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Ganga Group of Institutions - [GGI], New Delhi

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"A leader is a friend, philosopher and guide to all", believes Bharat Gupta, Executive Director, Ganga Group of Institutions. Read the full interview

bharat gupta
                                  Bharat Gupta
                 Executive Director, GGI, New Delhi

Ques 1. Kindly tell us about your experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in?

Ans. At the very outset, I regret to question the hypothesis on which the question is based that education is an industry which is primarily manufacturing and trade of goods. It is a money-oriented exercise. In a number of significant ways, education is just the opposite. The industry is regulated by specifications and norms formulated on the basis of input and output of money, income and loss which is easy to compute quantitatively. Educational management is also governed by norms and regulations but they are not accurately quantifiable. Education is a lifelong and endless process and more concerned with the quality of molding personality and building of character. In the final analysis, education as an instrument of enablement of the taught to facilitate learning, becomes the bedrock of industry as also of any other sector of social and national life.

I would, instead, prefer to call both industry and education as separate sectors of social life, supplementing each other.

Education to me is an exercise of self-realisation which satisfies the inner urge within me to rise above materialistic considerations and indulge in something charitable and philanthropic for the good of the society as a whole, more so for the less fortunate ones not blessed with means but having all other attributes required for all round development of personality and top quality higher professional education.

Ques 2. What are significant challenges that you are facing in bringing out the real vision of the Organization?

Ans. The organization I work for i.e. Ganga Group of Institutions (GGI) has a vision of making India sit proudly in the front row of the most advanced nations of the world. This cannot be done only by relying on academics and literacy. Education must possess a strong component of skill without which all professional education is incomplete. Every citizen of tomorrow should be a lifelong learner, making optimal use of technology in all aspects of life and ready and willing to use his or her knowledge and expertise for the good of the society and the nation.

Our vision includes an India of a not-very-distant future where people have forgotten their petty differences and prejudices, practice moral values, worship God with their thoughts and actions rather than with words alone. I want my country to awake in that heaven of freedom which is the land of peace, prosperity, tolerance and freedom.

Teacher training in the country is in a sorry state. A true teacher is one who, in place of spoon feeding the learner, arouses the appetite of learning within him and interacts with him with the final aim to make him stand on his own legs and to learn on his own. This is the education of the highest order. Unfortunately, such teachers are few and far between because they themselves have not been trained adequately and punctuated with the practical application of knowledge. Unless and until the present pattern of teacher training is overhauled, things are not likely to improve. We, at the GGI, have improvised our own arrangements for in-service training of teachers to make them facilitators of learning rather than feeders of knowledge.

Secondly, the destitute and the down trodden who should be the prime targets of education, due to lack of exposure to the long-term benefits of learning, do not adequately appreciate the value of education. This is the main reason of dropouts in our colleges mainly at the earlier levels. Due to poverty, the youth, mainly males are taken to be a source of income as an addition to the family kitty and is consequently taken out of college and made to earn money. With the improved economic condition, the scenario is getting better but the problem remains albeit in a reduced form.

Thirdly, the statutory bodies recognizing/approving the professional colleges have introduced draconian measures, intruding into the economy of the private self-financing institutions.

Last but not the least, the examination should be perceived as a tool for assessment and evaluation of learning. However, it has become a controller of education and a master key to open all locks with the result that whatever happens in the name of education in our Institutions, is only preparation for the examination. The dominant status of examinations must be reduced by adopting some other system of evaluation so as to bring education back on the rails. Some steps have been taken in this regard but the basic ills remain. We, at the GGI, have resorted to periodical tests and assessments which have a heavy weightage in the final evaluation as per the University requirements.

We have tried the optimum to convert the challenges into opportunities with innovation and experimentation.

Ques 3. Tell us about some of your experiences and how does your curriculum ensure the best practices of the industry?

Ans. Language teaching is an important component of education. India is a land of diverse cultures and the pupils come from different language backgrounds bringing with them the influence of the lingo spoken at home. Let alone English. Since speaking is a skill and a strong determinant of personality and a vehicle of imparting education, we, at the GGI, have given it a place of pride in teaching and evaluation. Every learner gets the opportunity to listen to, speak, read and write English which is the medium of instruction in all our professional colleges.

Parenting is another problem area. Parents have to be made to understand that education of their wards is a joint effort of the home and the college. The efforts of the parents should be geared towards providing an atmosphere at home which is conducive to education and supplement the efforts of the teacher. The parents require to be oriented towards it.

Ques 4. What goals do you have in your mind for Ganga Group?

Ans. We have set the following goals for the GGI:

  • To make quality higher professional education in the disciplines of Engineering, Technology, Management, Teacher Education and Architecture and Town Planning, education through GGI institutions accessible and available to the vast multitude of rural areas of Haryana and Delhi catering to their aptitudes and abilities.
  • To make education in the GGI institutions easily affordable the common man.
  • To inculcate in the GGI institutions into the students a desire to research innovate.
  • To equip the GGI institutions with the top of the shelf infrastructure, faculty, accommodation and facilities.
  • To create an atmosphere in the GGI institutions where the most desirable traditional and modern values are practiced.
  • To make adequate arrangements in the GGI institutions for vocational guidance, counseling and placement.
  • To develop and maintain cordial relations with the parents and the community at large.

Ques 5. There have been talks of College Name having very different plans for delivering educational expertise to every aspirant, kindly elaborate on it more?

Ans. The name of the conglomerate of our colleges is Ganga Group of Institutions (GGI). The name “Ganga” has been used as a prefix to the names of all the institutions run by the GGI. Despite this commonality, each institution is unique and has its own character, plans and procedures for imparting knowledge and skills to all those who aspire to it. Unlike exact sciences, education is not bound in a tight jacket. Students come from different backgrounds, educational, cultural and economic with different talents and abilities. Each institution has its own mix of students of different categories. The college, therefore, has to keep its aims all the time before it but, at the same time, cater to the demands made on it by the students. In order to deal with students with multifarious attitudes, prejudices, tastes, aspirations and values effectively, the college has to adopt different strategies to deal with them. The more individualized the approach is, the better will be the relationship between the home and the institution and the more attractive transfer of expertise.

A prerequisite of the success of this endeavor is molding the attitude and behavior of the teachers under the active supervision and guidance of an expert in public relations. In place of restricting the teachers within the four walls of a classroom, they should be sent out for in service orientation programs and interact with their peer group from other institutions. Another pre-requisite is that the aspirants should be taken in confidence and involved in planning and execution of the entire exercise. It is good to have a separate style for each institution to allow maximum freedom of maneuver and no regimentation should be imposed regarding the content and methodology of delivering educational expertise.

Ques 6. How do you plan to build a positive school culture or climate in College Name?

Ans. The name “Ganga” has come to be equated with quality of education and, in the popular mind, stands for efficiency, maturity and wisdom. This has been the result of dedication put in by our teachers and heads. Whenever people come across any institution having the prefix “Ganga” in their name, they correctly assume that the institution must be imparting top class education and thereby addressing the needs of the students.

Our duty, therefore, remains to continue to fulfill the high expectations of the people who have implicit trust in the reputation earned by the Ganga Institutions.

Effective education can take place only in a conducive climate or environment. This culture can be created when the administration of the institution and the academic guidance and leadership have the vision to make the institution a first-class center of education and skills.

Our plan for creating such climate in the institutions consists of arranging adequate space for academics, practical work, library, workshops, hobbies and games and sports, providing all necessary infrastructure and facilities to make learning more effective, smooth and meaningful and, what is most important, selection and retention of teachers.  Trying to economize on the faculty and hiring mediocre people is not only bad economics but also a certain recipe for disaster. The fact should never be lost sight of is that the quality of education is primarily dependent on the level of interaction between the teacher and the taught. The tone of this interaction is set by the teacher according to her own level of expertise the maintenance of the quality of the faculty should be our prime concern. While keeping the students and the guardians into confidence and explaining to them the rationale of our plans, we can not only get their trust and cooperation but also their goodwill. These steps should be able to create a culture conducive to learning.                                          

Ques 7. What is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?

Ans. A leader is a friend, philosopher and guide to all those he/she is supposed to lead. Leadership is a very complex responsibility. The leader has to be a good reader of his/her followers, their likes and prejudices and the situations arising in the institution, if they turn out to be complicated. He/she is always ready to lend a helping hand to the people around him. He/She has to lead by example and prove himself/herself to be superior to others. He should be self-respecting and confident but never arrogant. This will give him/her a moral authority also. At the same time, he/she has to be firm and put his/her foot down in the case where anything goes astray. In normal situations, he/she has to be good natured, sweet and soft spoken but firm.

To “lead” does not necessarily mean to “rule”. Leadership has got to be participatory where he/she is first among equals. He/she should inspire confidence and trust of his/her followers. It should be clear to the people he/she leads that here is a friend to help them, to guide them and at the same time to ensure compliance with the norms set by him/her without being dictatorial or authoritative. He/she should actually be and also should be treated as a senior partner in an enterprise.

This will be my ideal style of functioning as a leader.

Ques 8. What would be your ideal school environment, and how would you encourage that kind of culture?  

Ans. The ideal environment in the GGI and its constituent colleges, according to me, shall be one which is congenial and conducive to the transaction of knowledge and skills. Here, all authority should not be centered in the hands of one single individual or a few selected ones. The powers and functions should be delegated to the workers down the line so that everyone has a sense of involvement in and identification with the organization. No one should feel neglected. However, the delegation should also be accompanied by accountability so that the use of authority does not become arbitrary or it is put to misuse.

The environment should be such as promotes a spirit of cooperation and goodwill among the staff. The stress should be on cooperation rather than on competition. No one should feel that he/she has been unjustly treated. It is necessary for the leader not only to be impartial but also to appear to be impartial.

Groupism, backbiting, cribbing and such other divisive tendencies weaken the organization and tend to defeat its aims and objects. First of all, all the workers should feel that what is good for the organization is good for them also. Opportunities, therefore, should be provided where the workers, irrespective of status, off and on come together and indulge in some celebration and merry making to strengthen the bonds among them.                      

Ques 9. Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?   

Ans. My suggestions to the aspiring youth will be to recognize their potential and aptitude. Every person is a unique individual. He/she has an unparalleled combination of elements which make him a human being distinct from others.

The choice of profession should be made according to the aptitude and inner ability of the individual rather than under the pressure and persuasion of someone else. This is the secret of happiness and contentment in life. Any job which we are fond of and like to do does not tire us easily. On the other hand, no one likes to do anything which they have no liking for and, if made to do it, the chances of failure are very high. The questions of making progress in such unwanted vocation are very limited. On the other hand, if a hobby is adopted as a profession, it leads to a fulfilling, satisfying and meaningful life. Our profession, therefore, should be like a hobby which we do for enjoyment and pleasure.

Last Updated - 04 Aug 2017

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