Interview by Kritika Gupta
Chitkara Education brings with it a reputation that has been earned through years of serving the career needs of the student community. At Chitkara, we have a single-minded obsession with delivering consistent academic quality that will impart the necessary skill sets to our graduates. There are many reasons to choose the University including a great infrastructure, accomplished faculty, international partnerships, and more. But, it is the focus on academic rigor and critical thinking that has kept our students and us ahead of the curve. Our alums have demonstrated their learning skills acquired at the university and have made us proud, something that fuels each one of us at Chitkara to produce the next well-equipped workforce, year after year.
Leadership by Example
Dr. Madhu Chitkara is one of the co-founders of Chitkara Educational Trust, an organisation of high repute and distinction. An eminent academician and an innovative entrepreneur, she has articulated and designed the road map for the Trust, and has actively contributed to its tremendous growth and recognition in all these years, and continues to spread the light of education in the life of tens of thousands of people.
With a passion for academics and excellent business acumen, she has had a diversified career and variegated experience in the field of education, spanning almost four decades. Knowledgeable, focused and a strategic leader, she has adeptly managed numerous academic ventures and remains a true leader who ‘leads by example’ – is warm, sincere and always willing to walk the extra mile to keep her promises. Her support to several humanitarian causes, in association with various NGOs, is indeed a tribute to her philanthropic nature, zest for life and desire to transform other’s lives for the better.
The Thinker, The Doer & The Visionary
Dr. Madhu, fueled with a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Mathematics, Bachelor of Education, Master of Education, Master of Science in Mathematics and a Doctoral Degree in Education, has relentlessly worked towards developing and providing an environment which offers the best of teaching & learning pedagogies for the pupils.
She has contributed to the field of education in a unique way that is worth applauding and stating. She was appointed as a resource person for imparting knowledge of content and implementation of the National Education Policy to all teachers of Chandigarh Schools in 1984. During the launch of BBC Micro Computers in India, she was instrumental in giving training and imparting knowledge of CAI (Computer Assisted Instructions) to all the stakeholders of Chandigarh Administration. She has been instrumental in creating more than 61 relevant industry-linked programs in the fields of Hospitality, Engineering, Management, Architecture, Art & Design, Nursing, Healthcare, Teacher Training, Mass Communication and Pharmacy at graduate, postgraduate and doctorate level. Her contribution also extends to building Incubation Centres for the students having an entrepreneurial mind, with more than 70 companies in place which are running successfully.
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Internationalizing Student Experience
With the creative mindset, she established CURIN (Chitkara University Research & Innovation Network) a network of people who explore, innovate, and think differently. She has built a strong network with over 200 Universities and Institutions, all across the globe covering the USA, UK, France, Germany, China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, among others, to make Chitkara students globally acceptable and capable. It is her constant endeavor to create strong Industry linkages to bring best of employment opportunities for the young graduates in the companies of repute such as Infosys, Amazon, Mahindra, Fortis, Safexpress, SAP, Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, Ernst & Young, among others.
Dr. Madhu Chitkara’s visionary thinking lead her to design a globally acclaimed event; Global Week, which is a footprint of Global Engagement at Chitkara University and one of the best ways of internationalising the student learning experience. This event catalyzes infusing cross-cultural competence, industry linkages, knowledge transfer, as well as a phenomenal networking opportunity. Chitkara University has been regularly hosting this event for a decade now under the able guidance of Dr. Chitkara, where eminent faculty members are invited from across the world to teach predetermined short module courses to university students across all disciplines.
Creating the Ideal Learning Environment
Her concern and love for a clean & green environment, and making the campus life more environmentally-friendly, helped Chitkara University attain a position among top 3 most decent universities of India in the Swachhta Ranking 2017 by the Govt. of India, MHRD. She has been instrumental in making the University a Green Campus by establishing innumerable initiatives for environmental sustainability and optimum use of facilities which are nature-friendly ranging from Rain Water Harvesting, Paper Recycling, Paperless Working and Communication Mechanism among Stakeholders, Waste Management System, Installing Energy Efficient Equipment, Solar Panels, Solar Lights and Incinerator Machine.
The Transformational Leader
With new fields of knowledge emerging, Dr. Madhu Chitkara ventured into the arena of patents. Chitkara University has filed 150+ patents with 1000+ research publications. Under her able leadership, Chitkara University has been ranked among the top 10 Universities of the country for filing maximum patents. She is actively creating avenues to bridge the gap between the industry and academia by incorporating more application-based courses wherein the University can provide the industry with graduates who are ready to take on responsibilities right from Day-One.
Giving back to the society
Despite achieving phenomenal success in the field of education, Dr. Madhu Chitkara always had a desire to do something for those who were not privileged. The Trust under the proficient chairmanship of Dr. Madhu Chitkara has adopted nearby five villages through NSS and provides free education to the children, and opportunities for self-employment to adults. The Trust also provides health awareness programs in addition to extending health facilities to the villagers. A computer center has also been established in the adopted village to create awareness among the residents about the latest technology. Chitkara Radio 107.8 FM, Chitkara University’s Community Radio is also being effectively used for the upliftment of rural communities.
Dr. Madhu Chitkara continues to be an inspiration around the world, and her acumen will keep her at the pinnacle of success. Her penchant for equity and access, a desire to abide by a value system and to stick to an ethical path have enabled her to create a brand name – Chitkara – in the field of education.