Dr. S. R. R. Senthil Kumar is the Principal at Sona College of Technology, Salem. Having worked in the education domain for more than two decades, he expresses his views why it is the best domain to work in. He goes on to elaborate the effectiveness of his leadership. He mentions that it is important to analyse different verticals for the skill development of the students. Adding on the same lines, the intention behind the idea matters the most while executing a task in hand. Mentioning about the curriculum flexibility, he says that students are given options in selecting the courses and credits based on their choice. Moving further, he explains that the institution has set a benchmark in the domain of academics and successfully led in other domains as well. Continuing on the same pace, the institution aims to attain Deemed University status in the next few years. In the later segment he emphasises the importance of building a successful career. He shares his valuable advice that the current youth and aspiring students must pursue their ambition with dedication.
Education sector is the foundation for the development of the country
I have 30 years of teaching experience. Since the start of my career in 1990 , I have always enjoyed teaching and it has become my passion. As years passed by, I got promoted and I became a Principal in 2008. Since then, I feel I have more responsibility towards the development of the student community. In my opinion, the education sector is the foundation for the development of a country. If you want to raise a country to a super power, the education industry needs to be strengthened. The country’s growth will be exponential, if the education industry is nurtured. By working with the young minds, we can improve a nation’s future. This is the best part about working in this sector.
I analyse the different verticals of skill development and employment opportunities for students
As the head of the institution, I believe in encouraging both students and faculty to develop their skills in the required areas. From the pedagogic foundation till honing the student’s skills through extra-curricular activities, I adopt technology enhanced approach. I analyse the different verticals of skill development and employment opportunities for students. Accordingly, need based training will be offered to students. Also, I motivate and encourage faculty members to upgrade themselves constantly by undergoing training. As a believer of Science, I always adopt a technology driven approach to cater to all our student and faculty development needs.
The intention behind the idea matters the most while executing a task in hand
Leadership is all about leading by example. Being a Principal for the past 12 years at different levels of institutions, I have evolved into a people leader. As a leader, I support people’s good ideas, actions and intentions and hence, even if ideas and actions fail, I appreciate the intentions behind the actions. Before making any decision, I discuss it with my fellow faculty members and seek their opinion. This participative style of leadership has a good impact on the work culture of the institution and results in good outcomes. My strength lies in identifying the talents and interests of the faculty and assigning tasks and roles appropriately. This helps in bringing out the full potential of the staff. Another important factor is the trust I have on people and the freedom I give them for working independently. These are some of the aspects of my leadership style. I keep improvising this style based on my experience and situation.
The CBCS curriculum provides flexibility for students in selecting the courses and credits based on their choice
Sona College of Technology got the Autonomous status from UGC, New Delhi in the year 2010. The autonomous curriculum for all UG and PG programmes have been prepared, approved and implemented from 2010 onwards. From 2015 onwards, Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) had been implemented in the curriculum based on the UGC guidelines.
The CBCS curriculum provides flexibility for students in selecting the courses and credits based on their choice to equip themselves for their career growth. The curriculum focuses on bridging the gap between academia and Industrial needs. It offers Industrial Training, Internships in Industries, Industry oriented courses, Online Industrial courses and Industry mentorship for the students to enhance their Technical skills. The curriculum provides Laboratory Integrated Theory courses for the students for better understanding of the theoretical concepts and its implementation. Also, Hands on Training have been implemented in all practical courses of the curriculum for the benefit of students.
Courses namely Professional Ethics and Human Values, Total Quality Management, Industry 4.0, Robotics and Automation, IPR and Entrepreneurship Development etc., have been included in curriculum to enable students to develop their skills.
Foreign Languages namely German, French and Japanese have been included in the curriculum for the students to learn these courses for better placement opportunities.
Digital Technology courses in the areas of Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Data Science, Robotics, 3D Printing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Smart Grid etc., have been included in CBCS curriculum for the students to become Industry ready.
It is essential to treat students with care and affection
I am a student friendly person. Since we are dealing with the youth, I handle them with a lot of attention and care. Being individualistic and independent, they are technology savvy and highly competitive. Hence, I handle them with an optimistic approach. While I am liberal in considering their requests and fulfilling their needs, I also make them realise that I am strict in adhering to the rules and maintaining discipline. I have regular meetings with student bodies and listen to their needs. This helps in projecting a transparent system. I get to know some of the student representatives by their names to establish good will and to be seen as a friend. I motivate the students to participate in extracurricular activities. When students come with a proposal to organise events like cultural shows, sports meet, technical seminar and symposium, I welcome their ideas and give them a detailed study before I agree to their proposals. This helps me in not only understanding their expectations and fulfilling their needs, but also in establishing a strong relationship with the students.
Our aim is to attain the Deemed University status in the next few years
Sona College of Technology aims to attain the ‘Deemed University’ status in the next few years. We aspire to achieve this in order to serve the students community in the best way possible. This will enable us to offer any degree or diploma programme without any restrictions. We can expand our facilities in the way we want to cater to the changing and challenging needs of the students. We would also like to do some considerable expansion in the research facilities.
Being an autonomous college, we frame our regulations and syllabus, set our question papers and evaluation pattern. Though we have our rights in the areas like academics and governance, we are governed and controlled by the norms of the university which prevent us from acting independently in many areas like admission, fee structure, establishment of facilities and curriculum designing. Hence, obtaining the ‘University Status’, will help us grow in different dimensions.
We have set benchmark in the domain of academics and we are successfully leading in other domains as well
Sona, at present, is a success model. To continue to be successful in the centuries to come, we must focus on sustenance in all the progressive areas. Its top priority in the next 10 years must be research because Sona has already set its bench mark in academics. It has to now focus on research in some exclusive areas like nano technology, electric mobility, etc. The introduction of Sona Garage, an incubator for start-up ideas, will facilitate the growth of research in advanced areas. Promotion of research will not only benefit Sona but will also go a long way in nurturing the research scope of the nation at large. To enhance Sona’s existing merits in all areas like academics, governance etc., the college must obtain deemed university status. If we reach this milestone, we can certainly sustain all our merits and make progress our style of existence. So our first priority must be to attain deemed university status. If we work to achieve this, automatically we will achieve excellence in all the aspects of academics, administration and research.
Click here Sona College of Technology Placement
Our prime objective is to cater to the needs of the student community, both national and international
We have about 150 foreign national students studying on our campus. They are from different countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and many other SAARC and ASEAN Countries. We also have a handful of students from the Gulf who join under the NRI category. The primary reason of choice for parents is that the campus is located at a Tier II city which gives a lot of social security, particularly to female candidates when compared to metro cities. They find our curriculum upgraded, ambience conducive, faculty knowledgeable and approachable and hostel ‘home away from home’. On a particular instance, during the Lockdown 1.0 at India, the foreign students and their parents felt that their wards’ staying back in the hostel would be safer than hastily flying back to their mother lands. This evidently shows that the hostel is ‘Home away from Home’. Our prime objective is to cater to the needs of the student community, both national and international. Hence, from curriculum design to the list of food items in the hostel menu card, we keep in mind the requirement of the entire student lot and take great care to satisfy their needs. For instance, one of the most interesting aspects of our curriculum is the industry integrated course. A student who undergoes this course will acquire the skill sets required to work in any industry. The medium of instruction in our college is English. This helps them in understanding the lessons without any block.
Students should make advancements towards building a successful career
My suggestion to the current youth and aspiring students is to pursue their ambition with dedication. Today’s youth, majority of them, do not even set their goals. They have to first join an institution that will give them good exposure to advancements in technology and help them build a strong career in industries, research, academics or entrepreneurship. As they follow their passion, they must face challenges with confidence and learn to overcome them. Next most important skill the youth must develop is reading skill. Reading is one of the most essential skills required for a person’s holistic development. Through reading, one can acquire and enhance knowledge and develop worldly wisdom which is required for any job one opts for. Today’s youth must possess a good attitude for perseverance and be consistent in their attempts. This will help them rise to greater heights. These are some of the suggestions that I would like to give to the present day youth.