Dr. Alka Mahajan has done her graduation in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from Andhra University College of Engineering, Waltair in 1983 and then her post graduation leading to M Tech in Electronics Design Technology from CEDTI, Aurangabad. She subsequently did her PhD from the Delhi College of Engineering, Delhi University in Electronics and Communication Engineering in the broad area of Soft Computing.
Dr. Mahajan has over 32 years of teaching and administrative experience and has guided a number of undergraduate and postgraduate projects, with a number of publications in national and international journals and conferences to her creditShe has worked as an expert on various technical & local inspection committees set up by different universities. Dr Mahajan is a member of the Academic Council and Research Committee, and is a recognized PhD guide with a number of universities.
I foresee industries moving towards a total revamp of their systems and processes with innovative solutions
There is hardly an industry or business which is not affected badly by the pandemic and the impact is there for all to see. I think in the coming years the industry will increasingly employ policies and technologies for remote monitoring, meetings, measurements, learning, and controls. I foresee industries moving towards a total revamp of their systems and processes to bring in more automation, use of robotics & IoT and increasingly data driven control using Artificial Intelligence.
The uniqueness of the programme lies in its relevance not only in present times but for times to come
We are amongst the very few institutes offering an undergraduate and post graduate programme in Data Science and AI. It is a programme which is truly interdisciplinary in nature and finds application in all fields. These are programmes that combine domain expertise, programming skills and knowledge of mathematics and statistics. Industries can be helped to increase their productivity and profitability by extracting meaningful information from the data using critical problem solving and analytical skills. With data driving the industry and systems, these are the programmes with immense scope today and in years to come.
My philosophy is to identify the strengths of the people working with me and provide them opportunities to excel
Leadership to me is all about finding the strengths of people and giving them an opportunity to use them. I don't believe in trying to change people or work on their weaknesses. I have always believed in giving my 100% to anything I take up and encourage the same commitment from my colleagues. To me, involvement and affiliation to the workplace is the key to job satisfaction. I have risen from the ranks and have practically handled all portfolios and functions of an educational institute. Thus, I have, over years gained a fair insight of the issues faced at every level and the functioning of every department. I have been blessed to have visionary and capable bosses and so my leadership style comes from having learnt from what they did right. I think my style has evolved over the years - a reflection of my learning's, using my inherent strengths and what I believe is right and ethical. I am a hands-on leader and prefer to work from ground zero. However, once a job is handed over, I allow the space and freedom to take over and step in only when needed to resolve an issue or give direction.
I witness the optimistic changes that each passing year brings in the youth
I dislike calling education an industry, the word takes away the nobleness associated with education making it sound just commercial. More than the work experience and the knowledge gained over years, what works for me is the connection I get to have with every new batch of students coming in. I get to see the change that each passing year brings in the youth. And I find that, what every generation invariably wants is more freedom of choice and options. And that is what I aspire to bring in our education system. My efforts will be focused on building systems to provide flexible, self-paced learning, a wide variety of choices, relevancy and reducing the rigidity brought in by restricting learning to a discipline.
We ensure our total support to the students and put in directional efforts for their development
Fortunately for me, the SVKM group and the NMIMS University have established a professional yet informal work culture. I am putting my efforts in the direction of building amicable relationships with the students and making an unbreakable bond with the alumni.. Ensuring fairness at all levels, transparency and clarity in systems and processes, encouraging self-discipline and timely redressal of grievances are some of the basic things that ensure a healthy working environment in any organization.
We aim to build a dynamic and robust environment for the student to prosper
The priority will be to stay relevant in a very dynamic environment, keep tuned to the changing demands of the industry and technology and meet the expectations of the Gen Z. Strengthening our AI and Data Science programmes, increasing the research output and ensuring an all-round learning experience are some of the things at the top of our list.
The established relations with the industries has helped us identify the loopholes to restructure our curriculum
We have always had a very strong connection with the industry and that has helped us identify the gaps in our curriculum as the demands of technology and industry keep changing all around us. We have partnered with IBM, Coursera and TCS for a joint delivery of courses. Our connection with Bosch and L&T further helps in staying relevant to industry needs. These collaborations help us in tracking and redefining the graduate outcomes by ensuring timely updation of the syllabus.
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Students should have clarity about the career they are willing to pursue
I think half the career battle is won if one is sure of one’s choice. Therefore, my suggestion to the youth would be to spend some time identifying what interests you the most, and what is it that you see yourself doing twenty years down the line and still liking it. A difficult thing to find, but worth the time and effort in the long run.