Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Dr. Sudhakar Panda, the first Vice Chancellor of Birla Global University, is retired as the Professor and Head, Department of Analytics and Applied Economics, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. He has worked as a distinct faculty in IIT Kharagpur, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and as guest faculty at Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur. He later joined School of Law, KIIT University as a senior professor. Dr. Sudhakar has also served as Director, Rourkela Institute of Management Studies and as a Professor in National Law University, Odisha. He was the Chairman of State Finance Commission, Government of Odisha, Expert Member, State Planning Board, Member, State Farmers Commission.
Dr. Sudhakar was appointed as a Member, State Council for Higher Education, Member, State Audit Advisory Board, Member, State Level Eligibility Test (SLET), Maharashtra and West Bengal. He was the Member of National Aids Control Organization, Member Senate, Fakir Mohan University and Member, Rama Devi Womens University, Odisha.
Apart from this, Dr. Sudhakar has also written six books, out of which the Potato and the Pauper and Indian Economy in 2030 are the most popular ones. He has a number of publications to his credit in both national and international journals. He was felicitated by the Hon’ble Governor and Chancellor of universities of Odisha for his contribution in teaching and research in the year 2012.
Dr. Sudhakar’s experience in the education sector
My work in the education sector gives me the opportunity to work with the youth of the country, to have a trigger on their pulses constantly so that we know the future direction the country is moving. Youthful minds are full of ideas. We give a bridle to their overenthusiasm and train their minds to grapple with ideas making them relevant to the country.
As a teacher, I constantly review myself in the company of young students. Education is the best sector in the country in that it produces human resources of the best quality which adds to the quality development of the country, nurtures and promotes civilization and culture which no industry focusing on the production of goods and services can do. My experience in different Institutions like IIT (kgp) has given me a holistic vision of a kind of education that would take into consideration multifarious aspect of human as well as economic development.
Curriculum at Birla Global University
We have already started Postgraduate courses in Commerce and Economics which are helpful for industrial research and technology. We get guest faculty from banking, industry and insurance and other qualified persons who have achieved a level of excellence and who can give a firsthand account of their achievements and experiences.
Dr. Sudhakar’s relationship with the students
Establishing a cordial and respectable relationship with the students in BGU has produced a positive impact on their behavior and development. This helps in building a lasting relationship with the teachers with the students. Faculty in BGU engage the student in different ways, in classrooms, outside classrooms, in sports, in debates, in seminars and in other development-oriented activities. The bond between the students and faculty thus becomes stronger.
Goals in mind for Birla Global University
BGU works for the holistic development of the students by providing them with opportunities in seminars, Ph.D. programs, sports, drama, and fine arts. At the same time, the university works to fulfill its social obligations in playing a role in the educational development of children belonging to backward communities.
Faculty members visit villages, distribute books and spend time with children. BGU also has undertaken Swachh Bharat and environmental protection awareness campaigns in the adjoining villages and among different section of the society.
Dr. Sudhakar on the quality of education at Birla Global University
There is quality involvement of the faculty with the students, and also continuous communication between the students and the teaching faculties to personal skills. Not only there is a rigorous process of recruiting teachers, but the teachers are also encouraged to go for F D P, Seminars, research and publication of books. BGU has also been conducting faculty and Student Exchange programs with BIMTECH Greater Noida and the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Essca School of Management, D’Angers (France).
Dr. Sudhakar on how he builds a positive culture in Birla Global University
We have in BGU School of Management School of Commerce School of Human and Social Sciences and School of communication. We plan to open the School of law from the next academic session. This creates a conducive environment for interdisciplinary studies and for professional satisfaction, student learning and fulfillment and well-being of the students. Students are encouraged to expect higher academic performance from their teachers. Regular teacher’s assessment is also carried out in the university opportunities are created for student teacher development
Significant challenges faced by Dr. Sudhakar as a part of Birla Global University
The system of education in Birla Global University has been evolving well with the mentorship of our Chairperson Smt. Jayashree Monta. We have a clear roadmap for its future development.
We have been emphasizing quality education, research, and publications that will further contribute to the development of the students and faculty and therefore to the University, keeping in view the global education scenario. However, as an emerging University, it is a challenge to live up to its name and vision and connect to international standards and become a player in the global scenario.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at Birla Global University
We offer excellent placement opportunities for our student. They get placement in Deloitte, Ernst & young, Britannia, Federal Bank, ITC and in other brand companies. They visit BGU campus for recruitment. We have never compromised and offered the best to our students. Industry exposure, study tours and presentations, internship in brand companies in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad and many other activities are expected to create new frontiers of development opportunities for our students.
Dr. Sudhakar’s philosophy of leadership and his leadership style
It is transformational leadership which leans towards team leadership. We also believe in affiliative leadership by creating academic, cultural and emotional identities with students and faculty. My leadership is pace-setting in nature. I expect excellence and self-direction of the teachers. I try to build a consensus through regular meetings with faculty members.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
Students must recognize their potentialities and use the opportunities at BGU to achieve excellence in their respective domain and they must be intensively involved in different activities of the University for self-development. Students should manage their time and channelize their energy towards productive activities and they should develop the art of conflict management and harmony.