The past year has been a very special year for OP Jindal Global University as it has completed eight years of institution building.
JGU’s sixth school, the Jindal School of Journalism & Communication began its first academic session. They have announced the establishment of two new schools, the Jindal School of Art & Architecture and the Jindal School of Banking & Finance, both of which will begin its academic programs in August 2018. As with JGU’s current schools, all of their new schools are being led by accomplished and experienced faculty members who have demonstrated vision and commitment to building academic programs comparable to those offered by the leading universities of the world.
The establishment of new schools and programs aligns directly with JGU’s founding vision to offer interdisciplinary academic programs in diverse disciplines. The choice of disciplines has been based on several factors, in particular, offering of professional programs that offer high employability rates for graduates; programs in the social sciences and humanities that are key to addressing the strategic needs and socio-economic challenges of India; and programs in emerging and niche areas that are not widely offered in India.
The efforts of the University were recognized through several significant milestones. JGU was recognized under Section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956, becoming the first private university in Haryana to receive this recognition. JGU was also ranked first on the all-India Swachhta Rankings of higher education institutions. In a consolidated demonstration of the achievements over eight years, JGU is currently ranked in the 251-300 rank bracket of the QS University Rankings: BRICS 2018 Edition. JGU is ranked in the top 300 universities out of 9,000 universities in the BRICS region (covering five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), placing it in the top 2.8% of the universities in the BRICS region. JGU is also the first and only private university in Haryana to have been ranked in an international ranking. Through this recognition, JGU is ranked among the top 10 public and top 10 private higher education institutions in India.
Over the next year, in addition to welcoming a new cohort of students, faculty members and staff to join the JGU community, the university will continue to strengthen the efforts on four key institutional priorities.
Strengthening the teaching and learning processes
The efforts relating to academic planning and program delivery will remain committed to being innovative in their teaching processes, improving learning outcomes, and furthering faculty development. This includes exploring the use of innovative teaching tools and new pedagogies to engage the students more effectively; increased focus on achieving program and course learning outcomes; and diversifying the faculty and enhancing faculty excellence. If all faculty members are committed to the institutional vision and values that aim to build JGU as a model of higher education excellence in India, then it will involve close and sincere engagement with the students to support them in learning, creating and identifying new learning opportunities for them, creating an enabling classroom environment for them, help them prepare for meaningful careers, and inspire them to strive to make a difference in the world around them. These efforts will be supported by a healthy faculty-student ratio that will enable more impactful classroom teaching and learning, and greater balance between teaching and research for faculty members.
Enhancing the research capacities and outcomes
One of JGU’s central objectives is to develop a research-intensive environment that promotes socially beneficial and globally relevant research, while ensuring academic freedom and functional autonomy, and also provides for an enriching, intellectually engaging, and discovery-based learning environment for students. Towards realizing this, the university will continue to strengthen the research capacities through JGU’s interdisciplinary research centers, continuing to encourage research on vulnerable and less prioritized subject areas, and making the research more accessible to the wider public. The researchers and faculty members must engage themselves in rigorous research, particularly on subject areas that will create social impact and are relevant to pressing national, regional and global concerns. The university should continue to disseminate and provide visibility to the research through academic conferences, seminars, lectures and workshops. JGU research community to fully utilize the University’s research framework, infrastructure and facilities, both on the campus and in the recently established Jindal Global Educational & Professional Academy in New Delhi, to further your research goals and outcomes.
A key outcome of the research objectives is academic publications in leading national and international publications, and other forms of academic outputs. Over the next year, the university must add significantly to their past achievements, through a focus on improving quality of research publications produced by JGU faculty and researchers; increasing number of research papers per faculty member, and recognition of academic outputs in disciplines such as the arts where journal articles are not pervasive; and providing institutional support for faculty members to achieve international recognitions and awards for academic and research excellence. The researchers at the university and scholars should utilize the incentives, facilities and opportunities available at JGU to undertake and produce impactful research. This includes incentives for high-quality publications, and opportunities for faculty and research exchanges through their collaborations with leading national and international universities.
Enabling inclusive and sustainable institutional growth
As JGU experiences large-scale and rapid growth over the next few years, they will need to remain committed to their students, the public service mission, and the role as a model for institutional excellence, in order to achieve sustainable growth. Over the coming year, the university must strive to further the efforts to increase diversity of all kinds within the JGU community; promote tolerance and respect for diverse views; inculcate a professional and respectful orientation within university workspaces; utilize their facilities and infrastructure in a sustainable manner; and promote a sustainable approach towards maintaining the biodiversity and ecological balance on the campus.
Expanding opportunities for public service
JGU was founded as a private university promoting public service. This has meant that the university has aimed to vigorously promote a culture of public service among the students, staff and the wider JGU community. Over the coming years, they must ensure that the existence and growth remain grounded within the spirit and tradition of public service enshrined in their vision. Everyone must explore new and innovative ways to engage with the local community and strengthen the contribution to addressing national and global issues. This may include pedagogical innovations and initiatives; research engagement; and activities through student clubs, societies and groups. The university’s location in a rural community provides them rare, but rich opportunities to engage closely with issues that are the reality of daily life for the majority of their fellow citizens in India. New and meaningful opportunities must be explored to engage closely, respectfully and with an open heart and mind with the neighbouring communities in Sonipat, and wider Haryana.
While the university has had significant achievements over a short period of time, their vision to establish a world-class, sustainable and model university in India will require a lot more effort. Towards this, the words of Mahatma Gandhi can be noted: "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." The university intends to continue its journey as determined spirits to promote institution building for nation building.