Bringing Asia together
Popular among students from the SAARC countries, South Asian University has a lot to offer to students
For Manoj Dhakal, a native of Chitwan city in Nepal, joining Delhi’s South Asian University (SAU) meant “learning more from fellow students than textbooks.” A student of the master’s programme in sociology at SAU, Dhakal decided to pursue his higher studies here because he was impressed by the fact that it has teachers from some of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries.
“Teachers here are very experienced and highly qualified. The curriculum is of global standards and is very rigorous, exhaustive and refined,” he says.
Like Dhakal, there are more than 300 students from various SAARC countries, including India, pursuing postgraduate courses in disciplines including development economics, computer science, biotechnology, mathematics, sociology, international relations and law. Most students describe their experience of studying here as “amazing.”
“We are not only taught by teachers at SAU, but there are also a lot of them who come from institutions such as Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University for workshops and interactions which makes the overall learning experience very enriching,” says Ramen Sadaat, a student of MSc computer science, who has come all the way from Afghanistan.
USP: “SAU is a unique international university. It has been established by the governments of eight SAARC nations by pooling in their ideas, initiatives and resources. The core aim of the university, besides providing state-of-the-art education, is to inculcate a sense of regional consciousness amongst students from across south Asia. It boasts of some of the most talented faculty drawn from around the world. The course curric- ula are also set with a larger perspective on the region and the world,” says Rajiv K Saxena, vice president of the university.
Programmes: The university offers the following courses: MA (development economics); MA (international relations); MSc (biotechnology); MA (sociology); MSc (computer science); master of computer applications; MSc (applied mathematics); and master of law. SAU is going to offer PhD programmes from 2013. Research scholars would be inducted into the PhD programmes through an entrance test followed by a personal interview. All the candidates of the research programmes will be eligible to apply for the ongoing SAARC Silver Jubilee Scholarship instituted by the Indian government especially for SAU students. The maximum scholarship for research scholars carries full fee waiver, free stay in the hostel, a monthly allowance of R12,000 and a fixed startup amount. There are 25 scholarships earmarked for PhD students.
Faculty: The university has 53 faculty members, out of which 46 are from India and the rest from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
IT quotient: The university campus, currently located in Chanakyapuri, is WiFi enabled. Its library houses the latest editions of books and provides access to internet-based resources from around the world. SAU has put together state-of-the-art computer labs for MCA and MSc computer science courses. All the classes are equipped with the latest teaching aids like overhead projectors.
Infrastructure: Everything from classrooms to administrative offices, the library, conference hall, student hostels and cafeteria are available. All the hostels have common rooms. The universi- ty has established modern research and training laboratories for those pursuing their studies in biotechnology. The university’s new campus is coming up in Maidan Garhi: A 100-acre plot has been allotted by the Central government near the Indira Gandhi National Open University. The new SAU campus will be a fully residential.
Clubs and societies: Students have formed various clubs like drama club, music club, travel club and sports club that are liberally funded by the university. The students’ mess committee and hostel committee are elected student bodies.
Admissions: The university will soon announce admissions to MSc, MA and PhD programmes. Admission notification for the next academic session is likely to be made during the first half of January 2013. The entrance test will most likely be held in the third week of March and the session starts in July. SAU has country-wise quota for admissions. While Indian students can take up to 50% of the available seats, 10% seats each are earmarked for Bangladesh and Pakistan. Up to four per cent students each are allowed from the other five SAARC countries - Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan. There is also a provision of 10% students from countries outside the SAARC region. This year, the Indian Institute of Management Shillong is going to concentrate on organising short- and long-term courses for local tribal communities at highly subsidised rates. Students are involved in designing and imparting these courses. One of the proposed courses is on microfinance. IIM Shillong has already organised many management development programmes and collaborated with different government and non-government agencies for launching different programmes on topics like entrepreneurship, capacity and skill building (marketing handicrafts, indigenous food items etc) for the local tribes, says Keya Sengupta, director. “Strengthening safety measures for our university students, particularly women students, is a priority in the coming year,” says Arun Kumar Grover, vice chancellor The number of fellowships is likely to be increased in the coming year. New building/s will come up for the School of Social Sciences, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies and School of International Studies. New hostels and research labs are also likely to be set up. The university is working in association with the ministry of social justice to make the campus barrier free for the differently-abled students. Remedial classes are also being planned for maths and computer science students. Description: The US-India Educational Foundation is going to host a seminar on essentials of financial planning for your study in Description: The exhibition consists of 70 photographs of Buddhist heritage in 19 countries/ regions by Benoy K Behl and Eiichi Matsumoto. It shows the birth and the development of different schools of Buddhism in India and their spread to the many countries of Asia. Date and time: January 5, 2013, 11am Venue: 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate New Delhi, DL 110003, 011 2461 9431
A snapshot of the institute’s Delhi office