Among the many highlights and developments of the year gone by, here are ten that we, the FLAME community, would love to share with you.
The University’s new entrepreneurship program
Recognizing that the start-up sector is key to India’s economic future, FLAME University has launched a one year Postgraduate Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (PGP EI). The curriculum is designed by renowned faculty, industry practitioners and innovation experts, features access to national and international start-up hubs, and guides participants towards learning the ropes and launching their ventures.
The University’s new computer science program
FLAME has added a B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science to its array of undergraduate liberal education courses. With technology now interfacing deeply with every field of inquiry, this major is designed for students who see themselves as change agents on a path of scientific discovery. It enables specialized learning in fields like artificial intelligence and big data, while remaining inter-disciplinary, with a heavy focus on the understanding and solution of computational problems that arise in the social sciences, humanities, business, design, or the physical and natural sciences.
A ‘sociological’ food walk
Sixteen sociology participated in a guided 'Food Heritage Walk' in the old parts of the Pune city on March 17, 2019, Sunday. The walk was organized under the course 'Contemporary Sociological Discourses', taught by Prof. Shamsher Singh, with the goal of interrogating the ‘McDonaldisation of Society’- i.e., the increasing uniformity, sameness, predictability and calculability of a society, similar to the functioning of a fast-food restaurant. The food walk explored the (contrasting) richness, diversity and uniqueness of the local food culture by visiting some of the old food joints and market places in Pune city.
An MoU with Amherst College
Flame University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA, to collaborate on academic and student initiatives, share best practices and generate research studies. Apart from an exchange program for students, the collaboration includes faculty and staff exchanges, research collaborations, curricular development, conducting of experiential learning programs, pedagogical innovations, academic conferences and colloquium series.
Software that produces Indian classical music
Can a computer render ragas? Software developed by Prof. Vinod Vidwans, Chair of the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts at FLAME, utilizes the fundamental concepts of Indian classical music, to generate new compositions, along with a text file explaining the process followed. “The main motivation of the research effort”, says Prof. Vidwans, “was to understand the logical and scientific foundations of Indian classical music. It was realised that the concepts from ancient treatises are so scientific that when you implement them on computers, the AI-enabled system starts generating Indian music.”
A brand new podcast
Podcasts are known to be a vital and growing avenue of contemporary intellectual life. Taking the lead among universities in India, the FLAME University Writing Centre launched a podcast, ‘Making Connections’, featuring conversations with scholars about a variety of subjects, from democratic peace-making, to corporate entrepreneurship to the role of fiction in social science methodology, among others. The show is available to the academic community and the general public via major podcast directories.
The ‘Good to Go’ run
In December, a Women’s Health Run was organized by a group of second year post-graduate students at FLAME, Kamalpreet Majhail, Ishanika Sehgal, Namitha R and Shreya Gupta. The run capped a sustained research effort by the students, towards the need for a sanitary napkin vending machine on campus, A prototype was duly set up, also breaking stigmas and spreading awareness regarding women’s health and menstruation.
Interning with WageIndicator
The University has associated with the global WageIndicator Foundation, to set up the WageIndicator Research Lab at FLAME. 55 students from the undergraduate and postgraduate programs of FLAME University will work with wage and labour market information for over 40 million yearly users in 125 countries, as interns for WageIndicator. Students will assist in targeting different occupational groups in India and abroad with tailor-made wage and labour law information, developing management skills, data analysis skills, data visualization skills, and also learning about data and web journalism, content management, google analytics, and SEO.
Winning the regional round of GOMAC
For the second year in a row, a team of students from FLAME University emerged the Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa winner of the Global Online Marketing Academics Challenge (GOMAC). This prestigious digital marketing competition features teams from across the world competing to create the best digital marketing experience for a chosen client, as well as providing outstanding campaign results. The students from FLAME, Rohan Nag, Aakash Saluja and Kajal Samdani entered the competition as a part of their course-work under Prof. Sajith Narayanan, and picked Jain Heights, a Bangalore based real estate industry client. They made optimal use of Google AdWords and Facebook Ads to drive sales with credible leads, and produced a carefully strategized pre-campaign, and highly informative post-campaign reports along with recommendations and learnings.
Our representative at Athens
A FLAME University undergraduate student, Shreya Lad, was selected by the Great Lakes Colleges Association to participate in the Athens Democracy Forum, 2019. The Forum was held on October 9-11 in Athens, Greece and featured over 500 international delegates from more than 40 countries. The Forum brought senior New York Times journalists together with international business leaders, policy makers, academics and experts, to discuss the state of democracy today, with a focus on new solutions.