AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION TRANSFORMING STUDENTS INTO THE FUTURE LEADERS OF TOMORROW WITH A SEA OF COMPASSION TOWARDS THE SOCIETY AND THE NATION
THE LEGACY OF JECRC
JECRC is the pioneer of technical education in the state of Rajasthan. The foundation of JECRC was laid down around two and half decades back when there were no such avenues for professional higher education in the state and the students had to move to other states, mostly down south, for getting enrolled into such programs.
Today, JECRC University has become the most preferred University for the budding technocrats for pursuing higher education into Engineering, Management and Science along with well-knit state-of-the-art schools encompassing Design, Law, Hospitality & Hotel Management, Journalism & Mass Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences, Allied Health, nurturing the future of engineers, entrepreneurs, lawyers and artisans.
The dent that JECRC created in the education paradigm years back has come a long way and has in fact led to Rajasthan becoming a hub of higher education having highest number of universities as compared to any other state in the entire country and enrolling more than 13 lakhs students into higher education currently. Rajasthan’s population has begun to appreciate the value of quality education in this era of globalization and booming economy, which has shown extensive growth in the students opting for higher education after schooling.
DHEEMANT AGARWAL: AN ENTREPRENEUR AND INNOVATOR WITH A WITH A GLOBAL OUTLOOK TOWARDS HIGHER EDUCATION
Dheemant Agarwal is a fourth-generation entrepreneur from the Agrawal family. At a very young age, he has assumed the reins of the family business of Education. He is also an angel investor with a diverse portfolio of investing in blockchain, fitness, and SaaS-based start-ups. Dheemant’s creative stratagems and tactics are the driving force behind the Digital Strategies, Beyond the Classroom activities, Entrepreneurship & Innovation ecosystem, and the Social Arm “Abhyudaya” at JECRC University.
CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF EDUCATION
Dheemant, an Alumni of Xavier’s, Mumbai, while recalling his education days asserts that “Education as I see from the time when I was studying to now has changed at a rapid pace, and I must say for the best. There are 1100+ Universities and some 54,000+ Colleges rendering higher education in the country and thus students have numerous options to choose from. The education landscape has immensely changed given this internet era, and only those institutions that are delivering quality and value for money are thriving. Let me give you few pointers that validates my reasoning for the changed education landscape in last 5-6 years:
– Technological advancements and the new National Education Policy-2020 have played a major role. At JECRC University, we have embraced these developments, providing students with access to numerous experts from industry under the Professor of Practise arrangement. Also, the University has collaborated with industry leaders like Google Cloud, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Adobe, Tech Mahindra, TCS, IBM, Salesforce, Alibaba, DXC Technology, Bajaj Finserv, upGrad Campus, Larsen & Toubro, CISCO, Oppo etc.
We believe that in the coming years, for an academic institution to stay resilient and keep growing at the exponential rate while bridging the gap between academia and industry, the only way out is through Collaboration. Thus, there is a team of experts that researches the new trends in the industry, identifies the change drivers and on that basis collaborates with the right industry partners to build the programs & courses of tomorrow for the students.
– Gone are the days when students were limited to engineering or medical fields. Back in time, when a student wanted to pursue subjects such as psychology, humanities, social sciences, design, literature, media and communication and more so, they only had a handful of options. Or let me get much before that, students had no idea such courses even existed, and the only two choices they used to make was from either engineering or medical.
Rest other courses were either seen as futile, or student pursuing them was to be seen as not a smart one. But now the perception and awareness both have changed. Today, the diversity of the available Schools and Programs offered in the multidisciplinary Universities like ours reflects the changing and broadened education landscape. The richness, diversity, and depth of thoughts that students from non-science backgrounds bring to the table are unparalleled.
– Technology today has a powerful presence in our society, mediating how we work and communicate. In fact, technology has removed all the geographical barriers, the world is growing more interconnected and every city is now a metro city in itself. With changing times, the government, I must applaud, have taken up to this cause of education, and summits like Invest Rajasthan, IT Day, Tech Fests are been organized in cities like Jaipur.
Such events provide students a sizeable platform to learn, discuss their ideas and showcase their talents, which was earlier available only in the metro cities. Meeting and seeing their role models, just one feet away from them, gives the students a lot of motivation and impetus. Also to give students the best of best at our Campus, we give them access to the Who’s Who of the World. For instance, in the recent past, the Incubation Centre team at JECRC University invited Mr. Amit Jain, CEO, CarDekho to inaugurate its facilities, while Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, PayTM visited just this July for the launching of Kartavya Path Blogs.
Visit of prominent personalities from academia, industry and research organizations of the country and abroad has been made a regular phenomenon at JECRC University. In a nutshell, India has all the pillars connecting education such as corporates, industries, logistics, startups, infrastructure, highways, opportunities and talent. And yes, the emergence of NEP, freedom to design your degree, blended patterns, experiential learning, access to technology and more has changed the face of modern education in India.”
AT JECRC UNIVERSITY LIFE HAPPENS BEYOND THE 4 WALLS OF THE CLASSROOM
JECRC University is built on four pillars: research, innovation, social commitment, and creative freedom. These pillars are thoroughly embedded in the University culture in order to promote a sense of common citizenship, leading to national progress.
JECRC University is committed to provide a highly encouraging environment at the Campus with a large number of activities beyond class rooms like “Makerspace” to foster interdisciplinary innovation, “Code Warriors” to enhance the coding skills & out of the box thinking, “JECRC Incubation Centre” to promote entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem, “IAESTE” for international student-exchange programs, “IP Curate Cell” to encourage the creativity & protect the IP and many more.
JU has a strong focus on research at all levels of academics including undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The University believes that apart from knowledge dissemination, knowledge creation is the prime responsibility; and thus, has created enabling environment for faculty members, research scholars and students to undertake research within and beyond curriculum with complete focus on socially and economically relevant research. Also, JECRC University has a well-defined and articulated policy for research and innovation promotion.
As Dheemant Agarwal emphasizes
• “We don’t confine our students within the four walls of a classroom. Instead, we have developed a unique grading system that values:
• Innovation & Research
• Extra-curricular activities promoting networking and enabling the professional within oneself
• Engagement in Societal and Nation Building Activities
Our team is united in the vision that life extends beyond the classroom’s boundaries.”
UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY IN A CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT
JECRC University has a 32-acre lush green campus located in the heart of Pink City Jaipur. As you step into the University, you will encounter extraordinary design marvels which are best in class. The University fosters an environment that encourages creativity and provides numerous opportunities for personal growth. When asked about these captivating designs, Dheemant Agarwal, Director of Digital Strategies, explained, “We wanted to showcase the expertise of our design students by creating something that symbolizes our lush green gardens while capturing the vibrancy of our ecosystem.
The design team came up with an innovative idea of incorporating sculptures depicting singing, poetry, dancing, yoga, football, and more—activities that students often engage in during their free time. These sculptures not only fascinated me but also embodied the essence of JECRC University.”
EXEMPLARY PLACEMENTS AND INTERNSHIPS
JECRC University has set an exemplary record in placements with its students being chosen in record numbers by industry leaders, year after year. The focused approach towards persistent and multidimensional grooming of student’s in-line with the industry expectations has led to a sharp increase in the number of placements’ offers, resulting in students getting 2000+ offers consistently since last five years with increasing average salary packages.
Many reputable publications have rated it among the “Engineering colleges with best Placements in India” due to its students’ consistent performance in placement drives by prestigious firms. Every year, JU hosts top-notch companies like Amazon, HPE, Deloitte, IBM, Xebia, EY, Salesforce, LTI, HDFC Life, Cactus Communications, TATA AIG, Regalo Kitchens, Myntra, AU Bank, Kotak Mahindra, Jio, Publicis Sapient, Ericsson, Future First and Taj Hotels, for recruiting its students. The highest and average package offered to the 2023 passing batch stood at INR 44 LPA and INR 6 LPA, respectively.
University’s curriculum embeds a 6-month Internship Program across the disciplines, thereby bridging the gap between Industry and Academia and providing the students an opportunity to work in the industrial environment. Over the last 4 years, 5159+ students have secured Internships at renowned organizations. Hundreds of students have completed their internships at research organizations like ISRO, DRDO, UNIDO etc. For the 2023 passing batch, out of the total internships offered, 75% were paid internships and 79% of paid internships converted into job offers. Highest stipend offered was 80K in an international internship.
EMPOWERING STUDENTS WITH ENTREPRENEURSHIP
JECRC Incubation Centre (JIC) assists start-ups with converting their early-stage companies into highly scalable, commercially viable businesses. JIC envisions fostering an entrepreneurfriendly culture around academics & research. JIC has a dedicated start-up policy, an investment pool, a dedicated mentor board and advisory board for the incubated startups and a team of professionals managing the incubation centre resulting into 150+ alumni start-ups and 50+ start-ups which are currently incubated.
The efforts of JIC have also been endorsed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT and the Ministry of Commerce, by providing grants worth 9 Crores. Moreover, Niti Aayog has granted the stature of “Mentor Academy” for mentoring and handholding the 300+ Atal Tinkering Labs established in the renowned schools of Rajasthan. Dheemant Agrawal, who also act as the CEO at JIC, delightfully shares “Last year we had over 4500+ students admitted at JECRC University in various schools, which in fact is the largest batch for any Private Institution in the state of Rajasthan.
So, when we rolled out the application form for the incubation program, which is a 12-week intensive classroom program to help students build a prototype from ideation stage, I was surprised to see 1220 application from the batch, which is almost 30% of the total enrolled students. To me this was fascinating and showed the vibes of New India. This also goes to show the impact JECRC Incubation centre has created on its students, that despite classes, and so many other hurdles, they choose to pursue entrepreneurship.”
E- WASTE TO E-WONDERS
While taking a stroll of the University, one finds a Giant Robot, which has an iPad in one hand, while it is wearing a pair of VR Glasses. Dheemant explains the secret “On the 5th of June, JECRC decided to break the shackles, and go beyond the norms of what happens on environmental day across the country. Most activities that we see around us on the environmental day are centred around plantation drive, no vehicle day at the campus, no plastic drive or at the max calling an environmental ambassador and having him say a few words to the create awareness amongst the students. This time we wanted to tackle something, that is far graver, and with the help of Makerspace Team at the University, electronic waste was transformed into a 9-foot, 200 kg robot, which is no less than a wonder”
In 2020-2021, India processed 3.4 lakh tonnes of e-waste. According to Central Pollution Control Board, the generation of plastic waste per year is increasing by 3%, and the generation of e-waste is even higher, with waste produced totalling 7.1 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 and 10.14 lakh tonnes in 2019-20. Every year, there is a 31% increase, so this is a huge problem, and you must be knowing how students use their electronic devices.
They get a new one, even before the shelf life of their earlier one is over, and there is huge waste even sitting at their home, which bites the dust all the time. To address this, Makerspace lab, which is the interdisciplinary innovation lab at JECRC University that focuses on hardware innovation, came up with this brilliant Idea of creating E-Wonders from E-Waste.
Hence, in a span of just 14 days, the Makerspace team did a wonder by collecting 2300+ Units from the students and faculties, such as TV, Computers, Fridge, Laptop, Mobile Phones, Headset and 100s of other e-devices, which were left in the corners unused, and made some 45 working and nonworking models from these E-Waste including one gigantic Robot.
ADDRESSING MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES
Mental health is a real challenge, it does not matter how much we negate it, it is here for real and after pandemic, the gravitas of mental health challenge has only worsened. Dheemant said that
“We are living in 21st century, and as an academic institution, it is our responsibility and moral obligation to not just work on the professional and skill development of our students, but to also take care of the mental health.”
JECRC University has set up one of the first Mental Health Cell “MPower” in the state of Rajasthan, in association with Aditya Birla Education Trust. MPower was inaugurated by Neerja Birla, the founder and chairperson of the Aditya Birla Education Trust. This MPower Cell is a 24 Hours facility which houses a psychologist o address any kind of mental health challenge a student might face. The approach includes extensive use of relevant software and the data collected is kept fully confidential.
THE DIGITAL STRATEGIES AND TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION
Dheemant comes from a background where he has seen inflection point in the number of industries leveraging the fruits of technology. He thus strongly believes that digital strategies and transformation helps in developing best practices for enhanced customer experience and seamless business operations.
A glance at the social media handles of JECRC University, which comprehensively cover the achievements and attainments of the University, would not reveal that a team of young individuals, aged between 18-25, expertly handles their entire online presence. Dheemant’s passion for showcasing the breadth of activities at JECRC University leads to the creation of frequent and engaging content on social media. Recognizing the importance of networking and personal branding, Dheemant advises all JU students to have a LinkedIn account. He jokingly adds
“Having a LinkedIn account is as essential today as having a nice pair of white shoes.”
Under Dheemant’s leadership, JU always focuses on enabling the students with hands-on experience and exposure of technology to make them innovate and build for the country. Every JECRCian not only gets the opportunity to experiment with emerging technologies, but would is also provided with a conducive environment where they become used to leveraging these technologies in their daily use, and reduce the redundancy of the tasks, while building for the future.
We keep hearing about AR, VR, Block chain technology and other Web 3.0 Application that will further transform how we interact in our daily lives. JECRC University is one of the first institutions across the county to implement accepting NFT (non-fungible tokens) which are blockchain based crypto, in its cafeteria, in a way sensitizing and making students aware of the emerging technologies and its applications.
This is an example of how the University keeps experimenting with the new technologies by using them in the day-to-day operations. Likewise, more than 25 Artificially Intelligent Software Robots work in different Departments and Directorates of the University, wherein they automate several mundane operations and produce error free results, thereby relieving the faculty & staff members to have more time for strategy building.
“It is NOW, that we focus on, can lead to creating the Leaders of Tomorrow”
THE SOCIAL ARM OF JECRC UNIVERSITY
Dheemant Agrawal is also compassionate about the social upliftment of Rural Rajasthan. Under his leadership, “Abhyudaya” the social arm of JECRC University is working on the social fronts to help the underprivileged, organize blood donation camps, promoting girl child education, spreading awareness about social issues and stigma and much more.
He strongly believes that it is the moral responsibility of an institution to not just build successful careers that are technically sound but also instil compassion and empathy. Abhyudaya marks its communal presence through four leading social leagues:
“Zarurat’’, “Aashayein”, “Soch” and “Suhasini”. “Zarurat- The Help Beyond” caters to the elementary education of underprivileged children of our society. “Aashayein- The Life Saviours” at JECRC works 24*7 to meet the blood requirements of families in distress by providing live blood and platelets transfusion. Through this initiative, 16,677 Units of blood have been collected through annual blood donation drives and 1400+ lives have been saved by SDP donations.
“Soch- Kuch Kar Dikhane Ki” is a quintessential social enterprise dedicated to serve the environment and society with utmost vivacity. “Suhasini” is an initiative to save the smile of girl child, working for their welfare in society. University has also recently added NSS which gives the students another opportunity to serve the nation through 120 hours of dedicated social service towards various causes such as disaster management, traffic management, planting trees and others.
Dheemant said that
“At JECRC University, we believe in shaping complete individuals who possess both technical expertise and a compassionate nature. We strive to create leaders of tomorrow who can contribute to the betterment of society and the nation. We really appreciate the fact that following the footsteps of JECRC University’s ‘Abhyudaya’, which has impacted more than 1 million lives so far, even other institutions and business houses in Rajasthan have started similar cells to serve the society.”