Shiv Nadar University promises to be a multi-disciplinary, student centric, research-focused university offering a variety of academic programs at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level.
A strong base in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, technology and engineering studies, communications and management, while enabling them to gain proficiency of a subject of their choice, is what the multidisciplinary curriculum of SNU seeks to offer.
With a world class faculty at its hand, the undergraduate education at SNU is designed to develop students with the vision, knowledge, skills and attitudes required in todayâ€™s day and age. Shiv Nadar Foundation in 2011, through an act of the State of Uttar Pradesh, established a private philanthropic institution, henceforth named as the Shiv Nadar University, which spreads across 286 acre on a lush green campus in India's National Capital Region.
After having already spent 2 years at this relatively new, unknown university that came out with the promise of being a breath of fresh air, one word always comes to mind whenever I’m asked to describe it to any potential students: choice. Freedom and choices have become so ingrained in nearly every aspect of our daily lives here that I’m scarcely able to imagine college life without them. It’s a fairly commonplace occurrence to encounter groups of mechanical majors talking about supply and demand graphs, or computer science majors discussing the principles of post-modernism. How is that, you ask?
The curriculum to be taught here was designed with global education in mind, which led to the birth of two additional categories of subjects, apart from the compulsory major courses – University Wide Electives (UWE) and Core Common Curriculum (CCC). These courses, according to most senior teachers, were created to enable each student to have a better understanding of the world as a whole. A more holistic view, as it were. CCCs are courses that cover subjects and content not typically falling under any program, yet still believed to be subjects of note. Think of courses like theatre, environmental studies, phonetics, and countless more. I’ve done my fair share of CCCs already, and seldom did I think they served no practical purpose. Knowledge is knowledge, after all. You nearly always get a new perspective on things after successfully completing such a course, and that, in my book, is a splendid thing.
This brings us to the electives offered here. Electives are a category of subjects that fall under a particular program, and can be taken by students belonging to other majors. Nearly every major course offered here, is available as an elective, provided every student satisfies a set of pre-requisites if required. A nice little trend right now is to try out electives falling under different majors and to go on and do a minor in another category if a student enjoyed an elective belonging to said category. Enrolling in minors is hardly a hassle for anybody interested. All that’s required is completing a minimum number of credits under courses falling under a particular category. You’ll find students pursuing all sorts of minors here, from Management, to History, to Mathematics. The sheer diversity in the timetables of the students present here is nothing short of astonishing.
Of course, the aforementioned “choice” does not only apply to academics. There is absolutely no curfew present on college, regardless of the year you’re in. What this means, in essence, is that you’re free to gallivant around on campus, wherever you please, whenever you please. This is strictly on campus, mind you. There are strict rules in place regarding entry and exit timings, which absolutely, unquestionably, must be adhered to, or there’s just a whole lot of unnecessary pain involved. Boys and girls also can’t visit each other’s hostel rooms, but considering the above points, I don’t think that’s anything to gripe about.
The food presented in the two separate dining halls isn’t spectacular even on its best days, although there are times when the food does bring a pleasant smile on your face. Even if you do not like the food being presented on a particular day, there’s a plethora of other places to eat out in, ranging in a wide variety of cuisines available on campus.
The hostels themselves, while not being air conditioned, are pleasant places to live in. The rooms are fairly spacious, with them being regularly cleaned by the maintenance staff. There really isn’t anything to complain about. After your first year, you’re even allowed to choose your roommate. Take it from me, it does make a significant difference in your hostel life, as compared to staying with people with whom you have absolutely nothing in common with.
There is WiFi present absolutely everywhere on campus, much to the pleasure of today’s netizens. Never a boring moment on campus, as long as your weekly data cap hasn’t been crossed, after which the net becomes absolutely abysmal.
If the hostels become uncomfortable at times of extreme heat, the best place to be in is the Central Library. Oh, and what a breathtaking building it is. World class infrastructure, books too many to count, and the quiet craved for by some of the more meticulous students. People call it the best library in the north, and you can’t help but believe them after you’ve spent an hour in the building. The cafeteria present in the library acts as a wonderful complement as well. If you’re done studying, or just need a break, you can be sure to find some delectable snacks on display.
The classrooms themselves are well designed and very comfortable to sit in, even in some of the longer lectures, as is the case in most of today’s modern colleges. The laboratories are well stocked, and equipped with some of the best instruments available on the market right now. They’re almost never empty, always filled with a group of students working on the next big thing, or even a lone individual burning the midnight oil.
Moving on from the academic facilities, the recreational facilities present at SNU are nothing to be scoffed at. Separate gyms are present for both boys and girls, with both of them being well equipped and regularly maintained, while also being packed with students from dawn to dusk. Physical fitness is a serious topic on campus, after all! A larger, unisex gym is also under construction, and will probably be completed a couple of months from now. An indoor sports complex is nearly finished, and is truly a joy to behold for players of such sports as Table tennis, Badminton, Squash, and Basketball. This venue was chosen to host Raghuram Rajan, after all, and had to be made worthy of having such a presence within its walls. For the more aquatic people out there, an aquatics center is being built within the same building. Even the most unsporting person in the country ends up playing something or the other after spending a month or two over here. Nobody is treated unfairly if they’re a novice in a particular sport, the students and the coaches make sure of that.
Speaking of coaches, the faculty on campus is phenomenal on paper, with 90% of them (according to a 2016 UGC inspection) holding a doctorate from some of the most illustrious institutes present in the country and around the globe. The amount of academic publications by the faculty alone is amazing, considering the tender state of the university. The founders truly employed the best to nurture the new generation. Despite their achievements, some of the teachers here are some of the nicest, most helpful people I know of, willing to go that extra mile to make sure you have absolutely no qualms regarding a topic.
The students taken by the university are no less. There is no quota or reservation system in place at all, which means that the students are admitted purely on the basis of their merit. No strings attached here. This results in a competitive atmosphere being created, which only serves to strengthen the minds of everybody present. Innovative thinking does not go unnoticed.
Of course, before joining any new university, the first question that pops up in quite a few people’s minds is: How were the placements? The most recent batch of students boasted a placement percentage of 91%, with the remainder opting for higher education. Some of the offers were from companies like Larsen and Toubro, Siemens, Dell and Amazon. Fairly significant for a university celebrating its fifth year of inception, I’d say.
The UGC sums up the university quite nicely in their inspection, stating it being a private university as the only weakness they deem significant. Shiv Nadar University is a viable option for students looking for something other than the IITs and the NITs of the nation, and rightly so.Read full review