SRM University-AP has numerous success stories and student accomplishments to share with the world. What makes the story of Bennet Benny different is the magnitude of his winning and the miles he has crossed after setting foot to achieve his dreams. He has secured the much-coveted Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Scholarship with a whopping sum of € 33,600 for two years. With the 100% EMJM scholarship, he can now pursue QuanTEEM Master’s across four different universities, each semester in one of these universities:
Internship at JAIST, Japan -2019
Like every other student, Bennet joined the Bachelor’s degree programme at the Department of Physics in 2018 with an irrepressible desire to dive into the depths of Physics. His undying passion for grasping the subject’s nuances is an influential lesson for all students to emulate. When he was in the second year of his graduate studies, Bennet won the Sakura Science Internship under the supervision of Prof. Ryo Maezono at JAIST, Japan. The internship was funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), a government funding agency. For him, this was an excellent opportunity to learn more deeply about quantum mechanics. It also helped him raise his awareness of computational physics, its advantages, uses and the latest research around it.
“I was able to interact with many international scholars and researchers at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. It helped me learn about the various ways through which I could fund my higher education. Therefore, after returning to SRM University-AP, I could work in the necessary direction to build my profile accordingly.” Bennet remarked. The enormous lessons he learned there helped him publish a research paper under the guidance of Prof Ranjit Thapa and his PhD students in the Computational Physics laboratory. “The Department of Physics has always motivated me to reach greater heights”, he added.
NTU-India Connect Research Programme 2022
Bennet has also proved his mettle by securing yet another internship opportunity as part of the NTU-India Connect Research Programme 2022. He was selected to spend a semester (Spring term) at NTU, Singapore with a full fellowship during the final year of graduation. As a young researcher, he has gained immense exposure and experience in such a short period giving him a competitive edge to move further in the direction of his dreams. “It has always been my dream to pursue a research career in Physics”, he asserted.
Looking Forward to QuanTEEM Master’s
The QuanTEEM Master’s programme is based on Quantum technologies and provides an excellent opportunity to build a research network in multiple countries in the European Union. He aspires to gain a deeper understanding of quantum mechanics and wishes to use the knowledge to improve our civilisation. In the words of Bennet, “We should never let the fear of failure deter us from trying. I feel that to reach our best potential; we need to face the challenges in life rather than be disheartened by them. Hence, I would encourage my fellow students never to hesitate to seek new opportunities.”
The results will be astonishing when hard work goes hand in hand with smart work. Vanteddu Nikhileswar from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at SRM University-AP preferred to believe in this strategy and has successfully completed an Internship and Project at MASCOR Institute in FH Aachen University, Germany.
Nikhileswar got the opportunity to do an Internship and the International Project Exchange Programme at Mobile Autonomous Systems and Cognitive Robotics Institute through Indo Euro Synchronization (IES), an organisation providing educational and research programmes beyond borders. Even though affected by the Covid-19 restrictions, he completed the project and internship that lasted 6 months with an excellent quality of work.
Under the guidance of Dr Alexander Ferrein, Director of MASCOR Institute, Nikhileswar worked on his project “Webots Simulation of Spot Robot for Rescue League”. The project’s target was to create a bezier curve, find the inverse kinematics for spot Robot and Robot programming in ROS, and develop a webots simulation for the spot Robot and Quadruped gait to improve the motion capabilities in the webots simulation environment.
The skilled learning sessions with the scholars at the institute were a valuable addition to the career growth of Nikhileswar. While working in Germany, he was able to visit well-known companies and industries, which provided the opportunity to interact with many students and working professionals. This helped him to gain enormous clarity regarding different aspects of work opportunities and life as a whole.
Note of gratitude
He was thankful to the Indo Euro Synchronization President, Mr Venkat Raj, the management of SRM university-AP, Prof. Prakash Jadav, and Dr Pramod Jammy. The special guidance of Dr Starke, founder of MASCOR Institute, and Dr Alexander Ferrein, Director of MASCOR Institute FH Aachen University, holds a crucial role in his project work and internship.
Apart from the project, he has also secured admission at RWTH Aachen University for the Masters in Management and Engineering in Production Systems (MME-PS). This university ranks 147 Globally in QS Ranking 2023 and Ranks 19 QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering.
Stories of innovation from SRM AP are not something new! M Tanveer, G Sai Venkat, and Divyansh Awasthi, three vibrant students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at SRM University-AP, have built a multi-utility buggy car as a part of their final year project work.
The students initially planned to build a completely new multi-utility vehicle. Later they slightly modified the idea to make a buggy car from scrap materials, i.e. by gathering the efficiently working components from old and unused cars and making them compatible with the chassis.
Motivated by their admiration for the automotive industry, students had great enthusiasm for building the buggy car. They had an urge to convert theoretical knowledge gained from classrooms into practical working machines. Consequently, the trio developed an off-road diesel buggy to show their prowess in the automobile industry, especially on and off-road cars. A Diesel motor is utilised, which is competent in conveying a speed of 50 kilometres per hour.
The chassis of the buggy is designed and manufactured by the students themselves. The spare parts and connection are from the TATA ZIP car model and incorporated into the buggy fitting to the design. The necessary fitting and binding of spare parts are done according to the driving comfort.
The students expressed their gratitude for the support of their project guide Dr Jasvinder Singh, co-guide Prof Venkata N Nori, and HOD Prof Prakash Jadhav. “We received constant mentorship and guidance throughout our project tenure from them”, said the students. “Whenever we were stuck or were not able to solve a particular problem, or at times were mentally stressed and worn out, our professors gave us proper guidance to warded off our problems and stress, ” they added.
Empowering and Enabling startup entrepreneurs
A personal incident motivated Jithin Peram, final year Computer Science Engineering student, to start Amruthik Pvt. Ltd, a company which supplies customised food to various hospitals based on the specific needs of the patients. Various doctors and hospitals have appreciated this customisation of food as per the need. Patients are satisfied as they do not have to take the generic food given by the hospital canteen now. Instead, they have the option to have a very specific diet prescribed by certified dieticians.
The motivation behind the launch of Amruthik is quite inspirational. Jithin’s grandfather passed away due to corona. While his grandfather was suffering with Covid-19 and was admitted in hospital, Jithin was preparing for viva practicals. On hearing the news, he was shattered and it struck him how quickly everything can change around us. Since Jithin was not able to do small things such as taking lunch to his grandfather or standing next to him for moral support; With Amruthik, Jithin dreams of being there for people who need moral support and care in their hospital beds “This makes me happy, and I believe this kind of support is something everyone deserves”, says Jithin on a happy note.
Five years from now, Jithin envisions himself supporting, helping and standing by millions of people who need such services. He believes in putting smiles on faces and wants to see the impressive growth of his company.
Let’s see what Jithin says
As an engineering student, I would have never known the opportunities I have, even with the idea to build my company I would have been lost without proper guidance The Hatchlab Research Centre has given me guidance and a foundation that I can rely upon building my company.
I am thankful for the immense support I got from the faculty and the guidance provided by SRM AP, I especially thank Mr Udayan Bakshi for mentoring me and sharing his experiences with me.
“In a properly automated and educated world, then, machines may prove to be the true humanizing influence. It may be that machines will do the work that makes life possible and that human beings will do all the other things that make life pleasant and worthwhile.”
― Isaac Asimov
The urge to get exposed to a more diversified learning approach is understandable. Choosing a major that can help develop essential life skills while gaining a broader world perspective can be a great stride in your career. Liberal arts have always been an underrated field of study with numerous unexplored scopes. However, there is a shift in the air since the increasingly evolving world demands the production of skilled professionals with a knack for critical thinking. The trend is gradually spreading in the Indian educational scenario too.
India’s National Education Policy 2020 holds a greater emphasis on Liberal arts education. It envisions the holistic development of individuals through multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary learning approaches. It insists on the need for higher education institutes to become multidisciplinary by 2040. De-compartmentalising the educational sector by breaking the rigid barrier between professional and liberal education is one of its major agendas. Educational structures in India are thus getting more flexible while contemplating the future of Liberal arts education. The rapidly changing employment landscape and the forthcoming industrial revolution clearly imply the extreme relevance of Liberal arts education. This calls the world’s attention towards the broader aspects of the stream of Liberal arts.
The stream of Liberal arts
The term liberal arts have roots in the classical Greek concept of a diversified education that focuses on the intellectual cultivation of the mind. The education of the Greeks in those days included different areas ranging from grammar to geometry and music. Liberal arts in the present day offer a wide range of majors and minors. These options fall into the more significant categories of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Liberal arts education evokes the ability to analyse socio-political, economic, and environmental problems while being contemplative and creative. These abilities are highly relevant in current social circumstances, especially in India.
Liberal arts in the era of uncertainties
In an age that keeps updating itself, the fear of getting outdated is real. Living in a world constantly exposed to digitization, outsourcing, automating, etc., will demand fierce competence from the jobseekers. What matters is not what you learned over the years but how you learned all those things. The chances of the things you learned getting outdated are higher, but not how you perceived that knowledge.
Liberal arts as a learning subject becomes highly relevant in this scenario. Students from a liberal arts background will have much more to contribute to the ever-advancing society than the students from other streams. Liberal arts nurture the abilities of problem-solving and critical thinking. It trains the learner to think out of the box and develop original solutions.
Why Liberal arts
Liberal arts majors have the privilege of entering varying career paths due to the holistic approach the learning process holds. The possibilities are never limited. The discipline of liberal arts targets to provide a general idea regarding the subject matter and trains to think critically. The skills they earn are not restricted to a specific technical profession. Writing, critical thinking, and research skills are continuously refined through exposure to various subject matters. The job market offers opportunities for liberal arts students in science, technology, engineering, business, and many other fields. Every mainstream working ecosystem will require the input of a liberal arts major.
Advantages of pursuing a liberal arts course
Democratised educational process
Modern liberal arts education is armed with a curriculum that promotes breadth as well as the depth of knowledge. The curriculum is sufficiently flexible and gives prominence to the student’s choice. They get to play a significant role in shaping their program. This facilitates the democratisation of the educational process.
Diverse disciplines and broader perspectives
Liberal arts education provides exposure to diverse disciplines of study, which makes the learner capable of gaining a broader perspective of the field they prefer. A positive mindset, readiness to look at the world with enthusiasm, and innovative learning strategies will benefit any organization.
Thinking capacity and expanded worldview
Obtaining knowledge will help the learner gain skills in a particular area, but it also helps develop thinking capacity. Liberal arts education makes sure to guard the learners with an ability to understand and widen their knowledge limits. It nurtures the enthusiasm of the learner. This, in turn, helps to adjust the lens with which they view the world around them.
Different thinking processes
Liberal arts education lets you understand the importance of different thinking processes in every learning environment. Be it creative, analytical, or critical, a Liberal arts major knows when and how to assert these thinking processes. Challenging the preconceived notions and showing the courage not to follow the crowd is a remarkable impact liberal arts education has on the learner. This is a much-needed quality an individual should aspire to master.
A liberal arts student knows how to build skills based on the broader foundational knowledge. Thus, they are very flexible in acquiring new knowledge and establishing needed skills. This will help them not settle down for one specific job for an entire lifetime.
Every industry needs individuals with skills that are in high demand. Some of them are effective communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership qualities. Liberal arts education prepares the students to attain these qualities.
Socially responsible learner
Liberal arts don’t focus on a specialised subject. It gives a vast knowledge and allows the learner to develop creative paths to resolve social challenges exposed to them.
Opportunity to explore and experiment
Innovative ideas, concepts, and unique experiences are always there in the vicinity of the learner. The advantages of community-based learning and peer-reviewed research are accessible to the learner. This allows them to explore and experiment with the knowledge they have.
Processing the information and thinking analytically will guide the learner to think across the disciplines. This will remain a crucial life skill that could be helpful in a variety of circumstances.
Scope of liberal arts in India
The dynamics of education is an ever-evolving process. New learning methods and diverse professions will keep popping up from time to time. With the remarkable shift that happened in the field of education, a door to a diverse set of specialized career options has opened. Not to deny the requirement for skilled professionals in the age-old job market, but the jobs will be more reasoning-oriented in the future, favoring liberal arts education. Professionals should be able to analyse the present scenario and make decisions for future changes. They should be able to think critically and be ready to absorb the constantly changing knowledge environment. This indicates the demand for liberal arts majors in the future.
Liberal arts is an interdisciplinary model of education preferred by many youngsters worldwide. Introducing the student community to the perks of liberal arts education can do wonders in a developing country like India. The advantages of opening multiple career options for the country’s youth are immaculate. Also, including and enhancing liberal arts in the mainstream education sector will help improve the global ranking of Indian educational institutions.
The advancing job market demands competitive advantages from individuals. They are looking for someone more human and connected. Along with passion and energy, they also need their employees to be flexible during changes and see things as they are.
The pace, scope, and strategies of this generation are entirely different from that of the previous one. Drastic changes in climate, artificial intelligence, way of approach, etc., will demand more extraordinary resourcefulness to sustain the updating. The diverse economy of India will make sure that the students interact with different individuals irrespective of gender, religion, class, etc. This will enhance their development as valuable employees, citizens, and, most importantly, human beings.
A liberal arts degree prepares one to withstand the uncertainties of a career. It can cope with the test of time since there are no expiry dates for critical thinking and problem-solving. Polished proficiency in writing, speaking, presenting, and collaborating is another trademark of liberal arts education. It is immensely helpful if viewed from the perspective of a job aspirant.
Enhanced cultural understanding is another valuable reward from liberal arts. Interdisciplinary studies play a significant role in building this broader understanding. The importance of cultural anthropology and international relations is relatively higher, especially in India. The list of career options emerging from liberal arts includes law, politics, social work, psychology, public relations, journalism, Civil services, and many more. These job sectors are considerable investments in the development of the country.
The ability to find out opportunities and take unexpected directions will be beneficial irrespective of the interests of your comfort zones. Arming the students with flexibility and imagination will prepare them to be confident in the continuously updating job markets. In an era where the information and options are available at your fingertips, it is your perspective that makes the difference.
Selecting a career that will not disappoint you is a hectic task in every individual’s life. Especially when you don’t really want to focus on one specific field of study. If you are interested in multiple subjects and ready to get exposed to a diverse study environment, Liberal arts is your answer. If you are willing to invest yourself in a more diversified approach to learning, attending a Liberal arts institution like SRM University AP might be the right choice.
Liberal arts at SRM AP
The Liberal arts education at SRM University AP provides an opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary program across Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce, Business Studies, and Physical sciences. Complex and increasing challenges are a part of this generation, and we are destined to face them. Multi-dimensional thought processes and problem-solving skills are the demanding qualities of an individual in a world of constant changes. A holistic education will help students to develop these necessary skills.
SRM AP has a School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS), allowing students to choose courses across the disciplines. The school is comprised of six departments, namely English, History, Psychology, Economics, Commerce, and Liberal arts. The Bachelor’s degree curriculum is broadly divided into Foundation courses and Majors. Students can choose their minor from a variety of subjects across the disciplines. This will help them to expand their knowledge beyond their subject of specialisation.
SRM University AP has faculties from all over India and across the world. SLASS at SRM AP offers a high-quality library that has the facilities of books or journals in print and electronic, extra-mural lectures, and colloquiums by academicians and eminent scholars. The diversity of available courses provides an unrestricted learning environment that is supported by the facilities provided by the university.
Multidisciplinary learning ecosystem
Students are free to choose courses from diverse disciplines along with their major and foundational course.
Liberal arts; employer’s choice
The latest employment surveys state that multinational employers prefer aspirants with liberal arts degrees for their wide range of skills and ability to adapt to changes.
Learn from world-class faculties
75% of the faculty at SRM University AP holds international academic exposure or are from foreign universities, and 15% are foreign nationals.
International career opportunities
The global recognition of the courses grants a plethora of opportunities at international and postgraduation levels.
Liberal arts education will train you to learn things outside the textbook, making you confident enough to stand confidently in the face of change. In a world where machines overtake all the works of human beings, there should be more humans to look at life and think accordingly to provide much-needed responses.
Every university becomes an epicenter of learning when designed around the realms of education, aspiration, happiness, and well-being. SRM University-AP is one of the youngest institutions in the country, making headway with a distinct vision and an uncommon modus operandi. The university internalises its role as a prime agent in bringing innovation and regional development. SRM University-AP fosters a distinguished learning culture with a plethora of avenues for the students to dive into and transform themselves as new-age professionals. Every innovation is introduced with the purpose of shaping its students to embrace the future in its fullest sense.
In the face of advancing technologies and growing digitisation, the university has set out on a mission to prepare its students with a future-oriented curriculum encompassing practical learning experiences. Having recognised as a broad-based multidisciplinary research-intensive university, the institution takes immense care in orienting its learning culture in line with the emerging demands of society. It also ensures that students are provided with challenging research opportunities having deeper social implications.
Rolling out a slew of innovative initiatives such as Inter-Disciplinary Experiential Active Learning (IDEAL) methodology, Semester Abroad Programmes and other international collaborations, Hatch Lab Research Centre, Next Tech Lab, Corporate relations and Career Services, and a dozen of activity clubs to pursue their interests across the arenas of arts, sports, literature, photography etc., SRM University-AP leaves no stone unturned to arm the students to make themselves a niche in a world surging ahead with unprecedented opportunities.
Inter-Disciplinary Active Learning (IDEA)
IDEA is a pedagogical practice introduced with the intention of giving students the liberty to curate the curriculum aligning with their interests. It offers flexibility in learning and allows them to explore their interests cutting across disciplines. Having done majors in one subject along with other minors/specialisations will give them an added edge and amplify their job prospects. This active learning practice, coupled with industry internship programmes, makes this an avant-garde learning technique.
Semester Abroad Programmes
The global collaborations and partnerships established by the university with world-class institutions, including the University of California, Harvard Business School Online, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, and other top organisations, will open the gateway for its students to acquire international exposure and get acquainted with cutting-edge developments in the global market. Semester Abroad Programme is a lucrative opportunity for students to upgrade themselves on par with international quality professionals. Moreover, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between SRM University-AP and other universities will allow students to let out themselves to new cultures, mindsets, and work environments.
Hatch Lab Research Centre
The SRM Technology & Livelihood Business Incubator (SRMTBI) is a resourceful platform for students to embark on new ventures and business practices. With its vast network of domain experts, experienced professionals, and academicians, SRM TBI preserves a thriving ecosystem to motivate young researchers to promote the commercial research culture. SRM TBI essentially works intending to bring prosperity to socially backward places and train the students to make meaningful contributions toward nation-building. The entrepreneurship academy also organises exploratory competitions such as hackathons to unveil the entrepreneurial acumen of the students.
Next Tech Lab
Next Tech Lab is a student-led innovation that offers an exclusive platform for them to work on futuristic prototypes using cutting-edge technology. Forging ahead with a spectacular vision of making an immense contribution to future enterprises, Next Tech Lab is the only organisation from India to win the QS Reimagine Education 2018 award for its work in spearheading the student-led innovation lab model in India. It also holds an exemplary record of winning hackathons and publishing in high-impact journals. The venture was established with a fervent motive to reverse the brain-drain culture in the country, and it stays true to its intention by impelling students to learn, research, and develop their skills in tune with the industrial demands.
Corporate Relations and Career Services
The Department of Corporate Relations and Career Services works with the intent to ensure cent per cent campus placement for its students. The department provides hands-on training and internships for students to hone their skills and learn from experts in the field. Having established a strong tie-up with leading companies, including Infosys, ONGC, Electronics Corporations of India Limited, etc., the CR&CS department offers students abundant opportunities to walk into a career of their choice. It also provides a forum for the industry experts to share their experiences with the students and learn the skills needed to stay productive in today’s globalised Industry 4.0 world.
Clubs and Societies for Students
The university nurtures a learning environment beyond academics to encourage students to enhance their talents and passion. The student clubs and societies give them umpteen platforms to engage in extra-curricular activities and make learning a wholesome experience. To list a few, literary club, movie club, sports club, theatre club, photography club etc., are some of the highly engaging clubs sought-after by students. The Department of Student Affairs is doing a remarkable job by co-ordinating with the faculty and students and hosting such enriching activities on the campus.
SRM University-AP is a choice destination for the next generation of students to learn, explore and transform themselves into resourceful individuals. The university is stewarding an educational revolution in the country by taking a detour from the conventional pathway to walk students into a fathomless world of opportunities. As society evolves with unpredictable changes with each passing day, it is imperative to capacitate the students to remain flexible to such uncertainties. SRM University-AP fosters an academic culture to mould its students to be multi-talented individuals daring enough to embrace any challenge that comes their way.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Jesni M Jacob, currently doing research under Dr Mahesh Kumar Ravva narrates her journey to achieving CSIR-JRF All India Rank of 65 through persistent efforts.
I’m working in the field of computational chemistry on designing and developing organic molecules for OLED applications. Securing an AIR of 65 in the CSIR JRF in Chemical Science June 2021 exam is a dream come true moment for me.
In 2019, I completed my post-graduate studies at Madras Christian College, Chennai. The four-year-long journey from zero to JRF AIR 65 was of hard work, patience, sleepless nights, sacrifices and even frustrated moments. It was challenging to remain motivated after multiple unsuccessful attempts. But I wasn’t ready to give up hope. I believed in myself and dreamed big with faith in God Almighty.
My previous attempts didn’t provide me with any hope of continuing my preparation because my marks were consistently far below the cutoffs. That made me realise one thing: without coaching and ample guidance, qualifying for CSIR JRF is a toiling task for an average student. But I learned that with strong passion, proper dedication, and right strategies of do’s and don’ts, any aspiring student can pass the exam with flying colours.
After each attempt, I learned from my mistakes and tried to optimise my strategies. One should never try to cover the entire syllabus and be bothered about it. I analysed the unit-wise weightage and narrowed it down to a few important topics that I found exciting and comfortable.
- Choose topics carefully and focus solely on mastering them.
- Try to stick to and rely on reliable standard textbooks as much as possible.
- The SRMAP library provided me with excellent access to a wide range of standard texts.
The JRF aspirants should try to solve previous years’ questions from standard exams (CSIR, GATE, IISc, etc.) and note new concepts or approaches every day. Enjoy and prepare short notes with a lot of scribbling and highlighting in various colours. Notes should be concise and simple to revise later. But don’t spend too much time making notes.
I made time for exam preparation along with my work and research activities. I’m grateful to my family, teachers, and especially my guide- Dr Mahesh Kumar Ravva, for their constant support and encouragement. He gave me a safe space to express my desire to ace the exam and my anxieties about it. Dr Mahesh always listened to my concerns and helped me to gain clarity on my thoughts. He always encouraged me to dream big and shared his perspectives and lessons from his life experiences. He is a great mentor, motivator, and teacher to me.