Portals of research

Published : Jul 27, 2012 00:00 IST

At Galgotias University in Greater Noida.-PHOTOGRAPHS: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

At Galgotias University in Greater Noida.-PHOTOGRAPHS: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Two private universities in the National Capital Region specialise in disciplines that range from technical studies to humanities.

Two private universities in the National Capital Region (NCR) have brought about a significant change in higher education in recent times. Galgotias University in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, and O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonipat, Haryana, have not just focussed on quality education in alternative disciplines but have departed from the path of volume-driven, profit-oriented education that most private universities pursue. Both universities specialise in disciplines that range from technical studies to subjects in humanities that are rarely taught in other private universities in India.

O.P. Jindal Global University is the first private university to offer courses such as international affairs, public policy, global governance and international law. It founded the Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) with an intention to generate research works and theories about Indias foreign policy in the post-Cold War world, which will complement Indias rising economic and military might.

Its vision document says: JSIA can become the locus of such an ambitious vision by situating India as a vibrant ground for social science ideas and debates and giving India a leadership role on the world stage. JSIA aims to place India on the global map as a provider of knowledge that is internationally relevant and of the highest standards. JSIA is a response to numerous calls to action for improving the human resources India possesses in its journey of global ascendancy. It is unbecoming of an aspirant to great power status in the international system to not possess institutions that can produce knowledge which can form the basis for resolving the most pressing global problems of our time.

To fulfil this dream, JSIA has collaborated with top universities of the world, such as Harvard, Cornell, Michigan and Yale in the United States. A student, on the basis of his/her performance, can also switch between these universities during various semesters. It not only tries to contribute to strengthening Indias independent foreign policy but also provide topical analyses of international events such as the Arab Spring through the mainstream media. It does this work by closely collaborating with other schools of the O.P. Jindal Global University, such as the School of Law and the School of Government and Public Policy.

JSIA intends to continue this tradition by undertaking to enter into cooperative agreements for joint conferences with a number of foreign partners, thus bringing to India some of the best known theoreticians and practitioners of international affairs. Because of the dynamic and fluid nature of world affairs, topics that receive attention in JSIAs conferences and seminars are from cutting-edge and emerging areas of international study, the document notes.

The students are working on or have presented papers on political economy and legal battles for international financial regulation; green-collar economies and the changing nature of energy security in foreign policy grand strategy; voluntary and involuntary population movements and inconsistencies of globalisation; cyberwar and cyber-truce among competing regional and great powers; war, peace and transitional justice from a comparative perspective; state-society relations and their impact on international politics; and neo-Keynesianism and neoliberalism at the crossroads, and so on.

Galgotias University

Galgotias, on the other hand, strives to produce technologists and business leaders who are socially responsible and committed to the economic development of the country. It is for this reason that the university encourages students to train in humanities and public policies. It gives priority to technical courses. The university is one of the pioneers in providing technical courses such as engineering, medicine and management with a broader humanitarian perspective. With a strong multidisciplinary knowledge base, graduates of GU will be well prepared to succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy, the vision document says. The university has a strong interdisciplinary approach.

The curriculum boasts highly popular alternative engineering graduate and postgraduate courses such as environmental engineering, communication and structural engineering, metallurgical studies, and power system engineering. The university also has degree courses in communication, theatre and journalism. The interdisciplinary nature of the studies is maintained through a range of clubs where students from different streams discuss ideas ranging from politics to economy to scientific inventions.

With this vision the university encourage its students to volunteer for public events. The recent Formula One race in Greater Noida would not have been possible without the support of 800-odd students of the university who volunteered to make the international event successful.

With a history of over five decades, Galgotias has become one of the premier institutes of research in science and technology. The focus is on publishing research papers in international journals and also on getting patents based on research findings. The research spans a diverse set of disciplines such as CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping, nanotechnology, optoelectronics and materials engineering, power systems, computer sciences, information technology, management, commerce and finance, the university journal says.

Recognising its potential for research, the Science and Engineering Board set up by the Government of India has sanctioned a project entitled Self-Assembly of Semiconductor Nanostructures for Sensing Applications to Dr A.K Jain, Professor and Dean, School of Basic and Applied Sciences, Department of Chemistry.

Chancellor Suneel Galgotia, told Frontline: We have empowered our students with the power of thinking, the art of experiential learning and skills to learn continuously for life. This is supported with Galgotias Universitys research-driven education, huge laboratory infrastructure and dedicated research-oriented faculty with a proven track record of instilling a research culture in the students body right from year one. It ensures an R&D mindset even at undergraduate level.

He added: Recently, Galgotias has done India proud. NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Agency] has recognised Galgotias talent by selecting the Moon-Buggy designed by its students for permanent exhibit at the NASA Marshall Space Centre, Huntsville, Alabama, United States. What is more creditworthy is that Galgotias is one of the five universities from across the globe selected by NASA, and it is the only private university to be selected from India.

The Galgotias Business School was recognised by Dun and Bradstreet as a leading business school in India.

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