Prof. B.K Das is the Registrar of Birla Global University, Bhubaneswar. Having worked in the financial sector for over 30 years, he switched to the education sector to become a catalyst to create an impact in the education of the society. In this interview he talks about his leadership which is formed upon the strength of trust, transparency and inclusion. He gives utmost importance to the employees to feel empowered and take decisions in the real time. Thereon, he mentions the importance of continuously updating the curriculum which matches the industry standards. He then focuses on the top quality a student must possess and how college provides a nurturing environment to inculcate these top qualities. He later highlights why it is important to follow the cycle of good college, students and recruiters and why there is always room for improvement. At last, he gives his valuable advice to the students to make optimal use of technology for a better future.
I wanted to be a catalyst to create a positive impact on the society by becoming a part of education sector
I started my career in the education sector after spending over 30 years in the financial sector. Working in the financial sector at the top management level was a challenging task, which involved ability and skills primarily relating to capital management and financial decision-making. Universities, on the other hand, involve other challenges, which are not only critical for your own organisation but also crucial for the future of the entire world. Here your skill is not merely management of capital, human resources, dealing with statutory authorities but involves an intense involvement with the students not only in terms of their academic intelligence but also how they perceive the world and society at large. Your function becomes more of a mentor to create the future workforce of the global economy. You become a catalyst to create a positive impact on society. This makes it an exciting and fulfilling place to work and at the same time is challenging.
My leadership is formed upon the strength of trust, transparency, and inclusion
The underpinnings of my leadership philosophy are trust, fairness, transparency and inclusion. Just like the role of a CEO, my role is to inspire and continuously motivate the Head of Schools, Professors, faculties, staff and students for achieving self-actualization. Being the person to bring the Birla to Bhubaneswar, I have an emotional involvement which makes my role more of a parent than a mere official of the University. It becomes my personal responsibility to ensure total perfection in both academic and non-academic activities.
I ensure that employees are inculcated with a sense of confidence to take decisions in real time
Collaborative governance is the operating principle of my leadership. I believe in guarded delegation thereby ensuring that employees are inculcated with a sense of confidence to take decisions in real time basis. Faculties, who are one of the key pillars of the university, are given the opportunity to experiment with innovative ideas for teaching and research, giving them the freedom to grow intellectually as well personally.
We take into the consideration the factor of corporate participation to provide pragmatic learning to the students
The curriculum is regularly updated every year with the active participation of the corporate sector in terms of practical exposure but also it is benchmarked with some of the finest educational institutions across the globe. Further, choice based credit systems are implemented in our University creating a blend of multi-disciplinary exposure.
Top qualities that a student must possess
Students should possess an inquisitive mind. Also, a propensity to work hard for achieving goals and ethical behaviour are key qualities that a student must possess to excel in life. We strive to achieve this by conducting written tests, personal interviews and group discussion to decide on admission.
The college provides a nurturing and stimulating environment which helps students to be creative academically and socially as well
We are fortunate to have a sprawling campus with greenery all around. The students have the privilege to reside in a nurturing and stimulating environment which helps them to be calm and creative both in academic as well as extracurricular activities like sports ,yoga, music, dance, theatre, painting and debates etc.
Emotional support to the young mind is very important and we provide the support through our faculties by mentoring a group of students. We have engaged one of the finest Counsellor of the country to be available to the students both online and face to face.I am happy to say that we have been able to create a strong positive bond between students and teachers.
Good college attracts good students, and Good students attract good recruiters
Placement of students has a logical circle. Good college attracts good students, and good students attract good recruiters. The visits of good recruiters attract further good students. Thus, it’s a big challenge to keep this cycle moving forwards for which all our employees are aware and alert.We have a very strong and dedicated placement team who maintain close liaison with the corporate sector to understand their need for manpower.Our students come in direct contact with the industry leaders as we keep on inviting them to address our students on various topics.
There is always a room for improvement and everyone should recognize it
No matter how much we grow, there is always room for improvement. We have many short term and long-term objectives which can contribute not only to the development of the University but also to the society at large. We want to grow horizontally, in terms of additions in new schools like School of Medical Sciences, School of Business Analytics, School of Fashion technology and many more and vertically in terms of quality of research and best practices. We would also ensure that our University becomes a centre for advanced research.
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The youth should make an optimal use of technology to ensure a better future ahead for them
The demography of our country is such that youth constitute 35% in the total population of our country. The students and the youth today have a lot of potential who are very intelligent and are well-equipped with access to technology and knowledge, unlike the previous generation. These resources should be used by them towards a better and ethical society. In my experience, personal gains come as incidental to efforts put in for the society at large. My advice to the youth is: Aim to be a marathon runner and not a sprinter if you want to achieve long-term objectives.