The vast Indian continent contains the third largest educational infrastructure globally after China and the USA. In 2015, India had about 700 universities and 35,000 colleges with 30 million students across every state and union territory. That does sound mind-boggling but statistics does possess that invincible quality in a world that is constantly working with figures and the alphabet. Yet, private universities traditionally did not have a major role to play. Only Delhi and Punjab besides Karnataka hosted successful and high-ranking private universities that make a difference to academic accomplishment.
APGSU as the only private university in Himachal Pradesh is significant. According to Indian systems, the state government must initiate the establishment of a private university. APGSU is recognized by UGC and is a young university that came into existence in 2012. Only five years old, the university has reached many milestones already and the future looks very inspiring indeed. Unlike many universities that may teach management, medical or engineering studies and become famous through specialization, the university awards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in eight subjects. It is a vigorous system that has taken on many challenges and succeeded so well in the first few years if its existence.
The rise of private universities and institutions
The Indian university system commenced as far back as 1857 when London University served as the model for the establishment of Madras, Calcutta and Bombay Universities by the British rulers. Yet private universities came to the forefront rather recently and provided another mighty dimension to Indian education. Initially distrusted as money making institutions that targeted the rich and the upper classes, private institutions are nowadays doing rather well in certain states like Delhi, Punjab and Bangalore. APGSU as the youngest in comparison to those well-established private universities has set a high standard of excellence in the quality of education.
The need for adequate faculty, infrastructure and professional networks for placements
Technically, Indian education may be the third largest globally but suffers in terms of faculty and infrastructure. Some Indian institutions have made it to the top internationally and they belong to the IIM and IIT community. Besides the problems of top-notch faculty, infrastructure is lacking and placement opportunities are denied. Tall claims may be made on paper and media to attract students and impose high tuition fees but ROI may be lacking.
Deficient in global exposure, soft skills, weak in language and communication and the ability to work in multicultural environments, many Indian students do not succeed very well professionally in spite of possessing huge quantities of text book knowledge. A silent dedication to academics does not serve the purpose of developing 21st-century dynamic skills and coping with the pressures of global competition.
Indian education is not what it appears to be
The Indian educational infrastructure does appear very dynamic with foreign students from at least 20 countries studying in the campus. Connections with universities abroad for the sake of student and teacher exchanges have spread the light of education far and wide. Yet somewhere lies a vacuum yet to be filled.
The semesters in the college flash past amidst a frenzy of activities. Students are lost in their sweet dreams and making merry. Suddenly the examshave appeared and the course is over. What happens next? Students who were not lucky to receive placements now begin the process of job applications. The promises made during admission are quickly forgotten.
APG Shimla University honors its promises
A world class faculty and infrastructure, a tradition of IITs and IIMs and an excellent record of placements put APGSU in a class apart. With the courses having commenced for the 2017 academic session, it is a hectic schedule of learning activities that the students are participating in. Nothing can beat the natural peace of the Himalayas as the ultimate study destination. It may need some getting used to for the many foreign students but adjustment to change is the hallmark of modern existence. Being flexible and adaptable according to the changing situations is what a civilized person should be capable of doing.
Whether it is Law, Architecture, Hospitality, Science and Engineering, Journalism, Textiles or Management, a unique culture exists within the sacred university campus that brings an infinite contemplative mood amidst the wonders of nature. Institutions are somewhat like hotels in the sense that people gather for a while, only to depart. Yet friendships are made and professional connections forged that may last a lifetime. The family spirit is in the air though you cannot touch and feel it. The expressions on students’ faces and the verve and spirit in all the activities reveal that they are on a mission, a journey of excellence.
Values rule the campus, the classrooms, the hostels and the cafeteria. The gym and the sports ground, the library, science labs and the community meetings have a single-minded purpose. Academic excellence comes first and professional success would follow in good time with the right placements and opportunities.