Chitkara University: Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Budding Architecture & Design Experts

(L) Dr. Ashok K Chitkara, Chancellor,(R) Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor

(L) Dr. Ashok K Chitkara, Chancellor

(R) Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor

The way no two fingers in a palm are the same, similarly, no two human beings are a like. Influenced by our genetics and upbringing, every individual develops his or her own set of strengths and weaknesses owing to which every individual must choose their own career and life paths. Although we understand the concept of every individual being unique, our social structures have often leaned on conformity to maintain order in the society. As a consequence, for years, our educational institutions and curriculums have laid emphasis on conventional career pursuits. While this approach cultivates well qualified professionals, it does not leave ample room for every individual student to understand and pursue his or her own potential.

Challenging this notion and empowering every student to ‘Explore their potential’ is Chitkara University. Founded in 2002 by the Chitkara Educational Trust, the university was established by the Punjab State Legislature under ‘The Chitkara University Act’ in the year 2010. One of the most well respected universities in Punjab, Chitkara so far has 12 schools in the fields of engineering, management, architecture, nursing, healthcare, pharmacy, media, arts & design, education, hospitality, applied sciences and applied engineering.

“Our prime motive is to carry out academic processes for achieving excellence through active teacher student industry participation,” says Dr. Ashok K Chitkara, Chancellor, Chitkara University. Recognized by the government with the right to confer degrees as per the Sections 2(f) and 22(1) of the UGC Act, 1956, the prestigious institution currently has over 13,000 students and 800 faculty members. Armed with a sprawling campus of 65+ acres of land with 40 percent of green landscaping, Chitkara boasts of world class laboratories with ICT facilities. The campus is equipped with a plethora of latest technology, sports facilities, playgrounds/tracks, incampus banking, courier, and shopping facilities.

Ranked among top 20 private universities of India, Chitkara has unmatched record of the best placements in top companies such as Infosys, Deloitte, Google, L&T, Godrej, SAP, Pepsico, Ericsson, Microsoft, Wipro, HCL, Hindustan Lever, EClerx, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Ernst & Young, Evalueserve, Phillips, Dabur, and many more for the students of engineering and management. Functioning with the sole objective of developing well rounded individuals, the university focuses on inculcating high moral, ethical and professional standards amongst the students, and contributing to building a skilful society.

Creating Architecture & Design Experts
As professional degrees keep growing in stature, the higher education sector is also getting cluttered by the day. While stepping into the world of higher studies, a student is faced with the complex choice of picking the right institute to kick start his/her career trajectory. Depending largely on rankings conducted by various agencies across the nation, students take into account factors such as quality of faculty and placement records, among others. Owing to its stellar track record, Chitkara University’s architecture programs have been ranked amongst top 20 at national level by various agencies.

Approved by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and accredited by the Council of Architecture (formed by the Government of India under the Parliaments’ Architects Act 1972), Chitkara School of Planning and Architecture (CSPA) offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) course, a four year B.Des in Interior Design and a two year M.Des in Interior Design. Apart
from treading the conventional paths, CSPA makes special efforts to introduce newly emerging career options such as architecture journalism and architectural photography, among others.

Our prime motive is to carry out academic processes for achieving excellence through active teacher student industry participation

Taught in a sprawling five acre campus within the Chitkara University campus, the CSPA site has been designed aesthetically to offer budding architects new ways to access design references, model buildings and present ideas. The department houses fully equipped drawing & design studios, multimedia labs, audiovisual lab, lecture rooms, material museum and a well stocked library with an excellent collection of periodicals to refer from. Instruction and research encompass project based course work as well as modules that focus on history & theory,design and technology. Founded in 2004, CSPA has given birth to various successful architects and designers such as Jaiveer Bawa (Batch 2009 CSPA). Jaiveer is currently working with CENTRUS and is a visionary architect and project manager for the Parliament Hill Rehabilitation project, which is currently the world’s largest rehabilitation and heritage restoration project ever undertaken.

Architecture Studies’ Pedigree
Gone are the days when education used to be a one dimensional pursuit, focusing only on theory. In order to create industry ready professionals, students at CSPA develop core skills such as critical thinking, research & analysis and an ability to engage in both theory and culture. By the end of the programs, students understand exactly how these forces work together in the built environment. Covering various facets from the fields of design, drawing and computer applications, to the principles of building construction, civil structures, construction management and town planning, CSPA leaves no stones unturned to produce the most talented architecture and design experts.

At CSPA, students experience industry norms by regular workshops and seminars aimed at cementing the academia industry relationship for an exceptional career. The university offers a curriculum, which directly connects the students to the industry where they are going to work in their near future. Besides frequent interaction with the professionals from different allied streams, it offers an intensive 32 week internship and prepares students for research and teaching. The institute also hosts numerous on campus incubators such as the ‘Explore Hub’ providing multiple opportunities of entrepreneurship.

A true believer that education is for all, CSPA has put in place initiatives such as exclusive internship opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ with reputed architectural companies, agencies and construction establishments across the world. The college also facilitates fully funded semester exchanges through the Erasmus Plus program, as and when available. Soft loans and ‘Earn while you Learn’ schemes are also available on a ‘Merit cum Means’ basis for funding educational tours and other similar activities.

Global Exposure & Research Opportunities
In order to render global exposure to its students, CSPA has developed numerous international links and collaborations with various foreign universities. The school organizes various weeklong work shops annually where numerous visiting faculty from its global partners conduct lectures and workshops with the students to guide them towards success. CSPA also has an active Semester Exchange Program with Universities of Alicante and Barcelona in Spain. The Students Mobility Program under ‘Erasmus +’ has also facilitated an all-paid semester exchange at Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey. CSPA has also organized workshops with the Ecole nationale superieure d' architecture Paris Malaquais, Ecole nationale superieure d' architecture de Toulouse, France, and the Tokyo University of Science.
Since its very inception, CSPA has nurtured a culture of impactful research and publication. Besides ‘Concepts’, the annual publication of student’s work, the institute also bringsout ‘Creative Space’, the biannual refereed architecture journal of Chitkara University (ISSN Print: 2321-3892; ISSN Online: 2321-7154), which is indexed in several renowned journal indexing agencies such as SHERPA, SCILIT, ZENODO, Scientific Indexing Service, and so on. The school also publishes its monthly newsletter to provide an insight on the month’s activities.

Sculpting Well Rounded Individuals
A well rounded personality plays a critical factor is bringing success to any professional. Focused on holistic development of its students, CSPA not only provides exceptional educational facilities, but also conducts a variety of co-curricular and extra curricular activities to ensure overall development of the students. CSPA students have their own student body divided into four houses viz. Ajanta, Ellora, Sikri, and Modhera, which organizes various annual and bi-annual functions with themes related to architecture and have several competitions to this effect. Sports are also encouraged and organized every year by the same student body.

"In order to render global exposure to its students, CSPA has developed numerous international links and collaborations with various foreign universities"

A plethora of cultural events are also conducted at CSPA on national days and annual students’fests. The institute takes great pride in commemorating birth anniversaries of master architects every month through thematic competitions of poster making, sketching, quizzes, costume parades, and so on. A unique annual event at CSPA is a week long Design Charette held each July,in which each participating group involves vertical integration of students, thereby fostering peerlearning along with teamwork and out-of-the-box thinking. Yet another tradition observed is the annual celebration of the World Heritage Day in April, when students organize a public exhibition based on historic places documented by them during the year and also visit neighboring village schools to sensitize them on their region’s natural and cultural resources.

Developing in a culturally and academically rick environment has aided various CSPA’s students to win several accolades at the Annual and Zonal Meets of National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA); NIASA Awards for Excellence in UnderGraduate Architectural Thesis (2014 & 2015); and INTACH Heritage Awards for Excellence in Documentation (2016,2018). CSPA’s students have also acquired top positions at the Earthquake Resistant Design Competition at IIT, Kanpur (2017); the Interior Design Competition by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) (2017), and so on.

In its pursuit to expand its horizons in the field of architecture in the upcoming academic years, CSPA is introducing the opportunity of higher studies with the inclusion of the various masters and doctoral programs. Aiming to be a hub of research and development in the fields of planning and architecture not only in the region, but the country as a whole, CSPA is gearing up for its next growth phase.

Key Management
Dr. Ashok K Chitkara, Chancellor, Chitkara University, Punjab & Chitkara University, Himachal Pradesh

A renowned mathematician and a legendary academician, his perspective and farsightedness in the field of education have rendered future promising prospects in the fullness of time. Dr. Ashok’s contribution in the field of pedagogy is service able both nationally and internationally and he always believes that education makes minds, not careers

Courses:Engineering, Management, Architecture, Nursing, Healthcare, Pharmacy, Media, Arts & Design, Education, Hospitality, Applied Sciences And Applied Engineering

Locations:Punjab, Himachal Pradesh