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Ansal University- [AU], Gurgaon

Ansal University- [AU], Gurgaon

Gurgaon, Haryana UGC Estd 2012 Private University

Interview: Prof. Raj S. Dhankar, Vice-Chancellor, Ansal University

1. Ansal University has witnessed a continuous upward graph in terms of growth since its inception. How do you plan to take the university to greater heights?

It is a humble beginning to march towards the domain of education with a completely new dimension. Formation of Ansal University is upscaling of ‘Ansal Institute of technology’ and ‘Sushant School of Art & Architecture’. We have legacy of twenty five years in these both institutions, it was in 2012 Ansal transformed into a University. We rank number one in the domain of private education today. We have expanded to School of Design, School of Management Studies, School of Law after School of Technology. Through our meticulous planning, we have formulated new courses in every School, in fact, we have initiated total twelve new courses in the current session itself. With the new courses, we have also launched three new MBA programs, and we are the pioneers of launching MBA in Real Estate and Infrastructure Management. We have also initiated MBA and M.Tech for working executives, which adds to our growth. It is our responsibility to expand and provide education to all sections. While initiating new courses, we have strengthened our existing programs as well, by providing new laboratories, improving infrastructure, appointing more faculty members. We have revamped the entire system. When it comes to growth, we have made a quantum jump in the percentage of admissions. Being precise, last year we had 640 and this year our admissions crossed 1000. It is a matter of pride for us that students and parents have instilled their faith in us. Our strategic location has greatly helped in our growth, as we are just ten minutes away from the hub of MNCs. We wish to reach greater heights while taking advantage of the location.

2. Vice Chancellor acts as role model for the students, what values do you wish to impart to them?

I have a set of moral values and philosophy that I wish to impart to my students, these are the values I have followed throughout my life. Principles of honesty, hard work, dedication and sincerity of purpose, make me what I am today. To me there are no short-cuts in the path of success, only hard work pays. I have always believed that harder you work luckier you become, and being humble is the key to success.

3. Tie-ups with multiple universities help to provide exposure to the students. What are the set of opportunities available for the students through these endeavors?

In a globalized world, we are fortunate to have access to the best universities and colleges of the world, we must benefit from this opportunity and make the best out of it. We invite experts from all over the world for students’ welfare. The use of IT helps us to get in touch with excellent professors from all corners of the world; we can easily conduct a lecture for our students online. It is not astonishing that today 40% of the education in the world is being imparted through online. Educating through technology helps to learn with least cost and yields best output.

4. What do you wish to extract from this experience of being a Vice-Chancellor? What are the lessons you gathered from your previous experiences?

I have an experience of forty years in education industry. I have worked in the university system both in public and private sector. In my belief, in education system we all are here due to students. I have no illusion in functioning with a student-centric approach. Amongst the three stakeholders, teachers, supportive staff and students, the most crucial stakeholder is the student. After working in both public and private sector, I have learnt that ‘education is education’, the approach of education doesn’t change. I wish to give my best to this university. At the same time, I feel private sector is flexible and expanding at a good pace. The government funded institutions have relatively limited scope for innovation. The decision making process in private sector is fast, and I strongly believe that this sector will make much bigger  contribution in the field of education in the years to come. In our country only 19% of students are able to go for post-secondary education, whereas in developed countries this ratio is 60-70%. Government alone cannot remove this gulf, private sector has to pitch in.

5. Leadership qualities of a person influence his conduct. What is your idea about a good leader?

Leadership is a subjective phenomenon, it varies from individual to individual. However, I strongly believe that if one’s actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and achieve more, one is a leader. In the education industry, leadership is not a policing job, it should not be a law and order problem. Leadership here means to encourage contributions from colleagues and work with them. Working as a team is of great importance. We are ahead of our competitors in much less time because we have clarity, a vision to take education to another level.

6. How do you tend to establish a relation with the students?

My doors are always open for my students, they can visit me, call me, mail me whenever they wish. I discuss their problems with them by regularly interacting with them. This interaction helps me to be acquainted with the thought process and ideas of the current generation. Recently, a student came to me and talked about the need of a course in a engineering stream, I immediately allowed the same. We take in such suggestions, and work for the betterment in full swing.

7. Studies show that even skilled students lack basic qualities such as patience and time-management. How do you wish to inculcate the skill of endurance in your students?

We, at Ansal University, promote holistic development of our students. Inter-disciplinary courses are introduced to inculcate soft-skills, which otherwise tend to be ignored due to rigid curriculum. We have students from different backgrounds, basic skills such as English - speaking, personality development have to be taken care of for their overall development. For the purpose of holistic development, a School of Skill and Entrepreneurial Development has been commenced, w.e.f. the session 2015-16 wherein degree/diploma/certificate will be awarded based on the credits earned by students. It is important to groom each student to be a good human being at the primary level.

8. ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, what are your strategies to form culturally rich and interactive environment for the students? What are other co-curricular activities available for personality development of students?

Our objective is to promote holistic development of our students. We have extensive sports facilities, sports complex consists of: tennis court, football ground, cricket ground, basketball and volleyball courts, and indoor sports as well. Programs such as Spic Macay are conducted regularly, cultural festivities are carried throughout the year. These activities help us to grow. There are various recreational clubs in the university that provide students immense opportunities of enhancing their interpersonal skills and overall personality development. We have an office of Dean Students Welfare, and this office works tirelessly around the year in the welfare of our students.

9. Ansal University has added another laurel in the list of its achievements, ‘Global Award at House of Commons’ in 2015. How does Global recognition help the University for upcoming projects?

Yes, we are proud of our achievement. In a globalized world, it is important to maintain a strong reputation. Our efforts have been recognized globally and it’s an honor for us. Our inter-disciplinary approach has been appreciated, we are encouraged to work harder.

10. What is that one advice, you would want your students to remember for their lifetime?

To be honest, I often wish to say to students, investment in education has the biggest multiplier factor. In the times to come, it will be witnessed, that only good education will bear results. Working hard is very important, it does not matter which institution one does go to, education depends on approach. Honesty and commitment are essential values to become a good human being.

11. How do you look at the growth of students through placement opportunities available at Ansal University? How do you wish to push the envelope further?

I am glad to state that we have 100% placements. It is a different case that some students like, students belonging to School of Architecture, are not keen for placements. We have a dedicated Center for Corporate Relations, headed by a Director.

12. Please share your views about the success stories of the alumni of Ansal University.

Apart from looking at Ansal University solely, we have a legacy of 25 years. Our earlier institutes have produced great students, our students are all over the world, and are making us proud. This adds to the growth of the institution, as our students take us forward. We have also planned an annual meet for our alumni, which is to be held in December, 2015. Network of strong alumni boosts the working of an institution.

13. What makes Ansal University better than other competitive institutions?

In the last one year, I have seen students rejecting our neighboring universities and giving preference to us. We have created an environment wherein students choose to stay happy and motivated; it also encourages them to work hard. Our teachers give their best for the welfare of students. Apart from that, we invite experts from all fields to provide matchless opportunities.  We instill soft-skills, which makes us distinct.

14. Please throw some light on industry relations of Ansal University.

We are fortunate to have great leadership of Ansal family, which helps in forming industry relationship. Experience based learning, use of technology, live projects, real time problem solving exercises, learning by doing, this is the thrust of our teaching pedagogy, and this sets us apart. We have a strong Advisory Board which has some of the best industry leaders. Besides each school has its own Advisory Board comprising of experts and well known industry professionals.

15. What steps do you intend to undertake for the betterment of the society through your institution?

Society making is an on-going process. If we are able to produce good students, who will also become good human-beings later on, our job is done. This is my bit towards the betterment of the society. We work to fulfill the expectations of our stakeholders, and remain faithful to all those who bestow their trust upon us.


Brief Bio of Professor Raj S. Dhankar

Professor Raj S. Dhankar, a thought leader and institution builder, is currently the Vice-Chancellor, Ansal University.He has also held responsible administrative positions like Vice-Chancellor, Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana; Dean, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS); Director, Centre for Canadian Studies; Professor-in-Charge, FMS, South Campus; Principal, Maharaja Agrasen College; Provost, Saramati Post Graduate Men’s Hostel, South Campus; and Chairman, Finance Area, Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi in the past.  He holds Ph.D. (1983) and P.D.S. (1987) in the area of finance. Dr. Dhankar is actively involved in teaching, research, training and consultancy in the field of finance since 1977. He had been the recipient of Commonwealth Scholarship for Ph.D. program in U.K. and Post-Doctoral Studies (PDS) Scholarship for U.S.A. by Government of India. He has published extensively in national and international journals in the area of finance, and has taught in various foreign universities, including UCLA, USC in USA and Lakehead University in Canada. Dr. Dhankar is a member of the Governing Bodies/ Councils of various educational institutions, and Director & Trustee on the Boards of several public and private sector organizations. He has been honored with several awards including Haryana Ratan in recognition of his contribution to the welfare of society and institution building.

Last Updated - 24 Sep 2015

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