1.0 Some objective reality
A small beginning in one Centre in India has proliferated into some
3000+ Centres in 28 countries in the world in a period of less than
two decades of operation. Thus, change , planned or unplanned, is
a reality of existence.
Since in an educational system student once admitted has to reside
through the stipulated period of studies, no change can ever come
by abruptly replacing the past by the new howsoever diligently worked
out or planned. Therefore, coexistence is another reality and requirement
to function in an apparent fluidity and contradiction taxes the
NIIT does not deliver courses or degrees of any university as has
been the practice of some other training organizations world over.
Conceding that there is a genuine need to access a degree by the
students, NIIT has assiduously sought unique alliances with the
degree granting institutions. The formation of The NIIT Academy
(NA), a non-profit educational Trust within the NIIT Limited, helps
in forging alliances which are landmark events in the history of
higher education (see Table 2). This success itself has propelled
NIIT to another level of challenge and action.
One immediate and wise decision was to recognize that NIIT education
springs from the best perception of the market demand and market
that NIIT commands.Once this is well defined, the task of giving
an academic character to the program of studies is a new enabling
factor which is the central issue before The NIIT Academy.
Change as a policy matter can be best identified by seeking answers
to the putative causative factors where planners have to deal with
the change of ultimate and proximate causes which finally spell
out a business plan and a corresponding coherent educational plan
Such a complex activity is required to remain continuously alert
in harmony with any ideational means and methods of implementing
the ideas. The fixed point is decided to be the business first and
education built on the business plan. Further, straddling the past
with the present also requires continuous re-definition of terms
to establish a transparency of operation and understanding.
To guide all operations of far-flung Centers from the headquarters
in Delhi, India, not only communications become difficult but understanding
and conceptualization become distorted. The headquarters has to
communicate with the Centers. NA has to communicate with the Alumni
and enrolled students for the alliance purposes. NA has to ensure
constant dialogue with the partnering universities.
In an ambitious knowledge industry, supply of expert knowledge possessors
is always short compared to the urgency with which new persons have
to be empowered in expert knowledge possession. This is being acutely
felt, particularly in terms of faculty development and appropriate
know-how in managing a knowledge institution. The matter becomes
further compounded by the fact that NIIT is trying to establish
a working model for the twentyfirst century higher education institution
which deals comfortably both with the pursuit of excellence in knowledge
and control the market created and retained. Hence under Project
Uplift NIIT staff is being encouraged to acquire higher Awards like
ANIIT and FNIIT in IT(Information Technology) and MHE (Management
of Higher Education) while discharging their normal duties on a
Each country has a specific character and a specific country policy
on higher education. Therefore, irrespective of NIIT's desire to
forge uniform operation by the dictates of business policy and education
policy, prudency requires that local conditions have to be adopted
to the general policy.
Living with change also requires living with the demand for upgrading
curriculum . To meet this task effectively, each semester is taken
as a discrete entity and internal updating happens continuously
without necessarily upsetting overall academic architecture.
Worldwide there is a demand not only for learning conceptual knowledge
and modern skill , but there is also a simultaneous craving for
university degrees . It so happens that the syndrome under which
the degree giving universities were created is expensive and complex.
NIIT recognises this fact and is dedicated to diligently work for
a model which can create access for a degree without completely
dismantling the NIIT system built carefully over more than a decade.
This access is delivered at minimum cost to the student-customer,
to the provider and to the nation.