LN Mishra Institute of Economic Development and Social Change, Patna
In a state where higher education is in a shambles and law and order is held hostage by anti-socials and criminals, LNMI has managed to consistently maintain high academic standards
Located in the heart of Patna, contiguous to the high court and a stoneâ€™s throw from the state secretariat, the Lalit Narayan Mishra Institute of Economic Development and Social Change (LNMI) is widely acknowledged as the premier management and computer education institute in Bihar (pop. 82 million). Initially promoted in 1973 as the Bihar Institute of Economic Development, it was renamed in honour of Lalit Narayan Mishra, the then Union railway minister, in 1975.
In 1986, the reins of the institute were handed over to the Bihar state government. Since then despite bureaucratic mismanagement and government indifference, LNMI has emerged as Biharâ€™s showpiece institution of higher education. In a state where higher education is in a shambles and law and order is held hostage by anti-social goons and criminals, LNMI has managed to consistently maintain high standards in academics and teaching. Currently the institute offers MBA, MHRM (Master of human resource management) and MCA (Master of computer applications) programmes to over 500 students.
"LNMI is one of the best management institutes in the country. It offers modern infrastructure facilities and its business management syllabus is modelled on the IIMs. However because of the poor public image of Bihar, industry and B-school rating agencies donâ€™t take LNMI seriously. But with the new Nitish Kumar-led state government promising to give education top priority, the future looks promising. The state government has recently allocated an adjoining two acre plot of land for building additional facilities and a sum of Rs.1 crore for operational expenditure," says K.A.H. Subramanian, director of LNMI since July last year. A 1968 batch IAS officer, Subramanian retired as chief secretary of the Bihar government in May 2005.
An autonomous institute affiliated with Magadh University, Bodh Gaya, LNMI is accredited by the University Grants Commission, All India Council of Technical Education, New Delhi and the Union ministry of human resource development. The institute is administered by a board of management presided by the ex officio chief minister of Bihar. Other board members include a vice-chancellor of a neighbouring university; secretary of finance, director of higher education, secretary of higher education (all from the Bihar state government); representatives of UGC and the Union HRD ministry, and six eminent educationists/ administrators nominated by the state government and the director of the institute. The annual expenditure outlay of LNMI is Rs.2 crore, of which Rs.35 lakh is contributed by the state government and the remaining is collected by way of student fees. LNMI provides state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities. Among them: four air-conditioned computer centres with broadband internet connectivity 24/7; an air-conditioned library with over 10,000 volumes; an online computer training facility; and an air-conditioned auditorium with a seating capacity of 300. Moreover to enable MCA students to learn hands-on, the IT lecture hall is fitted with a 50-inch plasma screen, laptops, and broadband internet connectivity.
Given its distinction as Biharâ€™s top-ranked business management education institute, itâ€™s not surprising that companies make a beeline for LNMI graduates. Last year the institute recorded 100 percent placement. Over 50 companies including Berger Paints, Hindustan Lever, Johnson & Johnson, Cadbury India and ICICI Capital Services, participated in the campus recruitment exercise and hired graduates at average salaries of Rs.2.5 lakh per year. LNMI also undertakes research and publication work for reputed instit-utions such as the Ford Foundation, Unicef, IFAD, besides providing consultancy to state and Central government departments.
If LNMI has managed to build on its reputation as a centre of academic excellence, itâ€™s because the institute enjoys full autonomy in respect of formulation of courseware, conduct of examinations, and declaration of results. "LNMI is fully autonomous and Iâ€™m happy to say that there is very little interference from the government in matters of academics and teaching. We boast a highly qualified faculty of eight regular and about 50 visiting members, and our programmes combine theory with practical exposure," says Subramanian.
However he admits that LNMI students are deprived of proper industry exposure and interaction, given that very few companies operate out of Bihar. This lacuna was accentuated by the creation of Jharkhand, which was the hub of most corporates in undivided Bihar. "We try to keep track of every high-ranking corporate executive who visits Bihar and arrange for him to deliver a guest lecture to our students. Most of our graduates find work outside the state," he says.
Despite the disabling academic environment in Bihar, Subramanian is confident that with the change of guard in the state, LNMI will establish a reputation as a centre of academic excellence countrywide. "The Nitish Kumar government bodes well for education and is very interested in making LNMI among the top management education institutes in India. Our future plans centre around recruitment of top notch faculty," he says.
Admission and fees The L.N. Mishra Institute of Economic Development and Social Change offers two-year MBA and MHRM (Master of human resource management) programmes. Admission into these programmes is based on performance in the Management Aptitude Test (MAT) conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA), group discussion and personal interview. As per AICTE guidelines 70 percent weightage is given to the MAT score and 15 percent each to GD and interview. Again for the MCA (Master of computer application) course, admission is on the basis of a written test, group discussion and personal interview.
The total number of seats in MBA, MHRM and MCA are 160, 70 and 30 respectively. There is 50 percent reservation for SC, ST and OBC candidates. Tuition fee (per year). MBA: Rs.51,600; MHRM: Rs.38,850; MCA: Rs.81,900For further information contact the registrar, L.N. Mishra Institute of Economic Development and Social Change, 1, Bailey Road, Patna 800 001, Bihar. Phone: 0612-2207100; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.lnmipat.ac.in
Arun Srivastav (Patna)
University of Manchester, UK
Reconstituted in 2004 by merging the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST, the University of Manchester has an enviable reputation for teaching and research
With an enrollment of 35,655 students reading over 500 academic programmes, the University of Manchester is celebrated as Britainâ€™s largest single-site university. In 2006 the university received more applications (63,000) for undergraduate study than any other British university. Reconstituted in October 2004 by merging the Victoria University of Manchester and University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), the combined University of Manchester has an enviable reputation for excellence in teaching and research. In 2005 it was awarded the University of the Year prize by the Times Higher Education Supplement and in 2006 by the Sunday Times. The 2005 survey of the worldâ€™s best universities by the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghaiâ€™s Jiao Tong University, China, ranked Manchester the 5th best university in the UK, 9th in Europe and 50th worldwide.
In 2005-06 Manchester U received Â£260 million (Rs.2,210 crore) from external sources for R&D activities. Little wonder that its annual research income of Â£191.5 million is the fifth largest of any university in the country. Moreover with an annual income of Â£590 million (Rs.5,015 crore), it is Britainâ€™s only half billion pound university.
"We believe that teaching and research should be at the heart of the university experience. The most highly prized degrees are those obtained in universities where students learn from scholars who are not only dedicated teachers, but also active researchers in their chosen fields," says Alan Gilbert, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester. Prof. Gilbert is leading a bold and exciting plan â€” the Manchester 2015 Agenda â€” which aims to vault Manchester U into the league of the worldâ€™s top 25 universities.
Manchester. An hour from Britainâ€™s showpiece Lake District and two hours by train from London, Manchester (pop.2.5 million) is a centre of the arts, media, higher education and commerce, and is often described as the capital of northern Britain. Manchester is historically notable for having been the worldâ€™s first industrial city and for the central role it played during the industrial revolution. Today it is a bustling cosmopolis hosting people from numerous nationalities and cultures.
For those who believe that thereâ€™s more to the academic experience than study, Manchester is another city by night. It is replete with innumerable restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines, cinemas, music, clubs, and pubs. The climate in Manchester is damp and rainy with temperatures ranging between 1oC in winter to 19oC in summer.
Campus facilities. Situated in the heart of Manchester, the campus of the eponymous university is a mix of traditional Victorian buildings and modern architecture set amidst landscaped lawns and gardens. The campus is a mini-metropolis offering almost everything a student needs â€” lecture theatres, laboratories, computing facilities, welfare services, restaurants, cafÃ© bars, supermarkets and a shopping centre.
Study facilities include the John Rylands Library with its 3.5 million volumes; the world-famous Jordell Bank Observatory; a brand new music and drama building with a captive 350-seater concert hall and state-of-the-art biomedical laboratories. The campus also offers cultural attractions in the shape of the internationally renowned Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Contact Theatre.
Sports facilities on campus include the Manchester Aquatics Centre with its state-of-the-art 50 m main swimming pool and 50 m training pool; the Sugden Sports Centre which houses a double size sports hall and large fitness studio; Armitage Centre which has facilities for five-a-side football, badminton, squash, martial arts and weight-lifting. Moreover the university also offers several football, rugby and cricket grounds.
Admission. All admission applications for full-time study programmes in British universities, including the University of Manchester, are coordinated by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). A list of degree programmes can be found in the UCAS directory, available in all British Council offices in India. The university code for Manchester is M20 MANU. For entry in autumn 2008, students can begin to apply from September 1, 2007. The closing date for receipt of applications is January 15, 2008.
The minimum eligibility criterion for admission is successful completion of Plus Two. Additionally, overseas students whose mother tongue is not English have to show evidence of English language ability. An IELTS score of 6 or above or a TOEFL score of 550 is required as a minimum, although many departments ask for higher scores. For further information contact the International Development Office, Rutherford Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK M13 9PL; Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2196; e-mail: international@manchester. ac.uk; website: www.manchester.ac.uk.
Accommodation. Manchester U offers a wide range of residential accommodation options, ranging from modern self-catering flats to traditional collegiate-style halls of residence. According to a university spokes-person, there are more spaces in university managed accommodation here than in any other British university. Most of the housing is either on campus, in the nearby suburb of Victoria Park or a mile away in Fallowfield. These neighbourhoods are chock-a-block with bars and shops catering specifically to the student community. The cost of campus housing varies between Â£57-Â£91 per week.
Degree programmes. The university offers over 500 programmes across the faculties of medical and human sciences, engineering and physical sciences, life sciences and humanities (see box).
Scholastic options at ManchesterThe University of Manchester offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the following faculties:
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. School of chemical engineering and analytical science; chemistry; computer science; earth, atmospheric and environmental sciences; electrical & electronic engineering; materials; mathematics; mechanical, aerospace and civil engineering; physics and astronomy
Faculty of Humanities. School of arts, histories and cultures; education; environment and development; informatics; languages, linguistics and cultures; law; Manchester Business School; social sciences; Centre for continuing education; Centre for educational leadership; combined studies
Faculty of Life Sciences. School of life sciences
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences. School of dentistry; medicine; nursing, midwifery and social work; pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences; psychological sciences
Tuition fees (per year). Arts: Â£8,600; Science: Â£11,000; Medicine and dentistry: Â£20,000
Living expenses including accommodation: Â£6,170 per year