Interview by Kritika Gupta
Dr. Ruchi Sharma designated as the Director of JLU School of Humanities & Social Sciences. Her qualification includes - Ph.D., UGC NET (Social work & Sociology), PG in Social work, Sociology with PGDHRD and PGDBM (AIMA). She actively participates and organises various international volunteering projects, seminars and conferences.
Having a rich experience as an academician, administrator and social worker at the national and international level, she has taught and provided research guidance to Ph.D., M.Phil., PG and UG students. With this, Dr. Sharma has presented and published papers in international and national seminars, conferences and journals.
Dr. Ruchi’s views on education industry and what makes it the best
The various challenging, rewarding and dynamic roles assigned to me have provided me with the diverse opportunities to be innovative. I yearn to learn and work more to sustain my efforts to make a tangible impact on the lives of youth.
The education industry is the best industry to work in, as one gets a chance to care, nurture and develop minds and talents. The impact on student’s life is not limited to her/him, but it had a great impact on their family and society at large. Moreover, the environment of continuous learning and mentoring young talent makes the work intellectually challenging and stimulating.
Leadership philosophy and style as Director of the school
For me, the philosophy of leadership cannot be summarised in words. My main motto is - To make a difference for good in whatever I do. Work of a leader is not reflected on what is said but more importantly by what is done.
For me transferring my zeal of working, learning and passion to help faculty members and students is important. In JLU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we can accomplish our goals because of the teamwork.
Each passing day has a different situation in store with it
Each day requires different planning and a different approach as we have to deal with human beings. There is no shortcut of copy and paste when one has to deal with various individuals and to understand their perceptions is necessary. Managing expectations of different stakeholders are challenging as well as motivating. The supportive organisational culture of Jagran Lakecity University works as an asset to deal with any challenges.
JLU’s curriculum standard fulfilling the industry requirements
The well-integrated curriculum of the department with an interdisciplinary focus, educate students to embody holistic knowledge and support excellence in education through engaged learning in a diverse, dynamic, personalised and student-centric academic environment.
The syllabi/ curriculum is crafted in such a way to equip students to develop analytical skills, research skills, communication skills, problem-solving, critical and creative thinking to become global citizens. To review the curriculum and update the same with the latest changes in the course structure, the Board of Studies meeting is conducted at regular intervals.
Highly qualified and committed faculty members to promote and encourage students in an engaging learning environment. The focus is on bridging the gap between theory and practice. Assignments based on applied research are promoted to develop students as scholars. Participatory educational experiences along with comprehensive continuous evaluation broaden the learning of the students. Provision of scholarship to the deserving students ensures the inclusion of all segments of society and motivates the students to excel in their learning process.
During the semester break, internships and opportunities to attend courses to study abroad, groom the students to be a global citizen and to be aware of cultural diversity are provided. The lectures of eminent personalities from the industry give the practical insight to the curriculum and students’ enthusiasm to attend these lectures speak volumes in itself.
The exposure/industry visits broaden the perspectives of students as these visits provide the student's information related to the functioning and requirement of various organisations. In addition to this, the involvement of students in various co-curricular activities enables them to be a good team worker, leader and a responsible citizen.
Changes noticed in the education industry over the years
Due to technological driven changes in teaching and learning, the corporate firms require the students to be well equipped and smart enough to fit in the latest trend. This is one of the major challenges that we come across as an education institution.
With the increasing popularity of artificial intelligence, the learning environment is changing, and adaptation to these changes is vital for survival as well as the growth of the industry. Now the students need to be innovative, flexible and should not be afraid of experimenting by taking calculated risks. In the present scenario, it is necessary to have digital, research, problem-solving, analytical, excellent communication and informed decision-making skills.
Methods opted to build a relationship with the students
I strongly believe that bonds with students need to be cherished. Every student is different and has different learning style, so to manage the diversity of the students it is essential to find creative balance with the ability to plan and organise.
From my end, I ensure that the students should never feel the learning process as a burden, but they should have a sense of achievement and a feeling of satisfaction. I motivate and nurture my students to take the initiative and mentor them to have the zeal to excel in academics and co-curricular activities.
The smile on their face and the faith in me is reflected in their eyes and makes my profession worthwhile. Besides formal meetings with the students, they are always welcome to contact me without any inhibition.
Goals for the school in the upcoming years
The main goal is to become the premier learning place by providing the intellectual and engaging learning experiences, helping students for their future role of active citizens and leaders. JLU School of Humanities and Social Sciences sees itself in the future as the leading University of Humanities and Social Sciences to attract talented students, faculty and staff to maintain high-quality academic programs. In addition to this, we will be striving to be acknowledged for our scholarly and innovative excellence in the education industry.
Suggestions to the current youth and the aspiring students
My suggestions to the students would be to keep learning, dreaming and working hard to achieve the set goals. Say goodbye to negative stereotypes and be ready to greet opportunities with firm determination and enthusiasm.