Interview by Yash Panchal
Dr. Manojkumar Deshpande is currently the Principal at PIEMR. He did his Ph.D. in Engineering from SVKM's NMIMS University, Mumbai, M.Tech. from CEDTI, Aurangabad, and BE from Government Polytechnic Nanded. He has also done Diploma in Electrical Engineering. He is an experienced professor of Computer Engineering with a history of working in the education management at Mumbai, Shirpur (MS) & Indore.
Dr. Deshpande has earlier worked as Professor & Associate Dean and HOD, Computer Engineering. He also holds the position of Professor and Vice Chancellor at the Symbiosis University of Applied Science; Professor & Dean at SCSIT and Professor in Computer Engineering. He is skilled in Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, Interested in Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning & IOT, Multimedia Technologies and Soft Computing. He has a strong inclination towards Applied Research with Industries and Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Deshpande is involved in planning Academic Resources, Lab Development, Research Collaborations with Indian and Foreign institutes / universities, Promotion of Consultancy Work, Recruitment of faculty, Accreditation, Publicity of Institute, Admission Process, Strategy building for Teaching / Learning Improvement, Event organization and Monitoring, Wellness of student, faculty and staff, Purchase and Accounts.
Dr. Deshpande’s experience in the education industry
Teaching is a so-called noble profession. A person having certain characteristics only will enjoy this profession. One of the important attributes is continuous learning.
Dr. Deshpande’s teaching style and his definition of good teaching
Good Teaching is all about Learning. I strongly believe that the classroom is not only the location where teaching-learning should happen. For the subject/course, sessions must be planned in a way to deliver topics by different methods. I like to design Practical Assignments like real-world problem and constraints. The student learns a lot while solving this assignment. During classroom sessions, I like to use presentation slides mixed with ideas and animations. I try to involve students more in the discussion.
Changes in the education industry noticed by Dr. Deshpande
This is called as “Education Industry“ is a big change or difference. Earlier, it used to be social service. No matter, more professionalism has been evolved. There must be certain limitations. The output, i.e. student’s quality cannot be measured in certain quantity immediately after passing out. Marks are just one of the indicators, which has been given unnecessary importance. Yes, the evaluation must be there and there must be a distinction between high and low performance that includes Knowledge Level, Skills Competency and Aptitude Level in the student.
Dr. Deshpande on how his experience of attending many International and National conferences has helped him understand the needs of the education industry
Mainly, it is expected that Teacher must be a researcher involved in experimentations or studies and deriving inferences, conclusions, findings, etc. which will be useful for society if some new findings must be published at the forum to reach out more people. In conferences, exchange of thoughts approaches as well as needs happen which increases the level of Faculty.
Dr. Deshpande on his assessment of teaching and learning in Prestige Institute of Engineering Management and Research, Indore and how he used it to inform best practices
As soon as I took over, I instructed all faculty to prepare a Teaching Plan emphasizing on practical as well as generous skills. For skill development, many workshops and hands-on practice are organized. If the certain facility is not available in PIEMR, we had a MoU with Industry/Agency where high-tech facilities are available and students were sent there. Learning Management System Module has been made compulsory for all courses and faculty. Faculty was instructed to prepare more case studies to present. This year onwards, we have made internship as compulsory. This way, students will get exposure to real word problems and solution approaches.
How PIEMR stands apart from other institutions
In India, private universities are being allowed to offer more autonomy but most of these universities are taking advantage to dilute the rigor of the education system. At one hand, they are diluting teaching-learning standards, on another hand, they are lenient in the evaluation.
Our institute is affiliated to RGPV Bhopal. Some good points are that Faculty has to cover entire syllabus because Paper Setters are different than teaching faculty. Apart from the prescribed syllabus, we have tried to impart more which is industry relevant. Special Workshops, Training are being organized. We have engaged external agency COCUBES Ltd. which enables series of online examinations of important courses relevant to industry and keeps track of improvement by giving detail insight student-wise. Faculty can focus on the specific development of the student as per analysis and make the student employable.
Since the institute is situated in town side, students can stay beyond timing for studies as well as extra-curricular activities. Unlike other institutes which are at the outskirt of the city, one can reach here easily by public transport or personal vehicle.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at Prestige Institute of Engineering Management and Research, Indore
Surprisingly, there are many opportunities for placements at Prestige. Placement Team is putting very hard effort to meet 100% target. Prestige is hosting many open campuses and closed campus recruitment drive. ‘Prestigeans’ are getting the advantage of the same and there is positive growth in placement opportunities. As a special effort, PIEMR organizes extra classes and practice sessions for Aptitude as well as Reasoning Test Cracking.
Dr. Deshpande on how to successfully prepare students to face challenges of modern organizations and global standards
We are going beyond the syllabus and providing specialized skill training to our students. We have focused on Soft Skills. We are encouraging students to join internships even after First Year. We are encouraging students to work on real-world problems taken from Industry. We organize many visits to industry and provide many opportunities to interact with Industry Professionals.
Strategies in your mind for Computer Engineering department for the next few years
We are developing strong programming skills and students must be competent enough to apply modern technologies such as AI, IOT, Big Data Analytics, etc. We have collaborated with Oracle University. We have planned to collaborate with SAS and SAP for additional exposure to students. We have decided to engage our faculty in industry consultancy and scientific studies. We have planned on establishing NewGen IEDC: Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Cell. We have to establish GATE Forum to enable students to prepare for GATE to open Government Enterprises Jobs. The campus shall be a happening place and students will enjoy this place as a learner’s paradise.
Message for students wishing to join Prestige Institute of Engineering Management and Research, Indore in the near future
If students are aspiring to become real ENGINEERS, they must opt for Prestige-PIEMR, where students are being developed to be industry-ready, entrepreneurship ready. The exact balance of Academics, as well as Extra-Curricular activities, gives an edge to the student. If a student wishes to groom, yes there are Faculty, Facilities and Forums. We encourage for sports, hackathons, competitions, exhibitions, etc. We are putting hard effort in nurturing our students to become nationalist industry professionals.