Despite its relatively humble beginnings, the LNM Institute of Information Technology (LNMIIT) has placed itself at the forefront of IT education in India. Founded in 2002 and commencing with only a handful of courses and 30 students, the institute now hosts more than 1,000 students across a whole range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the state of Rajasthan.
This transformation, which has taken place in little over a decade, is down to the fact that the institute has steadily kept pace with national and economic demands, producing students equipped to meet future workforce needs. For example, recent additions to the undergraduate offering at LNMIIT include courses in Mechanical-Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering, added in anticipation of a thrust in manufacturing.
“We are fairly close to Delhi, where many of the big IT companies reside,” says Dr S S Gokhale, Director. “Two to three years ago there was a move more towards the manufacturing side of IT, and this represented the perfect opportunity for us offer students the skills to enter this industry.” In 2015 Edu-Rand university rankings placed LNMIIT third in the Private University category and 26th best engineering institution in India.
LNMIIT offers four-year undergraduate programmes (BTech), five-year BTech-MTech (dual-degree) programmes and two-year postgraduate programmes in a wide range of IT, engineering disciplines and sciences. Faculty staff are highly qualified: most have PhDs or are completing doctorates; many have a hands-on background in industry.
An eye is always kept firmly on the future employability of students, who are fully supported on their career journey. This is done through internships organised at leading companies in the field, as well as through the opportunity to work within the handful of co-branded laboratories on the campus itself. “These are an important aspect of our students’ time here,” says Dr Gokhale, “where they gain useful experience and their employability is increased, and companies welcome this.” These labs are joint partnerships with companies that include National Instruments, Texas Instruments, IBM and Microsoft. “It is a win–win situation for industries and students alike,” says Dr Gokhale. In addition to technical skills, the training and placement department facilitates soft-skills training, which makes students more attractive to employers. Their efforts pay off, as many students gain employment within these international companies once their studies are over.
Aside from its PhD programmes, research is actively encouraged at the undergraduate level, where students have full access to research labs, and are part-funded to enable them to present their work in conferences and seminars both at home and abroad. Around 10 per cent of students choose to continue their education in quality educational institutions abroad.
A VIBRANT CAMPUS
With as many support staff as there are faculty members, life on campus is a rich and rewarding experience for LNMIIT students. There is a vibrant sporting, technical and cultural calendar of activities that runs throughout the year. Spread over 100 acres of land on the outskirts of Jaipur, the campus is fully residential and proves particularly popular with female students.
The institute was the first public–private partnership of its kind in the country: a collaboration between the state government of Rajasthan and the Lakshmi & Usha Mittal (LUM) Foundation. This not-for-profit institute depends solely on the resource generation from student tuition fees, and has representatives from state government, academia and industry among its governing body. Although the focus areas of teaching and research at the institute are in the broad field of IT, it continues to expand its academic horizons to match the changing industrial and economic focus at state and national levels.