Dr. A.K Gupta is the Executive Director of Dr. D.Y. Patil Group, Kolhapur and Talshande. He started his career as a lecturer and later went on to become the executive director of the institute. He has published more than 90 Technical Papers in International and National Journals. He has been awarded 11 times with Best teacher awards by various organizations. Also, has been awarded for distinguished services by Rotary Club, and Engineers and Architect Association.
In an exclusive interview with Pranav, the academician shares his leadership style and talks about his future plans for the Group. So, let’s check out what all Dr. Gupta has to say!
Teaching and Grooming the future of a nation is what a teacher does
Education is improving the lives of others, bettering the community and world better than it initially was. And this is what a teacher does. They inspire people to grow. Share their knowledge and help in grooming students for the future.
I am a civil engineer, but instead of joining the industry I opted to follow my passion of teaching. I started my career as a lecturer which is an initial position. And later on, while teaching for 10 years I thought I would be a better administrator. I always believed that teaching and administration are two sides of a coin. And I finally decided to move to administration.
I believe in Participative Management and Democratic Leadership Style
“Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing” - believes Dr. Gupta. Participative management means a confidence level should be developed among th e people who are working under you. Leadership is including your team in decision making, giving them the feeling that they belong to the organization. It also means that a good leader allows his team to make mistakes and understands that mistakes are a way to grow and learn.
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The essence of learning and researching should be imbibed
I believe in the quote said by Albert Einstein “Imagination is the highest form of research”. I always tell my students that the focus should be in understanding the subject and not on mugging it up. Today’s generation is clever they know how to do things according to the requirement. But, the real challenge in promoting research is that you have to let the people imagine new things and make them realize the importance of reading. This is why I tell my students that if you need my help, I am always there for you.
For promoting research, before the start of each academic year in May or June, we publish one notice for every student, in which we ask them to come to us with their project ideas. We then scrutinize and discard the unwanted content on our end.
After that, we call the industry people. It is a committee of 3 people, industrialists, an academician and a corporate expert. They select the projects to work on and we fund that project. This way we tell our students the essence of research.
Our curriculum is designed as per the requirements of the industry
We follow a very systematic and logical approach at the time of designing the curriculum. We have a Departmental Advisory Board which consists of 3 senior members from my institute, 2 academicians from institutes of repute, and 2 industrialists and 2 students.
The Board meeting takes place twice a year - one before the year starts and one after the year ends. In the beginning, they study the syllabus to be taught for the students from 1st year to the final year and then they try to identify the gaps. This results in an industry-friendly curriculum design. And help our students to be competent and ready for the real-world challenges.
Having an equilibrium is very important to run an institute
Every educational institute has a triangle base, where a student, faculty and administration is placed on each side. A perfect triangle is formed when all the sides are equal and are placed at 60 degrees. Similarly, a good institute has an equilibrium of all three resources.
We have a different way for monitoring the course. For this we have a course monitoring committee, wherein, a student from every class is the member. These students meet the HODs every 15 days and discuss about the course and the problem that they are facing. This is how we involve the student and maintain the equilibrium between student, faculty and administration.
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Our most important consideration is satisfaction of students and employers
Placement is an important aspect, which nowadays neither the students nor the institute ignore. But, it is a rigorous process and one cannot expect that the final year students will sit for the placement and acquire the job without prior training. Therefore, we have a proper system where training is mandatory for the first year to the final year students. We arrange 3 lectures weekly and these lectures are arranged with regular classes.
In first year, we teach them goal setting and communication skills and in the second year we teach them Aptitude, Quantitative analysis and Logical reasoning. In the 3rd year, we ask them to choose a course which is related to their stream, helping them have proper knowledge of the industry. In the final year, we give them company specific training. Thus, I say, “The goal is to achieve the strongest placement results and highest levels of students and employer satisfaction”.
Aspiring, dreaming and setting goals is really necessary
You asked me about leadership above and I forgot to mention that “the key responsibility of a leader is to think about the future. No one else can do it for you.” Handling the largest self-financing group which has 170 organizations under it, is pretty difficult. Out of which, three of the universities are in top 100 NIRF rankings this year.
I definitely believe in “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” So, this year we have planned to provide all the students with one platform for the events or activities. We have funds of 50-60 Lacs to carry out interdisciplinary processes. We are also planning to send our experienced teacher to foreign institutes or universities of repute to get the required exposure.