Dr. Arya Patnaik presently holds the position of Secretary (GB) at RIMS, Rourkela. He is also the President of Odisha Management Colleges Association (OMCA) and a member of the Policy Planning Board and Fee Fixation Committee of Skill Development & Technical Education, Govt. of Odisha. He holds a Ph.D degree in the area of Management. Having a rich industrial experience of more than 32 years along with the experience on education administration, he explains that educated society flourishes in the long run and believes in empowering the people he works with. Additionally, he clears the air of misconceptions, and advocates that Indian Universities are getting better at providing quality education. He goes on to explain the motto of the college is to provide education to all and how the college is gradually and progressively climbing the ladder to provide world class education. He shares his thoughts on how the institution is ensuring the smooth functioning of different verticals. In the later segments he emphasises on the importance of moving from trivial form of education to modern form of education and advises students to make effective use of their time.
An Educated Society Flourishes More than an Uneducated Section of the Population
In my opinion, education is one such factor that probably impacts the growth and development of a country. There is no doubt that an educated society will flourish more than an uneducated one. And for a nation like ours that has a population over a billion, it becomes absolutely important for people to get educated because it directly impacts other factors like poverty, unemployment and overpopulation that have chained India’s growth for a long time. Only through education, these can be eradicated and help India to become a global superpower.
In a quest to achieve this feat, many of us including me have connected ourselves with the education sector. We believe we can make a difference, and what better way than educating the students! Also, higher education is one phase in a student’s life that makes or breaks his /her future. This is where institutes like Rourkela Institute of Management Studies come into the picture, guiding students to achieve greater success in their careers.
Educating every youth of India should be a mission for all of us; only then we can help India to become a truly developed nation.
Leadership is about gaining trust and respect from the people you work with
My philosophy about leadership is all about gaining trust and respect of the team with whom you are working. I strongly believe that acceptability by people on the basis of respect, trust and one’s own intellect and wisdom paves the way for that person to become a leader. As a leader, one has to lead from the front; take difficult decisions and tackle the challenges, how big or small, with great composure,
I have always been a people’s person. I always encourage healthy discussions with our faculties, staff and other members of the management before any decision is made because at the end of the day, the Institute should benefit, whether the idea comes from me or others. To ensure that this happens regularly, we have created a decentralised system, with faculties and staff given additional responsibilities with authority of managing the administrative aspects of the Institute. This way it becomes easy for me to review different concerns of the college in a holistic way, without having the burden to plan and execute everything but at the same time bringing in synchronisation & integrating and aligning the individual plan to organisational mission. This has kept the entire system streamlined and hassle free.
We make sure to communicate effectively with our stakeholders across all domains
The marketing strategy of our Institute is quite simple and clear; communicate with all stakeholders across the year, through different communication channels, about our activities related to academics, placements, workshops, seminars and many other such events. This keeps the stakeholders well informed, and through word-of-mouth, they promote our institution and our activities. Besides, we regularly update our social media accounts with happenings in the campus, and this in a way helps us to communicate with more and more prospective candidates.
We are one of the pioneers to eradicate the misconception that foreign universities are better than Indian universities
In India, unfortunately, there is an understanding that foreign institutes provide better education than Indian Institutes, which is why a lot of Indian students go and study abroad. However, luckily this misconception is slowly losing its fizz, with top Indian Institutes like IIT and IIMs offering education which is at par with foreign institutes, and both Indian and foreign students understanding the benefits of studying in India.
The education structure that we follow at RIMS is no less compared to other prominent institutes of the country. We follow the curriculum of our affiliated universities for our different programmes, which are being supplemented with additional inputs to meet the global standards. To give our students global exposure, we conduct a number of activities in a calendar year like International Seminars and workshops. We also invite industry experts from abroad to our campus, so that our students are aware of the global demands and get an understanding from the experts about the groundwork they have to do, in order to achieve the international standards. Apart from that we are also guiding students to undertake various internationally accepted certifications like Microsoft AZ900 and TOGAF. Any foreign student coming to RIMS for studies will get the similar platform to succeed that he / she would get at any institute outside India. And the best part for them would be our highly affordable fee structure.
We make sure when our students graduate they meet the industry standards
We follow the curriculum set by our affiliated universities, which are Biju Patnaik University of Technology, BPUT, Odisha and Sambalpur University, Burla, Odisha. However, we do put up our suggestions for curriculum changes as per the industry demands, during the Board of Studies meetings conducted by both the Universities.
Apart from that we train our students as per the needs of the industry; we conduct seminars and workshops, where experts from the industry come to our campus regularly. Also, it is mandatory for students to go for summer internships (SIPs), every year and submit their project reports. Internships give them an opportunity to work real time and gain experience of working in the industry. The students are also taken for regular industrial tours to give them an understanding of how different industries work. Also, for our management programme, we have devised a teaching methodology called Industry Analysis, wherein students and concerned faculties take up an industry or business and do a complete analysis of all its aspects.
We firmly believe in motto that education is for all and same we bring in practice
When the college commenced with its first batch in 1984, the Institute had a clear mandate that students would be admitted to our different programmes irrespective of their economic backgrounds, races, etc. We believe education is for all! To encourage students from all backgrounds to join in our various programmes, we have in place a scholarship test called RIMSET for the meritorious students. Besides that we have a system, where students from special categories are assisted in getting Central and State Govt. scholarships, each year. For our special category students, there is also a relaxation as per the government norms, during the time of admission.
We also have different committees in the Institute, such as the Internal Complaints Committee, Anti-ragging Committee, Grievance Redressal Committee and a committee for SC/ST that care of any grievances raised by students and even faculty or staff, if any.
I ensure that the functioning of different verticals are smooth and on time
In a nutshell, my role is to ensure smooth conduct of the different areas of the Institute, including academics, administration, placements, examinations and compliance with rules and regulations of different regulatory authorities. I conduct regular monthly meetings with all concerned departments to review the different activities and jobs performed in that particular month.
I also interact with the students of all streams on a regular basis, to take their feedback on academics and other aspects related to their education. We analyse their feedback and make necessary changes, if any required, so that their studies go on smoothly.
We are continuously striving to improve our quality standards to match the industry standards
Our priority has always been to offer quality education, and it will still remain our top priority. But our current priority will also be to train our students as per the future demands of the industry, something we have been focusing on in the past few years and a lot of initiatives have been taken in this regard. Teacher training is another aspect that we would be focusing on; in fact, already work has begun in this front, with all our faculties undergoing Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) offered by AICTE and other educational bodies.
Our way of imparting education, our faculty and staff along with the students forms the core strength of the institute
I believe quality education that we have been imparting for the past 36 years is our core strength. This has been possible due the constant, dedicated efforts of our faculty, who have been tirelessly teaching students in different programmes, year after year. Fortunately, we have been able to maintain the quality of education, we have always strived for.
Some of our senior faculty members have been with us over 25 years, while most of them have been there for about 10 years and so. Many of our faculties have published their research work in several international journals (high SCOPUS impact factor) of repute and have an impressive h-index. We have around 9 Ph.D degree holders and while quite a few others are on the verge of getting their Ph.D degrees. We are glad that BPUT has recognized some of our senior faculty members as Ph.D supervisors of the University. In 2019, RIMS was selected as one of the Nodal Centre of Research of BPUT for Management and Computer Applications in the State.
Our faculty members are putting continuous efforts in updating themselves with the new methodologies of teaching and they themselves are learning about new innovative areas, so that they are able to deliver quality lectures and thus helping the students to be aware of the future trends and industry requirements.
The transition from trivial education to newer avenues of online learning is what we are looking forward to
The biggest challenge in higher education in the coming years would be the transition from a more traditional approach of classroom teaching to newer avenues of online teaching. Since we have already started doing it in our Institute, we understand the challenges it throws at you. When we began experimenting with online classes, there was apprehension from both students as well as faculty because they have been so acquainted with classroom style teaching and the fact of them being physically present at the same place, but slowly and gradually, and for the better, there has been acceptance at the both ends.
Now our online classes, conducted through Microsoft Teams application, have a normal classroom atmosphere, and learning has never been so fun! However, since we are well equipped with technology, we were able to make this transition with less hiccups but this might be a bigger challenge for quite a few higher education institutes that are yet to embrace technology in a complete way into their system.
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Students should make use of the opportunity and utilize the window of time they have
My advice to the students is to utilise the galore of opportunities they now have to learn with just a click of a button. As far as I can see, today students are far more tech-savvy and spend a good amount of time on the Internet. Hence, they should fully utilise this avenue and learn new things; take up real-time projects related to their area of study; attend different webinars and take up online courses on emerging areas.
While in college, they should take guidance of their faculties to do research work and even bring in start up ideas; today, different ministries of both Central and State Govt. are ready to invest in fresh ideas and create an environment for new, budding entrepreneurs. There are ample avenues for them to shine and become successful.