Nirma University held its 29th Annual Convocation Ceremony on March 20, 2021 wherein 2,380 students from various institutes of the University received their degrees. Students from the Institute of Technology, Institute of Management, Institute of Law, Institute of Pharmacy, Institute of Science, Institute of Architecture and Planning, and Institute of Commerce received their graduation, postgraduation and PhD degrees. Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India was the Chief Guest.
This year Nirma University conferred degrees to 52 PhD, 798 postgraduate and 1,530 graduate students. The University presented 59 medals to 51 students for their exemplary performance in academics. The President of Nirma University, Dr Karsanbhai K Patel congratulated the students in his convocation speech and wished them success in their future endeavours.
Looking at the current pandemic situation, the flag hoisting ceremony at Nirma University was observed in the presence of the Executive Registrar, Head of Institutions, Head of departments, and Section heads. As the host Institute, Dr R N Patel, Director (I/c), Institute of Technology, Nirma University presided at the event. Dr Manjunath Ghate, Director, Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University was the Chief Guest of the event. Dr R N Patel welcomed all the members. After unfurling the flag, quoting the preamble, Dr Ghate, in his speech said that it is a transformation journey from I to We, a journey of the triumph of advancements and progressions and we should strive to achieve in this journey having all the positive things in our mind.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Institute of Science & Women Development Cell, Nirma University organised a series of lectures on the theme ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world’ on March 8, 2021. Speakers included Dr Vineeta Bal, Scientist, IISER Pune; Ms Mona Gogia, VP, Regulatory Affairs, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd; and Ms Janki Dave, Senior Associate Editor, Republic Media Network, and an alumnus of Nirma University. Rangoli and Cartoon/Doodling competitions were held for students through the virtual platform. The event was attended by around 380 participants.
The 24th edition of the Nirma International Conference on Management (NICOM), the annual international management conference organised by the Institute of Management was held on the theme ‘Industry 4.0: Reinventing Human Resource Management for organisational effectiveness’ during Jan 7-9, 2021. NICOM aims at bringing together academicians, researchers, and practicing managers to deliberate on contemporary developments and issues on businesses in the modern era.
A total of 87 abstracts and 54 full papers were received from India and abroad. The conference hosted five plenary sessions in addition to the inaugural and valedictory sessions. The inaugural session was graced by Mr Yogi Sriram, Advisor to CEO & MD Group Human Resources, Larsen & Tubro Ltd. He spoke on the future of Human Resources and the role of Artificial Intelligence. The valedictory session was presided by Mr Vijay Raj, Group General Manager (GGM), Cauvery Asset. He addressed the audience on the initiatives undertaken by ONGC during the COVID-19 pandemic and the learnings from the HR point of view.
Some of the prominent speakers during the conference included, Mr Feras Al Majed VP-HR, GBM Group, Bahrain; Dr Taran Patel, Associate Professor, Grenoble Ecole de Management, France; Dr Andrea Cardillo, Managing Partner, TPC leadership, Italy; Dr Anjan Bhowmick, Executive Director, Reinsurance Group of America, Hong Kong; Prof Dynah A Basui, Professor, Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines; Dr Julie Albright, Digital Sociologist, USC, Board Member, Infrastructure Masons, USA; Dr Rupert Beinhauer, faculty, University of Applied Sciences, Austria; and Mr Ranjit Komphi, Vice President, Reliance Retail.
NCC Unit of Nirma University under the aegis of Students Welfare Board and 9-Gujarat NCC Bn, Ahmedabad celebrated the 125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as ‘Parakram Diwas’ on Jan 23, 2021. The theme of the event was ‘Remembering Netaji’s Selfless Services.’ A total of 68 NCC cadets (40 boys and 28 girls) of Nirma University participated in the webinar. Sgt. Harshal Patil was the anchor of the programme. LCPL Siddharth Thanki shared a presentation on the life of Subhash Chandra Bose. Lt. Chanakya Bhatt proposed a vote of thanks. The event concluded with the NCC song.
Workshop on Industrial Cybersecurity
ISA-Student Chapter of Instrumentation and Control Engineering Department, Institute of Technology, Nirma University with support from GUJCOST organised a workshop on ‘Industrial Cybersecurity’ on Jan 5-6, 2021. The workshop aimed to create awareness about the issue of the threat of cyber-attack on industries. Industry experts from the field of Cyber Security – namely, Mr Prashant AC, Mr Nikhil Shah, and Mr Rohit Sharma conducted the workshop.
To spread awareness on road safety amongst the students of Nirma University, the Organisation of Civil Engineering Students (OrCES) in association with NSS Unit, School of Engineering, ITNU organised ‘Road Safety Awareness Programme’ on Feb 12, 2021. The first session comprised an expert talk on Road Safety Awareness by Mr L P Padaliya, Chief Road Safety Commissioner, Gujarat, Road Safety Authority; and Mr Ronak Budhrani, Director, Civilarcc Engineering and Project Consultant Pvt Ltd. An online awareness test was conducted in the second session.
Kaizen, the Alumni Relations Committee of the Institute of Management, Nirma University organised Pratidhwani 2021, the alumni conclave on Feb 20, 2021 on the theme ‘Embracing Uncertainty’. Around 220 students attended the virtual conclave. Invited Alumni speakers gave their insights on ways to embrace the uncertain days and pave the path towards the ocean of opportunities. Nine speakers from five different domains (Banking and Finance, Marketing and Sales, Human Resource, Entrepreneurship, Information, and Technology) were the resource persons.
The first speaker of HR domain was Ms Akansha Gandotra, Strategic and Communications Lead at Udaan.com. She spoke about how the uncertainty came as a blessing in disguise, especially in the HR industry. Mr Yash Rathi, COE Learning and Organisational Development Specialist at Ford India Pvt Ltd gave tips for managing teams during these uncertain times.
Mr Varun Sinha, Assistant Vice President at Ziploan.in was the first speaker for the marketing panel. He emphasised the basics of lending and communication strategies. Mr Omkar Joshi, Chief Creative Officer at Garage worldwide and Head of Digital, Famous innovations spoke on the challenges faced in the advertising industry and enlightened the students with the latest marketing tools.
Mr Saurabh Kasat, CFO of Dairy Classic Ice-Creams Pvt Ltd was the speaker for the Banking and Finance Panel. Mr Kasat spoke on cash flow management during these uncertain times. Mr Vaibhav Kathju, Co-Founder of Sheroes Money spoke on how taking new initiatives can have a huge significance for the organisations.
Mr Aashil Modi, Managing Director at Dimensions 360 was the first speaker for the Entrepreneurship panel. He spoke on measures to tackle these uncertain times. Mr Jitendra Chandraprakash Lakhwani, Co-Founder and CEO at Mantra2 success Consultants gave insights on how one can adapt even during difficult times by optimising costs, embracing technology, training, and focusing on the key areas.
Speaker for the conclave in the IT panel was Ms Divya Shah, Incident and IT problem manager at BNP, Paribas Personal Finance, England, UK. She shared her life experiences and various examples of how the IT sector has become so much significant in these times.
The Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Institute of Technology, Nirma University organised an online national conference on ‘Advancement in Communication, Electronics, Computers, and Automation Technology’ during Feb 12-13, 2021. The conference was exclusively for the students of UG and PG courses from the disciplines of Electronics & Communication, Instrumentation and Control, Computer Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. The conference was sponsored by the GUJCOST, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat. The IETE, Gujarat and IEEE, Antenna Section, Gujarat were the technical collaborators of the conference.
Shri Rajeev Jyoti, Dy Director, MRAS, SAC, ISRO, Ahmedabad inaugurated the conference as the Chief Guest. Dr RN Patel, Director, Institute of Technology, Nirma University presided over the event. A total of 54 authors registered for the paper presentation and 236 students registered as participants for the conference.
A Digital Poster Making Competition on the theme of ‘Vaccination Awareness for COVID’ was organised by the NSS Unit, School of Technology, Institute of Technology, Nirma University from March 10-23, 2021. Among a total of 43 entries received Nilay Lilawala, ITNU stood first, and Siddharth Parekh, ITNU stood second in the competition.
To mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations, an Essay Competition on the theme of ‘Independent India’ was organised by the NSS Unit, Nirma University on March 12, 2021. Among a total of 57 entries received Yaman Parmar, ITNU stood first, and Shaantanu Jain, ITNU stood second in the competition.
Utkrishta, the Management Conclave was conducted by the Institute of Management on March 9-10, 2021 on the theme ‘Disruption created by the progressive adoption of innovative technology by organisations’. The conclave was conducted on four sub-themes under technological disruption. Speakers for the theme ‘The Future of Work’ included Mr Hariharan, Director, PwC AIMS India; Mr Param Puneet Singh, Senior Principal Management Consulting, Acccenture; Ms Rashmi Mansaramani, CHRO, The Wave Group; Mr Anubhav Kapoor, Group Vice President Legal and Group CS, Cummins Group; and Mr Titus Arnold, Director, Human Resource, PR & Communications, India Medtronic Pvt Ltd. Speakers for the session on ‘Exploiting Digital Disruption’ were Mr Nimesh Danani, Director, Hitachi Vantara; Ms Namrata Somani, Delivery Centre Head, TCS Gujarat; Mr Harshit Desai, Design Entrepreneur, Fintech Professional and Digital Disruptor; and Mr Narendra Sharma, Regional Sales Director, AIC Inc. Speakers for the theme ‘Managing in a VUCA World’ included Mr Amitabh Tapadar, Executive Director, Marketing, Strategies & Business Development, Unidel Group; Mr Pradeep Talreja, Director of Operations, Apidel Technologies; and Mr Vishal Shastri, Senior Vice President, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited. Speakers for the theme ‘Surviving in a Dynamic World’ included Ms Sandhya Sharma, Chief Financial Officer, Schindler; Mr Vijay Rane, VP, HR, einfochips; Dr Akhil Prasad, Director, Country Counsel India & Company Secretary Boeing India; and Ms Priyanka Sharma, Head of Marketing, CIGNEX.
Pragaman 5.0 was conducted by the Institute of Management on March 20, 2021 on the theme ‘Shifting Paradigm of Entrepreneurship’. The event was inaugurated by Mr Dhiraj Nayyar, Director, E&P, Vedanta. Invited delegates, Mr Vinay Nathan, Co-founder & CEO Altizon systems, and Mr Tenzin Thargay, Chief Business Officer, CollegeDekho.Com provided their entrepreneurial insights on varied perspectives.
International e-Conference on Covid-19: Challenges and Opportunities in Pharmaceutical Research
Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University, in collaboration with Indrashil University, Ahmedabad organised an International e-Conference on the theme of Covid-19: Challenges and Opportunities in Pharmaceutical Research during March 18-19, 2021. The e-Conference provided a common platform to 20 speakers from different countries including India. The speakers included Dr Ian Haworth from University of Southern California, USA; Prof Dong-Soo Shin from Changwon National University, South Korea; Dr Marco Lolli from University of Turin, Italy; Dr Heena Patel from Gilead Sciences Inc, USA; Dr Frederick Frankhauser & Dr Stephen Kerr from School of Pharmacy, MCPHS University, USA; Dr Bhushan Patwardhan, Vice-Chairman, UGC, New Delhi; Dr Thennati Rajmannar, Executive Vice President, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Vadodara; Dr Hitesh Malviya, Director, New Vaccines, Serum Institute of India, Pune; Dr Suresh Patankar, Professor & Chairman – Department of Urology, ACE Hospital & Research Centre, Pune; Dr Ritu Verma, Head, Preclinical Operations, Dabur Research Foundation, Ghaziabad, to name a few.
Dr Anamik Shah, Vice-Chancellor, Gujarat Vidyapith was the Chief Guest and Shri KK Patel, Vice President, Nirma University presided at the Valedictory Function. Other dignitaries included Prof JS Yadav, Provost, Indrashil University; Dr Anup K Singh, Director General, Nirma University; and Prof Manjunath Ghate, Director, Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University. The conference was attended by more than 300 researchers in the areas of chemical sciences, biological sciences, pharmaceutical science, and other related areas. More than 230 researchers presented their research/review work as Oral presentations during the parallel sessions.
As a part of the Student Start-up & Innovation Policy (SSIP) activity, the Entrepreneurship Cell of Nirma University organised an E-Hackaton from March 26-28, 2021. More than 200 students participated in the competition across the University and the Top 12 teams pitched on the final day. The event started with a motivational speech from the E-Cell coordinator Ms Rashmika Shah. The inaugural session had a talk by Mr Jagrat Jhamb, Founder, The Brand Folks.
Mentors from various industry domains were invited to give different perspectives to the ideas of students. A workshop on ‘Business Model Canvas’ by Dr Kruti Patel, Founder of She and We; a workshop on ‘Pitching’ by Ms Drashti Shah, Assistant Manager – Outreach at PDPU Innovation & Incubation Centre; followed by a Mock Pitching Session for the Top 12 Teams was also organised.
E-Cell hosted the finals on March 28, 2021 with Mr Ebin Ephrem Elavathingal (Senior Manager, AIC Raise), Mr Ajay Saraswat (Group CEO, Inter India Group), and Mr Jatin Chaudhary (Co-Founder, eChai) as the judges. The winners of the competition were ‘Team Mom-Made’ comprising Heeral Neema, Vini Hundlani, Ramit Bhanawat, Pratik Choraria, and Ayush Deb from the Institute of Technology and Institute of Commerce. Their idea was to make a food delivery application for housewives.
To provide the students a real-time design exposure, the Department of Design, Nirma University has initiated a ‘Degree project’ for its final year students. The 20-week long programme scheduled from Jan 4 to May 31, 2021 aims to act as a bridge between academics and industries and help the students learn about organisation ethics, hierarchy, leadership, logistics, supply chain management, manufacturing process, among others.
As a part of this project, a student has to go either join an organisation, industry, or work on a self-sponsored project. After joining the project, students are supposed to go for Primary and Secondary research followed by empathy and storyboarding. This will further lead to ideation, concept generation, prototyping, user feedback, and documentation.
Some of the organisations and the projects on which the students are working include, UD Labs, Rajkot (Industrial Air Purifier), Project Otenga, Ahmedabad (food waste and its by-product), Round Umbrella Company, NID Incubation Centre, Ahmedabad (designing physical games for kids), Art Underground, Ahmedabad (Exhibition design), and Design Objects, Bangalore (designing Sterilizing Coffee Machines).
Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University initiated a new joint certificate course with the School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California (USC), USA. This course is being offered online by both institutes to their students. The faculty of USC and Nirma University is teaching them jointly. The course is unique as it focuses on the clinical therapeutics for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes through a variety of diverse perspectives including drug mechanisms of action, pharmacology, treatment guidelines in the United States and India, natural products, regulatory issues, pharmacoeconomics, and future directions for therapeutic development in the pharmaceutical industry. This course will provide an opportunity to collaborate with international colleagues and help students in exploring global perspectives in diabetes drug development and treatment.
Women Development Cell (WDC) of Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University organised a webinar on ‘Women’s Health, Fitness and Diet’ for students, faculty members and staff of Nirma University on Jan 1, 2021. The talk was delivered by Ms Suraksha Shetty Shah, Nutritionist, Health Plus Centre, Ahmedabad. She enlightened the participants about a healthy diet, immunity boosters, solutions to hormonal issues, and nutrients for healthy hair and skin.
Lecture Series in Transportation Engineering
Civil Engineering Department, Institute of Technology, Nirma University organised a lecture series in Transportation Engineering from March 2-March 16, 2021. Dr Neeraj Buch, Professor and Chairperson, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Michigan State University delivered a total of five sessions on topics including, Overview of Pavements and its types, Factors affecting the performance of pavements, Stresses in Pavements, Design of Flexible and Rigid Pavements. More than 100 students of the BTech Civil Engineering branch attended the lecture series.
An Expert Lecture on ‘Gender Mainstreaming and Women Empowerment’ was organised under the aegis of the RAINBOW Centre (Realizing the Aspirations, Interests & Brilliance of Young Women) set up at the Institute of Management, and co-funded by ERASMUS+, an organisation of the European Union. The European Union’s Erasmus+ programme is a funding scheme to support activities in the fields of Education, Training, Youth, and Sport. Experts included Ms Neha Lal, Sr General Manager, OPs & HR, GCS Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre & NABH Assessor; and Ms Anjali Gulati, Founder & CEO at People Konnect & Back to the Front and an alumnus of IMNU. The event conducted on March 8, 2021 was attended by more than 300 participants.