Director: Dr. Sudhir Raniwala
Programmes: BTech, Mtech. MS, PhD
Approval/ Accreditation: NAAC accreditation in process
Selection: Written test, interview
Full-time faculty: 30
Top recruiters: Ericsson, Sapient, Infosys, TCS
Seminars: Science of IT, Communication skills, Abuses of Tobacco
Student activities: Dance competitions, TGMC workshop, Football tournament
On the day of our visit, Prof. Sudhir Raniwala, into the sixth month as the Director of the institute is busy with three faculty seminars lined up almost back-to-back, in the hope of recruiting new faculty. For an institution that began with 29 students in a rented space in 2003, it has a come a long way. Having steel baron Lakshmi N Mittal as its backer does help. Mittal recently pumped Rs. 35 crores “to bring the institute at par with BITS, Pilani” he said. For the 800-odd students on the 100-acre campus, this could mean more faculty members, hostels, labs and additional facilities and some more funds for research.
It was founded in 2003, being the first of its kind in terms of being a Public and Private Partnership Model. An agreement was signed between the State Govt. of Rajasthan & Lakshmi and Usha Mittal Foundation. While the government gave the land, the entire infrastructure and corpus to run the school came from the trust, not to mention the advantages of being backed by a large manufacturing group.
Getting into LNMIIT is quite tough. Admission is through AIEEE or IIT-JEE. According to Prof Raniwal, the logic is that if the student did not perform well on a particular day, he should not be penalized. If he crosses a certain threshold level in either of these exams, he’s in. And the institute only admits students who rank in the top two percent of the AIEEE test takers.
Modelled on the lines of the IITs, and incubated by retired and current professors at IIT, Kanpur, LNMIT has the right DNA. The institute’s faculty members are a mix of young and the experienced. It has some retired IIT professors and quite a few fresh PhDs. Though most students we interacted with preferred to be taught by the young faculty, the impact of the experienced, did show up in unexpected places. Project based learning is de rigour, and continous evaluation is the norm.
Quite a few faculty members from various IITs, have instilled an avid interest in research amongst the students. In fact a sizeable number of students are quite keen on pursuing a career in research. Admission through AIEEE does help, and the reasonably high cut-offs have resulted in a student pool that is intellectually stimulating. Internships and research projects at Mittal’s manufacturing units are an added attraction.
“An institute is known by the alumni and the research it produces”
DR. SUDHIR RANIWALA
DIRECTOR, LNMIIT, JAIPUR
After seven years of existence, LNMIT does have signs of a healthy publishing record. Though the 359 items listed on the website go back to 1984, recent publications do indicate a robust number. While a few projects funded by Department of Science & Technology run on the campus, full-fledged R&D activities are yet to flourish. Placements too have picked up recently. But a pet grouse of the students is that they do not get placement commensurate with quality and the level of learning imparted at LNMIT.
A unique project to get research activities on board is the LNM Scholars programme. These young students, 15 in number, are groomed to take up research projects on campus and they assist faculty in research and teaching.
Says Prof.Raniwala, “We also provide financial support to students if their paper is accepted in a conference. This promotes research and our recent ‘success’ has been that two of our 3rd year students are working at CERN in Geneva. They also have a paper published jointly with their scientists and scientists of Bhabha Atomic research Centre.” These students have spent a complete semester there.
Campus life and beyond
An institute is known by what its alumni do and the research it produces. “These are the two main things. We also try to provide the student holistic education by not only including the subjects from the core stream but also subjects from Humanities and Social Science so he has a grasp on the larger scheme of things,” says Dr. Raniwala.
Outside of academics, LNM IT is a lively campus, with various activities like sports, keeping the students pepped up. And since it is now a reasonably well-established institution, the campus is abuzz with festivals, conferences, conclaves and workshops. At the same time, faculty members who may have always dreamed of a tranquil and peaceful life towards the fag end of their career are not disappointed.
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