equal to the fees prescribed for the course to which they are admitted.

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