Dr. Subhanshu Bandopadhyay is currently the Vice Chancellor of Brainware University. He is the Founder Director of Dr. A. K. Choudhury School of Information Technology, University of Calcutta and has 40 years of experience in PG teaching in Engineering & Technology, 27 years as Professor Former Director of Computer Centre, University of Calcutta. He has worked at different positions in University of Calcutta. He was also the Member of Ph.D. Committee in Computer Science and Technology, Bengal Engineering and Science University and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (formerly known as WBUT). Dr. Subhanshu has worked as a Consultant, Technical Advisory Committee, IIM (Calcutta). He was the Director of Haldia Institute of Technology. He has also been invited to deliver lectures in different industries like WIPRO, Intel, Tech Mahindra, NASSCOM and has also designed syllabus for several courses.
Ques 1: You have an experience of 40 years of PG teaching in Engineering and Technology and 27 years as a Professor. You have spent commendable time in the education industry. Tell us about your experience and what makes it the best industry to work in?
Ans. I have been here for more than 40 years teaching in the Calcutta University as the Director and as the Head of the Department, I was responsible for initiating four departments. After that, I came here at the Brainware University. I have also worked for software companies and exports. There were no such good Institutions seven years ago which were offering such good training courses of their streams and even beyond the stream. We have started some new courses apart from the standard ones like B.Sc. (Hons), B.Tech. in Computer Science and engineering, BBA, MBA, B. Com (Hons) with banking and financial accounting and M.Com. We have started with B.Sc. and M.Sc. courses in hardware and networking and B.A. and M.A. courses in Multimedia and Web Development. What I’ve seen here and from my experience in this industry for 40 years, we don’t have enough trained persons to work in development as well as research work or high-level development work. Brainware has a wide experience in working in multimedia but we don’t have any intensive course in multimedia on which people can learn and work. There are some diploma courses and some certificate courses but not like this. We are planning to seize the level of multimedia. This is one part while there is a severe shortage of trained personnel in our country. We have people in hardware and networking who are trained to assemble and rectify parts but they are not trained to match the world-class standards. We are training people in such a manner so that they can get a job for themselves. We are planning to start a correspondence course soon which deals mainly with hardware, software and multimedia. Apart from the conventional courses that we run, we are strongly advocating the inclusion of hardware and multimedia. We are trying to outreach the society by not only targeting the corporate sector but also by making full use of the opportunities provided in research and development.
Ques 2: Being the VC of Brainware University, what is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?
Ans. The definition of leadership varies in the academic and the corporate sector. As we all know that in the academic institutions, the faculty is designated to handle the students and so naturally it is the interface to the students and hence the society. So, in the last four to five years, some of our senior faculty are teaching the teachers as a part of the Faculty Development Program that is running in-house. Because of this, we have got better faculty strength especially in our Computer Science and Engineering Department and now it has a very good teaching faculty. In the MBA and BBA Department, I have asked them to classify their teaching into two categories: Passionate and Non-Passionate. In our times, many teachers were passionate though their salary was low most of the teachers are responsible for the development of the society and we are trying to inculcate that particular ideas to our young generation of teachers that try to become teachers that try to learn yourself unless you learn you cannot speak. Actually, in the criteria of MBA, there is a big part that is called in-learning activity so we are trying to develop a teaching-learning orientation program as a part of the Faculty Development Program.
Ques 3: Any of the significant challenges you faced as the VC of Brainware University?
Ans. As you know that when you are the vice chancellor of a university, there are many challenges one faces. For example, in most of the cases, the faculty tries to solve the problems but the students are not allowed to reach the Vice Chancellor for their problems but I have removed that. If a student has any problem they should come to me. I’ll be available every day except the meetings. Any student can come and share all their problems and I can try to solve it and that’s why it is very often that it turns into a challenge. Other challenges you know you have to improve the quality of teaching as well as improving the quality of faculty which is one of the deep challenges I try to solve.
Ques 4: How does your curriculum ensure best practice of industry?
Ans. I have already told about the importance of hardware, networking and multimedia as these are total industry oriented courses. We just designed the syllabus within these topics and according to the students so that before they go out they are actually having the knowledge of the latest advancements in technology. Our efforts are on a regular basis including lectures of people like a software developer or a software architect from the industry. We are trying to work on these kinds of things as far as possible. If a particular student in the industry is given a very small job or rather an easy job. For these, we have given lots of manual and web links as well as other features like the assistance of some faculty to our students. We have pointed out in a meeting that this is the basic difference between what is being taught in other Institutes mostly in India and what is being taught by our university. From the very first semester itself, both small and large projects are being done so that after the four years of engineering or three years of B.Sc., the students have a good idea of what’s happening outside.
Ques 5: How do you look at the growth of students through placement opportunities available at Brainware University? How do you wish to push the envelope further?
Ans. Actually, Brainware University is just one-year old but our college, Brainware Engineering College is 7 years old and there our placement was 95%. But our university is not yet ready for placement as you can see it is just one-year old. But still, we are looking after different things. Practically we have already designated placement assistants from the people in the industry. We aim to have some good placement statistics after the next year while the students become placement ready so that they learn to communicate with the industry. We are also planning to develop courses.
Ques 6: How do you tend to establish a relation with the students being the VC of the university? How do you make yourselves available to them?
Ans. I’m always available for them as I already told you. I am directly available to the students so they can come to my room. In fact, sometimes whenever I get time I try to find students and find their individual problems as far as possible because the Vice Chancellor is the last person to whom they can go so their VC must be available to them.
Ques 7: What would be your ideal school environment, and how would you encourage that kind of culture?
Ans. The ideal environment should be open. There is a direct connection among the various stakeholders like the students, the industry, the management and the faculty. The NAAC accreditation ensures internal quality assurance. This quality assurance will suggest us to run different types of activities to ensure that the quality expected is being reached or not. I have seen many institutes are actually trying to do such activities to ensure that their quality of education is being maintained or not. Now the situation is like that we are gradually going to normal administration along with one more administration after all types of quality improvement that is the quality improvement for students, faculty, infrastructure, library etc.
Ques 8: VC’s position requires intense time management. How do you manage your time?
Ans. Sometimes I have to stay up till 9:30 in the night but that’s not a problem for me. I always have some regular schedule that these meetings will be done from this time to this time but beyond that time. At this point of time, I have to stay till late in the office itself or in the institute, maybe after 9 or 9:30. I think after a couple of years this will be streamlined.
Ques 9: What goals do you have in your mind for your university for the next few years?
Ans. At this point of time, apart from these courses, we are planning to have certificate courses in disaster management because, in various sectors of the country, a good course is not available for the same. We should try to sustain different situations. So, we are trying to outreach activities like computer training and some practical classes in other domains. We are planning to start some courses on environmental engineering and data analysis.
Ques 10: Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?
Ans. The suggestion is quite common to everyone. There is no alternative to hard work. At this age, I also find life has become faster. I’ve seen whether you are an engineer or a doctor or a person from any field, you should do hard work, you should study properly and try to understand everything. You should try to study a good textbook whenever necessary and ensure that you have knowledge of the environment, your country and the world.Last Updated - 20 Jul 2017