Dr. Madhu Chitkara is one of the co-founders of Chitkara Educational Trust, an organization of great repute and distinction. An eminent academician and an innovative entrepreneur, she has articulated and designed the road map for the Trust, and has actively contributed to its tremendous growth and recognition in all these years. She is a visionary who believes in providing an ambient learning environment for students to grow and prosper. She has been honoured with various Awards for being a successful entrepreneur and an accomplished academician.She continues to spread the light of education in the life of tens of thousands of people. Read here what she has to say in her interview.
What are the key factors that keep you connected with the education sector?
“Civilisation, National Interest and My Passion keeps me connected to the education sector”
Three essential factors keep me connected with the education sector. First and foremost is "Civilisation". A civilised society needs to deliver quality & right kind of education to the next generation. Second is "National Interest". It is always in the nation's interest to build its foundation by creating and disseminating knowledge among its citizens. Our generation needs to be trained in the latest globally accepted skills. The third important factor that is keeping me connected with the education sector is "My Passion". I am a teacher by heart. This gives me a sense of fulfilment and encourages me to contribute to the building of knowledge society.
What is your philosophy of leadership?
“For us, Leadership is all about taking people along”
We at Chitkara University strongly believe in our “Workforce”. Our motto is “Explore your potential”. We have a strong faith in our punch line. It is the people who build the organisations, and it is also true that everybody has some unique potential for contributing to the good of the organisation. We follow the same principle across leadership levels in our organisation. The second most important thing is a sense of accountability. Our leadership team knows how to deal with failures because that is the most crucial point where leadership comes into the picture. Success everybody wants to endorse, but our leadership takes the responsibility of fallouts, if any, and leave praises for their team. For us, our people are our priority.
How do you strategize about the marketing and administration of your school?
“Each program at our University has a set of aims and objectives”
We are process-based and people-driven organisations. All our stakeholders decide together for the launch of any program at any level. Just for an example, Our PG programs are focussed on employability. Our UG programs are focused on diverse learning. Our PhD programs are based on finding real solutions to real problems of Industry. Our programs incorporate technology-based learning and are designed to produce employable graduates. They are entirely focussed on creating professionals and help to build a strong social and industrial fabric. Every school has a Dean/Director supported by his/her team of faculty members. We believe in “word of mouth”. Our faculty and students are our priority. Our 12 points charter is our guide philosophy.
How does the curriculum of Chitkara University ensure the best practice of industry?
“Industry designs the curriculum at our University”
We have strong industry partnership, and that partnership is not limited to just a piece of paper that is kept in a drawer and ineffective. Our proud partners, along with our faculty and students, decide the syllabus/curriculum. We have a process in place at the same time to moderate the dynamics involved in introducing new content in the syllabus or new course in a program. Everything that is latest and can help build our students' future is immediately added into the curriculum. The curriculum is proposed by stakeholders, discussed in the department affairs committee, forwarded to the board of studies and approved by the Academic Council. Our curriculum is our strength, and we derive that strength from our stakeholders.
What do you think should be the University’s top priority over the next 10 years?
“We want to become a renowned institution globally”
Our priority for the next ten years is Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. At the same time, we aim to integrate our academics with research, technology innovations and entrepreneurship. We aim to serve as a centre of knowledge creation through research & innovation and dissemination through academic excellence. Global outreach is also on our top agenda. We aim to match the international standards of research and design so that our students (ultimate beneficiaries) are acceptable worldwide. We will centre our research and innovation efforts on social development.
What was your vision for the university? Has it evolved over time?
“Evolution itself is a process”
We were at an academic university. Today we are very aggressive in our research. Three hundred-plus patents, 100 plus startups, 1500 plus indexed research papers and a growing number of professional/vocational courses in the University in partnership with industry and global universities speak volume of our evolution. Our engineering, business and pharmacy programs are ranked among top programs at a national level in NIRF. We have been highly placed and ranked by QS, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, NIRF and many more national/international level agencies.
What would you like people to know about your university they may not know?
“We are a University based on a robust value system and clear focus”
Our Industry tie-ups, Global Partnerships, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Infrastructure, are our strengths. We are a University with a clear focus on our students' employability skills, global education, research and innovation, and entrepreneurship. We also want our students and faculty to be socially aware and responsible. We are members of the United Nations Academic Impact Academy. We would like to build a community of socially acceptable & capable individuals. We are strong advocates of Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. All our efforts are towards meeting those SDGs and Our Charter strongly reflects our connection with SDGs.
What are some plans that you’re currently designing for the University?
“We are looking forward to international achievements”
We want to be a globally acclaimed university. International rankings are on our agenda. We are looking forward to inbound and outbound student mobility. We are promoting faculty mobility and more knowledge-sharing opportunities. We organize Global Week TM every year. One hundred faculty members from several parts of the world visit us, stay with us for a week and teach our students. We aim to bring global education at the doorstep of our students so that those who cannot travel should be able to take advantage of international standards of learning. Globalization is the future.
How do you tend to establish a healthy relation and environment in your institute/ university?
“We ensure to provide and ambient learning environment for students to grow and prosper”
A developed nation is inevitably an educated nation. We are a big nation for significant advantage. So, an idea of equalizing educational opportunities also lies in the fact that “the ability to profit by higher education is spread among all classes of people. There are great reserves of untapped ability in society; if offered the chance, they can rise to the top. A great deal of talent of the highest level is lost by an egalitarian system of education” (Balachander, 1986).Six areas stand out for special attention. In this fast-changing world, every institute of higher education must:
- Strategize and leverage on sources of its distinctiveness
- Find out options to expand its reach deep within the society (increasing access and affordability using technology)
- Robustize its economic model to ensure long term viability
- Increase graduation and retention rates across all student populations
- Boost research excellence and commercial productivity through entrepreneurship
- Work more closely with society, employers and government to prepare students for work in ways that bolster the country’s competitiveness
- Empowering society with innovation and research