JAMMU, APRIL 23- Given the upgraded infrastructure and academic charter of international standards, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University(SMVDU) qualifies to become IIT or IIM on the national pattern, Vice Chancellor Professor N K Bansal said here this morning.In an oblique reference to the announcement by the Centre that each State of the country will have a central university, Indian Instituteof Technology and Indian Institute of Management, Professor Bansal said the SMVDU possesses all the requisite ingredients to be declared as such.Addressing a media conference on the eve of the ensuing visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to deliver the first convocation address at SMVDU, the Vice Chancellor said the University is already treading the path of becoming academically at par with IIT. ‘In fact, we are moving a step further by launching a Medical College also by 2010-11’, he declared.
The Vice Chancellor gave an overview of the University and said it is currently engaged in imparting advanced education and research programmes in Energy, Manufacturing & Automation, Electronics & Instrumentation, Computer Sciences, and Executive M.B.A. and has become a center for educational excellence, attracting students from all over the country. He added that the secular outlook of the university is reflected through the fact that there are students from 16 states of the country representing almost all the cultures, faiths and languages etc who are admitted through All Indian competitive examinations and on merit only. The University has 14 Schools involved in quality education and research in engineering, management, sciences, philosophy, culture and languages, he maintained.
"SMVDU has four Colleges, representing faculties of Engineering, Science, Management and Philosophy Culture & Languages. Each college has several constituent schools (equivalent to departments) in specialized area within the college. This set-up facilitates inter-disciplinary inputs, co-operation and activities. The University is offering Under-Graduate, Post-Graduate and Ph. D. courses’, the Vice Chancellor elaborated.
He said the SMVDU has designed its courses for scientific, technical and management oriented training with an emphasis on excellent academics, research and lucrative professional career for the students and significant contribution towards the economic growth of our country. It is therefore essential to have continuous interaction with the corporate world. A cell, "Corporate Relations & Scientific Research Division" has been created, he announced.
To inculcate work culture and competitive spirit among the students, the Vice Chancellor said the University has initiated Student Assistantship Programme (SAP) which envisages provision of financial assistance in terms of full tuition fee waiver besides cash assistance of Rs. 1000 per month during the semester to the top 5% meritorious students in various disciplines, Professor Bansal said and added that to prepare students for carrying out cutting edge research, the Vice Chancellor said that Research Assistantship Programme (RAP) provides assistance of Rs. 8000/- to 15,000/- per month per selected scholar during the course in various disciplines, besides an annual contingency grant of Rs. 4000/-.
He said the University has expanded its reach and signed MOU’s with leading National and International Institutions like IIT Delhi, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine Jammu, Aachen University and Bochum Universities in Germany, Orel State Technical University in Russia and Kun Shan University, Taiwan. Further sponsored R&D projects are also being executed by the faculty in all the disciplines. The State Department of Environment and Forest has funded the establishment of a Herbal Park, while the State Forest Research Institute has approved two projects related with National Bamboo Mission Projects. The University has established state of art laboratories in all the academic schools. The University has laid great emphasis on interactive programmes. Several conferences and Workshops have been organized. College of Management has already organized 8 National level Seminars, the VC said.
When asked about infrastructure development, Professor Bansal said that the campus spreading over 400 acres has Academic and Administrative Blocks, Hostels, Faculty & Staff Residences, covering an area of 6,30,000 ft. Buildings for a Central Library, School of Architecture, Student Hostel, residential Quarters, Shopping Complex and Sports Complex with a total area of about 4,00,000 ft2 are under construction he said and added that a Sate of the art auditorium with a seating capacity of 1000 has already been completed.
Professor Bansal said that the campus has Net & Internet LAN of fiber as network backbone with Gigabit Ethernet core playing as a supporting role. The current standard for building cabling is CAT6. The University has a helipad, healthcare facilities, Bank and Post office besides a Delhi Public School on the Campus, he said, adding that the University Library has a rich collection of 20,000 books, 1011CD ROMs & Audio Cassettes & 87 National & International Journals and is growing. It has access to various online databases & electronic Journals.
The Vice Chancellor said that the academic odyssey in this short span of time would not have been possible but for the unstinted support and visionary guidance of the Chancellor, His Excellency Lt. General (Retd) S K Sinha, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.Professor Bansal said the university took off on an encouraging note with our president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam inaugurating it and even taking the first class of MBA students. "Now we are equally honoured to have with us Honorable Prime Minister to deliver the first Convocation Address. He will be awarding degrees to 101 scholars besides three gold medals, 2 of them bagged by our girl scholars. It gives me immense satisfaction to share with you that our entire pass out students have got envying placements, the Vice Chancellor said.