With the establishment of eleven universities across the country and ten of these eleven universities have been established in the states like Uttarakhand, Tripura, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, ICFAI is a recognized name in the higher education arena today. Richa Barti, a 2012 alumnus of ICFAI is one such beneficiary of ICFAI's curriculum and other finishing programs. In 2012, when she appeared for Google's placement drive, she had never imagined about a seven round of interview process. "The Google interview was in itself a great experience in my life. There were numerous aptitude and technical tests. I would say I was well prepared because we had many soft skill development sessions with two rounds of internships and I took everything seriously. Fortunately I could do well enough to provide the right answers though the interviewers were trying to confuse me," says Richa, who currently works with Amazon as a Transaction Risk Investigator after her stint with Google. With an out-of-the-box curriculum that has strong backing of the industry, ICFAI has been ranked high by both public and private agencies.
"The ideology of ICFAI is to connect education with the society. To provide quality education, the management has established good infrastructure in the states, which are deprived from the higher education with support from the government," says Dr. R. C. Ramola, Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology, ICFAI University, Dehradun. With many reputed schools and universities, Dehradun has a long tradition of education and the city holds top position for literacy rate in the state with 85.24 percent of people passed through basic education. However, the Dhrona Nagari, which is the second name for Dehradun, was deprived from higher education before the arrival of ICFAI University. "Today, the city has a good higher education infrastructure. However, in 2003 when ICFAI University started functioning in Dehradun, there were only few universities available for the students to complete their higher studies," says Dr. Ramola, who is native of Dehradun and a witness of Dehradun's transition from a hub of school education to a centre of higher studies after the arrival of ICFAI University in town.
Despite the national reputation for providing distance education, it was never a cakewalk for ICFAI to setup on-campus programs in a state like Uttarakhand. Similar to any other newly minted educational establishment, the Dehradun campus of ICFAI has had its challenges in attracting students and faculties from all over the country. "Establishing a university with a perfect balance of things like infrastructure, faculty and placements is always going to be a difficult job. Today, we are proud of our gradual improvements in the essential aspects that are needed for a quality higher education," says Dr. Ramola. Through numerous educational programs that have been offered in management, law, education, science and technology at bachelor and master levels on full-time campus and distance learning formats, the university today educates a large number of native students along with students who hail from various parts of the country. "We are able to maintain high standards of learning here due to two factors; one is our curriculum and other is our team of faculty members who are here with a good experience of teaching in reputed institutions like IITs and NITs," says Dr. Ramola.
Due lack of industry – institute connect, many students are still unaware about the real time scenarios in the industry. While most of the universities in India are still sticking with one large internship program in the curriculum, ICFAI has a 30-week internship program that has been scheduled to finish by two different semesters. "Our first internship program starts in the second year, where student will spend time in the industry but just to understand the working procedures. In the final year, we send them again for an actual internship, where students can work with the employees and be a professional at the end of their studies," explains Dr. Ramola.
"As a person from IT Industry, I have felt that the ICFAI's curriculum is very helpful for the people who are looking to join this industry. I was one among the many who joined in ICFAI in the initial years even before the first batch comes out. However, I had faith in ICFAI as it was one of the reputed names in the country for higher education," says Debasis Das, a 2010 alumnus of ICFAI who was absorbed by IBM India after he completed his internship with the company and is now working as Tibco/EAI consultant at IBM India. Dr. Ramola claims, "In India, opportunities are many for a graduate, but, the un-employability rates are still high. Hence, the students has to be prepared to grab that opportunities by taking the institution's curriculum seriously."
Getting students who are well focused and serious about the academic activities might be a fluke. However, the excellence of an institute is in creating more such intellectual minds. ICFAI is one among the few universities that aspires to achieve this feat. Attracting more students each year, ICFAI's 12 years of presence in the city has definitely transformed the higher education landscapes of Uttarakhand. Today, nobody bids adieu to this beautiful city after schooling. Instead, they enjoy the nature, inspire from the heights of Himalayas, study further and more importantly they prepare for the opportunities that life would offer them after their campus life. Amidst this process, ICFAI stands to be the instigators of transitions.
Dr. R.C. Ramola
He is the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology at ICFAI University, Dehradun. He is M.Sc Physics graduate and did his M.S from BITS Pilani. Prior to join ICFAI, he did his PhD from BITS Pilani and served many institutions in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. With detailed blueprint for the next five academic year in hand, Dr. Ramola says, "The way we see, treat and groom students here is different from other universities and that is our success too. As a university, the plans are ready and we would be trying to maintain our learning standards."
ICFAI's own Story-Teller
A mix of students from different parts of India and neighboring countries makes ICFAI, a campus with high rate of student diversity. The diversity of students on the campus has not only helped the university in improving its popularity on a national platform but to brush up some of its student's creative skills. Sourabh Dudeja, a B.Tech graduate of 2011 pass-out batch of ICFAI, Dehradun is one such individual who utilized the diversification of student community at the university to follow his passion. During his studies at ICFAI, he penned his debut novel named 'Love you forever only in that way' preceded by detailed research on human behavior, which was published in 2012 and the novel emerged as a national bestseller. Dudeja's next fiction, 'The Square of Secrets,' would be hitting the stands on June 2015.
The Summer Internship Program (SIP)
The Summer Internship Program (SIP) forms an important component of education at ICFAI. It is an attempt from the university to bridge the gap between the academic institution and corporate world. Under SIP, students can undertake internship at any organization during the intervening period between close of Semester II and commencement of Semester III. The program is almost equivalent to one semester and carries a weightage of 18 units, which is normally equivalent to six academic courses. The internship, which would be a simulation of real work environment, requires the students to undergo the rigor of professional environment. It exposes them to technical skills and helps them to acquire social skills by drawing them into contact with real professionals.