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Marwadi University - [MU], Rajkot

Marwadi University - [MU], Rajkot

Rajkot, Gujarat AICTE, NAAC-A+ Estd 2008 Private University

A space scientist and an educationist by profession, Dr. Y P Kosta, Provost of Marwadi University throws light on his leadership style. Read the full interview below to know about his GURU mantra..

Dr. Y P Kosta
Dr. Y P Kosta
Provost at Marwadi University

Professor Yogeshwar Kosta has completed his education in Science, Technology and Project Management from Dayalbaugh Educational Institute, Delhi University and Stanford University respectively. He earned his doctorate degree in telecommunication engineering (Antennas and Microwave Circuits) from Jabalpur University in 1998 while working as a scientist employed with the Indian Space Research Organization (SAC-ISRO)–Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

During his scientific and technical career, starting 1992, spanning two decades, Dr. Yogeshwar was employed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in India, and Teledyne Wireless an MNC in the Silicon Valley-USA, serving as a key team member (design engineer) in multiple engineering project assignments of national and international importance. His work involved design and development of cutting-edge front-end technologies for high impact value products and services in the space and military industry. In 2003, he migrated from industry to academia.

Dr. Yogesh is recipient of many awards and honors from professional institutes, communities and societies. He has won Bharat Gaurav Award, Jewel of India Award, Lifetime Achievement Gold medal Award, Indian Achievers Award, Kohinoor of India Award and Best Principal Award, GTU Innovation award, Best Research Paper Award, Best Creative Author Award, and array of social service appreciation and promotion recognitions.

The Interview

Ques 1: Starting off with the education sector as a principal professor at Charotar Institute of Technology in 2003 to being the current Vice Chancellor of Marwadi University, you have been in the education sector for more than 14 years straight. Kindly tell us about your experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in?

Ans. Well, to start with, there are multiple reasons to make education as the best industry to work with. I share a few of them specific to me and my understanding:

  1. Based on the BUDDHA wisdom; “We create, what we THINK”. And the very purpose of education is to institute right thinking, that lead to right actions.
  2. In education we make minds; in industries we produce things. This establishes the fact that minds come first and industry is next, and thus its importance.  As my mind, so my produce, and so the industry, and so is the economy. Therefore, I love to work in the education-industry, because what I (we) make is minds that eventually produce the world, which is a reflection of the mind I (we) make, and this is a beautiful activity.
  3. Perfection in mind means perfection in things – a happy & thriving place, a happy & secure future. Therefore, making of minds is superior to things. As said, education is all about making of the minds’, essentially, by ways of initiating and thereby seeding the right kind-of-thoughts in the young participating minds that will eventually become the future workforce.

In the professional-workspace, minds transmute thinking-to-design future needs and requirements. Therefore, it’s indeed of prime importance that we, as educationist (teachers) pay our deepest attention with clarity to young minds at various stages of education design, delivery, and evaluation. Since our students function as carriers - they enable pollination, extension, and growth of our thoughts, utilizing their creativity (student) to think-design of the next-possible. And for many or most of us, our interest is in the future (what’s in store for us); when I (we) retire I (we) wish to spend better time enjoying my(our) retirement – as I have near-imagined, based on the seed I(we) have implanted, as it germinates in the premises of the young minds. Thus, education implants a thought-seed that creates an imagined-future…., through the vehicle of young minds! And unless we bring in right-thinking our future isn’t happy, thriving, and secure.

  1. An industry is about producing things. And these things improve the quality of lives, societies, and civilizations by way and means of offering comfort and conveniences (luxury) through the creation of high impact value products and services leading to economic prosperity. This is possible through the vehicle of instituting right-thinking following right-action that comes from right-education. Thus right-quality-education is the key driver of employment, entrepreneurship, and a thriving economy. Therefore, when we create perfect mind we create perfect thing(s) that eventually create good economies.

Ques 2: Being the Vice Chancellor of Marwadi University, what is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?

Ans. My leadership is based on the primary purpose of the organization that I serve, as a leader. MU is a knowledge institution; its prime purpose is knowledge propagation (delivery), production (researching), preservation (documentation), and protection (copyrights/patents). Therefore, my leadership is about the 4P’s. How I can make it worthy to those who seek its produce. In view of this, I have conceptualized the design & delivery of a revolutionary 3T (hyper threaded structure) teaching, learning, and evaluation model that caters to the need of the students’, industries, and country by way and means of scientific-socio-economic alignment. The 3T Helix-like structure comprises of three layers in cascade one above the other. Layer one is the primary layer responsible to deliver the good-science, it’s about imparting the degree knowledge (the base course). Layer two consists of the secondary layer, it’s about technology skills associated with the degree knowledge – the good-science. Finally, layer three is the tertiary layer consisting of behavioral skills, it about attitude, commitment, honesty, patriotism, communication, etc. This three-hyper threaded structure prepares the student for the market and life.

As far as the style is concerned, paradoxically speaking, one style of leadership doesn’t work success, especially when the organization has to endure in a world that is changing leaps and bound with speed. This directly affects the fundamental process of teaching-learning, teachers-knowledge, infrastructure, equipment, and associated learning resources, which need constant attention about its usage and values. 

My leadership style is attributed to the characters from the Indian epic Ramayana and Mahabharata.  And in parallels to the different phases that organization goes through. I have joined the organization at its very inception and since then, I have grown as the organization has grown over time – from a single affiliated institution to a private-public-university.

In the initial stages, my style was like Parshuram, the strictly disciplined leader that punishes if and when done wrong. The stage was inception, I brought in an innovative conceptual design (3T hyper threaded structure), but the systemic elements, completing the structure, creatively connecting, established the mechanism, and breathing life into it. This kick started the organization, marching towards set-goal. Human resources were trained and educated around this model-organization-structure. As the organization transacts to stage-2, the leadership attributes switch from Parshuram to Ram. It’s about validating the foundational-concept; establishing function clarity, systemic training of human resources, experience gaining, making effective participation, and bearing expected outcomes. The leadership is all about setting an example; it’s about sacrifice rather than drive. The 3T (hyper threaded structure) model has been fully validating with data and information in place. In phase-3 of the organization, based on the experience of the journey the next-level cadre of leadership has emerged. New insights and foresight emerge. It’s about “the next”. It’s about fresh new directions and growth attributes. My leadership, at this stage, is that of Krishna, the coach. At this point in time, I guide, listen and share experiences and permit handover and takeover happen. It’s about passing on the knowledge and experiences to the successors. In phase-4 of the organization, the new leaders and vision have fully developed. My leadership is like Buddha, it’s about withdrawal and an opportunity to transcendence through knowledge by way and means of creation of an additional vertical in parallels to the existing and the presently-managed. It’s about exploring and crystallizing fresh new frontiers and dimensions to education, and continuing the legacy … It’s about the very deep in-future.

Ques 3: Being the alumnus of the Stanford University (SAPM-Advanced project management) and also Delhi University (M. Tech.), how do you differentiate the quality of education in India with that of the other countries?

Ans. Well, the operating bandwidth of western education system is to prepare minds for the market, while that of India is to prepare them for LIFE. Nalanda, Taxila, Valabhi (dominant for 1200 years) were classic examples before the European (dominant for 700 years) and American (dominant for 100 years) systems of education took over.

Ques 4: How do you look at the growth of students through placement opportunities available at Marwadi University? How do you wish to push the envelope further?

Ans. Well, placements don’t really happen directly. A planned effort, through awareness and participation, is envisaged before this can happen. Our 3T (hyper threaded structure) model organically integrates and engages the industry with relevant coursework to bridge the knowing-doing gap, making students industry and life ready. Another important aspect is meeting the aspiration of a student - the dream company. It’s the first choice. When this is met, student enjoys the job-work and work-place, and thereby contributes effectively, because it’s what he/she loves.  And “love” is the root-energy for growth and development.

Ques 5: Having a strong background in Electronics and Communication Engineering with Masters in Microwaves and Ph.D. in telecommunication, what message and suggestion do you have for young aspiring Electronics engineers? What qualities must they possess according to you?

Ans. Well, unlike the atom, which is basic to almost all science and engineering, so is electronics to the modern digital world. Electronic revolution miniaturized and integrated a multitude of functions into one unit, also called as the integrated circuit (IC) or micro processing devices. And multiple IC’s combined differently to produce larger capabilities, creating a multitude of larger devices such as a computer, a printer, a router, etc. Bits and bytes that shuttle across, as traffic, create digital economy through various means and processes. 

Thus, we can easily understand that a simple electronic has grown indefinitely to spread into other connecting bodies of knowledge with growing speed and eventually finding its way to the digital economy, a digital society. Thereby, totally changing the way we see and do activities.

The essence is, electronics is into everything and every-being. These electronics is indeed a fundamental branch with multiple offshoots to anywhere and everywhere.  The attitude is to accept change, understand convergence, and respond to the others and the outside with speed.

Ques 6: How do you look to enhance the value of various engineering programs offered by your university?

Ans. Our 3T philosophy ropes in industry aspects such as skills and attitude to bring transformation in students, making them industry ready from day-one. We educate the students about the importance of knowledge and the fact that knowledge has no definite boundary; it’s primarily limited to your imagination and creative thinking. At MU, we have enhanced the value by bringing in the shift from STEM to STEAM education. We have introduced the art portion, which is the creativity part.  It’s about how the student can apply the technology-portion in a creative manner artfully – making the design and application aspect important. The other aspect has to do with the convergence of knowledge. Therefore, for we have built in the mechanism where a student can pursue interdisciplinary knowledge based on the career goals he or she wants to pursue. For example; a student would like to create a flying-car, this showcases the student’s entrepreneurial mindset. Therefore, under such circumstances, purely mechanical engineering course is not sufficient, a multitude of courses from different disciplines (beyond engineering) is necessary to effect the transformation. MU helps to offer such courses and support to empower the student to meet his/her goal, creating novel products with business value that attracts companies and funding agencies.

Further, as explained above, knowledge is contagious, it’s desperately connected nonlinearly, it can be integrated, and all it needs is a creative spark of thinking to make it happen – discovery and mining of fresh new ideas and concepts. Therefore, at MU we are mindful about ideas and entrepreneurs. We have built in mechanisms to harvest such attributes, be it faculty or student. An example to this is the creation of Special-interest-groups and technical festival platforms that help showcase and emulate such ideas and concept in public space and observed and recognized by industry-technocrats. The frequency of such events is twice per semester.

Ques 7: Having a diverse population of students in your university, how do you build a positive culture or climate?

Ans. The culture at MU is to sustain togetherness, in terms of knowledge, religion, arts, food, and living with respect, with clarity.  A revolutionary program initiated by the university, all round the year, syncs to bring a culture of learning and development, exchange of ideas that brings the physical and mental growth of the student as well as the other associated fraternity. A group of like-minded SIG’s are created that organize activates and events and promote cross-participation of students by way and means of training and awareness programs. This includes, intellectual, sports, drama, entertainment, spiritual, religious, and yoga based activities.

Ques 8: How do you look at enhancing student-industry interaction at Marwadi University?

Ans. The 3T (hyper threaded structure) structurally imbibes the skilling-course-work. Industry experts are invited to be a part of the curricula design framework. MoU’s have been initiated to institutionalize such programs in the delivery scheme, throughout the year or semester-wise. The skilling-course-work is institutionalized as a part of the regular timetable, and special guest lectures and short-term training programs are delivered by industry technocrats only.

The curriculum design takes aspects of knowledge and learning from the leading edge (industry-space - practices) and share in ways and means that make learning enjoyable to the student (TechFest). This way confidence (technical and managerial) and entrepreneurial (ideas translated) attribute is installed.

Ques 9: What goals do you have in your mind for your university for the next few years?

Ans. Honestly, five years goal spotting is pretty difficult. However, some aspects that I have in mind is; our key will be to respond to change with speed. This goes ahead to include knowledge, people, students, network, and all those entities associated with production and application of knowledge. Our success will be primarily determined by the number of known bodies we are connected with rather than faculty, repository, or a number of students. In the next five years, we would be establishing a web-based structure for growth and sustenance, following datafication of our intellectual resources, digitalization of delivery methods’ (but classroom teaching will remain – with the physical presence of teachers and students), tailor-made programs, include all that can be taught under the sun, shifting to part time, anytime, anyplace, any language, any age, any-machine, robot, etc., collaborative researching, and distributed presence.

Ques 10: Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?

Ans. There are two aspects I would like to share with the youth:

The first one is to decide what they want to do, by this I mean do you seek employment, or do you want to be entrepreneurs (just pursue what you want – make a living out of it) and offer employment?  These are the two broad categories available to students. The wise will make a decision” just-now”, while the otherwise leave it hanging for an ideal situation to happen. For those seeking employment the learning attributes and mindset (attitude) is different, and those desirous of being entrepreneurs, the learning attribute and mindset is different. In the former, the student depends upon the external and thereby acquires specific proficiencies in terms of knowledge, motivations, and behaviors, while in the latter, the stuff is within, only guidance, and inspirations is needed, rest all attributes need to be activated, recognized and guided for the necessary translation by way and means of a proper GURU.

The GURU Mantra:

Never get BORED, else you will die

Embrace CHANGE, it’s inevitable you need to believe it

Respect SPEED, it’s a phenomenon you can’t avoid

Never CALCULATE, it’s the biggest SIN

Last Updated - 14 Aug 2017

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