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An experienced academician, Dr. Pulapa Subba Rao shares his global exposure acumen with the youth

Last Modified : December 27, 2017

Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal

Prof. Pulapa Subba Rao, Vice-Chancellor of Oriental University, Indore

He has worked at Postgraduate Department of Commerce, Sir CRR College, Eluru, Sri Sathya Sai University, Prasanthinilayam, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anatapur, University of Asmara, Eritrea and the University of Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea for about 40 years. He worked as Lecturer, Reader, Professor, Head, Chairman-Board of Studies, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce & Management, Vice-Principal, Convener-Executive MBA Program, Director-Academic Audit and Pro Vice-Chancellor. He worked for 14 years in foreign countries and 26 years in various institutions in India. He designed a number of courses in Commerce and Management. He has been associated with open and flexible learning of a number of Universities in India and abroad.

He is from Vangalapudi Village, Sitanagaram Mandal, E.G.Dt. He studied up to class-5 in Vangalapudi, up to Intermediate in Sitanagaram, B.Com. (1971-74) in Government College, Rajahmundry, M.Com. (1974-76) and Ph.D. (1979-82) in Andhra University. He worked in Post Graduate Department of Commerce, Sir CRR College Eluru during 1976-1984, Shri Sathya Sai University, 1984-1985, Sri Krishnadevaraya University during 1985 to 2004, The University of Papua New Guina during 2004 to 2016 and the Oriental University 2016-17.

Prof. Pulapa Subba Rao is an academician and academic administrator with global exposure and expertise in teaching, research, consulting, training, community outreach and academic administration for over four decades in India and abroad. He obtained B.Com., degree in 1974; M.Com. degree in 1976 and Ph.D., degree in 1982 from Andhra University.

He has published 102 research papers in national and international journals, and 25 research and textbooks in Commerce and Business Management. He carried-out 15 research projects individually and jointly funded by national and international funding agencies. He guided 16 Ph.D. and 2 M.Phil. scholars who were awarded degrees by Andhra University and Sri Krishnadevaraya University. He organised 14 international conferences, presented 48 papers in various national and international conferences. He was consultant to a number of national and international organisations. He conducted a number of training programs for private and public-sector executives in India and abroad.

He was the recipient of prestigious national and international awards including highest civilian award from the Government of Papua New Guinea i.e., Member of the Order of the LOGOHU (“ML”) in November 2015 for the service to the Community and Higher Education through contributing to teaching, research and community out-reach; ‘Meritorious Teacher’ award from the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, in 2001; Best Paper Award presented from World Business Institute, Australia and American Research Publication International in June 2014; and National Merit Scholarship from the Government of India during 1974-76.

He is a Fellow of World Business Institute, Australia; Papua New Guinea Human Resource Institute and Papua New Guinea Institute of Management and member of a number of professional organisations in India and abroad. He has been member of editorial boards of a number of professional and peer-reviewed journals in India and abroad.

Dr. Pulapa Subba Rao’s experience in the education industry

I worked for 40 years in the education industry as Lecturer, Reader, Professor, Head of the Department, Chairman, Board of Studies, Dean of the Faculty, Convener, Executive MBA Program, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.

I have strong aptitude and fascination towards teaching, research and publication. I get immense joy and satisfaction when students appreciate my teaching through their responses and facial expressions, readers mail me appreciating my books and paper publications and research scholars appreciate my analytical and interpretative and concluding skills of research.

Oriental University, Indore

Dr. Pulapa Subba Rao’s philosophy of leadership and his leadership style

My leadership philosophy is mostly inspirational and servant leader to develop students beyond their potential based on global human resource and entrepreneurial skill requirements and challenges.

To fulfil this philosophy, I prefer to acquire up-to-date knowledge from multi-sources based on life-long learning approaches and enhance the level of wisdom with a view to develop the human resources of program participants to the highest level of potentiality through various techniques including action-learning and create and sustain a smart-size, knowledge-based University and contribute to the enhanced interests of the stakeholders’ organizations through mutual interaction for the enhancement of human resource capacity of the country at large.

The Objectives are:

  • Contribute towards the development of the Country and University’s vision, mission, strategies, goals and operational plans.
  • Strengthen and improve the academic programs to create capacity at this level for a knowledge-based society.
  • Support fiercely the provisions of structures and facilities to support the delivery of academic programs.
  • Continue to expand and consolidate programs for delivery through Flexible Learning.
  • Strengthen and cultivate the culture of research, publications, training and consultation through team and collaborative approaches.
  • Continue to retain, expand, and consolidate dialogue and network alliances with the business and community for the mutual benefit of students and University in particular and its stakeholders at large.
  • Develop an entrepreneurial culture through action-research.
  • Create an environment of open dialogue amongst all stakeholders of the University through research feedback.
  • Institute innovative and contemporary organizational structures to the School and the university to increase its efficiency in the delivery of one of its core services of research.

Major challenges faced while working with various institutions in India and abroad

Major Challenges I have faced in Indian Institutions include: Inspiring the students to speak in English language, write in English, develop soft skills like team spirit, self-motivation, self-commitment towards studies and self-motivation for self-development, smart-work and social and interactive skills.

Major challenges I have faced in International Institutions include Cross-cultural issues, procurement of literature relevant for research, accent of spoken language, teaching methodology relevant to the students’ learning styles, work-culture including superior-subordinate interactions, body-language, time-sense, and assessing industry and other stakeholders’ requirements.

Changes noticed by Dr. Pulapa Subba Rao in the education industry in India in past few years

Expansion of higher education without corresponding expansion in primary education. In fact, expansion should take place in primary education first followed by middle level, high school level, junior college level and college level and lastly higher education, following supply-chain model*. But, quite opposite situation took place in India. Government expanded IITs, IIMs, NITs, Public and Private Universities. Thus, Government expanded the input volumes of higher education without expanding output levels and quality of primary and high school education. Consequently, this led to drastic decline in quality in the output of higher education in all types of institutions in the country. The sudden expansion of higher education without the development of faculty-led to poor instruction in colleges and other institutions. The fast expansion of higher education institutions without corresponding increase in the quality of its input led to decline in students’ commitment, seriousness and discipline. Added to this the little efforts taken to bridge gaps between educational institutions and employer requirements couldn’t bear any noticeable fruit.

Oriental University, Indore

Suggestions for the current youth and aspiring students

Develop self-motivation, self-discipline, self-commitment towards studies, soft skills, application of the knowledge and community out-reach aptitude.