Market-oriented curriculum

Written by Prachi Karnik Pradhan | Updated: Feb 18 2008, 05:48am hrs
The Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Womens University is initiating a slew of non-conventional programmes for reaching out to women. SNDT, the first womens university in India and South-East Asia, is introducing degree courses in fashion retail, apparel manufacturing, merchandising and jewellery designing.

Dr Chandra Krishnamurthy, the tenth vice-chancellor of the university, said: The fashion industry is growing fast and has equally challenging opportunities in various other sectors such as information technology and engineering. To provide the industry with industrious human resources, SNDT university has adopted a system wherein the deserving students would be selected and groomed to be focused professionals.

Krishnamurthy also said that the entrance examination for the selection of candidates would be conducted across the country. She added that colleges and universities from Nepal and Mauritius have shown great interest in being affiliated with the university for various courses that it offers. The university has 13 colleges and institutes and 148 affiliated colleges in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. It has three campuses and 43 departments.

It has expanded its horizons from liberal arts, languages, humanities, social sciences and commerce to professional faculties including science, nursing, pharmacy, home science, education, special education, computer science, communication and media management, technology and acturial science.

Krishnamurthy said the university has 44 full-fledged post graduate departments and nine parellel post-graduate departments, two research establishments and three secondary schools for girls. The university had recently launched a distance-education programme.

It also boasts of international collaborations with the New York University (USA), Sheffield City Polytechnic (UK), Edinburgh University (UK), Czechoslovakia Government, Association of Commonwealth Universities London, Canadian International Development Agency (Ottawa), International Development Research Centre, Ottawa and University of Regina, Canada, among others.

Krishnamurthy said the university is committed to the cause of womens empowerment through access to education, particularly higher education through relevant courses in the formal and non-formal streams. We provide professional and vocational courses for women to meet the changing socio-economic needs with human values and purposeful social responsibility, and to achieve excellence with quality in every activity, she added.

During the last few years, the university has introduced programmes like Education on Wheels, Education at Doorstep and Jagruti with the sole objective of making education available to women from every strata of the society, said Krishnamurthy. Not even a single woman should be deprived of her basic right to good education. Only education can empower a woman, she added.

The university is actively involved in teaching, research and extension. Teaching and research are undertaken in different faculties and departments. The courses range from certificate and diploma to doctoral levels, offered in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, she added.

The university also proposes to introduce mobile education to provide education through mobile phones. The university has joined hands with SUN Microsystems, Tata Teleservices and Pay Phone Welfare Association. The new scheme would be launched on March 1. Students can register themselves for mobile education and give their GRE or CAT exams on the mobile bay to be set up, said Krishnamurthy. Over the years, the university has offered more than 1.90 lakh degrees or diplomas.