Contribution of Nainital to Technical Education


The district of Nainital has been in the forefront of spiritual evolution in India. However, the contributions of Nainital are not limited to spirituality. It has also contributed in other significant areas. One of these is technical education. The seeds of technical education in modern India were sown by the Indian Industrial Commission at its Nainital Conference in 1907. It proposed two institutions -- one at Roorkee for engineering and the other at Kanpur. As a result of this conference the first two institutions offering technical education began in India. The one at Kanpur is presently known as the Harcourt Butler Technological Institute (HBTI) and the one at Roorkee evolved from the Thompson College to Roorkee University and eventually the Indian Institute of Technology at Roorkee.

However in recent decades Nainital has lagged behind in the area. Until a few years ago, there were only two institutions offering university level degree programs in engineering in Nainital District. One is the Amrapali Institute of Technology and Sciences and the other the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences. This author has had the privilege of serving as Director of the former and a member of the Board of Governors of the latter. In the past few years it appears that a new university is also being set up in the District to cater to technical education.

Unfortunately the standard of some of the newly set up universities is not as good as it should be. A primary reason for this is the shortage of qualified faculty and administrators, caused by the recent explosion of higher education in India. Until a few days ago there was also no easily available book or manual that could provide guidance to such new universities during their founding stages. This prompted the present author to publish a new book on the topic with the title “How to create Excellent Universities” The book can be searched for under that title at Amazon.com. It will prove to be a useful guide for any new university. This author too would be glad to assist in anyway if called upon to do so, especially in the Nainital or Jaipur Districts of India where this author has special attachments and obligations.

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