Initiated in August 2014 by GNA group, GNA University (GU) is a well-known name in the sector of higher education in India. Although the University is still in its primary stage, the trademark 'GNA' holds a legacy of flourishing 70 years in the industry. Laid foundation by Sardar Amar Singh J, GNA group is one of the top Auto Component Manufacturing units of North India.
Located in the heart of Punjab in Phagwara, GU owns an eye-catching and gigantic campus with a modernized infrastructure. From diversified sports facility to finest hostel facility and bus facility to equipped gym, the institution has built everything that the modern young force probes for. "Our mission is to develop high-quality human resources via providing guaranteed opportunities and facilities to our students," says Varinder Singh Rana, Deputy Dean - Faculty of Hospitality, GNA University.
The days do not subsist anymore when hospitality was solely associated with 'cooking or welcoming guests.' The hospitality sector has evolved over the years and turned into a distinct department with wide-ranging of courses offering to the students who aspire to be hospitality professional. The Faculty of Hospitality in GNA University covers courses like Certificate Program in Food Production, Diploma in Food Production, B. Sc. Airlines Tourism and Hospitality, B. Sc. Hotel Management, Bachelors of Hotel Management and Catering Technology and M. Sc. Hotel Management.
The innovative curriculum of the hospitality department at GU attracts the students all over to experience and get involved in the environment of real-time learning
Elaborating the nature of course curriculum, Rana says, "The industry norms and practices are changing at a higher rate in this 21st century. In order to keep a rhythm with the industry, we revise the syllabus every year and make necessary changes in accordance with the trend." The demonstration kitchen, quantity food kitchen, bakery and confectionary, housekeeping lab and laundry lab settled in the department, further brace the practical training of the students. Thus, the innovative curriculum of the hospitality department at GU attracts the students all over to experience and get involved in the environment of real-time learning. Each year, the department receives numerous applications from the candidates for various courses, out of which only 500 students obtain seats in the Faculty of Hospitality.
Meeting the Industrial Calls
The students of GU gain substantial constructive practices during their stay in the University. The live projects and internships that are part of the course curriculum intensify the skills of the learners, leading them to explore more industry connections and scopes. They are also encouraged by their faculty members to participate in different culinary and outdoor catering events, which make them understand the pros and cons of the hospitality management. Anyhow, the department's awareness regarding research-based education can be validated by the emphasis the faculty members accords to endeavor research-based market intelligence and insights.
"Our faculty members are profoundly qualified and carry the zeal of delivering the best education by preparing personalized teaching contents followed by guiding the students to transform theoretical concepts into practical results," shares Rana. It is considered that there is a remarkable role of a teacher in carving a student's career, and a stagnant teacher can never provide quality education. The GU management conducts regular training for the faculty members through the Centre for Learning and Teaching of the University. Keeping in priority the factors like teacher's passion for the job, experience, familiarity with pedagogy and so on, the Human Resource Division of the University performs the recruitment process of the faculty members.
Maximizing the Placement Prospects
A professional course demands extensive industrial visits to sensitize the students towards the practical challenge, which would give a greater clarity about the various theoretical concepts, as the students can observe how these concepts are put into action. Given this, the Faculty of Hospitality has maintained MoUs with organizations like Holiday Inn, Chef Association of Five Rivers and Nodal body of Indian Federation of Chefs' Societies. "Over this short span of time, we have been able to build a strong network with the industry around the country and abroad, which is to a great extent by virtue of the prevalent reputation of the GNA group," opines Rana.
Considering the significance of the placement process for the budding hospitality graduates, GU is not only associated with the organizations but also employed an active placement cell, which provides the students pre-placement training, primarily focusing on improving their communication skills. "The whole process of recruitment has changed. Today, the recruiters do not select a candidate based on their grades, rather they examine their skills and different abilities," mentions Rana. The students of the GU are placed in reputed hotel chains like Ritz Carlton, TAJ Exotica, Hotel Holiday Villa, just to name a few. Establishing such good rapport with the industries in a span of merely three years is beyond the comparisons, however, the GU has been highly successful in achieving it.
Varinder Singh Rana, Deputy Dean - Faculty of Hospitality
Completed his Bachelors in Hotel Management from Garden City College, Bangalore, Rana holds M.Sc. in HMCT from St Peters University. He is also pursuing Ph.D. from Amity University, Noida. He joined the GNA University in 2015 and has a teaching experience of more than eight years and industrial experience of eight years. He has received an award from Honorable Tourism Minister, Punjab for starting a bakery unit at Ludhiana, Central Jail. Notably, he has authored four books and published six research papers till date.