Interview by Yash Panchal
Dr. S. Indu is currently working as HOD – ECE atDTU. Her academic qualifications include B.Tech, M.Tech, and Ph.D. She has completed 3 research projects and areas of research are Computer Vision, Image Processing and Wireless Sensor Networks Positions. She has co-authored a book by the name ‘Smart Camera Networks’. She has also contributed in a book chapter for the book published by the name ‘Video Surveillance”.
Dr. Indu’s research papers have been published in various international journals and she has presented her papers at various national and international conferences. She is the recipient of the best paper award ICCI-SEM-2017 (Computer Session). She has won an outstanding branch counselor award for 5 consecutive years. She is also the Principal investigator of 2 DST sponsored projects.
Experience in the education industry
I have over 20 years of experience in teaching and research and have been the Head of the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering at DTU for the past three years. The research is mostly focussed on the areas of Computer Vision, Image Processing and Wireless Sensor Networks.
Working in the education industry doesn’t just give you multiple opportunities to demonstrate your own knowledge, but also to learn more about the latest in your subject of interest. Moreover, education helps you create the citizens of tomorrow; the more creative and interactive your style of teaching, the better students imbibe the intricacies of your subject. Education is all about how you want the future to be, and working in this sector is the closest you can come to molding it.
Challenges to deal with, as the Head of Department of Electronics and Communication
Presiding over a Department dealing with an ever-changing sector like electronics and communication is a challenge in itself. With over 800 students studying only the bachelor’s course in ECE, and more including masters and Ph.D., maintaining a standard of education at par with the prestige of the institute is a challenge in itself. One needs to be up-to-date with the software and instrumentation needs of the students. Also, the course curriculum needs to be kept updated. With a rising number of students, one also needs to recruit the best of talent as faculty for the department. We always hope to keep the prestige of the University intact.
A regularly updated curriculum
Through regular updating of the courseware, we always try to ensure that it stays at par with industry standards. Through the system of allowing students to choose 1-3 subjects as electives, we also allow students to choose the subjects they want to study, which allows them to build an inclination for a particular aspect of our vast field. We also try to ensure the laboratory instrumentation is maintained regularly, and that newer labs are established with the latest of software available for the students to utilize.
Student-centric leadership style
Being in the education sector, one’s focus always needs to be on the betterment of the student. With the betterment of the student comes that of the department and that of the institute as a whole. It is this student-centered approach to education and leadership that we believe in and try to follow.
Goals in mind for DTU
The vision statement of Delhi Technological University is "To be a world class university through education, innovation, and research for the service of humanity,” and this is the future we believe in. DTU has constantly ranked among the top 10 engineering institutes in the country, but it is our nature to not rest until we reach the top. We envisage a truly global role for DTU, collaborations across the world, and are always laying the foundation for future work to be done in the regard. We need to come up with solutions to people’s problems through novel thinking, technology and design, and only thence will we truly be able to rise as an institute.
Maintaining a robust relationship with the students
Being a professor at an institute of repute such as DTU, one is bound to interact with students who have an academic bent, and are among the best scientific minds in the country. A number of students come up to you with ideas for research, doubts or questions. It is important to be open to accepting their ideas and questions and to be accessible to them freely. This is how one can establish a robust relationship with one’s students.
Thoughts of an ideal school environment
An ideal college environment would be where there are no barriers to students’ ideas and approaches. Students must be free to follow their train of thought and, with guidance, be able to solve problems. Along with academics, it is also important that the college has a strong culture of the arts, so students may be able to showcase their extra-academic talents. A college should truly be a melting pot of ideas - innovative and novel.
Suggestions for today’s young generation
The only suggestion I could provide to students, both current and aspiring, would be to keep asking questions, for only those who ask to get answers. University is a place to not merely study and score, but to contemplate and mold your future. Explore your interests, and decide what you want to be. Never be afraid to ask for guidance, when required. The University is for you, and your success makes it stronger.