Dr.V.Karthikeyan serves as the Principal of Thiagarajar Polytechnic College, Salem a Government aided autonomous institution for more than 12 years and his total experience in teaching spans over 35 years. His untiring efforts and keen involvement in implementing the Best Innovative Educational Practices like Student Centric Learning, Student Facilitators for Peer Learning, Project Based Learning, Employer Centric Learning, etc. have been instrumental in achieving many laurels to Thiagarajar Polytechnic College, Salem. Read his interview here
What are the key factors that keep you connected with the education sector?
“Penchant to teach students keeps me connected to the education sector”
My educational sector experience spans more than 35 years, and I am thrilled to be associated with the teaching profession imparting knowledge and skills to my students. I have been in administration for more than 12 years, and my teaching and administration experience has helped me stay abreast in the education sector with passion. I always aspire to introduce new innovative best educational practices in my institution and blend or embed technology with teaching. I firmly believe that teaching-learning embedded with technology will improve the efficiency of the classrooms. I motivate my students for their useful life and career by providing them with good placements, instil a spirit of entrepreneurship among them and motivate them to become lifelong learners.
What is your philosophy of Leadership?
“I have a visionary leadership style”
Leadership is a set of specific skills, qualities, attitudes, flair, and actions, and effective leadership influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization more cohesively and coherently. My leadership style goes with the Visionary style, as I always have a farsighted vision in all my institution's activities and work towards achieving the vision with my team members. I also adopt the Coaching Leadership style whenever my faculty and students find it challenging to handle a particular situation.
How do you strategize about the marketing and administration of your college?
“It is necessary to prepare before-hand”
I always prepare a strategic plan before the commencement of any activity in my institution and my life. I devise an activity planner with all micro details with target time and assign action leaders with team members for each activity. Periodical meetings are conducted to review activities' progress, and suitable suggestions are offered to execute the targeted programme flawlessly. As a result, the desired outcomes are achieved even before the stipulated time. It is reflected in the conferment of NBA accreditation for the third time consecutively, AICTE-CII Mentor Awards, Best Polytechnic College Award conferred by the State Government of Tamil Nadu.
How does the curriculum of your college ensure the best practice of industry?
“The curriculum ensures best industry practices”
Our Institution Thiagarajar Polytechnic College is an autonomous institution, and the curriculum of all the programs is being framed according to Outcome-Based Education, fulfilling the industrial expectations. Eminent Industry Personnel are invited to frame all the programs' curriculum and syllabi through the Syllabus Review Committee and Programme Advisory Committee. The current needs of industry are incorporated in the curriculum, helping the students learn the present scenario. Also, the curriculum and syllabi are reviewed every semester. Suitable activities are carried out to ensure the best practices in the industry, and students are encouraged to undergo internships in industries to make them industry-ready. As a result, our students are offered good placement opportunities at lucrative pay in top-ranking organizations
What do you think your roles and responsibilities to the college and the students are?
“Bringing innovation and best educational opportunity is my responsibility”
As the head of this prestigious institution, which has more than 63 years of legacy in technical education, my role and responsibility are to bring innovations for students' benefit and elevate this institution to the greater level. Also, implementing many best innovative educational practices like Student Centric Learning, Student Facilitators for Peer Learning, Project-Based Learning happens periodically on par with global standards. The students are also given good exposure in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and are moulded into responsible citizens to face the outside world. As a result, the students' development is reflected in the institution's growth, and the standards adopted here stand testimony to the name and fame of the institution across the world.
What do you think should be the College’s top priority over the next 10 years?
“To offer blended learning that caters the developing needs is our priority”
Today's world faces sudden changes due to the outbreak of pandemics, and the education sector is not an exception. Hence, our institution's priority is to focus on offering blended learning with virtual tools and techniques to cater the changing environment. I make sure that the teaching-learning process never gets interrupted as my students and teachers quickly adapt to the changing technological advancements. Also, the emerging trends in education and industry are introduced in the institution as and when required. In this view, a new program on Electric Mobility is planned to be introduced in the forthcoming academic year. Also, I look forward to collaborating with foreign universities to validate the curriculum and syllabi for two or three programs, initially focusing on global standards. Besides, the students are encouraged and molded to get good placement opportunities in reputed multinational companies. Interested students are motivated to take up innovative projects and emerge as entrepreneurs with their new ventures.
What do you see as your college’s greatest strengths?
“Our management forms the greatest strengths”
The greatest strength of my institution is the generous and philanthropic Management with our Chairman Sri.C.Valliappa, the Educational Evangelist and the vibrant Vice-Chairmen Sri.Chocko Valliappa and Sri.Thyagu Valliappa who brings in new innovative technologies and encourages us to implement all the best innovative practices on par with global standards for the upliftment of the institution, faculty and students. With 100 years of experience in various fields like agriculture, textiles, construction, IT, education, research, etc., the management has pioneered India’s growth in the above sectors. In addition, the long tradition of 63 years offering good and quality technical education, good technocrats with ethics and values, 50,000 plus alumni spread across the world and their magnanimous contribution for the construction of Alumni Auditorium in the campus, the prime location in the heart of Salem city, state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities, well qualified and trained faculty, implementation of best innovative educational practices, more focus on research and product development, good industry institute interaction, excellent results, unmatched placements, start-ups, testing and consultancy, extension centres, skill training centres established by top industries, continuing education centre, etc. are the greatest strengths of my institution.
What are some plans that you are currently (or will be) designing for students?
“We are creating the future job creators”
I look forward to my students becoming job givers rather than job seekers. I design courses to kindle the research activities and start-ups among them to become entrepreneurs in this direction. They are encouraged to develop their innovative ideas into products and thereby file patents for the same. Also, technology embedded teaching-learning is incorporated, and courses to enhance communicative ability, self-confidence, ethics and values, and attitude are implemented to the students for their lives and careers.