Dr. Vilas is designated as the Director of KIT’s College of Engineering (Autonomous), Kolhapur. He has been in the academic field for 35 years now. In his long career, he has achieved many awards such as “Selected as MARGDARSHAK by AICTE, New Delhi.” He has also been awarded “Best Director Award at TechNext India 2018 Symbiosis of Academicians and IT Industry.”
In an exclusive interview with Pranav, he shares the obstacles he had faced in life and how he overcame them. Along with this, he also told us about his college and the curriculum they follow. So, all the students aspiring to become engineers can always listen to KIT Director’s words. Edited excerpts:
Educating people is the noble work one can do
Well, according to me “Education is the thing that has power to change the world”. I have an experience of 35 years of which I have been in the administration for more than 20 years. I started with HOD then Principal and now I am the Director of an autonomous college. In the process of teaching students and shaping their future, I feel immense pleasure. Therefore, I think education is the best sector to work in as you are shaping the future of the country.
Leadership means to understand the team and guide them accordingly
William Arthurwood said “Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.” I truly believe in this statement. According to me, a good leader is someone who does not try to be the boss.
Bosses are feared while Leaders are loved. I always try to be a leader to my colleagues and teachers. I always encourage everyone to do good, guide them and help them in taking difficult decision. I have been practising the Democracy Leadership Style in KIT from the start.
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Hardship makes you stronger and achieve success
I have experience of 35 years in the education sector. How can I have not faced any hardships? There were a lot of challenges that I had to face. But, if you ask me about that one challenge which I look back and think, then it is making KIT’s College of Engineering an autonomous institution.
Our team was working on this for more than a year and a half. After the continuous efforts by the team but not getting the success, I decided to take matters in my hand and we achieved our goal couple of years back. After taking charge, we became the first college in Western Maharashtra to get NAAC Grade A accreditation.
So, in my opinion, “If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear hardship today.” I have always believed in this and thus I do not fear challenges or failure today. I welcome challenges with an open arm as it helps in my growth.
We have spent nearly 40 lacs on research projects
Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. Thus, I believe that children should have a research bone in their body. For this, we have a Dean who handles the research and development department. Under him there are Associate Deans. They work together with the students, help them in their research and report to us with the results.
In the last ten years, we have been able to get more than 2 crore funding under different projects from various funding agencies such as AICTE, DST and universities. We have spent around 40 lacs on research and student centric activities. Having proper research skills or even some basic knowledge of how to go about it can prove to be beneficial for the outside world.
We are working towards building an exchange program with different universities
We are already working towards establishing successful exchange programs with various countries. Under our ongoing program -Erasmus Plus- two students and four faculty members have visited Aarhus University, Denmark. They had a great time as they were working on some projects during which exchange of cultural ideas also happened.
We have a tie-up with Singapore Polytechnic through Samruddhi TBI. The students in this program will be studying entrepreneur courses. This program will give students opportunity to visit Singapore. So, this is our agenda and we conduct regular counselling sessions for the students who aspire to study abroad.
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Introducing Soon: B.Tech. and M.Tech. program in Artificial Intelligence
I believe in “Plan your work today and every day, then work your plan”. We have already done planning for the institute and have some big dreams. We plan to introduce B.Tech and M.Tech in Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning from the next year. We are an autonomous institute and 6 of our programs are NBA accredited. These programs are on the cards of re-accreditation and we will do it very rigorously next year.
If you talk about the distant future then we are planning to take one more step forward and make our college as one of the deemed universities accredited by the UGC. Therefore, I always say we have drafted plan and now we have to work accordingly.
Struggle in early days results in having a successful career
Today’s generation is very sensible. They know what they want to do with their life more than us. I would like to give them only one advice that be focused and don’t get distracted with all the technology available to you. Instead, use all the technology in learning and shaping a better future for oneself. Remember that 4-6 years of struggle will give you a beautiful professional career and happy life.