Mr Satish Anand, Pro Chancellor of Shoolini University and its founder-trustee, is a well-known award winning entrepreneur and businessman. He was the first to join hands with the Chancellor Mr Ramesh K Mehan and Prof P K Khosla to form a Trust and set up the University. Here are excerpts from an interview on the completion of 10 years of the University :
Having a business background, how did you plan to set up an educational institute?
Frankly I had never thought of opening a university but destiny had something great in store for me. By a twist of fate, three families joined hands to set up the University. The three families - Anand family, Khosla family and a leading entrepreneur Mr. Mehan, who were experts in their respective fields, joined hands for the venture. Prof Khosla had prepared the project and was looking for someone who could finance it. I believe this was just a God’s gift where the Almighty wanted us to start something like this.
What changes have you seen over these 10 years?We started with an institute in Solan named Shoolini Institute of Life Sciences and Business Management (SILB). It gained popularity and carved out a name for itself. We then decided to grow further and expand into a private University. SILB continues to thrive and is affiliated to the Himachal Pradesh University.
How was Shoolini university conceived?
During the days when we set up SILB, certain developments took place which drew our attention towards opening the university. The state government also decided to open the private sector for higher education. Once we cleared all formalities and got permission to set up the university, we bought the land and the process of construction started. Now it is doing good with a strength of about 3500 students out of which 1800 are staying in hostels. We are running it on the basis of no-profit-no-loss. I would like to suggest to anyone who wants to start an educational institute that he shouldn’t take it as business and if he does so, he will definitely fail to achieve some targets. One must forget about the profit and we are running it on the same terms.
Did you expect it to do so well when it was conceived?
The journey was not easy and we never thought it will grow this much in 10 years. But everyone worked hard for this. We started it with the name of Goddess Shoolini, who is the reigning Goddess of Solan, and her blessings have always been there with us. Everyone contributed a lot - be it faculty, staff or the students.
Do you think it can achieve its mission to be among top 200 global universities?
We are number 1 in Himachal Pradesh and we will soon be number 1 in North India. During our first convocation Dr APJ Abdul Kalam came and said, “think big think ahead”. There wasn’t any university in India to be counted under global ranking but he made us believe and wished our university to have a global ranking. From that day we felt motivated and have worked more hard to achieve the distinction. We initially used to see this goal as very difficult to achieve because we had just started but progressively we noticed that we are progressing in the right direction.
What more would you like to do in the university ?
Among our innovations, there are 300 plus patents some of which are being commercialised and we are being recognised for our research papers. I would like to see the university to grow more in this field. There are bright chances to have greater ranking by 2022.
What are the details of the proposed four off-campus centres?
Thr proposed off-campuses will have the same pattern with qualified faculty and salaries according to UGC criteria and will be even better than this campus. Details are being worked out and we have signed four Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with the Himachal Pradesh Government to set up these campuses.
Where would you like to see the university in the next ten years?
We have several plans for the growth and development of the University in the pipeline for the next ten years. All I would like to say at this juncture is that we all have made a promise to ourselves that we would do even better in the next ten years.
Your message for the students and institution?
Students, staff and faculty are doing well and should continue to work really hard. Students must stay away from drugs and divert themselves towards other productive activities. As far as the management is concerned, it would continue to work for the betterment of the students, faculty and the staff.