The Diplomatist speaks to Dr. Devesh Kumar Singh, Chairman, Noida International University, about his priorities and goals for NIU and insights on a wide range of challenges faced by India’s higher education institutions and the growth of online learning amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Diplomatist: Established in 2010, the growth of Noida International University is enormous. How would you describe your decade-long journey?
Dr. Devesh Kumar Singh: The decade-long journey of NIU is absolutely phenomenal, rewarding and motivating. Starting with just a few classrooms and labs to having a lush green campus with world-class infrastructure providing students from across 30 different nations a world-class education with 11 different schools offering more than 150 programs in various streams motivates me more towards achieving my goal of providing world-class education to the world through NIU. Today, NIU offers an array of UG/PG/Doctoral Programs in the areas of Medical, Engineering & Technology, Sciences, Liberal Arts & Humanities, Law, Journalism & Mass Communication, Architecture, Nursing & Health Sciences, Fine Arts, Education and Business Management, duly approved by their respective statutory bodies. We at NIU are fortunate to have got great contributions all through this journey by eminent personalities like Dr. Hari Gautam, Former Chairman UGC, Dr. Vikram Singh, the Hon’ble Chancellor NIU. The University is committed to achieving global standards of excellence in each of its fields with highly qualified faculties and state of art infrastructure.
Diplomatist: The motto of NIU is to be recognised as a global educational institution disseminating the latest trends of knowledge through cutting-edge technologies and innovative methodologies. How successful have you been in terms of admissions and placements?
Dr. Devesh Kumar Singh: We are committed to impart quality education. Marching towards excellence and perfection, NIU has acquired remarkable growth which is reflected in the strength of its students who are working in reputed MNCs in various industries across the globe and few have even turned into successful entrepreneurs. The objective of various courses offered at NIU is to provide market-oriented education and to shape their skills which helps in their career progression. The students have the option of choosing a career exclusively in the area they have equipped themselves since the curriculum of these courses are based on current trends, relevance, and value in the job market. Personality development focuses on how to develop organised patterns of behaviour, traits, attitudes, etiquettes, and manners that prepare and equip the students for their personal and professional life. These courses help students being in line with the current market demands and their suitability. It provides students a practical perspective on the world of work which helps them to get first-hand information and to gain industrial skills. We tirelessly endeavour to make our students develop as a good human being. In terms of numbers, I am proud to say that around 25 thousand have got passed out of NIU since its inception and around 7000 are part of campus at present.
Diplomatist: What are the challenges in creating a world-class educational institution in India? How Covid-19 pandemic is reshaping the education industry?
Dr. Devesh Kumar Singh: There are various challenges in creating a world-class educational institution and we have been taking various measures at NIU in tackling these each to be a truly world-class university ourselves:
The Covid 19 has thrown the world into turmoil, leading to health and economic crisis and hampered the education system as well.
Having said that, on the other hand, it has resulted in a quick and renewed focus on innovation and technology enabling people to become technically savvy and further empowered. We, at Noida International University, showed agility in adopting new and innovative teaching and learning methods using the best available platform like Google meet, MS Teams, etc. The faculties were provided with proper workshops and training to use these tools effectively and efficiently.
More than 50 National and International Webinars were organized during this period, in which National and International subject experts from diverse fields interacted with the students. University also offered virtual laboratories for the students to complement lectures and tutorials and to better understand the subject. So in a way, Covid-19 is really reshaping the industry in an albeit positive way where got used to a lot of new innovations and unique and interesting ways of imparting education.
Diplomatist: Education and capacity building were central features of India’s development cooperation with Africa. How do you see this partnership growing?
Dr. Devesh Kumar Singh: The development partnership with Africa occupies an important position in Indian strategy and its external economic policy. Indian development partnership is clearly manifested through the institutional mechanisms build over decades as well as specific development cooperation Programmes, projects and soft credit lines.
Clearly, education and capacity building has to play an important role in this quest and we are really privileged to be in a position to be contributing to this novel hosting hundreds of students from Africa.
Diplomatist: What sets NIU apart from other educational institutions? Are there any international collaboration?
Dr. Devesh Kumar Singh: There are many factors that, I think set NIU apart from other educational institutions, like:
Education with a touch of compassion: Our focus is on teaching in small groups, and even on individuals to bring equality among students. Individual attention helps them get well challenged and excel in their academic development.
Our profound experienced faculties: Our faculties have rich and wide experience (a mixture of both academic and industrial) and we put special emphasis on practical exposure. It helps students generate unique ideas and think out of the box.
Practical exposure driven approach: We provide professional consultation by the members coming from top consulting firms so that the students can groom their skill set as per industry standard and we provide assistance at every stage of their prowess.
Commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion: As we know the racism continues to play in education and society, we seek to engage in honest reflection, and increasingly identify and address policies, practices, and behaviours that lead to inequitable outcomes for students who have been historically denied the opportunity.
Yes, we have many international collaborations. A few of them are as follows: