Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pros & Cons of Graduating From Manav Rachna International University

Manav Rachna International University (MRIU) is buzzing with activity. It recently publicized massively for nothing less than its doctorate programs in various streams, and for nothing less than 79 such research positions! The self-financing sector is really showing the conventional sector how to move ahead. What was once the realm of research scholars, and a handful of coveted research positions, has become virtually a PhD-on-Tap affair, thanks to private universities like MRIU. Its official channels like its website also indicate that 2014-15 admissions is still continuing against still vacant seats. Some of its students, however, are really going places, with an MRIU team recently selected for a coveted Microsoft competition finals for Office Apps.

Dr. OP Bhalla was a man who kept on searching throughout his life. Always searching for a bigger role for himself and his team, in this wide world. Originally a medical doctor, his quest for bigger and better opportunities led him first to real estate development, and then finally to self-financing higher education.

When he started out, lakhs of NCR students were literally fleeing their homes for South India, every year. Today, Dr. OP Bhalla is no more. But like all great entrepreneurs, he has left behind an enterprise that has a robust life of its own - the Manav Rachna International University (MRIU).

In India’s great tradition of family-owned businesses, there are also enough leaders to carry on the flame at MRIU. Chief Patron Mrs. Satya Bhalla is not just Late Dr. Bhalla’s wife, but an experienced teacher and educationalist in her own might. Their son, Dr. Prashant Bhalla, currently the Chancellor at MRIU, is also highly experienced in the field, having completed 14 years of leadership at various Manav Rachna Educational Institutions (MREI) that together is home to 20,000 students at a time, across Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida, & Sonepat, from pre-nursery to doctoral level. Dr. Amit Bhalla, also from the family, brings in young energy to the group in his current capacity as Vice President.

However, like some of India’s largest and finest businesses, these edupreneurs too have left the day-to-day management of this educational enterprise to thoroughbred professionals. Vice Chancellor Dr. NC Wadhwa (IAS Retd.) and Pro Vice Chancellor Prof. Victor Gambhir personify this professional touch. Today thanks to this great team of family-led as well as professional team, Manav Rachna students have been scaling great heights in various competitions.

Manav Rachna College of Engineering students bagged the first, second and third positions at the national round of Microsoft Imagine Cup recently. They won in the innovation category with products such as Smart Skull, an automatic system to alert an accident victim's relatives and emergency services; MovAid, perhaps the world's first personalised solution to measure and monitor the recovery of an individual after orthopaedic trauma rehabilitation, surgery, injury or joint replacement; and Project Respiron which has a device and smartphone application for an out-of-range alarm, medication reminder, 'puff counter' and panic button for asthma patients.

The students behind all these innovations are at Manav Rachna's Dr OP Bhalla Incubation and Innovation Centre. Manav Rachna Educational Institutions (MREI) boast of having filed for 34 patents so far. Now, under Chancellor Dr. Prashant Bhalla’s guidance, MRIU is planning to have its own venture capital fund to support the start-ups on its campus.

These and several other similar achievements by Manav Rachna students are significant because MRIU is no IIT and these students were not even NIT grade, as otherwise they wouldn’t have chosen the costly self-financing option offered by institutions like Manav Rachna.

Though placements are today adequate at MRIU, if tomorrow the situation changes on the jobs front, the Bhallas are trying to create a Plan B at least for their smartest students. “In the current environment, getting a job is a challenge. We are encouraging students to move towards entrepreneurship. Students have come up with innovative ideas which are being nurtured and mentored by the entrepreneurship cell,” says Prashant Bhalla, Chancellor of Manav Rachna International University.

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