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FOREWORD Pulling Together for Progress


“It’s a fact that India needs quality institutions, and it needs collective effort and support to make these institutions successful”

hile at college, I was staying in a hostel and had to take a train to and from home all the time. On these train journeys, I was struck by the gusto with which fellow passengers would talk about political and social issues and have a good time lamenting over the state of affairs in the country. It was my first introduction to what I have come to realise is a national pastime — “country bashing”. After that, I would consciously try to look for positive conversations and spaces where individuals or government initiatives were praised. I must confess that I did not find many. I was reminded of those conversations once again when EDU decided to do an in-depth story on the new IITs. All that we had heard was that everything had gone wrong with these new institutions — from shortage of faculty to abysmal infrastructure. Even as I write this piece, I can’t shake off an article I read this morning on how the new IITs are making slow progress. I would have not known any better, except that our team got into the depth of the matter and came to the conclusion that things were not as bad as they sounded. While it is true that these new institutions are struggling with faculty shortage and infrastructure issues, it’s also true that they have a shot at doing things differently. Not having the stress of bureaucratic hassles and campus politics that usually plague the older IITs, the new institutions also have the advantage of lessons learnt in what not to do. It’s a fact that India needs quality institutions, and it needs collective effort and support to make these institutions successful. If creating new IITs is the way that we have to go, so be it. For once, let’s look at their achievements and efforts at innovating. Even Damodar Acharya, the Director of the oldest IIT at Kharagpur, which also happens to be his alma mater, believes that the new IITs have moved away from the shadows of their mentors. As a community of higher education leaders, let’s look at how we can support the new IITs and let’s see what constructive criticism we can send their way. Let’s give them a chance.

Dr Pramath Raj Sinha

December 2011 EduTEch


Contents EDU december 2011

update 04 merger 06 moU 08 VISIT OFFereD 10 BIDS granT

Viewpoint 12 rIShIkeSha T krIShnan Do we need an Indian model of higher education?


technology 42 PrInT IT rIghT EDU’s guide to an efficient green printing strategy 46 Tech TUTeS Apps for annotating PDFs 43 Tech SnIPPeTS Technology News, Tips and Tricks

profile 56 rajan Saxena The Vice Chancellor of NMIMS cherishes the freedom of his academic life By Charu Bahri

Strategy 26 ParTnerS In reSearch Greater synergy between industry and academia is resulting in more PhDs By Shalini Gupta


“I will send my child to India for the first 12 years, because here they teach how to study in discipline” — Stephan Thieringer, Stephan Thieringer, Co-founder, CEO, AcrossWorld Education

academicS 32 The lOOmIng PreDIcamenT VC, Chitkara University on engineering education



December 2011


46 acaDemIc InTerVIew Tan Moorthy on the initiatives by Infosys to raise competence of the Indian graduate population

global perSpectiVe Find out what’s currently happening in institutions around the world. The Chronicle of Higher Education shares its perspectives with EDU 48 jaPan’S ShOrTage OF englIShSPeakIng graDUaTeS By David McNeill 50 FUlBrIghT keePS mOVIng FOrwarD DeSPITe BUDgeT UncerTaInTy By Ian Wilhelm 52 US graD SchOOlS See SIgnIFIcanT IncreaSe In FOreIgn enrOlmenTS By Beth McMurtrie

For LeaDerS IN HIGHer eDUCatIoN

MaNaGING DIreCtor: pramath raj Sinha pUBLISHING DIreCtor: anuradha Das Mathur GroUp eDItor: r Giridhar aSSoCIate eDItor: Smita polite CoNtrIBUtING eDItor: aniha Brar aSSIStaNt FeatUreS eDItor: rohini Banerjee

coVer Story

14 out of the Shadows and into the Sun

copydeSk MaNaGING eDItor: Sangita thakur Varma SUB eDItorS: radhika Haswani, Mitia Nath deSign Sr CreatIVe DIreCtor: Jayan K Narayanan art DIreCtor: anil VK aSSoCIate art DIreCtor: pC anoop VISUaLISerS: prasanth tr, anil t & Shokeen Saifi Sr DeSIGNerS: Sristi Maurya, NV Baiju & Chander Dange DeSIGNerS: Suneesh K, Shigil N, Charu Dwivedi raj Verma, prince antony, Binu Mp & peterson CHIeF pHotoGrapHer: Subhojit paul pHotoGrapHer: Jiten Gandhi

the newly established IIts may have had little time to catch up with their predecessors, but they are determined to make a difference to the IIt brand by charu bahri

SaleS & marketing BraND MaNaGer: Deepak Garg NatIoNaL MaNaGer-eVeNtS & SpeCIaL proJeCtS: Mahantesh Godi NortH: Vipin Yadav ( 09911888276) SoUtH: Daphisha Khapiah ( 09986084742) aSSIStaNt BraND MaNaGer: Maulshree tewari aD Co-orDINatIoN/SCHeDULING: Kishan Singh

23 focusing on talent 24 moving out of the Shadows

production & logiSticS Sr GM operatIoNS: Shivshankar M. Hiremath MaNaGer operatIoNS: rakesh Upadhyay aSSt. MaNaGer - LoGIStICS: Vijay Menon exeCUtIVe LoGIStICS: Nilesh Shiravadekar proDUCtIoN exeCUtIVe: Vilas Mhatre LoGIStICS: Mp Singh and Mohamed ansari


53 englISh ParlIamenTary Panel crITIcISeS SPeeD OF eDUcaTIOn OVerhaUl By Aisha Labi

timeout 62 BOOkS • CV Raman: A Biography 63 gIzmOS & gaDgeTS

bFe IndIa








merIT Trac




This index is provided as an additional service. The publisher does not assume any liabilities for errors or omissions.




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Chitkara University’s VC on engineering education Pg 32 TECHNOLOGY






Printers with intelligent power saving modes Pg 42 PROFILE

Rajan Saxena, VC, NMIMS University, on academic freedom Pg 56


Sudhir K Jain Director, IIT Gandhinagar

Madhusudan Chakraborty Director, IIT Bhubaneswar

Uday B Desai Director, IIT Hyderabad



64 InTernaTIOnalISe TO leaD By Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director at Quacquarelli Symonds


office addreSS Nine Dot Nine Interactive pvt Ltd , Kakson House, a & B Wing, 2nd Floor, 80 Sion trombay road, Chembur, Mumbai-400071 INDIa.

INTO THE SUN The coming of age of the new IITs

Pg 14

CoVER ART: peterSoN

please recycle this magazine and remove inserts before recycling

December 2011 EduTEch


from the world of higher education

06 MoU 06 SySteM 08 viSit 08 offered 10 bidS 10 grant & More

connected: Kapil Sibal at the National Knowledge Network website and logo launch in the earlier part of 2011

Govt to Leverage ICT for Learning The merger move will help meet the Centre’s target of providing connectivity to all institutions, and help deliver e-content more effectively merger: The Union Cabinet has decided to merge the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) and National Knowledge Network (NKN) to leverage the potential of information and communication technology in teaching and learning processes in universities and research institutions. While NMEICT is run by the Human Resource Development Ministry, NKN is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. An official statement, following a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also said that the Cabinet has approved shifting technology from copper wire-based connectivity to optical fibre cable-based one, and raised the number of universities and institutions of national importance that are to be provided connectivity from 419 to 572. The ultimate target of the scheme is to provide last-mile connectivity in order to deliver high-quality e-content to universities. This will enhance learning and knowledge across the length and breadth of the country.



December 2011

AmEricAn nobEl lAurEATE joins AmriTA univErsiTy Nobel Laureate Leland Harrison (Lee) Hartwell has been appointed the Adjunct Professor at Amrita University. He will teach students of Amrita School of Engineering and School of Biotechnology at Coimbatore, run by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Professor Leland, currently Chief Scientist at the Centre for Sustainable Health, Arizona State University, was also the Director Emeritus at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, Washington, USA. Vice Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Dr Venkat Rangan, pointed out that this was the first time in the academic history of India, that a Nobel Laureate was slated to join an institution as a faculty member. Leland Harrison (Lee) Hartwell shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Paul Nurse and R Timothy Hunt, for their discovery of protein molecules that control the division or duplication of cells.

iim-b To orgAnisE mEET on rolE of icT for ThE disAblEd The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), in cooperation with the Fourth Wave Foundation, is organising a national conference, titled — Enabling Access for Persons with Disabilities to Higher Education and the Workplace: Role of ICT and Assistive Technologies — at IIM Bangalore campus between January 20 and 21, 2012. The conference aims to identify and share best practices on enabling access of persons with disabilities at workspaces and educational institutions through ICT and other interventions. It will bring together the key players in this field to deliberate on and showcase solutions and enabling technologies. The conference expects participation from over 400 stakeholder representatives and key decision-makers in the field.


Taiwan Education Centre at Amity The Centre will promote traditional Mandarin and facilitate better understa nding between Indian and Taiwanese institutions mou: A Taiwan Education Centre is slated to start functioning on the Amity University campus in Noida soon. Amity University and National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), Taiwan, have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate exchange of expertise and boost development of students and staff in both the countries. The Taiwan Education Centre (TEC) will promote traditional languages such as Mandarin Chinese among Indian students. It will facilitate a better understanding of cultures and boost cooperation between higher educational institutions of India and Taiwan. The MoU was signed in the presence of Tsong-Ming Lin, Political Deputy Minister of Ministry of Education, Republic

of China, and Ashok K Chauhan, Founder President, Amity University. Also present were Major-General KJ Singh, Vice Chancellor, Amity University, and Professor Da-Hsuan Feng, Senior Vice President, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. The Political Deputy Minlaunch: (Left to right) Wenchyi Ong, Ashok ister Tsong-Ming Lin said Chauhan and Tsong-Ming Lin that the Taiwanese centre President Dr Chauhan said the collabowill aim to develop Chinese languages in ration is going to be “rewarding” for both the host country through collaborative the universities. He added that the stuprojects. At present, over 450 Indian student exchange programmes will deepen dents study in Taiwan. Minister Tsongthe mutual understanding between the Ming Lin hoped to see more Indian stutwo countries. dents coming to Taiwan. Founder

QS Launches New University Rating System system: The education information specialist — QS — has announced the launch of QS Stars: a new international system of rating for universities. Aimed at prospective students, the system will rate universities against international standards, using 30 criteria. Universities will be given an overall rating of zero to five stars. They will also be rated in each of eight key areas: research, employability, teaching, infrastructure, internationalisation, innovation, engagement and strength in a specialist subject. The Head of Research at QS, Ben Sowter, said: “The QS Stars responds to a demand for more sophisticated comparative information. Universities are evaluated solely on their own qualities, rather than in relation to other institutions, and the system allows for an unlimited number of institutions to be included.” The system will operate on an opt-in basis. A number of high-profile universities have moved early to participate in QS Stars, including University of New South Wales, King’s College London, Amity University, IE University, University College Cork, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Nanyang Technological University.

global update

0-5 6


stars will be awarded to varsities after being rated in eight key areas

December 2011


yardsticks will be used to rate varsities against international standards


Scottish Delegation Visits India A delegation of 16 representatives from across varsities in Scotland were in India recently to ink a string of collaborations and chalk out mutually beneficial tie-ups visit: Scottish Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell was in India recently along with a delegation that included vice chancellors of the top Scottish universities, such as Edinburgh Napier University, Glasgow University and Strathclyde Business School. The delegation was in India to forge ties with Indian universities and institutions, besides attending the FICCI Higher Education Summit. During his stay, Secretary Russell stressed that Scotland and India will continue to develop their education and business ties that would make both the countries stronger. “At this moment there are 20 Scottish universities working with their Indian partners. I recently inaugurated a new Scottish university campus here in

this country and witnessed three new cooperation collaboration: (Third from left) Michael Russell, Scottish Education Secretary, with vice chancellors from his country agreements being signed.” additional MBA degree from the EdinIn one of the collaborations, University burgh Napier University. of Strathclyde, a reputed Scottish business The Vice Chancellor and Principal of school inked an agreement with SKIL, an Edinburgh Napier University, Dame Joan Indian infrastructure development comStringer, said, “This MoU will be a pathpany. SKIL recently forayed into the educabreaking one. We are targeting the 6,00,000 tion sector and opened its first campus in alumni of Sikkim Manipal University, who India in Greater Noida. Sikkim Manipal are also eligible for this course.” The deleUniversity and Scotland-based Edinburgh gation’s visit was facilitated by Scottish Napier University, signed a Memorandum Development International, a joint venture of Understanding (MoU), as did Glasgow between Scottish Government and its Caledonian University with the Chitkara economic development agencies, University. According to the Manipal MoU, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and students pursuing MBA from Sikkim Islands Enterprise. Manipal University will be eligible to get an


Ambani on Warwick Varsity Board industrialist Anil Ambani has been offered a key position on the Board of Britian’s renowned University of Warwick. The Indian business baron who is also the Chairman of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, has been offered the key position while also being offered a post as the member of its Warwick Business School. The industrialist becomes the first Indian to join Warwick’s board. The university is one of UK’s top academic institutions. The business department is one of the largest in the university. Sir George Cox, the Pro Chancellor of the University of Warwick and the Chair of the Council, confirmed that Ambani has accepted the invitation. Fifty-two year old Ambani is already a member of the Board of Overseers at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.



December 2011

He completed his postgraduation from the same university. He is also the member of the Board of Governors at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and the Indian School of Business. Students of various nationalities, including several Indians, pursue their studies at Warwick Business School, which offers undergraduate, masters, MBA and PhD programmes. Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group has interests in telecom, power and infrastructure and has assets of over Rs 1,80,000 crore and a net worth of about Rs 89,000 crore.

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IIT, Amity in NYC Campus Race Names of winners will be announced by January 2012 after considering all 17 applicants bids: Premier engineering institute of right to open a world-class campus for the country, IIT Bombay, and privatelyengineering and applied sciences. In owned Amity University, are two of the 17 November 2011, he stressed that the city global institutions that have pitched in bids may award multiple winners. The project to set up a science and research campus in may generate $6 bn in economic activity New York City (NYC). Seven qualifying with as many as 400 new companies and proposals have been submitted to build an 22,000 permanent jobs in its first 30 years, engineering and technology campus in Bloomberg said. NYC by 17 universities around the world. “Clearly this has the potential to be a real Other renowned contestants in the race game changer for this city,” Bloomberg include Stanford and Cornell University, said. “All of the submissions were stronger along with Columbia University, New York than anything we could have possibly University, Carnegie Melimagined.” He has said that lon University and all the proposals will be evalRockefeller University. uated and for now there was Names of the winners no frontrunner. NYC has will be announced in the formed a committee to evaluuniversities first month of 2012. ate the proposals, which will contending for The winner will get free consider the project’s ability the NYC land and as much as $100 to create permanent jobs, science and mn for infrastructure. develop a financially self-susNYC Mayor Michael R taining campus and its proresearch Bloomberg had invited proposed community relations campus posals in July 2011 for the and partnerships.


Jindal Aluminium Grants Rs 100 cr to Bangalore Varsity For a new centre to be set up with the help of former Infosys Board member TV Mohandas Pai and Vice Chancellor Prabhu Dev grant: Former member of the Infosys Board of Directors, TV Mohandas Pai, and the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University (BU), Dr Prabhu Dev, will be preparing the first draft of a new centre to be set up with a grant of Rs 100 crore, received from Jindal Aluminium Limited. The new centre will be called Dr Sitaram Jindal School of Economics. It will be set up on BU’s Jnana Bharathi Campus. The institute is expected to come up in the next five years. The sum will also be used to develop worldclass hostel and faculty at the centre. The Dr Sitaram Jindal School of Economics will be an autonomous centre on the models of the London School of Economics and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.



December 2011

voices “The issue of academia-industry collaborations is complex and there are no simple answers to increasing the interaction between the two” —Kapil Sibal, HRD and Telecom Minister

“Now in India, by law, private sector cannot build private institutions. We’ve always talked about how important education is. If you really want to build a not-for-profit education university, the framework doesn’t exist for that, the rules don’t exist for that and certainly the legislation doesn’t exist”

— MuKeSH aMbani, industrialist

“Unfortunately vocational training is not getting the kind of attention it deserves. We focus on formal education, and want our children to have white collar jobs”

— ananD SuDaRSHan, MD & CeO Manipal education


Rishikesha T Krishnan

Do We Need an Indian Model of Higher Education?


n my last column, I made a reference to the declining global ranks of India’s top universities. While it’s probably unrealistic to expect to see major improvements in our institutions in just a year or two, the fact that not a single top Indian institution had in 2011 a better rank than in 2010, could be a cause for concern. But I will argue that there are bigger challenges we should take on. our priority: world Class, indian ethos or Scale? How important is it for us to have top-ranked or ‘world class’ universities anyway? Would they just give us bragging rights, another data point to support the argument that India has arrived? Or should we have other priorities? India’s challenges in higher education are well known. We have a low gross enrollment ratio. The quality of instruction in our existing institutions is highly variable. Faculty shortages abound. Employability of our graduates is poor. Syllabi are often outdated. Learning is by rote rather than practical or application-oriented. This last problem is summed up well by engineering education veteran, Professor Vijay Gupta, who told EDU’s VC conclave recently that India should award BAs rather than BEs in engineering because most engineering exams are descriptive in nature!



December 2011

Another stream of criticism is that Indian higher education lacks an Indian ethos, a mooring to India’s rich culture and civilization. It fails to address issues of values and ethics, or to develop more integrated and rounded young graduates. A small number of institutions like Viswabharati, Banasthali and Dayalbagh, all set up in more idealistic times, have been successful in providing alternatives addressing this criticism, but few institutions seek to emulate them. Perhaps the culture issue is not critical at this point. Students have developed a strong social sensitivity, thanks to the recent emphasis on inclusive growth, social entrepreneurship and bottom-of-the pyramid business models. I recently attended student-organised technical festivals at two of our leading engineering institutions — IIT Madras and NIT Surathkal — and the message that the students have embraced this ideal rang out loud and clear. Scaling up is another challenge. It is well known that existing models of higher education are capital intensive. Scaling up to the level we desire is not feasible because of resource constraints. But the more important question is whether scaling up the existing model is the right way to go.

Rishikesha T Krishnan


Bridging trade-offs A little over a decade ago, the way we live changed forever with the advent of the internet. While much of today’s internet excitement is focussed on the power of social media, the internet was heralded because it promised to overcome an important trade-off between richness and reach. This potential has been realised in some domains like financial services and consumer retail, but not in a sector like education where it could have the greatest impact. Why is this important? Because the main conflict we see in Indian higher education today is between quality and scale, i.e., richness and reach. After independence, we started off by focussing on quality (the IITs, IIMs, RECs, etc.), and then attention shifted to scale as manifested in the breathtaking expansion of privately-provided technical education in the last two decades. Today, the pendulum has swung back to quality as we set up new central universities, IITs and IISERs. For a country that accounts for one-sixth of the world’s population, is heralded as one of the emerging poles of the new economic order, and has global geopolitical ambitions, we have to find a way of bridging the quality vs scale trade-off. In management, there is often a debate about whether you should adopt established ‘best practices’ or try to innovate. The consensus is that if you are below the current productivity frontier, adoption of best practices helps you reach that frontier quickly. That’s what most firms in manufacturing have done by adopting world class quality and manufacturing practices. But, it’s also clear that disruptive models offer the option to leapfrog ahead (create new productivity frontiers) even though they may start by being inferior to existing ways of doing things. New technology seems to offer India the potential to leapfrog. But, are we leveraging such technology? What we have done so far — like putting up the videos of IIT professors’ classes on the net, or making IGNOU study material freely downloadable — are good steps but they fail to use the potential of the internet and communications technologies for interactive and collaborative learning. After some false starts, the government’s efforts to make a low-cost computing device available to students have finally worked out with the launch of Akash tablet. That’s a good development. But where is the content that can seamlessly integrate with curricula to give students a high quality, integrated learning experience? How do we harness social media to enhance the quality of higher education?

Indian higher education lacks an Indian ethos, a mooring to India’s rich culture and civilisation our Challenge Today, technologies like telepresence offer high resolution video transmission but use considerable amounts of bandwidth. Innovation that cuts down the bandwidth requirements and blends video with internet-based learning is what is needed. Entrepreneurial efforts like the Khan Academy have shown us the potential of new technology. With broadband penetration increasing, there is a possibility of driving a new model of higher education that transcends existing boundaries and limitations. The use of new technology has to be accompanied by two other investigations. One pertains to how children learn. Kids who have grown up in the internet era have a different way of learning compared to people who grew up learning from books and people. We need to understand these new learning processes better if we want to harness contemporary technologies effectively, rather than just replicating current teaching practices over the internet or video. The second pertains to the role of the teacher. Some earlier attempts to beam lectures of highly regarded professors into the classrooms of small engineering colleges floundered because teachers in these colleges felt threatened. The role of the teacher has to be recrafted for a technology-driven new higher education model to work. We should create a distinctive Indian model of higher education, but not by harking back to Nalanda or Takshashila. We shouldn’t be content with enhancing research output and thereby competing for world rankings. Instead, in addition, we should take on the challenge of bridging the quality-scale trade-off in higher education. This is what the Indian model of higher education should come to be known for and become our most enduring contribution. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at

Rishikesha T kRishnan Dr Krishnan is a Professor of Corporate Strategy at IIM Bangalore. He has an MSc in Physics from IIT Kanpur, MS in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University, and a PhD from IIM Ahmedabad. He can be reached at rishikesha.krishnan@

December 2011 EduTEch



By peTersoN

From Left to Right: Sudhir K Jain, Director IIT Gandhinagar, MK Surappa, Director IIT Ropar, Madhusudan Chakraborty, Director IIT Bhubaneswar and Uday B Desai, Director IIT Hyderabad



December 2011

New IITs

New IITs


Out of the Shadows and

into the

Sun The new IITs have little time on their hands to catch up with their predecessors. But they are determined to live up to the IIT brand bY ChaRu bahRi

December 2011 EduTEch



New IITs

Enhancing Brand

iiT’s Value a

They have the hindsight of their mentors and a foresight of their own…the new IITs take wings into a new dawn

akash — the sky — is literally the limit for the new IITs. Aakash may be the poor man’s Tablet, but it is symbolic of paradigmatic changes that the new institutions of higher learning are capable of bringing about in engineering education. It is not just a coincidence that IIT Rajasthan was a chief collaborator along with UK-based Datawind to launch this revolutionary Tablet that is aimed at revolutionising education across India. Launched amid criticism and surrounded with scepticism, the eight new IITs had before them a tough task. They had to measure up to the existing IITs and, at the same time, be a step ahead. The older IITs had their share of problems, and there were lessons to be learnt from them. The newer IITs could do it, and do it better. There was no complacency, only a will to do. They are fast shrugging off the bad publicity they were receiving since coming into existence three years ago — delays in allocation of land, faculty deficiency, inadequate infrastructure and so on. They had first made headlines for all the wrong reasons. But that’s all history.

Innovative Approaches The new IITs are making waves, turning around so-called disadvantage — their late



December 2011

entry to the club — into a plus point. They are jumpstarting their learning curve — distilling lessons from half-a-century of operations of the older IITs, as a base to grow from, all the more faster. Talking about this subtle edge, Prof Sudhir K Jain, Director, IIT Gandhinagar, says “A new IIT has more opportunities to do things right, if you think about it. It can improvise on the model of the older institutes,” he adds. For Prof Madhusudan Chakraborty, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar, newness comes from not being compelled to follow in the footsteps of the mentor. “Rather,” he says, “we are trying to be different.” In a radical departure from the model followed by its mentor institute, IIT Kharagpur, it has worked innovation into the very structure of the academic set-up. It has done away with the concept of departments. A number of interdisciplinary schools have been introduced instead. For instance, the School of Basic Sciences includes physics, chemistry, mathematics, bioscience, etc. “This different classification is driven by our desire to bring together faculty and students from various disciplines and facilitate their working in interdisciplinary areas. The emphasis is on product creation and product design,” continues the director. And with this, the institute has raised the bar for inter-departmental cooperation. This has also created an environ-

ment in which departments don’t compete with each other at the cost of research or where project funding is stalled because of an unhealthy atmosphere. Prof VR Peddireddi, Head, School of Basic Sciences at the IIT Bhubanewar, shedding light on the relevance of this alternate set-up says, “We grouped clusters of departments under the umbrella of a school. This approach helps foster an environment for research. Research is interdisciplinary in nature and borders between different fields either overlap or are slowly disappearing .” For instance, nanotechnology is primarily a subject dealing with chemistry. But in research, it’s mostly applied to biology, taking it beyond the traditional.

Conceptualising Newness Prior to joining IIT Bhubaneswar, Prof Pedireddi worked at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, which is also well known for interdisciplinary research. In his opinion, this approach is preferable as it gives uniform importance to all the sciences. So, in a twist of sorts, IIT Bhubaneswar is setting a benchmark in the field of interdisciplinary research, which the older IITs can benefit by adopting. Prof Pedireddi believes that the initial skepticism towards the new approach is fast-dying as dissenting voices observe

New IITs


wal by sailesh ra

Industry Linkages

that we lag t se d in m s) u o e d a handicap “The (erron e v ro p s a h s T II r behind the olde tstanding faculty. A new IIT u in recruiting o opportunities to do things has several morek about it, it can improvise right, if you thin the older institutes” on the model of ar ndhinag

, Director, IIT Ga

ar Jain —Sudhir Kum

how well the new set-up is being managed. “We appoint faculty as professors in their respective field of specialisation, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, etc. This simplifies administrative purposes and also allows faculty to retain an identity representative of their speciality. But they are part of a school and not a single department.” “The future of technology education lies in creating a new ecosystem and culture and introducing innovations in the academic system,” says Prof Uday Desai, Director, IIT Hyderabad. A new fractional credit course system introduced by IIT Hyderabad exemplifies such innovation. The initiative is aimed at furthering faculty interactions and collaborations with the industry; promoting hiring avenues for graduates and postgraduates from the institute; and keeping the course content relevant to fast-changing industry needs.

The endeavour aims to take the institute to the next level of competitiveness as seen from the perspective of the industry. Two such early courses launched are on Trends in Storage Systems and on Cloud Computing. Next year, the alumni of IIM Bangalore based in Hyderabad will be offering more fractional credit courses. To take up another example, IIT Gandhinagar, also offers short-term courses conducted by guests faculty, each of which earns students one credit. This approach has allowed students to take up diverse courses: Indian Democracy, Entrepreneurship, Energy Efficiency, Literature and Cosmology. Whoever said that the IITs are only about technology education? Going a step further, the institute has opened these courses to students and faculty of other colleges in the city, so as to develop better academic links and contribute to the community.

Innovations in the curriculum and academic set-up are not the only good things happening in the new IITs. Research is another focus area for them. In fact, aware that linkages with industries and reputed universities or institutions abroad is the key to collaborative research, Prof Chakraborty of IIT Bhubaneswar is reaching out to industries through continuing education and collaborative research programmes. “Our faculty members are working on short courses or workshops for the benefit of practicing engineers or professionals. We propose to set up Collaborative Research Laboratories (CRLs) in our Science Park that would be accessible to our faculty and students as well as scientists and engineers from industries attached to the laboratories.” IIT Ropar emphasises collaborative research ventures with other research labs as well. It provides faculty members an initiation grant and basic facilities to start research work and also encourages them to continue their existing industry linkages. Building international relations is also a top priority. This is vital to launch joint multidisciplinary research work. For instance, a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering was previously engaged with Optical Network industries near Delhi. Prof Surappa, Director, IIT Ropar, permitted him to continue as a consultant with the industry even after he joined as a faculty, aware that the pay-off would be beneficial. True enough, he says, “It has proved to be winwin situation. Industry contacts of faculty members help us further such linkages.” Research is an area wherein the newer institutes are not only holding their own, but are also making waves across the globe. Aakash, the world’s cheapest Tablet developed over 18 months by a 170-member team of professors and students at IIT Jodhpur, was just the beginning. At IIT Hyderabad, a sizeable number of faculty members are presently engaged in research projects. Professor and Head of the Electrical Engineering Department and Director Prof Desai is the Principal Investigator of Pervasive Sensor Environment, a Rs 41-lakh project sponsored by the DepartDecember 2011 EduTEch



New IITs

Timeline: history of the indian institutes of Technology 1956


The idea of forming institutions of higher technical learning, similar to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was first mooted by Sir Ardeshir Dalal, the then Member of National Development Council, in 1942.

In 1956, the Indian Parliament passed the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) Act, declaring it as an “Institute of National Importance” and paving the way for further additions. 1951

Sir Jogendra Singh of the Viceroy’s Executive Council set up a committee to consider the creation of Higher Technical Institutions for post-war industrial development in India. In response, a 22-member committee led by Nalini Ranjan Sarkar recommended the establishment of the Indian Institutes of Technology at locations scattered across India to allow ‘even regional development’. The first of the IITs was founded on August 18, 1951, at Kharagpur in West Bengal.

ment of Science Technology and the IndiaUK Advanced Technology Centre (IUATC). Dr Mohammed Zafar Ali Khan, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, is leading a mega project with an outlay of Rs 167.7 lakh on High Performance Cognitive Radio Networks. This is being sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. There is another major project on Information Networks for Disaster Mitigation and Recovery led by IITH involving several Indian Institutes and research labs (IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, NGRI, IMD, and IIIT Hyderabad), and Keio University, Japan. This is part of the IITH Japan collaboration. And the list goes on. According to Prof Uday B Desai, “There are plenty of research opportunities waiting to be tapped. It is just a question of submitting good research proposals and defending these well during the presentation-evaluation rounds. “Most of our 76-strong faculty are keen on research. They actively pursue opportunities and present proposals before us all the time. While a majority of these proposals are presently being made to government agencies, such as the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Information Technology and Ministry of



December 2011

New and Renewable Energy, the institute is also working on research and collaboration with private companies. KDDI Corporation of Japan, Infotech and Dr Reddy’s Labs are a few companies with whom we are signing agreements.”

Research Matters At IIT Gandhinagar about 15 projects with a total sanctioned budget of about Rs three crore, are on. The projects are funded by agencies like the Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, Atomic Energy Regulation Board, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Underwriters Laboratory, Ricoh Innovations Inc. Focus areas for research are Biotechnology, Biomedical Instrumentation, and Drug Delivery, Earthquake Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. The institute is also fostering ties with Indian and overseas institutes so that undergraduate students can take up short research stints in summer, with the possibility of being engaged in them for longterm as well. Some of these prestigious institutes abroad are California Institute

of Technology (Caltech), Washington University, University of Notre Dame, Nanyang Technological University, University of Houston, University of Rhode Island, Johns Hopkins University, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. IIT Ropar has been quick to start cutting-edge research and launch PhD programmes in a variety of areas. According to Professor Surappa, “Being exposed to ongoing research helps students familiarise themselves with the latest developments in different fields and encourages them to pursue their own research interests. Research also tends to result in a constant revision of the course content.” A faculty member in the Chemistry Department at IIT Ropar is already in the process of filing for a patent-based on research work done in the institute

Challenging Times Apart from teething troubles, challenges were bound to surface given the speed at which the brand is being expanded. As Director of IIT Kharagpur Prof Damodar Acharya observes, “Although the demand for high-quality technical education has been steadily rising in the last decades,

New IITs



Fast forward half-a-century to the year 2008, when a motion is passed to include eight new Indian Institutes of Technology in the coveted circle. Establishing more institutes on the lines of the existing IITs, was the need of the hour, it was said. If seven institutes, collectively, could tutor over 27,500 students and research scholars, 15 centres would open doors for thousands more. Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna and Ropar, were chosen as locations for the fledgling institutes.

by a prabhaka

r rao

59 - 1961 d at 1958 - 19 establishe puses were m ca pur re n o a K m Four i (1959), 8), Chenna 5 9 n (1 ia i d a b In Mum , and the elhi (1961) D ded d n n e a ), m a 9 (195 y Act was Technolog f o s te u it Inst . ese new IITs to reflect th

ty of research “There are plen aiting to be tapped. opportunities w-strong faculty are keen Most of our 76 ey actively pursue on research. Thnd present proposals opportunities ae time” before us all th

there have not been many quality institutes coming up after the 1960s (with the exception of IIT Guwahati in 1994, and the last of the IITs, the University of Roorkee which was conferred IIT status in 2001). Even the 14 old NITs were all established before the mid 60s. Many institutes came up in the 1980s and thereafter, but they are no substitute for the IITs and NITs. The new IITs aim to partially fulfil the vacuum. While it would have been a good strategy to expand the new IITs at a slower pace, perhaps by adding one institute every third year, 50 years of no action necessitated the sudden expansion. Of course, this brought associated problems.” While the new institutes have half a century of learning to jump-start their journey, the general perception is that they are no match for their older siblings. Though directors of the new institutes are adamant that this is not true, it will take some time for positive perception to take root in the minds of academicians and the public. Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges for the new IITs given the less than positive impression. The significance of this is best brought out by Prof Chakraborty’s description of what makes the IITs special: “These are teacher-based institutes”; meaning that the brand is built by its outstanding faculty.

abad ector, IIT Hyder

i, Dir —uday b Desa

December 2011 EduTEch



New IITs

New iiTs: Where they stand today

Ropar MK Surappa

Academic session started in 2008-2009 Campus: Currently running from the temporary campus at Nangal road, rupnagar. The punjab government has provided 500 acres for IIT ropar, near sutlej river. Appointment of consultants and architects for building the new campus has begun. Programmes: BTech in computer science and engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering. phD candidates are also taken in. Mentor: IIT Delhi

Jodhpur Prem K Kalra

Academic session started in 2008-2009 Campus: Working out of MBM engineering College in Jodhpur. permanent campus to come up 22 kms from Jodhpur city on National Highway 65. phase-II of new campus plan submitted. Programmes: Four-year BTech in computer science and engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering. Mentor: IIT Kanpur

Patna anil K bhowmick

Academic session started in 2008-2009 Campus: Transit campus at Navin Government polytechnic campus in patna. permanent campus to come up at a 600 acre site at Bihta on the outskirts of patna. Schools: Three schools are hosting seven academic departments — school of engineering; school of sciences; and school of Humanities and social sciences (BTech and phD). Mentor: IIT Guwahati

Gandhinagar Sudhir K Jain

Academic session started in 2008-2009 Campus: Temporary campus at Vishwakarma Government engineering College. Gujarat government has allotted land on the banks of sabarmati near palej. Programmes: Four-year BTech programme in chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering. MTech in chemical and civil engineering. Minor in computer science or management along with BTech and phD. Mentor: IIT Bombay



December 2011

by subhojit

IIT Gandhinagar is facing a huge shortage of regular faculty, particularly for subjects such as electrical and mechanical engineering and computer science. According to Prof Jain, “The (erroneous) mindset that we lag behind the older IITs has proved a handicap in recruiting outstanding faculty.” IIT Gandhinagar is working on overcoming this challenge by launching an aggressive campaign to attract the right people. For instance, the quarterly newsletter of the institute elucidates exciting things happening at IIT Gandhinagar and is circulated to over 10,000 academics. Jain adds, “We also visit top universities and engage with the graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. For the time being, we are offering temporary appointments such as part-time or visiting faculty to tide over the crisis.” Prof Surappa adds, “There are few takers for administrative, engineering and estate management support staff jobs at Ropar, perhaps because it is not a metro. Finding senior faculty willing to relocate here is also a challenge, as people of the right calibre and experience are older and hence settled with their families in cities.” It is hard to attract a strong faculty to nondescript towns. But this difficulty is compounded now since the country’s booming economy is creating plentiful


Recruitment Strategies

eed for the n e th t u o b a t no doub lines “There can beconform to the same guideulty, newer IITs to lty, eligibility criteria for fac defining facu guidelines will amount to lly etc. Changing T brand. That would partia diluting the II pose of expanding the IITs” defeat the pur par

a, Director, IIT ro —MK Surapp

New IITs

Mandi Timothy a Gonsalves

Academic session started in 2009-2010 Campus: Transit campus at Vallabh Degree College located in Mandi town. operations are supposed to shift to the 531 acre main campus in Kamand, Mandi on the banks of Uhl. Schools: schools of Computing and electrical engineering; engineering; process Technologies; Basic sciences; Humanities and social sciences. Mentor: IIT roorkee

Indore Pradeep Mathur

Academic session started in 2009-2010 Campus: Currently functioning from the Institute of engineering and Technology, Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyala. permanent campus of 525 acres to come up at simrol, Indore. Programmes: Four-year BTech programme in computer science and engineering electrical and mechanical engineering. Mentor: IIT Bombay

employment opportunities in cities. For these reasons, Prof Surappa feels that some leeway could be made for new IITs which have nothing much to offer in terms of lifestyle and convenience, “Campuses located in such areas need to be better developed and offer more amenities.” As it is, the residential education which is arguably the only model suited to creating institutes in smaller places brings with it the responsibility of maintaining a proper campus and support facilities, more like a college town. In contrast, reputed institutes the world over only concentrate on academic infrastructure and facilities with the rest being taken care of by an adjacent township built by private initiative. That might be an idea to consider when the next round of expansion of brand IIT is taken up. Faculty members joining an institute that is still in the process of establishing itself are expected to go beyond the call of duty. Prof Chakraborty cites the need for them to devote considerable time to building systems, designing laboratories and classrooms in association with design consultants, and developing the library and other amenities for students, in addition to their regular teaching and research. Faculty members at IIT Bhubaneswar are helping the purchase section and hired consultants procure appropriate equipment/ instruments and other accessories/materials for the laboratories.

Hyderabad uday b Desai

Academic session started in 2008-2009 Campus: on February 27, 2009, The foundation stone of the main campus was laid in Kandi. The campus is currently functioning from a temporary location in ordinance Factory, Medak. Master plan for the main campus is ready and panel of architects has been selected. Programmes: BTech, MTech, phD Mentor: IIT Madras

Incubators for the ‘Next Best Thing’ It will take time for the new IITs to build their reputation. Until then, the magic seems to be happening through word-ofmouth of the faculty members. Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Gandhinagar, Dr Sameer Dalvi believes working at a new IIT is more rewarding. Prior to joining the institute last year, this postgraduate and doctorate from IIT Bombay was pursuing post-doctoral research at Columbia University, USA. Dr Dalvi could have joined any of the IITs, but is happy to be at Gandhinagar. “I reckoned that a newer establishment would offer more growth avenues. The older IITs are set in their systems, whereas faculty members in a new institute have greater opportunities to contribute to shaping the organisation,” he elucidates. Despite the fact that IIT Gandhinagar does not even have its own campus, Dr Dalvi is satisfied. “I have set up a state-ofthe-art research facility since I joined. I also have ample professional opportunities and sufficient funding for research in nanotechnology applied to the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. The institute has set aside some seed money for this research,” he continues. When asked about his future plans, the recipient of the Young Engineers


Bhubaneswar Madhusudan Chakraborty

Academic session started in 2008-2009 Campus: A 935-acre campus is slated to come up in Arugul in the next three years at a cost of rs 780 crore. The temporary campus is in samantapuri Schools: Basic sciences, earth, ocean and Climate sciences, electrical sciences, Humanities, social sciences, Management, Infrastructure Mentor: IIT Kharagpur

Award 2010, given by the Institution of Engineers (India), says he is committed to growing his association with the institute. “I will never leave this place,” he states.

Building Infrastructure “Operating out of temporary premises is a handicap,” observes Prof Jain. “We don’t have enough space for offices, laboratories and classrooms. We have constructed a handful of temporary buildings and this is helpful. However, it’s not a permanent solution.” Like the older IITs that boast of big sprawling campuses, the new IITs are coming up on large tracts of land, on an average spreading across 500 acres. But the All India Council for Technical Education, the governing authority regulating the benchmarks, processes and mechanisms defining the minimum physical, academic and other support infrastructure needed by technical institutes for getting its approval, only mandates land in the range of a few acres. There is also a view that the newer IITs could have been established on smaller plots. Prof Acharya does not think so. IITs offer residential education, to which model he partly attributes the high-quality of graduates, postgraduates and doctorates. December 2011 EduTEch


institute take shape more rapidly. We are really pleased with the way they are progressing — we would have done the same as they are, if we had been in their place.” Prof Barua does not see the new institute as a rival to the older establishment. “There is a strong need for both,” is his firm answer.

by saumendr


Full Steam ahead

and students y lt u c fa r e th e g ng to “We want to briisciplines and facilitate their hasis from various d rdisciplinary areas. The emp working in intereation and product design” is on product c ubaneswar

y, Director, IIT Bh n Chakrabort —Madhusuda

“Residential education provides an ideal learning environment and opportunities to develop. Unlike the IITs, AICTEapproved institutions, most of which are in the private sector, are often not residential in nature. Only a few AICTE-approved institutions have sprawling campuses offering residential education, such as the SSN College of Engineering. “Also, AICTE-approved institutions have almost zero focus on research and quality postgraduate education. Research and postgraduate education requires extensive laboratory support, along with research space, equipment, faculty and technical manpower support,” adds Prof Acharya. The Director of India’s oldest IIT, IIT Kharagpur, also points out that at 2,000 acres, it is the largest in terms of land area among the older institutes — including an Agriculture and Food Engineering Department with an associated farm, and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park). So, it is not as though the land is unutilised. And some land, be it in the old or the new IITs, must be preserved for



December 2011

future expansion and to create the right ambience. After all, a concrete structure alone does not form an institution — it needs people and infrastructure.

Standing on Their Own Feet Mentor institutes have played an invaluable role in establishing the new IITs, both by way of supporting them with faculty and administrative staff and also by helping them understand the set of guidelines applying to the older institutes, which the new ones are mandated to follow as well. But the mentors began to back off as soon as the new IIT had appropriate stewardship, that is, a director, and rightly so. Director of IIT Guwahati, Prof Gautam Barua, says this was vital to help the new IITs learn how to walk alone at the earliest. For IIT Guwahati, it was time to bid farewell to the new set-up in IIT Patna once the director joined. According to him, “An early withdrawal helped the fledgling

Fortunately, contrasts between the old and the new — be it in the available infrastructure, faculty strength, course curriculum, academic set-up, or research-related matters — are not detracting the new IITs from doing their job, and well. Prof Desai says, “Sure, we occasionally face comparisons with the older IITs. After all, we are only three years old, whereas the older IITs are between 50 and 60 years of age. But I don’t worry about such irrelevant things. Everyone has to grow.” These positive sentiments spill over into other new institutes. Concludes Prof Jain: “IIT Gandhinagar is no longer in the shadow of the older IITs. In fact, the innovations we have made in teaching and curriculum, faculty management, and governance puts us far ahead of many existing institutes.” Directors of the new establishments are not only game for comparisons but are ready to rise to meet the challenges head on. While some circles have debated the appropriateness of fledgling institutes complying with stringent guidelines governing existing IITs, Prof Surappa sums up the directors’ resolve to grow brand IIT, “There can be no doubt about the need for the newer IITs to conform to the same guidelines defining faculty, eligibility criteria for faculty, etc. Changing the guidelines would amount to diluting the IIT brand, and that would partially defeat the purpose of expanding the IIT set-up.” And that is something the directors are determined to never let happen. It seems that the fledglings are ready to take wing and come out of the shadows and be their own sun. That dawn is not far if their progress is any indication.


by sailesh rawal

New IITs

Focussing on Talent Prof Sudhir Jain, Director of iiT Gandhinagar, aspires to make it a trendsetter in education. In conversation with EDU, he describes some of the innovative initiatives


his year, IIT Gandhinagar has enhanced the one-week orientation programme for fresh undergraduate students by introducing a fiveweek Foundation Programme aiming at developing their life skills and helping them make a smooth transition from the time when they were solely focussed on studies (JEE preparations) to a broader phase in life. Be it workshops on communication, theatre, appreciation of architecture, or games that help inculcate team spirit, students get a wholesome exposure. We have also introduced a brand new curriculum that stands apart from any other in the country. By focussing on humanities, social sciences, life sciences, design and creativity, to name a

few subjects, the new curriculum prepares students for more than merely entry-level jobs. Another first for the IIT system is the liberal policy we follow for branch changes after the first year. IIT Gandhinagar has achieved the unique distinction of being able to accommodate all requests from our students for a change of branch in July 2010. Another of our endeavours focusses on instilling in students a strong sense of values and integrity. We successfully conducted several examinations without invigilation last year. We may expand this initiative to more courses we offer. Our Earn-While-You-Learn Programme allows undergraduate students to help in the library, computer centre, and in grading assignments, and provides financial

help in return. With the aim of developing strong links with other engineering colleges, we have introduced the Summer Research Fellowships. This facilitates faculty members of other engineering colleges to spend their summer vacations at IIT Gandhinagar and collaborate on research with our teachers. A Non-Degree Programme enables students of other colleges (and industry personnel for the part-time courses) to take up credit courses at IIT Gandhinagar on a full-time or part-time basis for a semester. We have also introduced a compulsory viva-voce to identify the talents and weaknesses of undergraduate students soon after they join, and encourage them to hone their skills and address areas of concern. December 2011 EduTEch


New IITs

by a prabhakar rao


Moving out of the Shadows Prof Damodar acharya, Director of iiT Kharagpur, also his alma mater, quells the myth that the new crop of IITs is in any way inferior to the ‘august’ group of seven


he general perception is that the new IITs are working under the shadow of the older institutions, and therefore, are not as good as the latter. This is not true. They are standing on their own feet, albeit functioning from transit campuses and facilities but with their own senate and administrative set-up. They are free to offer programmes of their choice. The director of the mentor IIT is now simply an invited member. Certainly, the new institutes are facing a host of challenges, but these are temporary, and will be overcome in a decade, which is considered the maturity period for any new institution. The focus of educational programmes and course content at the



December 2011

undergraduate level in the new IITs is at par with the older institutes. On the positive side, the new IITs have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of their mentors. For instance, academic departments in the older IITs hamper interdisciplinary research. IIT Bhubaneswar has not followed this model, and created schools instead. Its School of Electrical Sciences can offer several degree programmes such as Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, and Instrumentation Engineering. This alternate set-up promotes interdisciplinary education and research. The newer IITs are also constructing multi storeyed structures at the outset, even as the older institutions face severe space crunch and are demolishing and

rebuilding various single storey structures that are beyond repair. One common factor to both new and old IITs is the paucity of funds and infrastructure available for research and postgraduate education. Funds for core teaching and research activities per student are grossly inadequate to meet the national aspiration of producing 10,000 PhDs (compared to the little over 1,000 of the old IITs) and having about 12,000 students on each campus, of which half should be postgraduate and research students (as recommended by the Kakodkar Committee). Available grants must be spent on both core and non-core activities, of which the latter comprise a substantial part. Hopefully, things will improve in future and help take brand IIT to the next level.

By raj verma




December 2011

Partners in research

Partners in research research labs across India are buzzing, thanks to a greater synergy between universities and companies bY shalini gupta

December 2011 EduTEch



ndustry and academia can no longer operate in seclusion, especially when it comes to research. A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) titled, Science Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2011, clearly elucidates that “The production of scientific knowledge is shifting from individuals to groups, from single to multiple institutions, and from a national to an international scope, suggesting that a positive relationship exists between measures of research collaboration and scientific impact.” High on talent, but with the lowest researcher base globally, and a meagre number of people employed in Science and Technology (S&T), India is inching towards bridging this gap. R&D companies, universities and research institutions abroad are coming together to groom, hire and motivate students to pursue a career in research.

supporting talent at universities Uma Sawant was working as a research engineer with Yahoo! Labs, Bangalore, till mid 2011. Today, this postgraduate from IIT Bombay is pursuing a full time PhD at her alma mater. She was among the two employees selected as part of the Yahoo! Coop programme (launched in 2010) to pursue research in the internet sphere. For talented researchers like her, there is a beeline of

“We aim to expose students to challenging research problems and get them interested so that they are motivated to pursue a fulfilling career” —Manish gupta

Director, IBm research, India



December 2011

companies who want to groom them further. Says Manish Gupta, Director, IBM Research, India, “We aim to expose students to challenging research problems and get them interested so that they are motivated to pursue a fulfilling career in the field.” IBM Research gives grants to universities as part of its Shared University Research (SUR) programme, to support research in high computing and networks, and has over 100 universities, including NITs and IITs, in its University Relations programme. HP Labs India has been offering PhD fellowships in collaboration with BITS Pilani since 2009 to those interested in pursuing research in information and communication technologies (ICT). For its 2011 PhD fellowships for doctoral research in computer science and related areas, Microsoft Research India (established in 2006), received a record 70 applications, the highest ever, and instituted an additional sixth fellowship. Even at Yahoo!, the competition was tough between the final two candidates. There is a growing number of research aspirants, more so with fellowships that take care of the monetary aspects, given the fact that research is time intensive. Yahoo! Labs offers a stipend of Rs 1 lakh per month for the Yahoo! Coop programme, an incentive to attract the best talent. “We offer five times what students would get if they pursue research at an IIT or IISc,” says Rajeev Rastogi, Vice President and Head, Yahoo! Labs.

Companies rev up hiring phDs Ten years ago there were only a handful of companies operating in the R&D space such as Texas Instruments and GE Research. However, today there are 705 MNCs in the R&D space in India with 35 per cent of them in the software sector followed by telecom, semiconductor, industrial automation and biotechnology, informs Chaitan-

Partners in research

ya Ramalingegowda, Director, Zinnov Management Consulting. And a lot of these companies are no longer doing only transactional work out of India, but moving up the value chain, and working to build sites in India as research centres. Hence, attracting technically qualified staff is imperative. Applied Materials, which works in the solar and semiconductor space in India, has been hiring PhDs for the last two years. “What really excites PhDs is working on cutting-edge research and technology, rather than regular design and coding oriented projects. They bring specific technical competencies to the table and we pay special attention to aligning their PhD thesis with the needs of our ongoing projects during the hiring process,” says Abhay Singh, Director, HR, Applied Materials, India. Increasing employability along with competitive pay packages, opportunities to work on pioneering research projects along with greater exposure to the research community (in terms of conference attendance and papers published) are some of the reasons why students opt for jobs with MNCs. The proof lies in the fact that there was a 27 per cent increase in the number of students who opted for jobs in the R&D sector at IIT Bombay. And it is not just PhDs from IITs and IISc who are getting hired. “Companies are going beyond Tier I universities in search of talent which can be groomed further,” echoes Ramalingegowda.


university research park: a Collaborative Model


hat is your view on university-academia collaboration in India? The level of interaction between Tier I academic institutes and industry is not as high as in universities abroad. It is when industry plays a strong role in shaping the contours of applied research taken up within universities, that the potential of coming up with industry-relevant research output is higher. What is the current state of research —sandhya shekhar in India? CeO, IIT madras research Park India spends 0.8 per cent of its GDP on R&D out of which 80 per cent comes from the government and the rest from the private sector. Even within the private sector more patents are being filed by MNCs as compared to Indian companies with more investment in R&D (both money and resources). are research parks a better collaborative model? University Research Parks have proven to be successful models for collaborative research and creation of IP. They create the ecosystem required for a more intensive engagement between industry and academia. Over 1,000 examples exist of such collaborations in the Silicon Valley, MIT, North Carolina Research Triangle, etc., with 200 in China alone.

needed: a proactive approach It is not only companies that are gearing up to tap scientific talent directly. Aca-

“What really excites PhDs is working on cutting-edge research and technology, rather than regular design and coding oriented projects” —sandhya shekhar

CeO, IIT madras research Park

demic institutions too are realising the need to up the ante. These include foreign university tie-ups, exchange programmes and even dual degree programmes like the IIT Bombay Monash Research Academy. Set up in 2008, a part of the programme sees PhD students visit Monash University, Australia, for a fully funded stay of six months to a year. Mohan Krishnamurthy, CEO of the Academy, makes a point when he says, “Collaborations should be exploring mechanisms for students to stay.” IIT Madras, on the other hand is trying out a new model. It has set up the first university-based research park in the country with the support of the state government, the Union Ministry of HRD, and IIT alumni. “The primary motivation for the research park was to focus on developing a strong portfolio of products, technologies and capabilities to address December 2011 EduTEch



Partners in research

“We offer five times what students would get if they pursue research at an IIT or IISc” —rajeev rastogi

vP & Head, yahoo! Labs real problems through collaborative research between industry and academia. Doing real life projects with companies on campus, students will be exposed early on to challenging prob-



December 2011

lems”, says Sandhya Shekhar, Chief Executive Officer of the park. With such developments on the horizon, the future certainly looks promising for scientific research, but a cautionary

approach is advisable. Many feel that it will take time and investment for Indian researchers to be exposed to different ways of thinking, communicating better and developing new ideas. More postdoctoral fellowships would serve as an incentive to pursue PhDs, feels Prof Shiva Prasad, Dean Academic Affairs, IIT Bombay. And of course, comparisons are inevitable. “Although there is a greater visibility of papers by IITs and IISc in international journals as well as increased citations and representation at international conferences, we still lag behind other countries, notably China”, says Prof Soumen Chakrabarti of IIT Bombay. Perhaps the picture will change over the next few years. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at


Engineering Education in India

Engineering Education in India The Looming Predicament When the time comes to provide manpower for knowledge economy, the academia would be found wanting again by brig (dr) rs grewal, Vsm (retd), Vc, chitkara UniVersity (hP)



December 2011



Engineering Education in India

here has been exponential growth in the engineering education sector in India during the past two decades. The number of engineering colleges has grown to more than 3,500 with a capacity to admit almost 1.1 million students annually. This skewed demand and supply situation, where the number of institutions far exceeds the requirement, has resulted in a large number of seats in various colleges remaining vacant.

real concerns

However, the main concern should not be the number of seats for Bachelorlevel programmes going unfilled. Rather, the real challenges that should be bothering the policy planners are the fact that Masters and doctorate-level programmes are not the preferred choice of the students. Further, there are


very few takers for programmes dealing with basic sciences. The problem gets aggravated due to the average or below par quality of technical institutions in the country. The acute shortage of faculty also compounds this dismal scenario. Recent reports indicate that some of the elite technical institutions are facing faculty shortage to the extent of 30 to 40 per cent. A study published in the AIU Journal (January 06-12, 2003) had estimated that the shortage of faculty with doctorate level qualifications is likely to persist for the next 20 years or so. But if we consider the pace of expansion in the engineering education sector during the past decade, the shortfall may not be made up in the next 30 years. The study had also

250 200 150

Graduate Engineers 100 50 0 1940








Year Fig. 1: Number of graduate engineers in India per million population

December 2011 EduTEch



Engineering Education in India

predicted that the country would not be in a position to produce 75,000 to 80,000 MTech degree holders by the year 200607. Obviously, the situation has worsened in the past few years. As per a study carried out by Rangan Banerjee and Vinayak Muley on behalf of IIT Bombay, the number of students in India graduating with a Bachelor degree per year in 2006 was about 2.37 lakh. It would now have gone up to 3.5 lakh. When compared with the size of the population, the number of graduate engineers per million population in India had grown from one in 1947 to about 213 in 2006 (See Figure 1). Thus, in India, as against almost 350,000 students who completed their Bachelor’s degree in engineering in 2008, only about 23,000 students obtained their Masters degree. A majority of these 23,000 were not fresh graduates but university or college teachers who acquired postgraduate qualifications for career progression. The problem is much more acute when we consider the number of students who go on to get their doctorate in

engineering. Table 1 gives the comparative details of students acquiring postgraduate and doctoral level degrees in engineering in India and in the USA. The irony is further compounded by the fact that a postgraduate degree in engineering has come to be seen as more of a ‘disqualification’ than an asset. It is borne out by the fact that the average salary offered to a Bachelor’s degree holder from the IITs is annually almost Rs 1 lakh more than that offered to a Masters degree holder from the same institution. It does not reflect on the quality of teaching in the IITs but on the quality of input of students who opt for postgraduate studies there. The problem with the PhDs produced is equally acute. Though India produced approximately 1,100 PhDs in engineering disciplines in 2008, the quality of the research work leaves much to be desired. It would not be an exaggeration to say that most of these are ‘sympathy’ PhDs given away to help career progression of the awardees.

low-tech needs The reason for the above state of affairs

is not very difficult to find. The quality of manpower produced by academic institutions in a country is directly dependent on the requirements of society. India is basically a low-tech society that is largely dependent on import of technological innovations. Thus, R&D activities invariably take a backseat. Since the liberalisation process that was ushered in the 1990s, India’s economy has been expanding at a very fast pace. The industry needs engineers to keep the processes operative. Even the Indian IT industry is known more for the repetitive nature of its work, rather than any original innovations. Such jobs do not require problem solvers or creative thinkers. The examination-centric education system, therefore, though not desirable can still meet the demands of the industry. Thus, the students are enticed away by the industry immediately after they complete their Bachelor’s degree. As a matter of fact, short-term profit motive inhibits R&D investments by the industry. Another crucial factor is the motivation level of the students. Role model technologists and scientists are conspicuous by


200000 Bachelor 1947 - 2006

Masters 1947 - 2006




0 1940




Fig. 2: Comparison of output — Bachelor vs Masters in India



December 2011





Engineering Education in India




Students in Engineering (Masters)

23000 (2008)

35000 (2003)

Percentage of students in Engineering (Bachelor)



Students in Engineering (PhDs)

Approx 1100


Table 1: Students graduating at Master and Doctoral levels

their absence from the Indian scenario, unlike the large number of managerial experts in India who have won accolades globally for their pioneering work. Poor academic infrastructure and lack of suitable intellectual capital has had its impact on the type of engineers being produced by technical institutions. Theory-based curricula with hardly any emphasis on application-oriented teaching fails to meet the intellectual aspirations of the students. The pedagogy does not encourage creativity and there is no effort made to produce problem solvers.

Finding the right Faculty Even if the curricula are somehow redesigned, the faculty, which is a product of the examination-oriented system in majority of the institutions, may not be able to deliver it. Thus, first of all there is a need to train the faculty. Another factor that has had an adverse effect on the availability of quality faculty is the wide fluctuation in the demands of the industry. During the late 1990s, there was a huge demand for IT professionals which died down when the dotcom bubble burst. Thereafter, there was a mad scramble for electronics and communications disciplines. And, now with the infrastructure sector expanding fast the students are making a beeline for civil engineering programmes. Since such fluctuating demands could not be fore-

seen, the academia has not been able to produce faculty in adequate numbers. There is a lead time of at least 10 to 12 years required to produce qualified and experienced faculty. Wide disparity in compensation packages offered by the industry and the academic institutions is another inhibiting factor.

time for life sciences Indian universities have so far neglected knowledge creation and technical institutions are not producing problem solvers. There is an acute famine of faculty. As brought out earlier, the applied sciences disciplines are not attracting many students and very soon the academia would also not be able to find faculty in these disciplines either. However, Indian industry has come of age and very soon the knowledge economy would demand personnel with skills to fill the slots in R&D. Similarly, it is said that the 21st century is going to be the century of life sciences. However, Indian universities have not done any serious work to meet these challenges. Thus, when the time comes to provide manpower for knowledge economy and for disciplines in life sciences, the academia would be found wanting again. Therefore, the time to act is now, before it is too late. There is a need for a multi-pronged strategy involving all stakeholders. Soci-

ety needs to change its mindset. The students and parents need to be educated on the advantages that would accrue with careers that demand application of knowledge and creative thinking. It basically boils down to a debate between jobsecurity and career growth. Academia needs to indulge in more forward thinking. Employment of mentor-professors who could train the faculty is the need of the hour. Faculty development progammes on the lines of those being conducted by Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE) and WIPRO’s mission 10X would go a long way to help in improving the quality of the faculty. The industry can help in this direction by demanding problem solvers and laying emphasis on creative work. It is only through joint effort by society, academia and industry that India can become a major power at the global level in the 21st century. It is time to take out our engineering education from the morass of mediocrity.

Brigadier (Dr) RS Grewal, VSM (Retired),Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University (HP) Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at December 2011 EduTEch



by radhakrIshna


“We want to raise the competence of the graduate population in India� Srikantan Moorthy, Senior Vice President and Group head, Education and research, infosys technologies, shares information on the various initiatives of the company to engage with academia 36


December 2011


infosys is actively involved with academia in various fields. what generated your interest in indian higher education? The founders of Infosys have been very clear that competence is a key differentiator for our industry. In the early days, they themselves used to conduct classes. Let me tell you about what we do to raise competence and who we do it for. To begin with, our focus is on competence for people across three stages. First is engaging with students to help them become industry ready even before they graduate. We do this by working with engineering colleges, sharing with the faculty some of the work that we do and getting them to conduct programmes for students in their institutions. For instance, the campus connect programme has been running for the last six years in 400 colleges, about 5,000 faculty have been engaged, more than 100,000 students have been trained; not necessarily to join Infosys but to make a difference to the graduate population in India in general. The second aspect of competence building is for fresh graduates who join Infosys and the third aspect of competence development is about continuous education. what is the campus connect Programme and how can institutions participate in it? This is an industry-academy programme. It is about making students industry relevant. The programme primarily works with the faculty and reaches the students through them and that is how we believe it can become sustainable. It is for the institutions to decide whether they want to be part of the programme, bur then there are certain criteria at our end also. Every year we conduct conclaves in various regions all over India where we invite institutions to participate and interact with us to help them decide whether they want to join the programme. If they feel it is relevant for them, they can sign up for free. So that is the starting point. Once they become campus connect partners, they get access to our content and the faculty

gets an exposure to the methods that we use in our classrooms. They can then take those methods further when they conduct programmes for their students. None of this is about the students opting to join Infosys. It is about helping institutions speed up to reach industry requirements and raise the employability of their students. Most often the institution’s faculty comes to one of our development centres to go through the programme. The other aspect of the programme is that the faculty also has the opportunity to join us for a sabbatical. Every year, we create a score card for the institution to see how well it is doing and what it is doing. Based on that score-card, both the institution and we can take a decision on whether it makes sense to continue our association.

Please tell us more about how sabbaticals for the faculty work. do they start working for infosys or is it some other arrangement? Not necessarily, but they can look at projects that may interest them at Infosys. It is more about getting exposure to the industry. We also have a sort of reservoir of resources for faculty of partner institutions, to help them track trends and changes in technology. We involve the institutions in creating their own electives which they can rollout in their institutions for the students. A lot depends on the level of engagement that the institution, management and the faculty want to have within their institution. This also determines how far our relationship grows. We also provide students access to content on our portal. do the faculty get paid during this sabbatical? This programme is open to both private and government institutions and the faculty could also get paid. so what kind of participation do you see? is there a pattern in terms of how many government and private institutions join? I have not looked at it from that segmentation perspective. I think we have a good mix. There is a lot of interest and


participation from different segments.

the programme also got you an award this year. could you tell us about it? Yes, it won the 12th Annual Corporate University (CorpU) Xchange Awards 2011 in the Excellence and Innovation category. The CorpU awards were presented at the Global Leadership Conference, a three-day executive education conference by the University of Pennsylvania and CorpU in May this year. you also have a programme called spark. is it also similar to campus connect? Spark is slightly different. While Campus Connect is a long-term engagement, Spark is a one-day engagement where students from a neighbouring institution visit Infosys. Volunteers from Infosys run this programme and take them around our campus. Spark is not an acronym, it is literally about igniting a spark. It is about raising aspirations for today’s students and igniting their interest in engineering. what other plans do you have to connect with students? We have started a new initiative, Aspirations2020 — involving engineering and MCA students — to enable students from India to participate in global programming contests held by the Association for Computing Machinery. This way, we will get students to develop problem solving skills. Aspirations2020 will also help students to benchmark themselves against their peers. do you also have any programmes for the nonengineering colleges? Yes, we have Project Genesis for graduate schools, to help students become more employable. This initiative focusses on creating awareness in Tier II and III towns about career options in the BPO sector. Language enhancement and analytical skill classes are held free of cost by facilitators trained and certified by the British Council. This raises the confidence of graduates and prepares them for joining the industry. December 2011 EduTEch



Stephan Thieringer

Stephan thieringer Current enGAGeMent: President and CEO, AcrossWorld

exeCutive Committee Member, Open Educational Resources for Cancer Previous enGAGeMent: COO, Giunti Labs PrinCiPAl And Founder: Pecon Limited



December 2011

by SubhojiT paul

MeMber Global Advisory Board, Open Knowledge Initiative

Stephan Thieringer


Where the WOrld’s a ClassrOOm:

Open COntent Stephan Thieringer, Co-founder & CEo of acrossWorld Education — the company that is creating an ecosystem for both creators and users of open content, explains why global access to education resources is critical

By SmiTa PoliTe edu: Please explain the concept of open education? Stephan Thieringer: It is global access to resources which is available to anybody who wants to use it for educational consumption. These resources have been made available by leading institutions and educators across the world. Based on proper licensing and release of those licences, they can be used by anyone, as long as the original source is quoted. Why did you think there was need for a company like acrossWorld to help access open resources? While people are generally aware of what open resources and open education is all about, there’s no good way of using and filtering open content. We wanted to empower institutions to harness this technology. Rather than just building the technology to facilitate the use of open content, my vision is to create an ecosystem and a global marketplace for open content, where to a user it’s just technology that’s useful. Who cares how it works? It’s like turning on the light switch. You get into a room and switch on the light — you don’t need to know the principle of light to be December 2011 EduTEch



Stephan Thieringer

able to switch on the light and use it. I want to make it that simple and ubiquitous. AcrossWorld, from an infrastructural point of view, and delivery platform, is agnostic. We are, at the end of the day, a delivery platform. Think of us as ‘Intel Inside’. We don’t intend to reinvent the wheel. Our name doesn’t need to be on the front door, but we need to be driving the engine (read the open content, access, educational resources).

Aren’t the people who were at the forefront of the Open Education Movement against the idea of commercialising it? Well, they are and then they are not. We are one of the few commercial companies who are a member of OpenCourseWareConsortium. One of our board members is Mike (Marshall) Smith, who is the former US Education Under Secretary. He was also the founding and funding director at Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT — where the open courseware movement kind of began 10 years ago. So, historically we have a very good understanding of what open courseware entails, along with what open content, access and educational resources are. It’s important to understand that open access and content does not mean free; it is a common mistake that people make. However, open educational resources, by definition and as far as it relates to licensing, means free. So there’s a distinct difference. If you look at sustainability of open content and you look at the business models which need to support them then I think it makes complete sense. What brings you to india? We are not a company that’s exploring India. We are not AcrossWorld (US) who comes to India and delivers a parachute. We are AcrossWorld Education Private Limited: a Delhi-based Indian infrastructure delivery platform with offices in Mangalore, Kolkata and Chennai. We commercially launched in April this year. We took long to commercially launch. But when we did, it was clear to me that education in India had become a



December 2011

hot spot. Secondly, there were a lot of people in education who have done a great job. And that there was a place for their products in the market.

How did the idea of acrossWorld come about? Some 12-13 years ago, I was one of the few people to start a ‘learning management systems company’ on the premise of an application service provider (ASP) model, and then nobody wanted ASP. They said what’s that? Now it’s called software as a service (SaaS) and suddenly it’s acceptable, everyone wants it and it’s really in. Between 2005 and 2006, I sold-off the venture to a very traditional Italian publishing firm. As the firm’s COO, over a period of time, I learnt that as a company you need to make a decision to focus. You can either be a platform or content. You can’t be both. When you look at learning and the space of learning content, strategy is important. In 2007, I started a group called Open Educational Resources for Cancer (OERC), a non-profit organisation, with Anil Srivastava, who’s one of the cofounders of this company as well. Srivastava who was with NASSCOM, said to me, “Why don’t we think of a model for cancer and build around it?” We hit upon the idea of a contributory member model, where institutes contribute content and also access it by paying a contributory fee. We knew we had a sustainable business model. In 2009, he introduced me to Sam Pitroda. I met him in Chicago. We spoke about building a sustainable company based on the principles of open content, which we believed would work especially well in developing countries. How is the acrossWorld technology different from an lmS ? I believe that LMSes are transitional, while content is where the action is. It needs to be engineered properly. If engineered properly, one can do whatever one wants with it: put it in on the PC, Ma c , Ta b l e t o r t h e u b i q u i t o u s mobile phone. Our objective is to provide students,

teachers and educators a platform of delivery and infrastructure. Our intention is to give students a sense of ownership over their education. Curriculum for AcrossWorld stands for two things — knowledge or information (which goes back to a book or the digital media) and pedagogy (which involves a teacher and one-on-one interaction and the question of how would I relate to you a piece of content so that you walk away and still retain it). Our concentration is on content. I want to build a company which is a mixture of and redhat which is the linux model. I would like to employ the crowd to make the content viral while we process some of the content which comes off the open space into our repository while we are searching the federation of all the other open content repositories, and it doesn’t mean US-based, it means globally-based.I think a lot of people in the US have an imperialist view of education in India. They think US-based education is the best.

you don’t agree with them? No. If you ask me where I would educate my child today, I would say that I will send my child to India for the first 12 years, because they learn the rigour and how to study in discipline; undergraduate probably Europe; and graduate probably in the US. They are good with graduate degrees in the US because they apply critical thinking. What students learn in 11th and 12th grade here is what US kids learn in the IInd and IIIrd years of college. When you look at the quality and reputation of teachers in India, I think what teachers deserve is better empowerment. At a national level, there’s nothing much being done to support teachers to be better prepared for the classroom. is there an opportunity in this challenge? Yes we are looking at the community teaching model to help apply better teaching and learning resources for the teacher. We are working, for example, with the California State University and

Stephan Thieringer


Open educational resources, by definition, and as far as it relates to licensing, means free conceptualising projects at the University of Lucknow. Quality of teaching — how can we affect it? That’s the latest question. According to a UNESCO report, globally eight million teachers are needed. While the attrition of teachers is six million over the next five years. So you technically need 14 million teachers, while India alone will require one million. So teachers’ training will be imperative. Recently, AcrossWorld went to a school in rural India. I was carrying my iPad and the school principal felt that he needed a 100 of those. It led us to put our heads together and come up with an Android app which helps a teacher upload content onto our platform and then, at the same time, open educational resources and search what we have on our system (more than 20,000 assets) and also any of the repositories (MERLOT, Rice University, UK Open, the Netherlands, University of Delft, MIT). The Android apps allows one to choose, pick, drag and drop information, put it in buckets or playlists, and find interestbased recommendations. A teacher can take these items to a classroom or print them out or assign it to students on to a Tablet.

We have partnerships with six companies who manufacture Tablets. We are working with universities such as NIIT University. Dr Shorey of NIIT is looking at ways we work and giving us his feedback. Like open source, the more people participate the more powerful it becomes. In a country the size of India, there’s a need to work locally. Even if AcrossWorld creates content in Delhi it needs to be created in 30 languages, because that knowledge has to be relevant across the country: in every region, state or city. Today we only do English, but just last week I was in Chennai where there’s a foundation that has 40,000 schools and a million students and follows Rabindranath Tagore’s methodology of teaching.What these teachers need is local support. So what we are now talking about is 400 centres of excellence all over the country, supplying content from a central point in Chennai into those centres where teachers once every month come together and get the information and go back to use it. Then in the centre we need people to translate all that into local languages and make it relevant across every area where we are supplying it — that’s what infrastructure delivery platform is all about.

What are the partnerships that acrossWorld has recently built?

How do you validate content? There are a couple of ways of doing it.

Firstly we look into repositories which have a period of usage system in place already, say MERLOT of California State University. We also use technology which allows rating, recommendation and review. And every transaction shows the user affiliated results. We have an algorithm underneath every content programme and the ‘most crowdsourced’ content shows up in a rating. People using it rate it, so you have access to all the user experiences.

do you have to train the faculty to adopt the system? The biggest challenge is indeed the adoption strategy. An example I often quote is that in India, parking garages have attendants and valets to facilitate parking, and who hand parking tickets to you. In the US and Europe and elsewhere, you not only park your car but also take the parking ticket yourself. An education leader wishing to be a catalyst for change must find the right person to train people to adopt the system. We have the right guys — our learning (helps put the procedure, systems in place), and academic leaders (who regulate the content), to help us train people. And it’s always important for us to establish that we are, at the end of the day, an Indian entity. That helps people trust us better. December 2011 EduTEch


TECHNOLOGY 46 Tech TuTeS: iPad apps for annotating PDFs

43-47 Tech SniPPeT: Tehnology news and Tips and Tricks

Print it Right EDU brings to you the issues to consider for an efficient green printing strategy by TushaR KanwaR

By shigil n


ven as the wheels of our education system turn slowly in the direction of an all-digital paperless future, the reality and importance of printing in the day-to-day activities of the administrator and the student’s life cannot be understated. Reports, certificates, marketing material, teaching collateral, memos and circulars, official records — the list is seemingly endless. Without the right printing strategy in place, an institution’s printing investments and running costs can threaten to spiral, not to mention the yet unforeseen (for most) ecological impact. How do you, as heads of institutions, make the right choices that safeguard not only your

Printing in higher Education


TECH SNippET | iCloud

a hard Drive in the sky at the end of October, Apple launched its iCloud service that offered Apple users the opportunity to sync pictures, e-mail and documents across all Apple devices. The service is free for subscribers up till 5 GB of storage. The people at Apple pointed out that this was sufficient since mail, documents, camera roll, account information, settings and other such apps don’t use that much space. Customers who need more storage can purchase a storage upgrade straight from the device. The iCloud also includes a programme that allows users to locate iPhones and iPod Touch music players remotely. In November users reported ‘disruptions’ in the services.

future investments into the printing domain but regularise and course-correct existing investments? We spoke to leading solution providers to look at the important considerations and choices you have to make when formalising your own efficient and green printing strategy.

should we worry? If we take a moment to draw a parallel with the corporate sector, the results are startling. An InfoTrends study in 2006 found that organisations perceived that they spend an average of three per cent of their annual revenues on printing, copying and fax-related costs, whereas the actual figure for overall document expenditures (including hardware, supplies and ‘people’ costs) averaged six per cent of annual revenues across all industries. Reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) is critical — institutions need to factor not just the initial cost of document management solution but also the associative operational cost over the life of the s y s t e m . Ev e n m o r e recently, a 2011 survey of Public CIOs and IT professionals from government technology sector showed that 79 per cent of survey participants are currently unable to identify their total printing

costs. While it’s true that these results may be specific to a select audience, the trend is key here, and lessons apply equally to the education sector as any other. In fact, as Nitin Hiranandani, Director, LaserJet Enterprise Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP India, points out, many of the largest cost components of document output are often hidden and grow over time. These include costs associated with device proliferation, device underutilisation, multiple disparate print architectures (which do not interact or mesh well with each other), multiple print drivers and of course, energy drain. Hiranandani recommends each institution conduct a careful analysis with these factors in mind, since management of these components can produce dramatic savings in imaging and printing costs for institutions of all sizes.

how to Go about It


CIOs and IT professionals in government sector in a 2011 survey unable to identify total printing costs

It’s clear that printing costs are real, and while it’s easy to call in the experts like folks from HP, Canon or Samsung to rethink your printing strategy, due diligence and internal analysis of your demands from the printing infrastructure is critical before the first consultant comes on board. Best practices sug-

gest that device consolidation should be considered whenever an organisation’s user-to-device ratios fall below 10:1, towards avoiding excessive expenditures associated with equipment redundancy, such as IT support (networking, help desk), consumables (acquisition, storage) and real estate (footprint). A direct effect of device proliferation is tremendous underutilisation. For example many heavy-duty copiers available in the market typically are capable of producing 15,000 to 45,000 pages per month, but data (collected by HP) suggested that the average copier in the US actually produces fewer than 8,000 pages per month! Consider this — is your institute catering for much more copying and printing capacity than you actually need? Adequate thought also needs to be given to future-proofing your investment, and large vendors today offer printers that have update capabilities for new features that will be available in the future. For example, HP FutureSmart equipped enterprise devices are designed to evolve with the technologies of the future, which is, in a sense, an assurance for your institute that your devices would not become obsolete with the next technology wave, and will instead adapt and evolve.

MFDs vs Desktop Printers? Multifunction devices (MFDs), as the name suggests, combine features of two December 2011 EduTEch



Printing in higher Education

TECH SNippET | Music

Google Online store shot in the arm for Music students’ style a good news for music students and teachers — Google launched its ‘music service’ called ‘These Go to Eleven’, end of November, 2011, at Los Angeles, US. The Google Music Store has features such as an MP3 music store with a direct connection to its social network Google+. The online service store features licenced tracks from major music labels — for now it’s mostly international labels. In a similar launch, Google had started its Google Music Beta in May 2011.

or more devices, typically a scanner and a printer, possibly even a fax machine, into a single device. Not only do they make optimal utilisation of space, but also are ideal for departments or smaller locations where the volume of imaging tasks (scanning/copying) is low, and can replace the proliferation of several printers on individual’s desktops. Quite naturally, you should expect resistance from the users — many will complain that they will have to walk and collect documents, that security levels would not be as good, etc. Many of these concerns can be addressed via technology and coaching correct printing habits by showing the direct linkage in cost control and profits, especially in senior members of the staff and administration. Bear in mind, it is still very rare to find printing implementations that are completely on MFDs alone, and clever application of technology can help mitigate the perpage costs of desktop printers in situations where an MFD is not acceptable.

are we secure? Centralising your print infrastructure naturally brings up security concerns — if left unmanaged, these can compromise security and confidentiality of the print documents. If any of the following stacks of unclaimed print jobs, sensitive documents left unattended, print jobs routed to an inappropriate device or a device in another location — sound



December 2011

Similar to Amazon’s Cloud Player, Google Music allows users to upload their favourite music and store it online. The music can also be streamed to the user’s PC or Android devices. Google’s Music service also comes with an offline functionality, by making recently played tracks available offline. The service provider will also offer free licenced tracks to users and offer a weekly newsletter with downloads of new tracks that can be added to the store.

familiar to you, you should strongly consider a vendor that factors in elements of a secure printing approach. For example, vendors offer a feature like secure pull printing that allows users to dynamically print to the network and ‘pull’ jobs to any enabled device. What it achieves is a virtual elimination of unclaimed documents while simultaneously reduces IT administrative burdens. Combined with features like authentication at the print terminal via a swipe card or a user passcode, you can ensure that nothing is

printed (or wasted) until the owner authenticates the job on the printer. Managed Print Services (associated diagram at File:Target_diagram.png ) Another key consideration can be whether your institute would like to ‘outsource’ the printing capabilities to the vendor via what vendors refer to as their Managed Print Services(MPS). Whether you speak to a Canon or an HP or a Samsung, each of them can offer an MPS strategy that consolidates on-site printers,

Printing in higher Education


TECH SNippET | E-mail

E-mails Just Got Faster, Thanks to bsnL bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has collaborated with Bharat Berry Technologies to provide ‘push email services’ for all its GSM mobile subscribers across India. Push e-mail provides an ‘always-on capability’ helping e-mails to be actively transferred. The mobile communication service Bharat Berry works with most of the mobile phones and provides an advanced push e-mail with over the air backup of the user’s contacts, tasks, calendar and notes. BSNL is targeting this service for all range of handsets carrying BlackBerry, Symbian, Android, Windows

MFPs, copiers and fax fleet management with a variety of flexible options, from basic cost-per-page contracts to comprehensive service engagements. As a decision-maker, you get complete visibility on device usage across your campus via convenient metrics based dashboards, so you can accurately monitor, measure and control excesses at the point of origin. In addition, institutions get the added benefits of a consolidated billing statement, proactive fleet maintenance and automatic software upgrades and environment optimisation throughout the contract period. Some vendors even conduct period assessments to make recommendations about changes you can effect in the print infrastructure to meet growing demands like, for instance, if you’re regularly exceeding the initial estimates of print pages. Depending on your implementation scale, the savings in TCO through an MPS solution range from anywhere between 10 to 30 per cent.

user sensitisation Careless or thoughtless printing places heavy budgetary burden on educational institutions, and there are many ways that administrators and IT staff can make users sensitive to the costs. Apart from initiatives like pull printing and factoring in print usage in measuring department efficiency (via MPS solutions), technology can help define rules for each user. For example, HP’s Access

Mobile and J2ME that will cover major mobile handsets. It would also work with Microsoft Outlook on user’s computer. BSNL is offering one-month free trial of Bharat Berry services to its subscribers. As the mobile data connectivity is improving and data usage is growing, customers are looking for push e-mail solution on their mobile handsets as a productivity tool.

Control Intelligent Print Management (IPM) solution allows institutes to capture users’ print behaviour and provide them with notifications regarding their usage, or place page limits per user — small initiatives that make users think before they print. In the background, user access can be controlled and directed to specific printers, so that marketing departments have access to rich colour prints for collateral, while others have access to the high-volume capabilities and speed they need. Vendor managed solutions also let you specify duplex or two-sided printing in draft mode as the default mode for printing, leading to savings on paper and consumables costs.

Going Green Our responsibility to the environment and to the world we leave to our children is non-negotiable, and one of the key ways of going green for your institute is via the implementation of a green printing strategy. What’s more, a green printing strategy is not a financial burden — far from it, in fact as you will realise during roll-out. You can keep the following steps in mind when planning to go green with the printer infrastructure. l Reduce Paper Usage: set your printers to print two-sided by default, cutting your paper consumption by as high as 50 per cent. l Recycle wasted paper, and if possible, purchase paper from vendors which use

sustainable materials in the paper they sell. l Buy printers and MFDs with intelligent power saving modes or those that come with the Energy Star certification. EnergyStar equipment is sometimes made from renewable resources and also uses less energy than your conventional equipment. l Ask your vendor for a recycling programme for consumables. Samsung, for example, runs a programme in select countries called STAR (Samsung Takeback and Recycling). Essentially a free service, Samsung collects empty print cartridges, safely recycles them, converting them into useful materials and thereby ensuring they are not incinerated or sent to landfills. l Eschew printing in favour of online marketing, wherever possible.

Further Reading 1. Liverpool John Moores University’s Print Strategy - 2. Los Angeles Trade-Technical College’s Print Strategy - 3. Case Studies from the Education Sector (HP) - and Eco Solutions -

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Printing in higher Education

Tech TuTeS Apps For iPad

iPad apps for annotating PDFs


f you’ve given in and bought yourset a photo on the docuself an iPad over the past couple ment or record an audio of months — and we know many note along with the docuof you have — isn’t it time that ment. And unlike a lot of you start moving some of your other applications that only work to it so you can leave the laptop let you draw on top of a behind? Let’s start with a common PDF, iAnnotate fully inteannotating PDFs has been made easy with request — annotating PDFs or Word. grates its annotations these apps that you can download on your iPad docs or correcting documents that studirectly into the PDF so dents or faculty send for your review. that they will be available to Traditionally PDFs are read-only or printany standard PDF reader like Adobe app is its support for a large number of only media, so annotating them requires Reader later. formats — MS Office (.doc, .ppt, .xls), specific software on the iPad as well. GoodReader for iPad ($4.99/http://bit. high resolution images and audio/video. Let’s look at some of the alternatives that ly/uJsKUS): Call it the jack-of-all-trades Even compressed zip files can be opened exist. for document management, because within the application for you to edit the iAnnotate ($9.99/ that is what GoodReader is. Not only can contents within. In addition, it comes Apart from its PDF reader capabilities, you access the documents from your with a WiFi file-sharing capability to iAnnotate lets you work on your PDFs in cloud accounts or the web, GoodReader transfer documents to your computer. a variety of ways. You can open docueven goes one step better by allowing PDF Expert ($9.99/ emailed to you, open them via you to add your email account, giving 6vR): It covers all the usual bases with cloud services such as Dropbox, or even you access to attachments embedded PDF files, but brings two unique feadownload them from the web with the deep in your mail archives. Once your tures to the table that may just seal the built in browser. Once in the app, the document is loaded into GoodReader, deal for you. First, the app supports editing options are probayou get the same capable inserting your hand-signed signature bly one of the most varied tools to markup or edit into forms and documents, very handy if — you can leave a sticky your document such as you regularly need to sign off on docuREaDER ROI note, or use a pencil to lines, arrows, boxes, circles, ments or paperwork. And the second Traditionally PDFs are readscribble across the docuhighlight, underline, or feature is a trouble area for both iAnnoonly or printment, use a highlighter to strikethrough text, along tate and GoodReader — forms with only media and highlight text, underline with comments and typefields. While the other two struggle with require special words or add typewritten writer functions to embed filling in form fields, say for a visa form software on the text — you name it, it’s text into the PDF docuor an event registration form, PDF iPad as well there! In addition, there’s ment. But as strong as Expert recognises this format and immeSeveral apps for the ability to take screenGoodReader’s PDF capadiately allows you to fill in the data and annotating PDFs shots of the open page, bilities are, the real reason check the necessary boxes before saving. are available share the PDF via email, you should consider this Microsoft Office Documents: If PDFs



December 2011

Printing in higher Education

TECH SNippET | Facebook

Facebook becomes Catalyst for Change Makers in hyderabad The social networking site, Facebook, has allowed Hyderabad-based entrepreneurs to become change catalysts. The city’s first-generation entrepreneurs, engaged in different business activities, has come together to float Hyderabad Director cum CEO Forum (HDCF), which will be used to exchange best practices and mentor budding business students. The group which


began with 40 business people has grown close to 700, with more people joining every day. The forum will also act as a parallel pressure group and educate upcoming entrepreneurs on roles and procedures that should be followed in setting up businesses. The HDCF will also act as an incubation centre for students who wish to enter the business field but hold back due to the lack of adequate knowledge and expertise.

iannotate lets you work with your PDFs in a variety of ways. You can use a sticky note, use a pencil to underline text, use a highlighter to highlight text or add typewritten text

HD ($19.99) and DavaViz’s Documents to Go Premium ($16.99). Quickoffice has a word processor, spreadsheet editor, and a slideshow editor whereas DocsToGo has a word processor, a spreadsheet editor, and a tool to edit text and add notes to a presentation. All the programs read and write the Microsoft Office file formats.

GoodReader is the most versatile PDF alternative. It allows you to add your e-mail account, giving you access to attachments

are not the document format of choice for your institution and you prefer the Microsoft file formats instead to submit documents and reports, you can either choose to go with GoodReader or pick a document management suite specifical-

Verdict: If there’s one application for PDF annotation you must pick, and frequent form filling isn’t a requirement, our vote goes to GoodReader, the hands down most versatile alternative. If it is just Microsoft Office compatibility you need, pick up the Quickoffice suite. ly suited to Microsoft Office formats. The office suite candidates are Apple’s iWork suite with Pages ($9.99), Numbers ($9.99), and Keynote ($9.99) for Word, Excel, Powerpoint. Or you can pick up Quickoffice’s Quickoffice Pro

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the global perspective From

o F h I g h E r E D u c at I o N

INSIDE 50 | Fulbright Keeps Moving Forward Despite Budget Uncertainty 52 | US Grad Schools See Significant Increase in Foreign Enrollments

Japan’s shortage of english-speaking graduates Local varsity graduates not fluent enough in English, while studying abroad gets costlier and problematic By DavID mcNEIll



language Barrier: The number of Japanese students studying in the US has dropped by 50 per cent in 14 years



December 2011

n Japan’s business world, they call it the “Rakuten English shock”. The country’s largest online retailer has told its 6,000 employees that they must be fluent enough in English to converse with one another by next year. Executives who aren’t up to speed will be fired; rank-andfile workers will find their path to promotion blocked. The dramatic move by Rakuten’s Harvard Business Schooleducated founder, Hiroshi Mikitani, is the latest sign that some Japanese companies are accepting a long-held truism: English is the language of global business. It is also, however, exposing a long-term shortage of local university graduates fluent in the world’s lingua franca. Japanese children learn English starting in elementary school and throughout high school, and many go on to study it at college. By the time they’re ready for work, hundreds of thousands of graduates have spent nearly 10 years struggling with the language, but few can do more than speak a handful of wobbly phrases: Japan ranks lower than North Korea, Mongolia and Myanmar in the much-watched “Test of English” as a Foreign Language or TOEFL. The problem is compounded by a sharp cooling among Japanese for study abroad, a trend that has rung alarm bells at the highest levels of government. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently joined a growing list of officials expressing concern that Japanese university students are increasingly staying at home. “As recently as 1997, Japan sent more students than any other international companies has become more country in the world to study in America,” Securgent since Japan’s currency began to surge retary Clinton told the US-Japan Council in against the dollar this year. Now at a record Washington last month. Today Japan ranks high, the Yen’s strength will push more Japasixth. She pointed out that the number of Japanese corporations to shift production offshore, nese students studying in America has warned Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of dropped by almost 50 per cent over the past Sign up for a free weekly Japan in October, increasing the demand for 14 years. electronic newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education at workers who are fluent in foreign languages. While cost is certainly a factor, experts in Chronicle.Com/Globalnewsletter Japan’s largest business federation, the NipJapan also noted structural barriers at home, The Chronicle of Higher Education is pon Keidanren, takes that demand seriously including the lack of credit reciprocity, the traa US-based company with a weekly enough to have organised a summer conferditionally low-value attached by Japanese newspaper and a website updated ence bringing together the country’s top uniemployers to foreign degrees, and the relucdaily, at, that cover all aspects of university life. versities and corporate bosses. Among the tance of most Japanese universities to waive With over 90 writers, editors, and problems discussed by a university-business fees for students who decide to study outside correspondents stationed around forum held by Global 30, a group that aims to the country. the globe, The Chronicle provides internationalise 30 Japanese universities, was John Belcher, President and Co-chief Executimely news and analysis of academhow to bring Japan’s traditionally aloof institutive of the Study Abroad Foundation, a nonic ideas, developments and trends. tions closer to the corporate table. profit that provides study-abroad opportuniIn a striking acknowledgment that the ties, cites another key factor — “the sheer decline in foreign study must be halted, the force” of Japan’s lopsided, aging demographic. Keidanren used the forum to announce a scholarship plan that “With a shortfall of some 20 mn people in 50 years, this does will, from next year, give 1 mn Yen, or $12,835, each to 30 stumean significantly fewer young people today.” dents from the 13 universities now designated Global 30 instiThe fear that Japanese graduates are unprepared to work in tutions. Every little bit helps, says William Saito, a venture capitalist and adviser to Japan’s ministry of education who himself finances up to four scholarships a year to the United States out of his own pocket. “Awareness of the problem is growing, I think. I’m seeing a lot more companies this year using English as a hiring criteria, and a lot more discussion at the university level.” Saito says that Japanese universities are slowly dealing with some of the key barriers to study abroad, including harmonising the amount of credit awarded to students who study at other universities. He is encouraged by news that the University of Tokyo, Japan’s leading education institution, is mulling enrolling Japanese students in study-abroad programmes in the Fall, a move that would help harmonise the nation’s higher-education system with the west. Will that be enough? Belcher points out that the number of students going abroad would rise quickly if more colleges dropped their insistence that they pay fees at home. “The biggest obstacle to studying abroad is the universities,” he says. His organisation has been very successful in brokering deals with colleges that they drop this requirement. “We get more students per university in Japan than anywhere else.” It remains to be seen, however, if the lumbering universities will move fast enough for Japan’s companies, some of which are now hiring abroad rather than trying to find fluent English speakers at home. Mikitani is one of an ambitious new breed of foreign-educated entrepreneurs who acknowledges that his companywide edict wants was a “desperate measure.” It may not be the last.

“University of Tokyo, Japan’s leading education institution, is mulling enrolling Japanese students in study abroad programmes in the Fall, a move that would help harmonise the nation’s higher education system with the west”

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thE gloBal PErSPEctIvE

Fulbright Keeps Moving Forward Despite budget Uncertainty While US government’s funding commitment to Fulbright programme, 2012, is still uncertain, other countries have been raising their financial commitment to it By IaN WIlhElm



December 2011

By photoS.coM


s lawmakers seek to make deep cuts in federal spending, the US State Department’s Fulbright Programme — the nation’s flagship academic exchange — faces an uncertain future. Members of Congress have yet to set the 2012 fiscal-year budget, and proposals vary on how much the department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which oversees Fulbright, will receive. The Senate has approved a 2.2 per cent increase in the bureau’s 2011 allocation, while the House of Representatives has proposed a 10.1 per cent reduction. For its budget request for 2012, the Obama administration sought an increase in spending for the bureau, but also asked for an almost $1 mn decrease in Fulbright. As the fiscal battle wears on, Marianne Craven, Managing Director of the Bureau’s Office of Academic Programmes, says she is “cautiously positive” that Fulbright will survive relatively unscathed. “We hope we can maintain as close to our current level as possible, and, depending on the budget outcome, we’ll be looking at any inefficiencies we can

Fountain of hope: The peace fountain at the Fulbright College which is dedicated to the legacy of J William Fulbright find or working within our priorities to establish where we would have to reduce,” says Craven, who until recently was the department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for academic programs. Meghann Curtis was appointed to the position this month. For 2011, the Fulbright’s budget fell by $16.4 to $237.4 mn. Craven says the change led to modest cuts, including decreases in its foreign-language awards and in the number of fellowships it provides for international students to enrol in doctoral studies in science and technology at American institutions. “When the budget decreases, obviously we have to make choices,” she says. “We want to keep the core programmes strong. We want to keep them innovative and diverse.” With the budget scrutiny, Craven says, the bureau has been more systematic in offering briefings on Capitol Hill about its work, including Fulbright activities. While it’s unclear how much the US government will spend on the Fulbright Programme in 2012, other countries have been steadily raising their financial commitment to it — a sign of international interest in academic ties despite the tough economic times. Foreign-government contributions to Fulbright rose $10 to $89 mn in 2010, the latest year for which data are available. The money helps pay for foreign scholars and students to study at American colleges, among other exchanges. Chile led the way, providing almost $8.2 mn. Other major contributors include Brazil, Germany, and Spain. “The strength of the foreign-government contributions really tells us how much the programmes are valued,” says Craven. She says the bureau also benefits from partnerships with the private sector. For example, this year the bureau is marking its five-year anniversary of working with mtvU, the educational arm of the cable-TV music channel, to provide a few fellowships to American graduates to

“For 2011, the Fulbright’s budget fell by $16.4 to $237.4 mn. Craven says the change led to modest cuts, including decreases in its foreign language awards and in the number of fellowships it provides for international students to enrol in doctoral studies in science and technology at American institutions” study music and cultures overseas. “It really brings to life the international experience through music,” she says. While companies and other private donors provided $17 mn for Fulbright programmes in 2010, Craven says the bureau remains cautious about relying too much on outside dollars, even with a potentially shrinking budget. “We learnt that you really need to look at sustainability and not just going after the funds for the sake of the funds,” she says. As for its programmes, the bureau continues to want to use Fulbright as a way to develop ideas that contribute to meeting global challenges, like developing renewable-energy sources or fighting HIV/AIDS. As part of its new Fulbright Nexus Programme, for instance, the bureau provided awards to 20 scholars, non-profit leaders, and


mn was donated by corporates and private donors to the Fulbright programmes in 2010

businesspeople in the Western Hemisphere who are doing work in three areas: science, technology, and innovation; sustainable energy; and entrepreneurship. The bureau has also organised meetings focussed on global issues for Fulbright participants. Last year it worked with the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to bring together students from 46 developing countries and a broad variety of disciplines to discuss ways to improve food security. Malnutrition around the world and similar problems are “being addressed by governments and other entities, but the role of scholars and institutions in addressing those issues is really important, especially since they need to be solved on the global level,” says Craven. “It can’t just be one country solving them.”

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thE gloBal PErSPEctIvE

Us grad schools see Significant Increase in Foreign enrolments the growth in enrolments is driven by china which surpassed India last year in sending students to the US By BEth mcmurtrIE


“Its been some time since we’ve seen gains of this magnitude,” said Nathan E Bell, Director of Research and Policy analysis at the council. Yet, he cautions, “If the growth is all being driven by one country, that’s probably not a healthy thing for US graduate schools.” Each year the council surveys its 494 member institutions to determine what the international student market looks like, measuring applications, admissions, and enrollments at various points throughout the year. This year, 237 of its member institutions responded to the fall survey on enrolments. The findings this year make clear China’s continued dominance in the United States. Last year China surpassed India as the top country sending students, with more than 127,600 Chinese enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States. Of those, about 66,000 were enrolled in graduate programmes. This fall, according to the council’s survey, enrolments of new Chinese graduate students grew 21 per cent, continuing several years of double digit growth. The number of students from the Middle East and Turkey rose 14 per cent, reflecting steady growth from the region — though the overall numbers are relatively small. Indian enrolments grew only 2 per cent, but that was an improvement over several years of shrinking numbers. Similarly, enrolments from South Korea, the third-largest sending country, were flat, which was relatively good news as they follow several years of decline. New majority: When it came to sending its students to the US, China Total international student enrolments grew surpassed India in 2011 as the top country by just 2 per cent over last year, reflecting the

By photoS.coM

nrolments of new international students at American graduate schools grew by 8 per cent this fall, the strongest showing since 2006, according to a report released Tuesday by the Council of Graduate Schools. While the news is clearly good for American higher education, much of that growth came from a single country: China.



December 2011

“While China’s enrolment growth closely mirrored an earlier council survey measuring admissions offers, enrolments of Indian students grew much less than their offers of admission, which rose eight per cent” slower or flat growth of recent years. A variety of factors affect international enrolments, including home country capacity to absorb students, quality of the home country’s institutions, and families’ ability to pay. Such figures are also closely watched in the United States as foreign students account for about 15 per cent of all enrolments in graduate programmes. While China’s enrolment growth closely mirrored an earlier council survey measuring admissions offers, enrollments of Indian students grew much less than their offers of admission, which rose eight per cent. Bell saw as a positive sign that in two parts of the world where families have both the demand and the means for an international education, China and the Middle East, they continued to turn to the United States in great numbers. “International students have always recognised and continue to recognise the quality of US graduate schools,” he said. Still, he added, “we can’t rest on our laurels. If we want to continue to attract the

best and the brightest, it takes work.” The 8 per cent growth in first-year students is a marked improvement for American graduate schools, which have been fighting against a sluggish US economy and a global economic downturn. In the fall of 2010, first-time enrolments grew only three per cent over the previous year, while in 2009, when the recession’s impact was first felt, there was no increase over 2008. This year’s growth marks the highest rate of increase since the fall of 2006, when graduate schools experienced a 12 per cent rise over the previous year. The institutions enrolling the largest number of graduate students saw greater rates of increase than other schools, furthering a concentration of international students. Bell noted that just 100 institutions enrol 60 per cent of all international graduate students. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from the Chronicle of Higher Education at

english parliamentary panel criticises speed of education overhaul thousands of students march through London to protest rise in university tuition and cuts in public spending on higher education By aISha laBI


report released on November 10 by a British parliamentary committee that oversees higher education is highly critical of the government’s reform plans, and it

highlights the widespread confusion and discontent surrounding the sweeping changes taking place across England. The report, from the House of Commons Select Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills, criticises the speed

with which the government has undertaken what it calls “a radical overhaul of the sector” and warns that the plans risk channelling some students into “a lowcost model of higher education”. The government is introducing steep tuition December 2011 EduTEch


thE gloBal PErSPEctIvE increases, changes in the student-loan and student-support systems, a new university financing model, and a new regulatory framework for higher education. The committee concluded that enacting such wide-ranging changes on a “rigid timetable” could undermine “effective policy development”. The report comes out a day after students once again took to the streets of London to protest tuition increases to as much as £9,000, or around $14,500, set to go into effect next Fall. Several of the reforms were laid out in a government white paper this year, which promoted more competition among institutions and an expanded role for the private sector. The committee’s scepticism comes on the heels of months of debate and protest among the general public, and within higher education itself. Throughout the debate, the government has sought to emphasise that the new financing system does not demand that students pay anything up front. Instead, they will be given governmentbacked loans that they are not required to begin repaying until their income after graduation tops £21,000, or just under $34,000. But with less than a year to go until the increased rates take effect, a perception gap seems to still be shaping much of the opposition to the government’s policies. The committee noted that “the need for a clear communications strategy could have been more efficiently

Protest Path: Students in London demand a relaxation of rules and a reduction in Government slash in higher education funding

realised” and points out that “for the next three to four years at least, young people will be expected to act as informed consumers in an unfamiliar marketplace.” The government white paper proposed setting aside financing for some 20,000 extra places at universities with tuition below £7,500, which earlier this week prompted dozens of universities to make late reductions to their announced rates for next year. The committee warns of the risk that the higher education sector could become polarised as a result, into traditional universities and cut-rate alternatives, with “undesirable consequences for social mobility if able candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds felt constrained to choose lowercost provision”.

“The report from the House of Commons’ Select Committee on Business Innovation and Skills warns that the plans risk channelling students into a low-cost model of education” 54


December 2011

The committee also questioned whether the government’s plans to widen the pipeline for disadvantaged students into higher education by using money generated by the tuition increase would be successful. It recommends the adoption of a “pupil premium” that would be paid to institutions for each disadvantaged student they enrol. The committee said that the government’s plan to increase the role of private providers in higher education needed further clarification, a conclusion w e l c o m e d b y s e v e r a l h i g h e reducation groups. Britain’s main faculty union, which has campaigned against allowing forprofit providers a greater role in British higher education, said Wednesday that more regulatory standards are needed before for-profits should be allowed access to public funds. And the Russell Group, which represents Britain’s leading research-intensive universities, agreed that “the often overheated debate around university finance has resulted in misinformation among some young people,” especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who “do not have access to accurate information about the costs and benefits of higher education.” Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from the Chronicle of Higher Education at

by JIteN GaNDhI

Firefly with Free Will Dr Rajan Saxena, Vice Chancellor of NMIMS University, chose to break free and become the free flame of higher education By charu Bahri



December 2011


t is hard to imagine Dr Rajan Saxena, Vice Chancellor of NMIMS University, in any other avatar, least of all that of a policeman. It’s surprising then that this don, at one point in his childhood, aspired to be a superintendent of police. Saxena’s mother hailed from a family of bureaucrats, and it was her heart’s desire that her son follow the family tradition. She played a pivotal role in his life. She impressed upon him early the benefits of a secure government job. Visits to his maternal family showed Saxena just how cushy and respectable the life of an Indian civil servant can be. But Saxena’s mother ended up influencing him more profoundly than even she thought. She was a teacher at the prestigious Cambridge School in Delhi, where Saxena studied. The final call that Saxena took on his career choice had this subtle stimulus working upon it.

Dr Rajan Saxena

fact file Name: Dr Rajan Saxena CurreNt eNgagemeNt: Vice Chancellor, NMIMS University, Mumbai thiNgs he likes: BOOKS: The Post America World, The World Is Flat MOVIE: Three Idiots, Chak De! India MUSIC: Ghazals, Sufi music, Indian instrumental (especially flute) CUISINE: Anything my wife prepares PASTIME: Listening to music HOLIDAY DESTINATION: In India, Goa; overseas, Athens

a Free Spirited Educationist Growing up in the national capital, Saxena had access to fine educationists who shaped his thinking and influenced his choice of career. Foremost among these figures was Professor Devdutt, Saxena’s coach for the civil services examinations. While preparing the young man, he put forth a question that forced Saxena to introspect and changed his life plan. “What would you like to be known as?” was the query, and the professor listed a few possible answers to set Saxena thinking: “You could become known for your thought leadership, for influencing the actions of others, or for being a person who functions according to the whims and fancies of another.” The last of these options gripped

young Saxena’s attention. His teacher went on to elucidate: “On the one hand, you could be a firefly, free to fly about in the forest yet boasting of merely a speck of light. On the other hand, you could be a blinding 1000W bulb that switches on (and off) at the behest of a controller,” he explained. No message could have been more timely or relevant. In a moment of awakening, Saxena realised his true calling lay in education and not in the bureaucracy. “Nothing can replace the freedom to make your own decisions,” he says, reflecting on that momentous choice. Another strong influence was the Cambridge School Principal who was also Saxena’s English teacher. “The way he taught left a huge impact; he encouraged a spirit of enquiry and instilled in me the value of respect. The fact that he was not overly concerned with marks but wanted students to grow into good human beings also went a long way in endearing him to me,” shares the vice chancellor. This wisdom helped Saxena learn to see the bigger picture. When as a forlorn teenager he approached the principal for advice after scoring low in the mathematics examination in his school leaving year, he was asked, “Why bother about it? Is mathematics going to make your life?” An incredulous Saxena could not believe what he had heard. “I thought he was kidding.” But no, the principal had meant every word he had said and advised his protégé to drop the one subject he had not fared well in and play to his strengths in his future studies. That is precisely what Saxena ended up doing.

Politics and More “College life was a lark,” says Saxena, “I enjoyed every moment of it and avidly participated in campus politics.” During those busy years at the Shri Ram College of Commerce he met his first mentor, Professor YK Bhushan, a gentleman who continues to inspire Saxena. When as a student leader he lost the coveted presidency of the students union after holding the position for some time, it was Professor Bhushan who stepped in,


playing the role of Speaker of the House, and taught him the importance of getting along with his opponents. For all the interest in politics during his student life Saxena was quick to conclude that he would not teach for long in Delhi University, where he picked up his first assignment after his masters. “There was too much politics in the University,” is his frank observation. Pursuing a doctorate at the Delhi School of Economics was his next priority. Saxena thoroughly enjoyed the subjects, to add to which, the facilities were excellent and he had the opportunity to interact with “luminaries like Dr Manmohan Singh”, he says. Around this time, his life took a turn on the personal front. Saxena got married to Preeti, a doctor from a family of educators. Their daughter Shruti teaches at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in the USA, and son Shishir, is studying Indian philosophy and religion in Benaras.

Getting the Word Out Saxena headed to XLRI Jamshedpur in 1980, and was offered temporary assignments at IIM Calcutta and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) in addition to the regular teaching position at XLRI. At the ASCI, he came in close contact with Dr Dharni Prasad Sinha, then Director of the Management Development Division. Sinha had been selected Director Designate of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s fledgling SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), one of the first few private management schools to be affiliated to Bombay University. In 1982, he invited Saxena to relocate to Mumbai to help shape the new institute. “The idea seemed exciting. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had laid the foundation stone of the institute, which suggested the board had big things planned for SPJIMR. Also, by then I had realised there was no opportunity for me to grow in Jamshedpur, which was primarily an industrial base. Major brands were headquartered in Kolkata or Mumbai, and the latter was undisputedly the Mecca of marketing in December 2011 EduTEch



Dr Rajan Saxena

the country,” Saxena reminisces. This invitation marked a turnaround in Saxena’s career as an academician. He no longer needed to look out for better prospects. Golden opportunities came to him on a platter and he was sought out by boards of leading management schools to add value to their education programmes. Word had got around that he was committed to upholding excellent teaching standards. Word of mouth publicity is the best sort, as they say, and who would know that better than a seasoned professor and consultant and researcher of marketing. So Saxena moved West, only to find that Sinha had changed his mind about joining SPJIMR, not that it made any difference to his rising career trajectory. Dr Ram Tarneja, managing director of Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd and chairman of the Managing Committee of SPJIMR at this time and he went on to play a significant role in his life. In 1984, when his book in International Marketing was published, Bombay University offered Saxena the position of Professor of Marketing at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. In the summer of that year, Professor Bhushan, now director of the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) invited Saxena to be dean and the first and youngest occupant of the Parle-sponsored Thums Up Chair in Marketing at NMIMS. Saxena was excited to accept this offer, because he saw the opportunity to work with the brand. Remembering some exciting projects he steered, he says, “Parle had just launched Thumbs Up and Maaza Mango. I had done a lot of brand positioning and brand-building work for the company, and those campaigns had gone down very well.”

Shifting Gears Saxena’s prospects continued to brighten. In the late eighties, he had received feelers from one of the IIMs but rejected the idea of joining outright. “My view was that the best management minds in the country do not need to be part of the IIMs. I believed that nothing can hold back a man with the passion to excel.”



December 2011

comments “Dr Saxena is a true scholar who understands, and is passionate about, education. he is a leader who gives his faculty the freedom to grow and gives them direction to get started. I believe this openness comes from his genuine respect for, and desire to know others’ viewpoint and his faith in their capabilities. For a younger colleague, having a boss who is easily approachable is a huge support ” Prof Seema Mahajan Director, Centre for excellence in Family business and entrepreneurship Management, NMIMS University

“he was an award winning orator as a student and has made conscious efforts to grow his skills and perspective over the years. The ability to connect with people has substantially contributed to his growth over the years” Prof YK Bhushan Sr advisor and head, IbS, Mumbai. Prof bhushan was Dr Saxena’s teacher and mentor, and later, the Director of NMIMS, when Dr Saxena was a member of faculty and Dean of academics

The suggestion came up again at a meeting of heads of management education in Bhutan in 1998. This time, it was followed by some action — a nomination committee proposed his name for the directorship of one of the IIMs. Saxena learnt of this the day he received a surprise call for his CV. He went along with things but someone else was selected instead after the interview. The matter did not end there. Two months later, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Human Resources called and asked him to consider taking up the directorship of IIM Indore. Saxena weighed his options and finally asked to see the campus condition in Indore before making a final decision, “I was in two minds about joining until an industrialist friend said, ‘Sometimes in life you should do things for the nation, not yourself’,” he recounts. So Saxena took up the new assignment and gave it his best shot, but things didn’t match up with his expectations. “I left after serving one term.” In September 2003, Saxena joined the ICFAI Business School in Gurgaon, as Director and Senior Professor. Two years on, he was back at the SPJIMR, this time as Director, and in 2007, he rejoined NMIMS, now a deemed university, as Distinguished Professor and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor. It was a matter of time before he was invited to take over the top job. It happened in 2009.

Futuristic Moves The NMIMS campus was a beehive of activity when Saxena returned. Students were studying architecture, engineering, and pharmacy besides management, and an expanded undergraduate programme added to the numbers as well. “The multidisciplinary set-up gave us enough student strength and opportunity to play with the education model,” recollects the vice chancellor. But some things had changed in his absence. The board was concerned about the quality of education and also the ranking of the business school. Saxena’s first priority after rejoining NMIMS was to revamp the MBA curriculum. “We introduced courses aiming to

Dr Rajan Saxena


(clockwise) 1. ramesh chauhan, Chairman, Parle Exports and Rajan Saxena presenting awards at the NMIMS Marketing Fair 2. Taking a session in the Corporate Management Training Programme in the 1990s 3. rajan Saxena, Vice Chancellor NMIMS, Amrish Patel, Chancellor, NMIMS and President of SVKM, and GN Bajpai at the Annual Convocation 2011

help students specialise in interpersonal skills, Indian values and managing family businesses, and taking an integrative view of business. We also adopted an experiential mode of delivery.” Futuristic innovations were introduced as well. “We were the first private sector institute and management learning centre after the IIMs, to adopt computerbased testing. Another innovation was to launch a five-year cross-discipline integrated programme so that our engineering students could learn management skills side-by-side. This syllabus focusses more on engineering in the earlier years and on management in the later years. We left no stone unturned to find the right faculty, canvassing across the country and overseas,” continues Saxena. A triple star Crisil rating followed soon

thereafter. Next, the vice chancellor would like to obtain international recognition for the school of business. Borrowing a leaf from his own learning during a year-long teaching stint at the University of Calgary in 1994, and visits to Pace University’s Lubin Business School in New York a decade later, Saxena says he would also like to bring a multicultural experience to Indian students while offering foreign students the opportunity to study management in India, “So much learning happens merely from being a part of a multicultural environment. We are aiming at a student mix of three overseas students for every 10 students on the campus.” Unlike many luminaries of the education sector who have studied abroad, financial constraints did not allow Saxe-

na to pursue a masters or doctorate programme overseas. Hearing him talk so convincingly about the benefits of studying in a multicultural environment, you wonder if he has ever regretted missing out on this opportunity. “No regrets whatsoever,” he replies, “Destiny has been kind to me and I have been fortunate to pick roles of my choice in the education sector. I’ve also had the who’s who of the corporate world as my clients. I wanted to be a firefly, to be free to do my own thing.” Touchwood! But that’s how life turned out for Saxena, who would not have it any other way. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at December 2011 EduTEch


Security Leadership Awards 2011 Recognising the best minds in Security Leadership & Innovation

In an attempt to recognise those individuals who have contributed and succeeded in pushing the boundaries when it comes to innovation in information security, CSO Forum, brings to you, the 1st Annual Security Leadership Awards. Judged by our esteemed council, the Security Leadership Awards bring those individuals to the forefront who are constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of security within the enterprise.








December 2, 2011 ∞ Pune, India For details log onto



The Raman Effect Retold Uma Parameswaran chronicles the personal history of Sir CV Raman, the man, and not just the celebrated Nobel Laureate HE IS celebrated for his pathbreaking discovery: the Raman Effect. He is one of the most celebrated scientists in India. However, the inspirations, events and little incidents that made Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (1888–1970) the first non-white and Asian to receive a Nobel Prize in the sciences (1930), is not as well documented. In 1921, while on a voyage to England, CV Raman was amazed by the spectacular blue of the Mediterranean Sea and that led to his experiments with molecular diffraction of light which ultimately won him the Nobel. He devoted seven years of his life to the discovery. A nationalist to the core, Raman strove to win a place for India in the international arena by mentoring scores of students, many of whom became renowned scientists. He organised conferences for the promotion of scientific inquiry and founded journals. After a long spell at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science and at Calcutta Uni-

“The chapters of the book have grown from several contexts. It’s an amalgamation” uMa PaRaMESWaRaN

versity, and a fruitful tenure at the Indian Institute of Science as the first Indian director, he set up the Raman Research Institute in 1948, where his legacy survives to this day. While Raman’s science is documented and celebrated in most spaces, his personal story of struggle is generally not known. In this wellresearched and comprehensive volume, Parameswaran sheds light on Raman’s personal vision, idiosyncrasies and struggles. She traces Raman’s influences and events which made the scientist a most interesting man. Raman was famous not only for his sharp intellect, but also for his personal charm, abundant vitality and sense of humour. This comprehensive biography details for the first time, Raman’s growth as an individual, taking us through his childhood years, his relationships and his travels. Parameswaran was born in Chennai, and educated in Jabalpur and Nagpur, where her father was a professor of physics. In 1966, she emigrated to Canada with her husband. She earned her PhD from Michigan State University in 1972. She recently retired as the Professor of English from the University of Winnipeg. She has published extensively in the field of postcolonial literatures and is the author of several works of fiction, poetry and drama, including the award-winning collection What Was Always Hers and a recent novel, A Cycle of the Moon. auTHOR: Uma Parameswaran PuBlISHER: Penguin Books India PRIcE: Rs 350

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truly inspire teachers and students then it’s time to break down the ideology of exceptionalism. This is a story of Finland’s extraordinary educational reform that policymakers around the world should know of. Author: Pasi Sahlberg Publisher: Teachers College Press Price: $34.95



December 2011


Huawei launches ‘Clutter Breaker’ MediaPad

Huawei Devices, one of the top five OEM handset brands worldwide, launched Cloud Services in India in November. Chetan Bhagat, brand associate, unveiled the MediaPad THE lauNcH of the MediaPad was pegged as one of the biggest in the industry. It is the world’s first 7” Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet, is targeted at mobile professionals, looking for a portable, entertainment and business-optimised tablet. Unlike others, Huawei MediaPad is a ‘clutter breaker’ in the 7” inch segment. It’s a complete entertainment powerhouse driven by Qualcomm’s dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, richer web browsing and faster processing of HD movies. It provides a fabulous user experience in a ultra-portable package. It is slim and light, measuring just 10.5 mm and weighing (approx) 390 gm. It offers the industry’s highest 217 PPI, an IPS screen, WXGA display, 1080P full HD and SRS, 1.3 MP front facing camera and 5 MP rearfacing camera. PRIcE: Rs 28,359

gaDgETS New all-In-One affordable Desktop from lenovo

lENOVO India in November announced a new addition to its All-In-One (AIO) desktop PC lineup — Lenovo C320. The build of the device give consumers space savings and affordability along with a host of multimedia capabilities. The C320 AIO has a large 20-inch LED-backlit display with optional multi-touch touchscreen support, which makes computing interactive. The device is powered by second-generation IntelCore i3 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. Users can watch DVDs using AIO’s DVD player. PRIcE: Rs 25,500

Aircel to Launch iPhone 4s IN NOVEMBER 2011, Aircel launched the long-awaited iPhone 4s. Before the phone was even launched, service providers Airtel and Aircel allowed fans to pre-book the product on their Facebook page. Though the price remains undetermined, BGR India reports that the 16 GB variant of the iPhone 4S is priced at Rs 40,000. PRIcE: Rs 40,000 (for the 16 gB variant)

Sony’s Tablet S all innovations folded into one is how Sony describes its latest offering the Tablet S. Perhaps it refers to its wedge shape that looks like a folded magazine. Joining the tablet race a bit late, Tablet S nevertheless offers unique features. It can stream 10 million songs and downloads movies from Sony Entertainment Network. It can also double up as a universal remote control. PRIcE: Rs 29,990

December February 2011 EduTEch


PersPective NuNzio QuacQuarelli Managing Director at Quacquarelli Symonds Limited

internationalise to Lead

India needs to throw off its local image to emerge as a global MBA education destination


he landscape of business education in India is set to change considerably. Union Minister Kapil Sibal’s proposal of the Foreign Educational Institution Bill can open the gates for top-ranking international business schools to set up shop in the country. For over 150,000 successful MBA applicants out of the 500,000 or so that apply to India’s MBA programmes each year, the ensuing competition is good news. The influx of international business schools looking to create a base here shows the demand for MBA education in the country is phenomenal. However, it remains to be seen how this will affect existing local institutions. For years, Indian business schools have struggled to attract international students to enroll in their MBA programmes. While greater competition should bring in greater educational offerings for both students and their employers, there is a worry that international students looking at India as a potential MBA destination, may opt to apply for a business school ‘brand’ that they are more familiar with, perhaps a foreign school based in India, but originally from their home region that both they and their future employers will know and trust. Greater internationalisation is the biggest issue that Indian business schools need to work on in order to compete on a global scale. Top-ranked Indian busi-



December 2011

ness schools regularly report non-Indian representation of their class-size at below five per cent. In some institutions, there is not a single student from outside India enrolled in their MBA programmes. In a rapidly evolving international world of business, where India is becoming a dominant global financial force, it is worrying that those trained locally to be the country’s future business leaders are receiving little international management exposure during their MBA education. Employers are also concerned. In the QS Global 200 Business School Report, released at the end of November and compiled entirely on employer opinion of MBA graduates from worldwide institutions, Indian business schools have performed extremely well. However, when rated by 10 different industry specialisations, international management is the only area where an Indian business school does not appear in the top 25 — a telling result that while

top-ranked indian business schools report non-indian representation of class-size at below 5 per cent

employers recognise the skill sets and ability of MBA graduates from India’s well-respected business schools; their lack of international exposure during the study course results in an inability to operate on an international scale. In its mission to improve the internationalisation of its MBA intake, the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, recently joined forces with three other Asian business schools in order to pool their international student recruitment resources. Named the Asia4, the group consists of China Europe International Business School, based in Shanghai, China; HKUST Business School in Hong Kong; Nanyang Business School in Singapore; and ISB. As financial dominance gradually shifts from the West to the East, spurred on by the ongoing economic events in Europe, it is initiatives such as this that will place Indian business schools on the world map, as MBA applicants from around the globe begin to see India’s business schools as an alternative to the traditional MBA hubs of Europe and North America. In this scenario, encouraging greater class diversity is of utmost importance to India’s institutes, if the country is to become an international education destination, rather than what is currently an area dominated by local consumers. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at

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