Top guns from Delhi’s elite colleges speak out their mind and deliberate on Industry and Academia gap
Top bosses from leading colleges in Delhi met at the 3rd Higher Education Summit organized by CII on Dec 18th to deliberate on some of the burning issues higher education is facing today. Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister, Government of NCT of Delhi, Mr. Manish Sisodia was the Chief Guest at the event held at the India Habitat Centre, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Hon. Minister however could not make it and welcomed the gathering through a recorded video message. A report on Delhi Higher Education 2018 was released by Dr. Jitendra K Das, Director, FORE School of Management, Delhi.
Speaking at the inaugural session, ‘Harnessing an Entrepreneurial Network’, Dr. Jitendra K. Das referred to the highest foreign remittance received by India, essentially an amount of 80 billion dollars and urged that the Government should try and act upon discouraging this brain-drain from happening, rather than being satisfied with the foreign remittance.
The session on ‘Bridging the Gap between Industry and Academia’ witnessed academicians coming out with insights on a robust and functional collaboration between the industry and academia which is beyond that of a producer-consumer relationship.
Prof. Raj S Dhankar, Chief Executive Officer, Apeejay Education Society in his opening remarks said that there should be a transition from ‘teaching organization to learning organisations’. The industry academia gap can be ensured with hands-on-learning.
Dr. Vijaya Katti, Dean, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) coined the term ‘Pracademics’ which essentially meant ‘practical academics’ which is the need of day to work towards building industry-ready outcomes and said that research studies should not be for the sake of research but should be industry oriented research and faculties should often visit industry to get ideas. She also proposed that the 2 year MBA should evolve to meet the challenge of the Online Courses and short term MBA courses which are on the offer.
Prof. Simrit Kaur, Principal, Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), University of Delhi sharing similar sentiments said that the standard of PhDs produced should be re-oriented. Citing Howard Universities 100+ electives and some of which has been added in recent times she said, that the dynamics in the industry and the changes are so rapid that the academia all over the world is struggling to catch up with. She emphasized upon building value driven systems and not just be employee generators.
Prof. John Varghese Principal, St. Stephens College, University of Delhi talked about the need of a policy framework that is impartial, factual, ensures right kind of methodology & pedagogy and certain degree of freedom for the institutions to develop and adopt a curriculum which is sync with the needs of the industry, which is not happening or not happening at the pace it should have happened. Referring to the 98% plus cut off maintained for admissions by St. Stephens, and the 400 odd students who make it every year, Prof. Varghese stated that score cards and marks should not be the only criteria for evaluations. “I and my colleagues know that there are 1000 students more who can be accommodated. The problem is not with them, the problem is with our education system and what we consider or prioritize for success”, he said.
Prof. Nidhip Mehta, Head, School of Design, Pearl Academy stressed upon the topic of governance and one of the reason why Pearl Academy has been under Government body as an ‘Active Choice” and still offer successful career options to thousands of students. Prof. Mehta presented his case with examples from the academy on how the students work closely with industry practitioners on projects and develop themselves to be absorbed by the industry the moment they step out of college.