Interview by Swati Mishra
Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Symbiosis University of Applied Science, is an Engineering graduate from BITS, Ranchi University. His academic degrees include Diploma Programs, M.Tech. from IIT Delhi, MBA and dual doctoral degree in Management. He has published many research papers in National and International journals of repute and has authored seven books. His two popular books of engineering are published from a renowned publisher Prentice Hall of India, Delhi and prescribed in IITs, other lead colleges and universities.
Being an eminent orator, a proven military leader, technocrat, world-class researcher, educationist, and a true academician, his awards and accolades include AVM Harjinder Singh Trophy for the best academic performance. For his outstanding contribution, two commendation medals by Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding in Chief for a high degree of professionalism in the education sector, “Bihar Gaurav Samman” by Governor of Bihar, Hon. Sri Ram Nath Kovind, the present president of India, “Bharat Vidya Shiromani Award” and felicitation by Hon Chief Minister and many more.
In conversation with Priti Kumari, Dr. Kumar shares his views on the challenges that Indian education industry is facing and talks about his University. Read on!
Major challenges in the education sector:Student-Faculty Ratio, Govt. Policies, and Placement Opportunities.
The very first challenge is depletion in Quality and Quantity of Teaching staff. All the universities, including central, state, deemed, and private universities face an acute shortage of teachers in terms of quality and quantity. Majority of the universities do not have an adequate number of qualified teachers. This ranges from 20% to 40%, including IITs, IIMs, NITs and other leading universities of India.
Next, there are too many government controllers of higher education like MHRD, UGC, State government, AICTE, BCI, PCI, MCI, NAAC, and more. Many times, the policies issued by all these agencies are not in consonance and conflict among them and puts the universities in a dilemma. Different state government policies and regulations differ from each other. Also, too many initiatives and new policies by all these agencies, to be implemented at one time without fructification and full maturity of previous initiatives.
Also, the placement of the students is one of the significant challenges. Majority of UG, PG, Ph.D. holders do not get placements in university campuses baring few exceptions due to lack of appropriate technical and communication skills, in-depth subject knowledge, and power grooming.
Discipline and Integrity are two pivotal stands in a learning environment
In my opinion, inculcation of self-discipline culture, maintaining a clean and green campus, work integrity among students and staff members will improve the learning environment. Faculty-student ratio needs to be improved drastically to monitor each student. Regular faculty and student interaction will have a very positive impact on the environment. Further, students need to be encouraged to innovate and participate in other fields too.
Methods as well as Curriculum both need to be evolved with time
The faculty must be thoroughly updated and taught about the Modern design software tools from the beginning. Example: mechanical engineering students must know CAD, CAM, etc., refrigeration and air-conditioning technology, automobile design software etc. Similarly, electrical, electronics engineering students must have exposure to PLC and SCADA technology, to name a few. Management and social science students must be fully aware of analytical, statistical tools SPSS, SASR, MATLAB, and more.
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Consolidating the already existing schemes is the need of the hour
Several initiatives have already been taken by HRD ministry such as SWAYAM PRABHA, Rastriya Uchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), National Initiative for Design Innovative, and more. In my opinion, MHRD should consolidate all these new initiatives and emphasize the implementation of all these in universities.
Monitoring mechanism has to be in place. Make in India, Startup, Digital India, etc. programs have not yet fully matured, and they are still not fructifying and giving desired results. Right now, we need to take a pause for a while and consolidate the initiatives already launched.
There are immense opportunities for law graduates today
There is a phenomenal scope of employment and job prospects for law graduates. Today all public sectors, defense, PSUs, government sector, the insurance sector, tourism etc. employ law graduates. Corporate sectors, they need law professionals in bulk. Besides these prospects, the scope of being a lawyer, pleader, public prosecutor, and counsel in courts. They can always be self-employed practicing in various courts, tribunals, fast track courts, family courts, land revenue, tax revenue departments and more.
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No stop, No pause and No looking back- “3 Ps and 5 Cs.”
I want to suggest them three Ps (Persistence, Perseverance, and Persuasion till they achieve their desired goal and complete the mission) and five Cs (courage, commitment, conviction, continuity, and Calibre need to be developed among youth to face any challenges and take them head-on). I advocate speed, more speed, and even more speed is the essence of life, no stop, no pause, and no looking back.