Institution Profile

NIIT University, Rajasthan

Within 20 months of admitting its first batch of students, NIIT-U is rapidly establishing a reputation for industry-linked and research-intensive undergrad, postgrad and doctoral study programmes

Promoted in 2009 as a greenfield not-for-profit university by NIIT Ltd (estb.1981, annual revenue: Rs.1,249 crore) — India’s globe-girdling IT education and training multinational with operations including 8,703 learning centres in 40 countries across six continents — NIIT University (NIIT-U), sited in the picturesque fortress town of Neemrana (Rajasthan), is rapidly establishing a reputation for providing industry-linked and research-intensive undergraduate, postgraduate and doct-oral study programmes in engineering, technology and business management.

The state-of-the-art 100-acre eco-friendly campus of NIIT-U, nestling in the Aravalli hills which is the world’s oldest fold mountain range, welcomed its first batch of 30 students in September 2009. Since then over the past 20 months besides engineering, tech-nology and business management degree programmes, NIIT-U has expanded its academic menu to offer a two-year MBA programme in finance and banking (in partnership with ICICI Bank).

Inspired by Rajendra S. Pawar, NIIT’s promoter-chairman, the institutional objective of NIIT-U is to develop into a globally respected multi-disciplinary university which will set new bench-marks in higher education. “We have engineered a new model in higher education based on the four core principles of providing industry-linked, technology based, research driven, and seamless education.  The over-30 years of experience, knowledge and expertise of NIIT in education worldwide has been invested in this not-for-profit univer-sity,” says Pawar who is evidently satisfied with the smooth start of this private university established by a special NIIT University Act 2010, legislated by the Rajasthan assembly.

In September last, NIIT-U completed its first full year of academic operations and admitted its second batch of  students. Currently 122 students are enroled in B.Tech (computer science and engineering, information and communication technology, biotechnology and electronic and communication engineering), M.Tech (bioinformatics, educati-onal technology, embedded systems and pervasive systems), MBA and Ph D programmes. A highly-qualified faculty of 36 supplemented by visiting faculty from industry ensures the varsity’s “four core principles” are fully integrated into the education experience.

“Recent studies show that a mere 4 percent of engineering graduates are employable in multinational IT compa-nies with 18 percent found suitable for employment in IT-services related firms. Therefore our curriculums have been designed in alignment with the requirements of multinationals. There’s a six-month compulsory internship programme, latest e-learning technology is used to enable students to connect with academics and industry leaders from around the world, and research projects are mandatory for all students. Moreover to fulfill our objective of delivering holistic education, all students are obliged to select electives from the humanities and languages and two co-curricular activities from physical education, the performing arts, comm-unity engagement and crafts. We are committed to producing well-balanced professionals employable worldwide,” says Dr. Rajeev Shorey, president of NIIT University.

A postgrad of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Shorey acquired valuable experience in blue-chip univer-sities and corporates including Sasken Technologies, National University of Singapore, IIT-Delhi, IBM Research India Laboratory and GM Research India Science Laboratory prior to signing up with NIIT-U in 2009.

A wholly residential varsity, NIIT-U has been carefully positioned as an environment-friendly education institution adjoining a 750-acre hillock range which offers a plethora of rock-climbing, trekking, adventure sports, environmental rehabilitation and stargazing opportunities to students of both sexes. The 100-acre campus, a mere 4 km from Neemrana Fort (estb.1464), has been master-planned by YRM (London) Ltd, a globally renowned campus architecture firm which has also designed campuses of Brunel (London) and Cyprus universities. Among the features of its fully wired technology- intensive campus are hi-tech earth-air cooled classrooms, 17 state-of-the-art laboratories, a well-equipped library and 240-seat auditorium. Sports infrast-ructure includes facilities for football, cricket, hockey, tennis, basketball, volleyball, golf, athletics, badminton, carom, chess and pool.

Residential accommodation includes furnished single and double rooms, all positioned to provide scenic vistas of the Aravalli hills, with recreational rooms, dining and laundry facilities. Other on-campus facilities include a department store, medical facility, yoga centre, music and dance rooms, and a art and crafts centre.

Encouraged by the smooth start the university has got off to in its first year, NIIT-U’s management has drawn up ambitious plans to expand the academic menu to include study programmes in the humanities and sciences. “Our objective is to develop NIIT-U into a full-fledged multi-disciplinary institution offering degree programmes in the humanities, life sciences, and behavi-oural sciences among other disciplines. We are also making a concerted effort to attract scholars into our Ph D programmes to give impetus to research and development at the university, and are beginning to attract foreign students who will help us shape NIIT-U into a world-class higher education institution offering cutting-edge education and research facilities to students from around the world,” says Dr. Shorey.

Given the professionalism and speed with which NIIT University has stabilised its operations within the first 20 months of its existence, this goal is likely to be achieved well ahead of schedule.

Admission and fees

NIIT University offers the following study programmes:

B.Tech in computer science and engineering, information and communication technology, electronics and communication, engineering, biotechnology (tuition fees: Rs.2.42 lakh per year)

M.Tech in pervasive systems, embedded systems, bioinformatics (Rs.4.4 lakh)

Ph D programmes in computer science and engineering, information and communication technology, educational technology, biotechnology

MBA programme: specialisations include marketing, finance, information systems and human resources management (Rs.4.4 lakh)

Admission into B.Tech is based on AIEEE/SAT/JEE scores, class X and XII exam scores, and personal interview, while for the MBA programme CAT/MAT/GMAT/XAT or NIIT-U Management Aptitude Test scores are required.
Residential fees: Rs.1 lakh per year

For further information contact NIIT University, Neemrana, NH 8 Delhi-Jaipur Highway, District Alwar, Rajasthan 301705. Toll free: 1800 3002 5454; e-mail:; website: 

Summiya Yasmeen

Institution Profile

University of Pennsylvania, USA

A highly-rated Ivy league higher education institution, Penn is consistently ranked among the top ten universities in the US and among the top 20 worldwide

Promoted in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is a highly-rated Ivy League higher education institution internationally reputed for teaching and research excellence. The fourth oldest institution of higher education in the US, Penn is consistently ranked among the top ten varsities in the US and among the top 20 worldwide. In its 2011 league table of America’s best universities, US News & World Report ranks Penn fifth while in the QS World University Rankings 2010 it was ranked 12th worldwide.

Penn’s four undergraduate and 12 graduate and professional schools offer a wide range of bachelors, Masters and joint degree programmes to 21,203 students. Moreover the university is host to an impressive collection of 165 research centres and institutes, and its 4,199-strong faculty includes several Nobel, Pulitzer, Guggenheim and MacArthur prize winners.

“We are a dynamic and enterprising community of eminent scholars and students living and learning together on a beautiful urban campus encompassing 12 top-ranked undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. Our path-breaking faculty integrate knowledge across disciplines and address the greatest challenges facing the world today. Our talented students hail from all 50 states (of the US) and more than 100 countries. They address complex problems and learn to be leaders even before they grad-uate. Above all Penn stands for the highest levels of excellence in teaching, research and service to humanity,” says Amy Guttman, president of the university.

Sited on a scenic campus in Philadelphia — “the birthplace of America” — Penn has many firsts to its credit. It established America’s first medical school; was the first institution in America to be conferred univer-sity status; established Amer-ica’s first collegiate business school (The Wharton School), students union, psychology clinic and university museum. In particular, Penn is widely respected as a pioneer in inter-disciplinary education and scholarship and boasts a rich tradition of academic flexibility and freedom. Students can choose subjects across schools without jeopardising the structure or quality of the overall educational experience.

Philadelphia. The largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (pop. 6.1 million) boasts the highest concentration of colleges and univer-sities in the US. A major cultural centre, the city and its citizens have played a pivotal role in US history. The city’s oldest quarters are rich with monuments and streets from the pre-independence (1776) era and hosts more than 100 museums and historical sites. Among the city’s outdoor attractions is Fairm-ount Park, the largest urban park system in the US comprising five major parks spread across the city, each offering a wide range of recreational facilities.

But the favourite destination of students are the city’s numerous restau-rants, art galleries, cinemas and shop-ping malls. A large performing arts community offers not only the Philadelphia Harmonic Orchestra, but also the opera, jazz, contemporary and classical music and theatre.

The city’s climate tends to be cold in winter and summers are hot and humid. Autumn and spring are temperate.

Campus facilities. Penn’s 279-acre campus in University City just across the Schuylkill River from Center City is characterised by historic buildings, tree-lined walkways, scenic landscaped spaces and recreational fields. Moreover this 271-year-old university is equipped with contem-porary classrooms, laboratories, resid-ence halls, athletic complexes, libraries, museums, theatres and teaching hospitals. Penn also owns the 92-acre Morris Arboretum on Chestnut Hill in northwestern Philadelphia and the 687-acre New Bolton Center, the research and large-animal healthcare centre of its veterinary school.

Academic support is provided by 15 libraries which together house 5.93 million print volumes and 4.19 million microform items and provide access to 508,696 e-books and 79,220 e-journals. Penn students also have the option to enjoy a vibrant social and cultural life with over 250 student clubs hosting activities round the year. Sports facilities include fields for football and hockey, gymnasia, swimming pools, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, outdoor track, squash courts, an ice rink, saunas and a fencing room.

Admission. Admission into Penn is very competitive and selective. For instance, recently Penn received 26,941 applications for admission to the (graduating) class of 2014. Of them, only 3,841 or 14.3 percent were offered admission. Moreover 97 percent of students admitted for Fall 2010 were from the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. The university admissions office carefully weighs the academic excellence and extra-curricular activity records of applicants.

For admission into undergraduate study programmes, successful compl-etion of Plus Two is a necessary pre-condition. International applicants must also submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Penn also requires all applicants to submit the SAT Reasoning Test and two SAT Subject tests or ACT scores.

All applications must reach before January 1 for admission into the academic year beginning early September. For further information contact The Office of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Pennsylvania, 1 College Hall, Room 1 Philadelphia, PA 19104-6376. Ph:  001 215 898-7507; Fax: 001 215 898-9670; e-mail: info@admissions.; website:

Accommodation. Penn’s on-campus residences include 11 college houses and two high-rise towers at Sansom Place. They house 6,700 undergrad and graduate students in a variety of room types from traditional double rooms in community halls to private apartments with bedrooms, kitchens and bath. A strong attraction of living in college houses is that stud-ents can opt for a residential programme which allows them to live with faculty and students who share similar subject interests. For instance students can choose to live and learn in the arts or community services houses.

For students who don’t wish to live in college houses, alternatives include fraternity and sorority houses, and on-campus and off-campus apartments.

Degree programmes. Penn’s four undergraduate and 12 graduate schools offer an extensive range of bachelors, Masters, doctoral and joint degree programmes (see box).

Scholastic options at Penn

Penn’s four undergraduate schools include:

School of Arts and Sciences. African studies, ancient history, anthropology, architecture, Asian American studies, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, cinema studies, classical studies, cognitive science, communication, comparative literature, criminology, earth science, East Asian languages and civilizations, economics, engineering, English, environmental studies, fine arts, French studies,  gender, sexuality and women’s studies, geology, German studies, health and societies, history, international relations, life sciences and management, linguistics, logic, mathematics, music, philosophy, politics, and economics, physics and astronomy, political science, psychology, religious studies, Russian, science, technology and society, sociology, visual studies, among others

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, computer and information science, electrical and systems engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering and applied mechanics

School of Nursing. Nursing and healthcare management

The Wharton School. Bachelor of science in economics

Its 12 graduate and professional schools include: Annenberg School for Communication, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, Graduate School of Education, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Design, Law School, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Social Policy and Practice, School of Veterinary Medicine, The Wharton School of Business

For a detailed list of programmes offered by each school visit

Tuition fees (per year): $42,098 (Rs.18.9 lakh)
Room and board: $11,878 (Rs.5.34 lakh)

Summiya Yasmeen