Ashoka University is an innovator in emphasizing the delivery of liberal education on par with the best available globally. Ashoka's mission is to develop well-rounded students who can communicate effectively, think critically from various perspectives, and become leaders dedicated to public service.
A great emphasis is placed on fundamental knowledge, in-depth academic study built on strict pedagogy, and practical experience with real-world problems. The 2500+ students on campus, who come from 30 states, more than 243 cities in India, and 27 other countries, receive top-notch communication and media across undergraduate and post-graduate courses provided by faculty with a sterling reputation throughout the world.
Emperor Ashoka is the basis of the name Ashoka University. When Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Ashish Dhawan contacted Pramath Raj Sinha, a former dean of the Indian School of Business, for assistance in establishing the institution, they got the idea. Project Nobel was given the designation in honour of the founder's desire to create future Nobel Prize winners.
The founders of Ashoka and the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science have a memorandum of understanding. Initial discussions focused on establishing an engineering and technology institute that could compete with prestigious schools like MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University in terms of prestige. Twenty-two people were listed on the founders' list, including Jerry Rao, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Nirmal Jain, Dilip Shanghvi, and Ashok Trivedi. The list eventually expanded to 46 people, and as of today, there are 160 founders.
As its focus shifted to a liberal arts approach, Ashoka started offering courses in the fundamental sciences, the social sciences, and the arts. Shahid Jameel, a virologist, was appointed the inaugural head of the Trivedi School of Biosciences by Ashoka University in 2020. The choice was made in response to both the demands of the industry and the need to encourage Indian parents and children to view education as a legitimate goal in and of itself rather than just a means to an end of getting a job. By establishing the Trivedi Centre for Political Data (TCPD) in collaboration with the University of Michigan, Trivedi strengthened his choice.
Ashoka University provides a comprehensive education that is liberal, diverse, and interdisciplinary, providing a diverse and inclusive environment for its students to think critically and deeply, gain knowledge across various disciplines, convey them innovatively, and interact with significance to cause impact and change. This holistic education draws inspiration from Emperor Ashoka's life of learning and transformation. To achieve self-transformation during their education and moving forward, students are encouraged to consider ideas, research, and concentrate on ideals and principles of the highest calibre.
In the Ashoka University logo, an intersection of arcs representing the development and synthesis of various types of knowledge represents the developing field of multidisciplinary education.
The University provides numerous undergraduate and graduate programs in various academic fields, such as the humanities and the arts, economics, and the natural and mathematical sciences.
1. Undergraduate Courses
An application form, an on-the-spot essay, an interview, and an ability objective exam are all part of the admissions process. Students are not required to disclose their majors when applying to Ashoka's UG program and are allowed to experiment with their course selections. The institution doesn't require students to select a major until the third semester.
2. Young India Fellowship
Ashoka University's flagship program is the Young India Fellowship (YIF), which is available as a Master's Program in Liberal Studies. The 200 Fellows in the cohort represent a range of socioeconomic, professional, and geographic backgrounds. They get involved in various studies, research, and practice areas within a year.
The YIF has had approximately 1700 participants since 2011. There were 57 Fellows in its first graduating class, all given full scholarships. The program consists of eight terms, each lasting six weeks and containing up to four courses. Writing, research, and experiential learning are prioritized in the fellowship; the latter takes the form of an 8-month, part-time interactive learning module. Only students with a maximum age of 28 may apply for the fellowship due to an age restriction.
Interdisciplinary research and collaborations with businesses and policymakers are encouraged by Ashoka University. Science, chemistry, computer science, finance, English, politics, physics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology are among the fields in which students can register for PhD degrees.
4. Masters Courses
Graduate programs at Ashoka University include master's and doctoral degree courses. There are master's degree programmes in English, Liberal Studies, and the Ashoka Scholars Program. PhD degrees are also offered in chemistry, biology, computer science, finance, English, history, physics, neurology, sociology, and anthropology. Additional short-term courses include the Young Scholars Program, Summer Programs, and Ashoka X (Ashoka's virtual education initiative).
The Ashoka Aptitude Test is the institution's admission test and is among the first colleges in India to accept the SAT from local applicants. Students may take either test without restriction. Ashoka University is a Founding Member institution of the India Global Higher Education Alliance, which investigates how admission policies at Indian and non-Indian universities affect access and equity in higher education.
Fees and Eligibility
So that students get a quiet work atmosphere at all times of the day, the library is available twenty-four hours a day. In addition to the subscribed journals and databases, it gives students access to the Digital Library. It gives them the ability to seek through an online listing, institutional repository, digital news, and millions of available academic e-books, articles, chapters, and theses on subjects related to the Liberal Arts. Additionally, the library features a central database system that makes it simple for students to find books. Although many of the books in the collection align with the syllabus, there are also a handful of texts that students can study in their spare time because the collection was chosen by university faculty. There is also a documenting centre for students' printing, scanning, and photocopying needs.
Boys and girls have separate buildings with fully furnished quarters.
3. Sports Complex
Sports complex with courts for badminton, basketball, football, cricket, squash, swimming, tennis, and volleyball, among other sports.
Labs include a physics lab, a computer lab, and a lab for another discipline.
Rajendran Narayanan, a faculty member, and two other staff resigned in October 2016. The Faculty Council claimed they were ordered to leave because they had signed a petition regarding Kashmir, but the University disputes this claim. Narayanan thinks he was singled out because he set up a Workers' Welfare Committee for all university employees.
Arvind Subramanian and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, two faculty members who had previously served as the University's vice-chancellor, both submitted their resignations in March 2021, just days apart from one another, citing restrictions on academic freedom. Mehta has openly defended liberalism and discussed how it has died under the Narendra Modi administration.
In March 2021, he resigned from Ashoka University after being allegedly informed by members Pramath Raj Sinha and Ashish Dhawan that his "intellectual intrusions were something they can no longer defend." Students and teachers then protested, alleging that Mehta's resignation may have been prompted by his opinions on the Modi administration, creating internal pressure.
The foreign society is now more aware of Indian scholarship thanks to Ashoka University. The University was recognized for "Excellence in Internationalization" at the fourth Federation of Indian Commerce and Industry Chambers (FICCI) Higher Education Excellence Awards in 2017. It was named "University of the Year" (in operation for less than ten years).
Regarding the top 100 private institutions in India, Education World placed Ashoka University #2 in 2019. As of September 2020, the Department of Economics was ranked first in India out of 239 Colleges and Universities (and 31st in Asia out of 1539 Institutions) by Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), a global database of economics research that includes 8198 institutions and 60355 certified authors worldwide.
Additionally, in 2020, Ashoka received the World Digital Awards 2020 for Organizational Excellence in Education. The University received E-Learning Excellence for Academic Digitization (E-LEAD) certification from QS IAUGE and 12 other universities.
The Economics Department of the University was ranked first in India (#1 of 239 institutions) and the best at 12.5% in Asia (at #31 of 1539 institutions) in the same year, according to the international database RePEc, which includes 8198 universities and 60355 registered authors globally. In the QS World University Rankings 2022, Ashoka was ranked among the Top 30 Indian Universities and the Top 250 Universities in Asia.
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