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Practice-I: Cradle for "Concerted Development"

Objectives of the Practice:

DIT University is committed to providing high-quality education to its students. Its motto 'Imagine, Aspire, Achieve' is a guide that propels the University towards excellence. The main objective behind the practice of "Concerted Development" is to enable the students to achieve their full potential in becoming responsible global citizens, ready for the world-of-work, with emphasis on building people of high qualities of mind and character.

Contextual Features

Undertaking such a major responsibility requires transformational change in the mindset of the stakeholders. The studuents and faculty need to appreciate the importance of life-skills learning and be sensitive to the surroundings and society. DIT University has acknowledged that the following features have to be made integral part of the system.

  1. Academic excellence -every student is given an equal opportunity, with continuous specialized training to provide the right skill sets to the students and prepare them for the competitive world.
  2. Rewards & Recognition system, where achievements by faculty and students are recognized and appreciated
  3. Cultural associations cultivate the 'unity in diversity' mindset - by celebrating all local, national and international festivals and events, thereby training the students to contemplate the importance of diversity, community service, harmony, and togetherness.
  4. National Service Scheme (NSS) and National Cadet Corps (NCC)
  5. Cultural and sports Clubs & Societies
  6. Mental Health & Physical Fitness – Professional and personal counselling, Awareness building
  7. Students' involvement in the decision-making- Students are made part of the process through formal representations in the Academic council, BOS, and other committees.
  8. Awareness drives, expert talks, workshops, and debates on issues like development and its impact on the environment, sustainable development goals, gender sensitization, societal evils like drugs, internal and external political issues, etc

The Practice

The New Education Policy (NEP -2020) envisages significant changes in the higher education sector, focusing on providing flexibility to students to chart their personal careers depending on their choices. Its implementation requires the University to be non-rigid in its operations and constantly evolving its curriculum, ensuring adequate importance to contemporary life skills learning. Keeping the broad guidelines and challenges of higher education in mind, we designed the practices with the following critical features:

  1. Two-week-long orientation cum induction program for all new entrants to ensure students' smooth transition from - "School to University environment." Usually, the challenges encountered are "Cultural and Social" issues addressed by our mentors/advisors.
  2. Soft skills, personality development, courses on the latest technology, foreign languages, campus to corporate, and sessions throughout the degree program. All students at DIT, on average, are given 30 hours of additional training each semester.
  3. Recruiters often complain that students graduating from colleges are not ready for the world of work and need a lot of training after recruitment before they become 'usable'. Responding to this challenge, DIT University has established an in-house Career Development Centre (CDC) to cater to the needs of the students and bridge the gap between the industry needs and the student's skills set.
  4. Assessments through AMCAT, Elitmus, etc., are regularly conducted to identify students' aptitude and competence.
  5. After rigorous selection criteria, CDC entered into MoU with various specialized competitive exam training organizations to prepare students for GATE, GRE, CAT, and Govt. Services Entrance Exams including Defense, Civil Services, etc. The training is being imparted to the students right on campus and at almost 50% reduced cost. This has become highly rewarding for the students.
  6. In order to motivate the students, the University has conceived a "Reward and Recognition policy" wherein achievers, and needy students are financially rewarded.
  7. A highly effective student counselling cell is established as part of this practice. Accomplished and experienced counsellors regularly organize events for mental health and wellness. Professional and personal counselling service is available round the clock.
  8. University conducts competitive events like Tata Crucible, Youth Parliament, Model UN, providing students a platform to develop confidence and imbibe leadership qualities with opportunities to brainstorm global issues.
  9. DITU believes that learning is not limited to the classrooms. There is a good emphasis on supporting students to participate in extra-curricular activities through clubs and associations. More than 30 different clubs are being managed and run by the students under the guidance of faculty members.
  10. The career services team provides a one-semester internship for students to gain practical insight into their professional domain. This builds confidence in students to use their knowledge to solve real-life problems.

The Evidence of Success

The University has achieved substantial success since this practice has been put in place at the DITU. The success of this practice is evident from the following outcomes-

  1. The quantity and quality of placements improved with an upswing in the no. of organizations visiting for placements increasing by 69% over the last 2 years. For the year 2022 placement a highest compensation of Rs. 45.65 LPA for passing out students was achieved, which is nearly a 40% increase in the highest compensation offered.
  2. High end dream organizations including core engineering organizations like Microsoft, Amazon, Commvault, JSW, Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India Ltd., L&T, etc. visited the campus for the 1st time offering employment to students.
  3. The average compensation package increased from Rs. 4.8 LPA in the year 2021 to Rs. 5.5 LPA in the year 2022. Also, the number of jobs offered that lie in the range of salary packages of Rs. 08 LPA to Rs. 45 LPA has increased by approx. 38% in the year 2022 as compared to the previous year placements.
  4. DIT University, Dehradun was awarded as one amongst the Top 10% Engineering Campuses at the National Level for assessment (AMCAT) carried out for the students of Batch 2022. The award was presented by Aspiring Minds. The award was given on the basis of actual performance of DIT students on a standardized test and not on the basis of superficial factors like infrastructure, faculty etc.
  5. Total 212 students qualified various entrance exams such as GATE, CAT, Defense Services, PSUs, higher education, etc. in the year 2021 & 2022 (including a student securing an AIR-40 rank in GATE) so far and still counting.
  6. The Career Development Centre, DIT University, promoted student success with additional value-added training on various on-demand technologies that blend career guidance sessions and company-specific technical training, resulting in an increase in the placement percentage of eligible students from 42.3% to 82.3% in the School of Engineering and Technology.
  7. Employability Assessments by AMCAT, e-Litmus, and Career net were conducted to assess the employability quotient of the students. More than 800 students were evaluated from batch 2021, and about 700 students were evaluated from batch 2022. As a result, in batch 2022, 100% of students who took the employability assessment (AMCAT) scored higher than the national mean average in all modules, and many students were offered jobs through their employability scores.
  8. The professional support of the student’s counsellor has resulted in positive, open and a harmonious environment, thus improving their mental health, well-being and self-esteem.

Challenges and Resolutions

The major challenge in adapting to this practice were-

  1. During the initial phase, the major challenge was to motivate the students and create awareness.
  2. Further, for career development training, the transition from a 100% outsourced model to a hybrid model while improving the quality.
  3. Maintaining the right balance between the mandatory academic requirements and value-added skills training.
  4. Designing the curriculum based on the needs of the students and feedback from our recruiters.
  5. The remedial measures resorted to are as follows-
    1. Awareness of the concept is provided right from the induction held during the start of the first year and continuous emphasis on its importance.
    2. Periodic assessment for students to evaluate their progression.
    3. Selection of the training partners and aligning them towards the goals and objectives of the University.
  6. The University adjusted the regular timetable to accommodate this new initiative.

This concept is dynamic, considering the evolving needs of the recruiters and periodic changes in the exam patterns. Thus, course structure mandates inbuilt flexibility and adaptability.

Based on our experience, the key to the success of the practice is meticulous planning and monitoring in the following areas:

  1. Creation of an independent center for the development of professional competency.
  2. Allocation of budget and other resources.
  3. Assessment of students' potential.
  4. Investment in technology for e-governance.
  5. Collaboration and continuous interaction with industry and other stakeholders.

Practice-II: "Faculty Progression and Empowerment"

Objectives of the Practice:

Towards achieving excellence in higher education, the Institution needs Progressive and committed faculty, good infrastructure, and governance/ leadership. Faculty development and empowerment are systematically practiced at DITU, which has given rich dividends.

This practice aims to provide opportunities for our faculty to be lifelong learners while instilling leadership qualities, making them role models for the students and society at large. An empowered faculty will contribute towards creating & disseminating knowledge and building students' character, resulting in institutional and the nation's growth.

Contextual Features

Today, there is an estimated higher education faculty demand-supply gap of about 38 per cent in India. The challenge for any institution is attracting and retaining qualified faculty, considering the increased number of public and private universities over the last few years. DITU firmly believes that faculty is the soul of any forward looking institution. Considering this challenge, the University adopted the practice of continuous training and empowering its faculty to be future academic leaders.

The choice of the teaching profession as a career has to be driven by a passion for learning first and then teaching. The decision to be a faculty has to be revered, groomed, and perfected. With a strategic view, the nurturing of the "Faculty" involves

  1. Attraction & Retention of Faculty.
  2. Identifying the gaps in Skills Set and training and retraining.
  3. Train the faculty on the latest teaching pedagogies and changes in the learning paradigm.
  4. Enable and empower the faculty to perform to the best of their ability.

Apropos, it is prudent that leadership and governance develops a methodology to foster the above parameters. While Human Resources Management would deal with a few of the above, the major challenge is maintaining the right balance between academic workload, career growth, and capacity building.

The Practice

Attraction and Retention of Faculty have been achieved by

  1. Recruitment adheres to a rigorous process, well-tuned to the UGC and other Regulatory stipulations.
  2. Induction/Orientation Program
    1. Awareness Programme related to Rules & Regulations on Professional Conduct, Customs & Traditions of the University
    2. Roles & Responsibility
  3. Setting Expectations & Targets.
  4. Align Organizational Goals with Individual aspirations.
  5. Regular Appraisals: Target-based Appraisal includes Self-appraisals and student appraisals of faculty performance. Review and revising of targets are managed at the department level every semester, and the annual reviews are done at the university level. Feedback is given to the individuals confidentially, and follow-up strategies are devised accordingly.
  6. Benevolent Management Policy contributes towards better retention, keeping the following factors in mind.
  7. The numerical strength of teachers vis-a-vis the number of students and Subject-wise student-teacher ratio.
  8. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems.
  9. The academic strength of the faculty, blend of experience, and age.
  10. Create a passion for Research, Consultancy, Innovation, and Patenting through motivation and financial support such as Seed funds.
  11. A dedicated Teaching Learning center to conduct regular programs in newer pedagogies, experience-sharing, etc.
  12. Faculty Development and Management Development Programmes by the departments.
  13. An Online Academic Excellence Information System for recognition, transparency, accuracy.

The process of empowering faculty and simultaneously enhancing their skill sets is summarized as:

  1. Promote decentralized functioning and Participative Management. Streamline the functions with the help of the Committee and Sub Committees. The Dean of Academic Affairs and his team prepares the academic Schedule, registration in courses etc. The Discipline Committee, under the Chief Proctor, oversees matters of discipline, The Controller of Examinations manages examinations and result preparation.
  2. Teacher Student Connect (Mentor-Mentee). Formal and informal interactions are prevalent. Students are also involved in formulating goals set by their respective mentors. Clarity of Goals and academic targets helps students to evolve an action plan. Regular interaction between students, parents, and faculty members bridges the gap to resolve academic and non-academic ambiguities.

Research Promotion

  1. Non-PhD faculty are encouraged to register for Ph.D. upon joining the University
  2. All faculty members are advised to take up investigatory and action research projects to develop research and inquiry skills/competencies. The areas of research would generally be in their areas of specialization or as identified by University
  3. Teachers are supported to attend seminars, conferences, workshops, and refresher courses and collaborate with industry and academic experts to assist in the process of sharing their knowledge and experience with peers
  4. Expeditious processing of research projects, seed money, special grants for all kinds of research activity (including reimbursement for attending conferences/ workshops/ seminars), and merit-based incentives to faculty
  5. Facilitative measures have been augmented for University-industry cooperation
  6. Consultancy Policy
  7. Incentives (through financial rewards and recgnitions) for research publications in journals of repute and sponsored research funding from outside agencies are granted

Evidence of Success and the Impact of the Practice

  1. Decentralized functioning and Participative Management (Job Enrichment)): Zero tolerance on mandatory enforcement and strict adherence to the academic calendar.
  2. Regular appraisal and feedback has resulted in better matching of individual aspirations with the university goals.
  3. Improvement of teamwork and overall performance in every sphere of activity
  4. Research Promotion through the following measures has seen significantly better performance by faculty
    1. A large number of faculty registered for the Ph.D. Programme.
    2. Seed Money for starting research.
    3. Establishment and functioning of 6 Centers of Excellence in the fields of (i) Internet of Things (IOT), (ii) Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), (iii) Industrial Automation and Robotics (IAR), Materials and (iv) Nano Engineering Research (MNER), (v) Advanced Functional Smart Materials Laboratory, (vi) Land, Air, & Water (Environmental Sustainability-LAW).
    4. More than 1100 Publications in the last five years. H-Index 23, Scopus and Web of Science.
    5. More than 850 Conference and Seminars Attended by Faculty.
  5. Teacher- Student Connect (Mentor-Mentee)
  6. Greater student participation in University activities.
  7. Early resolution of Grievances, if any.
  8. Improvement in performance of students and overall results.
  9. Better placement ratio and high-end placements.

Challenges and Remedies


  1. The challenges are more pronounced in some disciplines where the talent supply is limited. The University has to compete with more established research Institutions and Industries in terms of salary and other benefits.
  2. Being a private university, the University can provide limited support funds to the faculty as compared to established government Institutions.
  3. Access to government funding for research is limited.
  4. Attracting qualified senior faculty and their retention.
  5. The correct balance between Work Load and Career aspirations.
  6. Aligning Organization's goals and Individual Aspirations with changing regulations and societal expectations.