A University With Rural And Urban Approach

Prof Pankaj Gupta, President of IIHMR University, Jaipur in conversation with Business World Education, A few excerpts of the interview are placed below


Q. As the president of the university, can you highlight the curriculum of the university and some popular courses offered?

IIHMR University carries the legacy of excellence from IIHMR, which was established in 1984 when no one on this side of the globe was thinking about Health Management as a stream. The university, created through an Act of the Rajasthan State legislature in 2014, has emerged as the South Asian region’s premier knowledge institution for research and teaching. The curriculum of the university includes the most exhaustive MBA in hospital and health management program with research seamlessly intertwined, pharmaceutical management and arguably the most field-oriented rural management program in the country. One of IIHMR University’s unique offerings is the MPH (Master of Public Health) program which is offered jointly with Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. This allows the students to get a coveted Johns Hopkins Degree while studying here in India at IIHMR, at a much lower cost. The program allows them to spend a few weeks of rigorous learning and networking in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, while applying what they learn in the Indian context while they are here. It doesn’t get better than that. There is a full-fledged multidisciplinary Ph.D. program. The university’s School of Development Studies offers fully-funded inclusive education and capacity building to students from tribal geographies, in partnership with BRLF.

Q. Can you share your views on the challenges and opportunities of Indian Healthcare sector?

 The Indian healthcare industry is growing at a tremendous pace and has become one of the largest sectors in terms of revenue as well as employment. Owing to the rising incidence of non-communicable, lifestyle diseases and growing demand for affordable healthcare, the healthcare sector of India may witness a threefold jump by 2022 which in turn will open new opportunities for trained healthcare professionals. While challenges are bound to be there the Indian healthcare industry has innumerable opportunities to flourish in the coming years. One of the challenges will be to cater to the demand of skilled workforce and leaders who can deliver against the odds. There is a need for a proactive and dynamic approach to meet the rising demand for quality healthcare in India. And we at IIHMR University have pioneered for research and teaching in the domains of public health, health and hospital administration, development studies, and pharmaceutical management so that we can match up with the increasing demand for healthcare professionals in India.

Q. With rapid developments and India moving towards a new era what are your views on the lucrative opportunities for the students perusing a career in rural management or pharmaceutical management?

India is a country of villages and farmers. Most of its population lives in villages and rural areas. For all those are deeply concerned about the nation’s development, in rural as well as “urban” spaces, a career in rural management can help them fulfill their desire, especially the qualified professionals in rural management to assist the villagers in their process of development so that the whole nation could achieve progress and prosperity. Pharmaceutical Management is one of the fastest growing and rewarding fields of Management Courses. Pharmaceutical industry not only requires qualified researchers or technical people but it also demands skilled managers who can use their managing skills & ideas for the growth of the industry. Today, as India is marching forward to become a developed and prosperous nation in the world, the role of rural and pharmaceutical managers have become vital to bring about substantial changes in the livelihood of crores of Indian’s. 

Q. Can you throw some light on the recent researches of the University and their developments?

 Promoting and Strengthening Edible Oil and Milk Fortification in Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.  IIHMR has successfully implemented a food fortification project, titled Integrated Program Strategy in Rajasthan, during 2011-15, with technical and financial support from GAIN.

IIHMR, In collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA, is implementing a project entitled “Performance Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) Agile” in India. The PMA Agile project builds off the PMA 2020 data collection structure and capacity to monitor two large-scale investments of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve marginalized urban populations’ access to contraceptive services.

The PMA Agile project uses innovative mobile technology to gather real-time data on family planning and related services through female Resident Enumerators (REs). The data collection teams have undergone intensive training by JHU and IIHMR project management teams for carrying out the study in the respective cities.

IIHMR University, Jaipur is also implementing the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) in Rajasthan, India. IIHMR University has set up a Project Management Unit of central staff and deployed a cadre of female Resident Enumerators and primary data collectors. The overall direction and support of PMA2020 are being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS)

The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) aims to obtain information on micronutrient status, worm infestation, and the nutritional risk factors for NCDs.

Q. What are your views on the growth of the students at the university?

IIHMR University is dedicated to the improvement in standards of education through better management of discipline and related programs. It seeks to accomplish this through management research, training, consultation and institutional networking in a national and global perspective. We aim to develop trained professional managers with requisite skills in planning, implementation, operational management, diagnosis and problem solving, consultancy, and entrepreneurship. Theses program have achieved great success in preparing budding professionals to manage hospitals and healthcare institutions globally, both in the public and the private sectors, thus meeting the demands of a critical sector. IIHMR University is also bringing industry relevance through hands-on, experiential learning as against just theory-based teaching and learning.

Q.What are your future plans for the growth and expansion of IIHMR University?

The mission of the IIHMR University, Jaipur is to improve standards of health through better health services management that results in more effective and efficient health systems that provide accessible and affordable quality health care. The university will continue to provide innovative new research and training methodologies and build on capacity. We have ambitious growth plans in the areas of academic excellence, internationalization, student engagement, capacity building, international accreditations etc. We are also going to engage with our alumnus and corporate partners in a big way. The focus will also be on cutting-edge research, which will not be purely academic in nature but will also make a big difference in the lives of people worldwide. We are also going to promote entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship in a big way and thus making a difference for the State.

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