Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Prof. Ch. Sanjay (UG/PG/Ph.D. from reputed Government Universities in India) had joined GITAM University, Hyderabad as a Distinguished Professor and Founder Director, from June, 2009 till 2014, currently working as Principal and Dean, School of Technology, and has been a member of Board of Management, IQAC and Academic Council since 2009. Prof. Sanjay has a valuable experience of 25 years around the globe. A believer of a flexible approach to leadership, Prof. Sanjay has been awarded at both national and international level.
Prof. Sanjay is a certified Corporate Director of World Council for Corporate Governance, UK and visited South and South East Asian Countries for Research and presented papers in International Conferences. He has more than 27 years of experience (18 years Government/Deemed Universities) and had worked four years as an Associate Professor of Manufacturing Engineering and Management at Government University in Malaysia. He was Keynote Speaker for 64 International/ National Conference and Co-Chair for 8 International Conferences held abroad. Member of Advisory and Technical Committee for more than 84 International Conferences across the world. He is Member, Editorial Board/ Reviewer for more than 20 international journals and evaluated 19 Doctorial theses in Mechanical / Manufacturing / Management / Information Technology and presently guiding 10 Research Scholars.
To his credit, Prof. Sanjay has 4 books published by reputed publishers and authored more than 60 Research papers in Peer-Reviewed, Indexed Journals and Conference Proceedings and completed 6 international research projects. Recipient of many International and National Awards such as Academic Excellence, Research Excellence, Best Engineer, Best Principal, Best Academic Administrator, Education Leadership and Engineers Educator award.
Experience in the Education Industry
The higher education system plays an important role in a country’s overall development. India today is considered as a talent pool of the world, having qualified and educated human resources available. This has been the primary reason for the transformation of India into the fastest growing economies in the world. India possesses a highly developed hierarchy system which is there in almost all aspects of human creativity. There are three levels of qualifications in the higher education system. First important one the graduation level, second one the post graduation level and the last one the doctorate level.
Philosophy of leadership
Higher education is facing more challenges than ever before so it needs leaders who can motivate the teaching staff and supporting staff. Heavy workloads can put enormous pressure on the personal lives of many who are occupying leadership positions. Leaders with a wider range of professional backgrounds provide higher education institutions with new insights and experience which helps them to take ever-evolving challenges. The basic leadership style which provides higher autonomy and involvement in decision making, that is the best leadership style for the education industry and the leadership should be flexible in approach. Basically, it should motivate employees, recognitions, academic awards, and achievements, building moral communicating styles, healthy academic culture, cultivate healthy atmosphere throughout the organization and it should promote change as per the needs.
Challenges faced as the founder Director and Dean of GITAM University
The first challenge was to push for research, need to understand that pursuing research requires different academic environment and culture, It may be a public or private university. The second challenge was the demand for quality faculty, there should be experienced faculty from industry and research organization having experience at national and international level. The third challenge was about making industry-ready graduates. This is always a huge challenge for the institutions as they have to prepare the students for placement activities. The fourth challenge would be to deal with the slow learners in each class as in every class, there are slow as well as fast learners. Then the fifth challenging task was that faculty development programs, most of the time, 15 -20% of staff have no interest in such kind of programs. The sixth challenge was the quality of the question papers, many times the quality was not maintained as per the choice based credit system. The seventh challenge was a parent-teacher meeting, 3 to 4 parent-teacher meetings we had conducted during the academic year. We found that there was poor attendance from the parent’s side hardly 20-30% of parents would attend such meetings.
Read more about Faculty at GITAM University
Time Management and its importance in life
Time management is to manage the time effectively so that the right time is allocated to the right activity. We have to decide which is the priority activity, there should be short-term goals and long-term goals, based on that we have to allocate the time. Time management means making the best use of time. Time is always limited to everybody. It includes setting targets, goals, dedication, and responsibilities, prioritizing activities, needs, and importance.
Curriculum ensure the best practice of industry
We have established a choice based credit system from the academic year 2015-16 batch. We were the first one in the entire Telangana state among the deemed to be universities to adopt choice based credit system. As far as we are concerned, we give more focus on expert lectures from various research organizations and industries. We make it compulsory to invite them to the campus for lectures. We give more focus to student-centric learning, content should be relevant to the real world and real-time issues as per the branch of Engineering.
Growth of students through placements opportunities available at GITAM
Campus life ensures vibrant activities. We have a separate department of training and placement which can cater needs of students for placements, right from the 1st year onwards, we had a separate cell which consists of 8 to 9 staff members including training officers and placement officer and separate coordinator for each branch of Engineering. A team of staff will be involved in training the students and Business English certificate course mandatory for all the students, right from the first year. we also focus on workshops, technical exhibitions, innovations, management workshops which are conducted by the management to prepare students as per the industry needs.
Read more about GITAM Placements
Relationship with students
Solving students’ issues is the priority of our day to day activity. For this aspect, we have different committees such as academic monitoring, Proctorial committee, which takes care of the academic and non-academic related issues. Apart from this, we have a separate wing for the students’ affairs for the university which conducts sports for faculties & students, technical exhibitions, and important programs of the university as per the academic calendar. We focus on industrial visits, expert lectures from various premier and research institutes as per the branch of engineering.
Ideal school environment
Whenever students enter the campus they should feel that it is a temple of learning and they have to learn things accordingly. We give more emphasis on the life-long learning aspect. Apart from academics, we have also focused on extracurricular activities. We have students development cell which takes care of all these activities and this cell has various 7 TO 8 clubs like Science activities center, NSS, innovation center, Engineers without borders, etc.
Goals in mind for the university
we are offering 9 UG programs, 6 PG programs and 9 Ph.D. programs at our campus. We focus on the collaboration with the foreign universities based on student's exchange program, faculty exchange, and collaborative research. We focus on the placements activities for the core Engineering branches most of these companies select single digit numbers.
Suggestions for the current students
Students should be humble and well behaved. Students should develop listening habits. They should be more proactive and passionate about academic activities. Students must be aware of what is happening in their branch of engineering. They should use the library and develop reading habits. Then after every semester, there is a break which the students should utilize effectively. Students should go to the industries in vacations and train themselves in related areas. They can learn any certificate courses which are essential for their branch of engineering. They should also have active participation in technical exhibitions and Sports.