Thursday, December 29, 2016

How Effective are Nitte University's Research & Outreach Activities?

Nitte University's Justice KS Hegde Institute of Management (JKSHIM) is organizing the 5th International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, today and tomorrow. The conference is being held in association with the USA's University of Pennsylvania and University of New England, and Netherlands' Erasmus University. The conference is yet another event in a series of such initiatives by this Mangalore based private varsity which claims to be an emerging leader in research. The university carries out its research activities beyond laboratories, libraries, and research papers. Also, its community interactions reach beyond the customary interactions with industries. Nitte's research outlook is loftier, of engaging with the community around it using possible opportunities. Nitte University is led by N Vinaya Hegde as Chancellor and Vishal Hegde as Pro-Chancellor (Admin). Seasonal Magazine takes a look at how effective has been this novel approach by Nitte University in extending and improving its research activities. 

When you look at the rural landscape of India, standard of school education is definitely a matter of grave concern. Even for the handful of schools following better practices, there is no recognition or incentive to carry their good works forward. Nitte Education Trust which runs Nitte University In order to recognise such excellence in rural schools,  has instituted an award from this year onward. The award is given exclusively to rural schools that excel both in academic as well as non-academic parameters. The first prize will carry Rs 15 lakh, and the second price is of Rs 10 lakhs, which are clearly sums that can make a difference for the further betterment of these schools. To ensure transparency, The jury panel is headed by Justice N Santosh Hegde, former Lokayukta.

Nitte University, being primarily a health sciences university, has also embarked on even more ambitious programs in community outreach, especially in its primary domain of healthcare. Recently it conducted a month-long Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training program with the objective of training 5000 interested members among the huge pool of staff and students across its 35 institutions in Mangalore and Bangalore. On the first day of this camp itself, around 1000 students were trained in CPR, which is a life-saving first-aid when heart attack strikes.

In India, more than 7,500 people die every year due to lack of CPR given at the right time. CPR involves repeated chest compression and mouth to mouth breathing. To give further publicity and effectiveness to this campaign so that more and more Indians from all walks of life are trained in CPR, Nitte University is now trying for a Guiness World Record in this critical domain.

Nitte Institute of Communication (NICO), in association with Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) and the Green Brigade an NGO, has been working on an awareness campaign about waste management in the city. Towards this NICO Brigade has been set up which is a  team comprising of students, established for the purpose of creating awareness about environmentalism and waste management in Mangalore. The team will be actively going around Mangalore city promoting waste segregation and thus furthering their vision of making Mangalore a cleaner and smarter city.

Nitte University had earlier launched the Nitte Institute of Communication (NICO), which has started several innovative UG and PG programs in media and communication. With its fresh approach at designing programs that blend theory and practice, Nitte University’s NICO has fast gained a reputation for itself in the domain of media studies.

NICO students have access to a state-of-the-art Broadcast Studio, Print Design, TV Editing, and Web Design labs, updated library, Wi-Fi campus, modern ambience with aesthetically designed infrastructure and fully-digital facilities for professional education in media.

The University also offers separate hostel facility for men and women, cafeteria, 24×7 access to health care, commercial bank with ATM, a post office, sports arena and university bus facility for daily travelling.

Short films, documentaries, promotional videos, interviews with experts, and various fests organised by the media students of NICO not only speaks about their skills but also highlights how well Nitte has been focusing on this niche. The passed out Under Graduate and Post Graduate students have been placed in various sectors of media across India.

The community outreach activities of Nitte University is spearheaded by some of the top-most academic leaders of Nitte University's various constituent institutes. They are often invited as chief guests at noted events and utilize such opportunities to inform and educate the public as well as the government about the pressing needs of our times.

Recently, Dr M Shantharam Shetty, pro-chancellor of Nitte University, shared his invaluable opinions on the all important domain of rising road accidents in India. Dr Shetty said that every day 250 individuals die due to road accidents and twice these are rendered disabled. But unfortunately the country is not at all disabled friendly despite court's directives. He said that as a matter of right every person should be insured to make treatment accessible to them. He knows this domain inside-out as he is a former president of Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA).

Similarly, Prof. K Sankaran, who heads Nitte's Justice KS Hegde Institute of Management, as its Director had pearls of wisdom for parents in bringing up children. He exhorted parents to encourage their children to choose five things namely, curiosity over clarity, diversity over uniformity, passion over discipline, honour over success, and humanity over technology.

Prof. Sankaran further said that children should be taught that technology cannot replace love and compassion. He also urged students to realize that discipline and freedom are the two faces of the same coin. The more discipline they have, the more freedom they will receive.

The university also conducts seminars and workshops where eminent educationalists are invited to share their invaluable views. Nitte Education Trust, that runs the university, recently conducted a workshop for Principals of PU Colleges, which was well attended and led by eminent educationalists like HS Nagaraj, H Madhava Bhat, CS Shastry, and Saraswati B. The workshop articulated well on how the PU colleges should smoothen the shocking transition students undergo while getting promoted from Class 10 to plus-two.

Nitte University also undertakes novel initiatives to make its graduate and postgraduate students understand the principles they study in class. Recently a unique sports meet incorporating core management principles was undertaken by Justice KS Hegde Institute of Management. Games such as cricket, volley ball, throw ball, kabaddi, and tug of war matches were held for men and women simultaneously as part of the event.

An additional objective of the event was to imbibe professionalism in all walks of life. More than 300 management students participated in the event, and demonstrated their management skills through the games and sports..

Speaking about sports, the private university is one of the better equipped ones to handle different sports. Its basket-ball facilities are quite famous and even the national men's basketball team of India has recently trained at Nitte's basketball facilities, before going abroad for an international tournament.

Nitte Educational Institutes has also recently built a modern sports complex that is suitable for cricket, hockey, football, basketball, kho kho, kabaddi and all other types of sports. The complex has been named after the late cricketer Bellipadi Chandrahasa Alva (B C Alva), and was inaugurated by former Indian cricketer and ICC match referee Javagal Srinath.

The sports complex is a brainchild of Nitte Educational Institute's Chancellor N Vinay Hegde who has fond memories with BC Alva. Family scion and key leader at Nitte, Vishal Hegde has also been instrumental in the construction of the complex.

The sixth annual convocation of Nitte University was held in September. Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya, was the Chief Guest. Degrees were conferred on 636 students on the occasion. The split figures are 18 PhDs, 161 medical graduates, 140 dental, 10 pharmacy, 28 physiotherapy, 38 allied health sciences, 16 journalism and mass communications, and 17 biological sciences.

Apart from Nitte University chancellor, N Vinaya Hegde, who presided over the programme, other dignitaries were Pro chancellor Dr M Shantaram Shetty, Vice chancellor S Ramananda Shetty, Senior neurologist Dr KR Shetty, Registrar Dr MS Moodithaya, and Director of curriculum Dr Rajashekhar, among others.

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