Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Prof. G A Rama Rao is the Principal of School of Science in GITAM Hyderabad.
Prof. GA Rama Rao is a recipient of Special Contribution Award from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for the program Department of Atomic Energy. Apart from contributing significantly as Chairman of the Safety Committee overseeing the Radiochemical operations of Radiological Laboratories, Prof. GA Rama Rao has also superannuated as Head of Analysis and Characterization of Hydrogen isotopes.
Prof. G A Rama Rao’s experience in the education industry
I have 16 years of experience in teaching Thermal Methods of Analysis to M.Sc. (Inorganic Chemistry) students at Mumbai University and Ruia College, Mumbai for Industrial Chemistry, as Guest Faculty, 34 years of Scientific Research at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai.
Significant challenges faced as the Principal of GITAM School of Science
Many of the students are totally dependent on others like friends or parents to choose a career. They cannot articulate what they need and totally unaware of any kind of social responsibilities. I believe that this culture has been cultivated right from childhood where the children are confined to only a 4-walled classroom and try to expose them only bookish knowledge. In fact, that is the age where they are more receptive to education.
Curriculum at GITAM School of Science
We keep track on the requirements of industry and to make the curriculum more user-oriented. We keep updating it frequently. Hyderabad city is poised to grow as Pharmaceutical hub with many pharmaceutical companies growing in and around the city and the demand for the science graduates is on the rise. As a part of teaching at UG level, we try to impart good practices of articulation, questioning, and discipline in the laboratory for better safety methods.
Goals in mind for GITAM School of Science
To establish a good learning center for students to develop into an independent, expressive and dedicate to a social cause with leadership qualities. Having witnessed the demand for many science graduates in the growing industry, we try to focus more on the need-based courses and accordingly introduce new course over a period of time in the coming 5 years. Once this is achieved, we have plans to introduce an integrate M.Sc-Ph.D program in collaboration with IICT, Hyderabad.
Quality of education in GITAM School of Sciences
All our faculty members, 24 of them are all doctorates with an average age of 34 years and dedicate themselves for the cause. We try to bring the relevance of this education to the societal values with appropriate examples.
School culture at GITAM School of Science
Teaching in the class is encouraged as mutual learning than one-way teaching and making them aware of value-based education. Assignments are discussed in the classroom so that the exercise helps every student to get to know the nature of presentation from other students. Various questions are posted in the classroom and the impressions from various students are allowed to be presented in the class and the atmosphere in the classroom assumes a different kind of learning.
Prof. G A Rama Rao’s relationship with the students
I encourage the discussion of the subject and inculcate the habit of questioning. I motivate the students to get some information from outside source or internet and make it a subject of discussion in the class. It provides an opportunity for every student to participate in the discussion.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at GITAM School of Science
There are many queries from industries expressing requirement of graduates. Now we focus on the discipline of the students and strengthen the art of expressing the independent views.
Prof. G A Rama Rao’s philosophy of leadership and his leadership style
Discipline is the foremost quality for any human and I try to educate the students on this aspect. Success will eventually follow. This is the culture which should have been focused at very early age and unfortunately did not happen. Better late than never, somewhere a beginning has to be made and this is made now.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
Bring awareness of the social issues and make the education relevant to the societal cause. Improve one’s self-esteem by being helpful to others. Believe in caring and sharing with others, which helps in strengthening self-esteem.