“ This birth should not go as “SHEER & FUTILE WASTE” but actually should provide a “SUBLIME & EFFERVESCENT TASTE” to every member of society.”
-Dr. Ashok Shrivastava
Dr. Ashok Shrivastava is the former Director at IIMT College of Engineering. His academic accomplishments include Ph.D.(ME) from IIT Kanpur (1985), M.Tech.(ME) from IIT Kanpur (1978), and M.Sc. (Phy) from IIT Kanpur (1971). Dr. Ashok has 8 years of academic management experience as Director of Engineering Colleges, 16 years R & D experience as Scientist/ Researcher, 22 years Industry/Corporate experience as Chief Executive/Technical Adviser/General Manager/Sr.Manager (having implemented 12 industrial Projects worth $700 million, including 10 Y in Saudi Arabia as Technical Adviser implementing $240 million Float Glass/Mirror/glass bottles projects).
Dr. Ashok believes himself to be very energetic, bubbling with energy, ready to provide mentoring and team leadership. He has been felicitated with “Higher Education Leadership Award”, in “10th World Education Summit 2017” by Sri V S Radha Krishnan, Education Minister, Sri Lanka. He was also invited as a speaker in the roundtable discussion on ‘Building Knowledge Economy Through Quality Higher Education’ in 10th World Education Summit 2017.
Kindly tell us about your experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in?
- The education industry is characterized by many unique features. It is one area where its history coincides with the history of humanity itself. It is an ever-evolving and ever-emerging field which engulfs and embraces all human creativity and originality. The entire future of the country is at stake, as it is critically dependent on the same.
- It forms the pivot around which entire development of individual, society, and nation as a whole is defined and derived. The meaning of life is itself dictated by the level & standard of education industry in any region or nation. All human endeavor is directed to and from the education sector, Its multi-dimensional, interdisciplinary and multifunctionality.
- It provides infinite possibilities and options to work with, so as to maximize the gains to the education system itself and bringing out a multitude of its benefits to an overall holistic system of human existence, survival and development. All this makes it the best industry to work in for both personal, & societal gains.
- A lot has been done and still much more is needed to be done. Being innovative in approach and full of creativity, I found this sector as a vast canvas where I could paint my mental images of optimizing various academic processes.
- By energizing it with my initiative and inspiring efforts, I could enliven these images and make a huge effect on the individual’s lives of students & faculties and also enormous impact on national economy.
- While certain segments of the education sector, constituting no more than 25% of the total domain, covered by A & B+ universities/ institutes /colleges are doing very well, providing a beacon of light for futuristic growth in the desired direction with exponential growth and guaranteeing to achieve its zenith.
- But education sector reflecting balance 75% is struggling hard to come up with even minimum levels of efficacy and sufficiency.
- For either of the above situations, the whole field is open for evolving and implementing new strategies and applying new technologies based on ICT, Artificial Intelligence, big data analysis, IoT, Robotics, simulation and 3-D printing technologies.
- Even simple things like replicating success stories of certain institutions by adopting their methodologies and academic processes, many failing institutions could be brought above the red crossing and pave way for climbing success ladder.
- The present education sector is running on an overall average system efficiency of 20%, implying thereby only 20% students coming out at the output end with various degrees are employable and balance 80% are utter failure, causing enormous burden on the failed students/parents in the form of financial losses, frustration and loss of career and precious years of education.
- The overall efficiency could be and need to be improved to at least 40% by ensuring that right type of students adopt right type of courses, which is in tune with their innate characteristics, aptitude and attitude, which need to be investigated based on Dermatoglyphic Technology and other standard established psychometric tests at an early school age of the students. Their life/studies/courses/certificates need to be career driven and not the vice versa. A career counselling system needs to be standardized and implemented at schooling stage.
What would be your ideal school environment, and how would you encourage that kind of culture?
- An ideal School environment needs to facilitate identification of innate attributes of the children by undergoing through Dermatoglyphic technologies and provide an ecosystem, which accelerates the growth of all type of positivity in the development of the child.
- It needs to provide 21st-century learning skills along with digital literacy, financial literacy, media literacy, life skills, self-learning skills and linguistic competencies, along with values & traditions of our country so as to make students an asset for the country
- The infrastructure & activities should be reflective of creativity, hygiene and intimacy, where child slowly but surely opens up the petals of creativity and originality.
- The school should provide adequate facilities for extracurricular activities, both outdoor and indoor classes with systems/tools based on ICT/AI/IoT/virtual labs/virtual workshops.
- Students should not be forced to choose things/courses/subjects as per the choice of parents/teacher/dear ones but should be allowed to pursue the subjects, which are in tune with their innate attributes, aptitude and attributes.
How do you foresee the impact of digitalization playing as a catalyst in the education sector?
- Digitalization will ensure a metamorphic change in the functioning of education sector by changing the traditional meanings/methodologies/approach/expectations of teaching and learning, ensuring quality to organization in the era of high-tech competitions & strive to churn out brigades of change agents from students
- It will make us redefine, recast, and revisit the whole gamut of academic delivery needs, catering to the changing dynamics as currently India’s credibility is stronger than ever and there are visible momentum, energy and optimism.
- It will enable students to learn through personal digital devices augmented through Google apps, Dropbox, Microsoft Office Online and other content available on Internet 3D Simulators, 3D Printer technologies, 3D models, 3D Labs, based on Virtual Reality.
- Integration of ICT with education will be creating Innovations and ICT tools driven ecosystem, reflected in the latest curriculum, globally practiced pedagogy and industry tie-ups, including teaching-learning process, latest trends and their utility i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp multimedia to aid teaching outcomes.
- Teachers/students have to be made well-versed with these modern-day tools of communication and interacting channels, ERP systems, Robotics and Virtual Reality, self-learning, Flip classrooms, Research and Innovations. Augmented Reality, Grading and instant feedback through Artificial Intelligence programs and Virtual Classrooms with more Flipped Learning techniques.
- It will lead to updating/modification of University curricula so as to make our students of various branches to benefit from various initiatives taken and schemes launched by Modi government during last three years, including Digital India, Skill Development, Skill India, Startup India, Make in India, Clean India, 100 smart Cities, Standup India, and Nirmal Ganga Jan Abhiyan by participative management & team formation.
- It will accelerate the process of a tie-up with foreign universities for student-faculty exchange program, twinning programs, etc. for boosting employability in the job market by adopting their academic learning more rigorous with a tailored, curated syllabus and employing the concept of global classrooms.
- It will raise consultancies especially from the corporate sector, raise finances and grants for projects and research from government bodies like MSME, DST, DRDO, Ministry of Renewable Energy.
- Revision & updating of curricula, bridging the gap between industries expectations & classroom teachings, like courses on Android development.
- Greater synergy by removing the separation of technical and nontechnical education, being outmoded and out of sync with global practices.
- It will enhance Brand & image building.
- It will expedite approval and monitoring of accreditations and compliance of regulatory bodies like UGC, AICTE, PCI, BCI, COA, NBA, NAAC.
- Strategic planning & action plan for empowering students to enhance professional knowledge & competence through innovative teaching & research
- Rapidly innovating on all fronts to attain global standards and create a niche for its own Inspiring leadership & motivating mentoring.
- Working out strategies for cost cutting & revenue augmentation.
You were recently awarded the ‘Higher Education Leadership Award’ in the ‘10th World Education Summit’. What does that achievement mean to you?
The Higher Education Leadership Award, very humbly accepted by me, gave me an additional responsibility to leverage out much more out of me in form of critical value additions to all stakeholders including students, parents, faculties, staff and management/owners, for providing correct responses and solutions to various issues and problems faced by current higher education system.
Award: Dr. Ashok Shrivastava being felicitated with “Higher Education Leadership Award” at the “10th World Education Summit 2017” on 11th Aug 2017 in Le Meridian New Delhi, by Sri V S Radha Krishnan, Education Minister, Sri Lanka.
You also spoke at the same event on ‘Building Knowledge Economy Through Quality Higher Education’. What is your takeaway from that roundtable discussion?
Higher education is critically important for the economic and increasingly social development of the region and the country. Higher education develops leaders, advances scholarship and facilitates knowledge sharing while informing the industry of innovations and new efficiencies through research and development of products and processes. Institutions in the sector need to ensure that they support excellence while maintaining quality relevance and increased impact in the communities they operate in. The role of higher education changed in the changed scenario was a matter of discussion. The institutions’ contribution to the economy through direct employment is also discussed.
Type of economies as identified are:
- Basic Resource-Based Economies: Countries compete based on factor endowments: primarily unskilled labor and natural resources. Compete on the basis of price and sell basic products or commodities, with their low productivity reflected in low wages.
- Efficiency-Driven Economies: Countries begin to develop more efficient production processes and increase product quality. Competitiveness is increasingly driven by higher education and training. Wages have risen and they cannot increase prices.
- Innovation-Driven Economies: Companies must compete by producing new and different goods using the most sophisticated production processes driven by innovation. Wages will have risen by so much that they are only able to sustain those higher wages and the associated standard of living by a higher value.
Although there are exceptions, these three stages typically are associated with rising levels of GDP growth. Exceptions may be cited as the oil-rich petro-states or non-oil mineral-rich states. In category 2, higher education and training is posited as one of the pillars for differentiating an efficiency-based economy from a basic economy. And in Stage 3, the Innovation-driven economy, new and different technologies and sophisticated business processes and models is the differentiator with stage 2; again, requiring still higher levels of education and training.
Invited Speaker: Dr. Ashok Shrivastava speaking in the Round Table Discussion On Building Knowledge Economy Through Quality Higher Education in 10th World Education Summit 2017 on 11th Aug 2017 at Le Meridian, New Delhi.
Being a hardcore IITian with Ph.D. & Master degrees from IIT Kanpur, how would you rate your experience at IIT as a student?
- As a student of IIT Kanpur, I have got a long association of about 12 years during my M.Sc.(Physics), M.Tech. (Materials Science) & Ph.D. (Materials Science). It was very enriching & enticing, an eye-opener in all its multitudes and diversities.
- It exposed me to the international level of teaching/learning under guidance of various Gurus of international imminence, creating a very strong interdisciplinary knowledge base along with providing multidimensional hand on experience in innovative, creative and analytical thinking for understanding any situation/problem, analyze it to its basic framework/elements and create /provide appropriate response/solution.
- I learned strategic planning, prioritization/sequencing of activities/actions, optimization of resource management, interpersonal skills, efficient and effective communication both oral and in writing, mathematical modeling/ simulation, computer programming, hardcore secrets of planning /execution of R&D projects.
- It resulted in working with high-end sophisticated instruments like with hand on experience on high-tech instruments including Transmission / Scanning Electron Microscopes, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Universal Testing machine, Capacitance (AC & DC), Differential Thermal Analysis (TG/ DTA), etc.
- It resulted into Development of Glass, Glass-Metal Micro-Composite, Glass-Ceramics & Crystallizable Glass, Glass Fiber Systems, Fast Ion Conducting Glasses / Fiber by Ceramic Bushing Technology, as Solid Electrolytes with negligible activation energy (.01ev) & conductivity of 0.30 ohm-1 cm-1 and Optical Glass Fiber by MCVD Technique & their Electrical, Mechanical & Micro-Structural characterization & Interface design for Mass Spectroscopy and New mathematical Transformation & its application to boundary layer theory problems and glass fiber drawing by ceramic bushing technology.
- It provided a desirable ecosystem for my holistic growth, both at personal and professional domains. It made me a poet (Hindi & English) and created keen insight in astrology/palmistry /numerology, a successful debater, keen chess / Table Tennis player, spiritualistic indulgence in Yoga /Dhyana / Gita etc.
- Thus, my long association with IIT Kanpur inculcated in me all the strengths required to succeed during my journey of accomplishments and fame. It gave me a confidence that “If u could do it well, I always will do it better”. It gave me a life full of meaning, values and purpose. It made me learn in a hard manner that life is not a bed of roses and there are no shortcuts to success. One should always be ready to face and overcome the hurdles in the path of success.
With an ample amount of professional experience under your belt, how did you incorporate that experience in the functioning of IIMT College of Engineering?
By God’s grace, I have 46 years of total enriched professional experience comprising as:
- 8 years of Academic management & administration as Directors of Engineering Colleges
- 16 years of R&D experience as Scientist /Researcher in the field of Development of Glass, Glass-Metal Micro-Composite, Glass-Ceramics & Crystallizable Glass, Glass Fiber Systems, Fast Ion Conducting Glasses / Fiber by Ceramic Bushing Technology, as Solid Electrolytes with negligible activation energy (.01ev) & conductivity of 0.30 ohm-1 cm-1 and Optical Glass Fiber by MCVD Technique & their Electrical, Mechanical & Micro-Structural characterization, Achieving optimum hydraulic design for aqueducts / chutes.
- Interface design for Mass Spectroscopy with hand on experience on sophisticated instruments including Transmission / Scanning Electron Microscopes, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Universal Testing machine, Capacitance (AC & DC), Thermogravimetry/Differential Thermal Analysis (TG/ DTA )+ Mathematical Modelling
- System Analysis
- Simulation of Grinding Aid Mechanism
- Fluidized Bed characteristics under high-pressure burnability / VSK Burning Zone for Cement production
- Radiotracers in Cement Rotary Kiln for profiling Residence Time, Velocity & Temperature, New Transformation & its application to boundary layer theory problems
- Semi-Variogram Analysis & reserve estimation by Kriging Technique
- Optimum Pit Design and 3D Mine Planning & Trend Surface Analysis
- 22 years of industry /corporate experience of implementing 12 major industrial Projects of Float Glass, Mirror, Glass Bottles & opal/crystal ware, Optical Glass fiber/cables, fuse rears, CFL/HID bulbs, Intelligent devices, switches, worth $700 million, in India (12 years) and Saudi Arabia (10 years) as Chief Executive/ Technical.
You’re known to be full of energy, and vigor. What keeps you going and motivated?
- I firmly believe that even if it could be stretched to 100 years, our life is really short, for the enormous and monumental accomplishments to be made by any individual while in living state.
- At the age of 66 years today, as 27th Sept being my birthday, I work to achieve the above target of 100 years, with full of SMART actions, Creative activities, original contributions and innovative enhancements in various aspects /dimensions engulfing/touching human life/cosmos and take a fulsome, joyful and enchanting exit to other dimensions of physical reality.
- My indulgence in Yoga & Pranayama, Astrology, Comparative Religions, Politics, Sci-fi movies/novels, Mathematical Modeling, poetry writing keeps me active, physically fit, mentally alert and fully engaged with everlasting & effervescent positivity & joyful dinging delight.
- Furthermore, my love of adding more & more countries to list of foreign lands already visited namely UK, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Hong Kong, China &Vietnam gives a further boost to my social interaction and meeting with persons & places.
- Delivering motivational lectures, participating in conferences and sharing philanthropist activities, TV Discussion/presentation keeps me not only living but also kicking in all my dimensions of existence, as my discourse on “Potential of Pranayama for Wireless Conscious communications” which was telecast on ‘Aastha’ channel in 2003.
- I am regular practitioner of Baba Ramdev Ji’s “ Yoga & Pranayam”, which boosts my positivity eternally, spiritualistic indulgence & inclination and a commitment toward self that my this birth should not go as “SHEER & FUTILE WASTE” but actually should provide a “SUBLIME & EFFERVESCENT TASTE” to every member of society, as a result of my value additions to society, derived from caliber, competence and accomplishments, while I am living or even where I am no more physically living in this world.
- The body/self will perish anyway, whether one lives idly/frivolously or with full of activity and action. One will die anyway, but the choice is in one’s hand. One may go by drowning in a sea of frustration, negativity or depression, making life a living hell, an unending nightmare.
- On the other hand, one may choose a life of action, flying high on the waves of ambition, trying to make a hole in the sky of success, painting the life canvass with colors of creativity and infusing it with the fragrance of originality and energizing it with bubbling streams of innovation.
- I personally belong to the second category, who take the life in its true strides, loves its curves of success and failures, embraces it in its wholesome form, takes it to be a heavenly funnel, through which one may enjoy the nectar of eternal bliss, solace, and joyful delight and all this can provide insight of secrets of successful living, motivating it towards perfection and ultimately pave the way to “self-realization”, “Nirvana or Moksha”.
What are the significant challenges that you faced as the Director at IIMT College of Engineering?
- During last 8 years, while working as Directors of various engineering colleges including latest 4 years in IIMT College of Engineering, Greater Noida, I got exposed to various challenges faced by all stakeholders of education system i.e. students, parents, faculties, staff and owners/management.
- In trying to assess, analyze and evolve appropriate responses /solutions to aforesaid issues/problems, my 16 years’ R&D, hands-on experience as Scientist/researcher coupled with corporate industrial administrative / managerial experience as Chief Executive /Technical Adviser of 22 years of implementing 12 major Projects of $700 million in India as & Saudi Arabia, came very handy, as my pickup in learning curve in any domain, is very steep, being equally matched by sharp intelligent diligence.
- As Director of IIMT College Of Engineering, I successfully provided inspiring teal leadership to about 180 faculties and 75 staff, along with motivating mentoring of almost 2500 students in various M.Tech., (EC, CS, ME) & B.Tech. streams (ME, CE,EC,EI,CS,IT), MCA & MBA . I created, nurtured and mentored team of my 7 HODs & other top officials as one of the best with ability to perform & deliver with excellence under any demanding conditions
- Evolution and implementation of structured & holistic academic policy, covering various aspects of academic processes, innovative improvements in teaching /learning methodologies and creating a periodic feedback mechanism and regular monthly checks up to improve the overall faculty’s teaching efficiency and students’ learning efficiency, with special emphasis on weak students, creating excellence by encouraging creativity of students. It got reflected in the continuous improvement of college ranking up to the top 3 level in top engineering colleges, in Greater Noida from initially starting with top 7th rank 4 years back.
- Continuously evolving and implementing strategies for accreditations(NBA/NAAC), training & Placements, admissions, & Branding.
- Evolved and enforced monitoring and controlling systems, for ensuring Campus Discipline & Hostels management.
- Provided Value additions in terms of both quality & contents of Final year Projects & industrial training & entrepreneurship and Up-gradation of skill sets of students, enabling our students to achieve (a) 5th position in Robotics competition at IIT Bombay (b)3rd round in KPIT Sparkle (c) CNG bike as New invention at CII sponsored competition at IIT Delhi.
- Establishment of entrepreneurship development cell (EDC) and for the first time, successfully creating R&D environment for faculties & students, by arranging 5 MSME funded research projects and inspired faculties/students to apply for New Projects under DSIC, ASPIRE, AICTE. and commencement of writing and publishing R & D oriented research papers in-house research Journal & other standard journals.
- Arranged Faculty Development Program /Seminars/Workshops. Efforts for funding for the national conference from AICTE & CSIR in the pipeline. Organized AICTE sponsored workshop on Energy “AETM-2014” & International Conference LATMAS -2016. Regular publication of annual group magazine “TRINETRI” and semester wise publication of newsletters for each department of ME, CE, EC, & CS, MCA IT.
You’ve also implemented projects worth $700 million and managed cost savings of $8 million. What are your thoughts on that accomplishment?
- It gives me a great sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that I could contribute to the development of Indian and International industry and became instrumental in creating jobs for thousands of workers.
- I learned a lot while working with various consultants of different nationalities under joint venture projects, implemented with US / UK / European / Korean / Japanese know-how/ technology for manufacturing various products viz. Float Glass, Patterned Glass, Mirrors, Flint & Colored Glass Bottles, Optical Glass Fibers / Cables, Crystal & Opal Glass Wares, HID & CFL Lamps, Pharmaceutical Containers, Switchgears, Switches & Intelligent Devices
- Successfully implemented 12 industrial projects with total outlay of USD 700 million, from concept to commissioning, at top management level in multinational companies in India including 10 years in Saudi Arabia, at top management level including CEO/Technical Advisor implementing 4 major projects worth USD 240 million.
- Industrial/Corporate experience (22 years) in India (12 y) & in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (10 y) of working at top management positions including as CEO / President, embedded with demonstrated management and leadership skills, ensuring successful implementation of diversification and expansion programs.
- By my excellent negotiation skills and thorough investigations/due diligence, I could achieve major cost savings of USD 8 million comprising USD 6 million while negotiating USD 30 Million Supply Contract with Pilkington, UK, and USD 2 Million from Guardian, USA, Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, for respective Float Glass projects.