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Dr. K. Porkumaran, Principal, Sri Sairam Engineering College, shares his experience of attending ELSA Chennai

“Teaching and learning methods are transforming into new dimensions, says Dr. K. Porkumaran, Principal, Sri Sairam Engineering College in an interview with Pratik Ghosh, Content Writer, ArdorComm Media Group at the ‘New Normal – Education Leadership Summit & Awards 2023’ #ELSAChennai #ELSATamilNadu

How are you feeling to witness the New Normal Education Leadership Summit and Awards in Chennai?

It’s a great event, a wonderful gathering connecting corporates to campuses. As the principal of Sri Sairam Engineering College and the Chairman of IEEE Madras Section, I believe that these types of events enhance connectivity and allow us to stay updated on the recent trends and advancements in higher education reforms.

Especially, we get insights into the modern pedagogical methodologies being used by teaching faculty. Instead of just thinking about what to learn and what to teach, we are now focusing on how to learn and how to teach. This shift brings new innovative teaching methodologies into the system, particularly the creation of a participative and collaborative learning environment.

In the past, the student-faculty relationship relied solely on the expertise of the faculty as the primary resource. However, now there are many resources available, including teaching aids, tools, and methodologies. Teaching and learning methods are transforming into new dimensions. For example, when we talk about outcome-based education, there are three important metrics: knowledge, skill, and attitude.

Knowledge is based on conventional teaching and learning methods, while skill is developed through hands-on experiences and industry exposure. This holistic education system ensures that students gain educational experiences and learning that they will remember for a lifetime. It equips them with problem-solving abilities and the capacity to develop innovative products with creativity, affordability, and societal impact.

To foster industry collaborations, many organizations are establishing industry-powered innovative campuses. At Sairam Institutions, we have several industry-powered centers of excellence and research laboratories. These facilities provide hands-on training for students and involve industry experts in the board.

LinkedIn has become a prominent platform for professional networking and knowledge sharing. Previously, it mainly consisted of professionals, but now students are actively involved. In my campus alone, all 1,500+ students are actively using LinkedIn to professionally share content and connect with educational leaders, vice-chancellors, deans, directors, and industry experts. Such interactions provide new insights into the higher education system, aligned with the National Education Policy of the government.

This connection with industry and educational leaders helps us incorporate an industry-driven curriculum into the campus. The curriculum becomes adaptive, converting industry experiences into knowledge, following the theory-to-practice approach. This transformation is facilitating the implementation of industry-based curriculum and innovative teaching practices.

At Sairam, we have established the Sai Ram Innovation Ecosystem, which is now part of the curriculum. It includes the Sai Ram Techno Incubator Foundation, supporting startups and entrepreneurship. We have successfully created 100+ entrepreneurs and incubated 85+ startups. Our achievements include winning the AICTE Smart India Hackathon and Defense Innovation Hackathon Startup Challenge. We are collaborating with the Indian Navy on various projects involving faculty and students.

The entire transformation is focused on shifting from conventional teaching to technology-enabled teaching and learning practices. This approach has resulted in numerous products and innovations benefiting the community. Moreover, we are actively connected to society

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