Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Prof. Krishna Kumar Pande holds a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from BIT Mesra with honors; M.Tech degree in Remote Sensing from Roorkee University (Gold Medalist); and a Ph.D. in Management.
With 33 years of experience, 15 years in the industry and 18 years in academics, Prof Pande is presently the Dean (Academics) at Teerthanker Mahaveer University Moradabad.
Starting his career with the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd. (NHPC), he was a key member of the team which established the Consultancy division in the organization. Leaving the job, he started his own consultancy and carried out a number of power projects across North India and also carried out renovation studies for small hydro projects.
He came back to his home state to give back to the society and stepped into the field of education first re-establishing the Birla Institute of Applied Sciences at Bhimtal in 2000. Presently spearheading the academic and international wing of the Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Prof. Pande a seasoned professional and administrator has a rich experience in institution building and has to his credit the establishment of six professional institutions in Engineering and Management from concept planning to operations including two Universities.
He has been the Consultant to a number of organizations and NGOs and presently is mentoring Skill development programs in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand resulting in the training of over 6,000 schools’ dropouts of Uttarakhand with a stipend from industry. He also planned, developed and operated a one of its kind Mobile Health facility in Uttarakhand which was launched by the then President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in 2002 in the hills of Uttarakhand.
Prof. Krishna’s experience in the education industry
Having initially worked in the industry and consultancy, joining the education industry after 15 years of varied exposure, the best part about education is working with young, bright and budding minds. Apart from this, it also gives you an opportunity to transfer your experience and knowledge with the younger generation and I presume that people with all round experience in the industry should definitely join education after a certain age in their life as it also means giving back to the society. This flexibility is needed for the country now.
Prof. Krishna’s philosophy of leadership and his leadership style
I believe leadership is all about envisioning things. A good leader should be able to see things which others cannot and forecast the trends to come. I believe in finding the path and leading the team and converting the ideas to success.
I believe in delegating and empowering my team and inspiring them to deliver results with honesty and integrity, thus keeping the team in high spirits.
Non-academic support services at Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad
University has committed to the growth of its non-academic support staff also. Regular training and retraining on computer usage, ERP, documentation, filing, as also awareness of rules, regulations, and ordinances are an integral part of the quality improvement system for non-academic support staff.
TMU’s planning for further expansion in terms of placement drive, international projects, and seminars
TMU has a well-staffed training and placement division with a team of professionals having industrial, academic and training experience. This provides synergy in terms of identifying the real training needs and matching the industry requirement with our students with various colleges/stream in the university. Industry representative is also in our Academic Council helping us get inputs for syllabus updates.
University has also collaborated with industry and the tie-ups help students get exposure to international training and latest trends. This has resulted in the regular conduct of co-curricular activities and open sessions such as hands-on workshop of the Internet of Things, Robotics, automobile design, soft skills, memory enhancement etc.
We have been highly successful in increasing the placement numbers and getting the right industrial connect by a very active industry-academic interaction and also introducing various short-term modules with industry inputs which have increased employability of the graduating students.
Teacher training of the staff of Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad
TMU is focusing on selecting faculty through campus placements especially in case of Engineering campus interviews at IIT/ NITs each year has helped improve faculty quality. Our endeavor is to have in-house Faculty Development Program, for the faculty during summer vacations while also sponsoring the faculty to reputed institutes for FDPs. Faculty represents the University at various forums as a resource person, by attending various works shops, seminars in reputed institutions has resulted in a greater exposure to our faculty. TMU has also signed MoU with the UGC, HRD Centre of the Kumaon University Nainital for specialized Faculty training programs.
Faculty, especially in the case of professional courses is being sent to the industry to understand the real-life situation. This helps them in improving the classroom teaching and exposing the students to the latest trends.
Prof. Krishna on efforts made by TMU to stay in touch with its international alumni
We are a young University, nine years of age, with a lesser Alumni base; however, we have a registered and established active Alumni association which is growing at a fast rate. Some of our alumni have been entrepreneurs and our recruiters also. Few of the Alumni are abroad also and are in regular touch with the Alumni cell and send their inputs from time to time.
Steps taken to maintain the positive environment in TMU
The University believes in diversity and one of our objectives is to maximize diversity in terms of region, states and also reaching out to the international community. Presently we are well diversified in terms of students from across the country where students from all states are in the campus besides 138 international students from Nigeria, Bhutan, and Nepal.
The University has a positive environment built on various student activities in terms of cultural and sports program besides other extracurricular activities. One day international program is also organized annually to showcase the culture of the country along with International students showcasing their culture.
Measures taken by TMU to ensure the process of internships
Our programs, especially in Engineering, have built in a compulsory internship for 6 to 8 weeks. The internship is also followed by making a professional training and project report which is evaluated by external experts. This helps students in understanding the work environment in the industry and also helps in report writing in a professional way. With the new syllabus of AICTE, the University intends to increase the total credit for the internship to ensure more industry ready graduates passing out from the University.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
My suggestion to the youth is to focus on learning as education may end with the degree but learning never ends. In today’s interconnected digital world, content is not a problem. Inculcating a habit of learning is extremely important for being successful in the future.
Never stop learning. No matter your expertise or number of years of experience or training, you need to continue to be updated to keep an edge in your field in this competitive world. The biggest mistake in life would be to think that the college has taught you everything. With latest trends in robotics, AI, and automation the future will belong to people of the STEM, who are ready to un-learn and learn with changing times.