Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. Devendra Pathak is currently working as the Vice Chancellor of Oriental University. He holds degrees like Bachelor in Economics, Masters in Economics, MBA, PGDSE, AIIB, AMT, Ph. D (BU) and Ph. D (USA). Dr. Pathak has more than 25 years of Teaching experience as Professor in India and U K, Director of a few premier B-Schools, Vice Chancellor of 3 Universities and over 15 years of rich work exposure as Economist in a multi-disciplinary stream of banking education, research & administration in Top Management. He has worked for United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in areas of Project Evaluation, Demographic studies, Manpower Planning etc. He has guided research work leading to the award of 6 M.Phil. and 12 Ph.Ds. 8 more Research Scholars are pursuing Ph. D under his guidance through different Universities.
Dr. Pathak’s experience in the education industry
Education has taken me beyond conventional boundaries of knowledge and understanding. It has been best for enriching and amplifying my vision through interactions and assimilation. Really, Education helps in self-improvement and the proliferation of inner consciousness. Education helps in realizing one’s potential and qualities as a human being. As aptly told that Nations are built in schools and colleges and I am privileged to be a part of the academic system. Hence I consider the Education industry as one of the best to work in.
Dr. Pathak’s philosophy of leadership
I have all along believed that strong emotional quotient, understanding, creativity, innovation and ‘working together‘ are the attributes of good leadership. Leadership lies in motivating, inspiring and setting an example to build team spirit. Delegation and empowerment of the teammates have been other traits that I have been sincerely pursuing. Trust and confidence in the colleagues make challenges easier to deal with as I believe that success can be achieved only through group dynamics.
The importance of time management in life
Time Management calls for one’s ability to organize and plan the activities for the day. Drawing short-term and long-term goals, prioritize activities and first thing first is generally the dictum. This practice has helped me in enhancing effectiveness and productivity.
Significant challenges faced by Dr. Pathak as the Vice Chancellor of Oriental University
Challenge in running a University and dealing with students are manifold. However, bunking the classes and lack of communication skill are the two stumbling blocks in students’ overall development. I have been successful in making classes interesting, experimental and also interactive. Forming Groups for solving a problem, challenging and encouraging students to meet the deadline and instilling ‘CAN DO’ instinct have really bridged these deficient areas.
Oriental University’s Curriculum
Curriculum gets revised every 3 years after a thorough discussion with industry experts, seasoned academicians, taking the prevailing environment into consideration, emerging changes in technologies and market and blending and assimilating these factors in the syllabi. More focus towards practical applications, exposing the students to the real work situation through Project work, on-hand training, internship, industrial visits and interactions with experts add to the curricula enabling balanced dissemination of knowledge.
The growth of students through placement opportunities available at Oriental University
The Placement Cell at Oriental University has been planning interactions with the industries and corporate every fortnight. Many courses are run keeping requirements of industries in mind. This has resulted in 100% placement for Diploma students, B. Tech (ME, CSE, EE, ECE), B. Pharm, BBA, MBA. Only a few students of civil engineering are left out. 6 of LLB & LLM students have made their way as Sub-Judge in Judiciary and a good number of B. Ed & M. Ed have been selected as Teachers.
Read more about OU Placements
Dr. Pathak on establishing a relationship with the students being the Vice Chancellor of the university
Students are the soul of a University. They are the major stakeholders. I am open to all students to discuss their issues with me which has bridged the communication gap between the two building confidence and boosting the morale of the students of the University.
Dr. Pathak’s idea of an ideal school environment
The ideal environment would be a pragmatic, smooth, congenial campus culture and a seamless flow of value chain. The example has to be to set by Faculty percolating down the line with students for mutual understanding, trust, care, and concern. A faculty has to be a true mentor as a friend, philosopher, and guide.
Goals for the university for the next few years
My aim is to bring the University within 50 rankings in NIRF and achieve a position in the world ranking.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
Youth activism and engagement can bring about significant social changes but it will happen only when value, character, and knowledge are inculcated in youth. Youth are required to keep themselves abreast with the advancement in technology, in market disruption and dynamic changes happening around the world as they have to be a KAIZEN and a catalyst to bring in the desired metamorphism.