School of Health Sciences, UPES: Interview with Dr Neeraj Mahindroo, Dean on Admissions, Placement
The School of Health Sciences, UPES has evolved splendidly in the last two years. The multidisciplinary university, UPES, which was set up in 2003, primarily focused on the Engineering and Energy sector, however, it expanded its horizon considering that the medical sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. In a candid interview with Careers360, Dr Neeraj Mahindroo, Prof & Dean of School of Health Sciences, UPES discussed the vision of the university along with the list of courses offered, placements and much more. Read the full interview with Dr Neeraj Mahindroo below.
To view the interview with Dr Neeraj Mahindroo, Prof & Dean, UPES School of Health Sciences, click here
Careers360: Can you tell us about the journey of the creation of UPES School of Health Sciences and how it has evolved throughout the years and what the future holds?
Dr Mahindroo: Established in 2003, UPES was primarily an Engineering and Energy sector focused university. However, in 2018, the state govt allowed the expansion of the mandate of the university, which meant that it could go into other areas, including health sciences.
To begin with, the university decided to open the school of health sciences considering the fact that it was and still is one of the fastest-growing industries in India as well as in the world. Therefore, the school of health sciences was visualised. The first batch started in 2019 with two programs, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science Nutrition & Dietetics. Later, in 2020 we added six programs which were Clinical Research, Food Technology, and Microbiology.
In coming year, we are further adding Biotechnical and PhD programs in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical chemistry, Microbiology and Food Nutrition & Dietetics
Careers360: The entire school of health sciences is divided into pharmaceutical sciences and allied sciences. Can you take us through the kind of attraction that the allied sciences have and the kind of programs that you offer in the allied sciences?
Dr Mahindroo: Allied sciences is an important area and the area and the programs which we are offering in the allied sciences include integrated BSc and MSc programs in Microbiology, integrated BSc and MSc programs in Nutrition & Dietetics. We also have BTech biotechnology programs and integrated Food technology MBA programs, which is a five years long program. We are further introducing the Btech biotechnology MBA integrated program.
So, the duration of the integrated programs is 20% less than the regular programs. This means that a BSc and MSc integrated program will be a four-year course instead of five years, which is usually the period for BSc and MSc. However, we will be covering the entire syllabus for BSc and MSc. And these are extremely relevant programs in the field of health and sciences.
Careers360: Can you tell us about the School of pharmaceuticals?
Dr Mahindroo: The Department of Pharmaceuticals Sciences currently has Bachelor of Pharmacy which is Pharmacy of Council (PCI) in India recognised program. We have integrated BSc and MSc programs in Clinical Research. We know that the Indian Pharma industry is booming in the world, especially for the past year. Clinical Research has come into focus ever since the pandemic hits and it is fair to say that there is a huge skill gap in that area which we are trying to fill through such programs.
Careers360: How is UPES looking at the teaching methodology in terms of research and projects outline?
Dr Mahindroo: The vision of UPES is to be a research and outcome-based education delivering leading schools in health sciences. Whatever we are doing at our labs is project-based learning. Our undergraduate students also have published a number of papers. The faculties in our school have also worked in the best of the labs across the world.
Careers360: Can you also take me through the kind of collaborations and you have with the industry or institutions to enable this project and research-based learning approach?
Dr Mahindroo: We are just two years old, but the kind of relations we have built so far with the hospitals is something we are proud of. We are currently working with AIIMS, Rishikesh, Multispeciality hospital in Dehradun, Government Doon Medical College to name a few. Apart from this, we have international collaborations, the latest being added, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan.
Such collaborations help our students since we have an exchange agreement. These institutes provide full paid internships to our students, as well as, their faculties would come and address the students.
Careers360: Can you elaborate a bit more about the faculties you have in UPES?
Dr Mahindroo: A facility, according to me is the most important asset without which no school can go forward. This is one of the primary areas which we have focused on and this picked the best of them from all across the world. We have associate professors who have completed their PhD and research in Singapore. Japan, UK etc.
Careers360: What is the kind of admission process UPES follows?
Dr Mahindroo: For programs such as B.tech, we are conducting UPESEAT which is conducted on the basis of the syllabus prescribed by the university. Besides, we also consider national level tests such as NEET, JEE for the relevant courses followed by an interview process. Students are evaluated not only on the subject knowledge but also their ability to express themselves.
Careers360: Are there scholarships that UPES offers?
Dr Mahindroo: UPES has a broad scholarship policy. The female candidates are offered the "Shakti Scholarship". There are scholarships for students from Uttarakhand and scholarships based on merit.
Careers360: Lastly, is there any message you would like to give to the students as to why health sciences is a great field to pursue a career in?
Dr Mahindroo: Last year, we witnessed how even the most developed countries face major setback where they needed to ramp up their healthcare infrastructure. And we know that there are skill gaps not only in India but all over the world. So, this is an opportunity for students to have a career in the field which has the potential to grow in the decades to come.
New technologies are being introduced and those are a part of our curriculum. So, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are applied across the areas especially in the health sciences. Also, students must know that there will always be jobs in this field no matter what the circumstances are.