Interview by Yash Panchal
Dr. Yajulu Medury is currently serving as the Director at Mahindra Ecole Centrale Hyderabad. He has a B.Tech Honours degree from IIT, Kharagpur and did his MS as well as Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. Before joining MEC, Dr. Medury was the Vice Chancellor of Bennett University at Greater Noida, U.P. While in Bennett University, Dr. Medury developed academic partnerships with Georgia Tech for Engineering, Johnson Business Cornell University for Management, Cornell Law School for Law, Babson College USA for Entrepreneurship and others
In addition, between 2001 and 2003, Dr. Medury successfully established 3 Universities (2 State and 1 Deemed). Prior to that, he was the Vice Chancellor of Jaypee University of IT, Himachal Pradesh and Founding Vice-Chancellor of VIT University, Vellore. Immediately before that he was the Chairman & Managing Director of Educational Consultants of India Limited, a Public-Sector Undertaking of the Government of India.
He has proficiently held many senior positions in varied Companies/Institutes besides being Member of several Academic Committees/Governing Councils throughout his distinguished career. He has more than 40 publications to his credit which have been extensively circulated in national and international journals and conferences.
Dr. Medury’s experience in the education industry
Education sector has been my calling and I have been privileged to be involved with the sector, all my life. In a career spanning over 3 decades, I have been involved with Education as either an academician or an administrator.
Before joining Mahindra Ecole Centrale College of Engineering (MEC), I was the Vice Chancellor of Bennett University at Greater Noida. In addition, I have been involved with the establishment of three Universities (2 state and 1 deemed). I have also been the founding VC of Jaypee University of IT, Himachal Pradesh and VIT, Vellore. Prior to this, I was the Chairman & Managing Director of EDCIL (Education Consultants of India Limited), a Government of India enterprise.
Education is a sunrise industry and we can only reap the benefits of our demographic dividend if we educate our youngsters and skill them adequately to survive and flourish in the very competitive global arena. Today, more than ever before, there is a need for quality education and to ensure that the students can help bring greater honors to our country.
Challenges faced by Dr. Medury as the Director of Mahindra Ecole Centrale
MEC is a young Engineering school with impeccable background, coming as it does from the house of Mahindra & Mahindra, the acclaimed global conglomerate. As a result, the expectations are also sky high and we are constantly upping our ante to ensure that we are the best in the segment that we operate in. The most important challenge I believe is to create a dynamic atmosphere where the faculty and research projects all work in tandem to provide the best possible learning.
Curriculum of Mahindra Ecole Centrale
Our course curriculum is unique and more than at par with global standards. We ensure holistic development of the students. In fact, our students spend considerable amount of time learning different things. Students who revel in making documentaries as part of their course, who write poetry, emote –are all great engineering students. Natural Sciences, Humanities, Creative Sciences and Engineering Sciences are what goes into making an engineer here! An engineer in the complex world today has to not just have his engineering fundamentals right but also be a good team player, a good manager, be innovative, focus on inter-disciplinary growth. We at MEC ensure that our student is all this and then some more.
We also ensure that the curriculum stays globally relevant and up-to-date since we relook at the curriculum exhaustively ever so often and take corrective measures. In the short span of 4 years, our curriculum has already been redone several times and our courseware is on par with the best available across the world.
Goals in mind for Mahindra Ecole Centrale
I wish to benchmark MEC against the best available globally. The world is no longer stuck to boundaries and our students will be one with the world. I want that our students should be the best leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in the world and bring laurels to us and our country.
To foster this, we focus on R&D from the very beginning and I am personally committed to providing an enabling atmosphere and ensuring that best infrastructure, faculty, linkages and industry-academia mix is available to students.
Dr. Medury on how he ensures the quality of education in your institution
Quality in education is a mix of curriculum, R&D initiatives, Faculty, Industry interaction and infrastructure. We have already discussed the curriculum and fostering R&D initiatives in the students. And then, we have a faculty that is a mix of the seasoned as well as the young blood, those who have written books and those who have patents to their name, those who have strong industry exposure and those who are completely research oriented. Then there are those who are publishing globally and those who are winning the highest peer awards in their category – All in all, a rockstar faculty.
At MEC, we focus on Industry Interaction like none other. Late Dr. Abdul Kalam, Sir David Payne (the Father of Internet telephony), Nobel Laureate Prof Serge Haroche (Physics 2012), are only some of the many luminaries who visit MEC regularly to interact with the students. In addition, there are technology leaders, host of CEOs, hardcore techies and then many more. In addition, MEC organizes and participates in the industry fairs, internship fairs and has mandatory internships for students. Then there are the global conferences that are hosted at MEC regularly, which provide MEC students with the opportunity to interact with the best in the sector directly.
At MEC, Infrastructure is world class: We have labs of the highest quality, with infrastructure and facilities at par with the finest in the world. We also focus on collaborative research infrastructure with strategic alliances that will help develop these into Centers of excellence in the times to come. Our Libraries offer the latest research publications and we have an e-library setup complete with a computer lab.
Dr. Medury on how to build a positive school culture or climate
I guess it starts from being positive all through. A big chunk comes from empathy, from appreciating activities undertaken by students and faculty.
Dr. Medury on establishing a relation with the students
At MEC, we have a faculty/student interaction, like very few others. Our education is not discourse focused but discussion focused. We believe in flip education, where the students study the topics through intensive research on their own and then discuss it in the classrooms, with the faculty acting as facilitators and guides and move the discussion on relevant lines.
The faculty at MEC acts as “Friend, Philosopher and Guide” to the students and is accessible to all. They also participate in all students’ initiatives and focus on mentoring.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at Mahindra Ecole Centrale
MEC offers a truly international program with an inclusive focus on the Engineering, Social and Creative Sciences, Liberal Arts, Philosophy and Humanities. We offer an environment of unique cultural immersion – of participants, faculty and staff. We offer international exchange study opportunities with mandatory global internships. The B.Tech degree at MEC is a research-driven program with close links to industry.
A world-class faculty, with a mix of rich industry-academic background, global exposure and research focus ensures that the content remains contemporary, aligned to the global business requirements.
Dr. Medury’s leadership style
I have always been a hands-on leader. I believe in an open-door policy and encourage students, faculty and staff to come to me with for problems or issues.
Suggestions for the aspiring students
Just believe in yourself and your potential.