Prof. Hitesh Bhatt is Professor & Director at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). Having a rich experience in the field of education, he expresses his views about the education sector persisting today. In the gradual journey, developing a penchant for the same, he articulates about his principles and ethics through his interview. Read here what he has to say.
What is your philosophy of leadership? How do you portray the same through your action?
“An effective leader takes everyone along by motivating them throughout the journey”
Leadership is all about taking people along. A leader should walk alongside and encourage all his team members. At IRMA, even our students are called participants, and there’s a reason for that. They are part of the more extensive collaborative process that shapes our management programs. Any person in my position at any school has specific fundamental roles to fulfill. Apart from the necessities, for an excellent plan to run, discipline is of utmost importance. At IRMA, we have 100% compulsory attendance. It helps students to be participative, and the attention of the participants is earnest. This improves their academic scores, which in turn helps them in their internships and placements. As a result of better placements, the number of applications increases in the subsequent academic season, and with that, the ability to choose better people increases. The faculty members are of good pedigree.
How does the curriculum of Institute of Rural Management Anand ensure the best practice of industry?
“Our ability to blend development concerns with a management aptitude helps students gain insights”
Today, rural India depends predominantly on agriculture and allied activities, contributing a mere 17% to India's GDP. As per MoSPI, 70% of India's population resides in rural areas. The MoSPI report also indicates that almost 4% of India resides in urban areas below the poverty line. To sum up, despite the Government's best efforts and numerous innovative schemes, nearly 74% of India is still under-served. To make an impact for the 74% underserved economy, IRMA strives to serve through its Graduates. The institute's unique strength lies in its ability to blend development concerns with a management aptitude through its endeavors. Our classroom terms are interspersed with outside-the-classroom segments like the Village Fieldwork Segment (VFS) and the Summer Internship Segment (SIS) that allows our students to take their classroom learning to the grassroots. This unique management curriculum design equips students from IRMA to make a difference once they have graduated. Other well-established institutes have replicated IRMA's unique curriculum. IRMA has also designed the MBA in Rural Management for MHRD-aided universities at the request of AICTE (MHRD).
“IRMA’s flagship Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Rural Management), or PGDM(RM) has produced over 3000 nation builders and global leaders, equipped to deal with the unique challenges”
What do you see as the Institute of Rural Management Anand’s greatest strengths?
“Institute’s greatest source of strength is the faculty members”
IRMA has a talented pool of faculty members across areas from around the world. They are actively involved in creating classroom sessions, research, and consultancy work and conducting Management Development Programmes (MDPs).
IRMA has enabled research impacting Public Policy and Bottom of Pyramid businesses in India through consultancy projects and research studies. I am sure that they will continue to add to the knowledge base of generations of students in time to come.
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What are some of the biggest challenges for higher education?
“There are a myriad of courses which are lacking necessary qualities for the students to pursue”
Higher education today faces the problem of high quantity but low quality. There’s a glut of institutions offering a plethora of courses but without the required investment in infrastructure, faculty, and necessary facilities. This puts aspirants who are serious about pursuing a qualitative career in a quandary. IRMA, an institution that has produced more than 3000 professional managers over the last 40 years, firmly believes that this unfair generalization of modern management education must stop.
Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?
“Students should take decisions considering the ethical values involved in every decision”
The youth of today is the future of our great nation tomorrow. The only humble suggestion I have for them is to think of the greater good and not just personal interest while making life-altering decisions. For if that had not been so, Dr. Verghese Kurien, a USA-returned engineer, would never have come to the small town of Anand, and the White Revolution, and the much-loved brand AMUL would never have existed.