Dharmsinh Desai University
Dharmsinh Desai Foundation was established at Nadiad in Gujarat, by an eminent Parliamentarian and a social worker, Late Shri Dharmsinh Desai. This Foundation was established to develop institutions that would improve the quality of life for the people in and around Nadiad. Though it has schools, colleges, public library and hospitals under its umbrella, this note will essentially focus on the development and subsequent impact of Dharmsinh Desai University (DDU). From an affiliated college, started in 1968 as Dharmsinh Desai Institute of Technology (DDIT), offering Degree and Diploma in Chemical Engineering, DDU has now become a trusted name amongst a variety of stake holders, namely, students, their parents, researchers, academicians, employers, other academic institutions offering higher level education, National level Institutions and State & Central Government agencies. The key milestones it has crossed in the past 40 plus years of its existence are addition of Degree courses in Civil Engineering (1981), Electronics and Communication Engineering (1981), Computer Engineering (1985), Instrumentation & Control Engineering (1985), and Information Technology (1999). Further it also added undergraduate programmes in Commerce (B.Com in 1980 under Dharmsinh Desai Institute of Commerce), Computer (BCA, 1999), Management (BBA, 1999), Dental Sciences (2005), and Pharmacy (2006). It also added Post Graduate level programmes like M.E in Chemical Engineering (1981), M.E in Electronics & Communication (1986), M.E in Civil Engineering (1986), MCA (1987), MBA (1994), M.E in Instrumentation & Control Engineering (2002), and M.E in Computer Engineering (2002). Doctoral level programmes in Engineering/Technology, Management, Pharmacy, Physical Sciences and Social Science were initiated in 2001. DDU is in the process of adding a Master’s Programme in Dental Sciences, Master’s Programme in Pharmacy and also an undergraduate programme in Medical Sciences leading to MBBS, in the coming 2 years. DDU (erstwhile DDIT) became the first Autonomous Institute in Gujarat State. Later, in the year of 2000, it was awarded a status of ‘Deemed University’ by Government of India, in recognition of its commendable standards in Academia. In April 2005, the Government of Gujarat declared this Institute as a ‘State University’.
DDU’s Vision is to become a multi-disciplined & ‘learner oriented’ university to closely associate with & be responsive to the Industry, to create supportive & caring environment for staff & students and to engage in R & D activities in areas of national priority.
DDU’s Mission is to undertake programs and projects for development of human resources, both through formal and non formal delivery systems, in areas of professional pursuits in all walks of human endeavors, with accent on relevance, value addition, societal needs and futuristic pilot projects.
DDU has ISO 9001:2008 certification since past six years. It is noteworthy that its Faculty of Technology is the only grant-in-aid institution in the state to receive World Bank Assistance of Rs.7.8 crores. The NBA-AICTE has also granted Accreditation to the B.E. courses of the University. DDU also has linked up with the University of IOWA, USA to offer a five year joint B.E+M.S. programme where a student goes to University of IOWA for two years – after completing three years at the DDU. The feedback from the University of IOWA is very encouraging and they have given tuition waivers and research grants to our students as they find them very deserving. Through another Memorandum of Understanding with KHS Germany, the final semester engineering students undertake their four months long Industry Project at KHS in Germany and all their expenses are met by the company there and they are also absorbed by their various companies all over the world.
All the students of faculty of technology undertake the full time Industry based project training in their final semester of the programme which enables them for employment through campus interviews much before course completion.
DDU has a R&D centre since 1998 and its main objective is to carry out research activity in the area of Information Technology, Computer Science, Computer Application and Electronics & Communication with the respective faculty members. R & D Center is also giving training to final semester students of the respective discipline to carry out the project in the area of cutting edge technology. It has taken up national level projects from pioneer institutes like National Crime Record Bureau, Institute of Plasma Research, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, HiRel Reliance Limited, Gujart Samachar, Muljibhai Patel Urology Hospital, Forensic Laboratory and many others. It has the distinction of developing a Portrait Building System which is successfully used at every District Police Head Quarters in the Country to arrest criminals. It was first field tested in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case by National Crime Record Bureau.
R & D centre has guided several projects of under-graduate and post-graduate students in very diverse areas.
DDU has recently established The Shah-Schulman Centre for Surface Science and Nanotechnology with the help of a grant of Rs. 3.5 crores from Government of Gujarat. This centre is headed by a world known scientist, Dr. Dinesh Shah of University of Florida, whohas to has credit 7 books, 6 patents, and has over 250 research papers in referred journals, monographs and books. Dr. Shah has been invited to more than fifty corporate research centers and has presented over 200 seminars at Corporate Research and Development Centers during the past 30 years. He has provided consulting services to the some of the world’s best managed corporations on a long-term basis (i.e. several years). This centre is one of its kinds in the country and is doing pioneering work in association with the Industries and Academia. There are nine corporate members who have pledged Rs. 15 lacs each – totaling to Rs. 1.35 crores for the development of above centre.
The Chemical Engineering Department has secured a department of Industries & Mines, Government of Gujarat grant of Rs 10 crore to function as an Anchor Institute for the Chemicals and Petrochemicals Sector. The Gujarat Council for Science and Technology (GUJCOST) has declared the Department of Chemical Engineering as a Centre of Excellence and given a grant of Rs. 28.5 lakhs for research on nanocatalysis – development and applications, to Prof. P.A. Joshi, Dean, Faculty of Technology, and Professor of Chemical Engineering, DDU. Government of India has approved a grant of Rs. 71 lakhs for three years for developing a Community Polytechnic program.
The GSFC Science Foundation will be funding the project on ”Nanotechnology to Clean Water in Developing Nations: Poor Man’s Filter” submitted by Dr. Premal R. Shukla, Professor & Head, Department of Chemical Engineering (and Shah-Schulman Centre for Surface Science & Nanotechnology), DDU, for a period of three years for Rs. 10.27 lakhs.
By virtue of its excellent work in the past four years, The Faculty of Dental Sciences has made an impact on the DCI and they have suggested the upcoming Dental Colleges to follow the model of our Dental College. Similarly the Faculty of Pharmacy has also made a name for itself in the past four years.
Training & Placement is vital for any Educational Institute and DDU has a good track record in this area. INFOSYS has played a key role in this area. We have a large number of repeat companies in campus placements and this indicates their faith in the ability of our students. All the visiting companies have said it time and again that the teaching learning processes at the DDU are the second to none.
DDU has a very strong Alumni Association (DDU Alumni Association – DDUAA) formerly, DDIT Alumni Association (DDITAA) and it was established in August, 1993, with its headquarters at the DDU having chapters at Ahmedabad, Ankleshwar and Baroda. It has membership strength of about 4310. The association is proud of its members, as most of them have excelled in their respective fields. Many of them have won coveted awards and more than 1000 members are settled abroad. The association has been promoting interaction among industries, ex-students and the university to enhance the cause of technical education. DDUAA has organized and conducted more than 25 seminars, lectures and workshops at various places like Ahmedabad, Baroda, Ankleshwar and Nadiad.