Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. P. Santosh Kumar Patra is currently serving as the Principal of St. Martins Engineering College. He is holding B.E in Computer Science and Engineering, M.Tech in Computer Science in Engineering and Ph.D in Computer Science and Engineering. For past 16 years, he is involved as an active academician and educational administrator with the objective of producing the highest echelon of technocrats. He has more than 49 international and national referred journal publications. He is an international motivational speaker and he is often invited in various institutions and colleges to deliver speech not only in India but also in various other countries. He has attended more than 25 international workshops. He had facilitated 300 Aakash tablets from IIT, Bombay for the staff and students to implement innovative ideas and to facilitate research works.
Experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in
According to Nelson Mandela, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. And I have been honoured to be a part of this noble profession. Education is the only profession in which one can get the satisfaction of giving back to the society what we have learned from it. Being in this field I am in a position to contribute in many ways by writing technical books, winning research projects, establishing research labs which help the student and faculty fraternity to involve in various research activities.
Education not only helps to gain knowledge but it also instils moral and ethical values in the student and helps them grow as better human beings in the society. MOU has collaborated with many industries so as to help the students be industry-ready and to have a successful career growth in Engineering. I have been honoured with IKON Dronacharya award in addition to Rashtriya Gaurav Award and Rashtriya Vikas ratan award which motivates me to contribute towards educating society.
Significant challenges faced the St. Martin’s Engineering College
The significant challenges which I have faced in the institution to improve the research capabilities among students and faculty. The faculty here is being continuously encouraged to do their research activities by publishing research papers, doing projects, submitting research proposals, etc. Students are encouraged to do innovative projects and are allowed to exhibit their talent by conducting project expos, hackathons etc., throughout the academic year.
The faculty members are encouraged to do their higher degree like and research lab facilities have been created to conduct their research activities. Various efforts have been taken to win a number of projects from funding agencies. MoU has signed with various agencies which helps the students to gain industrial experience as well. To develop Entrepreneurship abilities in the students in plant training, internships and other industrial related activities has been organized, so that the students have complete awareness about business activities before emerging as an entrepreneur.
The curriculum of St. Martin’s Engineering College ensuring to include the best practices of the industry
To meet the current demands of the industries and to make young bright engineers embark on an ambitious journey, SMEC stands on a perfect platform in terms of infrastructure, facilities and in providing high-quality education. E-Learning is the key to become successful and SMEC always stands for it. SMEC has a high-quality digital library that provides access to NPTEL videos, wide variety national and international research papers and MOOCS. SMEC always gives importance to train the students to meet the existing industrial demands. In this regard, practical training sessions have been introduced to the students such as mini projects for II and III year’s students and micro projects and technical seminar for I year’s students apart from the curriculum provided by the University. Guest Lectures/Seminars/Workshops have been organized by inviting resource persons from Industries and Institutions. Educational tours and industrial visits are regularly organized to enhance the practical knowledge of the students and keep them abreast with the latest technological applications in various industries so that their employability skills are pruned. Aptitude and soft skill classes for the students have been introduced as part of the timetable and conducted regularly which helps them to face interviews.
Goals in mind for St. Martin’s Engineering College
As stated in the mission of our college, the students have to be industry-ready with implanted moral and ethical values. The institution has been accredited by NAAC and NBA and it is striving towards autonomous status. The progress of research activities has to be improved and more projects and products have to be designed and developed based on the societal needs. The students are motivated to do their higher studies and the number has to be increased further.
Ensure the quality of education St. Martin’s Engineering College
Situated in an environment, the college has the best infrastructure, spacious library covering large volumes of books, , journals and magazines and advanced labs. The faculty is a blend of highly qualified academicians young and experienced who cater to both traditional and modern teaching techniques. Apart from the education system, the students are also encouraged in sports and co-curricular activities. The institute focuses building and maintaining excellent rapport with the top management of various organizations and industries and forge collaborative industry-academia alliances. In this regard, the college initiates Memoranda of Understanding with major companies, research agencies and institutions. Many guest lectures/seminars/conferences/project expo are organized to bridge the gap between the industry and institution.
Building a positive school culture or climate
The Institution has many technical and non-technical associations for the benefit of the students. The institution ensures a ragging-free campus and students’ suggestion boxes are kept in many places to know their difficulties or suggestions and have been addressed with immediate effect. Each Faculty is assigned a for 20 students and regular counselling is done for the students to rectify their personal and academic problems. The toppers are acknowledged for their academic excellence at the Annual Day functions. Students are encouraged in both extra and co-curricular activities. Opportunities are provided at all levels of students.
Maintaning a relationship with the students
The centralized and transparent online system software helps to know the details of each and every student. Students’ performance and attendance duly notified to the parents through SMS and sometimes based on the necessity, informed through a call. The online feedback for academics from students collected twice in a semester. The students are addressed to improve their academic performance. The students are always encouraged to have one on one interaction to solve their grievances. meeting is conducted once in every semester.
The growth of students through placement opportunities available St. Martin’s Engineering College
The institute focuses to build and maintain excellent rapport with the top management of various organizations and industries and forge collaborative industry-academia alliances. In this the college initiates Memoranda of Understanding with major companies, research agencies and institutions. Companies start their recruitment processes from fourth year/first semester onwards.It has always been the of the college to be in contact with medium and large professionally-managed organizations for offering our students placements so that the students can carve out their future.We have been playing host to many companies for conducting interviews every year and they are appreciative the overall performance of our students and every year 90% of our students are placed in well-established organizations.
The Philosophy of leadership to take the team forward
I believe leadership involves continuous learning, mentoring, encouraging and motivating the team. I always see how I can make more leaders as well as how I can bring out the best from each individual and make them winners.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
Apart from providing the technical know-how in this competitive world, I would strongly suggest that the youth of today should be inculcated with good conduct and moral values. The power of technology should be used to meet the societal needs and should provide solutions to the contemporary problems.