Interview by Yash Panchal

Dr. Prashant Bhalla, Manav Rachna University

Dr. Prashant Bhalla is currently the President of Manav Rachna International Institute of Research & Studies (formerly MRIU) and Chancellor at Manav Rachna University. He also holds the position of President, Manav Rachna International Schools and Chairman, Kunskapsskolan Schools. He is also the Treasurer, Education Promotion Society for India; Member, Confederation of Indian Industry; President, Faridabad Navchetna Trust, and Dr. O P Bhalla Foundation; Director, Era Foundation and Honorary President, BRICSCESS.

Dr. Bhalla on how the curriculum of Manav Rachna Group of Institutions ensures best practice of industry

Being a professional Institution, research and innovation are very important for us. Contrary to the accepted archaic model of the education system, MREI has developed an education system, which is more process driven, practical oriented and meets the requirement in the present context of globalization. Our first and foremost focus is to bring the best education practices from all over the world along with the best people from the Industry. The effort is not only to make our youth more employable, well equipped with necessary knowledge but to also develop the necessary skills of entrepreneurship so that they can contribute to the growth story of India. Whether we talk about updated curriculum, delivery model of a course or a particular skill set required for a sector, there should be perfect synergy with the industry.

We have more than 50 collaborations with various Universities and Institutes internationally for Research and Academic exchange programs. We also have tie-ups with National Skill Development Corporation for Skill Development; Indian Oil Corporation, R&D Centre, Faridabad; Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad; Council of Scientific & Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun; and National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi.

Centers of Excellence have been established in collaboration with reputed companies like SuKam, Daikin, Mitsubishi, Honda, SAP, Reliance Jio, Infosys (campus connect), Intel, Dell, Atmel and Sky Tester for enhancing research skills. We also have a Centre of Excellence in Sports Science and a Centre for Advanced Water Technology & Research.

Changes noticed in the Education Industry over the past few years by Dr. Bhalla and the skill set required by a corporate in a student

With automation and other emerging technologies replacing most process-based jobs, employability has become more challenging. A total transformation in order to meet the needs of employers and challenges faced by professional communities, while working in multi-disciplinary and diversified work set-ups is the need of the hour.

Students, therefore, need to be equipped to be great performers, creative thinkers, team workers, team builders and team leaders true to themselves and their organizations. Aptitude is important but even more important is attitude, integrity and engaging well with the environment.

Manav Rachna University

Dr. Bhalla on establishing a relation with the students and his availability for them, being the President of the Manav Rachna Educational Institutions

As an educator, you learn every day and no day is the same. There are no boundaries in education. Education is like a clean canvas where you can paint whatever you think is possible. Which is why we encourage ideas from our young learners and try to support them in the best possible way. Understanding their needs and requirements as young learners have been instrumental in giving shapes and colors to the education that we provide across our campuses.

Manav Rachna University

Teaching and learning module of Manav Rachna

We continuously work towards enhancing the employability of our students by embodying holistic knowledge, inspiring critical and innovative thinking, verbal as well as written communication skill, and thereby making them Global Citizens. Employability Enhancement is supported through Employment Enhancement Programs (EEPs) which includes various value-added and summer training programs including Six Sigma, Lean Management, and Process Improvement Courses.

Moreover, we maintain a conducive environment for the free exchange of ideas and to catalyze the potential ideas of our students.

Dr. Bhalla on why it has become so difficult to get sufficient faculty and how to fill the gap

We are centrally located and easily accessible from all parts of Delhi as well as NCR. This accounts for the fact that we have been able to attract the best of talent. Among our faculty are professionals from IIT, NIT, bureaucracy, as well as other experts with excellence in their areas of specialization.

Goals in mind for Manav Rachna for the next few years

We have been striving and succeeded in creating a global level institution against traditional ethos. Strong academics, research, employability, skill development, value system, community connect and collaboration — run deep within our system. At Manav Rachna, we have achieved amazing alchemy of such diverse influences and factors.

Over the next few years, our idea is to take research and innovation to a new level … and bring the industry right to the campus, promoting a culture of smart learning.

Manav Rachna University

Suggestions for aspiring students

Increased student engagement and motivation is the key to academic and behavioral success. The key is to go above and beyond your comfort zone, which helps construct and maintain confidence. Students must engage well with the environment, explore an area of interest, leverage the facilities at their campus, take the support of their mentors — students must remember, that with the right attitude … the world is their home!