Neeraj Sahni, who completed his graduation from Delhi, migrated to Chennai with applications for both engineering and arts streams, about six months ago. He planned to apply for engineering course and other management courses but the experience was discouraging at times as could not make up his mind about the institute to opt for.
Neeraj is not alone in his confusion. There are several students who are unable to decide which institute to choose, more so because they are spoilt for choice. Academicians and experts say students should choose institutes based on their interests and aptitude. They should analyze their strengths and weaknesses, based on which they should decide what to pursue and where to pursue.
Looking at universities to zero in on the perfect one finally led Neeraj to come across SRM Institute of Science and Technology, the flagship institute of SRM group of educational institutions founded by Dr. T. Paarivendhar three decades back. SRM University is one of the top ranking universities in India with over full time student strength of over 47000 and that of part time nearly 4500 and faculty strength 2798 across all the campus. Spread over three campuses in and around Chennai and one in NCR region, New Delhi at Modi Nagar, the university offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs in Engineering, Management, Medicine and Health sciences, and Science and Humanities.
Creating the Perfect Academic Environment
"Education is all about creating an environment of academic freedom, where bright minds meet, discover and learn," believes Dr. Paari Vendar Allias T.R. Pachamuthu, Founder Chancellor, SRM University. To let the students experience a rich learning experience, the institute offers teaching by foreign faculty, flexible and dynamic curriculum, exciting research and global connections. This way the students have a wide choice of cutting edge programs including nanotechnology, bioinformatics, genetic engineering, remote sensing and GIS, embedded systems or computer forensics to choose from. Most of these courses are offered in close collaboration with foreign universities.
SRM being committed to creation of knowledge through research across all academic disciplines provides adequate research infrastructure in the form of research institutes and research centers attached with modern laboratories with state of the art equipment and manned by dedicated faculty members who have had their education in reputed institutes in India like IITs/IISc/NITs and renowned institutes abroad. "Currently there are 70 ongoing research projects at a total outlay of Rs. 451 million sponsored by renowned names such as DRDO, ISRO and UNICEF," says Dr. Paari Vendar. Among the various research disciplines, major focus of work includes Solar Energy Conversion and Storage, SRM Search Engine and Genomics and Proteomics. "We also have our Nobel Quest initiative that endows our students and faculty members to interact with Nobel laureates. During the last four years, eight Nobel laureates visited SRM University and addressed the students and faculty members," he adds.
"We at SRM University believe in building a strong international dimension in curriculum, research and teaching methodology by bringing students and faculty from well known universities overseas as well as sending students and faculty of SRM to reputed institutes abroad," states Dr. Vendar. The university facilitates Semester Abroad Program (SAP) for its students which enable 100-150 students every year to go abroad and study a minimum of one semester in select foreign universities. "So far, 650 meritorious students have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to spend a semester at some of the best universities in the world that include Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern University and SUNNY Buffalo," he explains. Similar to this, SRM also offers Faculty Abroad Program (FAP) where every year ten faculty members on an average visit foreign universities, spend a minimum of three weeks there and on returning to SRM, pass on the best practices that can be adapted.
Making Students Future - Ready
Placements play an important role in meeting the career aspirations of each student enrolled in the programme. SRM University takes concerted efforts every year to bring to campus as many companies as possible so that it helps students accomplish their dream jobs. More than 91 percent of the registered students were placed in 2014-15 by 305 companies which visited the campus. "It has been barely four months into the current academic year and a total of 6064 offers have been made by reputed firms that include Cognizant, Infosys, TCS and Wipro," he says.
SRM University has included in the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate programs six personality development courses which make the students employable in addition to training them through potential recruiters.
Student Involvement, Success All Around
One of the most important elements is an active social life, which students need to grow personally. A single-minded focus on academics negates one of the most important elements in the university experience, which is the ability to interact with people from various backgrounds. Through regular socializing, students develop lifelong connections that pay off in unexpected ways. Firmly believing in this mantra, SRM organizes activities be it entertainment, extra-curricular or even religious pursuits. Students are encouraged to engage themselves in various cultural and literary activities after the academic classes.
The university also organizes several cultural programs during the year to encourage creative pursuits and nurture talent. Students form teams and share responsibility in organizing the events. "We celebrated Milan, the annual four-day cultural extravaganza during 28th January to 1st February'2015. About 9,000 students of 62 colleges from all over India competed in 116 music, dance, drama, literature, art, film making, gaming, computer proficiency and sports events. The festival saw participation of more than 20,000 students," he says. The university also offers excellent sports and recreation facilities on campus, with dedicated facilities for tennis, basketball, badminton, yoga and even horse-riding. Students participate regularly in Inter Collegiate, Inter University and State Level Tournaments and have won laurels for SRM.
The campus life at SRM encourages students to engage in public services through healthcare camps, blood donation, advocacy campaigns or working with schools for the underprivileged. The university allows students to take up community service through NSS or join any of the community service projects.
With constant focus to groom students in a rewarding and inspiring environment by fostering freedom, empowerment, creativity and innovation, SRM looks forwards to emerge as a world class university in creating and disseminating knowledge, and provide students with a unique learning experience in Science, Technology, Medicine, Management and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the world and betterment of mankind.
Dr. Paari Vendar Allias T.R. Pachamuthu, Founder Chancellor
With 14 years of teaching experience, Dr. T. R. Pachamuthu has been the guiding light for SRM University. Besides being an educationist, he has founded a political party in 2010 by name. India Jananayaga Party (IJK). Success over the years has made him smoothly diversify beyond just education - from energy to construction and transportation to media.