Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kala Vijayakumar

"We need to create many world-class universities in India. This requires a greater focus on the research and innovation within campuses. A key constraint towards the 'world-class' goal is the funding of universities. While in the US, fee accounts for about 19 per cent of the total funding of private universities, in India, fee makes up around 95 per cent or even more. There is, therefore, a big gap in funding that should be bridged through endowments, industry and alumni contributions."
Kala Vijayakumar, President, SSN Institutions, Chennai
March 19, 2009, 1 pm



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Kala Vijayakumar is the President of SSN Institutions, a not-for-profit educational institution founded by Dr.Shiv Nadar, Founder and Chairman, HCL Group. She plays a key role in managing the SSN Institutions, which comprises SSN College of Engineering, SSN School of Management & Computer Applications, SSN School of Advanced Software Engineering and SSN Research Centre.

Kala has been associated with the SSN Institutions since inception. She has been instrumental for the exponential growth of SSN Institutions, which has, within a short span of 12 years, stood first among all engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University. SSN has received the national award for the ‘Engineering College with the Best Overall Performance’ from the Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE). SSN has been ranked 9th among all private engineering colleges in India by Outlook and 28th among all engineering colleges including IITs and NITs by DataQuest.

With a keen interest towards education, she efficiently implements the vision of the founder, Dr. Shiv Nadar, of building an institution of international repute, where high quality education is made accessible to meritorious student from all economic strata.

Kala Vijayakumar is also an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer.



Work Highlights

1. Carnegie Mellon University Collaboration

Kala has played a pivotal role in establishing a unique collaboration with the world renowned Carnegie Mellon University, USA, for offering their MSIT (Master of Science in Information Technology) degree through SSN School of Advanced Software Engineering.

2. Formation of Research Advisory Council (RAC)

Kala firmly believed that for building an educational institution of international repute, high quality research was mandatory. Her aim was to integrate high quality research into every facet of education. She was instrumental in creating the Research Advisory Council with globally renowned researchers like Dr. Raj Reddy, Dr.V.S.Arunachalam, Dr.R.Natarajan and Dr.N.Balakrishnan as members. The SSN Research Centre has been established with Dr.V.S.Arunachalam as the Chief Scientific Advisor, where cutting edge research for the benefit of the society will be carried out. Currently, SSN Research Centre is working on renewable solar energy.

3. Invitation from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Impressed by the research work at SSN Institutions, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan invited Kala in 2005 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for exchange of students and co-operation in exchange programs.

4. Visits to renowned Universities

Kala wished to bring the global best practices in education to India. She has visited a number of universities around the world including Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, Warwick University, National Tsing Hua University and Cambridge University.

5. eLearning

SSN was the first engineering college to install campus wide wi-fi connectivity. Kala has introduced the innovative ‘eLearning’ initiative to enhance the teaching-learning process. This initiative has enriched the classroom sessions by making them learner centric.

6. Rural Students’ Scholarship

Kala is very keen on working towards reducing the urban-rural divide. She has been instrumental in creating a special scholarship scheme for the benefit of rural students. Under this scheme, every year 20 toppers from rural government schools are admitted into SSN College of Engineering and their entire engineering education and living expenses for 4 years are provided totally free of cost.
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Jeeva Rekha

Genesis Burson-Marsteller
THE HOLMES REPORT, 2008 CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR



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