Saturday, February 15, 2014

PAU, a city in a city

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is one of the most prestigious agricultural unversities in Asia. It was found around 50 years ago and modelled after land grant colleges in the USA. It has a huge (no, a HUGE!) campus in Ludhiana, which is very clean and, unlike the rest of the city, well planned and structured.

Our day began with the ride on the Auto. The auto is acutally a 3-wheel vehicle (sometimes referred to as tuktuk) with a motorcycle engine. While being quite tiny (let's put the seat belts aside for the time being) and loud, it is perfect for India's narrow and winding streets as well as busy traffic. Our driver Jasbir, a friendly man with a nice beard, will accompany us in the next four weeks and bring us safely to the university and back.

After a standard ride through Ludhiana (honking, traffic, near-death experiences), we arrived at the University. Initially, I wanted to walk from the gate, but when I got to know that the actual building is 2 km from the gate, I reassessed my decision.

The first thing that we got to know after arriving at the College of Agricultural Engineering is the fact that apparently, there is already a relationship between PAU and IBM.

After a short introduction, we got to the business and created a plan for the next four weeks. In a nutshell, PAU would like to transition from a paper-based system to a "paperless campus". We are creating a pilot for them, automating and digitizing the course registration system.

Part of the introduction was a tour through the campus. PAU has got everything on premises: caf├ęs, shops, hostels for students, a museum and a huge garage for the tractors. I could not miss out on the opportunity to check out a forklift.
As usually, there was delicious (and spicy) food involved.

Off to a great start!

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