Interview by Yash Panchal
Dr. Medha Tapiawala is currently working as the I/C Director of GICED, Mumbai. Her educational qualifications include BA, MA, and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Mumbai. She has also done a Certificate Course (DMMT) in Marketing Management from SASMIRA Institute of Textiles, Worli, Mumbai.
Dr. Tapiawala has published a book titled - “Banking Reforms and Productivity in India”. Her Research Papers and articles have been published in many reputed journals. She has participated and presented her papers at various conferences and seminars. She has also been invited as a speaker and special guest in a number of seminars and conferences.
Dr. Tapiwala has been a panel member to conduct interviews for Ministry of HRD, UPSC, KB College and has also appeared on Television in the discussion on Union Budget 2010 in the program named Mahacharcha screened on Sahyadri channel. She has also been an active participant in workshops for revising syllabus for Economics.
Dr. Medha’s experience in the education industry
Well, I have been in this industry for 27 years now and most of my experience was towards teaching. It is in the recent time that I have taken this assignment. What I believe is that my core is teaching because of which the students are very close to my heart. What I look at education is that it transforms an individual from a raw person to one who is very sophisticated, employable and courteous, who can have a very bright and successful career.
Education helps students to understand the market and become wise decision makers
In this process, an institution like ours plays a very vital role where the curriculum is a combination of both Academics and market- based learning.
Dr. Medha’s philosophy of leadership
Talking about my leadership philosophy, I consider that there are 2 aspects to it: one is endogenous and the other is exogenous. Firstly, will talk about exogenous. It constitutes the ability, the methods which we use for leadership and what is the motive behind it. We always know what a decision maker is looking for. Through methods, we get to what are the values to it. My basic education is in economics, and economics always talks about being rational while taking decisions about profitability. This is what is required from outside.
From Inside, talking about the endogenous aspect of leadership, you always know what level you have to reach to. The internal change is when you transform yourself from a raw person to a person who is actually ready to go into the labor market. This requires a lot of courage, dedication and an attitude which is ready to adapt according to situations.
Changes noticed in the education industry
Over the years, the education industry has gone through a lot of changes. Days of blackboard and chalk learning have gone. Now, the amalgam of education with technology has led to a lot of changes. Education can now not be confined to 4 walls; it has expanded through the boundaries of a classroom. Sitting here, we can take classes for students across boundaries of city, state, and countries. It has become so easy for the students to get an education and for the teachers to impart education. So, today’s style of education has evolved a lot over the years.
Also, would definitely like to mention here that because of the internet, getting information has become easy, but what I feel is extracting the knowledge from that information is education. So, concepts need to be explained with practical implications and proven evidence. The education industry as a whole has shifted from blackboard classes to digital classes. The market for specific skills has evolved over years. These changes in technology has brought in the education sector and it should be welcomed and should be put to utmost use.
Dr. Medha on establishing a relation with the students and her availability for them
Of course, at the core, I am a teacher and then I am Director. Being a teacher, my doors are always open for all students. It may happen that because of some responsibilities, I may not be available all the time but I make sure whenever the students are in need of any guidance or any help, I am there. Any events happening in the college, I make it a compulsion for the teaching and administrative staff to be present. I always have the intent to not only attend these events but also interact with the students and participants so as to understand their experiences and work towards the concerns raised.
Views on the growth of students through placement opportunities available at GICED, Mumbai
Our institution strikes a balance between theoretical and practical knowledge
Here at GICED, we make sure the curriculum revision happens every 3 years and we make necessary updates as per the market requirements. Certain sub-topics always need a practical approach to being understood. So, we have activities wherein we invite Industry personnel to come and address our students.
In addition to this, we lay a lot of stress on motivating the students to work towards internships during their course. We have provided students with internship opportunities, some of our students have also been selected for an internship at International level. This gives students an extra edge and better understanding of their courses.
Dr. Medha on what makes GICED stand apart from other institutions
As you see private institutions are mushrooming, might or might not stay for long. But ours is a very old institution, our association with Mumbai University stretches to a span of more than 45 years. Mumbai University has been there for 160 years, so you can imagine the support we get. Secondly, our greatest strength comes from our faculty and the courses which we offer. With corporate insights and the strong academic background of our teaching staff, the substance of our courses is very strong. Our courses are not only increasing in number but the quality is also enhancing. So, the experience we have gives us an upper hand for sure.
Ideal college environment for a student to flourish
In contemporary times, what I feel is foremost required is stress-less learning techniques. Most of the times, what happens is because of stress and the fear of being judged, students are not able to open up to the environment of any Institute. So, a stress-free environment can be considered an an ideal learning environment for a student. Besides this,
There should be a balance between academics and extracurricular activities
Activities like cultural and technical fests un-winds the mind of students. This overall balance improves the mental stability of a student indirectly helping him feel at home.
Dr. Medha on the plan of action in her mind to make sure that the students’ learnings are in compliance with the industry requirements
We keep updated details on industry requirements by having workshops, seminars and also our research team having interactions with the corporate sectors. We keep in mind what they want from the candidates. We make sure the students understand the subjects to the core. For instance, Tourism and travel industry is blooming very well.
So, for example, we make sure our course of travel and tourism along with the knowledge is up to date in terms of the changes taking place in the tourism industry. We have a very interesting course as agro-business management, a particular course where students are from a rural background but are confident and have the intent to excel in the agriculture sector. We are basically trying to mold the courses in such a way that along with giving the understanding of the core, they have their way of standing in the corporate sector.
Technology applications utilized in the classroom
Our classrooms here have all the latest facilities. We have computers, projectors wherever required. Powerpoint presentations have become a very important and common method of teaching in most of our classes. In addition to this, the facility of a virtual classroom in Mumbai University which we use to reach out to our alumni who would like to address the present students on various agendas. Various student-friendly software like AutoCAD for example, for business and finance students, we have kept the facility of statistical software like Strata, SPSS. Students along with teachers have full access to this software so as that they can have a hands-on experience of the same.
Message for the students wishing to join GICED, Mumbai in the near future
I will ask all my students to incline towards the best methods of learning. They need to be good human beings. If they come here to GICED, we will surely carve out the best out of them.