NITTE School of Architecture, Planning, and Design is one of the most sought-after architecture schools in the country. With a wide range of courses and programmes to offer, the institute continues to imbibe high-quality education to its students. Their vision to be mould students into role models in designing, planning, research, and education. Since its inception in 2016, NITTE has carried the philosophy that every student is suitable to undertake creative studies. The college offers a 5-year B.Arch programme with a sanctioned intake of 80 students and a 4-year B.Plan with 40 students. In fact, NITTE School of Architecture, Planning, and Design is the only institution to have the B.Plan program in Karnataka Approved by AICTE and Affiliated with VTU. The institute is currently in the process of getting ITPI recognition. “We focus on developing socially active, diverse, and professionally responsible personnel within a creative setup that ensures the sustainability of the learning environment,” says Dr. Ar. Chandran Rekha Jetty, Director & Founder Principal of Nitte School of Architecture Planning & Design, Bengaluru.
At present, Nitte SAPD is designated as the Regional Nodal Centre of CEGR for Karnataka, with Dr. Rekha Jetty as the Regional Director. This opportunity has opened up a platform for various initiatives in the education sector, like signed MoUs with Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), New Delhi, and Prem Jain Memorial Trust. “We have an IIA NITTE SAP Student Centre, which is the first of its kind and IGBC Nitte SPE students chapter in association with NMIT, Banglore. These tie-ups will go a long way in giving students opportunities and exposure,” shares Dr. Rekha Jetty.
To stimulate students to work harder and focus on their careers and pursuits, Nitte SAPD finds a balance between academic and non-academic activities. This is the key to ensure that there is a holistic development among learners and help them mould into a professional and completely equipped to take on industrial challenges. “Our 3 tier proctorial system along with reviewers who rotate monthly, students get maximum inputs from a panel of experts which ensures that they are working towards producing deliverables that are close to what is expected in the industry,” explains Dr. Rekha Jetty.
Preparing for the Future
With COVID-19 at the back of our minds, universities and colleges continue to be resilient and adapt to the changing trends. NITTE also has made significant changes to benefit students and help them to continue teaching their students. By organizing an array of activities, NITTE motivated students to participate in fun learning sessions and specialized seminars that were content-specific to encourage them to work with whatever resources were available at hand and not push for specifics in terms of deliverables, etc. The institute adopted a 3 tier proctorial system to shift from face-to-face lectures to virtual reality. This ensured that each student was closely monitored and supported to get on with their work and personal hurdles. Through this system, students hone a sense of dedicated attention and are efficient.
With the recommendations of the New Education Policy, 2020, post-pandemic architecture education in India needs to be revamped. In the design aspect of education, Nitte SAPD aims to bridge the gap that might occur when studio sessions are conducted virtually. The faculty continuously find a way to make sessions more interactive and minimize this gap as much as possible. Students have also been proactive through the current situation. During the lockdown, both faculty and students alike upskilled themselves, with more time on their hands to learn and explore. Dr. Rekha Jetty believes that this gained knowledge will pave the way to an improved learning experience in the coming years.
Developing Innovative Thought
Even though there have been challenges, the institute has adapted to the blended mode of education that offers the potential to collaborate with other organizations and professionals across time and geographies. Nitte established Collaborative Incubation Cell (CIC), a cell to promote collaborations and give students the opportunity to learn, network, and work. In 2018, Nitte SAPD was funded under the AICTE ISTE scheme to conduct a Faculty Development Programme on Skill Mapping Training and Orientation based on a proposal submitted by us. The following year, they had a unique opportunity to host a Bigathon with Berkeley National Lab and Facilio to release the Building Innovation Guide that analyses and recommends the best practices to design and construct buildings that are smart, energy-efficient, and high performance for different climate zones of our country. The institute also has a Research cell and IIC (Institution’s Innovation Council) that keeps faculty and students closely connected to the specific innovation initiatives like impact lecture series, innovation ambassador training programmes, contest, etc.
The IIC setup ensures that the required resources are mobilized, and seed funding to help students and faculty are provided to convert their ideas into demonstrable proof of concepts and working prototypes. Further, we also give the required pre-incubation support for the budding student entrepreneurs aspiring to start business ventures/startups based on their innovative ideas. The same is facilitated through MSME, which is also a business incubation center.
Students also participated in competitions with the National Association for Students of Architecture, performing remarkably well and marking their place in the fraternity. “Under the directives of MHRD of Govt. of India, NITTE SAPD also established Institution Innovation Council (IIC) in collaboration with AICTE to systematically foster the culture of innovation and start-up ecosystem our institution to give multiple levels of support for the student innovators,” Dr. Rekha Jetty shares.
To get prepare students to be future-ready, Nitte SAPD has different aspects in place to mold students into responsible individuals. In Architecture and Planning, the institute dedicates an entire semester for professional training. “The current batch is spread out in about 20 plus firms that our some of the top names in the field in the city – Deepak Puri Architects, Greenscape Consultants, OSSA Architects, Gayathri Design studio, Project Lakshya, etc. to name a few,” Dr. Jetty mentions.
With all these associations in place, Nitte SAPD has all the ingredients needed to open doors for students to explore numerous opportunities before they even enter the competitive work environment. This also encourages the students to have a sense of innovation and out-of-the-box thinking that helps them to foster new ideas and also gives them the spirit of entrepreneurship. “Our focus would be to engage faculty and students into using advanced sustainable and technological segments of building performance and building science, Nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence that are advancing areas in the architecture and planning profession,” Dr. Rekha Jetty concludes.
About Dr. Ar. Chandran Rekha Jetty, Director & Founder Principal of Nitte School of Architecture Planning & Design
Dr. Ar. Chandran Rekha Jetty is an Architect, Researcher, Director & Founder Principal of Nitte School of Architecture Planning & Design, Bengaluru. She has served in various institutions of repute as Professor, and Founder Principal and Director of Thakur School of Architecture and Planning. Dr. Rekha Jetty is Regional Director of Centre for Education Growth and Research for Karnataka Council, Life Member, and Fellow in addition to National Academic Advisory Council Member of CEGR. She is also member of ISTE, New Delhi and IIA, Mumbai and registered with CoA, New Delhi.
Dr. Rekha Jetty graduated from VNIT Nagpur, Masters from SAP, Anna University, MBA in Operations and Supply Chain from NIMB, Chennai, and Ph.D. in Architecture and Planning, again from Anna University, Chennai. She is trained 6 Sigma Black Belt from ISL Hyderabad, QMS Lead Auditor from CII, Bengaluru. She has Advance Diploma in Web and E.Com Technologies. She worked in Multimedia, Quality, and Software development areas in CWLGlobal, Compudyne Winfosystems, and Gates Academy in association with Saint Monica Studio USA. Was part of SFX and VFX for films such as Koi Mil Gaya, Devdas, etc. She worked on international projects in multimedia production and quality.
Dr. Rekha Jetty has 33 years of experience in Architectural Education and Profession, as Quality and Multimedia consultant. Currently engaged in Research in the areas of Sustainable Artificially intelligent Nano Materials, NeuroArchitecture, Intangible Values in Architecture. She is the recipient of VTU-VGST and AICTE-ISTE funding for the conduction of FDP programs in “Creating Value in Architecture”, and in “Skill Mapping Orientation and Training”.