By Anjali Nauriyal
Jitender Joshi had an inspiring dream to set up a magnificent academic consortium, and he devoted all his energies, in powerful ways, to fulfilling that vision! Today, he is a leading figure in the educational firmament of Uttarakhand.
Law unto himself:
Remarkably, Jitender Joshi has many firsts to his credit. He set up the first independent Law College of Northern India 16 years ago, namely Law College Dehradun.
This was a historic moment for the newly created state of Uttarakhand. A spark had been lit.
Enthused by the success of this dream project, Joshi went on to set up two more institutes in the disciplines of engineering and management studies in 2006, namely Uttaranchal Institute of Technology and Uttaranchal Institute of Management.
He then moved ahead with the adventure. He followed up by establishing a university in Dehradun that would provide autonomy to the functioning of these multi-disciplinary institutes, and create a centre of quality education for the youth of the State. The creation of Uttaranchal University, close on the heels of Government of Uttarakhand passing the Uttaranchal University Act, 2012, was the big story of the time. Today, Uttaranchal University can truly be said to be an abiding institution, with quality education as its benchmark.
Reminiscing about his first endeavour, he reveals, “It was my heart’s desire to work for the general good of the people of my state. With this aim, I set up the Sushila Devi Centre for Professional Studies & Research Society way back in 2000. In 2002, Law College Dehradun was set up, which from its very inception, has been attracting scholars from all over the country. Today, this college has become a landmark for the State and that is a matter of great pride and happiness for me.”
History of Perseverance:
From very early in his career, Joshi exhibited abiding enthusiasm for long-range aspirations! He combined all his resourcefulness and efforts with unwavering commitment to a long-term objective. He was born in 1962, in a large middle class family. It was a life of determination and perseverance for the family from early days. But Joshi had a vision and he devoted this vision to day-to-day struggle with unflagging energy. “I consistently endeavoured to learn and adapt to the situations around me,” he recalls. “At the young age of twenty, I started a small scale business in Vikas Nagar, Dehradun, and travelled the length and breadth of the country to expand it.”
It was around this time that he entered the realty market, too. Due to his drive and doggedness, he achieved great success in this field. Soon enough, he realised he had to do something for the people of his state. He galvanised a group of philanthropists to start a society that would undertake setting up of educational institutes for professional courses in higher education. “I was greatly perturbed to see that a large number of students were forced to leave Uttarakhand in search of higher education. This was causing a massive brain-drain. I intensified my efforts to work on my dream,” he recalls.
Law College Dehradun:
Law College Dehradun overcame all obstacles to achieve many firsts to its credit. It has the distinction of being the first independent Law College of northern India. It pioneered the 5 year B.A.LL.B. Integrated Course and became the first Law College to get permission to start LL.M. (PG) Course. Law College Dehradun, from its inception, has been attracting academics from all over the country. “Today, I can proudly say that this college has become a landmark for the State of Uttarakhand,” Joshi declares. “It would not be an exaggeration to say that Law College Dehradun has distinguished itself by providing a powerful educational experience that can prove to be a game changer in the lives of thousands of students and become supremely transformative.”
Reasons that make Uttaranchal University unique:
Set in the midst of pristine surroundings in the Doon Valley, the University offers an ideal learning environment. The administration ensures that the students face no hurdles in bringing out their best. “Student satisfaction is a vital aspect of college life here,” Joshi emphasises. “The encouraging academic environment ensures that students grasp knowledge optimally and acquire positive values required to excel in life. “Student satisfaction here is the key,” avers Joshi. “We try to fulfill the smallest needs of the students in the best possible manner. Our curriculum and faculty development programmes have been designed with the aim of achieving the best of learning goals. Exceptionally talented faculty members have been drawn from the best institutions of the country. They are in effect the true backbone of the University. Each one is a veteran in his or her field. They practice innovative pedagogy to enhance the employability of the students in the global market. The University has a proactive training and placement department that organises internship for the students in various companies. Effective career guidance, too, is imparted to students apart from personality development programmes on a regular basis. The students are kept updated on job opportunities in India and abroad, while soft skills are taught to help them succeed in the selection process. We understand that special training in soft skills, personality enhancement, and fluent English speaking enhance their employability. Above all, decorum is a mandatory part of college life. At Uttaranchal University, strict rules and regulations are enforced to ensure that students learn the values of punctuality, courtesy and obedience.”
Focus on Research:
Research is given top priority at the University. “We encourage students to focus on their analytical abilities, and work hard on projects and in preparing reports and assignments. We give them ample opportunity to improve their practical knowledge,” Joshi emphasises. “Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are an inseparable component of academics. We make sure we constantly update our facilities so that we stay a step ahead of all competition.”
Legal Aid Centre:
Law College Dehradun has a student body called the Legal Aid Centre that proactively organises legal awareness camps in the remote areas and villages. Panchayat representatives of the block are invited to participate. In these camps, issues concerning the functioning of Panchayats are discussed and members are educated about their duties and responsibilities. Participation in such activities is an integral part of practical training for law students.
The university offers to foreign students a broad range of study programmes leading to globally recognised degrees and diplomas with scope for great career prospects around the world.
Fulfilling the Ideals of Social Commitment:
Joshi cherishes the philosophy that says, “I may not pass this way again. So let me do all the good I can.”
Joshi does not act for personal acclaim or glory. He acts because his heart beats for his fellow brethren. “We understand very well the financial difficulties of our people living in harsh conditions in the hills. Therefore, Uttaranchal University has reserved 40% seats in its entire study programme for students of Uttarakhand domicile, and it also offers 26% rebate to them in tuition fee,” Joshi discloses. His concern for the marginalised can be gauged from the fact that he runs a school for the children of low-income groups in Selaqui, in the name of his late father. He is also involved in charitable work for destitute and needy people.
Joshi is firmly committed to the belief that organisations have deep-rooted responsibilities towards society. Uttaranchal University undertakes several programmes to promote educational and other social activities in the area that help the talented and the needy.
Indeed, the credit for Joshi’s unprecedented achievement must go to his perseverance, zeal and relentless efforts. Despite his success, he remains firmly grounded in his roots and is humility personified. His wife, Anuradha Joshi, and his two children, Abhishek and Ankita, untiringly assist him in all his endeavours, and share his philanthropic ideals.