Can Hyderabad Emerge as a Big Higher Education Hub?

Hyderabad, since the time of the Nizams, has been the seat of art, culture, literature, music, science, and a variety of other academic activities. In modern times as well, the city has managed to hold on to its rich academic tradition, with some of the most premier educational institutions in the country making their home on the city’s landscape. Incorporating a large number of universities, management colleges, research centers, and technical institutes, the capital of Telangana, is undoubtedly shaping itself rapidly to be the country’s higher education hub.

Present Institutional Base in Hyderabad

Besides the Osmania University, which is one of the oldest universities in the country, Hyderabad has three central universities including the English and Foreign Languages University, the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad National Urdu University, and the University of Hyderabad. According to a survey among 3,500 higher educational institutions conducted by the ministry of human resource development, Hyderabad University, along with New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), features as one of the top universities in the country for academic excellence. Besides these universities, the city of pearls also houses numerous institutes of international repute such as the National Remote Sensing Agency, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, and some of India’s premium space institutes and defense laboratories.

On the other hand, the city and its surrounding areas offer a superb mix of top-class business, engineering, and research institutes like The Indian School of Business, Shapoorji Pallonji Biotech Park, Indian Institute of Technology, Tata Institute of Social Science Research, the ICICI Knowledge Park, Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Narsee Monjee, and ICFAI, which continue to boost Hyderabad as an excellent higher education hub  by attracting and generating a significant amount of talent while widening the city’s scope for advanced research and entrepreneurship.

In addition, the landscape of the historic city is profusely dotted with more than three hundred private engineering colleges, medical colleges, and business schools, which have settled here over the last few years. Furthermore, institutes like the National Institute of Technology, IIT Medak, and IIIT Basar, located in and around Hyderabad, are also contributing significantly and acting as catalysts to the growth of Hyderabad as a higher education hub.

The Jawaharnagar Education Hub

After receiving a formal clearance from the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority decided to go ahead with its mega Education Hub plan, which is further transforming Hyderabad into a ‘knowledge city’.

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), in association with the Centres of Excellence, has prepared a blueprint for the Jawaharnagar Education Hub, and has already acquired 700 acres of land, where 500 acres of land will be set aside for establishing campuses, and the remaining 200 acres for supporting infrastructure facilities like roads, hostels, and auditoriums.

Premier institutions like BITS Pilani, Army Dental Sciences College, and Geethanjali College of Engineering and Technology already have campuses in the area, while other institutes of global and national repute in various fields like science, medical, journalism, sports, defense, and aerospace have been approached to set up their campuses in the Education Hub.

As per the proposal, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority will allocate land between five and twenty-five acres to each educational institution, depending on the academic activity they intend to take up. Besides land, infrastructure facilities like electricity, water, sewer, communication, connectivity, and transport would be provided by the Metropolitan Development Authority.

Additionally, the Metropolitan Authority plans to develop and manage other infrastructure centers under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) module, such as sports complexes, housing arrangement for delegates coming over to conduct or attend conferences, hostels for students, and quarters for scholars, faculty, and staff members. Facilities like cafeteria and shops would be set up purely on a commercial basis.

There is also a good demand for spaces in the Jawaharnagar Education Hub, as various educational institutions like the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, All India Management Schools Association, and XLRI Jamshedpur have already expressed their interest and placed requisitions for land to set up campuses.

The easy availability of required facilities is attracting a slew of educational institutions as well as domestic and multinational companies, who are on the hunt for high-quality talent. It is worth mentioning that the talent pool generated by Hyderabad is socially diverse, considering the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of backward sections in higher education here is one of the highest in the country, according to the All India Survey on Higher Education 2015-16.

All of these factors combined together are pushing Hyderabad to emerge as a big higher education hub in the years to come.

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