Story in Edex of New Indian Express
Born and brought up in Andhra Pradesh, BV Babu, Vice-Chancellor, Galgotias University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, did his primary schooling from Vignana Bharati Convent School, Secondary Schooling from Sri Raja Government High School, and Intermediate from Sri Raja Government Junior College. He holds a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from AU College of Engineering, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and an M.Tech in the same subject from Coimbatore Institute of Technology. He also holds a PhD from Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay in Chemical Engineering.
In a freewheeling chat with edex, he talks about the challenges India is facing in higher education and also the high points of Galgotias.
Q.How do we overcome the challenges faced by the Indian higher education system?
Challenges that private universities are facing are manifold - quality of students and faculty are the supreme botherations. Fortunately, at Galgotias we do not face either of the setbacks as the eligibility criteria for admission to the programmes offered are so high, that we only get the best of students. Similarly, 40 per cent of our faculty members are PhD holders. But, generally speaking, some specific challenges are building a resilient and vibrant university for the 21st century, faculty renewal, partnerships and entrepreneurial initiatives and finally, creating a 'learning'environment.
Q.We have a huge population and not all can afford private education. What’s Galgotias doing to make education affordable?
Compared to many private universities, Galgotias charges a nominal and affordable fee — `77,000-`1, 49,000 per year for undergraduate and `50,000-77,000 per year for postgraduate programmes. We also have tied up with several banks to facilitate educational loans. Greater Noida, being situated in NCR region, is accessible to aspirants from even far flung villages.
Q.Have you observed any new trends in education?
Private universities have brought about many trends and I would like to list them — upgrading the education system to international standards, broad-based holistic approach with several flexibilities to students, bringing in more courses on humanities into the curriculum, inclusion of more project-based courses, case study-based learning process, continuous evaluation, research and independent study as a part of curriculum, interdisciplinary approach and systems approach in education system, soft skills and aptitude building as a part of curriculum, compulsory core courses on environment and energy, bringing awareness and understanding on professional ethics and social responsibility, emphasis on curiosity, engagement and passion, evaluation of the mission of higher education, increased competition for students, emphasis on student competencies, increased awareness of competing education systems, student trends concerning minority access, student debt, foreign students, and part-time students, management trends concerning planning, financing, marketing, student retention, and institutional leadership, teacher and curriculum trends concern: minority and women employment, collective bargaining, tenure and the graying professoriate, migrant faculty, faculty workload, occupational versus liberal arts/general education, educational delivery systems, high technology, and response to corporate training/degree programmes.
Q.What’s Galgotias doing in terms of bringing novelty to the curriculum?
In order to create corporate ready professionals, we have incorporated English proficiency, aptitude building and soft skills for campus to corporate transition as a part of curriculum in a structured way with due credits for all these courses. Our courses induce outcome-based learning with programme outcomes and programme educational objectives spelled out for every course. Our admissions are through CSAB-2014 — this is to attract good quality students; we are participating in Central Seat Allocation Board (CSAB-2014) admission process of JEE in addition to our admission process through our own Entrance Test (GEEE-2014).
Q.Galgotias must be pitted against the established ones. How are you tackling the competition?
Though Galgotias as a university is new, it has a legacy of being successful as Galgotias Institutions have been here for the past 15 years. Galgotias’ mission is to graduate socially responsible future technologists and business leaders with good communication skills, problem solving abilities and an entrepreneurial spirit with a commitment to economic development. With a strong multi-disciplinary knowledge base, our graduates will be well prepared to succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy. With a focus on multidisciplinary research and education, and a learning model that emphasizes active learning, GU aspires to be globally known for innovation at the intersection of disciplines.