1. You have been associated with BITS Pilani, both as a student and teacher, you have also been under the guidance of great leaders of BITS. Please tell us about your journey with BITS.
BITS is a remarkable university, I need not explain about BITS Pilani, as it is an established brand. It has a very strong foundation, the system in BITS is perfect to the core, that’s the reason it is doing so well. I had an opportunity to work with Dr.Venkateshvaram, he was the director of BITS, as there was no concept Vice Chancellor back then in 1978. Also, I have worked with great personalities like Prof. V.S Rao; the current VC of BITS Pilani, Prof. Raghuram; ex-director BITS Pilani , Prof. R.K Mittal;ex-director BITS Dubai. It has been a wonderful journey from 1997-2008. I joined as a post -graduation student in 1997, then I joined as assistant lecturer 1999, which marked the beginning of my career. In 2011, I was lecturer, in 2006 I was assistant professor. I did my Ph.D. in 2005-06 under the guidance of R.K Mittal. I moved to Hyderabad in 2006, to start the campus of BITS Hyderabad, I was one of the core founding committee member, in 2008 we officially started functioning of Hyderabad campus, after two years of looking after entire administration activities, and setting up everything.I was working with V.S Rao, examining everything for the newly set up campus. I was the chief coordinator of BITSAT Hyderabad for a span of three years, the exam was conducted under my regime. Apart from this, I was also the faculty in-charge for general administration, day-to-day activities. BITS has its initiative named ‘WILP’; Work Integrated Learning Program, I was associated with it from 2003-08, I used to visit corporates like Wipro, Microsoft, Motorola, Satyam as a faculty of BITS, and undertake corporate classes. BITS has a collaboration with over 300 corporates.
2. Your experience in the education field is remarkable, how did you manage to explore to best possible horizons available?
I am proud and blessed to announce whatever I could achieve is only because of my training at BITS, it is a launching pad and I am fortunate enough to start my journey with BITS, it paved the way. BITS offers a different journey, it is a platform for anybody who dares to dream and achieve. I could understand the working of BITS both as a students as well as faculty, according to the requirement of the institution. I learnt a lot from both perspectives, I think that helped me to understand the best possible horizons, BITS was the prime reason. I am not undermining any other university, but student output varies from institution to institution, BITS is a different ball game altogether, which is also because it was established at a time when such institutions could only be dreamt about in India.
3. Earlier education was deprived of facilities such as technology, industry, research, how has time paved way for innovative ways to learn?
You need to search for a solution everywhere, I started my career at BITS, and the training of faculty is remarkable there. Once you enter the institution you will be given a prospectus, academic regulation booklet, everything is taken care of when you join, you are aware of all facets of the university.When it comes to Jaypee University of IT, it was established in 2001 and I joined in 2009, everything was its place by then, the technology and innovation had crept in successfully. So, the facilities are improving with time. I still remember the time, I used to carry my chalk piece and duster to the classroom at BITS, and now times have changed to PowerPoint presentations and white boards, markers.
4. Recently you joined Adamas University, Kolkata as PRO-VICE CHANCELLOR, what are you expectations from this association?
As a Pro-Vice Chancellor, my responsibility is to look into entire the general administration. I am also the chairman of faculty selection board, vice chairperson for the academic council, member of board of governors, and a constituent of core management group. My responsibility is to take care of engineering and technical spectrum, also entire university as a whole, from admissions to academics, and research to placement.
5. Studies show that even skilled students lack basic qualities such as patience and time management. How do you wish to inculcate the skill of endurance in your students?
Endurance is not a one day affair, it varies from student to student, as per their stream. Patience is like training and time management has to be inculcated by faculty steadily. Students learn such qualities from step to step, much importance is laid on B.tech student as compared to M.tech student and doctorate itself is endurance.
When I talk about myself, it grew level to level, from graduation to Ph.D. and same thing happens to every student, it can be compared to nurturing a tree, as it grows from seed to a sapling and then to a tree, it’s a long process, it depends on teacher as well as student to give as well as receive values. Time management is a subjective aspect, it depends from curriculum to inter-disciplinary aspects. My responsibility is to make sure that the faculty is working efficiently keeping these factors in mind.
6. Computer Science is a subject students still dread to pursue, whereas you hold a Ph.D. in the subject. How did you develop interest and what kept you enthusiastic for it?
Computer science not just limited to computer science solely, even mechanical engineers need it, it is not a different subject, what differs from other engineers and core computer science students is that the specialized student will understand the architecture, database, time constraints, system and everything to depth.
Even for mathematics, computer science has become a part and parcel, and there is an advantage of being a core student, every discipline is imbibing computer science basics. Everyone needs; operation system, database and programming language.
7. Please share your valuable experience at KIIT University Bhubaneswar.
I joined KIIT University Bhubaneswar as a professor of computer science and dean of quality assurance. I served the university from 2013-2015 July.
8. You have spent 5 years with Jaypee University of IT, Solan, please share the lessons gathered.
I joined the prestigious Jaypee University of IT in 2009, I was invited by COO of Jaypee education foundation.I was an associate professor and served till 2013, it was a great experience, there was freedom to perform. I become general chair of IEEE and conducted two conferences and innumerable workshops.
9. What are the future endeavors your institution looks forward to?
Adamas University was started by RICE GROUP, renowned in Kolkata, we are located in a pollution free green environment. Our vision is highly research driven and our aim is to reach greater heights by using top class faculty, even from abroad, we are inviting guest lecturers. We have planned to sign a MOU with great international institutions, we have started the process.
We are also initiating semester exchange programs. Our logo and caption says ‘pursue excellence’, most important thing is the quality factor, and I have experience of quality assurance from my earlier associations. The bottom line remains ‘pursue excellence’
10. Association with IEEE is something everyone desires, has it been worthwhile? What do you look forward to?
I became an IEEE senior member in 2012, I conducted two conferences as general chairperson. IEEE is a constituent of every university in India as well as abroad.I received IEEE senior member award in 2012 and ACM senior member award in 2015. These are the two key factors in societies of great importance any computer science expert. Through this, I believe I could prove to the world that I have achieved something.
11. You are a scholar and you act as a mentor for students pursuing career in research, how has establishing direct connection been a fruitful experience been?
Under my guidance, two of my trainees have got their Ph.D. and one more is about to be published.
12. You have published various research papers and publications on multiple subjects, how has the response been?
The response has been tremendous, you can also visit my website http://srajesh.in/, I have published internationally as well. I have touched upon every technical society and area. The Response has been great and the citations have crossed 100, when observed through Google scholar.
13. What are the steps that can be taken to make education affordable for everyone?
Concept of education for all, we are imparting free education for poor, at our institution a proportion of seats are embarked for the ones who belong to the economically weak sector. In my opinion at least 5% seats shall be kept for downtrodden, if not then,major chunk of fee shall be removed.
14. What are the changes you would like to see in the domain of education in India?
Many changes are required, but this is a government thing. We need at least one research driven Government University, with proper govt. reforms. In top 100 universities for technical studies and engineering, there is no Indian university, that’s the reason we need to focus on research. Even established corporates can think about establishing top research driven university. At Adamas we are trying of building a world-class research driven university, but it will take time.
15. What will be that one advice you will want your students to remember for lifetime?
First you should be ethical, disciplined, dedicated and thorough professional, only then you succeed in life.
Brief Bio: Prof. Dr. Rajesh Siddavatam:
Professor Dr. Rajesh Siddavatam has joined Adamas University, Kolkata as PRO-VICE CHANCELLOR. Prof. Dr. Rajesh Siddavatam was formerly with Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences - BITS Pilani for 10 years. He did his B.Tech from Sri Venkateswara University , Tirupati AP in 1998 and M.E from BITS Pilani in 1999. He also holds his Ph.D in Computer Vision & Image Processing from the prestigious Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS Pilani) under the esteemed guidance of Prof. R K Mittal , DIRECTOR, BITS –Pilani, Dubai in 2006. Prof. Rajesh Siddavatam is the recipient of prestigious IEEE Senior Member AWARD in 2012 and ACM Senior Member AWARD in 2015.Prof. Siddavatam has total Academic and Professional Experience of 17 years out of which 10 years with BITS Pilani in various Administrative positions (1998-2008) and as DIRECTOR of Image Information Processing Research Group at Jaypee University of Information Technology for 5 years ( 2009-2013) and as DEAN at KIIT University, Bhubaneshwar for 2 years ( 2013-2015). Prof. Siddavatam has worked under the leadership of Prof. VS Rao, Vice Chancellor of BITS-Pilani in establishment of the campus at BITS Pilani Hyderabad starting from the inception in 2006 and till its execution in 2008. Prof. Siddavatam has also worked under dynamic Leadership of Prof. G.Raghurama, DIRECTOR of BITS Pilani for establishing the BITS Admission Test (BITSAT) and in effective governance of the same. He also has vast administrative experience of 15 Years at BITS Pilani and he was on the Advisory Committee for BITS Pilani, Hyderabad. He was on the Academic Council as Advisory for KIIT University and Jaypee University of IT. Prof. Siddavatam was the Founding General Chair for IEEE ICIIP 2011 & 2013 - IEEE International Conference on Image Information Processing related to Computer Graphics, Computer Vision and Image Processing. In 2015, Prof. Siddavatam is conducting the IEEE International Conference on Computer Graphics, Vision and Information Security as General Chair. He is also the Member of IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee and IAENG. Prof. Siddavatam is currently serving as Reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, Elsevier International Journal of Visual Communication and Image Representation , Elsevier International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computation, and Program Committee Member of innumerable IEEE & Springer International Journals and Conferences Worldwide. Prof. Siddavatam has published around 55 International Refereed Papers in reputed International Journals and Conferences and supervised 3 PhD students in the areas of Computer Graphics, Biometrics , Watermarking , Steganography and Image Processing.Last Updated - 16 Oct 2015