A doorway to an entrepreneurial university

A doorway to an entrepreneurial university

A doorway to an entrepreneurial university


The concept of the entrepreneurial university and its significance in fostering innovation and commercialization of research being the focus, the article highlights the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) initiative to introduce the concept of “Professor of Practice” (PoP) in Indian universities, aiming to bring industry professionals and practitioners into academia.


GS-01 (Indian Society), GS-02 (Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors), GS-03 (Economic development)


  • Professors of Practice(PoP)

Mains Questions:

  1. Analyze the role of universities in the post-knowledge society. How can the integration of research, industry work, and academia lead to the emergence of entrepreneurial universities? (150 words)

Professors of Practice (PoP):

  • Professors of Practice (PoPs) are a category of faculty appointments in colleges and universities in India.
  • They are open to individuals who have exceptional professional achievements but may not possess formal academic qualifications like a PhD.
  • Eligibility for PoP appointments is based on being a “distinguished expert” who has made remarkable contributions in their respective fields.
  • The decision to appoint PoPs lies with the institutions themselves, allowing them to select professionals from any sector.
  • This initiative aims to bring industry professionals and practitioners into academia, enriching the learning experience for students.
  • PoPs can contribute their practical knowledge, skills, and real-world insights to the classroom, benefiting students and enhancing the quality of higher education.

Advantages of Professor of Practice (PoP):

  • Practical Knowledge and Real-World Experience: PoPs bring valuable practical knowledge and real-world experience to the classroom. Their expertise in their respective fields enhances the learning experience for students by bridging the gap between theory and application. They can provide practical insights, industry trends, and case studies, enabling students to develop a deeper understanding of how concepts are applied in real-life situations.
  • Industry Relevance and Updated Curriculum: By incorporating PoPs into the faculty, universities can ensure that their curriculum remains up-to-date and relevant to current industry practices. PoPs can contribute to curriculum development by incorporating industry trends, emerging technologies, and practical skills required by the job market. This alignment between academia and industry helps students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills that make them more employable and industry-ready.
  • Networking and Industry Connections: PoPs bring with them extensive networks and connections in their respective industries. These connections can be leveraged to create valuable opportunities for students, such as internships, mentorships, and job placements. PoPs can facilitate collaborations between students and industry professionals, opening doors to practical learning experiences, industry projects, and exposure to potential employers. This networking aspect enhances students’ career prospects and provides them with valuable industry contacts.
  • Enhancing Faculty Diversity: Introducing PoPs diversifies the faculty composition, bringing in professionals from various backgrounds and industries. This diversity enriches the learning environment and exposes students to different perspectives and experiences. It broadens their understanding of different industries, career paths, and possibilities, promoting a holistic approach to education.
  • Industry-Academia Collaboration: PoPs act as a bridge between academia and industry, facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange. Their presence encourages partnerships, research collaborations, and joint projects between the university and the industry. This collaboration not only benefits students but also leads to applied research, innovation, and the commercialization of research outcomes.
  • Practical Skill Development: PoPs focus on developing practical skills among students, which are crucial for their professional growth. Through hands-on activities, workshops, and real-world case studies, PoPs equip students with the necessary skills and competencies required in their chosen fields. This emphasis on practical skill development enhances students’ employability and prepares them for the challenges of the job market.

Dimensions of the article:

  • Introduction
  • The Need for an Entrepreneurial University
  • UGC’s Initiative: Professor of Practice (PoP)
  • Benefits and Contributions of PoPs
  • The Entrepreneurial University and Innovation
  • Future Prospects: Entrepreneurs in Residence


  •    Evolution of the university system and its role in creating new disciplines and knowledge.
  •    Significance of multidisciplinary studies and the emergence of innovative fields like AI and Generative AI.

The Need for an Entrepreneurial University

  • Discuss the joint enterprise of academia and industry in creating innovations and economic value.
  • Importance of capitalizing on the intellectual value of research outputs.
  • The balance between education and enterprise in new-age universities.

UGC’s Initiative: Professor of Practice (PoP)

  • The objective and purpose of introducing PoPs in higher education institutions.
  • Bringing industry and professional expertise into academic institutions.
  • Role of PoPs in sharing practical knowledge and skills with students.
  • Examples of fields where PoPs can make significant contributions.

Benefits and Contributions of PoPs.

  • Enhancing the quality of higher education by incorporating real-world practices and experiences.
  • Augmenting faculty resources in higher education institutions.
  • Equipping students with relevant skills and improving their employability.
  • Building relationships with industry partners and connecting students with internship and job opportunities.
  • Shaping a university’s commercial thinking and fostering innovation.

The Entrepreneurial University and Innovation

  • The teaching and research were the foundational pillars of a university in the industrial era. In today’s post-knowledge societies, innovation is the third pillar in universities.
  • The importance of an innovative culture in universities.
  • Synthesizing ideas, spinning out start-up enterprises, and converting patents into commercial products.
  • The convergence of research, industry work, and academia.

Future Prospects: Entrepreneurs in Residence

  • Entrepreneurs in residence serve as inspirational role models for students, showcasing their entrepreneurial journey, successes, failures, and lessons learned.
  • Fostering entrepreneurial spirit among bright students.
  • The positive impact on campus culture and the potential for groundbreaking innovations.

Way Forward

The Article provides a forward-looking perspective on the concept of the entrepreneurial university and the integration of academia and industry. However, to further strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in universities and promote research commercialization, the following measures can be considered:

  • Establishing technology transfer offices within universities to facilitate the process of patenting and commercialization of research outputs.
  • Encouraging collaboration between academia, industry, and government through research partnerships and funding programs.
  • Promoting entrepreneurship and start-up incubation programs within universities to nurture innovative ideas and provide necessary support.
  • Developing robust intellectual property policies and frameworks to protect the rights of researchers and facilitate commercialization.
  • Strengthening industry-academia linkages through internships, industry-driven research projects, and guest lectures by industry experts.
  • By implementing these measures and fostering an ecosystem conducive to research commercialization, universities can play a pivotal role in driving innovation, economic growth, and societal development.