Symbiosis International University
Dr. S.B. Mujumdar is the Founder and President of Symbiosis – a multi-national, multi-lingual and multidisciplinary educational complex of repute. A distinguished academician and educationist, he is also the Chancellor of Symbiosis International University (SIU).
Dr. Mujumdar was born on 31st July 1935 at Gadhinglaj, a Taluka in Kolhapur District in Maharashtra. He had his school education at Gadhinglaj and college education at Kolhapur and Pune. In his Master’s Degree (M.Sc.) in Botany, he stood first class first with distinction in Pune University. He obtained his Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Microbiology from Pune University.
He joined Fergusson College, Pune as Professor and Head of Department in Botany which position he held for 20 years. He was a recognized post graduate teacher and a guide for Ph.D. students. He was a member of the Pune University’s Executive Council, the Senate, Academic Council (for 14 years) and Chairman of the Board of Studies in Botany (for 9 years). He was also I.C.C.R’s Foreign Academic Advisor in Pune University (for 7 years).
He has published over 50 original research articles in several national and international scientific journals. He has authored several books on Life Sciences and has contributed over 200 articles on Science, Education and Youth Development. He has also been the Chairman of the Educational Wing of FICCI in 2005-2006.
Deeply touched by the hardships suffered by the Foreign students - especially Afro Asian students - studying in Pune, he established in 1971 ‘SYMBIOSIS’ with a view to help them and provide them a ‘Home away from Home’. He soon realized that education is the best medium for promoting international understanding. He, therefore, started establishing educational institutions imparting quality instruction in diverse disciplines e.g. Management, Law, IT, Computers, Bio-Medical Science, Engineering, International Business, Geo-Informatics, Media & Communication, Photography etc. Presently, Symbiosis has 46 institutions and about 32000 students from all States of India and 85 foreign counties. The Ministry of HRD, Government of India, conferred upon Symbiosis in 2002 the status of ‘Deemed to be University’. Many of Symbiosis institutions are ranked amongst the top 10 institutions in India and they have a placement record of almost 100%. Realizing the importance of distance education, Symbiosis has established, SCDL - Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning - which conducts a number of on-line courses and has over 2 lakhs of students from India as well as many foreign countries.
All Symbiosis institutions are generally need–based. These are run on and adhere to the best ethical practices. The Faculty is selected purely on merits and without considerations of caste, creed, religion or region. One of the unique institutions established by Symbiosis is SIMS – Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (for Defence Personnel and their dependents) - which provides management education exclusively for children of Defence Personnel. Another innovative institution is the ‘Pune Police Public School’ managed by Symbiosis and which provides education to the children of Police Personnel. Apart from these academic activities, Symbiosis has also established a magnificent Dr.Ambedkar Museum and Memorial which houses the personal belongings and memorabilia of Dr.Ambedkar. It has also established an Afro - Asian Cultural Museum.
Dr.Mujumdar is the recipient of many awards / honors. The Government of India has conferred on him ‘Padma Shri’ in 2005 and ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 2012. Tilak Maharashtra Vidhyapeeth has conferred on him ‘D. Litt.’ in 2016. He is recipient of first ‘Dr. APJ Abdul kalam Memorial Award’ in 2016. He has received Punya Bhushan Award (2009), FIE Foundation Puraskar (2006), ‘Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar’ (2003), Top Management Club Pune’s “Excellence in Education” Award, the Rotary club of Pune’s ‘Service Excellence Recognition Award (SERA)’, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, Giant International Life Time Achievement Award, Lion Gaurav Puraskar, Pune Municipal Corporation’s ‘Roll of Honour for Life-Time Achievement’ (2006), Pune Festival Award and many others
Principal Director, Symbiosis
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar is the Principal Director of Symbiosis Society, which encompasses the Symbiosis schools and institutions under the Symbiosis International University. A dream of her father, Dr. S .B Mujumdar of creating 'a home away from home ' for international students, Symbiosis today , has transformed itself into a multi-disciplinary, multinational, multi-cultural International University having students from all states of India and international students from 85 different countries. The University has institutes under 7 faculties viz. Management, Law, Humanities & Social Sciences, Health & Biomedical Sciences, Computer Studies, Engineering, Media Communication & Design.
Dr. Vidya holds a Post Graduate Degree in Medicine, a degree in Law and is a Ph.D. in 'Internationalisation of Higher Education in India’. To promote international understanding through quality education, she has brought in innovative approaches at Symbiosis International University through international collaborations with some of the top Universities in the world.
Dr. Vidya has been able to influence policy regulations for promoting and bringing in innovative approaches to higher education in India through her appointments on various governmental bodies. She has been a member of University Grants Commission (UGC), Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). She is a member of the Governing Board of several organisations like Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Swarnim Gujarat Sports University, Yeshwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Research Committee of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Public Health Foundation of India and Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences, Indore. She is a Member of the State Knowledge Advisory Board of Higher Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh and Member of the Task Team of Arts Management Strategy for Karnataka. She is a member of many corporate bodies such as Mahratta Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of India Industry (CII), and Not for profit organisations like HK Firodiya Foundation, India International Centre (IIC), Pune International Centre (PIC) & Pune Citizens Police Foundation.
Dr. Vidya has been appointed as Director on the Board of RITES Limited under Ministry of Railways, Government of India. Recently, Dr. Vidya has been appointed as Member of Sub-Group on Higher & Technical Education and Skill Development of Chief Minister’s Advisory Council, Government of Rajasthan.
Dr. Vidya has presented papers at various National & International Conferences and has numerous research publications to her credit. She has authored a book on ‘Internationalization of Higher Education in India’ based on her experiences and research in this field. This book is published by SAGE.
Dr.Vidya’s hard work has won her numerous awards and accolades and she is now focussed on making Symbiosis International University benchmarked amongst one of the best Universities in Asia.
Dr. Rajani Gupte is the Vice Chancellor of the Symbiosis International University. A distinguished academic, she received her Doctorate degree in Economics from the prestigious Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics, Pune. She has been actively engaged with higher education for over thirty years, both as a professor and researcher. She has taught at many foreign universities as well, including the Oakland University, Michigan US, and Bremen University for Applied Sciences, Germany.
She has been a part of the leadership team at Symbiosis for over two decades. She joined Symbiosis as a founding member of the Symbiosis Institute of International Business in 1992. She was the Director of the Institute between 2004 and 2012. Her headship led the Institute to be established as one of the top-ranking business schools in India. A capable institution-builder, Dr. Gupte has also earlier held the positions of Dean - Faculty of Management, Dean-Academics and Pro-Vice Chancellor at the Symbiosis International University.
She is an independent Director on the Boards of several subsidiaries of L& T Finance Ltd. She has been frequently invited on committees of important organizations, such as International Trade Panel - Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), World Trade Organization Committee, Govt. of Maharashtra, and Chemtech World Expo. She has also served on committees appointed by the UGC and on working groups on higher education.
Dr. Gupte is one of the ten women selected from across Asia who have attended the ‘Women in University Administration programme’ sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
Dr. Gupte has been awarded for her outstanding contribution to Education by Lokmat National Education Leadership Awards 2015 and the "Swayamsidha Puraskar 2015" by Lions Club of Pune Elite.
For her valuable contribution in the field of Education, Dr. Gupte, has been awarded the ‘Think Pure Award’ by the ‘Think Pure Social Welfare Foundation’ in 2016, in memory of ‘Late Shri Dajikaka Gadgil’ .