Promoted in 1996 by Shiv Nadar, promoter-chairman of the blue-chip HCL Technologies Ltd, SSNCE is poised to make a quantum leap in academics and pedagogy innovation
Sited on a sprawling 250 acre campus on the Old Mahabalipuram Road, the cyber corridor of Chennai (pop. 4.6 million), the Sri Siva Subramaniya Nadar Group of education institutions including SSN College of Engineering, SSN School of Management and Computer Applications, SSN School of Advanced Software Engineering and the SSN Research Centre, is on the threshold of a major institutional development drive.
Founded in 1996 by Shiv Nadar, promoter-chairman of the IT blue-chip corporate HCL Technologies Ltd (revenue: Rs.9,842 crore in the year ended March 31, 2009) under the aegis of the SSN Trust, the SSN Group of education institutions were hitherto managed by a committee comprising Shiv Nadar, his wife Kiran and daughter Roshini. However with effect from July, the SSN institutions are being managed by a new ten-member board empowered to introduce best corporate practices into them, improve learning outcomes and mobilise external funding to ensure sustained development. The new management board is chaired by globally famous entrepreneur R. Srinivasan, founder and managing director of Redington (India) Ltd, and includes eminent professionals from the fields of education, law, government and business.
With the aid and advice of the revamped management board, the SSN College of Engineering (SSNCE), the group’s showpiece institution, is poised to make a quantum leap in academics and pedagogy innovation. Already within a short span of 13 years, SSNCE is ranked among the top 10 private engineering colleges in the country and first among the over 350 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, affiliated with Anna University. In a survey of India’s best private engineering colleges by the Delhi-based business newspaper Mint (June 24, 2009), SSNCE was ranked No.9. Earlier last year, the Delhi-based Outlook magazine also ranked SSNCE No. 9 among private engineering colleges countrywide.
“Our objectives are to develop SSNCE into a world-class institution, and make it accessible to meritorious students from all strata of society. To this end, during the past two years we have invested Rs.3 crore to make our campus wi-fi enabled, and introduced e-learning technologies to enhance the teaching-learning process and make it learner-centric. But even as we strive for academic excellence, we are determined to make our schools socially inclusive institutions providing holistic education. Our students actively organise public awareness campaigns on social issues and enthusiastically participate in sports and extra-curricular activities,” says Kala Vijayakumar, president of SSN institutions.
The SSN Trust and SSNCE management are evidently serious about attracting a diverse student mix. Therefore it offers 400 annual scholar-ships valued at Rs.4 crore to toppers and state rank holders in the Plus Two examinations as well as meritorious students from economically disadva-ntaged sections of society. “We also offer a three-week bridge course in English communication skills to students from rural areas,” says Vijayakumar.
Currently, SSNCE which has 2,750 students instructed by 230 faculty on its rolls, offers seven BE/B.Tech programmes, five Masters in engineering (ME) degrees, Master of computer applications (MCA) and Master of business administration (MBA) progra-mmes. It also hosts four supporting departments in maths, physics, chemistry and English. Quality research is actively encouraged, and 87 faculty members and 18 students are currently researching doctorate theses.
Moreover to build world class educational and research capabilities, SSNCE has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with three universities: National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan in 2005, Carnegie Mellon University, USA (2001), and the Aichi Institute of Technology, Japan, for exchange of students, faculty, course material and cooperative research.
Investment in enabling infrastructure is also a priority area for the college management. Its campus featuring elegant white buildings interspersed with gardens and verdant lawns offers spacious classrooms with 1,159 computers; well-equipped laboratories for all departments; a 1,000-seat auditorium built to international standards and a 300-seater mini auditorium; a gymnasium; separate seminar halls for different departments; and a well-stocked central library with 45,662 volumes, 3,948 e-journals, 199 national and 111 international journal and magazines/subscriptions.
Sports facilities include outdoor playfields for cricket, football, tennis, volleyball and athletics and world-class indoor stadiums for basketball, badminton, table tennis and squash. Moreover there are separate hostels for men and women students where 2,100 students are accommodated in clean, well-furnished rooms with 24-hour internet connectivity.
Unsurprisingly, SSNCE has been achieving the highest pass percentages and grades among the over 350 engineering colleges affiliated with Anna University, Chennai, for the past three years. Therefore campus placement is a major event with over 75 companies descending on the college during the eighth semester of each batch to recruit graduates. They include Cognizant Technologies, HCL Technologies, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Syntel India, and iFlex Solutions among others.
Having established an excellent reputation for academic innovation and learning outcomes, the SSN Trust/ SSNCE management is now looking to acquire deemed university status, which will empower the college to devise its own curriculum to suit industry requirements, introduce the credit system and award degrees. “Our future plans are to mature into a world class research university, build a fully residential campus, and start a business incubation centre to nurture entrepre-neurship. Our search for excellence is uninterrupted and continuous,” says Vijayakumar.
Admission and fees
SSN College of Engineering admits students on the basis of merit, and 65 percent of seats are allotted through the single window system (SWS) of Anna University and 35 percent through the management quota. Admission deadlines are notified on www.ssn.edu.in. SSNCE offers seven BE/B.Tech, five ME, and the MCA and MBA programmes.
Tuition fee (per year): Rs.30,000-65,000
Additional fees: Rs.17,000.
Hostel charges (per year): Rs.21,500
For further details contact the Registrar, SSNCE, Old Mahabalipuram Road, Kalavakkam 603110, Kanchipuram district. Tel: 044 2747 4844; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.ssn.edu.in
Hemalatha Raghupathi (Chennai)