It’s 9.30 on a Wednesday morning. Students donning chef’s white coats are busy giving finishing touches to a dish prepared in the food laboratory. Their professor chips in with tips on the ingredients to use and how to get the right flavour. Inside the lab, the temperature is pushing 40 degrees Celsius, but the group is too engrossed to feel the heat. Instead, they are busy ensuring that the oven is set to the desired temperature. Just another day at the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering & Nutrition, Pusa, Delhi.
Spread over a 2.3 acre campus, IHM-Pusa has, for years, been the learning ground for some of the country’s best chefs, nutritionists, dieticians and hospitality industry experts. It’s the legacy and quality of education that makes it one of the best-ranked hotel management institutes in India. As Kamal Kant Pant, principal, IHM-Pusa, says, “Being an old institute, we have alumni across the industry and our presence is all-pervasive. Some of the big names in the industry graduated from here. We are the only institute that offers a year-and-a-half-long postgraduate diploma programme in diabetics and nutrition.”
With a reputed faculty and students who make it to the final shortlist after taking a rigorous joint entrance examination, the institute has always been at the forefront when it comes to introducing new initiatives, collaborating with industry leaders and encouraging students to get global exposure through international culinary competitions. In November 2018, for instance, IHM organised a week-long programme in association with the Italian embassy, where students from the institute and ALMA, a leading hospitality training school in Italy, worked together and took part in various initiatives, including a ‘culinary walk’ to Old Delhi and a charity event at the capital’s Shangri-La Hotel. Last August, the institute organised a competition in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Center, in which 10 IHM-Pusa students participated. The first two runners-up visited Korea to learn Korean cuisine. At the same time, to keep pace with the changes in the industry and to give its students and faculty international exposure, IHM-Pusa has tied up with Lausanne Hotel School, Switzerland, for curriculum upgradation. And now, it is in talks with Cornell University, US, for joint research and faculty development besides doing a coffee-table book on the cuisines of India’s Himalayan states. The book project is funded by the tourism ministry.
“At IHM, we don’t set boundaries for students and don’t restrict them to bookish knowledge, but encourage them to experiment and innovate,” says Pant. Students are trained to be all-rounders, be resilient and develop an eye for detail. And, of course, it is ensured that they get sufficient industry exposure through internships.
Pant says, “The institute offers several undergraduate, postgraduate and certificate programmes, such as BSc in Hospitality and Hotel Administration, MSc in Hotel Administration, a postgraduate diploma in dietetics and hospital food service, a diploma in bakery and confectionery, a diploma in food production and a diploma in food and beverage service.”
Keeping in tune with its philosophy of producing industry-ready graduates, IHM-Pusa encourages students to participate in international competitions, such as the World Skills Competition and the Global Skills Competition, where they have to compete with participants from across the world.
With a bright placement record for several years, IHM-Pusa students have been hired by hotel chains such as the Oberoi Group, the Jaypee Group of Hotels, ITC Hotels, Old World Hospitality, the Intercontinental Hotel Group, besides multinationals such as McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza and Cafe Coffee Day.
The institute believes in the holistic development of students and has undertaken several eco-friendly measures on the campus to create awareness among students about the environment. Think Responsible Act Sustainable (TRAS) is one such initiative for students of the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which instils leadership and business sustainability qualities in them. A few environment-friendly practices also are unique to IHM-Pusa. These include yield management in food production and laboratories, optimum usage of sunlight in classrooms and zero food wastage during pre-preparation, preparation and consumption.
What sets IHM-Pusa apart?
Our rich legacy; IHM-Pusa is one of the oldest institutes offering quality education.
IHM has a strong and well-recognised alumni.
It is the only institute to offer a year-and-a-half-long postgraduate diploma programme in diabetics and nutrition.
New initiatives in the past three years
IHM tied up with the Lausanne Hotel School, Switzerland, for curriculum upgradation.
It organised a culinary competition in August 2018 with the Korean Cultural Centre.
One thing I want to improve.
I would want IHM-Pusa to have a state-of-the-art campus.
What’s unique about the campus life?
It’s a college of opportunities, with the best faculty and facilities and offering industry exposure. The teachers do not try to spoon-feed and encourage new initiatives.
One change I want in my college
I would want better infrastructure.
The best facility in the college
In the kitchen, we have the latest combination ovens, which are working robots, helping us in our practicals and allowing us to experiment with cuisines and ingredients.