“Instead of becoming employment seekers they are actually becoming employment givers,” says Dr. S.N. Sridhara, Vice Chancellor, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, Chennai in an interview with Chandan Anand, Founding Editor, ArdorComm Media Group at the ‘ArdorComm – Higher Education and Edtech Conclave & Awards 2022’ #HEETbengaluru
As we have witnessed how the industry has sailed off from a traditional mode of education towards the digital mode of education, your views and how did your institute perform in the last two and a half years?
It’s an appt question as all of us know already the pandemic has taught a lot of lessons to all the institutions, a few institutions which were ready digitally they could take off and I’m happy to say that Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science is one of such premier institute. The day actually the lockdown was announced the next day we were online because already we had the online platform ready and we were delivering it offline and online together so this is a big lesson for all of us and then we took it further.
Any change in the mode of teaching and in the curricula, which could make a student industry ready, how did HITS prepare itself?
Yeah there were many challenges during pandemic also the first one has basically many of the faculty members, though they were industry ready in terms of their experience etc they were not able to make use of the online platforms immediately and moreover the online platforms which are available during pandemic were so primitive in the beginning that today I could see because of you know entry of ed-tech companies they have improvised the whole scenario and they have made it easy to use by faculty as well as to the students also and earlier there were no proctoring systems available now the proctoring systems are also available for the exams this is another boon and I should be thankful to the friends from ed-tech company who took all our problems and then interacted very quickly and then giving the solutions. And of course, coming to the way actually we changed our scenario in terms of teaching learning process. Earlier it was only blackboard everybody thought that the physical interaction is only the best way to teach but later faculty started learning a new method of using LMS basically learning management system and also using animations, using flipped classrooms etc and so on. So, the technology enabled learning and teaching experiences have grown multi folded and I think almost all the faculty across the globe have learned this particular technique thanks to pandemic again.
What is your focus or stress on entrepreneurship how can we prepare a student for an entrepreneurship mode?
Fantastic it’s a very good question nowadays actually everybody is looking at what is your placement and to my surprise actually from past two years and especially after pandemic we are finding that many of the students are actually thinking that they can become entrepreneurs. Instead of becoming employment seekers they are actually becoming employment givers. In my own institution we have a technology business incubator called Hindustan Technology Business Incubator and we have incubated more than 100 companies already through ourselves and of course this has already come into the curriculum. There is one more unique thing what we have done under NEP is that we have introduced the innovation and design course in the very first year so the very first year the students learn to innovate and also learn to operate and also to make some fabrication using niche equipment with that actually as they grow up and as they move on with the higher semesters they learn the basic knowledge as well as the skills also and they are made industry and nowadays I find that most of my Ed-tech company friends here are also very young and I can see that many of them are the young entrepreneurs and they are doing really well so there is a lot of hopes for it and I think joining hands with everyone who would like to make our Atma Nirbhar Bharat as per our honourable PM’s vision.
Conclaves like this or the forum like this where we are bringing government, industry and academia how does it help overall to the society or the communities?
Yeah, it’s so good actually in the morning session we had two government officials here one
from NAAC and one from Government of Karnataka and I am so happy to see that the mindset of these government agencies has changed so much because of the drive being done by our honourable Prime Minister and also the perception happening here and this platform was very good to actually give them an awareness as such not only that their own initiatives but the awareness given through our educational partners like our ed tech companies. They are telling that these are the new technology we have so why don’t you take it and similarly for me as you know from the academia I’m also seeing a lot of opportunities in terms of tech companies which are giving a lot much of technology oriented assistance for us and definitely this is going to be a very good boon to take it further so it’s a win-win situation for all three, academia, the agencies as well as for the industries.
Any plan of expansion where a teacher exchange or a student exchange can happen nationally or internationally?
Yeah, we have been doing it actually from past 10 years itself we have actually MOU with nearly about 100 universities across the globe and our faculty and students exchange is being happening already but now after they covid I think it is going to be multi-folded increase. There are three reasons for it the first reason students want to go to abroad but basically the expenses are so high so it is not possible to spend whole lot money for the entire course so a few semesters they’ll be with us a few semesters they’ll go and MOU you make us actually to make that cost coming down number one. Number two the international exposure happens because they have them partly with Indian culture and also partly with the other culture so therefore they will become highly acceptable by both the societies. Number three actually the parents have got lot of aspirations which makes them to actually send their students across and now actually of course it’s called a global village there is no boundary across any country so all of us have easy movements across the countries.
I’m happy to share with you that today is also a very special day for ArdorComm Media as we are celebrating our one years of existence being a media start up any message would you like to give to us?
I should first of all congratulate ArdorComm for bringing in such a big platform here for the academia for the industry and as well as for government agencies especially who actually make policies and all and these types of conferences as well as conclaves is going to help us a lot and thank you once again for bringing us on a single platform.