Bring­ing Asia to­gether

Pop­u­lar among stu­dents from the SAARC coun­tries, South Asian Univer­sity has a lot to of­fer to stu­dents

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Gauri Kohli

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

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