Nitin Jain / Chandigarh
Reversing the trend of more and more students from Punjab going abroad for higher education, the Guru Nanak DevUniversity (GNDU) has recorded a whopping 21.5 per cent increase in the admissions this academic session. This includes 15 per cent increase in the intake of students from outside Punjab.
Confirming the development, Additional Chief Secretary, Higher Education, SK Sandhu told Daily World here on Friday that this increase in admission number was despite the fact that this university allowed only those candidates who were all clear in their qualifying examination to seek admissions unlike other universities who have allowed admissions even to those candidates who have to appear in supplementary examinations in the month of September-October.
“An in-depth analysis has been done as to the reasons why the University has been able to perform better than previous years,” disclosed GNDU Vice-Chancellor Dr Jaspal S Sandhu.
He said number of student-centric initiatives like Student’s Activity Clubs, E-Magazine, GNDU-Talkies (Screening of English movies for communication skills), involvement of students in preparation/ upgradation of syllabus as members of Pre-Board of Studies, seeking suggestions from the students in “Innovation and Development Board” helped the students feel engaged in the process of functioning of the University.
The abolition of the barrier between the Vice-Chancellor and students by daily evening interactions of Vice-Chancellor with at least 50 students in his office had created a sense of belonging amongst the students.
A dedicated email only accessed by the Vice Chancellor on daily basis for students’ grievances, helps the administration to readdress issues of the students. “An organogram has put in each hostel so that the students can lodge the complaints regarding the facilities in the hostel, particularly about the quality of food in the hostel, sanitation etc. The hostel messes have been upgraded with introduction of high powered chimneys and introduction of buffet style mess,” Prof Sandhu revealed.
The students were also involved in “Go-Green” initiative of the University with massive plantation being undertaken with extra impetuous towards floriculture.
GNDU VC divulged that the swimming pool has been renovated and state-of-the-art gymnasium has been created for providing opportunity for extracurricular activities. The exhibitions of photography and paintings in the “The Gallery: History and Dreams” has given opportunity to students to showcase their talent and the university gives merit and participation certificates. “The introduction of bicycles and e-rickshaws, is an attempt to make the campus secure for girls students, has also brought a degree of vibrancy in the campus,” he said.
According to Dr Sandhu, foremost has been an attempt to restructure the existing academic programmes making them more industry oriented and hands on which also helped a lot. New programmes introduction, which are having high employment potential, has also played a role. The fact that the University has established an office of PHD Chamber of Commerce in the campus and numerous MoUs with industry and industry partners has helped the students. The placement cell on its own has hand-held the students to get the job with handsome salary packages and placement profile of the University has shown an upward trend.
“All the achievements of the university are being percolated amongst the students and the civil society by massive use of social media like Twitter, Facebook etc. The upgradation of university website and making it dynamic and interactive has also played a role. An electric display board at the centre circle of university has become an information site for students and public,” he detailed.
GNDU VC further stated that the fact that recently, the university has come up with Category-I university in the state of Punjab and Chandigarh, was one of the 15 universities in the country which has been declared as “University with Potential for Excellence” by University Grants Commission, is a national champion in cultural activities and is the likely winner of coveted Maulana Abul Kalam Azad trophy for overall excellence in sports also changed the perception of the university towards the positive.
“The university plans to continue this trend of continuous improvement by upgrading its aging infrastructure especially hostels, establishing new departments of Agriculture and Mass Communication in the next year also,” he added.