Have you heard about the ‘Oxford of the East’? No? Well, maybe that’s because you are unfamiliar with its Indian name. That’s right, we are talking about Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune!
The factor which highlights the educational excellence of Savitribai Phule Pune University is the fact that these are some notable alumni: Late Vilasrao Deshmukh: Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra as well as Union Cabinet Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Science, Pratibha Patel: 12th president of India, Bollywood divas like Tanushree Datta, Mugdha Godse, P.V. Narasimha Rao who was the 9th president of India etc were students of this university.
Therefore, this article is not just going to talk about how this university is creating unique educational opportunities for students but also, the effect these innovative MOUs will have on the studies offered at Savitribai Phule Pune University.
What Makes Savitribai Phule Pune University Unique?
Nestled in the North-western part of Pune city, today, Savitribai Phule Pune University sits on a 411-acre campus. It was established in the year 1949, under the Poona University Act, and currently houses about 46 academic departments and has more than 300 recognized research institutes and 600 affiliated colleges, offering various programs in Science, Commerce, Arts, Languages and Management Studies.
They also offer special programs through special academic collaborations with 15 universities in USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan etc.
Savitribai Phule Pune University was also awarded 3rd rank among Indian universities, by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16.
It is interesting to note that, an International Centre was developed by the Savitribai Phule Pune University to escalate efforts for internationalization of higher education. They look into collaborations with foreign universities.
Through this, they strive to provide global educational opportunities, at ease, by facilitating student and faculty exchange programs and joint research projects and creating joint solutions and knowledge. It has also helped in providing for some of the best cross-cultural experiences for students. Soon, with the approval of UGC and the Central Government, they also plan to set up Campus Abroad.
The education system, here, is basically centered around expansion, inclusion, and excellence. What the university, tries to do, is to meet the continuous demand for education, making it accessible to all, without any discrimination. In doing so, they focus on a holistic learning method, and motivate students with the right knowledge and skills, to be used judiciously, for the betterment of our society.
Innovative methods are the way to go here! They relentlessly pursue innovations in the learning processes, among students through openness and flexibility in teaching methods. Some of their initiatives that deserve mention, include the Science Park, Skill Development Center and Design Innovation Center. Well, they certainly live up to their commitment to Savitribai Phule!
Creating Milestones Through MoUs
Moving on to the collaborations for better learning opportunities, last month, Savitribai Phule Pune University, went a step further and entered into a MoU with IHE Delft, The Netherlands and Unity Knowledge. This is basically to start and initiate various Msc and MTech courses in Water Management and Sanitation. The main focus of this MoU will be to work on challenges in the water and sanitation sector, to manage the quality of water, using adequate knowledge through science and engineering.
And it gets more interesting! A range of unique, short courses are going to be made available, in the near future along with research opportunities and international quality laboratory testing facilities. The best part is that their first online course, in this regard; Faecal Sludge Management, is all set to roll this month. Now that’s vision combined with commitment!
So, what does it mean for the university, and India, at a larger picture?
This collaboration will benefit India, firstly at a larger scale when an International Center for Water and Sanitation, starts operating from Pune. The need to conserve, preserve water is only going to rise in the coming years, and with all the pollution, climate change, India will be needing all the combined efforts to address the growing concern to provide safe and accessible water, for all.
Students, through the new courses, under this MoU for water conservation studies, will be taught to build up and contribute to better environmental practices, develop cutting-edge technologies, pursue research, that will also indirectly help in fighting effects of climate change and reduce environmental damage. This MoU is more like a future investment, for India’s requirement of water conservation and better sanitation facilities.
MoU with National Skill Development Corporation
Moving on, this is not the only MoU that was entered into by Savitribai Phule Pune University.
They had entered into another one, with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in 2014. Again, a good one, worth mentioning here. Simply because of this MoU with NSDC, currently all affiliated colleges of Savitribai Phule Pune University, provide skill-based training to the undergraduate and postgraduate students as an additional course in the regular curriculum, itself. Some 63 skill-based courses were developed in Arts, Fine Arts and Performing Arts, Commerce, Science, Management, Education etc. to be incorporated in the syllabi for postgraduate courses, alone. So, any guesses on the magnitude and reach of this MoU?
Well, they have sanctioned some Rs 4.20 crores, for this, under the Scheme Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centres for Knowledge Acquisition and Upgradation of Skilled Human Abilities and Livelihood, by UGC.
MoU with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization)
Now if you thought, that was it, you’re wrong. There is one more, notable MoU, that was entered into for advanced research studies.
Savitribai Phule Pune University and ISRO! Yes, the Indian Space Research Organization also features in here. A MoU was entered into between ISRO and Savitribai Phule Pune University, leading to a Joint Research Program, that was signed on 21 January 1998.
This program basically focused on research areas of Origin of life, Space Radiation, Wind measurements & modeling, Optical coatings & sensors and Rural development & developmental communication. And this MoU was further renewed in the year 2006, and more areas of further studies were identified. Some of them included Geoinformatics, Remote sensing applications, Material Sciences etc.
How these MoUs benefit students at SSPU?
It’s not hard to understand that educational institutions entering into MoU, do mean business. By business, we mean that they mean serious commitment, to enhance the quality of education. In fact, it opens up a path to focused educational and research interventions. Just imagine, if every field of studies had just joint collaborations and MoUs signed into, for this purpose?
Think of the endless possibilities of powerful sustainable solutions to some of our most pressing demands in today’s time. Safe and accessible water for all, industrial pollution, agricultural, dairy farming and techniques, and this list, will go on, unless a holistic method isn’t really fixed into the problem, right from the beginning. For students, it’s a really huge net of educational possibilities to choose from, to excel in any field driven by passion. And choosing this University can be that first possibility.
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