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Prof. Padmanabhan Krishnan, Director, Academic Staff College, Vellore Institute of Technology, Highlights the importance of Industry Academia collaborations

“This environment will not only benefit the corporate and educational sectors but also bridge the gap between secondary education and higher education,” says Prof. Padmanabhan Krishnan, Director, Academic Staff College, Vellore Institute of Technology 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 witnessing this New Normal Education Leadership Summit in Chennai?

It’s a great initiative by ArdorComm Media Group, and I’m enjoying the ambiance and the sessions. We’ve learned a lot, and learning is both transactional and transformative.

As you know the event name is New Normal Education Leadership Summit so what does New Normal stand for you?

Well like one of the experts said you had live before Corona, you had life during Corona and you have life after Corona hopefully when I think Corona is still there so like I would say that it is not yet after Corona and we are still in a Corona season so new normal refers to the digital learning and its impact and its mandatory necessitated existence or coming into existence or coming into the being itself that would be the new normal situation. Like they didn’t want to call it abnormal though I think that would have been an appropriate term but rather crude so I would say that we don’t have to say normal season before 2019 December or 2020 or we don’t need to say anything after that was abnormal we try to be normal so we would call it new normal and then we’ll take it and destroy it and then if digital learning has more to offer obviously why not I mean Corona though is about 140 nanometres in diameter has taught us a lot of things. Many things teach positive or negative thank you the best way is to keep going forward.

How are you implementing technology in your institution?

At Vellore Institute of Technology University, we focus on training the trainers. We explore various technological methods to train our staff members in emotional, adaptive, intuitional, and psychomotor capabilities. We aim for holistic development through enabling technologies, including digital and online learning.

In forums like this, where education leaders, industry experts, and the government come together, how does this benefit the education sector at large?

As a metallurgist, I would like to highlight the significance of alloys in the field. Commercially pure copper, while not particularly useful, can be transformed into brass by adding zinc. However, brass is prone to marine corrosion as the zinc tends to seep out of the copper lattice. To stabilize zinc, tin and other elements like aluminum are added. In comparison to soft metals like copper, well-alloyed brass, bronze, or corrosion-resistant alloys like silicon bronze and naval bronze offer better properties. I believe this metallurgical experience and philosophy can be applied to the relationships between the private and public sectors, NGOs, academia, and the corporate sector.

This amalgamation of different entities can lead to synergistic effects, where the positive hybrid outcome surpasses the sum of its parts. The new education policy, government initiatives, and funding for research and higher education, including training for trainers, are empowering prospects. The support from NGO startups and various governmental initiatives, as well as the recognition of private universities, alongside prestigious institutions like IITs and IACs, create a mutually beneficial environment.

This environment will not only benefit the corporate and educational sectors but also bridge the gap between secondary education and higher education. It will facilitate the transition from the first year to the final year and ultimately to internships, providing numerous programs, skills, and avenues for career development. As emphasized by one of the experts, jobs are not the only important aspect, but building a successful career holds greater significance.

Overall, this amalgamation between different sectors and entities is highly advantageous. It holds the potential to foster growth, enhance educational environments, and create a supportive ecosystem that benefits individuals and society as a whole. We should extend our best wishes to everyone involved in these endeavours.

Any message for ArdorComm Media Group?

I believe it is crucial for ArdorComm Media to continue its initiatives like Nama Chennai and expand them further. However, it is important to recognize that it’s not just about the teachers or students individually. The bond between teachers and students holds great significance. Moreover, what truly matters is the transformation that occurs from being a student to a project student, then to an intern, and eventually a full-fledged company executive. The process of bridging these different phases is more important than the isolated actions performed during each stage, whether it’s in high school (plus two student), undergraduate studies, or master’s programs.

In the realm of education and career advancement, the concept of interface is highly valuable. Interface refers to the interaction and connection between different stages, roles, and skills. It is essential to be equipped with the ability to interface, bridge gaps, and smoothly transition from one phase to another in life and career development. Without the necessary skills to navigate these transitions, challenges may arise.

I strongly urge ArdorComm Media to not only focus on the educational journey but also on bridging the gaps between schools and colleges. Many students face difficulties in coping with the significant changes that occur during the first year of college. Some students who excelled in their secondary education, scoring high percentages like 92, 96, or even 98, may struggle to adapt to the demands of engineering colleges, leading to frustration and even depression. Bridging programs and initiatives are vital in creating compatibility and facilitating a smoother transition into higher education, whether it be from school to college or even pursuing advanced degrees like a Ph.D. or studying abroad.

For instance, when students go to the United States, they often experience culture shock. It would be beneficial to address this culture shock in advance by providing resources and insights from individuals who have returned from studying abroad. Reverse informatics, learning from those who have already experienced a particular situation, can be more digestible and helpful compared to forward informatics, which entails encountering and navigating challenges without prior knowledge.

I strongly encourage ArdorComm Media to prioritize the development of bridging programs, interface initiatives, and collaborations between corporations and academia. These efforts are essential for creating a supportive environment that facilitates smoother transitions and enhances the overall educational experience. So, this is my message to you and I thank you for the wonderful opportunity.

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