“In the digital era, Open Book Exams, could be an alternative to conventional Recollect and Reproduce, exams” – Dr. Jitendra K. Das

“Open Book Exams instead of Recollect and Reproduce can be looked into” – Dr. Jitendra K. Das

Talking on futurism of education and the need of a complete disruption in existing education system, Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director at FORE School of Management New Delhi, cited the likelihood of Google glass or similar wearable intelligent device, being used by students while writing an exam is imminent in the future. 

“Along with innovation in pedagogy, transformation in teaching methodology, evolution in examination pattern is also a crying need. Open book examination system, where all resources are made available to the students, can be looked upon as an option as an alternative to the existing conventional pattern of Read, Recollect and Reproduce”, said Dr. Das who was the session chair at the recently held seminar - The Asia Pacific Summit on Teaching Learning Content and Process on Higher Education, organized by Federation for World Academics (FWA). 

Other panelists in the session were Prof. M. J Xavier – COO, Karunya University, Coimbatore; Ms. Anjali Singh, SVP & COO Financial Services, Genpact; Dr. Irfan A Rizvi, VP-FWA, Ms. Pria Warrick, President, Pria Warrick Finishing Academy. 

Prof. M J Xavier, mentioned about the highly polarized job scenario and said, “There is a complete mismatch in the compensation slabs with either a highly paid job or a low level one. Employability has to address the concept of universal basic income. If you want to be an entrepreneur you are either in a high tech or Finmart business else end up being in a ‘pakoda’ business. How do you balance this ? New models and reforms are needed where students can learn ‘Just in time’ as they need to be equipped with the different types of market demands which will eventually address this polarization. 

Ms. Anjali Singh, mentioned about the significant gap in ‘Talent Readiness’ as by the year 2030 an estimated 1/3rd of the jobs will change typically and what a student learns in the 1st year will probably become redundant when he is in the 4th year. “Talent Readiness is a CXO top priority among the corporate. Genpact has come up with modules and tying up with universities to avoid the initial training period for fresh recruits. More of these programs are needed which eventually could address the issue and be a win-win-win situation for the university, student and corporate”, she said. 

Dr. Irfan A Rizvi, stated that higher education programs rolled out should be in sync with the market and outcomes should be well-defined. He recommended a

5 P guideline to be followed for designing any program :

1. Purpose 2. Products and services; 3. Process and People 4. Partners and stake holders 5. Purchasers or Market 

Delegates from academia, industry and government attended the seminar. Speakers from Universities, Business Schools, NASSCOM, NSDC and CII deliberated on challenges and futurism of education with Vision of 2030. 

Earlier during the day, Dr. Sandhya Chintala, Vice President, IT-ITeS Skill Council at NASSCOM, shared thought-provoking insights on the changing scenario and impact of Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain, 3D printing or Nano technology. She mentioned how the new age technology will be creating more avenues and said, “While India becomes a trillion dollar economy by 2025, the single largest challenge country will face is creating talent readiness for the immense opportunities and changing job roles. For an MBA student, the administrative or project management skills may not be that critical anymore as it would be something which is expected to be an inherent skill-set in every candidate. Similarly, future-ready master faculty would also be in high demand”. 

Prof. Suresh Advani, President- MODY University, resonating similar sentiments said, “We educators have to inculcate a culture where student is inspired to learn and acquire knowledge instead of pushing down their throat some classroom theories and encourage rote learning to score marks”.

Dr. Urvashi Makkar- Director General, GLBIMR, New Delhi, Chairperson of the session Redesigning Management Education and Curriculum for Digital Era, in her opening speech said, “Curriculum should be designed keeping in mind the technology disruptions around us and changing employment scenario”.

Porf. Madhu Vij, Professor at FMS, University of Delhi recommended a 3:2:1 plan – where after every session the faculty asks students to write down 3 relevant points, 2 interesting point and one unanswered point. Through this one can differentiate relevancy of the topic and encourage students to relate to the topic. She also suggested design thinking to be an inclusive part of curriculum while Global Immersion programs should be such designed that the students get a first-hand exposure of the global work culture. Referring to the recent corporate scams, she suggested that business schools should think of how to make ‘Business Ethics’ a critical part of the curricula.  

Dr. S K Mahapatra, Director- Jaipuria School of Business, Ghaziabad who moved from academia to corporate and back to academia, echoed his thoughts on the inclusion of design thinking in curricula and said, “Think Global act local is something which I have been coming across for the past 20 years. While the learning can be imbibed from global context, the interpretation, innovation and application has to be local just like China did. They brought in the knowledge and information from all over the world but the innovation took place in China and not in Silicon Valley. Unfortunately for us, we go back to Silicon Valley to prove that we are innovative and creative, instead of doing it here”.

Ms. Shweta Berry, Head of Strategic Alliances- Industry & Academia, Aeris Communications referred to the digital era three decades back when NIIT and Aptech started offering industry ready courses which the engineering colleges and institutes did not but later followed. “Technology has to be imbibed in curricula but while we are talking of redesigning the curricula, understanding the type of demand is critical as two years down the line in 2020, estimated 50% of the jobs roles will change due to evolution in technology”, she said.


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