Posts filed under ‘Educational Policy’

Smart class rooms for Gangadhar Meher college students

Following is a report from the Telegraph:

Sambalpur, Oct. 28: Online teaching will be introduced in Gangadhar Meher College (autonomous) from the next academic session. The lecture gallery-1 and the lecture gallery-2 of the institute will be upgraded to smart classrooms.

“Modern gadgets such as computer, projector and audio visual systems will be installed in the class. Students will get the facility of online teaching in air-conditioned classrooms,” said the estate officer of Gangadhar Meher College U.C. Pati.

“Online tutorial classes will be organised for students. Teachers, too, can use variety of online media to teach students. The classes will ensure better communication between the teachers and the students and will serve as an add-on to existing teaching process. Audio-visual systems will make learning interesting for students,” he said.

“Under the NME-ICT (National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology) project, the college will get 20 Internet connections in subsidised rate. We have five to six Internet connections in the college now. We have already applied for the rest. We can start the smart classes after we get all the connections,” said Pati,

“Several infrastructure developmental works such as building of academic block, new girls’ and boys’ hostels, approach road, library and entrance gate are under way in the college. The smart class will be an added facility for the students.

Moreover, these will also help the institution get a higher grade from the National Academic and Accreditation Council (NAAC),” said a teacher of the college.

“I am really happy to know that the college authority has taken a decision to start smart classes in the institution. Teaching through television has a visual impact, which lasts longer,” said a student of plus three arts, Snigdha Mandal.

Established in 1944, the college offers undergraduate, postgraduate, MPhil and pre-doctoral courses besides self-financing and vocational courses.

There are 18 undergraduate courses, 16 postgraduate courses, seven MPhil courses, three pre-doctoral courses, five self-financing courses and three vocational courses. The institution was declared autonomous in 1991.

October 29, 2014 at 1:18 am 1 comment

Who is responsible for the underdevelopment of western Odisha? Videos of Kanak TV debate

This was a lively debate. Expect few leaders everyone spoke within the scope of the topic. Otherwise, now day TV debates are often turning brawl and theatrical stage. I observed that all most all leaders spoke in Kosli language. They  should also use Kosli language in assembly; so that people of western Odisha will understand them. The discussion was about health, education and human resource development  in western Odisha (Balangir and Kalahandi Medical college, AIIMs and other centrally funded institutes); industrialization; pollution in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda belt; KBK issues, Dadan sramik; malnutrition; starvation death; unemployment; Gadjats; feudal mentality of political leadership; and Kosal state demand.

People of western Odisha feel alienated because their voice is not heard by the mainstream Odia media. Thanks to the Kanak TV for providing a platform to people of western Odisha (although one speaker was accusing the organizers about the choice of the title and divide and rule policy).

July 15, 2012 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

Alleged Plagiarism case in Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar: A Global View

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Sanjib Kumar Karmee <sanjibkarmee@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Subject: OTN: Alleged plagiarism case in Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar: A Global View
To: govori@ori.nic.in, govodisha@nic.in, cmo@ori.nic.in, cmo@nic.in, registrar@suniv.ac.in, vc@suniv.ac.in, nmahakud@gmail.com, behera.dk@gmail.com, arun.k.pujari@gmail.com, akpcs@uohyd.ernet.in
Cc: Samukhya <samukhya@yahoogroups.com>, KDDF <westernodisha@googlegroups.com>, orissatoday@googlegroups.com, orissa-education-forum@googlegroups.com, Orissa Pioneer <orissapioneer@gmail.com>, “Editor of orissadiary.com” <editor@orissadiary.com>, “orissadiary .com” <orissadiary@gmail.com>

After reading a report in the Times of India (27th March 2012), I went back to read the original article written by ex-VC of Sambalpur University Prof. Arun Kumar Pujari. [1] In his blog www.sweekaarokti.blogspot.in Prof. Pujari posted a write-up entitled “Plagiarism and Jyoti Vihar”.

Here is the link to original blog post by Prof. AK Pujari:

http://www.sweekaarokti.blogspot.in/2012/03/plagiarism-and-jyotivihar.html

The blog post of Prof. AK Pujari starts with the plagiarism row happened in IISc Bangalore. This incident made headlines in India while it was found that a publication by Prof. Rao, Prof. Krupanidhi along with two students Basant Chitara and L. S. Panchakarla lifted few sentences from another publication.[2] Later the authors apologized to the journal. Not only that, the lead authors even wrote to the editor to withdraw the paper. But, the article was retained by the editor citing its importance. Basant Chitara (the PhD student) had said that he had lifted few sentences without realizing its consequence.

Recently, I came to know that the Hungarian president Pal Schmitt was stripped of his doctorate title for plagiarism and later he had resigned from his job because of this case.[3] Similarly, earlier a German minister Mr. Guttenberg gave up his doctorate title because of plagiarism. [4] I can just go on as there are thousands of such examples.  Two academician, Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky have been maintaing a nice blog on plagirism (http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/) and alerting the research community about it. I often visit this blog and find it useful.

These incidents indicate following things:

 Culture and attitude problem:

We are promarily a copy paste society. In most of our primary schools we start mogging everything before the examination and we write exactly what is written in books. Such practices are common across India as it fetch marks to students. I was told by some of my IIT Madras friends that some of the IIT-coaching centres too follow similar practices. But, at the end students succeed in examination and this makes both the students and their parents happy. But in this process a part of the creativity is lost.

Lack of knowledge about plagiarism among Masters and PhD students:

In most of the Indian Universities there are no short term courses to on plagiarism. Various Universities in the Netherlands and Germany, where I have done most of my research work do organize seminars and short term courses on plagiarism. Such activities make the students aware of the consequences of plagiarism and how to avoid such cases. Recently, in India IITs, IISc and other institutes are taking initiatives to organize such awareness programmes.

Lack of time to supervise Masters and PhD students:

Plagiarism cases are common in the group where professors are heavily engaged in research and teaching without thinking about their time availability. Many Professors think that having well equipped labs and whole lot of research students will fetch them good numbers of publications. But, doing good science is not about labs and students. It is also about regular discussions (of  (literature and research findings) with research students, proper supervision and thorough checkup of the manuscripts. Some times Professors are unable to perform all these duties because of lack of time and large size of the group. Thus, my conclusion is that the group leaders should give adequeate time to PhD students. They should instruct each new students on how to write a manuscript and also, let the students know about the consequences of plagiarism.

Too much work pressure:

Every now and then some supervisors ask the research students to produce results and  publish papers. Because of too much pressure; some cases of plagirisms are reported with regard to scientific result manipulation.

After having analyzed the possible causes of plagiarism; let us take a look on the case of Sambalpur University case. Prof. AK Pujari mainly talks about two things: i) students are coping from teacher’s notes, books, and from internet sources while writing the examination. and ii) Plagiarism of PhD thesis books in Sambalpur University. The first thing is common acsoss in India and as I have pointed out earlier it is a cultural problem. Here as a society we need to change.

Now let us take a look on the allegations by Prof Pujari about the PhD thesis plagiarism in Sambalpur University. I have nothing against Prof. Pujari. But, why Prof. Pujari was so far silent in this case? He has said that he was threatened. However, I feel that, he could have formed a committe to look in to this matter as soon as he was aware of it. In most of the European Universities there are committees to investigate cases of plagiarism and to punish the academicians. Why Prof. Pujari did not constitute such a committe for Sambalpur University? If, what he says is true, then he was just watching helplessly while there was growing plagiarism in Sambalpur University. In this regard, Prof. Pujari owe a proper explanation to all aluminous , present students and staff of Sambalpur University.

Immediately, the present VC, Prof. Barik should call a meeting of the senate, members of student council, members of staff council, and alumni association. After that a committee should be formed to investigate the case of plagiarism of PhD thesis in Sambalpur University. In the mean time, Prof. Pujari should prepare a list of PhD thesis which he think are plagiarised. In fact, he should handover this list and other evidences to chancellor-his highness Shri Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, VC of Sambalpur University, Media and other SU affiliated bodies.

At this point, there is no point in attacking each other (as reported in TOI and other new papers). Let the investigation complete and it will be for all of us to see the truth. In fact, the Sambalpur University authority should scan the alleged plagiarized PhD thesis and put it on the internet; so that, we can check for ourselves if the allegations made by ex-VC are true. If the allegations are found to be false, then the University authority should  file a defamation case against Prof. Pujari and proceed further.

References:

1.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Ex-Jyoti-Vihar-VC-alleges-plagiarism-in-PhD-thesis/articleshow/12423139.cms

2.http://www.nature.com/news/indian-science-adviser-caught-up-in-plagiarism-row-1.10102

3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17586128

4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12532877

Dr. Sanjib Kumar Karmee, PhD

Alumnus, Sambalpur University (MSc Chemistry, 2000 Batch),

Odisha, India

April 6, 2012 at 7:01 am 1 comment

Education: Quantity versus quality

Following report is from The Hindu. Although this article talks about the southern states, this also applies to Orissa and other state.

To observers of the technological education scene in Tamil Nadu, it will come as no surprise that as many as 45,062 engineering seats out of the 149,000 put up for admission through the single-window system remain vacant at the end of the counselling process. This is consistent with the pattern of recent years, not only in this State but in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra as well. Tamil Nadu has reported a marginal fall in the number of admissions — down from 112,000 last year to 104,000 in 2011 — even though the number of seats on offer has gone up by nearly 30,000. Behind these numbers lies a story of thoughtless quantitative expansion, lack of elementary attention to quality, an acute shortage of competent faculty, and parental anxiety to strike a deal with private college managements even before the single-window admissions begin. There are a handful of first-rate or very good private engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, which is possibly ahead of other States in this respect. But the problem is that technological education is mostly seen as a lucrative business, with little attention paid to academic values, ideals, and good practices. Mindless of ground realities, the All India Council for Technical Education has been approving at least 50 colleges every year in the State, where the number has crossed 520, next only to Andhra Pradesh. Some years ago, the State government appealed to the AICTE to stop sanctioning new colleges, but the Council’s contention was that it had no choice but to approve any proposal that fulfilled its norms.

A key reason for the high vacancy level is that students seek out institutions that have sound potential for placement. They also tend to factor in the college’s academic performance, the quality of the faculty, the infrastructure on offer, and perhaps also locational attractiveness. If the problem of vacancies is to be addressed, colleges must be encouraged and indeed required to invest more in training, research, and development so that the capabilities of their students are significantly upgraded. There are positive indications that the Tamil Nadu government is thinking on these lines, but there are other issues — such as the insistence on nativity certificates for students who have passed out of school in other States, which means good students from traditional feeder States such as Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam can be admitted only to expensive management seats — to be sorted out. There has been enough quantitative expansion for now; the strategic need is to work systematically to raise the bar.

August 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Panel recommends common test for PG, MPhil, PhD in central universities

Following is from TOI:

NEW DELHI: A committee of vice-chancellors of central universities (CUs) has recommended common entrance test for admissions into postgraduate (PG) and MPhil/PhD courses across 42 CUs.

Sources in the committee said if the model works well, it can be adopted at the undergraduate level. However, the report is silent on admissions into undergraduate courses.

Another panel on Nava-ratna Universities — Indian equivalent of Ivy League varsities — has recommended direct funding from the central government, freedom to fix salaries, fee structure; reward for performing teachers, cutting increment to non-performers and flexibility to invite the best faculty from any part of the world.

The recommendation on common entrance test could evoke strong reactions. Set up late lst year by HRD minister Kapil Sibal, it said common entrance for PG courses should be based on both performances in entrance test and in the graduate examination. Performance in the first two years of graduation would be factored. The weightage for performance in graduate course may be 30%, and 70% weightage could be given to performance in the entrance test.

The entrance test will consist of two sections: scholastic aptitude and knowledge of subject in which admission is being sought. The committee has suggested that relative weightage between the two could be in the ratio of 40:60. The panel has said universities with special character/historical reasons could be free to have their own admission process.

In case of MPhil or PhD courses, the committee has recommended, common entrance could be similar to the UGC National Eligibility Test for Junior Research Fellowship. The varsities would be free to have their own interviews for MPhil and PhD courses. The institutions would also have the freedom to decide weightage for the interview, but it should not be more than 40% in any case.

January 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Orissa has urged NALCO and SAIL to set up medical colleges

Following is from the Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 7: The Orissa government has urged the central public sector undertakings (PSUs) operating in the state to help it set up medical colleges in the state.

Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik today reviewed the progress of various proposed medical colleges in the state.

At present, the state has six medical colleges. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Mahanadi Coal Field Limited (MCL) have agreed to set up two medical colleges.

MCL has agreed to set up a medical college at Talcher. NTPC too has agreed in principle to the proposal. It is yet to decide the location of the new college.

The state government has also approached Nalco and SAIL to help develop the state in this regard.

Investment to the tune of Rs 150 crore is needed for a medical college with a capacity to enrol 100 students per annum.

The state currently has three government medical colleges— MKCG Medical College, Berhampur, SCB Medical College, Cuttack and VSS Medical College, Burla. Besides the government colleges, there are three private medical colleges.

The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIMS) is setting up its unit in the capital city. At the meeting today, it was decided that a regional paramedical training centre would be set up at Bhubaneswar at an estimated cost of Rs 75 crore to impart training to para-medical staff.

Health department sources said many organisations have submitted their proposals to set up medical colleges in backward districts like Kalahandi, Keonjhar and Balangir.

Of these, the Sahyog Health Care and Research Foundation (SHRF) has already inked an MoU with the state government to set up a multi-specialty medical college and hospital. The hospital-cum-college, at an estimated cost of Rs 210 crore, would be ready by 2012.

Orissa health minister Prasanna Acharya said: “The state government would encourage establishment of more and more medical colleges and hospital in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. A proposal has been sent to Centre for establishment of one medical college and hospital in PPP mode at Koraput.” The state government has granted a no objection certificate to Hi-Tech Hospital authority to establish one medical college in Rourkela.

Decks have been cleared for the setting up of another medical college in Balangir.

Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) will fund the project.

January 9, 2011 at 9:26 am Leave a comment

Can India produce a home grown Nobel winner in science & technology?

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/139718/ftn-can-india-produce-a-nobel-winner-in-science.html

January 7, 2011 at 8:34 am 2 comments

Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time : A report from The Economist

Following report is from The Economist. Thanks to Nanopolitan for the pointer:

ON THE evening before All Saints’ Day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. In those days a thesis was simply a position one wanted to argue. Luther, an Augustinian friar, asserted that Christians could not buy their way to heaven. Today a doctoral thesis is both an idea and an account of a period of original research. Writing one is the aim of the hundreds of thousands of students who embark on a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) every year.

In most countries a PhD is a basic requirement for a career in academia. It is an introduction to the world of independent research—a kind of intellectual masterpiece, created by an apprentice in close collaboration with a supervisor. The requirements to complete one vary enormously between countries, universities and even subjects. Some students will first have to spend two years working on a master’s degree or diploma. Some will receive a stipend; others will pay their own way. Some PhDs involve only research, some require classes and examinations and some require the student to teach undergraduates. A thesis can be dozens of pages in mathematics, or many hundreds in history. As a result, newly minted PhDs can be as young as their early 20s or world-weary forty-somethings.

One thing many PhD students have in common is dissatisfaction. Some describe their work as “slave labour”. Seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, low pay and uncertain prospects are widespread. You know you are a graduate student, goes one quip, when your office is better decorated than your home and you have a favourite flavour of instant noodle. “It isn’t graduate school itself that is discouraging,” says one student, who confesses to rather enjoying the hunt for free pizza. “What’s discouraging is realising the end point has been yanked out of reach.”

Whining PhD students are nothing new, but there seem to be genuine problems with the system that produces research doctorates (the practical “professional doctorates” in fields such as law, business and medicine have a more obvious value). There is an oversupply of PhDs. Although a doctorate is designed as training for a job in academia, the number of PhD positions is unrelated to the number of job openings. Meanwhile, business leaders complain about shortages of high-level skills, suggesting PhDs are not teaching the right things. The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi or pyramid schemes.

Rich pickings

For most of history even a first degree at a university was the privilege of a rich few, and many academic staff did not hold doctorates. But as higher education expanded after the second world war, so did the expectation that lecturers would hold advanced degrees. American universities geared up first: by 1970 America was producing just under a third of the world’s university students and half of its science and technology PhDs (at that time it had only 6% of the global population). Since then America’s annual output of PhDs has doubled, to 64,000.

Other countries are catching up. Between 1998 and 2006 the number of doctorates handed out in all OECD countries grew by 40%, compared with 22% for America. PhD production sped up most dramatically in Mexico, Portugal, Italy and Slovakia. Even Japan, where the number of young people is shrinking, churned out about 46% more PhDs. Part of that growth reflects the expansion of university education outside America. Richard Freeman, a labour economist at Harvard University, says that by 2006 America was enrolling just 12% of the world’s students.

But universities have discovered that PhD students are cheap, highly motivated and disposable labour. With more PhD students they can do more research, and in some countries more teaching, with less money. A graduate assistant at Yale might earn $20,000 a year for nine months of teaching. The average pay of full professors in America was $109,000 in 2009—higher than the average for judges and magistrates.

Indeed, the production of PhDs has far outstripped demand for university lecturers. In a recent book, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, an academic and a journalist, report that America produced more than 100,000 doctoral degrees between 2005 and 2009. In the same period there were just 16,000 new professorships. Using PhD students to do much of the undergraduate teaching cuts the number of full-time jobs. Even in Canada, where the output of PhD graduates has grown relatively modestly, universities conferred 4,800 doctorate degrees in 2007 but hired just 2,616 new full-time professors. Only a few fast-developing countries, such as Brazil and China, now seem short of PhDs.

A short course in supply and demand

In research the story is similar. PhD students and contract staff known as “postdocs”, described by one student as “the ugly underbelly of academia”, do much of the research these days. There is a glut of postdocs too. Dr Freeman concluded from pre-2000 data that if American faculty jobs in the life sciences were increasing at 5% a year, just 20% of students would land one. In Canada 80% of postdocs earn $38,600 or less per year before tax—the average salary of a construction worker. The rise of the postdoc has created another obstacle on the way to an academic post. In some areas five years as a postdoc is now a prerequisite for landing a secure full-time job.

These armies of low-paid PhD researchers and postdocs boost universities’, and therefore countries’, research capacity. Yet that is not always a good thing. Brilliant, well-trained minds can go to waste when fashions change. The post-Sputnik era drove the rapid growth in PhD physicists that came to an abrupt halt as the Vietnam war drained the science budget. Brian Schwartz, a professor of physics at the City University of New York, says that in the 1970s as many as 5,000 physicists had to find jobs in other areas.

In America the rise of PhD teachers’ unions reflects the breakdown of an implicit contract between universities and PhD students: crummy pay now for a good academic job later. Student teachers in public universities such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison formed unions as early as the 1960s, but the pace of unionisation has increased recently. Unions are now spreading to private universities; though Yale and Cornell, where university administrators and some faculty argue that PhD students who teach are not workers but apprentices, have resisted union drives. In 2002 New York University was the first private university to recognise a PhD teachers’ union, but stopped negotiating with it three years later.

In some countries, such as Britain and America, poor pay and job prospects are reflected in the number of foreign-born PhD students. Dr Freeman estimates that in 1966 only 23% of science and engineering PhDs in America were awarded to students born outside the country. By 2006 that proportion had increased to 48%. Foreign students tend to tolerate poorer working conditions, and the supply of cheap, brilliant, foreign labour also keeps wages down.

Proponents of the PhD argue that it is worthwhile even if it does not lead to permanent academic employment. Not every student embarks on a PhD wanting a university career and many move successfully into private-sector jobs in, for instance, industrial research. That is true; but drop-out rates suggest that many students become dispirited. In America only 57% of doctoral students will have a PhD ten years after their first date of enrolment. In the humanities, where most students pay for their own PhDs, the figure is 49%. Worse still, whereas in other subject areas students tend to jump ship in the early years, in the humanities they cling like limpets before eventually falling off. And these students started out as the academic cream of the nation. Research at one American university found that those who finish are no cleverer than those who do not. Poor supervision, bad job prospects or lack of money cause them to run out of steam.

Even graduates who find work outside universities may not fare all that well. PhD courses are so specialised that university careers offices struggle to assist graduates looking for jobs, and supervisors tend to have little interest in students who are leaving academia. One OECD study shows that five years after receiving their degrees, more than 60% of PhDs in Slovakia and more than 45% in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany and Spain were still on temporary contracts. Many were postdocs. About one-third of Austria’s PhD graduates take jobs unrelated to their degrees. In Germany 13% of all PhD graduates end up in lowly occupations. In the Netherlands the proportion is 21%.

A very slim premium

PhD graduates do at least earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree. A study in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management by Bernard Casey shows that British men with a bachelor’s degree earn 14% more than those who could have gone to university but chose not to. The earnings premium for a PhD is 26%. But the premium for a master’s degree, which can be accomplished in as little as one year, is almost as high, at 23%. In some subjects the premium for a PhD vanishes entirely. PhDs in maths and computing, social sciences and languages earn no more than those with master’s degrees. The premium for a PhD is actually smaller than for a master’s degree in engineering and technology, architecture and education. Only in medicine, other sciences, and business and financial studies is it high enough to be worthwhile. Over all subjects, a PhD commands only a 3% premium over a master’s degree.

Dr Schwartz, the New York physicist, says the skills learned in the course of a PhD can be readily acquired through much shorter courses. Thirty years ago, he says, Wall Street firms realised that some physicists could work out differential equations and recruited them to become “quants”, analysts and traders. Today several short courses offer the advanced maths useful for finance. “A PhD physicist with one course on differential equations is not competitive,” says Dr Schwartz.

Many students say they are pursuing their subject out of love, and that education is an end in itself. Some give little thought to where the qualification might lead. In one study of British PhD graduates, about a third admitted that they were doing their doctorate partly to go on being a student, or put off job hunting. Nearly half of engineering students admitted to this. Scientists can easily get stipends, and therefore drift into doing a PhD. But there are penalties, as well as benefits, to staying at university. Workers with “surplus schooling”—more education than a job requires—are likely to be less satisfied, less productive and more likely to say they are going to leave their jobs.

Academics tend to regard asking whether a PhD is worthwhile as analogous to wondering whether there is too much art or culture in the world. They believe that knowledge spills from universities into society, making it more productive and healthier. That may well be true; but doing a PhD may still be a bad choice for an individual.

The interests of academics and universities on the one hand and PhD students on the other are not well aligned. The more bright students stay at universities, the better it is for academics. Postgraduate students bring in grants and beef up their supervisors’ publication records. Academics pick bright undergraduate students and groom them as potential graduate students. It isn’t in their interests to turn the smart kids away, at least at the beginning. One female student spoke of being told of glowing opportunities at the outset, but after seven years of hard slog she was fobbed off with a joke about finding a rich husband.

Monica Harris, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, is a rare exception. She believes that too many PhDs are being produced, and has stopped admitting them. But such unilateral academic birth control is rare. One Ivy-League president, asked recently about PhD oversupply, said that if the top universities cut back others will step in to offer them instead. 

January 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

Xavier’s Institute of Management (XIMB) plans for a University at Sambalpur

Following is a report from the http://www.pagalguy.com:

Bhubhaneswar-based Xavier’s Institute of Management (XIMB) is in the process of turning into a university soon, its Director Fr PT Joseph, SJ tells PaGaLGuY. In this interview, he also speaks about the curriculum changes the institute is planning for its Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and the PGDM Rural Management courses.

What changes can the incoming batch of 2013 look forward to benefitting from at XIMB?

From the point of view of the fulltime programme students, we will be revising the curriculum a little bit next year. Apart from that, although it doesn’t directly affect PGDM or PGDM(RM) students, but we have started a 1-year advanced management programme on Resettlement and Rehabilitation and Corporate Social Responsibility for 15 executives of Uttarakhand’s Tehri Hydro Development Corporation. This along with our other initiatives in the rural management and social sector will continue to be under focus in the coming year.

Are you looking at an increase in intake for any of the the two-year programmes?

We were looking at expansion in the number of seats but the proposal hasn’t gone past AICTE’s regulations. But we may become a university soon and therefore increase intake from a university perspective. That process might take one or two months to finalize, but we are in the process of becoming a university.

Would that mean that the PGDM degrees would be offered as full-fledged MBA degrees under the XIMB University?

The PGDM will still remain as an AICTE-approved course, it may not become a university degree for now. But after we get university status we may start some other type of programmes under the university. Right now we have gotten the government sanction of Rs 10 crores and are involved with acquiring the necessary land for the University in Sambalpur. Until land is acquired, which is priority for now, we aren’t in a position to share more details.

What is XIMB’s faculty strength now and how are you thinking about expanding it?

As of now we are 55 in total. One more is joining in December and another two may join in January 2011. We hire faculty whenever we come across somebody good. For example, one of the faculty joining next is a Cornell University PhD with lots of experience. Another person in the recruitment process has worked in Netherlands and has a PhD from Korea.

What kind of curriculum changes are you going to make in the PGDM and PGDM(RM) courses before the next batch joins?

We have already started a new course on Environment and Sustainability which is mandatory for all the 180 PGDM students. There’s another mandatory course on Emotional quotient and Leadership. Next, we are planning a meeting of all the faculty on the January 12, 2011. Before that meeting, a committee is preparing the background papers by looking at changes in the global and Indian economy. Only after the January 12 meeting will a clear picture emerge about the exact changes.

But speaking in general, we’ve been teaching management that is too bifurcated by specialization in our view. As you know, students choose to go for either marketing or finance or other specializations during the course. We are having a feeling that there should be some integration between these specializations by changing their content and give each course a holistic approach. For example, we know that there is a good market for inkjet printer cartridges. But inkjet cartridge production also generates a large amount of waste and affects the environment. So when we teach either of marketing or production management, we need to also bring awareness of sustainability in and show how both marketing and production are linked. If we can do this, we will not only make better managers but also better human beings. Apart from that, we would like to increase our connection with the bottom of the pyramid. We have a very strong programme in which all 180 PGDM students went and stayed in villages for 3 days. We want to increase their exposure to bottom of the pyramid and to leadership. We would also like to focus on ways to increase mentoring from faculty and senior students.

What are your thoughts on b-schools changing their admission policy to reduce the number of engineers in the batch?

This is something we tried to do last year already. We wanted to bring down the number of engineers and increase the batch diversity by taking in students from other backgrounds. But unfortunately all the students who are getting good grades in XAT were engineers and we could not reduce their number last year. But we’ll continue to give quantitative ability lesser weightage compared to verbal and commnication skills and try to reduce the number of engineers.

Looking at the Indian scenario, I would prefer 60% engineers and 40% non-engineers ideally in the XIMB batches. The job market requirements are still such that the engineering background is preferred so we cant reduce it too much.

We have traditionally seen what an engineer-driven MBA job market looks like. But in your view what scope do non-engineers with an MBA degree have in the market?

Only the product marketing, production and manufacturing companies need people to necessarily have engineering backgrounds. But the remaining type of jobs, that is finance, human resources, some types of marketing and market research, advertising are areas that do not really require engineers.

January 2, 2011 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Establish the proposed Vedanta University in western Orissa

Following report is from the http://www.orissasambad.com:

NOTE: Earlier it was also reported in the Dharitri that Vedanta should establish a full fledged University at Kalahandi.

January 2, 2011 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

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