Director’s  Report

 

Convocation

14th March 2006

by

Prof. K. G. Narayankhedkar
Director, VJTI Mumbai

Prof. K. G. Narayankhedkar, Director VJTI Addressing a Convocation Gathering

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Honorable Shri Keshub Mahindra, Shri Nusli Wadia, Members of Board of Governors, Members of the Senate, Parents of graduating students, Distinguished Guests, Colleagues, my young friends, Ladies and Gentle Men:

On behalf of the Institute and on my behalf  I have great pleasure in welcoming you to this Convocation of the VJTI. 

We are indeed very privileged to have Shri Keshub Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.  as our Chief Guest to-day. On behalf of the Institute and on my behalf I would like to thank Shri. Keshub Mahindra, for his consent to be the Chief Guest for this Convocation.  He joined the Company as a Director in 1948 and became the Chairman in 1963. His continuous involvement has enabled the Company to reach the position it has achieved today and which it still holds.

We are privileged to have Shri Nusli Wadia as the Chairman, Board of Governors of VJTI Mumbai.  I am extremely grateful to the Chairman and the members of the Board of Governors for having given me this responsibility. I am overwhelmed by the warm welcome I received from the teaching and non-teaching staff. I am totally committed to VJTI. With the active support and guidance provided by the Chairman and the members of the Board and cooperation from my colleagues and staff I am sure we can achieve the goals set by the Board. We also hope to take the Industry-Institute relationship to a much higher level, which will be most beneficial for the growth of technology in the country. 

The Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) was given its present title on January 26, 1997. Founded in 1887, it was then known as Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute (VJTI).The institute is reputed for excellent training in courses in engineering and technology. Over twenty seven courses are offered at the undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, postgraduate levels to over three thousand students.

We at VJTI Mumbai have been pursuing the path of excellence and have the vision and strategy to become a leading Research Institute with Strong Undergraduate/ Graduate Programmes to excel in Education, Research, Innovations and Management of Technology. Thus we would like to achieve the status of becoming a frontrunner in the cutting edge technologies.

Teachers who actively participate in research careers have a responsibility to communicate the real excitement of intellectual creation and the birth of new ideas. Classroom dissemination of an artificial or virtual conception of research by those who don't do it, rather than the real thing founded on individual experience makes a great deal of difference. The non-researcher is too often limited transmitting knowledge generated by others, but the researcher moves from a base to original inquiry.

 

Bringing research culture in the engineering/technological institutes is a challenge and need to be addressed carefully to bring about this essential change by carefully reviewing the processes in various institutes in India and abroad and striking a balance based on the local conditions and requirements. I may mention:

 

“With the challenge comes opportunity

With the opportunity comes success

Success depends on the strategies that are created and

how these strategies are implemented.”

A number of leading institutions from all over the world are very keen for establishing partnership with us.  I take this opportunity to thank our outstanding students, dedicated faculty, and staff who have contributed immensely to the achievements and reputation that VJTI Mumbai enjoys today.

 I  am happy to report that in  this Convocation 215 diplomas have been awarded of which 17 are at the post- diploma level and 19 post-graduate-diploma level.

AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTE

The institute was granted financial and academic autonomy from June 21, 2004. As a result, the autonomous VJTI has implemented the revised syllabus for the students in June 2004 at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. An important part of curriculum is the practically oriented project at the final year of graduation and the dissertations offered by the postgraduate students, as also the in-plant training undergone by the Third Year Diploma students

TECHNICAL EDUCATION QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME (TEQIP)

Under the World Bank grant – Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) - the institute has several projects underway to establish itself as a world class technological institute. The modernization will offer excellent central computing facilities to students, who will also have access to improved laboratory and workshop facilities. The faculty at the institute is recognized for its Testing and Consultancy work. Realizing the potential of the institute, reputed industries have sponsored laboratories - for instance, the high voltage laboratory, courtesy Siemens; and the Computational Fluid Dynamics laboratory, courtesy B.A.R.C.

DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAMMES

Significant changes under autonomy include the setting up of Distance Education Programmes from IIT Bombay with VJTI as Remote Centre.  Distance Engineering Education Programmes from IIT Bombay are received by the VJTI  for the benefit of those who would find it convenient to attend at VJTI which is centrally located and has locational  advantage in this regard. The Eklavya technology channel is an Indian Institutes of Technology and  Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) initiative catalyzed by MHRD.  The EKLAVYA technology channel fingerprints every nook and corner of this vast country through INSAT 3C satellite on C Band enabling students to access technology courses offered by the Indian Institutes even in the environs of their homes.  

 

INDO-US INTER-UNIVERSITY COLLABORATIVE INITIATIVE

 

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for Indo-US Inter-University Collaborative Initiative in Higher Education Research has been signed between ISRO and VJTI for E-learning facility. As a first phase PG-level courses for M. Tech./M. E. students and teachers. This will include faculty from six leading US Universities, including the University of California campuses at Berkeley and San Diego, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio and State University of New York at Buffalo, which are ranked among the best universities of the world, will join with Indian Institutions led by ISRO, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, and Department of Science and Technology and engineering education in India. Three of the leading technology companies in the world, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Cadence will also be funding this initiative. They will depute their eminent faculties to teach full fledged engineering subjects to engineering colleges and universities all over India.

 

A few other salient features about this programme include that the American universities would also allow the use of their teaching and research material and related content, and for inclusion in the digital content library being created for future use by the students. The various disciplines of collaboration include Computer Science & Engineering, Information Technology, Electronics & Communications, Manufacturing, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Nanotechnology, Healthcare and others. The first phase will include PG-level courses/subjects for M. Tech./M.E. students and advanced under-graduate students. Teachers can also participate in this programme.

 

ACADEMIC  PROGRAMMES

 

The new era of globalisation poses challenges to educationists and particularly institutions of higher learning.  There is an urgent need for curricula reform along with a commitment to the highest standards of scholarship in engineering education. VJTI is well known for its significant contribution in generating excellent human resource.

 

The Institute’s academic programmes have been attracting the best students in its programmes at all levels.    The Institute has taken steps to initiate doctoral programmes by admitting full time research students by instituting Institute Research Fellowships for full time research students.   

  

An important component of academic research is the dissemination of new knowledge through publications in reputed journals, presenting papers  at national and international conferences and authoring monographs and books.   This year, our faculty published  35 papers in  referred journals and conference proceedings and published 3 books. They also attended 47 Seminars/Conferences and organized 13 Seminars/Conferences.

 

CONTINUING  EDUCATION  PROGRAMMES

 

The Continuing Education Programme (CEP) caters to the needs of the industries in upgrading the knowledge base of their employees and keeps pace with the recent technological developments taking place across the globe.  CEP offers “open programmes” designed for a group of industries with a common interest by the faculty and are made available to any working professional.  Further, tailor made “In-house programmes” are designed and offered for an industrial house.  Some programmes organized are as under:

 

1.      Wavelets & its application for Electrical Engineering

2.      Embeded Systems

3.      Modern Trends in Dyeing & Printing – Workshop for National Institute for Fashion Technology, Mumbai.

4.      Orientation to Textile Industry – 3 days programme for Maharashtra Labour Institute ( Government of Maharashtra)

5.      Environmental Legislation & Management – Industries & Educational Institutes.

6.      Awareness Programme on Nuclear Energy & Safety.

7.      Workshop on MATLAB / COSMOL.

 

RESEARCH  &   DEVELOPMENT

 

The Institute pursued the R&D activities with continued emphasis and a large number of sponsored research projects, contract projects and consultancy assignments were undertaken during the current year. Our generation of revenue through various sponsored research projects is  around Rs. 84.5 Lakhs, and testing, consultancy services  and CEP is around Rs. 60 Lakhs.

 

 FUNDING  FROM MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT

 

Maharashtra Government generously provided support by funding Rs. 2.36 Crores for construction of Girls’ Hostel on the campus and Rs. 45 Lakhs for equipments for the IT course.

 

RESOURCE  MOBILIZATION

 

One of the major challenges that any Institute faces today is to continue to retain its position of excellence and to improve upon it.  In addition to academic inputs, it requires substantial financial resources for continued modernization and removal of obsolescence. For this, we would pursue industry and alumni.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE  DEVELOPMENT

 

The Institute had undertaken a comprehensive programme for renovation and revamp of the academic buildings, hostels and residential buildings.  This included external painting as well as improvement in the interiors. Modernisation of seminar rooms, class rooms and conference rooms is also planned. A detailed master plan of the campus will be prepared to carefully select sites for construction of new buildings.  

 

FACULTY AND STAFF  DEVELOPMENT

 

Training is an integral part of faculty and staff development at the Institute.  27 teaching and 29 non-teaching staff have attended training programmes.

 

A special lecture on ‘Nano-technology’ was also organized on 9th March 2006 by Dr. Murli Sastri.

 

TRAINING AND PLACEMENT

Individual students’ profiles through departmental brochures are centrally positioned with the "Training and Placement" office of the institute. The office competently liaises with over hundred companies and successfully places students for employment and in-plant training through campus recruitment programmes. Our Diploma holders and graduates at all levels continue to command respect and are placed in leading companies, research organisations and academic institutions. During the year 2004-2005, the placement has been excellent with 100 % placement in some disciplines.

STUDENTS’  ACTIVITIES

 

During the year under review, the Gymkhana organized ‘Enthusia 06’ during January 17 – 30, 2006. Under Social activities ‘Pratibimb 06’ was organized during February 1- 3, 2006. Around 40 events were organized in the areas of Fine Arts, Debate and Library Arts, and Performing Arts. The hostel students’ activities included celebration of Independence Day, Ganeshotsav, Uddan, Dashera, Celebration of Republican Day, Chetna and other activities.

 

Jadharpur University Alumni Association launched “Chandrakant Krushnan Radhakrushnan Prize” of  Rs. 10,000/-  and a Plaque for the student securing highest marks at S. E. Mechanical class. This year the prize was given to  Shri A. N. Shirolikar.

 

 

COMMUNITY POLYTECHNIC ACTIVITIES

Community Polytechnic Project, one of the schemes of Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India is offered to VJTI through State Directorate of Technical Education in the year 2003. The fund provided for this project is Rs. 14.25 Lakhs (for recurring and non – recurring).

The objectives of this project are:

1.      To ascertain the needs of rural community through techno-economic social survey and job potential survey.

2.      To train youth, women of deprived sections of the society in rural areas.

3.      To work for Manpower development and Technical support services towards development of rural community.

VJTI has setup five extension centres at Pali, Mangaon, Roha and Pen in the Raighad District, and Mira village in Thane District. On the occasion of the National Science Day (February 28, 2006), a meeting of Social Workers, Chairman (Panchayat Samiti) and Sarpanch of these centres was held at VJTI and  it was decided  to initiate  following technological activities and  training programmes to spread Science and Technology in the rural areas for the benefit of the youths in such areas.

·          Use of Computer for rural persons

·          Bio-conversion

·          Land Surveying

·          Food Processing

·          Autorikshaw maintenance

·          Garment Making

The focus of this project will be specifically oriented towards the unemployed youths, socially deprived women and youths belonging to SC/ST/OBC categories.

 


ALUMNI  AFFAIRS

 

Alumni can play an increasing and proactive role in the affairs of VJTI. The Alumni Association is being revived and a major event of Alumni meet including the Silver Jubilee Reunion is planned in December 2006.

 

MISSION FOR SCIENTISTS AND TECHNOLOGISTS

 

I take this opportunity to mention what our beloved President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam addressed as Mission for Scientists and Technologists on the eve of 57th Republic Day – 2006:

 

 

           “For the scientists and technologists of the nation, I have five   

           immediate national missions:

 

·        Increasing the Solar Photo Voltaic Cell efficiency from 14% to 45% using nano technology;

·        Research in proteomics to identify the disease causing mechanism and to develop new methods to treat diseases;

·        Earthquake forecasting using multiple parameter pre-cursors such as pre-shock conditions and electromagnetic phenomena, prior to the final rupture;

·        Building a validated mathematical model for predicting the quantum of rain for a particular cloud conditions in a particular region in a prescribed time using the new type of Polarimetric radar and;

·        Developing the products in the healthcare, electronics and materials to meet the national requirements using the convergence of nano, bio and info technologies.”

CONCLUDING  REMARKS

I would appreciate the efforts put in by Deputy Director, Deans, HoDs, the Controller of Examinations and his team, and all the faculty members and staff.  Special mention may be made of the efforts of Prof. Gadre who compiled the Annual Report.

I have pleasure in extending my heartiest congratulations to the graduating students who received their diplomas today and special congratulations to those who have been selected for the medals and prizes.  Heartiest congratulations also to your parents and family who have provided you encouragement and support.  You, the Diploma holders of VJTI, are among the best minds in the country.  You have received a fine education at the Institute which is proud of you.  As you progress in your professional careers we would like to see you among those who can make things happen  in this world.  I urge you to uphold the right human values of honesty, integrity, truthfulness and professional ethics.  You must uphold the good name of the Institute wherever you are.

 

My dear students,

 

“You are flowers in the God’s garden,

You are stars in God’s  sky,

You must love flowers and stars,

You are wonderful beings in God’s world.

 

You must posses the head of Sankarachary,

The heart of Buddha, and

The hands of Janaka Maharaja,

Then you will be perfect human beings.”

 

Let me conclude my speech with a story of Sir Winston Churchill who was the Prime Minister of UK during World war II and came out of the war as one of the tallest leaders of the world. During his address during a school function, where he was invited as Guest of Honour, he addressed the students with five words:

 

“Never

 Never

 Never

 Never

 Give Up”

 

Jai Maharashtra, Jai Hind!