Maharaja Agrasen University (MAU), Solan, Himachal Pradesh, is the latest to join the list of private universities in India. Edex caught up with its chancellor, Nand Kishor Garg, on what its brings to the table.
MAU is set in Solan, while most universities now are camping in cities...
HP government created a hub at Kallujhanda village, in the name of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to facilitate setting up of private universities. Besides, the campus is easily accessible from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Delhi. This way the university can cater to the needs of technical and professional education of students from HP, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttrakhand, among others. Our objective is to provide high quality education, with global-level infrastructure, at low cost to students.
What courses are available for the inaugural year?
The university will launch academic programmes under four faculties — technology, architecture and design, business and management and law. AICTE-approved BTech options are civil, mechanical, electrical and electronics, computer science and electronics and communication. Our BArch programme is approved by the Council of Architecture. We have applied for approval from Bar Council of India for our law courses. Besides, we have BCom, BCom (honours), BBA, general MBA and MBA in travel and tourism. We are also entering into agreements with universities such as Leicester, UK, and Auburn of Alabama, US, for twinning programmes and semester exchanges.
What will be the intake at the university?
MAU will admit 300 students in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, Himachal; 60 each in the BTech courses; 40 in BArch, around 40 students each in BCom, BCom (honours) and BBA and 60 each in general MBA and MBA in travel and tourism. The School of Law will take in 60 for its three-year LLB programme. During the next seven years, we plan to have a student strength of 5,000.
Your comments on the current higher education system in the country.
Enrolment in higher education is only about 11 per cent of eligible candidates — this is very low. It has to increase to at least 25 per cent in the next decade. Greater emphasis should be on technical and professional education. Though there are over 650 universities and 3,300 colleges in India, there is not a single institute or university which finds mention in the top 200 universities at the global-level. India was a leader in higher education among 18 countries between 600BC to 1200AD. We have to retrieve our lost glory.