Interview by Pratyasha
Dr. Sonali Sarkar is currently designated as the Principal of Swami Vivekananda Institute of Science and Technology. Her education qualifications include B.Sc, B.Tech, M.Tech and Ph.D. Having a rich experience of 12 years in engineering teaching, she also has 9 years of research experience and has published various research papers in national journals.
Experience in Education Industry
It is a known fact that the education sector nurtures and supplies all other industries with human resource and potential manpower. It exposes us to a wide variety of perspectives and many different opinions. It also creates an open mind of embracing and accepting different skill sets and culture.
The Educationists can directly impact the future of the country and have an opportunity to instil knowledge in large groups of the population. I feel proud that I can motivate the students for personal benefit and upliftment of society.
Dr. Sarkar’s philosophy of leadership
Being an administrator, I believe in participative management and strive to bring in excellence by a structured organizational system with the involvement of all the stakeholders. I try to focus on involving various focal areas and definite action plan to achieve the goals and measures to verify the achievements. As a Principal, coherence with the Management and Academic Council, Head of the department, is the key for a better future.
SVIST’s vision is to train the students to become quality executive with high standard professionalism as well as morality and ethics, using our excellent resources, infrastructural, and technological support in all the professional streams. In this era of economic liberalization, globalization, and technological super-advancement, our effort is to put quality education in the light of Swamiji’s vision of spreading education throughout society.
Challenges faced as a Principal
There is always a gap in course curriculum with respect to Industry standards and changing trends. It is necessary to keep up with the world to ensure proper development of the students. Currently, there is a scarcity of well qualified i.e., Ph.D. and senior professors mainly in core engineering fields. Also, due to the shortage of funding, the opportunity for Research Activities lack for the students. However, the institute is continuously making efforts to recruit senior-level faculty members from reputed institutions and doing the needful.
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Curriculum Practices at SVIST
The college believes in imparting quality education by following various best practices for students and staff. Some of them are – mentorship of the students for their all-round development, employability enhancement program, soft-skill development program, aptitude development, financial assistance to the students as various kinds of scholarship, provisions for railway concession, support for placement long after graduation, book bank facility, skill development programs, sports facilities, funding for students’ publications, funding for innovative projects, monetary prize for model making and more. Apart from these special training classes for GATE, MAT and others.
Faculty members are also encouraged by various schemes aiming at faculty development such as paid study leave for qualification enhancement; funded research goes for attending conferences, seminars & workshops, fee concession for the wards of employees and statutory benefits like PF, Gratuity, ESI and Leave as per norms to name a few.
Placement Opportunities at SVIST
The institute conducts soft-skill development, aptitude, GD and personality enhancement sessions for the students by inviting external experts. Training and placement cell provides pre-placement guidance for placement activities for grooming the students to become industry ready. It also coordinates for vocational training, specialized training for software and core department and needs-based training for placement activities of various MNCs and other corporate houses.
The student representatives are present as members of committees like anti-ragging, Cultural and Fest, Tech Fest, Sports, and Hostel, etc. The institute collects feedback on curriculum and other related issues from all the final year students to improve these services. I make sure that every student takes the challenges of the current industry scenario and groom them suitably so that they can achieve the opportunity of placements in a much larger number.
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Dr. Sarkar take on ideal school environment
The life of a student is arduous yet full of new ideas and concepts. However, they must maintain a proper code of conduct while attending school or college. Following are my views on the same:
- Students should follow a formal dress code, wear their ID cards and must maintain discipline within the school premises.
- All must attend all classes regularly and maintain at least 75% attendance.
- Cell phones should be switched off while in the classrooms, labs or in the library. The use of Internet is restricted but can be used for academic purposes.
- No student shall leave the premises before the college timing without the prior permission of HOD/class teacher
- Students should exhibit and promote patriotism, nationalism, communal harmony, religious brotherhood and fellow feeling.
Upcoming Goals for SVIST
Empowerment of Training & Placement department and enhancing the Placement Records is one of our key future goals. We strive to become a skill centre for vocational/Advanced Skill by developing it as a Research centre. This step will enable the students to nurture and strengthen their entrepreneurial skills.
Keeping this motive in mind SVIST have training wings to cater to the needs of underprivileged students. This step is aimed to empower the individuals through improved skills, knowledge and qualifications to enable them to access decent employment opportunities.
Message/ Suggestion to the millennials
With the increasing demands of Engineers, this area has become one of the most successful sectors. The students opting for Engineering must be ready for a challenging yet adventurous journey. They must pursue their dreams and choose their wisely. Time management is the key to success in a student’s life. My only advice to the young generations of this country is to believe in themselves and never stop dreaming.