One good thing that has happened during this period in this new normal is that there has been a very good interaction between the academic institutions and the industry said Dr. I.K. Bhatt, Vice Chancellor, Manav Rachna University, Faridabad in an interview with Chandan Anand, Founding Editor, ArdorComm Media Group.
How does such kind of events, education summits, or Knowledge forums help the academicians and the education fraternity?
In meetings like this you interact with people, understand what are the view points of others and try to pick up the best ideas to implement them in your own way in your own institutions. We at Manav Rachna University have been doing it and the ultimate aim is that the student should learn. With this covid which imposed certain restrictions on the learning of students because they were not physical present on the campus and therefore we had to have communication with the students which was done through different mechanisms, using different means, technology and therefore we have really moved away from what was normal at that time and a new normal has been created which is where we are now working. When we look at this scenario, probably educators were the last to really make implementation of the new technology but covid has made it really mandatory for us and it has really moved all the education institutions within a span of six months, and everybody started delivering for the students so that their time is not wasted. Now when we look at this it also gave us an opportunity to look at various people, meet industries globally in fact initially it was difficult to interact with people in different places but covid gave us an opportunity, especially to the education institutions that we could interact with any person sitting anywhere in the world actually. Their ideas came quite useful for the university as well as for all the academic institutions. One good thing that has happened during this period in this new normal is that there has been a very good interaction between the academic institutions and the industry and therefore they have become partners not only in delivery but designing of the courses and then delivering it together along with the faculty members and I’m sure that over a period of time, in another three to five years we will see a major change in the attitude, in the learning skills and also all of these students who are studying now will be employable because now the industry is part of this teaching learning process.
Any technological advancement or implementation which has happened in Manav Rachana University which you would like to emphasize on?
We already had all the systems in place but we were probably using 20% of it and when the covid came, all these technologies, we had ERP, LMS, all these we integrated totally. In fact, we were the first in the country, not even the IITs were at that time, we were the first in the country to really implement this in that particular manner and I congratulate the teachers really, they have done a wonderful job. Using these new technologies have also changed the methodology of teaching, the pedagogy of teaching and several of them which we earlier used to only talk about have now been implemented in our system.
According to you what factor should we keep in mind for accepting or adapting a technology in a university?
The first thing which needs to be done when we pick up a technology because several technologies are available now throughout the country and globally in fact. The first thing which needs to be done is training of teachers, if a teacher is not conversant with the technology, nothing works therefore the first thing is teaching the teachers to be trained if they are trained and conversant with the technology, they know how to use it, they know how to deliver and how to evaluate, assessment process becomes the most important thing when we are talking about learning. Therefore, I personally believe that training of teachers both in terms of domain knowledge which they have, using technological tools and pedagogies because these different technologies, these different ways of handling things, in these areas they need to be aware of.