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Oriental Institute of Science and Technology - [OIST], Bhopal

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh AICTE, NBA | Estd 1995 RGPV, Bhopal Private
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"Life does not offer free lunches for anyone, to survive one has to toil hard, in a focused manner and in the right direction, whatever career one opts for." Affirms Praveen Thakral, Oriental Group of Institutions

Mr. Praveen Thakral, Chairman, Oriental Group of Institutions, Bhopal
Mr. Praveen Thakral,Chairman,
Oriental Group of Institutions

Q. Kindly tell us about your experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in?

Ans. The experience was quite challenging as there were no significant private players in establishing the Technical Institutes, in Central India, and we had no model Institutes to emulate. The Institute OIST steadily made its presence felt in the Central region, being the first to initiate campus placement activity in 1999, to bring NCC on campus, receive ISO 9001 certification, get programs accredited by NBA and so on.

We have never looked back since then and with our Institutes at Bhopal, we have reached Indore and Jabalpur, also, with a quest of exploration and finally established a University at Indore.

The education sector is quite experimental and evolving kind, where one needs to be constantly on the move, to adapt as per incessant technological changes, cope up with fast communication & connectivity, support democratization of information and keep pace with the global market. It appeals to my inquisitive and exploring nature at the same time satisfies my innate desire to serve the society, in the noblest form.

Q. Any of the significant challenges you faced as the Chairman of Oriental Group of Institutes?

Ans. As stated earlier, we had no model Institutes to emulate and the venture seemed to be quite challenging. The decisions taken were solely intuitive, keeping in mind, the interests of students at the same time with a strategy to sustain, in the long run. We had to toughen it out by bringing innovative measures and strengthening our USP ‘Brand Oriental’.

Further, the issue of dearth of trained staff tagged along at some point in time. Even with trained human resources, we had to fine tune our systems and procedures, so that their individual measures aligned with the mission and vision of the Group.

I feel these challenges have seasoned us in the long run. We can humbly proclaim that though rigors come quite often yet our winning team faces it all, with grit and determination.

Q. How does your curriculum ensure best practices of the industry?

Ans. The curriculum has been laid by RGPV for all the Engineering Institutes affiliated to it. The assignments are activity based, flexible, customized, simulating real life situations, to promote group activity and participative approach. The overall emphasis is given to experiential learning, so that the students can meet the ever-changing needs of the Industry and become job oriented both, on local platform and on the global front.

Q. What goals do you have in your mind for Oriental Group of Institutes?

Ans. The Group aspires to develop as a centre of excellence with an emphasis on quality teaching and research so as to deliver comprehensively trained, innovative engineers and enterprising, competent professionals who are ethically responsible for serving the society.

Q. You pride yourself on the level of education and responsibility you teach here to students. How do you ensure the quality of education in your institution?

Ans. We, at the Group, have specifically laid down guidelines, for holistic development of each student, right from curriculum delivery in a systematized manner, external and internal evaluation and periodic feedback on all the related teaching- learning activities to co-curricular and extracurricular support rendered at all levels. The mindsets of the teacher and taught are trained to achieve specific goals of the Group, in an amicable manner.

Investing in technology and strengthening of research activities, form the core mission statements. We also ensure proper resource management and record keeping through ERP software, to maintain quality in sustained procedures.

Q. How do you build a positive Institute culture or climate?

Ans. Various activities of formal and informal level are organized in the Group at regular intervals. Every individual of the Oriental Group is encouraged to contribute effectively in a team so that everyone feels empowered, directed and intrinsically motivated. Such environment and work nature give us a sense of belongingness, being a part of the ‘Oriental Family’, as a significant cog in the wheel of the gigantic organization.

Q. How do you tend to establish a relationship with the students?

Ans. We promote open door policy so that the students can air their grievances, without any holdups. Further, they are looked after ably under a mentoring system (TG) supported by a full-time counselor. Residence of the management on campus is indicative of the proper security arrangements, strong grievance redresses system and personalized care of the hostellers, 24*7.

On campus, the students participate and conduct the programs as active volunteers, learning event management, and social practices alongside. Collaborative and group related creative tasks in NCC, NSS, Educational trips with a fine edge of underlying discipline, brings the best out of students and they realize their ultimate intrinsic self-worth and being a part of the same alma mater. True indeed, we are committed to our motto “No one else cares for the students like we do”.

Q. How do you look at the growth of students through placement opportunities available at Oriental

Group of Institutes? How do you wish to push the envelope further?

Ans. The Placement Cell of the Group contacts companies regularly to identify their individual needs of recruitment and tries to train its students by conducting in-house certification courses, industrial visits, and workshops. Industry experts from TCS, BHEL, NTPC, State Electricity Boards etc. and Alumni address the students and share their expertise. Such tailor-made approaches have provided opportunities to every student to develop industry oriented competencies.

Evidently, the Group holds excellent placement record consistently for the last 23 years and the Alumni are spread across the world creating wonderful solutions by working for the best of organizations.

We intend to conduct more training sessions like the workshop conducted by Barclays in association with Global Talent Track (GTT) and NASSCOM this session, for the Final Year students. The plans for contacting more companies are underway where more students’ teams would approach and attempt to learn intricacies of employability trade.

Q. What is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?

Ans. Personally, I look for perfection and order in every task and try adopting a blend of both hard and soft approach, to get the things done. As a human resource of the Intellectual kind has to be treasured and tackled delicately, I try to promote participative leadership, wherever possible.

By participative leadership I mean, people work under systems and procedures that are aligned with organizational goals; at the same time, they can voice their opinions whenever needed, so as to improve functioning. They should feel as a significant contributor, as a meaningful stakeholder, by active participation, aiming for the development of the organization. 

Q. Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?

Ans. ‘Life does not offer free lunches for anyone, to survive one has to toil hard, in a focused manner and in the right direction, whatever career one opts for’.

I strongly believe that a serious introspection should be done by the youth after school clearance and the career roadmap has to be chalked out, keeping all the factors in mind. For choosing an engineering institute, one should check on the parameters of infrastructure, facilities, faculty, training & placement scenario and activities of the academic session, thoroughly. One should not be swayed by publicity and marketing strategies, as deciding on an Institute, is one of the most important decisions of life.

At Oriental, we would help you with path finding process and assure to bring out the best in you. We do not make tall claims neither do we portray unrealistic facts. Do visit the Oriental and feel the culture, aura, and ambiance of campus, before locking any choice.

 

Last Updated - 19 Jun 2017

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