A B.Tech mechanical engineering programme where you not only learn about Physics, Mathematics and Industrial Design, but also about French Language & Culture and Literature & Philosophy. This is not an institute in the US or Europe but Hyderabad-based Mahindra École Centrale (MEC), which has recently started operations with its first batch few days ago.
Sanjay G Dhande, founder director of MEC explained that students would be given an opportunity to learn their basics through a cross-section of modules. "For instance, we have a subject called cinema and classical philosophy which would be part of B.Tech in electrical and electronics engineering. This will enable students to have a different taste of the subject, while learning the basics," he said.
MEC is an engineering institute based in Hyderabad through a three-way collaboration involving Mahindra Group, French university École Centrale Paris and JNTU Hyderabad and the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. In the first year, MEC has four B Tech programmes including Civil Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
Dhande said that all the 240 students for the first batch would be offered job positions with Mahindra Group once they complete their course. Further, they will also have the option to join any other company. He said that the institute will increase the student intake to about 300 in the next year.
Established on the 130-acre Tech Mahindra technology centre campus, the MEC takes an inter-disciplinary approach and offers specialised courses in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering, computer science and engineering. In addition to English, students are taught French. Fee for the programme is Rs 4 lakh (including a part of the fee to be paid to JNTU-Hyderabad, the affiliated varsity).
Mahindra group has invested a sum of Rs 100 crore to build the hard infrastructure (buildings / class rooms). The infrastructure will accommodate approximately 2,100 students. Another Rs. 100 crore is expected to be spent on building the soft infrastructure (library, research base among others etc). The university will maintain a 10:1 ratio for faculty to students as per international standards.
In MEC, Dhande said that Mahindra played a role in providing the physical infrastructure for the institute in Hyderabad, whereas École Centrale jointly developed the course curriculum and faculty for the engineering school.
Mahindra Centrale Ecole will be one of the first roll-outs within the Mahindra Educational Institutes framework. They eventually plan to launch other streams including humanities, science, management, Digital Media and Arts. The overall vision is to develop a premier center for higher education with state of the art technology, innovative programmes, superior faculty and industry aligned dynamic programs.
Large engineering institutes also work with companies for research. Dhande said that Mahindra École Centrale will also collaborate with industry for larger scale project research.