Completing over 50 years of experience in the hospitality education segment, the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering & Nutrition (IHM) Pusa still continues to be recognised as one of the top hotel management institutes in the country for its excellent teaching skills. Dr Raj Kumar Gupta, dean, IHM Pusa, talks about what sets the institute apart By Archana Sharma
With almost 52 years of experience, the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering & Nutrition (IHM) Pusa, New Delhi, is renowned for its teaching skills. Set up by the Central Government in 1962, it is the first and only hotel management institute in India to be Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approved. According to Dr Raj Kumar Gupta, dean, IHM Pusa, “We are the only institute which has the most modern facilities and technology available as well as the traditional equipments like the combi – ovens, with the most modern facilities of its kind.”
IHM Pusa offers a wide range of courses including B.Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel Administration, M.Sc. Hospitality Administration, Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics & Hospital Food Service, Post Graduate Diploma in Accommodation Operation & Management, Diploma in Food & Beverage Service, Diploma in Bakery & Confectionery, Craftsmanship Course in Food Production & Patisserie and another Craftsmanship Course in Food & Beverage Service.
Affiliated to the National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology (NCHMCT), Noida, all the degrees are awarded by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, under the purview of the ministry of tourism (MoT), Government of India. The admission process is looked after by NCHMCT. “The flagship course is a three year Bachelor’s degree programme wherein we take 259 students. We are also the only institute which has been running this Masters Programme since its inception in 2003 aiming for people who are interested in becoming professors or lecturers or those who want to join the industry in sales or HR,” stated Dr Gupta.
Talking about the Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics & Hospital Food Service course, Dr Anshu Singh, lecturer, IHM Pusa, said, “The course helps in training students who want to become dieticians or who want to study about nutrition. The students also undergo a three month training at renowned hospitals and look after how the food is prepared and packaged. IHM Pusa is also looking at enhancing this course further as presently this course is opted mostly by girls.”
Elaborating on the infrastructure, Dr Gupta said, “Of the many things that sets us apart are the microbiology, food analysis and the biochemistry labs. With the help of these labs, students are able to analyse raw food materials as well as finished products about the micro biological and nutritional aspects of the materials. We also offer these expertise to different kinds of organisations as consultancy.” They have undertaken research projects for Indigo airlines and Best Foods and hotels like Shangri-La in the recent past and developed recipes for Nestle, GSK’s Horlicks, etc.
In addition to these labs, the institute has separate kitchens and restaurants, front and housekeeping labs for students. While their restaurants are being commercialised. “We have started to invite students and their parents to enjoy lunch and see their children at work, with prior bookings and at reasonable fee.” At present this is being carried on a small scale only with maximum 20 guests at one time, so as to increase the exposure of students.
Believing in not just teaching but facilitating learning, Dr Gupta, said, “Students get good exposure as they get to plan and organise events which are run throughout the year, like the freshers welcome party, independence day celebrations, etc. Through this participation and direct involvement, it becomes easier for them to learn these things very quickly.”
Recently, NCHMCT has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne, Switzerland to upgrade the quality of hospitality education in the country to global standards. One of the major parts of the agreement is the curriculum review and based on their suggestions the courses will be upgraded by next year. “Under the same agreement, members of the IHM Pusa faculty went to Switzerland to be trained about international standards, under the Qualified Facilitator Learning Programme (QLF). This two week programme focuses on the paradigm shift from teaching to facilitating learning, aiming at student centric teaching methods. We have been given the task to further these learning to our faculty here at IHM Pusa,” elaborated Dr Gupta.
On the request of the MoT, IHM Pusa had undertaken a survey of more than 1,000 hotels in Delhi and NCR region during the Commonwealth Games. They had also trained owners, general managers and their staff, more than 5,000 people after the same. They also arranged conferences for the MoT related to the hospitality industry.
IHM Pusa has also undertaken research on six wildlife reserves and national parks across the country, surveying almost 100 hotels, resorts, lodges, camps. On the basis of the report thus submitted, the guidelines for wildlife tourism had been created. IHM Pusa will soon be publishing an international journal also, containing all its research work, written by the faculty and students.
Accolades and achievements
The MoTawards the best institutes of the country on the basis of their results, research work and performance. And for the past five consecutive years IHM Pusa has won the award for being the best institute of the country. Apart from this, it has also won the best institute award in academics, placements, operation and skill certifications. “Our students also receive at least 9-10 topper awards each year from the 22 categories present, despite the fact that we don’t even run all 22 of the courses. We have also been awarded with the best national teachers awards, and out of these, three teachers including myself have been awarded the best teachers award three times in a row, disqualifying us from entering again,” Dr Gupta boasted.
More than 80 companies visit the institute for placements including banking sectors, cruise lines, airlines, retail companies, etc. “About 10-15 per cent students opt for higher studies, while a few have even left for administrative services, and some leave to become entrepreneurs on their own, but even in that case every student gets three-four offers.”
The institute is also coming up with a new academic block with modern facilities like virtual classrooms and digital library and modern laundry facilities.
“We are also coming up with a multipurpose incubation centre at our institute as we have been approached by some of the organisations,” Dr Gupta said. They are also planning to come out with a series of handbooks for specific clients in demand for particular recipes, based on in-house research work undertaken at IHM, Pusa.