With headquarters at Coimbatore and campuses at Amritapuri, Kochi, Bengaluru and Mysore, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has emerged as one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in India.
The Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is a dream come true, a dream nursed by Mata Amritanandamayi to have a centre of excellence in learning for the benefit of all. Satguru Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma, one of the foremost humanitarian leaders in the world today, is the Chancellor of the University. In less than two decades, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has blossomed into a multi-disciplinary, multicampus centre that offers over 150+ undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes in Engineering, Business, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Journalism, Biotechnology, Information Technology, Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences, Education, Microbiology, Hospital Management, Visual Media Studies, Communication, Social Work and Nanosciences and Ayurveda.
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has the unique distinction of being the nation’s first of its kind - fully interactive, multidisciplinary, multi-media, virtual campus without geographical limitations linking all its campuses. The satellite network for education and research that links all the campuses of the university has facilitated leading experts to have academic interaction Live from a single Centre to students, academicians and researchers at other campuses, done through state-of-the-art e-learning studios in all campuses. These studios are equipped with 130 seats for classroom instruction, 7 days a week using satellite link provided by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
Based on evaluation of all campuses and programs by a peer review committee, the university has been accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with an 'A' grade. Amrita has also been ranked in the Ivy League of Indian Universities along with Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai etc. in a review of deemed universities by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the Government of India. In a recent review of Deemed Universities by a high-power committee of reputed academicians, popularly known as the Tandon Committee, set up by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham was placed in Category 1. In Tamil Nadu, besides Amrita, only the Chennai Mathematical Institute, a Deemed University, was given this recognition.
Amrita began as a School of Engineering in 1994 in an obscure village, Ettimadai, located at the foothills of Bouluvanpatty Ranges of the Western Ghats in Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu. It was indeed a modest beginning with just 120 students and 13 faculty members.
Today, Amrita has a student population of over 16000 and faculty strength of 2000, including over 300 faculty members with Ph.D. /DM qualifications. The university's faculty-student ratio of 1:8 is one of the best among all institutions of higher learning in India.
The university encompasses a total land area of over 900 acres with building complexes occupying around 8 million square feet. Right from the outset, the university has had a multi-disciplinary and multi-campus character.
In 2003, Amrita became the youngest group of higher educational institutions in India to be conferred the "University" status under "Section 3 of UGC Act 1956" by the Government of India.
Research is a highly significant activity at the university. Many centres of excellence have been started in cutting-edge areas like Nanosciences, Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Molecular Medicine, Wireless Sensor Networks, Computational Engineering & Networking, Cyber Security, Biostatistics, Cancer etc with the support of major national laboratories, industry leaders and agencies like TIFAC, DBT, DST, ICMR, ISRO, DRDO, DBT, DIT, DRDO, BARC, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Media Lab Asia, Infosys, MDS Pharma, Biocon etc. Amrita is also a partner in the Ministry of Human Resource Developments National Mission for Education using ICT for various projects in haptics, virtual labs, Educational Resource Planning and interactive e-learning systems.
Amrita faculty members have published 200 books and 2000 papers in reputed international and national journals in the past eight years. Amrita has attracted grants from various governmental and private funding agencies to the tune of more than Rs.100 crores in the past eight years. Amrita has also invested over Rs.75 crores for research promotion and building of research facilities and centres. Amrita has bagged 40 major patents and inventions in the past few years which include Adaptive and Automatic Insulin Pump, Wireless Telematics, Virtual Private Network (VPN), Amrita Hospital Information System (AHIS) etc. Plans are afoot to manufacture the Automatic Insulin Pump commercially, which will be affordable for the poor at one-third of the cost of similar such devices.
Amrita also hosts the one of the largest satellite E-learning and Telemedicine networks in India.
The 1450-bed super-specialty hospital, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) at the Health Sciences campus in Kochi, is a unique establishment offering subsidized and free treatment, totaling over Rs. 25 crores per year, to poor and needy patients. The extensive infrastructure of AIMS comprises of 60 departments, 25 modern operating theatres, 210 well-equipped intensive care beds, a reference diagnostic clinical laboratory, including advanced molecular, biology and cytogenetics labs, a state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging centre and research facilities. Patient care is enhanced by a fully computerized and networked hospital information system and a fully digitized radiology department. Annual patient turnover exceeds 450,000 outpatients and nearly 40,000 inpatients.
The super-specialty hospital AIMS also offers telemedicine services to various remote parts of the country and Africa through the ISRO satellite link. AIMS hospital is accredited with ISO 9002-2000, NABH and NABL. Amrita is the only University Teaching Hospital in India to secure NABH accreditation.
All students have ample opportunity for orientation in yoga, meditation and cultural education. Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) technique helps them to achieve holistic development of mind and body.
Students are at the forefront of the Amala Bharatam Campaign (ABC) initiated by Chancellor Amma to bring cleanliness to the country and restore the purity of Mother India. In the past, they have demonstrated their commitment to engaging with society and the community by participating in disaster relief and rehabilitation activities after the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, Tsunami relief operations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in 2005-2006, flood relief operations in Bihar in 2009 and Karnataka in 2010.
Several research initiatives and collaborative programs are ongoing with US and European Universities. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2005 by Amrita and various top US Universities including Harvard, Purdue, State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley, Michigan, Maryland and University of California. This landmark agreement was inked to facilitate faculty and student exchange, collaborative research and educational programs, cross-continental projects and other such learning activities.
The agreement was signed on July 20, 2005 during the visit of the Honorable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to Washington DC. In December that year, the then President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam formally launched the Indo-US Inter-University Collaborative Initiative in Higher Education and Research using ISRO's satellite network, EDUSAT. Since then, hundreds of distinguished lectures and short-term courses have been beamed to students as part of this initiative. The network has also facilitated the initiation of major research projects and full-term courses at Amrita, with active participation from faculty of the US universities.
Amrita has developed a unique E-Learning system, A-VIEW (Amrita Virtual Interactive e-Learning World), which is cutting-edge video conferencing software, customized explicitly for Universities. AVIEW uses a network of four high-resolution displays to provide an immersive learning experience that almost equals being in an actual classroom. The Government of India has decided to deploy this platform in the thousands of colleges all over the country, thus attempting to overcome the shortage of highly qualified teachers. Now students anywhere can attend the lectures of the best teachers in the country over the Internet using A-VIEW.
Amrita has successfully completed an Indo-European WINSOC Project, Amrita WNA which is recognized worldwide today for its deployment of the first-ever Wireless Sensor Network System for predicting landslides. The system uses wireless sensor technology to provide advance warning of an impending landslide disaster, facilitating evacuation and disaster management. The Government of India has shown interest to deploy this system in all landslide prone areas including the Himalayas and the Konkan Region. Nine European universities and research centers collaborated with Amrita on this project.
Extensive faculty and student exchange programs through Erasmus Mundus of the European Commission delegated over one hundred faculty, students and research scholars from Amrita to various European universities in United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Bulgaria and Netherlands such as University of Milan, University of Twente, Technical University of Munich, University of Groningen and Uppsala University for academic and research assignments.
Today various projects in Virtual Labs, Haptics, Natural Language Processing, Educational Resource Planning and Interactive E-Learning Systems are ongoing at Amrita, funded by the Ministry of Human Resources Development as part of the National Mission for Education using ICT.