There is atleast one Central University in eachNorth Eastern state with Medical, Agricultural, and Engineering colleges. But many North Eastern students who can afford high tuition fees prefer to study in themetro cities of India. As a result, a large amount of capital is spenton student fees and stay for higher education outside home states and the North-Eastern region.The introduction of multiple Universities offering quality education, multi-disciplinary approach, entrepreneurship courses& training programs, and diverse curricula became a prerequisite. “The establishment of North East Christian University (NECU)partly fulfills this need of higher education institutions in the North Eastern Region,” asserts Dr. Darlando Thanmi Khathing, Vice-Chancellor,North East Christian University(NECU).
NECU was officially established through the North East Christian University Act 2012, passed by the Nagaland State Legislative Assembly in 2013, and duly notified in the Nagaland State Gazette on June 5, 2013.Since then, the Dimapur-based Universityhas been on a mission to provide wholesome, global education in perspective, upright in character, and praxis in its approach.
Diversity inAcademic Programmes
Beginning its first academic session in August 2018, NECU offers courses and training programs on a wide range of subjects for its undergrad, post-graduate, and research students. As a Liberal Arts University, all undergrad students have to take several subjects in the first and second semesters: Foundation Course, Religious Studies, English – Basic and Advance Writing, History of Science, Mass Communication – Introductory Speech, North East Indian Heritage in a Global Context, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and Counselling. Additionally, each student needs to complete three weeks of community service and several weeks of internship every semester.
NECU offers post-graduate degrees in English, Political Science, International Relations, and Management. Besides these, the University opened its Ph.D. program in 2019 initially with International Relations and Political Sciences. Later on, English and Management were added.In 2021, a UG Honours program was started in English, Political Science, International Relations, Management, Psychology, and Computer Science.
The training of students is not limited to the classroom. NECU’s flexible and innovative online and blended learning programs are compliant with international standards for quality education and professional aptitude. Students can inculcate various skills like critical and innovative thinking, technological adaptability, and multicultural traits through them.
Scholarships, Mentorships,& Training Programmes
The students of NECU are offered different types of scholarships— above 80% of fresh entrants get full tuition waiver, over 100 half-tuition earmarked for Nominees of member Associations of CBCNEI, merit, sport, economically challenged special grants, and other means of support.
At NECU, a ‘Student Mentorship’ program is created for all the UG and PG students, where each pupil is designated a faculty member of the university as a ‘mentor.’ Additionally, a Grievance Cell and a Women Cell are also formed. Recognition forearning credits from study/ activity as per equivalence assessment is given by the University.
In addition to the conventional degree programs, NECU offers short-term (6 & 2 months) certificate training programs on different subjects. To name a few, Church and NGO management,organizational management, financial management & legal awareness, leadership empowerment, and enterprise management.To date, 264 students have joined from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, and Taiwan.
This is not all. NECU also conducts various seminars, webinars, 5-days hands-on training workshops, and symposiums in collaboration with other universities and colleges around the globe. Students get an opportunity to gain industry knowledge, interact with other students, build confidence, and sharpen their skillsets.Some of its collaborators include TESOL (Asia Centre (ACT), Thailand), PrCB (Personnel Certifying Body), and Baptist Churches.
National & International Recognitions
Since its foundation, NECU has garnered several national & international recognition.NECU is recognized by UGC as a Private University. It is also a member of the PHDCCI, New Delhi (established 1905).
In 2018, NECU was recognized by the Quality Council of India as a Personnel Certifying Body (PrCB) for Traditional Community Healthcare Providers (TCHPs). It was accredited by the National Accreditation Board of Certification Bodies in 2020. Under the category of TCHPs, NECU is the first and only organization in India to receive this honor. This year, NECU was recognized by the Clinical Development Services Association of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, DBT, India,as a Certifying Body for Clinical Professionals under the Good Clinical Practice Professionals Certification Scheme. This area deals with the evaluation and certifying of clinical practitioners.
Online Learning during Pandemic
NECU adopted the online learning platform at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2022, a ‘2-DayFaculty Training Programme on Online Education’ was organized by NECU in collaboration with the Christian Institute of Management, Chennai. The training was attended by all the faculty members of the University. This proved highly beneficial to the staff, who learned how to effectively conduct online classes and keep the students engaged.
Most of the classes were conducted via Google Meet. All the staff members and management of NECU worked relentlessly towards completing the entire curriculum and providing continuous learning and online education to their students. All exams were held on time and as per schedule. Results were declared online.
Missionary Work amidst Pandemic
During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, many underprivileged local people who tested positive but remained asymptomatic had no adequate quarantine facilities. They were living in small one-two rooms shared with other family members. Such conditions increased the susceptibility of other members to acquiring the COVID infection.
NECU took notice and decided to take the necessary initiatives to overcome it. Soon, the University converted its Boy’s Hostel into a free quarantine facility for theseCOVID-19 positive, asymptomatic patients where they could recuperate better. Free healthy meals were provided to them. Likewise, around 200 people living near Dimapur Railway Station were also offered a wholesome meal for almost a month. Soaps and shampoos were also provided to the food recipients.A Girls’ orphanage in the city was also provided with regular evening meals.
The Year 2022 Looks Promising
In 2022, NECU plans to start courses in Nursing and Paramedical Sciences in July. For this, a rented building is being prepared for the mandatory visit and recommendation of the State Nursing Council before approaching the Indian Nursing Council. The Dimapur-based University has also opened a Centre for Advanced Religious Studies (CARS). Under its umbrella, Ph.D. and MA in Religious Studies will be offered from this academic year. NECU has signed an MOU with St. Stephen’s College, Delhi for its students to avail of the specialised courses in Diplomacy and International Relations. This is in keeping with the thrust on International Relations owing to its strategic location in the North East. NECU is also collaborating with the ICC (NER) to conduct regular seminars and workshops related to the Act East Policy of the Government of India.
Dr. Darlando says that the entire team of NECU will continue to work toward fulfilling the University’s vision to become a distinctive Christian University integrating faith and knowledge in a strong and transformative manner and strengthening communities in the coming years.