In Odisha, the Centurion University of Technology and Management claimed to be an “entrepreneurial university” and a “hub of industries” where students manage over 30 in-house production units across various sectors like technology, engineering, agriculture, aerospace, recycling, pharmacy, and more.

The Government of India, aligning with the National Education Policy 2020, launched various schemes including Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Skill Loan Scheme, Polytechnic Institute, and more under the Skill India Mission to boost skill-based education. 

‘An entrepreneurial university’ 

Dr. Prof Mukti Kanta Mishra, President of CUTM believes that entrepreneurship is closely associated with two terms – enterprise and entrepreneur. “Centurion University is an entrepreneurial space where teaching and learning happen through real-life external labs based on the market trends,” he told LiveMint. 

“Instead of being just a job consumer, you need to create job opportunities for others. One should know that an entrepreneur is a person, enterprise is the product and entrepreneurship is the process. You need to understand this concept of the 3 Ps to be an entrepreneur. This is our way of delivering education at CUTM,” he said. 

Besides skill-based education, the university offers indirect financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs by presenting itself as a “guarantee” to banking institutions, the CUTM President said. 

“We provide them free of cost electricity and tools here. I also negotiate with the banks for loans if anybody wants to be an entrepreneur here. I am not an official guarantor, but they get bank loans on my guarantee. If they fail to pay back, we stand as a guarantee for them. We also support local entrepreneurs to enhance their businesses,” he added. 

Recently, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has launched several strategic partnerships to bring scale and speed to the country’s skill ecosystem. He said these skilling initiatives will prepare the youth for 21st-century job markets, help them thrive as entrepreneurs, and contribute to economic growth.

‘Hub of industries’

Classroom buildings are intertwined with manufacturing units at Odisha’s Centurion University which offers various skill-based diploma, UG, and PG courses at no additional cost, aiming at “connecting through knowledge” and “shaping lives, empowering communities”. 

D. Nageswara Rao, co-founder and vice-president of the university said CUTM’s pedagogy is 40% classroom learning and 60% practical training. “We focus on resolving core issues of the society with the help of production – following the latest technology trends.”

CNC Manufacturing, Waste to Wealth, E-Vehicle Manufacturing, Transformer Manufacturing Unit, Wood Engineering Lab, Apparel Manufacturing, and Paver Blocks Manufacturing are some of the major production units that supply products to different companies across the country. 

Top buyers include the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – high-precision components for the Chandrayaan mission, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), DRDO, L&T, Tata Power, Government of Odisha, RSB Transmission, Indian Railways, OMFED, Dassault Systems, and private companies. 

‘Financial sustainability model’

Through the in-house industries model, the university claimed to have earned approximately 50 crore in the last fiscal year, drawing a different model of revenue generation in the education sector while maintaining a paradox of profit and teaching. 

“We are focused on deepening our ties with government and private organizations for selling our products so that our students can get real-time experience,” said DN Rao. 

This January, the Andhra Pradesh government partnered with Centurion University’s Jatni campus for advanced skill development programs. Rao added that the Telangana government has also been eager to set up a similar skill training center in the state. 

“We invest the money generated from these industries, to expand the facilities for our students in terms of manufacturing units, teaching quality, infrastructure, and more,” the Vice President said. 

It is pertinent to note that Gram Tarang Employability Training Services (GTET), the university’s social enterprise, grabbed an order for 17 crore, followed by Tata Power’s order for 352 transformers worth   3.5 crore about two years ago. 

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Published: 25 Mar 2024, 08:51 PM IST

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