Campus review: NIRMA University, Ahmedabad
Nimesh Chandra, 10 Jan 2014


Courtesy NIRMA University

FAST FACTS
Established
: 2003
Location: Ahmedabad
President: Karsan Bhai Patel
Approval/ Accreditation: UGC recognised University
Programmes: BTech, MTech, MCA, PhD, MBA, BPharm, MSc, BA LLB 
Selection
: Written test, GD, PI, merit
Full-time faculty: 321
Top recruiters: Ultratech, Torrent  Power, RIL, Essar 
Seminar
: NICOM, Chemozale, Technoodyssey
Student activities
: Richter-10 (annual cultural event); Prayag-management Conclave
Website
: www.nirmauni.ac.in

THE first thing that strikes one as you walk across the 110-acre Nirma University campus, is that the institute has invested quite a bit for the student. It has well-stocked libraries at every school. It has  ample hostel space with a lift facility in each, and exclusive ones for women. The gym, is well-equipped. The surroundings are clean; there’s no ungainly sight of garbage strewn around. The sports facilities are impressive, and neat eating joints dot the campus. Life is not expensive (the fee for the MBA programme is Rs. 3.3 lakhs). And yet,  life is comfortable here. 

Academics
Since Nirma University emerged after its colleges came into existence, the structure is based on having relatively independent schools with a few shared facilities. The institutes offer programmes in engineering, management, sciences, law and pharmacy. What is interesting is that the school also offers a series of diploma programmes, in engineering disciplines, in other words a polytechnic is part of the university. And it benefits from the university ambience.

Research
The university has a long way to go in research. Dr. C Gopalkrishnan, Dean, Institute of Management puts things in perspective. “We are committed to students benefiting from our research capability,” he said, as we chatted in his office cabin. “More than 50 percent of our teachers are PhDs,” he shares. Faculty are encouraged to undertake research for which the institute provides seed money of Rs. 1 lakh. But it isn’t easy for prospective teachers to get a foothold in the institute. “We have a rigorous selection process,” the director stresses. But the output is still not prolific. In the Institute of Science, publication data is available for just about five faculty members. 

Life on campus
Many students live on campus. The hostel mess is all-vegetarian, not even eggs are served. The mess charges are Rs. 2,000–2,500 per month, which includes three meals and evening tea. However, some eateries in the vicinity serve non-vegetarian fare. It’s not all work and no play at Nirma. Plays, debates are a regular scene at the large campus auditorium, and for the artistically inclined, there’s an art gallery dedicated to Founder Dr Karsanbhai Patel’s (Founder) late daughter, Nirupama.

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