Dr. Amishkumar Vyas is the Dean of Indrashil University, Gujrat. In the interview he describes how each student possesses a different mindset and how to deal with each of them differently. Talking about education, he mentions the importance of assessing and foreseeing the future of the education system and preparing the curriculum accordingly. When describing the vision, he explains the institution doesn’t believe in rat race, the target is to be a world leader in terms of higher education. On a concluding note he explains how the institute provides an ambient atmosphere for the students to think, grow and learn and why should students involve themselves in all the constructive activities of the university.
Every student is different and each possess different mindset
Over a period of more than 26 years in academics, I have enjoyed a lot while dealing with a fresh, young, dynamic, enthusiastic and energetic mind full of ideas and creativity. You are dealing with 60 different minds in a class of 60 and you have to convince them in general. It is a very much challenging job. Though there may be the same syllabus every year, the audience is different. Unlike earlier days, this field is changing very fast and you have to keep a pace to match with the speed of innovations in teaching – learning. Recently at Indrashil University, under COVID 19 pandemic situation, we started with online teaching learning. It was quite exciting. Also, you get an opportunity to show your skills in development of laboratories, administrative systems, department, faculty, students and as a whole institute and university. In nut-shell, it is the only field where you are in connection with young blood and you feel young and energetic all the years of your service. Also, you feel proud by contributing in the development of next generation citizens of this great nation.
It is pivotal to assess and foresee the future of the education system and trend of society and industry
Dean is a very responsible position like a father in the house. As a dean, you should have the ability to foresee the future of the education system and trend of society and industry. You must be impartial to all the faculty and staff members. As a dean, you are responsible for the development of the institute, all the departments of the institute, faculty and staff members, students and system. Networking plays an important role in sensitizing the activities carried out at university in the field and society. The programmes offered by Indrashil University under School of Engineering are chosen considering the need of future and industry. As a dean, under admission strategy, the programmes offered must have employment opportunities and entrepreneurial opportunities after four year. We, at Indrashil University, follow the academic and extra-curricular plans considering 360° development of our students. The syllabus is reviewed every year. We believe that for any university, students are the real brand ambassadors of the university and we are having a very high level of student satisfaction index at place. That is visible from the level of students’ participation and involvement in various activities organized by the University. Digital and print media play an important role in giving wide publicity to the activities carried out by the University. The university has established a separate PR and Media cell, which is taking care of the same. University is also recording the lectures delivered by eminent speakers of respective areas and the same has been uploaded on University website.
The curriculum is designed keeping the need and trend of industry under consideration
The curriculum is designed keeping the need and trend of industry under consideration. For the same, the University has established a programme wise Board of Studies, which generally meets once in a year to discuss the revision and/or updation needed in the syllabus. The members of Board of Studies are from reputed academic institutions/universities like IITs, NITs, etc. and industries. The syllabus proposed in the Board of Studies is generally designed based on the suggestions and feedback received from the industry personnel visiting the University for various purposes like expert lecture, faculty interaction, faculty interview, consultancy proposal, incubation centre activities, Student Startup and Innovation programme activities, etc.
Though we don’t believe in rat race, the target is to be a world leader in terms of higher education
Indrashil University never believes in unhealthy competition. In fact, it is competing with itself for constant improvement. Even within just two years of commencement, the university has tied up with three foreign universities like Sacred Heart University (SHU)- USA, TUSKEGEE University (TU)-USA and University of Newcastle (UON)-Australia. University has started dual degree programme for B. Tech. Computer Science and Engineering with SHU, USA. In that scheme student will get a chance to earn do graduation from SHU, USA, in addition to IU. Similarly, dual degree will be offered in collaboration with TU, USA in the area of B. Tech. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and B. Tech. Mechanical Engineering. Agreement with UON is under progress for credit based pathway programmes leading towards graduation from UON in the area of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering. Such a thought process creates a roadmap of ten years for Indrashil University and University is looking for a number of programmes in the area of health science and engineering, in addition to the management, pharmacy, design, nursing, medical and paramedical courses. Also, the University is targeting to become a leader in IPR, research and quality education following the international standards of education and accreditation. Though, university does not believe in ranking rat race, but the target is to be a world leader in terms of higher education.
My vision is to establish a world class university providing high quality professional education
The parent organization Cadila Pharmaceuticals and world leader and philanthropist Dr. Rajeev I. Modi are the two major factors of attraction to get associated with Indrashil University. Not just because of the name and fame, but also their track record of innovation, research and positive approach towards all the odds in personal and professional life inspire me to grab an opportunity to learn from them. Looking at this track record, I also find it in line of my vision to establish a world class university providing high quality professional education, enough opportunity and encouragement to the research oriented faculty, and networking with great researchers of the world and leading research and education institutions and universities. I had a vision of developing a team of quality faculty supported by state of the art laboratories and a unique education system having a blend of industry and academic exposure. So far, I can say the progress is in the line of my vision before joining the university, though it is just two years young. Being a young university, I feel it is like a child with a pure mind which can mould in the right direction easily. I have a feeling of great satisfaction that so far I have contributed a lot in my capacity for approaching the vision of the university. In future also I am expecting the same pace and enthusiasm to achieve future goals and vision and mission with a great inspiration of Dr. Rajeev I. Modi, CMD, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
We provide an ambient atmosphere for the students to think, grow and learn
Indrashil University is not in competition with any other institution and university, not following unethical practices and also does not believe in marketing like others. Indrashil University wants to be known by our best and innovative practices. People must know about the academic flexibility available at Indrashil University. Students can change the branch after one year of study on merit. Also, students can opt for minor specialization in addition to the core branch degree. 6 to 8 months of industry internship and 100% placement assistance are the key area where most of the parents are interested. High quality faculty members and personal attention on students are the matter of concern for all the parents and it is a matter of concern at Indrashil University. We have created home away from home for the students. Hostels with hygienic ambience and food are the major point of worry for the parents and students, and at Indrashil University they should not be worried about that. Ancient Gurukul kind of atmosphere, away from the noise of the city, provides a peaceful environment very much needed and suitable for the right mood of quality education. Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are very much essential for the all-round development of the students as it provides a platform to explore their talent and skills. Excellent laboratories are very important for study in engineering. Indrashil University is the right place to get it with the latest software and equipment exposure. Nowadays, lush green huge sports grounds are rarely available in any university but Indrashil University is an exceptional one. Mentoring by faculty members develops better teacher-student relationships. Faculty members are counselling the students for all kinds of their issues, may it be professional, personal or social. Also, the discussion held and matter discussed kept confidential. Overall, there are many facts, not limited to above, which are not known to the common people about Indrashil University and as I mentioned earlier, we do not believe in marketing but in branding.
Curriculum is defined considering the future brain needs of the industry
Indrashil University has adopted best practices keeping the need of industry. That is the reason the curriculum is defined considering the future brain needs of industry. Indrashil University has adopted project based learning by offering project work in each semester of the study including full semester industry defined project in the final semester. 8 to 10 months of industry internship is compulsory for all the students, which makes them industry ready for specific sectors of their choice. Industry also preferred to adopt such trained candidates as they are ready material for the industry to take a charge of the specific job in industry. Industry visits are a regular feature of the university. Interaction with industry experts helps the students to understand the latest practices and trends of the industry and also they keep themselves updated with the current happenings in the industry of the area of their interest. In addition, industry experts are invited for delivering a few lectures on specific courses/topics for a decided period to give extra knowledge to the students. As an outcome of all these efforts, the university found that students are no more strangers to the industry environment and very much acquainted with organizational behaviour. It is observed that most of the industry also demands for soft skills among the students as they considered them as a representative of their company. Indrashil University is much aware of this fact and that is the reason that soft skills are imbibed in a curriculum itself. In addition, finishing school activities are also run by the university. Overall, the university is giving due importance to make its students industry ready.
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Students must involve themselves in all the constructive activities of the university
Over a period of my 29 years of total experience, I have observed that during admission the first question from parents and students is guarantee for placement. I can say that at Indrashil University placement is not a problem with innovative curriculum and teaching-learning strategy, but students have to prove themselves to get eligibility for placement. Also, the right candidate with a good CV always gets the best of opportunities. Students must get involved in all the constructive activities of the university without compromising with regulatory requirements and academic performance. Also, I suggest all the parents and students not to follow the wordings and myths about any university or institute before opting for admission.