Interview by Yash
Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh is associated with Shiv Nadar University as the Vice Chancellor since 2016. She has a Master’s of Science degree in Physics from the University of Calcutta and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. With an experience of more than 37 years, Dr. Ghosh has held several positions as visiting faculty or scientist in foreign institutes. Information. As a researcher; teacher; an orator and an academic administrator par excellence, she is well known for her stand and efforts to support the cause of gender justice and environmental consciousness.
In an exclusive interview with collegedunia.com, Dr. Ghosh talks about Shiv Nadar University and its unique factors.
Dr. Ghosh’s exceptional journey with SNU
I have been associated with the University from the very beginning. My role as the Vice-Chancellor in the last 3.5 years has in many ways been a continuation of the initiatives I had started earlier as the Dean and Director. We have reached the following milestones already:
- The University is among a select group of green-field institutions in the country which were awarded the prestigious Atal Incubation Center grant by the Niti Aayog.
- In the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Shiv Nadar University has been the youngest institution in the top 100. In NIRF-2019, the university ranked 52 in the University category.
- SNU has also been selected as an “Institution of Eminence” by the MHRD-appointed Empowered Expert Committee, and the formal notification is expected soon.
- The University provides a one-of-its-kind opportunity to undergraduate students through its flagship ‘Opportunities for Undergraduate Research (OUR)’ program. Student gets a chance to work under the mentorship of a faculty member from any department across the University.
Shiv Nadar has an ideal campus for the learners
We have a world-class infrastructure to facilitate the teaching-learning process, within and outside the classroom. Our 286-acre naturally beautiful campus hosts a state-of-the-art indoor sports complex, student recreational centers, an iconic central library, well-equipped research and computing facilities. There are active professional Societies and Clubs which enable our students to engage in diverse activities of their choice - from Robotics to Photography - beyond regular class hours.
We also offer On-Campus Jobs to our students - as Learning and Academic Support in Software Development, Library Management, Marketing and Admissions, Career Development Centre - the benefits of which are just numerous. Our students also take up social projects around the campus.
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Dr. Ghosh views on infrastructural changes in the academic sector
There are definite signs of improvement, and at least a clear understanding has emerged among the students. It has all been possible with the efforts of Universities and the compulsion of global rankings. Any university cannot exist if they do not contribute to knowledge generation. However, Indian institutions still prefer to not get into hard-core sciences & engineering, the research infrastructure required for which is expensive. We have taken the plunge, backed by the vision and philanthropic support of the Shiv Nadar Foundation. However, the overall infrastructure for academic research in the country is still very inadequate.
SNU - Research and Innovative Ecosystem
Our founder, one of India’s most successful entrepreneurs, has had a singular vision: “Truly world-class educational institutions must be developed in India; they must foster and develop cutting-edge research, and in turn, drive innovation and advancement in multiple sectors.”
SNU is a multidisciplinary, research-focused university – covering Sciences to Engineering to Management to Social Sciences, and can thus address the entire spectrum of research and innovation challenges from a single campus. But, we need to create an ecosystem of strong, equitable, and credible partnerships – national & international, academic & industrial. I believe that universities like SNU should drive this ecosystem, and very importantly, be the quality controllers.
A diversifying curriculum with continuous evaluation
Our multidisciplinary character allows strengthening of the learner’s foundation or core with a breadth of knowledge, while we provide depth of learning in a Major (and a Minor) subject. There is flexibility in the designing of our curriculum. With the market changing very fast in today’s world, the key skills we need to impart to our students is that of critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and communication. At SNU, the students are taught ‘how to think,’ and not a prescriptive ‘what to think.’ They will be equipped to unlearn and relearn; whatever unknown challenges the fast-changing world throws at them.
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Uniqueness of SNU - Explorative, enjoyable and engageable
It is a fully-residential, green campus, with a diverse student body - we have students from 27 States and Union Territories with heterogeneous backgrounds. We have a unique multidisciplinary curriculum with research-focused learning. The content is dynamic and flexible, and the mode is active or participatory so that the students “learn by doing.” We have an outstanding faculty from the best institutions in India and abroad to make this a reality. Lastly, the quality of the infrastructure promotes the educational experience at Shiv Nadar University.
Message to the Millennials
The 'success' is the result of our team effort, and as I said, we have a long way to go. Our alumni are doing well, and it gives me confidence in the path we have taken so far. I will thus urge my students to cultivate the skills of critical thinking, creative problem-solving, clear communication, and rational decision making, while they are at the University pursuing their subjects. You need to be a life-long learner, with collaboration skills. Do not be afraid of uncharted territories or of failures.
One must lead by example which will inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more