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This Indian professor designed a software that automates the process of course administration

Associate Professor at Apeejay Stya University Manpreet Sehgal shares how ‘APRICOT’ is addressing various challenges of manual processes



“I was always fascinated with the various ways technology impacts our lives, and had the urge to learn and make use of this ever-changing technology to solve problems we are surrounded with,” responded Manpreet Sehgal, currently working as an Associate Professor with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Technology at Apeejay Stya University, Gurgaon. 

Prof. Sehgal has a doctorate in the field of Information Retrieval, M.Tech in Information Technology and B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering. Along with these educational credentials, Prof. Sehgal is also a Data Science specialist from IIT Roorkee, and professional member of Codecademy and CloudxLab. With his immense knowledge and skill in this field, the Apeejay professor designed a software named APRICOT to automate the process of course administration for the entire university. In fact, this software proved to be a boon during the pandemic-induced lockdown phase wherein faculty members were able to eliminate any kind of learning gaps by conducting uninterrupted classes using Zoom backed by APRICOT. Read edited excerpts to know more:

You designed the software APRICOT for the University. What is the role of this software?

In this past, student course registration process used to be a nightmare for students, faculty and administration. There used to confusion about course offering as well as core course slot. With APRICOT, all the requisite data is available at a centralised platform and the students can complete their course registration independently. APRICOT weaves various stakeholders (Students, Faculties, Mentors, Administrators, and Accounts) together for the better management of course administration. It has made the entire registration process paper free.

Here is the role breakup:

Students: During course shopping period, students can pick up (or Drop later within the time frame given) their courses on APRICOT, and verify whether their pickup is approved by their mentors and also can see their end semester results on it.

Faculty: Faculty get to know their students in their subjects using APRICOT.

Mentors: Mentors can approve the course pickup and drop request from mentees. Mentors can keep track of their mentees progress.

Administration: Administration can see (and download) the consolidated course registration report and can also freeze (and unfreeze) the process of registration after a due date of course pickup (and drop) is over. During the examination times, student admit cards can be downloaded using APRICOT.

Accounts: Account department enables APRICOT registration after a student pays the semester or yearly fee. Without fee clearance no pickup and drop can happen.

Why named APRICOT? AP in APRICOT is for Apeejay. R is for Registration, ICOT is for In the courses of tomorrow. So it stands for [Apeejay Course Registration In The Courses Of Tomorrow]. This abbreviation explains the purpose of registering in the courses to be taught in the coming (future) semesters. 

What was the idea behind designing this software? What challenges are this software addressing?

The idea behind this software is to automate the process of course administration. Before APRICOT, this process was entirely manual, and carried all the disadvantages of manual work.

The challenges this software is addressing are:

1. Decentralisation of information that existed during manual process. With APRICOT, the registration information is centralised for better analysis and future consumption
2. Automates manual paperwork
3. It addresses the security issues as here the activities of stakeholders are locked in their logins and one time passwords

Currently, are you working on any new software?

I have some projects in my mind, but to materialise that, knowledge of the latest technologies is must. That’s why I am upskilling myself from Codecademy and CloudxLab so that in future I can use my skills and knowledge in solving problems.

Three reasons why learning and adapting to new-age tech skills are important?

Change is the only constant. If you don’t change, learn and adapt to new technology, you won’t be able to contribute to the happiness in people’s lives. Moreover, keeping oneself abreast with the future needs creates a possibility of meeting the demand before it arises. For instance, had we known the outburst of COVID in advance, we would have taken appropriate measures to tackle it at the much earlier stages. 

Lastly, it was the usage and quick adoption of technology by Apeejay during COVID times that we were able to address the forthcoming learning gaps by conducting uninterrupted classes using zoom.

Your teaching mantra for budding engineers/developers or tech experts

Budding engineers/developers must always be keen to learn new technologies with passion. They should be innovative in the ways that they are always ready to serve the society in their best capacity. Their approach to solve problems must be research-oriented so that they can always move ahead with the scientific zeal and progressive temper.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

Poetic गुफ्तगू – With हुमेरा खान @poetsofDelhi