Dr. Surinder Singh is the Vice Chancellor of JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research. In his interview he describes his leadership style, and the importance of having a participative approach to ensure vision and mission are achieved. He then highlights the fact that how the institute continuously strives to develop skills amongst the students and simultaneously they bridge the gap between education and industry approach. Thereon focussing on how quickly the institute adapted to the online pedagogy and crucial roles of staff and faculty who form their core strength. In the later segment he advises students to imbibe the qualities of critical thinking and innovation for a prosperous career ahead. On a concluding note he mentions about the dream of achieving the stature of most reputable and highly ranked universities in the country.
Adaptability and Strategy are my two pillars which forms up my leadership style
I believe that the leadership is best recognized by the team of individuals we work with. A good leader identifies the right people for the right job, providing them with a clear path and vision to work on, and also share the responsibilities for the achievement of the same. I would like to describe my leadership style based on two pillars - Adaptability and Strategy. I believe we should have a strong and effective strategy for realization of goals and constantly adapt ourselves with the changing times. A good example of this is the adaptability of JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research in the scenario of Covid-19 Pandemic where we were able to shift to completely online classes in a turnaround time of only 5 days. This was also possible due to an effective strategic plan strategizing the utilization of technology in all our endeavours. My leadership style is a mixture of mutual stakeholder dialogue and participatory approaches.
We believe in a participative approach of administration to ensure that the vision and mission of the institution are realized
JSS AHER is a health sciences focussed institution and offers programs in Medical, Dental, Pharmacy, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Health System management streams. The key focus of our programs has always been health and its related sciences. The strategy of the programs is based on the government policies, market dynamics, and needs and opportunities required for the overall well being of the individuals with respect to health. Our innovative programs are recognized nationally and internationally and we are in continuous interaction with our national and global partners to work together in offering additional programs.
We have an active and dynamic website which provides all the information about the institution to the stakeholders. JSS AHER also has its presence in social media and has even won awards on a national platform for the activities and updates provided on the social media. This year, we have focussed our marketing strategy more on the digital platforms to cater to the needs and requirements of the new digital era students. This has yielded us positive results and has ably supported and supplemented our marketing plans.
JSS AHER believes in a participative approach at all levels of administration to ensure that the vision and mission of the institution are realized through its goals and objectives with clear delegation of powers.
We continuously strive to develop skills amongst the students by encouraging them to participate in various activities
JSS AHER has the foundation of ‘Value Based Education’ as the basis for excellence in education. Hence, I believe, any student who studies at JSS AHER will have an exposure to holistic development as an individual beyond the curriculum. JSS AHER strives continuously to develop skills amongst the students by means of encouraging them to participate in curricular/co-curricular/extra curricular events, representation in various committees and bodies,
The pedagogy is student centered at the JSS AHER. Student-Centric activities like participative learning, interactive sessions, student seminars, case studies, project work, assignments, problem-solving exercises, practical – field work, quiz, and collaborative learning are part of the continuous teaching-learning process at the institution. Such activities will contribute to self-management of knowledge, development of skills in the student and provide a platform to the students to become confident and self-reliant.
We make sure to build and bridge the gap between industry and educational front
We leave no stones unturned in updating our curriculum and cater to the needs of industry. JSS AHER believes in fostering an environment that promotes professionalism, collaboration and mutual respect between industry and academia. We believe industry as one of our key stakeholders and obtain feedback, conduct programmes / courses /training schemes in coordination with the industries.
Moreover, industry leaders or experts and by the policy-makers, there exist skills and knowledge gaps (workforce skills gap) to fully support the health-care industry. This gap between what graduating students can do and what is desired performance has led to JSS AHER to consider curricular enrichment. The enriched curriculum has enabled our students to be readily employed and has resulted in higher placement percentage in the industries.
Students are our brand ambassadors and they are our pillars of strength
At JSS AHER, we have more than 5500+ students from all the 29 states of India and 20+ countries, who study various programs. We have an International student cell, which is responsible for looking into the International student’s welfare and well-being. There has been a continuous increase in the international student enrolment over the past decade and they are accommodated in the International student hostel. We have partnerships with 25+ international universities offering a global exposure to the students enabling learning beyond curriculum.
It is imperative that we make use of the technology to offer courses online
The present scenario has made it imperative for extensive use of technology and offering courses by online mode. JSS AHER is one amongst the seven universities recognized and approved by UGC to offer programs online. We plan to increase and further strengthen our capabilities and programs to be a leader in Digital education especially in Health Sciences.
In its pursuit for expanding the boundaries of education and to make the most amazing learning possible the deemed university has envisioned a ‘Global Campus’ at Varuna, situated at a distance of 12 kms from its present campuses in an area of about 101 acres. The said campus will have state of the art facilities catering to the increasing needs of the University in realising its strategic plan. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 2000+ crores.
JSS AHER has been ranked in the band of 401-500 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019. In the next ten years we aim to be in the top 250 institutions of the world in the international rankings.
Our faculty and staff are committed individuals who carves the way forward for our success
The strength of JSS AHER is the dynamic and visionary leadership provided by the authorities and officers of the institution. We also have a good governance system in place driven by the expertise and wisdom of eminent personalities serving on the Board of Management, Academic Council, Finance committee, Planning, and Monitoring Board and other authorities. Our Faculty, who are distinguished, committed and from across the country are our biggest strength. We have National and International student diversity that serves as the melting pot of cultures. Our students are the strength behind all over achievements.
Students should imbibe the qualities of critical thinking and innovation
My only message or suggestion to the students is that in their pursuit of learning and obtaining knowledge, imbibe the qualities of critical thinking and innovation. The next decade would be the era of innovators and hence the students should be geared up to face the challenges.
We are hopeful of attracting more international students in the future
JSS AHER has made and is making continuous efforts towards international affairs and students. At the university level, we have a separate division handling the internationalization initiatives of JSS AHER. We have become part of the Study In India program of the Government of India and we are hopeful of attracting more international students. Our plans are to have partners at the Global campus which would provide an opportunity to students to experience global learning practices locally.
The vision is to form the most respected, and highly ranked university by 2025
When I assumed the responsibility as the Vice-Chancellor of JSS AHER, I realized a clear vision was set by my Predecessor, Dr B Suresh, presently the Pro-Chancellor of JSS AHER. By 2025 we envision that JSS AHER would be one of the most Respected University, Ranked highly Nationally and Globally and build World Class Infrastructure. We are progressing positively in realizing our goals.