July 2014

Being World-Class Through Innovation

Dr D Prem Kumar
Dr D Prem Kumar

Dr D Prem Kumar,
the Registrar of RGUHS

Formed with a mission to create healthcare professionals across all disciplines, the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Bangalore is now looking to becoming a world-class university. Dr D Prem Kumar, the Registrar of RGUHS explains the steps that the university has taken to make the university world class without compromising on its ideals of producing committed world class professionals

Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences came into existence in the year 1996 when the Karnataka legislature merged the Health Professions Education into a Health Sciences University. The Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences Act aimed to meet the demand for healthcare professionals across the globe.
The Universitys motto, Right for Rightful Health Education, summarises its founders aim to create health- care professionals across all medical disciplines from medical to dental, traditional medical systems to pharmacy, nursing to allied health sciences. The University founders aimed to take advantage of the globalisation and liberalisation in the education academic sector and created programs that matched well with international standards. The University offered courses in Undergraduate, Postgraduate, PhD, Fellowship and Certification programs.
Universities have evolved from being places where students go to study, gain knowledge, take exams and get degrees. They now set the agenda for change. Universities are the portals through which the success of the societies emerges. Health universities have a greater responsibility due to their impact on the society.
To become a world-class university, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) plans to improve its rating by becoming a globally engaged, research-intensive university that reponds to social, economic and environmental challenges. For this, it is changing its policy and do research in multiple healthcare disciplines for encouraging, enabling and supporting research collaborations and partnerships.
To promote more research, the curriculum at RGUHS will offer courses that align research methodology as a matter of curricular standard, while conforming to the stipulations by various apex bodies. This will provide an outstanding student experience, encourage and reward excellence and creativity in learning and teaching practice, while making the graduates will emerge as professionals sensitive to social development.
RGUHS plans to create an infrastructure that blends the strengths of existing capacity with the potential of emerging technology. Its programs adhere to the regulatory norms, butare quick to adapt to changes. It will build user friendly and economically viable delivery mechanisms for the teachers and students. Teachers will be trained as educational leaders that inspire the young minds to embrace the future. It will transform the examination system to test the relevant professional skills of the students rather than test their capacity for rote learning.
RGUHS plans to put in place an ac- countability framework to ensure that it delivers on its promises on time and with reasonable quality of services. The framework will work as a benchmark for its performance and stakeholder satisfaction. Every service that the university provides will be listed on a public domain like the universitys website and also on the notice boards of all its affiliated institutions. Each service will be time bound and the upper time limit will be adhered to.
For affecting the changes, RGUHS feels innovation needs to take place at the university to usher in new ideas and methodologies. The innovation has to be at an organizational, academic, research and co-curricular level.

Organizational innovation

For achieving its grand targets, the University plans to adopt a collegial atmosphere of governance. Its large number of affiliated institutions, their collective infrastructure and human resources will be leveraged to design a collaborative network of academic excellence. A cluster of institutions thus created can share their libraries, museums, digital resources, etc.
RGUHS will also create opportunities for inter-professional and crosssectoral learning at various levels and with graded priorities. Undergraduate students will be encouraged to participate in inter-professional teamwork; there would be short term postings for the internees to experience inter-professional team performance; research based projects to assess the effect, efficiency and economy of interprofessional concepts in the postgraduate courses.

Research innovation

The research policy at RGUHS will only focus on clinical research, fundamental biological research and their translational impacts as well as medical humanities like medical sociology, medical anthropology, health psychology, health economics, etc. This will create centres of excellence that will be aided in upgrading their facilities. These institutions will then share 30 percent of their resources with other less endowed institutions and mentor them.
The university will also form alli- ances with other institutes of note, both national as well as international. It will also form alliances with universities in developing and under developed countries to mentor and support health science education, research and extension as part of its social responsibility.

Academic innovation

RGUHS plans to start a Continuing Professional Development Program, a series of skill-based workshops and short term courses for working professionals. These programs will be accredited under various professional registration bodies.
The student uation system at RGUHS will also undergo a change to infuse transparency in student assessment and a time bound system ofannouncing examination results. Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will add speed and accuracy to the assessments. Options like open-book-examination, online synchronised uation are also being considered. Webcasting of lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, etc, will further the universitys reach. Making them available on RGUHS Learning management System will enable students to study them as times as necessary to hone their skills.

Co-curricular innovation

Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences has always promoted sports and developing a healthy and all-round lifestyle. RGUHS also combines its health studies with social work. Its volunteer base of 15000 students will be trained to be socially committed healthcare professionals. They will be encouraged to partner with states health systems to provide a strong volunteer force.
As Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Studies starts to upgrade its services, it has its work cut out. To become truly world class, the university will need to internalize the ideals of transparency, research, community building and sharing etc. it will have to be a selfsufficient organization, so that it can have the financial freedom to take its own decisions. With stellar record of imparting education and producing good talent, the universitys attempt at achieving a world-class status does not seem so far fetched.

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