The unprecedented events which took place in the year 2020 put education in limelight like never. The paradigm shift towards online learning pushed universities and higher educational institutions to accompany technological disruption and simultaneously, evolve along with it. Adaptive learner experience, as well as boundary-less learning, was the key to education in the post-covid-era and students across all mediums learnt to get equipped to become abled professionals of tomorrow.
Additionally, India’s push towards becoming a global superpower has a direct connection to the advancements our country has made in its higher education sector. With universities across the length and breadth of our country making impressive strides in the online education segment and literally being the 2nd largest market for E-learning, the yearly increase in enrolments of foreign students acts a living testament to the consistent improvements occurring, year after year. Thereby, living up to the standards other top universities and educational institutions of our country have set and continuing rigorously in the pursuit of imparting the best higher-education learning to the masses, O P Jindal University (OPJU) comes as a bright light of hope, even during these gloomy times of the pandemic.
Located in Raigarh District in the state of Chattisgarh, OPJU is surrounded by many-core industries in steelmaking, mining and power generation. Working with a mission and value, which are aligned to the Chattisgarh state’s vision 2022: “Higher Education should reach the remote areas of the state”; OPJU strives each day towards helping more of local innovations to be recognized. So that, scientists/engineers are churned out of villages, literally giving voice to the quote – Vocal for Local.
An environment of academic freedom
Founded by the Jindal Education and Welfare Society, OPJU brings quality education to its students, using latest teaching methodologies. The faculty members also utilize the latest ICT-enabled teaching amenities, to impart smooth teaching/learning to all its student. The impressive digital infrastructure benefits all present on the campus to adapt to the medium changes, without compromising on the quality or the quantity. The multidisciplinary university aims to develop young professionals and future leaders who will not only grow into mature societal beings, but also, be capable of making a mark globally.
Due to its proximity to regions rich in coal, iron ore and other minerals, it is uniquely positioned to foster a collaborative environment through partnerships with industry, government, and academic institutions. The industry-academia connect existing on the campus guides OPJU into becoming a haven for quality tech-management education, dedicated to meeting the needs of the Steel Industry. From teaching to capacity building activities, every step taken at the university is towards meeting the demand for individuals who can work effortlessly, thereby, overcoming the ongoing industry challenges.
“India being the world’s second largest producer of Steel, and with aspirations to grow manifold in the coming years, OPJU will indeed play a pivotal role in developing new technologies” stated Dr R D Patidar, the Vice-Chancellor at OPJU. During a brief time period we got to get an inside view of OPJU, we posed as budding techno-management aspirants, and tried our best to get answers to the most asked questions of today. Quiet calm and confident, the VC of OPJU, shed light on what life feels like at the university, and how they have started on the path of delivering the best to the best.
Learning by doing
Every year, OPJU and everyone associated with the esteemed establishment give it their best to deliver, in the pursuit of creating resources to address problems associated with the Steel Industry. Be it in the areas of engineering or technology or best management practices, the O P Jindal University stands out when compared to its competitors, setting a clear example. “Following the core vision that one learns when he/she implements, practical learning plays a major role at the university, thereby, promoting a mindset which can resist, yet still, evolve.
At the time where there was total chaos, and students were asked to leave the campus, the university session was on and the courses were in the middle of completion. Yet, effortlessly the university moved on with the teaching/learning process, adapting to the change of medium. “Online faculty development programs were conducted to gear up to adopt changing pedagogies and instill positivity among faculty during the crisis”, added Dr Patidar, explaining in detail, how OJPU is well-equipped to tackle situations like pandemics or emergencies.
Being a complete learning institution where techno-managerial candidates are delivered to society, year after year, OPJU relies heavily on research and innovation. Keeping in mind the need for promoting entrepreneurship among the young engineers/managers, an incubation center is present on campus, built for fostering and promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship. With establishment of Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC), OPJU has thus become one of the few selected universities in India, which was chosen by GoI to establish ACIC in its campus. Lastly, with inclusivity felt in every nook and corner of the campus, students find their calling very early and move towards innovation and excellence, thereby, proving their talents by inventing and renovating in every endeavor of their respective lives.
Dr R D Patidar, Vice-Chancellor
A recipient of several scholarships and awards such as the MHRD Scholarship, the Gold Medal at M.E. Level, the best paper award at the IEEE conference and the best teacher award, Dr Patidar has worked as a Director of OP Jindal Institute of Technology (OPJIT), Raigarh, prior to being appointed as the Registrar of OPJU. All thanks to the immense teaching experience resting on his shoulders, Dr Patidar continues motivating young individuals at OPJU, heading the parade as the VC of the university.