We are pleased to connect with Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University to understand the pioneering efforts of the university in offering job-oriented courses with high employability. In this Skill Talk, Dr Madhu Chitkara talks about the need to integrate curriculum with industry requirements. She emphasizes on making employability and entrepreneurship to be the focus of education. She also discusses the rising trend of more women taking up unconventional courses across diverse industry segments lending themselves into self-sufficient entrepreneurs. Let’s read on to know more about how work-integrated learning models and apprenticeships could be operationalized in educational institutes paving way for Skilled India.
Predominance of women in many industry-integrated courses at Chitkara
Our university curricula are designed by the industry, for the industry, and our programs are linked with reality. There has been a tremendous response to such a practice by learners in Chitkara University. An important point to make is the curriculum has no personal bias to any gender, but girls are predominately ruling the teaching-learning landscape in our system. To exemplify, our management program in HR and Finance is preferred by girls, our B.Ed/M.Ed programs are exclusively for girls, our Engineering, Art and Design, Mass Communication and other programs in the University have substantial presence of female students as compared to male students. Nearly half of the student population is female and we are always proud of this fact!
Industry sectors and courses preferred by women students
Education, Banking and Finance, HR, Financial Markets, Healthcare, Software Engineering, Art and Design, Mass Communication/ Journalism, Pharmacy, Hotel Management have been some of the most popular and sought after industry segments which provide fulfilling career to our girl students. Our girl students are working with leading Knowledge companies, Investment Banks, Commercial Banks, Airlines, Educational institutions, Hospitals, Hotels, Media Channels & Fashion companies, Marketing & Supply Chain firms and many more to refer.
There is a strong alumni base of around 10000 students working at different levels in the industry from Management Trainee level upto Senior Management positions. Entrepreneurship has come up in a bigger way at Chitkara. We have set up CEED (Center of Entrepreneurship Education & Development) and have already incubated more than 16 companies. Entrepreneurship is the buzz in our campus and we are committed to provide full support to our bright minds.
Each of our course and program is unique by its nature and outcome. Employability and Entrepreneurship remain our focus be it Education, Hospitality, Management, Engineering, Architecture or any other stream. Our innovative education management program, Engineering and Management programs, Nursing and Healthcare programs especially in Optometry have helped many girls students finding suitable employment opportunities and setting a benchmark in the society. All our programs are tailor made and best suited to girls.
Our girl students are well placed in top companies such as Infosys, Amazon, Nvidia, Flipkart, Wipro, Deloitte, EClerx, Evalueserve, Mondelez, Nestle, ITC, Citibank, ZeeTV, Fortis, Safexpress, Yes Bank, HDFC Bank, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Ernst & Young and many more to name. These companies have been regularly hiring our students for internship and final employment year on year.
Work-integrated learning models and apprenticeships in India
Curriculum is required to be more real and workable to get better results. Our programs and courses are industry-based, guided and mentored by industry experts in association with best of Faculty minds. Our students work equally in the companies on six months or longer internships and live projects to get better connects of theory and practice.
Our management programs are based on 1+1 model wherein industry equally participates to groom the students in acquiring required skills. Our Engineering Programs have clear mandate of industry linked internship for a duration to build on application Job cannot be final aim of education; it can just be a destination.
Trust us, operationalizing such curriculum is not a challenge because it meets our learners’ requirement and our teachers’ way of mentoring supported by strong vision of Leadership of Chitkara University. Our biggest objective is to connect youth with the society through setting up strong education ecosystem. We are identifying social problems and doing research to solve those problems. As a result, more than 80 patents have been filed. There is a dedicated team working on doing technological research in order to meet these social requirements be it agriculture, homemaking, technology for physically challenged people etc. All this is part of our curriculum.
Vocational training at school level and cultural angle
I would strongly recommend introduction of skill based vocational courses at various level of education. We still don’t have that kind of culture in training our children in specific skills through vocational courses though the western education has succeeded in this substantially. Vocational training can be essential part of formal curriculum of various programs to bring that culture into place and leveraging demographic dividend our country. We have adopted four villages around our University. Our students and faculty are involved in uplifting their education and living standards. Many women in these adopted villages are educated and self sufficient in leading their families in a better way, now. This is part of our CSR initiatives.
Our University is running vocational and skill based courses in the trade, craft, engineering, accountancy, nursing, optometry, Medical Lab Technology, capacity building, environment, education etc. Our objective is to create skilled workforce and contribute in building knowledge economy. Chitkara has already initiated doing so at Chitkara International School.
It will be great if we all could embed vocational/skill-based courses at school level to keep our generations to be job-ready and capable citizens. We wish that our next generations will be the professional scorers and women of India will find their well deserved space in professional arena globally which is already proven to some extent.
Job placements for girls and challenges
It has been excellent in our case. Our girl students are getting best placed in Industry be at national or Multinational. Yes, there are some challenges with the girls especially in case of relocating at far off places but due to growing awareness and latest requirements of the present times ; the trend is changing faster. We have girl students placed abroad ; attending semester exchange programs across the world; managing live projects with industry and maintaining higher professional standards of working with no apprehension and limitations.