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Volume 03 Issue 05


eDU | volume 03 | Issue 05

A 9.9 Media Publication may 2012


Stuart Corbridge, Pro-Director, London School of Economics P 50 administration





educ ation

How IIM Ranchi overcame the newbie hurdles P 34




or Default?

There is a global wave that promises to make D-schools the next B-schools. What is India doing? Read MP Ranjan’s views on the growth impetus design schools need Pg 12


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FOREWORD Let’s design a brave new wave


“Yet, despite abundant talent... design education has failed to garner the same attention in our country as has business education”

hink design and its association with creative, innovative genius springs to the mind. Not many can forget the cute, bubbly little Meena, the animated social messaging icon of UNICEF. Her creator, Ram Mohan, is the doyen of design world, the legend who awakened India to the art of animation. He is the creative genius behind the animation film Ramayana—The Legend of Prince Ram—made with Japanese collaboration. Another name you can think of is Mickey Patel—an illustrator par excellence, bringing alive stories for children and cartoons for adults. Corporate communications veterans swear by Sudarshan Dheer—creator of logos of Titan, Hindustan Petroleum, Essar, Sage Capital, AIAWA, etc. Raghavendra Rathore, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ritu Beri…when it comes to fashion, the list of star NIFT graduates is endless. Sadly, there are not many names that spring to the mind when you think of industrial design. Design as a resource is vast, including principles as diverse as film, video, animation, fashion, graphics, textile, industrial designing like automobiles and products, interiors, crafts like pottery among others. But the fundamental of all designing is one—innovative and creative thinking. And, it needs to be taught. India’s tryst with formal design training goes back to 1800s when the Bombay Art School (now JJ School of Art) came up in 1857, followed by the College of Arts, Kolkata, in 1884. The letterform design has its roots even further back in the Indus Valley Scripts of 2600 BC! With the setting up of National Institute of Design in 1962, followed by Industrial Design Centre at IIT Bombay in 1969, formal design education got further government sanction. The latter model was replicated in IIT Delhi (1985), Kanpur (2004) and IISC Bangalore (1990). One would have thought India had finally arrived on the global design stage. Yet, despite abundant talent and rising demand for quality, affordable and sustainable design in all fields, design education failed to garner the same attention in our country as has business education. Globally, design is now being viewed as an inseparable part of business studies, as innovation and creative thinking become the fulcrum to drive enterprise. It makes me think that just adding a few more D-schools on the lines of the new IIMs and IITs, would not do. We need a policy vision to drive this much-needed creative renaissance.

Dr Pramath Raj Sinha

May 2012  EduTech


Contents EDU may 2012

update 04 concern 05 COURSE LEADING 06 tie-up language 07 pact chair

Viewpoint 08 GS singh Vision for Best-in-Class B-schools


administration 34 johar IIM Ranchi Find out how IIM Ranchi has leveraged its location rather than letting it come in the way of progress By Sangita Thakur Varma

Academics 26 the making of a study programme How to go about ensuring that the programme you are launching meets the market needs By Charu Bahri 32 interview PTC’s Sr VP John Stuart on working with engineering colleges in India

There is no escape from your actions —Veer Singh VC, NALSAR, Hyderabad

edu tech 2012 40 advancing higher education through technology A report on the Hyderabad and Delhi editions of the annual event held in February-March 2012


Global perspective

54 interview Dr Les Foltos, Co-Creator of Peer-Ed professional training programmes on peer-to-peer learning with technology By Mitia Nath

Find out what’s currently happening in institutions around the world. The Chronicle of Higher Education shares its perspectives with EDU 44 Yale Faculty Registers Concern About Campus in Singapore By Karin Fischer 46 Chinese Students Account for About Half of International Applicants to US By Karin Fischer 48 In Brazil, a Liberal-Arts Experiment Brings Diversity to One Campus By Andrew Downie

56 tech tute Go viral with your video: DIY Video Lectures-Part III By Tushar Kanwar



EduTech  May 2012



Managing Director: Pramath Raj Sinha PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Anuradha Das Mathur Group Editor: R Giridhar managing editor: Smita Polite

cover Story

12 Can D-Schools be the next B-schools?

In the absence of sustained interest and policy impetus, design education in India languished over the years. Apart from a lone NID and a few private initiatives, there is not much to write about. Thankfully, winds of change are blowing By Teja Lele Desai

20 “Lack of vision hampers design education” MP Ranjan, thinker and academic, on why design education needs to be revamped

24 “Design is a holistic way of thinking”

Pradyumna Vyas, Director, NID Ahmedabad, on the many good initiatives in design studies



50 Stuart corbridge By Smita Polite

Entab Pearson



BFE India


62 books 63 gizmos & gadgets




Filex Systems BC


This index is provided as an additional service. The publisher does not assume any liabilities for errors or omissions.

64 ub desai Bring on the Innovations


Copydesk Managing EDITOR: Sangita Thakur Varma SUB EDITORS: Radhika Haswani, Mitia Nath DEsign Sr Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Art Director: Anil VK Associate Art Director: Atul Deshmukh SR Visualiser: Manav Sachdev Visualisers: Prasanth TR, Anil T & Shokeen Saifi Sr Designers: Sristi Maurya & NV Baiju Designers: Suneesh K, Shigil N, Charu Dwivedi Raj Verma, Prince Antony, Peterson Prameesh Purushothaman C & Midhun Mohan Chief Photographer: Subhojit Paul SR Photographer: Jiten Gandhi salEs & MarkEting Brand Manager: Deepak Garg National Manager-Events & Special Projects: Mahantesh Godi NORTH: Vipin Yadav ( 09911888276) SOUTH: Daphisha Khapiah ( 09986084742) Assistant Brand Manager: Maulshree Tewari Ad co-ordination/Scheduling: Kishan Singh Production & logistics Sr GM Operations: Shivshankar M. Hiremath Manager Operations: Rakesh Upadhyay Asst. Manager - Logistics: Vijay Menon Executive Logistics: Nilesh Shiravadekar Production Executive: Vilas Mhatre Logistics: MP Singh and Mohamed Ansari officE addrEss Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd , Kakson House, A & B Wing, 2nd Floor, 80 Sion Trombay Road, Chembur, Mumbai-400071 INDIA. Certain content in this publication is copyright of The Chronicle of Higher Education and has been reprinted with permission For any customer queries and assistance please contact Published, Printed and Owned by Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd. Published and printed on their behalf by Kanak Ghosh. Published at Bungalow No. 725, Sector-1 Shirvane, Nerul, Navi Mumbai - 400706 Printed at Tara Art Printers Pvt Ltd., A-46-47, Sector -5 NOIDA (U.P.) 201301 Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur

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Stuart Corbridge, Pro-Director, London School of Economics P 50 ADMINISTRATION






How IIM Ranchi overcame the newbie hurdles P 34





or Default?

There is a global wave that promises to make D-schools the next B-schools. What is India doing? Read MP Ranjan’s views on the growth impetus design schools need Pg 12

Cover ART: PORTRIT & design by ANIL T

Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts before recycling

May 2012  EduTech


from the world of higher education

05 course 05 Leading 06 tie-up 06 language 07 pact 07 chair & more

UGC Seeks More Colleges in the Districts The University Grant Commission (UGC) has prepared a framework for the proposed National Higher Education Campaign whose objective will be to establish degree colleges in the backward districts on the lines of ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’. As the government had failed in its earlier efforts to do so, fresh efforts are being made. To meet the financial requirements, it is proposed that the expenses be shared in the 75:25 ratio between the central and the state governments.

Mumbai University gets New Pro VC Collaborate: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal asked academia and industry to forge ties in order to lead up the path of higher education

Collaborate to Teach, Says Sibal The HRD Minister is concerned with academia’s parochial approach to higher education and advocates a holistic and collaborative model Concern Union Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal is concerned that the Indian academia does not view education as a collaborative effort and propounded a holistic approach. He was speaking as the chief guest at the second ICC Higher Education Conclave 2012. There are more than 14 Bills pending in the Parliament he said, adding, “Policy framework becomes paralysed because political processes do not allow it, yet no member of the academic community has raised questions.” The summit, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce was held in Kolkata and was attended by leading academicians and industrialists. The focus of the conclave was skill and creative development. Dilip HM Chenoy, MD and CEO, NSDC, advocated proactive participation of the industry and called for responsiveness from the academia. Prof HA Ranganath, Director, NAAC spoke of “expansion, excellence, equity, empowerment and evolution” as the major challenges in higher education.


EduTech  May 2012

Dr Narsh Chandra has been appointed the Pro Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University by the Governor of Maharshtra. Dr Chandra is currently the Principal of Birla College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Kalyan. He held the same post from April 1997 to May 2000. He will, however, not continue for long, as he turns 60 next June—the retirement age for Pro Vice Chancellor. A veteran educationist Dr Chandra has an Msc, Mphil and PhD in Botany. His specialisation is the field of plant biotechnology, photochemistry, plant tissue culture and plant physiology.

Time limit for PhD at gu Gujarat University has mandated that students pursuing their PhDs must submit completed theses in fours years’ time, failing to which, their theses would stand cancelled. Officials claim that the decision has been taken to ensure availability of guides for fresh students. While the university is holding another entrance test for PhD students, many students who cleared the last entrance are still awaiting guides for their doctoral theses.


Course to Groom Women in Politics The certificate course will combine theory and practice to make women ready for a leadership career in politics course IIM-B has tied up with Delhibased Centre for Social Research to launch a first of its kind course on political leadership exclusively for women. This certificate course has been designed to equip women with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to excel in this field. The course duration will be 10 weeks which will include theory classes at the IIM-B campus; a weeklong stay in Delhi coinciding with the monsoon session of the Parliament, allowing students a first-hand glimpse of parliamentary processes; field work in candidates’ constituencies; a week-long stay in Singapore to study public policies of developed nations. “Any good politician needs a basic skill set, which includes policy expertise, perspective,

personal effectiveness and of course, political skills. We have created a curriculum where the candidates will get a chance to learn about the theory of politics, economics of governance, campaigns and elections, working with the media, gender issues and ideologies,” said Rajeev Gowda, Chairperson, Leadership training would include diverse topics Centre for Policy Research. from political theory to media and gender issues The course has also available in English, but we will soon received some flak for not catering to the translate the material in Hindi and other non-English-speaking section who may regional languages before putting it otherwise be suitable for the course. “We online,” said Ranjana Kumari, Director, are aware of this shortcoming and are CSR. The new course will fill a long-felt trying to make the course accessible to void in the study of women in politics. more people. The course will initially be

Taiwan ahead of European countries in HE Leading The year by year increase in the number of educated Taiwanese citizens with a college, university or other type of higher education degree increased to 39 per cent of the population, outstripping that of other European countries. It is a tie with South Korea’s 39 per cent and is lower than Japan’s 44 per cent, according to findings. The proportion of the educated population in Taiwan stands much higher than the average 30 per cent of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s member states. It is higher than Germany’s 26 per cent, Britain’s 37 per cent, France’s 30 per cent, Switzerland’s 35 per cent, Norway’s 37 per cent, and Sweden’s 33 per cent. By the end of 2011, 38.2 per cent of Taiwanese over 15 years were college or university degree holders, while 32.3 per cent were high school or vocational high school graduates. Some 7.53 million Taiwanese had completed their higher education as of last December 31, statistics say. 

global update


point increase in no. of Taiwanese degree holders in past 10 years


of under-40 Taiwanese women are higher education degree holders

May 2012  EduTech



AICTE to Deploy Cloudbased Software More than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes across the country to benefit from its partnership with Microsoft Tie-Up “Microsoft’s cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country’s technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students,” said SS Mantha, Chairman, AICTE. Live@edu is a hosted communication and collaboration service that offers email, Microsoft Office Web Apps, instant messaging and storage to over seven million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members under AICTE. AICTE happens to be Microsoft’s largest cloud customer. “Developing India’s youth and their skills is going to play an important role in the country’s inclusive growth. The union budget also laid emphasis on skill

development and so does the proposed 12th Five Year Plan with a National Policy Microsoft’s cloud platform will contribute greatly towards the country’s technical education on Skill Development. The PPP Microsoft too seems excited about the model (public-private partnership) is prospects this collaboration will open most essential in running and managing up. “We are delighted with the confitraining institutions to address the skill dence posed by AICTE in Microsoft. gap most efficiently. Microsoft’s commitMicrosoft has always seen education as a ment to empower students by deploying priority area and believes that technology Microsoft Live@edu for 7.5 million offers possibilities that can help empowusers across the country with AICTE is er not just teachers and students but colcommendable and a step towards an lectively India as a nation,” said Sanket informed and developing India. I conAkerkar, MD, Microsoft Corporation gratulate both AICTE and Microsoft on India Pvt Ltd. The collaboration will this significant milestone,” said Kapil expand access to technical education. Sibal, Union Minister for HRD.


Jamia Introduces New Course Language The Faculty of Humanities and Languages will introduce a degree programme in Turkish language from the coming academic session this July. Prior to this, the Faculty of Humanities and Languages offered a certificate course, a diploma and an advanced diploma in the subject. Given its popularity among students and the fact that no similar programme exists anywhere in the country, the university decided to launch a full-time degree course with an initial 20 seats. The eligibility criteria for the course is senior secondary school certificate or an equivalent exam with a minimum of 50 per cent marks aggregate. Admission to the course will be decided on the basis of entrance test, followed by


EduTech  May 2012

an interview. A p a r t f ro m t h e usual language training, the course will also contain a study of Turkish literature to give the students a better understanding of the culture. Simi Malhotra, a faculty member at the department of English and media coordinator believes that the course opens up some lucrative career prospects. “With the boom in the information and cyber world, there is a sudden demand for translators and content writers in the field. Many students also opt for careers in the embassy—as translators, interpreters, researchers. There is also scope for language teaching,” she said.


ISB signs MoU with IBA, Karachi Almost identical cultures, traditions, markets and challenges make for an ideal partnership pact In a first of its kind Memorandum tions aimed at nurturing business and of Understanding (MoU), Indian school entrepreneurs who would contribute to of Business (ISB) will extend its executhe growth of business and industry in tive education programme to Institute of Pakistan,” said Dr Chandra. He stated Business Administration, Karachi. ISB’s that the Centre would also work with the Centre for Executive Education (CEE) public sector and the government, apart will offer open and custom designed from the private sector. Echoing a simicourses to senior management execular sentiment, Dr Hussain said, “This is tives at IBA. the beginning of a long relationship. We Under the terms of the MoU, signed are making a modest beginning but we by Deepak Chandra, Deputy Dean, ISB will build on this and I hope this will and Ishrat Hussain, Dean lead to exchange of stuand Director, IBA, the faculdents, faculty members, ty of ISB will visit the IBA collaborative research and CEE’s campus in Karachi. case studies.” revenues “It is a momentous occaStarting June this year, during 2011-12 sion for us. We are confident CEE will offer 10 proexceeded that this partnership will grammes in the first year help generate tremendous whose primary focus will opportunities for cross-colfamily business, entreprelaboration between the two neurship, business leadermillion schools and set the tone for ship, strategy and publicmany more future associaprivate partnership (PPP).


VCU’s $1 mn Campaign for India Chair Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell states such ties are essential for building relationships of mutual interest and benefit Chair Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the US has launched a first of its kind $1 million campaign to support an India Chair on Democracy and Civil Society. The India Chair in the L Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, will lead the discussion about democracy by bringing experts on Indian art, culture, history, politics, economics, business relations and related areas to campus and the surrounding community. Michael Rao, President of VCU, said the creation of the India Chair was a source of great pride for the university. “The horizon is limitless for what we can do together,” Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao said, regarding the launch of the Chair.

voices “If the institute has to progress, it must focus on improving its quality and quantity of research; should get more investments and develop technology to be used by industries” —M Balakrishnan, Deputy Director, IIT Delhi

“Considering the demand of technology managers, it is proposed to commence a five-year dual degree programme and six-month internship. Students will not have to give CAT or MAT... after which they will get the integrated degree” — SS Mantha, AICTE Chairman

“The idea of having PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) is to help people who are unable to pay for a good education, but if the fees are free, the rich will also receive the same benefit, and this is not fair to the poor. Why should we help the rich? PTPTN is for the poor”

— Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Former Prime Minister, Malaysia

May 2012  EduTech



GS Singh

Vision for Best-in-Class B-schools


here are a whopping 3,700 B-schools in India. However, the vast majority are of suspect quality. Nonetheless, given such concentration and numbers of B-schools, the competition for students and faculty is really fierce and qualified faculty is drastically short. It is a sad state of affairs that majority of these B-schools are just there to fill seats and barely manage to hold classes and run courses and mostly act like placement agencies. What Makes a B-school Ideal Any product or service has to be measured from the point of view of an end user. What should a B-school graduate be able to deliver and achieve in the organisation she/he joins? At the lowest level the market demands that a B-school graduate should be able to perform the day-to-day function of the industry/corporate she joins. The knowledge that she/he learns at the B-school will make them perform as good field forces with the potential to become senior managers in the organisation as they go along.


EduTech  May 2012

Types of B-Schools B-schools in India roughly fall under three main categories. Tier I, II and III. Tier I B-schools appear regularly among the top 50 or so in most of the prestigious Indian rankings. These include the older IIMs and many of the established private schools like NITIE, SP Jain, NMIMS, Jamna Lal Bajaj, FMS Delhi, IMT, IIFT, XIMJ, XIMB, TAPMI and others. Tier II schools, if we may increase the bandwidth by including two+ and two-, are at least a few hundred all across India. It is an interesting group of schools in the sense that it may have schools in existence for more than 20 to a few years. Majority of these schools are run by private trusts. Tier II may also include schools run as university departments in public and private universities. Many of these, with proper governance and vision, are consistently providing good value-add to the students. These schools have the potential to upgrade to Tier I over the next few years, possess reasonably good infrastructure, are generally approved by AICTE and are mostly run by private trusts. A few are also run as departments of universities and IITs

GS Singh

The Tier II schools can really propel the quality of management education in India and help in producing excellent young managers in comparatively large numbers. Tier III B-schools play on the aspirations of the students who have been poor in studies, poor in exposure and feel that they have missed the bus already. Most of these students hail from the Tier III and below towns and villages. The role for these students, coming out of Tier III and lower category of B-schools, could be a field role like a senior sales person, an accounts executive or an assistant HR executive for many years to begin with. These schools should gear themselves to prepare the students for these down to earth but in-demand roles. Thousands of SMEs all over India can be the target recruiters for these students. Exception to the above over a period of time can be brought in by the schools where the learning is of better quality, where team building and group learning is encouraged, pedagogy is dynamic and there is continual effort to enrich the teaching resources.

Challenges and Opportunities The challenge is to convert each one of the Tier II and III schools into a better category school in India and hence bring in more competitive excellence. The biggest problem is that many of these schools remain in silos and the management attitude is one of complacency and false show as of running the best school but not working towards making it one. Quality of teaching and learning has stopped evolving because of this attitudinal inertia. Yet, many of these schools are coming up with newer fashionable MBA streams without giving a thought to academic expertise available.

Framework for Excellence How do we go about bringing in quality improvement and culture of learning in such a milieu? Vision & Mission: Quality of purpose needs to be the overarching part of the framework for any B-school. A vision and mission evolved with respect to this and its review and validation by all stakeholders should be the accepted process. The continual improvement in the overall quality of governance is one of the outcomes of the framework driven by this vision and mission. Faculty: Faculty shortage has financial and societal history and absence of good quality research in our university system has compounded it beyond any short-term solution. We are taking our own time to attract the faculty of Indian origin from the US and other universities. In this regard,


Tier I B-schools appear regularly among the top 50 in most of the Indian rankings. These include the older IIMs and many of the established private schools Institute for Financial Management and Research’s efforts are worth emulating. It has inhouse quality research jointly with world-class institutions abroad and gets faculty by offering research opportunities and incentives. Another laudable effort, at a substantial cost, is being undertaken by ISB Hyderabad. Full-time researchscholars are engaged at double the stipend than many institutes in India. A pre-doctoral immersion assignment abroad after two to three years into research funded by the institute is designed to show very good results over long term with output as faculty, capable of producing quality research. Exposure to the best practices through interaction and networking must be encouraged. B-schools need to lay emphasis on faculty and student exchange programmes with other schools within India and abroad. Collaboration in teaching and research and sharing of best practices should be taken as a serious policy goal. Industry Interaction: A cluster or collaborative approach among the schools with no or very little location advantage can act as a catalyst towards improved industry interaction. ICT can facilitate interaction without really making corporate seniors travel. We have seen initial impact of ICT at IIM Shillong. Research: Research is one activity which has a very visible impact towards making the environment vibrant and conducive to learning. It’s a part of the key responsibility of an institute to understand the local, national and international problems and issues and address these through research, problem solving and continual interaction and involvement. Sustainable Management: It’s a buzzword as well as a very timely intervention in business May 2012  EduTech



Author’s BIO GS Singh is an Honorary Professor, Guru Nanak Dev University and Chief Advisor EduMint. He has also been an advisor at CRISIL Ltd. In the past he has also been a visiting researcher at INRIA, Paris and a guest faculty at institutes such as SP Jain and MICA

GS Singh

teaching and training approach. Sustainable management, forming the core of curriculum, in every subject taught at B-schools, will go a long way in creating young global managers with sustainability of social, environmental and geographical resources. ASPEN Institute has been doing good work and has developed a matrix for sustainability criteria and learning. Optimal Utilisation of Resources: Technology and online resources can be used to acquire prerequisite understanding and learning and a mentor or a teacher enhances that learning in the classroom. The faculty crunch can be overcome by using big classrooms and auditoriums. With ICT infrastructure in place, some institutions are already increasing teaching delivery of their star faculties by putting big video screens in multiple classrooms for a lecture. The future could be that a renowned star faculty’s lectures are streamed over the net in a syndicated manner, thus leveraging the best of teaching across the globe with economy of scale. Cost Efficiency: A study by McKinsey has shown that cost efficiency of schools can be improved by 25 per cent. Like any other enterprise, efficiency

in higher education can be improved by adopting leaner processes in service functions including auxiliary power supplies, air conditioning, hostel services, mess and cafeteria services, logistics and guest house services, etc, that can generate revenues and profits to bring down the cost of a degree to the students and to the institute. For instance, we have lot of scope in India to save on energy consumption. At NIIT University in Rajasthan students’ accomodation is earth cooled, improvising on the design used by ancient Indian builders. If the Government of India is to reach the higher education gross enrolment ratio target of 30 per cent by 2020, a 25 per cent average reduction in the cost of a degree can help. For this, institutes will need to publish the cost of degree and the best practices in place to achieve it. Thus, with basics in place and processes and systems implemented to validate and fine tune the vision and mission, we can bring in a lot of value for all the stakeholders.

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By Manav Sachdev



EduTech  May 2012

Design Schools

Design education has received little interest or policy impetus. But for a lone NID and a few private initiatives, there is not much that is noteworthy in the formal design study space. Thankfully, winds of change are blowing… by TEJA LELE DESAI

INSIDE Pg 15 To Design a Difference Pg 18 “Lack of Vision Hampers Design Education,” MP Ranjan, Independent Academic Pg 23 “Design is a Holistic Way of Thinking,” Pradyumna Vyas,Director, NID May 2012  EduTech


cover story

Design Schools

ndia’s tryst with formal design education can be traced to 1961 when the government, waking up to the inadequacies on this front, invited famed American designer duo Charles and Ray Eames to recommend a programme of design for the country. Their insightful research, a document called The India Report, prompted the setting up of the National Institute of Design (NID), India’s premier design school, in Ahmedabad. Since then, a lot has happened in the field of design education in the country—a number of design schools cropped up, special curricula developed and design gained acceptability and visibility, lacking in earlier decades. It was a moment of glory for India when in 2007, a survey of design schools worldwide by Businessweek put NID, Ahmedabad and the Industrial Design Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai on the list of 60 schools. But despite the fact that the bar was raised for design education in India, it has languished. Why were design schools treated like stepchildren when compared to other professional schools? Why did design education not enjoy the kind of status it had in other countries across the world? What plagues our design education system? That too at a time when the demand for design professionals and service is soaring? A 2011 report by one of India’s leading financial dailies said the country’s annual consumption of design services, currently pegged at Rs 3,400 crore, is expected to grow to Rs 12,300 crore in the


EduTech  May 2012

next five years. Naturally, the demand for design professionals is also on the rise. However, against a requirement of about 7,000, India trains about 1,000 professionals per year. Dr Darlie Koshy, NID director from 2000-2009, in his report Designing Design Education for 21st Century India: Contexts + Concerns + Challenges, makes a strong case for scaling up the number of qualified design professionals in the country. But is India’s education system design-ready? Umesh Tashildar, former executive director and CEO of DSK Supinfocom International Campus, Pune, feels that design education in India has seen a spurt in the last five years or so with many private institutes coming up. DSK Supinfocom International, a joint venture of DSK Group, India, and Supinfocom Group, France, is one of India’s topmost integrated design centres and houses three schools—animation, video games and industrial design on a single campus. “But we need more. Also, it is felt that our education system either produces thinking designers with lesser skills or produces skilled designers with a limited thought input. We need to tackle that and also the unavailability of qualified and quality faculty,” says Tashildar, who helped set up the institute. Dr Koshy, now Director General and CEO of Institute of Apparel Management (IAM), Gurgaon and Network of Apparel Training and Design Centres (ATDCs) across the country, says, “The main problem is that Indian design schools and the mainstream industry are not aligned. There is no collaboration between design schools and institutes. For instance, there is hardly any

Design Schools

dialogue between NIFT, NID and FDDI—all of which are under the Ministry of Commerce and Textiles. Design and fashion education in India seems to be without a sense of direction and purpose.” He adds that the current design initiatives are too marginal to make any impact on policy or on mainstream education.

Designing New Initiatives It was in 2007 that waking up to the importance of design, the government of India announced the National Design Policy, which aimed at ensuring a design-enabled Indian industry that could impact the national economy and the quality of life in a positive manner. Apart from other aims, the policy envisages raising Indian design education to global standards of excellence, and involving the industry and professional designers in the collaborative development of the design profession. But not everyone felt that the policy was the panacea to all design woes. Prof MP Ranjan, a design thinker and independent academic based in Ahmedabad, wrote on his blog ( that the National Design Policy has a very limited mandate and does not include the huge opportunities that exist for local investments in innovation and design for inclusive development. “On the education front, while several new NIDs are proposed to be funded by the government, there is an absence of any new vision statement as to their focus and purpose as if the model exemplified by NID Ahmedabad could be used as a clone for the creation of these new centres in four geographical regions of India,” he wrote. In January 2011, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prof Ranjan speaking on Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship said: The design establishment in India has languished due to great apathy of the government and industry during an extended period of a highly regulated and centrally managed economy and the absence of any real competition. Design schools such as NID have suffered from an absence of funding and vision in recent years. In 2009, the India Design Council was set up to act as the national strategic body for multidisciplinary design and for promotion of design. Reactions are mixed as to whether the council has served any purpose. Tashildar doesn’t think so. “The India Design Council may have been set up as the national strategic body for multidisciplinary design in India, but there hasn’t been much development till date.”

cover story

Dr Koshy agrees. “The Design Council has not taken off. It has lost its way somewhere down the lane. Design has been now been subsumed in innovation as innovation has been promoted by MHRD/PMO’s National Innovation Council and scores of their national-level initiatives. Indian design institutes are not in the picture in any of these macro initiatives. Faculty members of NIFT have been relegated to the background by All India Service Officers who are posted in the centres as directors. Similarly, NID faculty is also not active within the industry except for some initiatives such as the Design Clinics.” But Prof Pradyumna Vyas, Director, NID Ahmedabad, and Member-Secretary, India Design Council, feels with the National Design Policy in place, there is a lot on the anvil, adding that “India Design Council is at the helm of all things.”

Catching Them Young In other countries, efforts are often made to enrol students at a young age to sensitise and orient them towards design. At Baltimore Design School, a public middle-high school, the focus is on three specific areas of design: fashion design, architecture, and graphic design. Described as a public transformation middle-high school, the Baltimore Design School has “an arts focus, which can lead to careers”. The school

To Design a Difference


n a bid to position India as a top design destination, the National Design Policy envisages: * Laying special focus on upgradation of existing design institutes and faculty resources to international standards, particularly the National Institute of Design (NID) and its new campuses/centres. * Exploring the possibility of new models for setting up of such design institutes, in keeping with the current economic and educational paradigms. The public-private partnership mode could also be an option. * Encouraging the establishment of departments of design in all Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and in prestigious private sector colleges of engineering and architecture. *Encouraging the teaching of design in vocational institutes oriented to the needs of Indian industry, especially small scale and cottage industries, in primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary educational institutions.

May 2012  EduTech


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Design Schools

programme features courses designed to enhance two-dimensional skills in drawing and painting, three-dimensional skills in constructing, building, and design, and learning how to do it all with computers. At the high school level, design majors choose between fashion, architecture and graphic design. Leslie Shepard, Executive Director of the Baltimore School for the Arts and BDS board member, says that such schools motivate students to do what they love and get an education at the same time. The school feels that all students, with good instruction and practice, can learn art and design skills, and believes that its graduates will be leading designers and architects of the future who will view design as a way of thinking, problem-solving, and living a productive and rewarding life. Martin Rayala, Executive Director, International Design Education Alliance Schools (IDEAS), agrees with this methodology. “I believe students coming into design schools should be exposed to better design education before they arrive in higher education,” he says. “Stanford University’s b. school model, in which every student in the university, regardless of their major, is exposed to concepts and processes of design, reflects the stance that higher education needs to take on reuniting the life of the mind with the complexities of the real world. Leonardo da Vinci is a good exemplar of the kind of thinker and doer we need for a complex 21st century renaissance in higher education.” Dr Koshy also believes there is a need for design awareness at school and at the undergraduate level. In his report, Koshy writes: “To meet the challenge of shaping more designers, existing and new schools will have to learn to manage ‘scale’. There is also a pressing need for basic design education in ITIs, polytechnics, schools,

“Our education system either produces thinking designers with lesser skills or skilled designers with a limited thought input” Umesh Tashildar CEO, DSK Supinfocom International Campus

colleges, engineering and management programmes and others.” “Our design education system offers diverse programme choices at all levels—certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate. However, the eligibility for admission to postgraduate programmes is any graduation. So the course does not build on knowledge acquired during undergraduate studies, but starts with fundamentals of design and covers an undergraduate kind of programme content in two years,” he says.

Cradle of Creativity How can creativity,the bedrock of design,be ensured? Is it possible to create a setting that helps inculcate creative, imaginative and artistic skills? Rayala is clear that creativity, in and out of design, “must be taught”. “Creativity can neither remain in the mystical ‘can’t-be-taught’ attitude of the fine arts nor in the formulaic, ‘brainstorming’ gestures of the business world. Designers use well-defined processes to create innovation when the time and costs involved don’t allow for the luxury of waiting for muses. We can help people become better and more creative designers,” he says. Designers and academicians agree that design schools call for stimulating settings to promote creativity, translating into campuses that encourage interaction, original thought and ideaexchange. At the Sushant School of Design (SSD), Gurgaon, the focus is on an environment that influences learning and nurtures creativity. Jitender Shambi, Head of Department, feels that an educational space meant for design-oriented learning should have the ability to harbour creativity without precincts and boundaries. “Educational spaces require the non-room to be thought of as much as the room. Schools designed for creative processes are modest, silent and absolute in providing the user the spatial experience and tools that inspire to contemplate and produce,” he says. Knowledge-transfer in design schools is not limited to classrooms. It happens through observation, peer activities, and group discussions. At the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University, a cutting-edge school that offers a wide variety of design courses, efforts have been made to gain insights and opportunities for collaborative and creative learning spaces. Scott Witthoft, a lecturer at, as it is popularly known, says, “We’ve tried to create a malleable but suggestive space that biases towards activity and collaboration at the team level.” Training is also extremely important. “If we need to train relevant designers ready for the industry,

the industry has to come and train students. That is why all trainers at our school come from the best design studios,” Tashildar says. The environment clearly should foster learning in every corner and must enable interdisciplinary interaction. The layout? It needs to reflect the fluid nature of learning today and be flexible. Prof Vyas is in agreement. “We need to design keeping in mind the needs of at least the next 100 years. An educational institute cannot be redesigned or shifted after 10-20 years,” he says.

“It is only in a multicontextual, multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary environment that design flourishes”

The Path Ahead

Darlie Koshy

The design landscape seems to be changing. Several engineering colleges across India, through design incubation and support centres, are educating and guiding innovators and entrepreneurs. Dr Koshy, twice named as one of “50 leaders reshaping Indian education” by Education World, The Human Development Magazine, feels that design education “must start with a broad-based general awareness of the principles, nature and utility of good design”. He also emphasises the need to blend technical educational streams with engineering, medicine and other professional courses with the “envelope” of design. “In order to provide a holistic and innovative impetus to design education, it needs to have a trans-disciplinary and multidisciplinary approach, drawing from engineering, technology, arts, business processes and humanities,” he says. Rayala agrees, stating that higher education needs to have better overlap among various design fields. Design, like education in general, needs to promote conversations across disciplines. “Basic concepts in 2D graphic design, 3D product design, 4D spatial design, and 5D experience/interactive design need to be part of every student’s arsenal, no matter what area of design they intend to pursue. If a school doesn’t have a school of architecture, that is not a reason students should not be exposed to 4D spatial design concepts used in architecture, landscape, interior design, urban planning and set design. Many students will ultimately go into other fields but, like Steve Jobs, they need to carry the sensibilities of design with them in order to help their enterprises be successful,” he says. Tashildar says that design education needs some form of standardisation. “There is a need for standardisation of nomenclature of degree/diploma awards. Also, designers should take up education as an alternate profession, developing a mentor programme to establish relationships between professionals and students,” he suggests.

CEO, Institute of Apparel Management Dr Koshy feels that one reason the design sector may have languished is that it has, traditionally, not been attached to Ministry of Human Resources and Development unlike the IITs and IIMs. “It needs to be associated with the ministry and should be aligned with innovation universities and centres that are being set up,” he suggests. What can help? In January 2012, at a seminar titled Design Futures: What Next for Global Design Education, Prof Vyas spoke of the necessity of “design education audit” system. “The time has come to benchmark design education. Some sort of certification…a kind of a voluntary quality benchmark will help,” he says. New design initiatives need to consider the structure of society and create imaginative approaches to products, services and systems. Prof Ranjan, on his blog, makes a case for including “the meta-system, infrastructure, hardware, software and the processware to ensure a perfect fit to the circumstances and requirements of the particular situation”. Clearly, design for inclusive development needs to draw from a variety of knowledge and skills, within legal and ethical parameters. Dr Koshy believes that the design landscape requires a fundamental overhaul to remain relevant in this creative economy. “Some private schools like Shrishti seem to be making progress and fashion schools such as Pearl Academy have been taken over by multinational Laureate (US investor) and have become purely commercial. We need to learn from design schools like Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago; Alto University, and Poly Techno De-Milano, Milan,” he says. “The isolation of design in the educational ecosystem will diminish capabilities greatly, for it is only in a multicontextual, multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary environment that design flourishes,” Dr Koshy ends. May 2012  EduTech


MP Ranjan

Design Thinker and Academic


EduTech  May 2012

Design Schools

cover story

“Lack of vision hampers

design education”

Prof MP Ranjan, Ahmedabad-based independent academic and visionary, speaks to EDU about why design schools are treated like stepchildren, how the narrow interpretation of design has bogged down the education system, and what approach is needed to design curricula for schools of the future

By anil t

How do you compare design education in India to that in other countries? Design education in India started in the early 60s with the setting up of NID. It had a head start with amazing inputs from established design masters with equally amazing visionary founders who helped place Indian design education on the world map quite firmly. However, I do believe we are losing ground to many countries that have made investments and policies to support design education and practice an integral part of their national development policies—something that India is now found lacking in. What do you think are the problems that plague the successful dissemination of design education in our schools? I would say lack of vision and a lack of public awareness about what design is and what it can do for a developing economy and a society in rapid transition. They are hampering design education.

Please tell us about the approach followed at NID when you were associated with it. In the early years, NID used an open-ended form of exploration and learning from international masters. In later years, its internal faculty innovated many courses and educational procedures that have set them apart from the rest of the great design schools. This was recognised abroad but not in India. The core value systems and the educational and work ethic that was embraced by NID faculty and students, opened up many new avenues for design action that the world had yet to recognise as valid areas for design. There was definitely an ideological bias for development and socio-economic change at the grassroots level that stood NID offerings in good stead. However, in recent years this emphasis has somehow been lost and the focus seems to have shifted to the superficial aesthetic. This is rather unfortunate. May 2012  EduTech


cover story

“We need a serious overhaul of all design curricula across disciplines since we are at the cusp of great change and design deals with the shaping of this leading edge itself” —Prof MP Ranjan

Design Schools

Do you think the National Design Policy, announced in 2007 to enhance design and design-related education in India, has helped further the cause? The design policy is a positive move but the narrow interpretation of design by administrators is very sad. The new design schools proposed in the policy, as well as new connect with government and industry could be lost in its implementation if we lose sight of the mission and vision of the design programmes developed by NID over the past 50 years. Its alumni need to be heard—all that knowledge of the Indian condition and all insights from past experiences need to be harvested as we go forward, but this does not seem to be happening.

operation and leave the action in the hands of able design leadership with vision and ability.

What do you feel about the India Design Council and the role it plays? The India Design Council has a major role to play, but the narrow definition of design and the current disregard for social and public roles of design—while seeing design as a tool for industry—makes its possible impact rather limited in scope.

How can educationists ensure creativity and critical thinking? What are the alternative ways of teaching and learning design? We have experimented with such educational methods at NID. Over the years, some of these have been refined to a fine art. However, in recent years, under a very insensitive management and governance structure, the baby has been thrown out with then bathwater since these institutes have been asked to expand mindlessly and earn fees from students in the absence of government funding and industry vision and support. Changes in the curriculum, to meet these number games, have had a detrimental effect on the quality of education. This needs serious review and replenishment in strategy and action.

What do you think is the stumbling block when it comes to design schools— why are they treated like stepchildren when compared to MBA, medical and engineering schools? In India, design schools are definitely the stepchildren of our governmental system. Look at NID and its lack of parity with IIMs and IITs; it’s very disheartening. This lack of parity has continued for so many decades that if we wish to bring change we must do it with a much greater thrust and with great government commitment in the days ahead. This lack of parity is reflected in all kinds of support and funding from the government and industry, and this needs to change as it has in many nations across the world. Design needs to be recognised as a core capability of a nation and we are far behind when it comes to that. What should the government ideally do to enhance the design educational experience in India? The government must revamp the governance structure of its design schools, particularly NID, and make it responsive to inputs from experienced designers and alumni from across numerous sectors of our economy. It should also ensure substantial increase in funding and autonomy in


EduTech  May 2012

What is the approach needed to design education systems and curricula in design schools of the future? We need a serious overhaul of all design curricula across disciplines since we are at the cusp of great change and design deals with the shaping of this leading edge itself. We will need a special set of parameters to evaluate effectiveness and relevance. I believe the design experience in the country has the knowledge and the skills to bring about this change, provided it is nurtured and supported by government policy and sensitive industry involvement.

Which is your favourite design school across the world? It is still the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. The Royal College of Art, London, comes a close second. How do you visualise the ideal design school of the future? The design school of the future will create entrepreneurs who can build from scratch and be able to think tall and act wisely in the vast political and economic space that is the future. Education in liberal arts, design thinking and action abilities along with sensitivity to social and ethical perspectives will form the core of the future curriculum. Technical and administrative abilities will be taken for granted but these are useless without the core sensibilities and abilities.

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Pradyumna Vyas

Director, National Institute of Design


EduTech  May 2012

Design Schools

cover story

“Design is a

holistic way of thinking”

Prof Pradyumna Vyas, Director of the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, tells EDU about the education systems and curricula needed in design schools of the future, the role played by the Indian Design Council and how educationists can ensure creativity and critical thinking

By anil t

What do you think of the status of design education in India today, vis-à-vis other countries? From being a field on the periphery, design has now taken centre stage. It is the next big thing as far as career goes. The emphasis seems to have shifted from technology and management, and students—as well as their parents—are now aware of the design industry as a career option. Many of them are now looking at choices and alternatives in this field after their school and undergraduate courses. How does the NID approach help? At NID, we thrive on flexibility—when it comes to inviting people, mixing cultures, merging technologies and changing curricula. This has given our students and graduates the confidence that not many other young designers have. Many of them set out of the school and set up their own business/studio—that is the level of assurance they acquire here.

Do you think the current supply is enough to meet it? I think there is a great deficit of designers. I don’t have exact figures but I believe we are turning out very few designers every year. As compared to the lakhs of engineers and managers who graduate every year, this number is paltry. We may need 15,000-20,000 designers in different sectors of economy and development, and there is a great need to augment supply. Do you think the National Design Policy has helped the cause of design? The National Design Policy aims at putting India on the global design map. We are focussing on upgrading existing design institutes and faculty resources to international standards, particularly at the National Institute of Design (NID) and its new campuses/centres. Apart from the new campuses that have come up, there are plans to set up four new NIDs, including the ones at Hyderabad and Jorhat. Then, lots of private May 2012  EduTech


cover story

Design Schools

institutes and enterprises are coming up. Bangalore, Pune and other cities are home to these design insitutes. We need qualified faculty, and so we have put in place a faculty development programme. I believe mentorship and internship is a very good model. We know that we cannot suddenly scale up, but technology has come to our help in a big way. Today, if a qualified instructor gives a lecture in one place, 50 other colleges can share it. We are all for setting up departments of design in all Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)—something which the institutes have already started moving on.

“We need the backing of the industry. Many a times, the industry questions the need to spend so much money on creating awareness on this front” —Prof Pradyumna Vyas

What role does the India Design Council play? We have initiated a sustained effort of design promotion in order to sensitise people in the industry towards good design practices. In association with Japan, we are planning the India Design Mart in the month of May. This will help sensitise consumers, industry people and designers. We also plan to take exhibitions on Indian design to various parts of the world, and want to start competitions and seminars. The council is also working on intellectual property protection. There is a lot on the anvil and the India Design Council is at the helm of it. What do you think are the problems that plague the industry? We need the backing of the industry. Many a times, the industry questions the need to spend so much money on creating awareness on this front. But several big industries have already started investing in design. We also want small and medium-scale industries to follow in their wake. We need designers, small and big, to add value. There is also a need to promote design awareness and thinking. We realise that we cannot change things overnight. We did not have a culture of product development all these years, and we cannot hope for a sudden shift. But with ideas like design clinics to promote product of artisans and clusters, jobs will be created. What approach do we need to design education system and curricula for design schools of the future? Design plays a crucial role in the economic and social development, be it of a region or a country. We need a curriculum that helps create designers. Design and technology are intertwined; we need to keep in mind that we use emerging technology to create a product and services system that is con-


EduTech  May 2012

textual. Also, design direction in education should be sustainable. Since we need to consider all kinds of strata and all types of people, the curriculum must have an inclusive nature. Emphasis must also be placed on design students learning to cope with the threat to natural resources and being able to work with emerging technology. We need a multi-tiered approach to design education. We need to sensitise people towards design, they don’t necessarily need to be designers themselves, but an awareness of design can help in every field.

You have spoken of a ‘design education audit’ system. How will that help? We need some sort of certification, some kind of a voluntary quality benchmark. For example, if a designer comes with the India Design Council label, you would know he or she has been trained at a good school. We do realise that design is not something that can be stamped and certified, but we are still discussing and debating how to do this. Perhaps having a group of people to set norms on curriculum, course delivery method, health of institute, etc, could help. How can educationists ensure creativity and critical thinking? Experimentation is extremely important. Students need to be allowed to experiment, and they need open-minded encouragement and discussions. At NID, we do not have text books. We believe there is no one way to impart training or learning in design. I may have my point of view but I must give every student the opportunity and allow him or her to make a choice when it comes to line of thinking and direction. We need qualified and trained faculty who nurture each student. I believe that a student is like a plant while the teacher plays the role of a gardener. Is the government doing enough to enhance the design educational experience in India? I believe we are going in the right direction. The government is convinced that an innovation-led economy will lead the way forward, and the Human Resources Department is also now involved. Sam Pitroda has been emphasising on innovation centres and hubs. We are on the right path. Our designers and students need more exposure—more films, fairs and awareness. Design is not just a facelift or beautification. It is a holistic way of thinking that leads to contextual solutions taking society and environment into consideration.

By raj verma



EduTech  May 2012

New Courses

New Courses



Making Study

of a Programme

Universities should focus on launching new courses around emerging social, economic, technological and political trends to stay abreast of the changing world. The following article outlines the journey some universities underwent towards this endeavour


by Charu Bahri

ecessity is the mother of invention. A deep felt need corresponding to any sphere of human existence stimulates the mind to find or create a solution. This holds true in the higher education sector as well. Universities are ever-evolving entities, responsive to change in the world around. When a university reinvents itself, usually with the aim of staying relevant and in demand, often, new courses are born. Radical measures can even birth a new study discipline.

Pushing the Envelope Numerous instances testify that universities launch courses—in existing schools of knowledge or new streams—to cater to mainstream social, economic, technological and political trends because the demand for education follows these patterns. Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubhaneshwar (XIMB), launched a global MBA programme last year, in partnership with the

Antwerp Management School and the Fordham Graduate School of Business (New York), two leading international schools located in the world’s business capitals. The course is within the discipline XIMB is well known for—management education. But it is an attempt to push the envelope and a logical extension of the outstanding acceptance of prior strategic alliances of the institute with premier universities and business schools. In raising its own bar in world-class educational offerings, XIMB will also cater to the rapidly changing political and economic global scenario. “Borderless managers who can work in any socio-cultural business environment May 2012  EduTech



New Courses

graduates in social work relocating to other parts of India for postgraduate studies. Yet the university conducted a formal exercise to assess how well the programme would be received. This involved estimating the number of students leaving the north-east for training in social work as well as comparing the number of students taking up a bachelors programme in social work with the total number of seats available at the master’s level. Contact was also established with NGOs working in the region to better understand their plight.

“An expert committee of academicians and social workers designed the masters in social work at DBU” Basil Koikara Registrar, Assam Don Bosco University, Guwahati

without breaking their stride, are the need of the hour,” shares PT Joseph, Director, XIMB. Another example is Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University’s (PDPU) newest offering, a bachelors programme in liberal studies. Indian academic circles are abuzz with the merits of liberal studies, as employers nationwide are increasingly realising that the liberal arts prepare students for real life challenges in a way that specialised education often cannot. Since few universities offer liberal arts, PDPU has made a smart move to tap this emerging opportunity. In the bargain, it is bettering its standing. “A good university is known for the inter-disciplinary courses it offers. University education stuck at mono-dimensional course offerings is out of sync with the global demand for well rounded young leaders of tomorrow,” says Dr Nigam Dave, Academic Coordinator, School of Liberal Studies, PDPU.

Measuring Demand Universities don’t do something new for the sake of newness alone. Demand for a fresh course must be gauged prior to its launch and must justify the investment


EduTech  May 2012

in additional faculty, course design, and in infrastructure to deliver the new learning. XIMB’s management may have instinctively felt that a global MBA is warranted but it still estimated the demand for seats before going ahead. This process made use of informal takeouts from discussions with corporations and industry representatives as well as an assessment of the present and future business ecosystem. Also, since the course brings together 22 students each from the US, Europe and India, the three continents where the partners are located, to make it truly a global MBA, partnership approval for the batch size was also taken. Last year, the Assam Don Bosco University (DBU) in Guwahati launched a masters programme in social work, tailored to address the special nuances of the north-east. The Don Bosco Society behind the university is also engaged with social work, so besides responding to a regional need this new course is close to the ethos of the society. There was no doubt about the demand for this degree, given the number of NGOs in the area facing a paucity of skilled manpower and a prevailing trend of local

Modus Operandi for Short Courses Conducting a thorough background study holds well even if the proposed course is of short duration. Indian School of Business (ISB) started a sixday Global CIO Certification in October 2010, the idea for which emanated from ISB’s interaction with the CIO Association of India (CAI), a professional body of 1,000-plus members. In spite of the fact that the programme need was voiced by an industry body in the know of the ins and outs of the profession, ISB made extensive inquiries to make sure that it was successful in delivering a course aimed at enabling CIOs to think beyond the traditional role of information technology (IT) and guide their firms to judiciously use IT for business transformation, efficiency, innovation to gain a sustainable competitive advantage and global leadership. “Industry requests for a course only indicate the need for the programme. The institution must still study its capacity to fulfil the demand. This is all the more relevant where the subject of the proposed course deviates slightly from existing offerings,” observes Aindrila Chatterjee, Programme Director, CIO Certification Programme. ISB faculty engaged with the CIO community to deliberate on the gap between the needs and demands of Global CIOs and the supply of available knowledge/education. ISB also participated in CIO forums and round table conferences where the need was further voiced. Faculty involved in this exercise finally concluded that a

New Courses

course for CIOs could be handled, thanks to experience gained by ISB faculty in doing research and in launching initiatives for other functional communities like CFOs and CMOs.

Creating the Platform Once a proposed course gets the green signal, work gets underway to create the platform to deliver the programme. This usually entails creating a separate school and appointing a department head (if it is a new stream) or a course coordinator. Getting the right person to lead the new initiative can spell the difference between success and failure. Additional faculty must also be recruited and oriented unless the right people can be identified from existing resources. And facilities are needed as well, such as a good library or laboratories. Come August 2012, the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) will launch a masters programme in public policy, thus marking the beginning of operations of the fourth school of the OP Jindal Global University at an opportune time, in the midst of an intensifying nationwide focus on transparent, accountable, corruption-free governance and effective public service delivery. Asst Dean, JSGP, Swagato Sarkar is in the thick of preparations for the opening, which have included appointing R Sudarshan, a senior policy advisor at the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre in Bangkok, as Dean, and a number of distinguished scholars from world-class universities as faculty members. JSGP has also constituted an International Board of Advisors with invited scholars and practitioners from prestigious institutions such as Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University, University of Oxford, University of California-Berkeley, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, etc.

Course Design The course leader assisted by the faculty then takes up the arduous task of designing the new programme. Since two ISB centres partnered the CIO Association of

India (CAI) to set up the CIO Academy, namely, the Srini Raju Centre for IT & Networked Economy (SRITNE) and the Centre for Executive Education (CEE), senior members from these centres and well known faculties from the field were roped in to design the CIO Certification course. At DBU, an expert committee constituted of academicians, practicing social workers and founders of social work organisations was given the task of designing the masters in social work. The outline was presented to the Academic Council which made a comparative study with other university programmes and recommended a few adjustments. According to Dr Basil Koikara, Registrar, DBU, “Specialisations that could be introduced in the pro-


gramme were identified at this stage. Since social work has far greater ramifications, this took on an extra significance.” Programmes offered jointly with overseas partners are usually developed collaboratively after the memorandum of understanding has been finalised. XIMB’s Dean worked extensively with the Deans of the Antwerp Management School and the Fordham Graduate School of Business, each bringing considerable range and diversity of experience to the table to design the global MBA. “Since the course offers qualitative experiences in the shape of exposure visits, in-country travel, visits to neighbouring countries, as well as a different personal development portfolio for each school, a lot had to be chalked out prior to the launch,” shares Prof Joseph.

Getting Additional Inputs Sometimes, an MoU may not be intrinsic to starting the course but entering into agreements with leading lights in that stream of thought can help enhance the image of the course and add value to the curriculum. JSGP has entered into several MoUs to draw from the experience of established schools of public affairs, like the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, USA; National Institute of Administrative Research, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie; and University of St Thomas of Mozambique, Mozambique.

“At JSGP we have constituted an International Board of Advisors with invited scholars from prestigious institutions” Swagato Sarkar Asst Dean, JSGP

Setting the Admissions Criteria Next, the department determines the admission policy. Admissions could be based on marks obtained in an exam specified as the minimum qualification for entrance to the course or based on performance in an entrance test. According to Dr Dave, “Entrance tests help level the field when students from different boards and different streams compete for limited seats. It isn’t appropriate to rank one board higher than the other. As it is, board exams in India seldom allow May 2012  EduTech



New Courses

the expression of creativity, which is a core competence of arts’ students.” This aspect makes an entrance test for PDPU’s Liberal Studies programme a must. Creativity reflects in the entrance test, which comprises two sections—a multiple choice test and a creative essay. As a rule of thumb, Dr Dave believes that a university should develop a nonjudgmental and non-restrictive environment. “We do not impose an age bar for admissions to our liberal studies programme. Why should study only be restricted to the young? Allowing people of all ages and from different backgrounds to get admission helps create a pool of multilingual, creative and dynamic students.”

Pricing the New Offering New educational offerings must be given a price tag. This is best done after the costs of the launch can be summed up, as a proportion of these investments may need to be amortised over each batch of students. Still, Sarkar of JSGP points out that the pricing of new courses (in his present experience, the masters in public policy) must be consistent with the overall pricing policy of the uni-

versity (in this case, with JGU’s not-forprofit pricing policy). ISB’s Chatterjee explains that pricing requires a judicious estimation of the value offered by a programme, participant’s willingness to pay, the intake of participants (25 for the CIO course), and the cost associated with running the programme. This process at the ISB led to the CIO programme being valued at Rs 75,000 for each phase.

Ongoing Activities Readying for the launch of a new course involves many aspects. Only thereafter can comprehensive promotional material, describing the offering be designed. Responsibility for designing and using this material to market the programme usually lies with the department and the university as a whole. In the case of the CIO Certification, the three entities forming the academy, CEE, SRITNE and CAI are spreading awareness about the programme. Publicity is an ongoing affair, in that the reputation of a course improves with time, as its students enter the working arena and do well. Other activities that continue up until the course commence-

“Borderless managers who can work in any socio-cultural business environment without breaking their stride, are the need of the hour” PT Joseph Director, XIMB


EduTech  May 2012

ment and thereafter, are the development of course material and making contact with prospective employers to arrange for campus recruitments. “Developing courses is a painstaking and slow process,” explains Dr Sarkar, “since usually various stakeholders are involved.” According to Dr Koikara, the bulk of the work entailed in preparing course material is done by teachers. “They rely on the detailed syllabus and suggested readings, keeping in mind the objective and expected outcomes of each course,” he says. Placement services go a long way in enhancing course appeal. While a course brochure may simply say, ‘Placement facility available’, there is a lot that goes into arranging for campus recruitments. University authorities must start this process sooner for courses with a practical element, like PDPU’s liberal studies graduate programme that encompasses exposure to the industry and urban affairs or DBU’s masters in social work which blends theory, fieldwork and research.

Refining the Programme The life cycle of a new course by no means ends with its launch. New courses may need to be tweaked to conform to changing industry and student expectations. ISB’s CIO Certification course was run as a two phased programme of three-plus-three days in year one. Based on the learning garnered, it was changed into a comprehensive five-day programme in the second year. The CIO Academy is still in the process of refining the design to the certification programme. Knowledge and hence the demand for knowledge tailored for a best fit, that is, packaged in courses to facilitate employment in a certain stream of industry, is ever-evolving. Stagnation can spell doom for a university. But as long as paternal guidance is forthcoming, a new education programme can develop the character to withstand change and judgment.

Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at

John Stuart

Senior Vice President, Global Education Country Manager, PTC Eastern Europe


EduTech  May 2012



Training Engineers of the Future In a span of five years Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) that develops software to aid product development through its nonprofit initiative has reached out to nearly 600 engineering colleges in India to revive the interest of the students in STEM education. John Stuart, Senior Vice President, Global Education Country Manager, PTC Eastern Europe SRL shares how

How is PTC engaged with the higher education sector in India? A team of five education managers call on higher education (vocational, colleges and universities) to provide deeply discounted packages of software, training, eLearning curriculum and tech support. We have our partners with reach all over the country attend to every need of the colleges and universities as well. What are some of its initiatives with the engineering colleges in India? We are consolidating our position as the leader in product development solution with our flagship product Creo (formerly known as Pro/Engineer) among the engineering students. We are also rolling out our entire suite of PDS solutions in colleges and universities which are looking to give their students skills

beyond the regular engineering curriculum, by providing Mathcad, Creo, Windchill and the eLearning tools along with the curriculum custom made for students in India. We have a free personal copy of Creo available for all the students from colleges and universities who are a part of our University programme.

Why does PTC want to engage with college students in India? As India transforms itself from a service-centric economy to an innovation and manufacturing powerhouse, PTC wants to train the engineers of the future to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Is there any special programme that PTC has to help train faculty in engineering colleges? The Authorised Training Centre Pro-

gramme, wherein we train and certify the faculty of colleges and universities, who in turn train and certify the students on the curriculum set by PTC.  

What major differences have you observed between engineering education in India and in countries like the US? A significant number of students in India are interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). In India, it is cool to be an engineer. The US has less than 5 per cent of engineering graduates. With the high percentage of engineering students, India is set to provide engineers who will address the pressing demand of the society. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at May 2012  EduTech




EduTech  May 2012

Johar IIM Ranchi

Johar IIM Ranchi


Johar IIM Ranchi!

IIM Ranchi dug in its heels firmly, literally, refusing to budge, reinventing the prestigious brand while holding on to its mandate. The result: It’s a happy state! by Sangita thakur varma


he intent was serious, the plan grandiose, but sadly the institution of the new IITs and IIMs got caught in bureaucratic inertia and logistic hurdles. Under the Eleventh Five Year Plan in 2009, after the usual long drawn political wrangling, eight new IITs and and six IIMs were to be set up in various states which according to then Human Resources Minister Arjun Singh were selected “after taking everything into consideration”.

By raj verma

Why an IIM in Ranchi? Ranchi, once popular as the summer capital of the erstwhile undivided Bihar is a peaceful small town. It is an idyllic spot, a pensioners’ paradise, and bears an unmistakable stamp of the missionaries’ charity work—its iconic Gel Church Complex. However, despite a large tribal population, the city is quite cosmopolitan due to the presence of large PSUs and its mixed residents—Bengalis, Oriyas, Biharis, Marwaris, et al. It boasts of clubs, pubs, Satya Paul and Fab India outlets, Dhoni and now IIM Ranchi—our destination for this issue. When we meet Prof MJ Xavier, Director, IIM Ranchi, seated at his transit campus office, it seems the tranquil ambience pervades his chamber. Like a fond father he unfolds the story of his fledgling institution—its vision, mission, struggles and the welcome (johar) it has received. “It’s a logical flow, part of the trickle down effect,” says Prof Xavier referring to the business dynamics of the move. Seen from this prism, the government decision to expand to Tier May 2012  EduTech


the light of the original objective, which was to ensure quality management and technological education to the masses and for their development, we seem to have missed the bus.” Thankfully the hour of awakening seems to have dawned. “The IITs have begun an initiative whereby they are telecasting recorded training modules on YouTube and television in a bid to disseminate quality technical education throughout the country,” informs Prof Xavier. “I believe the IIMs will also do it. We are starting our own series of faculty development programmes. We have a larger role to play,” he is confident.

II and III cities is clearly sound marketing economics—business seeking new markets for its products. “The moment big cities get saturated, we start looking at the next level from a business perspective,” he explains. However, it is not pure marketing that is driving this expansion. “There is also a social governance agenda. The government actually feels that setting up these institutes in smaller cities will ensure regional growth,” says Prof Xavier. It is another matter though that the move to set up clones of the venerable institutions attracted its share of bouquets and brickbats with some detractors writing it off outright. The discerning had seen the many pitfalls—quality vs quantity; centre-state disputes over funding; delays in land allotment and lack of quality faculty in India being among the prominent ones.

Fulfilling the Mandate Prof Xavier is very clear that in expanding the reach of the IIMs, they are just fulfilling the original mandate of the institution. “The perception that IIM is a metrocentric institution has been created over a period of time and is wrong,” he stresses emphatically. “It is an institute of excellence no doubt. But that it is for a select few, is a misconception.” In fact, so deep-rooted are these elitist biases that even the IIM board has come to believe them and needed some convincing to stretch out its arms. “I had to remind the board that the objectives of IIM, as originally fleshed out, were very different from the parochial view that it has taken today,” Prof Xavier elaborates. The memorandum of association drawn up over 50 years back clearly states that the management concept is to prepare managers, and not only in the field of business. In his interpretation, the name IIM is self-explanatory: “We are called Indian Institute of Management and not Indian Institute of Business Management. Management education encompasses not only businesses but also governments and society at large. This is the original mandate of IIMs.” The second mandate, says the professor, is to develop the second tier of busi-


EduTech  May 2012

Quality vs Risk

Thinking Big: Transit campus entrance of IIM Ranchi (top); top honours are already pouring in at the new institute

ness schools and spread quality management education in the country. “It is my responsibility to train this second level institution and teachers so that quality education spreads.” This clarity of vision, is propelling the mission of IIM Ranchi. The third mandate is the social responsibility to ensure that the management principles and concepts are used for policymaking and improvement of society at large. A directive that IIM Ranchi seems to have innovatively translated into a doable action that others must emulate. “These were the original mandates and vision of the IIMs,” continues the professor, adding, “somehow they got hijacked and the institution became very niche and elitist.” Of course, it is this very exclusivity that has made IIM and IIT brands, fuelling the mad rush for admissions and the phenomenal salaries that its graduates command. But from Prof Xavier’s vantage point, by joining the multinationals “you are actually fulfilling only a small fraction of the original objective.” Nothing wrong with that, he adds “but seen in

The government’s announcement to take the institutions out of the elitist citadels and into the backwaters had raised a veritable storm. The one big fear looming in the minds of the purists who wanted to keep the IIMs and IITs exclusive, was the dilution of quality this expansion would unleash. “Questions raised on the quality vis-à-vis quantity are relevant,” concurs Prof Xavier. The fear that the increased numbers of institutes will erode the excellence and brand value is understandable, he says. “It is always a challenge to measure up to a certain quality, but then it is just one way of looking at things,” he adds, summing up the human tendency of viewing a situation as a problem— the classic half empty glass syndrome.   The positive way to view it would be that by setting up more institutes you are creating more differentials of excellence, he says. “All the institutes are trying different things,” he says, adding, “at IIM Ranchi we are not trying to benchmark against say IIM Ahmedabad or IIM Calcutta. Nor are we benchmarking against Harvard or Stanford or the Ivy League. Rather, we are trying to create a unique institution which could, perhaps five or 10 years down the line, become a model for others to follow.” He astutely sums up the newbie advantage: “The established institutions have a certain amount of built-in inertia. They do not have the same risk appetite like the fledgling institutes. At IIM

Johar IIM Ranchi

Ranchi, I am taking a lot of calculated risks. And I can do so because we are small and young. I am giving several different kinds of programmes to my students which are gaining acceptance.” Apparently, experimentations, initiatives and innovations find a more fertile ground here. “To come back to the quality vs quantity debate, we define the pie very narrowly,” says the director. “And then we exclaim that if we expand, the quality will dilute. But this will only happen if you ride on the IIM image. What if you create something unique? Then, where is the problem?” He frankly admits that the biggest advantage for the new IITs and IIMs as compared to private institutions is that that the government is really splurging funds on them. “If utilised properly, we can build schools of global excellence and create something different, something new,” he is convinced. The Centre approved a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore for setting up of the new institutions. It is a sad commentary that the transit campuses have become more than permanent for most and construction of new campuses has begun for only four IITs and five IIMs till date. The faculty shortage is acute, upto 40 per cent.

Evangelising Content Anybody who has tried to do things differently and be in a league apart knows how difficult it is. It is easier to follow the leader. But not for MJ Xavier. His mission seems almost impossible! “Generally, IIMs drill into their stu-

dents the need to be aggressive and to be leaders. But I tell my students the opposite.” This would deter the purpose of the coveted IIM degree for most, if it hinges on a superfast ride up the corporate ladder of power and pelf. “Just because you have scored a 99 percentile in CAT, don’t think it means much,” is how he welcomes his students. A dampener, no doubt but he is laying the ground rules for more than multimillion dollar managers. He is preparing grassroot workers. “We do not want to prepare you for a living or a career or money,” Prof Xavier adds to their growing discomfort as he elaborates his vision of their future. “Sorry friends. You need to be humble,” he gently puts down the swaggering youth, fresh from their CAT successes. “Arrogance will not be tolerated in the classroom. You can’t raise your voice to disagree or argue. You can’t say another is wrong. You can only say I have a different point of view.” He sets the tone for a collaborative culture, ripe for innovations and development. And the results are showing. “When the recruiters come, they say your guys are different.” The paternal pride is obvious. IIM Ranchi is instilling the values of humility, honesty and hard work in its students which, according to the professor, “no other IIM talks about,” he says. The course curriculum is an eclectic admixture of various principles. “We teach courses on Indian culture, ethos and inner development. We have set up a centre for business analytics and another for neuromanagement. These are our


top-ranking research priorities. Combine these two and you have a totally different business model,” says the director of his long-term visionary approach. “After five years I may be gone, but I have a vision. I am working on a very different kind of vision. It is an erudite fusion of East and West. At the one end I am bringing in eastern concepts, at the other I am going for cutting-edge western research areas,” he explains. You can only agree when Prof Xavier adds: “I want the rest of the world to learn from India. I want others to follow us. Why should only I learn from Harvard?” And he knows what a big risk it all is: “It’s a gamble, but it seems to be working. People are now talking about IIM Ranchi,” he says optimistically.

End of Bloodbath Era “Don’t be in the red ocean where bloodbath happens go to the blue ocean.” Quoting these evocative lines from a book on blue ocean strategy, Prof Xavier paints the changing landscape of management. “It is not easy to convince people not to compete, as we operate in the business world. I don’t want students to know each others’ marks. But this goes against common notions of business. But if the common perception is wrong, somebody must point it out.” Prof Xavier has taken on that thankless role. Business models are changing and he wants his students prepared. “I wrote a book in 1999 called Beyond Competition. Later, James Moore came out with a book called Death of Competition.

“After five years I may be gone. But I am working on a vision...a very different kind of erudite fusion of East and West MJ Xavier Director, IIM Ranchi

May 2012  EduTech



Innovations—Future Forward to Development

The two-year MBA programme is not the only one that is going to matter. It is our flagship programme, no doubt. But an 18-month parttime course for working professionals that we started here, is doing very well too. We have IAS officers and top executives from the region taking it up. Next year, there will be a mad rush for this programme,” says Prof Xavier, enumerating the various innovations he has brought in at IIM Ranchi. A one-year online programme targeting a much larger number of students is on the anvil next year. The Barefoot Manager Programme for the illiterate of the region, is another innovative course scheduled for a July launch. It is a completely audio-visual module—a kind of episodic serial in 15 parts—an educative cinema. Woven in the typical village-girl-meets-boy story are management nuggests that the boy teaches her and through the protagonist the audience—how to open a bank account; set up a new enterprise; what is a value chain; how to package and price products; etc. “We are planning to dub it in several regional languages to reach out to all sections of Jharkhand,” informs the professor, adding, “You don’t need to be literate to become

The anti-competition concept became a little popular then,” he says adding, “today it is the collaborative model on which everything works.” And then comes to the crux: “What is the business model to collaborate with your competitors? Do we know that? Are we teaching it to our students?” Are we? You wonder. “We are teaching students wrong things; outdated concepts and industrial age models. We are in the information age now and we must learn to collaborate.” You can’t but nod in agreement. “Now if you teach students to compete, you have relative grading. You have to kill the other fellow to grow because if you want to grow, you have to become taller than the other person and you cannot make the other person shorter than you.


EduTech  May 2012

an entrepreneur.” No other IIM has carried out such an exercise, he claims and is confident that with such farreaching innovations under his belt, he has no need to worry about rankings. “It will come on its own,” he says. “I am sure innovative programmes like this will become a model for others,” he claims happily, adding: “the Government of Jharkhand is very happy with our work.” Obviously, he has hit upon the right approach to social development. “In the next three years I want to train 50,000 people,” Prof Xavier elaborates his vision. “We will only train the trainers. The self-help groups will take it further to the rural masses. The roadmap for development is ready. The director’s financial vision for the institute is also far reaching. “By the end of my term, I want to create a corpus of Rs 100 crore,” he says, continuing, “We are the only cash surplus newly set up IIM.” With his kind of minute planning and vast vision, all seems possible. Once money from other programmes kicks in, Prof Xavier aims to lessen the crippling fee burden on students. “I will reduce the fee of the two-year courses. It is merit-based and I strongly feel merit should be rewarded.” There’s much to cheer about at IIM Ranchi.

So you kill him!” Prof Xavier unwittingly gives us a stark picture of the term cutthroat competition. Certainly, the genteel anti-war collaborative theory that he is teaching students seems more apt for our young world perpetually on a short fuse. It is regrettable when he says, “But it is not easy to convince students.” The other problem that he encounters is the preset mindsets of students. They come with visions of becoming a pure finance person or a marketing expert without realising that all disciplines are interconnected. “Students should aim to become managers—this is the holistic development that I am emphasising here,” says the director, determined to break the mould. “When I told students that they will have to learn about Indian culture, there was

much resistance,” he informs. Not one to give up, the professor thought of a wily way to overcome their resistance. He brought in a Frenchman to teach Indian culture! The guided tour of ancient Nalanda with the French cultural czar shook the students to the core and there was a cultural renaissance of sorts on the IIM Ranchi campus: “I am proud to be an Indian” became the new slogan of the students,” informs the director, smiling. “If you don’t even know your culture what business will you do when you go abroad? What will you be representing? Hence, you must develop holistically,” he says. Yoga, meditation and inner development are parts of this development. “If you are not developed internally, you will end up being a sick person,” he cautions.

Johar IIM Ranchi

Roadblocks Aplenty Vision implementation was never a problem for Prof Xavier. “My vision for IIM Ranchi was accepted by the board. I had led various projects in my earlier stints and had enough practice,” he elaborates his experience. In 1999, as the dean at IFMR Chennai he successfully overcame the resistence of girl students to early morning yoga sessions.“They complained that they study at night, attend classes in the day and that the early morning yoga session was a bit too much.” The reluctant practitioners are still in touch with the professor and thank him for making the inner development courses mandatory. “It is one thing that has helped them tide over life’s various crises, they say,” claims the professor. “These qualities make a leader,” he adds.

Campus Capers But setting up the institute in Ranchi was a challenge. Prof Xavier accedes he faced many roadblocks, but then nothing that he could not surmount with a little planning and vision. “Several issues cropped up at each step of the way. Ranchi was both an advantage and a disadvantage,” he says. The advantage was the fact that IIM Calcutta was the mentor. “They had created some infrastructure. My office was ready, classrooms were not ready but they had made some temporary arrangements.” On the negative side though, was the absence of a vision. It was difficult to take over the reins somewhere in-between and create a new culture and discipline students. A distinctive IIM Ranchi culture had to developed and established. “I did not want another branch of IIM Calcutta in Ranchi,” he says emphatically. “I have nothing against IIM Calcutta. But I did not want to be a clone of it.” Of course the mentor branding helped, he concedes. “Getting our own campus was proving a pipe dream. The government had promised to give administrative complex in Khel Gaon—200 acres. Unfortunately, for one reason or the other, none of the promises materialised,” he says. Things came to such a pass that a bitter

IIM board passed a resolution to shift out IIM Ranchi if the government did not provide land by March 2011. “I had landed on a hotbed of problems,” admits the professor, reminiscing on his lonely and long battle. “But I fought hard, meeting the local government authorities—chief minister, chief secretary, and all sundry stakeholders, building a good rapport with the government. This was something I had never done in my earlier avatars,” he smiles. Displaying a deep understanding of administrative functioning, Prof Xavier says: “The government on its part was helpless as it was a coalition. Ministers would differ on each piece of land with none being finalised.” Almost three months passed and time was running out. But the impasse continued. One fine day, Prof Xavier went to the chief secretary: “Please give me a letter stating that you are giving me extra space in Khel Gaon,” he told the CS. The CS was surprised, “But where is the extra space?” The professor replied: “Please give me the letter; I will manage the space.” Then, armed with the letter, he went to the IIM board and said: “The government has agreed to give space in the building; please allow me to continue.” Next, without losing time, he put up his proposal for about Rs 40 to 50 lakh for remodelling of the building. The board approved. “With fund in hand, I went up to the rooftop of the building we were functioning from, constructed extra halls, classrooms and offices,” says the director. Once the new structure was ready, they invited the chairman. Astonished, he asked: “How did you manage to create so many classrooms and other infrastructure?”narrates the professor. “I always knew I could do it as I am from the private sector. I can run out of a small building,” he says. Prof Xavier is not smug when he says that it is all in the mindset—the government is conditioned to think big. Small can be Big too.

Search—Faculty Literally, this is what IIM Ranchi did. It went on a treasure hunt for quality faculty. “We went to the LinkedIn website and searched for people with connections with Ranchi and wrote to all of


them. We went to local schools, checked alumni records and got in touch with them. They then connected us to some more people.” The little details hardly cover all the sweat and time that went into this search. The alumni helped with faculty and placement and the professor mentions Subhash Sharma of Infosys for his great support. But initially, IIM Ranchi had little option other than going for the visiting faculty model as not many were willing to come to Ranchi. “We recruited just six people against a sanctioned strength of 11 or 12. We are still with six,” says the director. “But now I am able to attract faculty from anywhere in the world,” he says confidently, adding, “We have held interviews and will be recruiting 13 more faculty members,” he informs.

Placements The problem of placement is also being tackled on a war footing. “With the contacts we established with so many people we managed placement also,” says the professor. It is to his credit that he took up this most unwanted posting and is slowly turning it into a preferred destination. “Out of the four IIMs that came up together, Ranchi Rohtak, Raipur and Tiruchirapalli, no one wanted to come to Ranchi. I was the only one who opted for it. I had worked in XLRI Jamdshedpur earlier and liked the place and the people.” Today IIM Ranchi is even ahead of IIM Shillong in ranking and “among the most preferred institutes for students and faculty”. It works because of our different approach,” the director says and adds, “We are IIM Ranchi.” One can’t resist echoing ,“and proud to be it.” Five years from now…? “I can see us among the top five B-schools in the country...climbing to the top five in the world in 15 years. That is the target I have set. We need to work towards it.” Clearly, he is not a dreamer: “It’s not easy of course. It means creation of our own models so that the world takes notice and emulates us.” Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at May 2012  EduTech


Hyderabad and Noida 2012

EDU tech 2012 saw an amalgamation of experts in higher education and technology who discussed practical technological solutions that would act as enablers in the higher education ecosystem. Mobile apps, open source, social media and cloud computing were some of the tools that were discussed.

EDU tech 2012 was held at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, on March 6 and Birla Institute of Management Technology on March 28. Academicians and technology providers brainstormed ways to advance higher education through technology. Vice chancellors, deans, directors and head epartments shared experiences on unique IT solutions implemented or developed at their institutions. The speakers stressed that commercialisation has made the student not just a recipient but an equal partner with institutions in getting the best higher education. 40

EduTech  May 2012


Facilitating participation Rajeev Sangal, Director, IIIT Hyderabad, on using technology as an instructional medium: Technology brings transparency. Students are not consumers but partners in the learning process (@ ISB)

Using technology to go green Sanjay Singh, Head PGPMAX, ISB Hyderabad said that leveraging mobile apps and other IT tools for higher education could reduce paper usage (@ ISB)

Preparing for tomorrow’s students Prasad Kuna, Development Head Mutual Mobile India pointed out that 63 per cent of students enrolled in colleges or universities use smartphones (@ ISB)

Using social media for educational activities Zaeem Mirza (top left)-Digital Marketing Strategist, Google at ISB Hyderabad: When you have content and you communicate and make it social—you’ve a communication powerhouse (@ ISB)

Pradeep Chopra, CEO, Digital Vidya at BIMTECH, Noida, on facilitating healthy interaction between the givers and takers of education by using social media platforms (@BIMTECH) May 2012  EduTech


edu tech 2012

Educating the global student Stephan Thierengir, President & CEO, AcrossWorld Education, on leveraging the cloud: Every learning can be incorporated towards building a better platform (@ISB)

Mindspace over webspace Sriram Gopalakrishnan, Director-Marketing and Communication ISB on building websites: Keep it simple. Develop a website only to the extent you’ve organisational bandwidth to refresh and update the content (@ISB)

Designing the future Rama Brahmam Aleti, Director and Head of UX Design, Think Design, on best practices for building institutional websites and other interfaces: A website must be built keeping the entire ecosystem in mind (@ISB)

Need for a new paradigm UB Desai, Director, IIT Hyderabad, on building citizens for a better tomorrow: The youth are very talented, you just need to challenge them (@ISB)


EduTech  May 2012

edu tech 2012

Teachers should not fear technology RK Shevgaonkar, Director, IIT Delhi, on why technology cannot take the teacher’s place (@BIMTECH)

Staying abreast of eBooks Soumya Banerjee, CEO, Attano on the promise of eBooks(@BIMTECH)

Creating a technology friendly teacher RS Grewal, (right) Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University and JS Sodhi, Head-IT & CIO (AVP), Amity Group, on implementation of tech tools for teaching and learning (@ BIMTECH)

Exam smart Meritrac speaker on taking exams online and using technology to improve efficiency and transparency (@BIMTECH)

Clouds come to the rescue Lokesh Mehra, Director Education Advocacy, Microsoft India and KR Srivathsan, Senior Professor, Indus World School of Business and ex Pro VC, IGNOU, on leveraging the cloud for higher education (@BIMTECH)

May 2012  EduTech


the global perspective From

o f h i g h e r ed u c a t i o n

INSIDE 46 | Chinese Students Account for About Half of International Applicants to US 48 | In Brazil, a LiberalArts Experiment Brings Diversity to One Campus

Yale Faculty Registers Concern About Campus in Singapore Yale faculty differs with the University’s administration on issues of new campuses, governance, etc, in the state of Singapore By Karin Fischer



The Yale University campus in New Haven has been the only campus until the one in Singapore was developed


EduTech  May 2012

n a vote of 100 to 69 Thursday night, the arts and science faculty members who make up Yale College, passed a resolution expressing “concern regarding the history of lack of respect for civil and political rights in the state of Singapore” and calling on the new college to uphold principles of civil liberty, non-discrimination, and political freedom—values that it says are “at the heart of liberal-arts education.” (Faculty members also considered but rejected a more mildly worded statement.) The measure, introduced by a political-science professor, Seyla Benhabib, does not state outright opposition to the project, which Yale trustees signed off on more than a year ago. Indeed, the university’s president, Richard C Levin, has said faculty members don’t get to say yea or nay on the plan because the undergraduate institution, known as Yale-NUS College, won’t offer Yale courses or award Yale degrees. For all that, Thursday’s vote is more than empty protest. It comes, awkwardly, just as job offers are being made to the first faculty hires for Yale-NUS College, and the result is certain to be noted in the city-state (which is footing the bill for the new institution). It underscores campus division over Yale’s international ambition. And it serves as something of a rebuke to the long-serving Mr Levin, who has championed the collaboration as a historic opportunity to spread the liberal arts in Asia.

Global.Chronicle.Com students will receive degrees from NUS. Sin“It might be mainly symbolic,” says gapore’s government also will pay for the new Christopher L Miller, a professor of Africancampus and will reimburse Yale for all American studies and French, “but it is an costs incurred. important symbol.” That fact has unsettled some faculty on Still, the show of faculty dissent is unlikely to Yale’s campus, who question whether the uniupset plans for the Singapore college, which is Sign up for a free weekly versity should work in an autocratic country set to open in the fall of 2013. Groups of Yale electronic newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education at where freedoms of speech and public demonand National University of Singapore profesChronicle.Com/Globalnewsletter stration are curtailed, homosexuality is sors have spent the past year crafting the core The Chronicle of Higher Education is illegal, and the death penalty can be imposed of an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum a US-based company with a weekly for drug offences. In an essay published in The and vetting more than 2,500 applicants for the newspaper and a website updated Chronicle shortly after the announcement, Mr roughly 30 initial faculty slots. daily, at, that cover all aspects of university life. Miller, the French and African-American stud“The vote won’t derail our work,” said With over 90 writers, editors, and ies professor, wrote, “The Yale-NUS venture Charles D Bailyn, a Yale professor of astronocorrespondents stationed around raises troubling questions about the translamy and physics who will serve as the first dean the globe, The Chronicle provides tion of academic values and freedoms into a of the faculty at Yale-NUS. Mr Bailyn, a Yale timely news and analysis of academrepressive environment.” graduate, called the resolution “unnecessarily ic ideas, developments and trends. “I think it’s problematic to enter into partconfrontational to our collaborators” and said a nerships where you’re not free to criticise your commitment to free expression had always partner,” Mr Miller said in a recent interview. been part of the partnership. “It doesn’t change “It’s a slippery slope.” anything,” he said of the vote. Others on campus, however, have been enthusiastic about the In a written statement, Mr Levin said, “I value the engageendeavour. Yale faculty members have worked with counterment of my colleagues and their commitment to important parts in Singapore to draw up the outlines of an interdisciplinprinciples, even though I opposed the resolution because it did ary core curriculum, excited by the idea of creating a newly not capture the mutual respect that has characterised the Yaleinvigorated model of the liberal arts in an East-meets-West conNUS collaboration from the beginning.” text. Others have served on one of three search committees, in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, sifting through Excitement and Concern hundreds of applications, holding interviews in New Haven and Mr Levin and Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS’s president, announced Singapore, and dealing with dawn and dusk videoconference the new college with great fanfare last March. Singapore’s first calls (to accommodate the 12-hour time difference) to select the liberal-arts institution and Asia’s first residential college, it also best candidates. is the first campus outside New Haven, Conn., that Yale Stephen L Darwall, a professor of philosophy and a Yale gradhas developed. uate, said he initially was somewhat sceptical about the partner“We hope to create a really exciting model of liberal arts, one ship, fearing that it could distract administrators from key many Asian countries will find attractive because of its broader issues on the home campus. But after attending meetings about perspective on the complex problems of the world,” Mr Levin the new college, he became intrigued by the idea of reimaginsaid in an interview at the time. ing the liberal arts and agreed to serve on a search committee. The four-year institution bears Yale’s name, but it is an auton“I think engagement is at the heart of the liberal arts,” he said, omous college of the National University of Singapore, and “and this is an opportunity to be engaged.”

Singapore’s government will also pay for the new YaleNUS campus and reimburse Yale for all costs incurred

Faculty Not Consulted Mr Darwall said he believes faculty members should be able to voice their opposition to Yale-NUS. Yet, he said he is perplexed by why the resolution was introduced only this March, a year after the official announcement and a year and a half after Mr Levin and Yale’s provost, Peter Salovey, outlined the proposed partnership in an eight-page prospectus to faculty. “It’s not like they pulled a rabbit out of a hat,” he said. Mr Levin also held a pair of town-hall meetings open to faculty, although the meetings reportedly were poorly attended. Michael J Fischer, a professor of computer science, said he had concerns with the plan but was not overly apprehensive because he assumed it would be put before the Yale College faculty for debate and a vote as had other high-profile subjects, May 2012  EduTech


THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE such as a joint programme with Peking University and a decision to allow the ROTC back on campus. “I was absolutely sure it would come before us,” he said. But Mr Levin has said that Yale’s involvement in the project was rightly a decision of the Yale Corporation, the university’s board of trustees, not the faculty, because Yale-NUS is a distinct institution from Yale with its own diploma, curriculum, and, soon, president. That has not mollified critics, who argue that if Yale’s name and expertise are used, they should have a say. “The faculty told the administration in no uncertain terms that you should have consulted us before carrying our name and our pedagogical mission into strange territory,” James Sleeper, a lecturer in political science who is married to Ms Benhabib, said after the vote.

Like other international projects that have run into opposition, such as Duke University’s plan to open a business school in China, the debate at Yale appears to be as much about governance as about the partnership with Singapore. Indeed, there has been discord in recent months over university decisions on the budget, the graduate school, and shared services, such as computing. The resolution, Mr Miller said, “stakes some ground for the Yale College faculty to say that we’re concerned and we’re going to be involved.”

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Chinese Students Account for About Half of International Applicants to US China saw an 18 per cent uptick in applications. The numbers from Mexico increased 17 per cent and Brazil 14 per cent By Karin Fischer


I In Majority: Forty-seven per cent of all foreign applications for fall-2012 graduate spots in the US are from China


EduTech  May 2012

nterest from China is again driving up applications to American graduate programmes, according to a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools. For the seventh consecutive year, Chinese applications experienced double-digit growth. Applications from prospective Chinese students accounted for nearly half of all international applicants to graduate programmes. Over all, foreign graduate-student applications for fall 2012 increased nine per cent. That follows an 11 per cent gain  in applications in fall 2011 and matches the  nine per cent growth  in 2010. China, which saw an 18 per cent uptick in applications, is not the only country from which there is a surge in

Global.Chronicle.Com interest. Applications from Mexico grew 17 per cent, while those from Brazil increased 14 per cent. Canadian graduate applications climbed nine per cent. This is the first year that the survey of the council’s 500 member institutions included those countries. In previous years, the council, which started its annual report in 2004, in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, only broke out applications from the three largest sending countries, China, India, and South Korea, along with the strategically important Middle East and Turkey. But participating universities wanted to know more about trends from additional countries and regions, said Nathan E Bell, Director of Research and Policy Analysis at the graduate-schools group and author of the report. So the council decided to include the two other countries in the top five, Canada and Taiwan, which experienced a decline in applications of two per cent. Together, the top-five countries account for 63 per cent of all foreign graduate students. The most-recent report also includes Mexico and Brazil, as the largest countries in Central and South America, according to Mr. Bell. In addition, the group surveyed graduate programmes about overseas applications from Europe (up 7%) and Africa (down 5%). Applications from the Middle East climbed six per cent. Mr Bell called the growth in applicants from Brazil and Mexico “substantial,” but he cautioned that, with just two years of data, it’s too early to draw conclusions about application trends. (In this year’s survey, the council asked responding institutions to retroactively report last year’s application numbers for the additional countries and regions.) Lisa A Tedesco, chair of the council’s Board of Directors, called the growth from Brazil and Mexico a sign of the “growing maturity” of the higher-education systems in both of those countries. “Our sister nations are doing an excellent job of preparing students for graduate study,” said Ms Tedesco, Dean of the graduate school at Emory University.

The number of graduate applications from India crept up by two per cent in 2012, after increasing eight per cent the previous year A Look at China The real story, again, is China, Mr. Bell said. China is not only the largest sending country for international graduate students, but the growth in applications from China outpaced that of all other countries. Forty-seven per cent of all foreign applications for fall-2012 graduate spots are from China. Mr Bell notes that Chinese students are overrepresented in application figures, as compared with their share of actual enrolments. Just 29 per cent of first-time graduate students last fall were of Chinese origin, he said. The discrepancy could be because individual Chinese students are applying to multiple American programmes or because they are opting to study in other countries or at home. Despite the healthy increases, the growth in Chinese graduate students has been dwarfed by the surge in enrolment of students from that country at the undergraduate level. The number of Chinese undergraduates at American colleges rose a whopping 43 per cent in 2010, the most recent year available, according to the Institute of International Education. Mr Bell said there is an “awareness” among American graduate programmes that they do not want to be “overreliant” on China or any other single source country. Meanwhile, the other two largest sending countries, India and South Korea, largely remained stagnant. The number of graduate applications from India crept up by two per cent in 2012, after increas-

ing eight per cent the previous year. Applications from South Korea dropped by one per cent, following a two per cent gain in 2011.

Application Growth In terms of disciplines, education programmes saw the largest growth in applications in 2012, of 17 per cent—but few international students pursue studies in that field. Other areas also registered strong increases: engineering (12%), business (11%), and physical and earth sciences (10%). Overseas students make up about 14 per cent of all students at American graduate schools, but threequarters of all international students study business, engineering, or natural sciences (which includes computer science, mathematics, and other physical and earth sciences). As in past years, application growth was more robust at institutions that award large numbers of graduate degrees to foreign students. International applications increased 10 per cent, on average, at the institutions that are among the 100 largest, compared with six per cent growth at those outside the top 100. In all, 242 institutions, or 48 per cent of those surveyed, responded to the council’s query. However, responding institutions confer more than 60 per cent of the roughly 96,000 graduate degrees awarded to foreign students. Subscribe to a free weekly electronic newsletter from the Chronicle of Higher Education at May 2012  EduTech



In Brazil, a Liberal-Arts Experiment Brings Diversity to One Campus The two-year programme is giving students a backdoor into college by preparing them for university education By Andrew Downie


EduTech  May 2012



aryane Valeria was so sure she wouldn’t pass that she never even tried. Caroline Mello tried and failed. And yet today they, and more than 200 other graduates of this city’s troubled public high schools, are sitting down to class at the university, known as Unicamp. They are enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Higher Education Programme, or ProFIS, a two-year liberal-arts programme that prepares them for a university education. ProFIS is barely a year old, and both students and professors admit that it faces some problems, not least of which is the ability of many students to cope with a workload that is more demanding than anything they have come across before. But the project, run by Dean of Undergraduate Programmes Marcelo Knobel as a way to give poor but talented students a broader education and a back door into college, is daring enough to have captured the imagination of international experts. “It is a new model and a new way of thinking about making access fairer,” says Li Reisberg, a research associate at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, who studies higher-education reform in Latin America and has followed the development of ProFIS. “Marcelo has brought together kids with talent and removed the major barrier of entry—thevestibular,” or entrance exam, she says. “He has a strategy for identifying potential talent and has created a programme that considers different cultural and social needs. It is very well thought through.” The idea of a liberal-arts programme is still a rarity here in Brazil, the largest country in South America and the world’s sixth biggest economy. Most academic programmes—whether vocational, undergraduate, or graduate—are tightly focussed on a specialised subject. Although ProFIS offers many facets of a liberal-arts education—the curriculum includes language, mathematics and statistics, humanities and the arts, the natural sci­ences, and the

Opening Doors: Unicamp aims to expose disadvantaged students to subjects they would not normally encounter

biological and health sciences—it does not lead to a degree. (The university is discussing whether to introduce a liberal-arts degree next year.) Mr Knobel and other Unicamp administrators decided a liberal-arts curriculum was most appropriate for this experiment because many universities abroad are adopting an Americanstyle liberal-arts model. They also felt that disadvantaged students needed to learn more about abstract reasoning, the

Global.Chronicle.Com natural world, quantitative and qualitative research, and other subjects they would otherwise never encounter. “These kids haven’t seen great films, they haven’t read great literature, they don’t speak foreign languages,” Mr Knobel says. “I think it will open doors and broaden horizons.”

Bridging the Divide But ProFIS’s greatest benefit may be the social inclusion it offers. Brazil is one of the most inequitable societies in the world, particu­larly when it comes to education. Some 85 per cent of those who finish high school in São Paulo state, Brazil’s richest and most populous, go to private schools—even though the vast majority of students attend state-run schools. More than half the public high schools in the Campinas region do not manage to send even one student to Unicamp. And although about half of Brazilians consider themselves black or dark-skinned, just 14 per cent of students at Unicamp are of mixed race. Some universities use quotas to enrol black, poor, or public-school students and some, including Unicamp, have a point system that gives a leg up to disadvantaged students taking the entrance exam. Leaders of ProFIS, however, take a different tack: They go to the 96 public schools in Campinas, a city of one million people that is one of Brazil’s most developed, and invite the top students to enrol in the liberal-arts programme. If they make it through in two years, they are offered a place at the university. The profile of ProFIS students is very different from that of the regu­lar Unicamp student body. Some 86 per cent of those in the programme are the first person in their family to attend a univer­sity. Some 40 per cent are black or dark-skinned. And 80 per cent of those who qualify come from families that earn less than the minimum wage. About 50 Unicamp professors participate in the project and have designed courses for it. The university has hired an additional eight professors to help share the load. Most of them have been delighted by the first group of students. “Students in all my classes pay attention, but the ProFIS students are enthusiastic about what they are learning,” says Paulo Franchetti, a literature professor. “The other students take a lot of this for granted; the ProFIS students are seeing something revelatory. When I finished my last class at 6 pm on a Friday afternoon, everyone was still there and the class ap­plauded. Many of them came up to me to say I had opened a whole new perspective for them. A lot of them had never read books for pleasure, and they were seeing that reading can be pleasurable.” ProFIS students realise they are different, and some said the university’s more-privileged students looked down on them at first. But most also said that wariness passed as their confidence and self-esteem built. As the school year goes on, their biggest worry is meeting the academic challenges.

“The most difficult thing is adapting to the pace, to the demands, being in class all day long,” says Ms Valeria, recalling her first year. “At school we studied five hours a day. We are here from 10 to 6. There’s a lot of reading and a lot to take in.” Natalia Gomes, a new student in the programme, says she is worried she won’t be able to keep up. “At high school I essentially had no math teacher for three years—he rarely turned up—so I am already behind,” she says. “And I had just one year of physics and just one year of chemistry because it was so disorganised.” Mr Knobel says he realised how challenging the programme is for some students when he heard the results of a beginner’s math class. “The math students were asked if 3x equals 15, what is x?” he recalls. “Only 30 per cent got it right. And those are the best students.”

11 Hours a Day One of the university’s math professors also directs ProFIS. Francisco Gomes works at least 11 hours a day, and often on weekends, sometimes giving private classes to struggling students. None of them will pass unless they understand the basics, he stresses, but he is confident they will manage because of their dedication. “We have had some frustrating results, but that’s math,” Mr Gomes admits. “Doing seven years in one is often asking too much. But you can see the progress. And I have never doubted that it’s worth it.” The jury is still out on whether ProFIS can fill students’ gaps in basic knowledge. Researchers are compiling data about the first group of 120 high-school graduates, who began in February 2011, and initial reports are mixed. At least half of the first group has little or no chance of graduating from the programme in the planned two-year period, and will be allowed to continue for another year. Twenty did not return for the second year: Six of them were able to pass the Unicamp entrance exam after the first year, while others are studying parttime while working. Over all the dropout rate is no greater than that of the university as a whole. Statistics like those, says Mr Knobel, prove both the size of the task and the willingness of students and faculty to overcome the challenges. Programmes like ProFIS must succeed, experts say, if Brazil is to adapt to a rapidly changing economy that increasingly values a broad base of knowledge. The failure of Brazilian universities to provide students with a multidisciplinary foundation is a “serious defect” in the system, says Naomar Almeida-Filho, former president of the Federal University of Bahia, and a leading proponent of liberal-arts programmes in Brazil. “The way we produce professionals right now is being substituted very quickly with a general and broader education that companies later customise for their own needs. That is more flexible, more multipurpose, and better than the current model.” Subscribe to a free weekly electronic newsletter from the Chronicle of Higher Education at May 2012  EduTech



Stuart Corbridge

At home



Stuart Corbridge Pro-Director, London School of Economics, on his personal and professional relationship with India

Stuart Corbridge Current Engagement: Professor of Development Studies and Pro-Director of the London School of Economics; Joined LSE in 2001 Previous Engagements: Has taught at Huddersfield, London (Royal Holloway College), Syracuse, Cambridge and Miami Universities Area of research includes: 4Participation and empowerment in eastern India 4Forest policies and politics in eastern India 4Traumatic spaces, including Ayodhya and Bhuj, India 4History of development thinking and the (im)possibility of development studies


EduTech  May 2012

EDU: You lived in Bihar in the 90s and since then have been returning to India every year. How has it changed over the years? Stuart Corbridge: There are some obvious changes, especially in the capital. The price of land is absolutely astonishing. The roads have improved and some signs of electrification are there. But, my close friend Manoj’s wife Neena, who runs Equity Asia, a foundation which works with the poorest women, does not think so. She is currently working in Madhubani district with Mushahars and says there is very little change there. There is very high male migration, with some villages made up of almost 90 per cent women. It is sad and it has got worse over the past 10 years. I spent long years in villages. In 1993, I was in West Singhbhum district. I have spent time in Jharkhand and in Bihar. I have been to Rajgir, Nalanda, Vaishali, Bhagalpur and some other districts. I have also been to districts like Malda in West Bengal. At the time I lived in Jharkhand, Naxalism was not such a dreaded name. Things are of course different now. You have taught at JNU and have had close ties here. What shifts do you notice in Indian academics? I must confess there’s not much I can add from my memory here. I came to India in 1979. There were fewer universities here and the academic sce-

by subhojit paul

By smita polite

Stuart Corbridge


May 2012  EduTech



Stuart Corbridge

nario was dominated by the big public universities so you were always aware of the Delhi School of Economics, JNU and others. One obvious change is the rise of private universities. I presume we are going to see more of this. People who made large amounts of money in business hopefully want to give something back through education. I have seen some schools in UP built by Shiv Nadar last year. They are also establishing a university campus in Greater Noida. The Jindals have invested in a law school. They are also thinking about a school of economics in Bangalore. We are also beginning to see private providers coming into UK but in a different way, at the bottom end, to provide degrees that won’t be necessarily serviced by research-led staff. Some of the big American providers like Kaplan will come into the British market. So in Britain you are getting some degrees which are much cheaper than £9000. Probably as cheap as £7500. The other thing I noticed while teaching in JNU two years ago is that the government was investing in the campus infrastructure and giving out awards to the faculty, which is much needed. The third observation is: when I came to JNU in 1979, a large number of the top Indian academics were still teaching at JNU and other Indian campuses. That was probably true of the British academics as well. We are very much in a global higher education marketplace now. At LSE, we lose staff sometimes to Oxford, Cambridge or other big American universities. We are very much aware of places like Bocconi in Milan, Swiss universities that pay very high wages, National University, Singapore, universities in Australia, etc. If I think about a number of Indian academics, historians or anthropologists like Veena Das, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Sunil Khilnani. Where are they? They are now in the UK, or in the US. This has been a bit of a problem in India. As I understand it, Indians pay something like $4 billion a year for their kids’ education abroad. The government is obviously aware of this and is trying to build more worldclass group of universities, whether in


EduTech  May 2012

the public sector or with the private sector, in the way I think China has done.

What attracted you to geography and how did you make a transition to development studies? I think I took up geography because I was quite stupid. At that time, my father, who is a physicist and a mathematician, questioned my choice of subject. “Will you be talking about the capital of this country and the longest river,” he asked. But I found it as a subject that allowed you to be quite expansive. I was very lucky. I had a guru at Cambridge when I was a student. He is not much older than me and he had a sort of sink or swim philosophy. He told me the people in Cambridge who I could go and listen to. So I took up Marxist Economics and went for Sociology lectures by Tony Giddens who became my boss later. I also went for lectures of Polly Hill and Joan Robinson. So, I did geography which was a mixture of natural sciences, human geography and had a broad-based education and it suited me. In retrospect, sometimes I wonder had I done economics, it might have been more useful. But I think geography is a subject that synthesises things quite effectively. I took up the development aspect and my PhD was on development issues in India. The first book I wrote was also on development. Thus, it was a natural progression to development studies for me. Why India? And why Bihar Jharkhand and eastern India in particular? There is a clever answer that I could give to this. Life is often very contingent, I think. In the 70s, my father was working in Iran. I used to visit him during vacations. It was here that the idea of moving East took shape, I suppose. I became interested in some of the issues in Iran at the time of the Shah in the late 70s. You could feel some of the social currents that were leading up to the movement that was ultimately led by Ayatollah Khomeini. Ben Farmer was my teacher in Cambridge. He taught a course on India that I really enjoyed. So I

just enquired him, if I could do my PhD under him? My PhD journey to India was not an intellectual decision rather it was driven by circumstances. I was 21, and wasn’t sure what to do. A close friend, Steve Jones, had planned to take up his PhD research on Jharkhand. He was a little older than me. It was during the Emergency in 1976. He couldn’t get a visa, so he moved to Bangladesh. He said: ‘Look I have already started this topic, would you be interested in it?’ I was. Once I got into the field, I changed it. But I was addicted to it.

We saw reports about a possible tie-up with Nalanda University. What was that about? Nalanda is an extraordinary place. I was there last six to seven years ago. It was excavated a little bit further down. I know that Amartya Sen is involved in the project. One of my colleagues, Sir Meghnad Desai, is also involved in this big international project. I just thought it would be a fantastic public space to give a series of lectures. Just keep it as it is. Just have some hi-tech in one part of it. I don’t know what the plan is, may be build some things nearby. I think a lot of international academics would be interested to come, that’s what I thought. I would be interested as an individual. I have personal ties with JNU. When I was a student, on the third night of my stay in India, I went to a party in JNU. It was the old campus on the north side. I taught at JNU two years ago. So, JNU personally has always been like a second home intellectually. JNU has a fit with LSE, and so has Indian Institute of Management. We have a sort of a department link with TISS in Mumbai for developmental studies in social policy. LSE as a school hasn’t linked with any institution in India yet. We are still looking at things. India is very important to LSE obviously. How do you view the Foreign University Bill and coming to India? We are monitoring it. We don’t have an office here yet. We are wondering whether to have an office in Delhi or Mumbai.

Stuart Corbridge


JNU personally has always been like a second home intellectually

We have a lot of alumni in both cities. We also have a lot of them in Chennai andBangalore, Kolkata. But the two big alumni groups are in Delhi and Mumbai. We are watching the big American universities doing it as well. They have the attitude and a lot more money than LSE. LSE hasn’t opened campuses abroad, not like New York University, I think what we would like is a tie-up with an Indian institution. But the situation in India is very fluid at this moment. You have established universities, and now we are beginning to see private universities. I think foreign universities will now watch India carefully for five to 10 years, to see what happens.

What brings you to India year after year? There are two reasons. Firstly, my intellectual work is based in India. I have got a book coming out in October with two colleagues. It has a very bland title, India Today: Economics, Politics, Society. But it’s an attempt to look at India in a comparative perspective. Each chapter ends with a question. When and why did India take off? Does caste still exist in India? Is government responsive to citizens? Also, my job at LSE; I am the Pro-Director with the responsibility for research and external relations. So yes, we have

five institutional partnerships—Columbia University in New York, Sciences Po in Paris, National University, Singapore and Peking University where I teach in summer and Cape Town. We still don’t have a partnership in Brazil and India. India is especially important. LSE has 9,000 students. Of those, about 900 are from China and Hong Kong, around 500-600 from the US and around 500 from India. India is thus the third most important supplier of students from outside the EU. It is very important that we recruit good students here and have research links. Increasingly, more and more of my colleagues are working in India. Not in the way I worked: they are not going to come and live here, but they are interested in intellectual issues here. How do you negotiate the problems of federalism? Why are poor women more likely to vote than rich men? Those sorts of things interest social sciences generally.

What is LSE doing differently to make it such an attractive academic destination? I have been lucky to work in the US, in Cambridge and in India at JNU. LSE is obviously distinctive because we don’t have natural science, humanities; or languages. So it is broad-based social sciences. You can go from mathematics to

statistics to history. Mainly it is economics, political science, geography, development anthropology, sociology, and such fields. That is unusual. Secondly, the campus itself is very compact right in the middle of London. There’s a buzz about it. We have, I think, the best public event series, certainly in Europe. If you come to LSE between 6.30 and to 8 pm, there are fantastic talks—two or three every night by political leaders, academics and on the like. It reverberates with intellectual vitality and the motto of the school is very unusual. Loosely translated from Latin, what we say to our students is that the purpose of an LSE education is to understand the causes of things. I think, it is a nice motto. There can be nothing better than training students to think critically about what they are observing and also understanding the cause of things. The other attractive thing about LSE is that it tries to engage students in not just understanding the cause of things but also in public policy. If you look at the history of LSE, it was Beveridge, the director of LSE, who thought of the welfare state in Britain. More recently, Tony Giddens talked about the third way. And then, LSE students get quite good jobs. It is fascinating that if you are in the LSE campus it doesn’t feel like an archetypal British university. It is a global university. May 2012  EduTech


TECHNOLOGY 54 Tech INTERVIEW: Dr Les Foltos, Co-Founder, Peer-Ed 56 Tech TUTeS: DIY Video Lectures 55-57 Tech Snippet: Tehnology News and Tips and Tricks

Tech INTERVIEW Dr Les Foltos

Peer-to-Peer Learning Mitia Nath caught up with Dr Les Foltos, co-creator of Peer-Ed professional training programmes. Peer Coaching, a collaborative learning programme for teacher leaders is today present in 41 countries across the world 54

EduTech  May 2012

Take us through Peer-Ed—the concept as well as the process. Peer-Ed was born to create and implement a highly effective professional learning and development environment for teachers. A part of the offerings is a programme called Peer Coaching, formed under the basic idea that teachers learn best when they learn from a trusted peer, someone who is just down the hall whenever needed. We had a clear picture of what Peer Coaching should be when we created it more than 10 years ago. We knew that teacher leaders were going to need stronger communication and collaboration skills to be successful. It was our belief that teachers of tomorrow must have an understanding of what goes into

Peer Learning


Tech Snippet | Tablet

Intel launches Studybook, a tablet for students Intel aims to tap the elementary education market, as it launches Studybook, a seven-inch slate powered by Intel Atom Z650 processor. Part of the Intel’s Learning Series, which also features Ultrabooks and notebooks, the Studybook tablet can be made to work with the Microsoft Windows 7 or Google’s Android Honeycomb platform. Studybook tablet comes with an optional 0.3 MP frontfacing camera and an optional 2 MP rear camera. Other optional features of Studybook are an accelerometer and light sensor, 3G and Bluetooth (all models support WiFi) and a mini-High-Definition Multimedia Interface (mini-HDMI) SIM card slot for 3G connectivity. Intel says its Studybook

an effective learning activity—a 21st century learning activity. They must also know how to help peers improve the quality of their learning. And finally, teachers must have a thorough knowledge of the best practices in ICT and how technology really enriches and enhances interruptions. That’s what we’re about. We also do some work in distance learning. For instance, we’ve just completed a project in Vietnam where we helped a university there launch a distance-learning programme for teachers.

What has been the outcome so far? Have you got the kind of results you were expecting out of Peer-Ed and Peer Coaching? We created Peer Coaching in 2001 and in 2003, Microsoft came to us and asked if we wanted to make Peer Coaching part of a new international programme they were creating called ‘Partners in Learning’. As a result of that partnership, Peer Coaching is being actively implemented in more than 41 countries around the world. And it’s expanding! The reason that it’s expanding is that it really does help teachers improve the quality of their learning as much as the learning they are offering to the students. Peer Coaching makes learning more interactive and engaging, and helps students develop critical thinking skills, collaboration and creativity skills, among other

slate is drop-tested for a little over 2 ft, is water and dust-resistant and is suitable for kids as it weighs 1.2 pounds and measures 8.12X5.31X0.65 inches. Intel’s Studybook has a wide range of educational content, including an optimised e-reader that allows students to easily read texts on the device, and a LabCam, which incorporates the Studybook’s camera into a potential science lesson. Intel’s Studybook tablet follows its Classmate PCs, which were introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show held earlier this year. There’s no word on the pricing or release date of its Studybook tablet. 

things. What we’re observing is that with the help of some latest technological innovations, teachers are really able to make a difference to student learning. It is indeed moving a needle there.

Would you say that this kind of learning cuts across all age groups or is it more suited for particular age groups, studying a particular subject? Our primary focus is on K-12 education, which is public education system beginning from kindergarten to the 12th grade, through primary and middle schools, thereby catering to all the age groups in between from three-four year olds to 17-18 year olds. We bring together a group of coaches. The groups are usually small—comprising 12 to 15 members. Such a group may have a middle school maths teacher, a high-school librarian, a third grade teacher, a history teacher—it doesn’t matter. It turns out that Peer Coaching works just as well across content areas and the entire spectrum of students’ learning experience. Peer Coaching is also being used at the university level at some places. Australian Catholic University, in February, started to offer Peer Coaching to 1,500 students studying to be teachers. While the primary focus is kindergarten to 12th grade, what we can see is that it cuts through university as well.

Tell us about Peer-Ed in India. We did some work with a few universities in Maharashtra in 2008. Last May, we worked with some educators from NIIT and EduComp—two large companies that work with educational systems. They’re now working with Microsoft India to devise a plan to roll out Peer Coaching to the entire country. I think they’re likely to start a little later this year. Can you tell us about some of the challenges that you’re facing in introducing Peer Coaching? Peer Coaching is a different model of professional development. Here, one doesn’t go to a workshop for a couple of hours after school or attend a seminar for a day or two. This takes place in the school. And that means that the school needs to find some time for the teachers and coaches to collaborate. If you’re my coach I want to watch you teach, reflect on what I’ve learnt at work; at some point I might also want you to come watch me teach. So the biggest problem with respect to Peer Coaching is that of time—the time teachers and coaches need to collaborate. Another problem is getting schools to accept the idea that a different kind of learning is really going to help better prepare teachers to provide the kind of learning students need. Here we are not May 2012  EduTech



Publishing Videos

talking about lining kids up in rows and telling them about various things. We’re not talking about learning that focusses on facts, memorisation, recognition and recall. We’re really talking about the kind of learning that’d help students develop critical thinking skills, stronger communication skills, collaboration skills, creative powers etc.

The way Peer-Ed has been conceptualised, it requires some minimum technological infrastructure. Given that, do you think Peer-Ed can have that great an impact in India as a large section of the population doesn’t have access to technology?

Just three weeks ago I was in Vietnam. There, if you go to any of the five provinces that have large cities, you’ll find that schools by and large have the necessary infrastructure. The remaining provinces however, lack that kind of infrastructure in schools. Given a scenario like this, the Vietnamese made a fundamental decision—that they were going to start Peer Coaching where the technology and the infrastructure were available and expand this programme as this infrastructure moved in to other schools in the more rural sections of the country. It was pragmatic on their part to decide that not all students must to wait till others have access to the required infrastructure. We’ve seen this

model in developing countries around the world. In India too, we’re in a situation where some students can take advantage of the opportunity that Peer Coaching provides. I think it’s sensible to go ahead and make Peer Coaching available to those students, instead of waiting for a time when every nook and corner of the country has the necessary technological infrastructure within their reach.

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DIY Video Lectures By Tushar Kanwar

Go Viral with Your Video


o you’ve bought the camera, shot the videos, and edited them down, but what’s the use if no one ever gets to see them? In the final leg of our three-part series, we take you through the steps to publish your video online, and share it with your faculty peers and students. Go on, spread the word! For most folks, mention online video sharing and one name comes to mind— YouTube. With the level of ubiquity YouTube has reached in the mindshare of internet users, it is not only how they were introduced to video sharing, but it’s probably the only video sharing site they’re even aware of! Not that that is a


EduTech  May 2012

bad thing, really—the basic free account lets you upload videos up to 12 hours long or up to a maximum of 20 gigabytes of file size, and YouTube places no restriction on the number of videos you upload. Most of the common video formats, including the popular MPEG4, MOV and AVI formats that most cameras output to, are supported by YouTube, but you need to keep in mind that once you’ve uploaded the videos to YouTube, you cannot edit them any further, but you can annotate them with additional information and links. If the content you’ve recorded is proprietary, you can even choose to keep the videos private and only share the address directly with your class/peers. If not, you can fully

Share your video on YouTube, which places no restrictions on the number of videos you upload

exploit the true strength of YouTube— it’s a vast community that can interact with you, comment on, and critique your work. But YouTube isn’t the only video sharing service around—keep in mind also that by posting your video here, you’re running the risk of being overrun by the noise that is inherent to the most popular video sharing site on the planet. There are many other alternatives which bring some unique propositions to the table as well. Try Vimeo, for instance. The site packs in a user friendly interface that I personally prefer over YouTube’s,

Publishing Videos

Tech Snippet | Website

AICTE networking site, job portal for students soon The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is working on a host of projects for students including an academic networking site, employment portal and database of all doctorate papers. The AICTE academic networking site aims to interconnect 7.5 million students, enrolled with AICTE-certified institutions, via email Ids. Chairman of AICTE, SS Mantha says the objective of the proposed site is to encourage academic networking. “The faculty will be accessible on this network, and help with course material, share charts, diagrams, data and projects that can aid learning and make this an altogether knowledge building

and has a fast growing and vibrant community to boot! With a free account, you can upload one high definition video a week, and for most individuals, that will be more than they need. Step up to a Plus account (available for US$59.95 or approximately Rs 3,000 per year) and you’re granted a 5 GB per week file size limit, faster uploads and the ability to embed the full high definition video in any blog or site of your choice. Aside from these two very popular options, you can check out alternatives by way of Metacafe and Dailymotion as well, but in my experience, YouTube or Vimeo should suffice most, if not all, needs. Once your videos are online, you can directly embed these into your personal blog or the university website—rather than linking to a video which opens up in the Vimeo or YouTube website, embedding the video makes the final result look a lot more professional to your audience. In YouTube, for instance, you can click on the Share button and then the Embed option for the site to reveal the embed code—a piece of formatting language which you can directly insert into your blog’s HTML code, or provide to the webmaster of your university website to incorporate into the site’s code. Vimeo works in a similar fashion. And that’s it—you’re all set to go all out and publicise your new set of video


mechanism,” Mantha added. The AICTE is also preparing a database of abstracts of all PG projects. The abstracts will be accessible to the industry stakeholders and research labs so that those interested can directly contact the student and take the project forward. The database will keep a check on plagiarism. Another project is an online employment portal that will feature students’ semester-wise results along with their portfolio. The portfolios of the students will be directly accessible to industry HRD heads. Last week, AICTE in collaboration with Microsoft, launched Live@edu—a cloud-based solution that will be accessible to over 10,000 technical colleges and institutes.

Beware Once uploaded on YouTube, you cannot edit your files further, but you can annotate them with further information and links. If you desire, you can keep your video private and share your address only with your class

Spread the word through social networking sites like Facebook about your uploaded content

tutorials across the academic community and to your students. Use the university’s Facebook account and your own social media presence to send out updates announcing the new content— there are many prospective students as well out there looking for a near-live experience of the teaching style of your institute, and such carefully curated content will go a long way in building your university’s (and your own personal) brand. Remember, the best institutions in the world—Stanford, MIT and Yale, to name a few, have already put a number of their courses online for the world at large to consume. What’s stopping you?

Useful Links: Youtube Video Uploads: Vimeo Basics: MIT OpenCourseWare: Yale OpenCourseWare: OpenCourseWare Finder:

Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at May 2012  EduTech


by a.prabhakar rao

Rules Maketh a Man Veer Singh, Vice Chancellor, NALSAR, sets great store by discipline for our progress as a nation. No wonder, wherever he is, he sets up a culture of disciplined living By padmaja shastri


EduTech  May 2012


ecently, one student was expelled from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University of Law (NALSAR), hostel. His crime: Bringing a girl to his room. Not that long back, four students were rusticated for leaked examination papers, while the two employees who connived with them lost their jobs. Dr Veer Singh, Vice Chancellor of NALSAR is a strict disciplinarian and believes in abiding by the rulebook. And his actions are not arbitrary. There exists a written code of conduct that governs his decisions—the campus and hostel discipline regulations, which lists out mandatory punishment and fine for every act of indiscipline. Students know what they are asking for if they go about breaking rules. “There is no escape from your actions. Students must learn that freedom is not a licence, but a responsibility,” he says. Singh firmly believes that only by being disciplined can we progress as a nation. Dr Singh himself is a highly disciplined man and is known to be never late for an appointment. He believes that if you are punctual, you can achieve your planned objectives or else they will never be completed. He has a strict regimen

Veer Singh

fact file Name: Veer Singh date OF BIRTH: January 30, 1945 Current engagement: Vice Chancellor, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad; Professor Emeritus, Panjab University, Chandigarh things he likes: BOOK: Biography of Napoleon by Emil Ludwig MOVIE: War and Peace HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Mussoorie PASTIME: Playing Golf CUISINE: Vegetarian Punjabi food (minus too much grease and spice) MUSIC: Ghazals sung by KL Saigal and Shamshad Begum QUOTE: “Nothing is impossible” by Napolean Bonaparte HIS LITTLE SECRETS: He is interested in Shayari (Urdu poetry) and loves attending Mushairas (urdu poetry recitals). He is ambidextrous

even on holidays. Singh’s sense of discipline is a legacy of his school headmaster, Jwala Prasad, who was very strict, yet very caring and loving. “He provided a solid foundation for character building and a positive value system. He would say, ‘Read the biography of any great man. Nobody could become great unless he was hard working, dedicated, had a strong character and a sense of high integrity’,” reminisces Singh.

Family Values These were the very attributes and values that his parents too stressed he imbibe. When sending him to Allahabad for higher studies, his father Bhanwar Singh said, “You are now going beyond my watchful eyes. Before doing anything, ask yourself if it is something you can share with your mother. Then, if your con-

science permits, go ahead or else don’t.” Singh never did anything he could not comfortably tell his mother. His mother Hoshiar Kaur instilled in him the values of honour and pride. “My mother taught me to walk like a prince with my head held high, even when I didn’t wear the best of clothes or score top marks. She taught me to never feel inferior to anyone and that there will always be an opportunity to improve myself,” says Singh. The family values and his teacher’s training were his armours in times of stress. When he lost the first position in a debate competition during his LLB to a fellow contestant, who had better command over English, he didn’t sit back feeling demoralised. Instead, Singh, who had studied till his BA in Hindi medium, decided to improve his fluency, pronunciation and diction in English. Teaching law was not Singh’s first career choice. Born at Sadatpur Jounmana, a village in Meerut district, into a family of farmers and faujis (armed forces personnel), Singh wanted to follow in the footsteps of his elder brother Brigadier Mahendra Singh. He even got through to the National Defence Academy, Pune and was all set to join it. But fate decreed otherwise. “It was 1960 and the Chinese front was heating up. In such a scenario, my mother refused to send both her sons into the armed forces. Later, I took up law as my father thought I should do that,” remembers Singh. His father not only monitored Singh’s day to day to activities, but also tutored and guided him. “My father was my role model,” says Singh. Singh has handed over these values to his daughter and son. His daughter, Mohita is a doctor, currently teaching at the Medical University in Rohtak; while son Rupinder, an engineer from IIT Kharagpur, is an engineering specialist with Bell Helicopter in the US.

Academics and Sports Singh excelled in academics and was in the merit list from graduation till LLM Part II, in which he received a first position in the university and a gold medal. He also received merit scholarship in BA second year at Agra University as well as


in LLM Part II. In fact, he was the only student to have passed out of 169 students who had appeared for LLM Part I at Lucknow University in 1968! “It was a very tough and coveted degree those days,” says Singh, who later even got a PhD in law from Panjab University, Chandigarh. His thesis was on ‘Industrial injuries and workmen’s compensation’, as Labour and Service Laws is one of his specialisations. He has two books and 50 research paper publications to his credit. Singh has guided 20 PhD candidates and supervised 50 LLM dissertations, so far. However, Singh was not just a bookworm. He also played hockey at college, in the ‘left out’ position. Later, he started playing lawn tennis, when a ligament tear in his leg put paid to his passion for hockey. Even today, he plays golf and walks regularly to keep fit. After his BA, Singh decided to pursue the LLB course at Allahabad University, which was considered the best for legal education those days. However, for his LLM he moved to Lucknow University, as Prof RU Singh, known as the pioneer of legal education in India, taught there. Singh never saw himself entering the profession of law, despite being a topper. “There were so many malpractices in the profession that I could not be a part of it,” says Singh, who chose to teach law.

The Teacher He started off as a temporary lecturer at Lucknow University, where he worked for a year before he got a permanent position at Rajasthan University in Jaipur. It is here that he made friends with an IAS officer, who later became his brotherin-law. His friend’s family proposed marriage of his sister Manjushree with Singh. “She had every quality that one looks for in a wife—upbringing, education, manners and looks. So I immediately accepted,” says Singh. Apart from taking good care of him and the children, Manjushree worked with NGOs and taught underprivileged kids. “I could not devote much time to the family, as my work was always demanding. She more than made up for it,” he says. May 2012  EduTech



Veer Singh

After teaching for 16 months at Rajasthan University, Singh moved to Panjab University in Chandigarh, a wellplanned city. “I thought that if I had to be in teaching, I might as well choose the best place to live in,” he says. Once there, he more or less stayed in Panjab University for the next 38 years; for 22 years as the Mehr Chand Mahajan Professor of Law. Singh feels that there is nothing as satisfying as university teaching. His teaching style is very interactive. No wonder he is in great demand as a guest faculty with a number of institutions across the country such as Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration, Mussorie; Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi; Adminsitrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad; SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad; Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan School of Management, Chandigarh and AP Judicial Academy, Hyderabad. He has also conducted training programmes and delivered lectures for corporate lawyers and senior officials of various corporate entities like Bhakra Nangal Fertilisers, Bharat Electronics, Food Corporation of India and a number of banks. Even today, teaching is his first love. He teaches a full course—Jurisprudence—to third year students of NALSAR. He is also member, Faculty of Law of a number of universities including Banaras Hindu University, Allahabad University, Rajasthan University, Kashmir University and MD University, Rohtak. He says, “I am happiest in the classroom!”

Leading from the Front But of course, Singh is being modest about his administrative prowess. He was invited by various institutions to start and lead their new institutes or centres. “The vice chancellor of Kurukshetra saw me speak at a conference and invited me to be the founding-director of National Institute of Law at his university,” says Singh, who set it up, developed courses, infrastructure and faculty. He was also the founding director general of Army Institute of Law at Mohali for two years, during which he took it to the 12th position among the top 25 law


EduTech  May 2012

COMMENTS “Prof Singh is disciplined, hardworking and seeks to add value to the tasks he undertakes. When I proposed that leading law schools like NALSAR, NLSIU and NUJS work out a scheme of high-quality postgraduate education in affiliated colleges, he came forward enthusiastically to lead the initiative Prof NR Madhava Menon, Former VC, NLS , Bangalore and Kolkata

“Prof Singh’s inspiring leadership and downto-earth attitude stimulated the entire team of NALSAR to work still harder. The results are now visible. We have been ranked No.1 out of the 25 best law schools in India.” Dr Vijender Kumar, Professor of Law and Head of Centre for Family Law, NALSAR

“He operated with absolute honesty, impeccable integrity, immense humbleness and “down-to-earth” attitude personally and professionally. He always advised me to pursue success not for material gain, but for the greater good and personal sense of accomplishment” Rupinder Singh Engineering Specialist with Bell Helicopter (Singh’s son)

schools in India. Western command of the Indian Army had invited him in 2003 to set it up and make it one of the best law schools in the country. Having accomplished that he went back to Panjab University and was Dean of University Instruction for the next two years. Here, he was head of all teaching departments and admissions and introduced a number of courses, including those relevant to the industry. Even earlier, as chairman, Department of Law, Panjab University, he had introduced new courses in intellectual property rights, cyber laws and an optional course in business laws based on market demand. He also introduced moot courts and case-based teaching, in place of lecture-based teaching here. As director IAS Centre at Panjab University and also at Kurukshetra University, Singh extended coaching to judicial exams and state public service commission exams, apart from coaching for IAS. He also introduced a special scheme for scheduled caste and backward class students. He has played a pivotal role in the drafting of many laws, including the Disability Bill. He was a consultant to the drafting committee which drafted the Child Labour Regulation and Prohibition Law 1986 and was also involved with Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill 2011. Singh sharpened his professional skills during the 10 years he represented Panjab University in Labour Courts and Tribunals, drafting and arguing various cases, as the University Legal Advisor and Standing Counsel in Labour and Service matters. “While it gave me professional exposure, it saved the university a lot of money,” says Singh.

At the Steering Wheel Similarly, to keep abreast of the global trends and best practices in legal education and in administration, Singh regularly attends many international conferences. He believes that legal education must globalise. “A time would come when there would be no American lawyer or Indian lawyer, there would only be international lawyers,” he says.

Veer Singh


(Clockwise) 1.Networks: Veer Singh With Edward Walker-Arnot of international law firm, Herbert Smith LLP, London 2.Iron Man: At his office at NALSAR University campus 3.Better Half: With wife Manjushree at his residence at NALSAR university campus

Also, according to him, attending international conferences gives better visibility, results in memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with universities abroad, collaborative research projects, joint PhDs and exchange of students and faculty. No wonder then that NALSAR has MoUs with 26 universities abroad for student exchanges. Every year 15 students go and study at one of these universities for a semester. It has also entered into a dual-degree programme for LLM with University of Western Ontario among various other similar collaborations. “Whenever I go abroad I make it a point to visit a few universities to work out MoUs,” says Singh. He also works his connections with

eminent lawyers in India and abroad and brings them to teach or conduct workshops at NALSAR. During the course of these sessions, they also assess the students and offer them internships and even recruit them later. He believes: “Quick fixes do not really work. If you wish to make your mark, you have to be consistent in your efforts.” In fact, according to Singh, it is a consistent effort that has made NALSAR top the rankings for law colleges in the latest India Today-Nielsen Survey. “When I joined NALSAR in 2008, it had no systems in place. I put the entire campus management system in order. Over the years, people started complying with the rules in place, resulting in an incremental growth that lasts,” he says.

Sharing Power Singh believes in taking the faculty along in this growth process. He has introduced faculty committees for various areas. “I never take any decision without the recommendation by the respective faculty committee,” he says. There is also a plan to start assessment of the faculty by themselves as well as by their students. “If any deficiency is found, then we will provide them with extra training, motivation and send them for more courses and conferences,” he says. He gives students full space to grow. But violation of any rule is not accepted at NALSAR. Singh, however, is fair while doling out punishment. The expelled student was allowed to “stay on till the exams are over. Not a day after.” May 2012  EduTech



Stephen Hawking, the Man & More A good second biography from the same author, but leaves one wanting more Science writer Kitty Ferguson has been working with Stephen Hawking for decades, and produced his bestselling biography, Stephen Hawking: A Quest for the Theory of Everything, in 1992. An Unfettered Mind is her latest version on the same subject. Stephen Hawking is a British physicist and cosmologist, whose work on black holes and the origins of the universe—and many public appearances—have made him an academic celebrity. In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in USA. This would be enough to garner him superstar status, but the fact that he has ALS, a type of motor neuron disease which has cost him almost all neuromuscular control, makes him a man that everyone wants to read about. In 1962, Hawking was told that he would not live for more than two years (he turned 70 this year). He was appointed Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair once held by Isaac Newton, and

“It’s not dumbing down (science), it’s making it accessible... to a lot of people” Kitty Ferguson

with the publication of his phenomenal bestseller, A Brief History of Time, Hawking entered drawing rooms all over the world. With so much publicity, it would be daunting for any biographer to come up with something new. Ferguson has made it almost halfway there. One would assume that her closeness to the subject would give her lots of material, but this is where the book leaves one dissatisfied. While we do get insights into a person who could be lazy, loved a good bet and was a poor driver, there are no real personal revelations. She seems to have too much respect for her subject to really lay him bare. This time around, Ferguson delves into areas she had not earlier: his slowly crumbling first marriage and divorce, followed by a second marriage and divorce 11 years later. However, if you are looking for insights into the tension and strife, you may be a trifle disappointed. One of the strengths of the book lies in her handling of scientific issues; she uses metaphors, not maths, to make fairly complex ideas intelligible. She says, “Hawking’s life story and his science are rife with paradoxes. Things are often not what they seem.” Unfortunately, though, this book is pretty much as it seems. Perhaps one will need a third biography for a more complex and gripping tale of this exceptional scientist’s life. Author: Kitty Ferguson Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Price: Rs 1119

New releases for your BOOKSHELF A New Culture of Learning

Student Success in College

The 21st century is a world in constant

Creating conditions that matter, the book describes policies, programmes, and practices that a diverse set of institutions have used to enhance student achievement. It shows the benefits of student learning. Authors: George Kuh, Jillian Kinzie, John Schuh and Elizabeth Whitt Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (June 8, 2010) Price: $22.69

change. Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown pursue an understanding of how the forces of change, and emerging waves of interest associated with these forces, inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning, both powerful and optimistic. Author: Douglas Thomas and John S Brown Publisher: CreateSpace Price: $12.95


EduTech  May 2012


gADGETS Tech Insider | Tushar

Behind the Hype of Quad-Core If you’ve heard the news coming out of the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona recently, you’d be forgiven to believe that an armada of snazzy new ‘quad-core’ smartphones from the likes of HTC, LG and Huawei will be soon upon us— not to forget market leaders like Samsung and the next iPhone who are prepping their next big launches as well. What is a quad core device, you ask? Think of a processor in your smartphone, the brain behind the operations, with the ability to do the work of four independent processors at one time.   The funny thing is, we’ve seen this all play out in the PC market not too long ago, with a massive marketing pitch pushing multiple cores as a measure of performance. We’ve been at quad-core CPUs for a while now—the point I’m trying to make is that there is more to performance than mere processor core count. This is especially true for smartphones and tablet devices, which are particularly sensitive to battery use.   The other part of the problem is that most applications that you use on the smartphone are not designed to take advantage of the extra processors. Which means that the benefits you will see with the new slew of quad-core smartphones will likely be limited to faster operation of the basic features of the phone, but not necessarily translate into better performance when you start up your favourite third-party application or game. What does this mean to you, as a potential buyer of one of these snazzy devices?   It is far from clear that there is much real-world benefit of going beyond two cores and picking up a more expensive quadcore phone. Keep that in mind when you’re tempted by the hype to pick up one of the latest and greatest.

A self-confessed gizmo-holic, Tushar Kanwar is a technology columnist with the Telegraph and Business World, and contributes to a variety of technology and lifestyle publications. Tushar’s interests lie at the intersection of consumer technology, internet trends and products that change the world.

Nikon unveils 13 new CoolPix cameras Nikon India launched around 13 new COOLPIX compact point and shoot cameras as part of its Spring Summer 2012 collection with pricing for all budgets. All the cameras come in a variety of colours, HD video recording modes, sport Nikkor lenses and for the first time, have the Hindi language option in the Menu. Price: Rs 8,950 to 23,950

Huawei launches Honor Huawei has officially launched Huawei Honor in India. The device runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. However, it will get an upgrade to Android 4.0 ICS soon. Other features include 8 MP autofocus camera supporting HDR and 720p HD video recording, a 2 MP front-facing camera, 4 GB of built-in storage expandable up to 32 GB via microSD, stereo FM radio with RDS, a document viewer, a photo editor, a gyroscope for gaming, a digital compass, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and EDR, and WiFi. Price: Rs 19,990

February May 2012  2011  EduTech


Perspective UB Desai


Bring on the Innovations

Technology-enhanced education has many benefits. It may be only a fledgling in India, but it is not difficult to predict the potential it withholds


hat is the perceived role of higher education? In my opinion (and you’re welcome to disagree) it is largely three things. One, of course is to convey as well as to create knowledge as we go along. Second is to create and develop ideas among students. This is fundamental, because eventually, what you want in a student is not just skills, but independent thinking and ideas of their own. Lastly—and this being the latest buzzword—innovation in terms of the way you impart education. Let me elaborate on this last point.

Changing Times Take the way circuits and systems are taught in electrical engineering. They are being taught roughly the way they were in the 60s. It won’t be surprising if the textbooks were the same too! The world outside the university campus, meanwhile, has changed dramatically. What is happening because of this incongruity is that the kid coming to the university is facing a dilemma. On the one hand he lives in a society that is moving very rapidly. On the other, he comes to study in a university that has remained largely static over the years. As a consequence, he has to balance himself in an unbalanced situation. This is something we need to bear in mind. Most of the time we decide what students have to do without looking at what they aspire for. It is to bridge this gap the academia needs to change its trajectory in a funda-


EduTech  May 2012

mental way. The teacher must now don the role of a mentor. If we look at our current education system, it is more like imparting information. While it was useful till the early 90s, it does not have the same impact today because now students can go online and find 20 different sources where the information is packaged better. I cannot simply lecture the way I used to 15 years ago.

Meta University One of the things that Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal has been talking about recently is the concept of a meta university. Simply put, it entails that an individual will no longer have to register with a specific university to get a degree. He/she can register for a programme and get some credits from IIT Hyderabad, IIT Delhi and some from IIT Kanpur, provided everything is online. After completion of those modules and a certain number of credits, he/she can get a degree. The degree would be centrally awarded. It wouldn’t be necessary to be registered with an institute and complete the entire course. If taken global, this becomes even more exciting. You can live

A new role must be envisaged for a teacher. Teacher will not be a teacher. He will be a mentor

in India, take some credits from say ISB, some from universities in the US, UK, Australia…the opportunities are endless. Of course it won’t be as easy as it sounds and many more details will have to be worked out before we arrive at the actual meta university.

The Future Classrooms The internet in this respect, has been a big game-changer, opening up possibilities that were unthinkable 20 years ago. While we talk about online education, distance education, they are still at their nascent stages, where ‘online classes’ are monologues and rather boring for students. With some more technological infrastructure invested in these, we could create virtual classrooms, which would closely replicate the real classroom. What I have in mind is something akin to telepresence, but on a larger scale—a scenario where the teacher will be able to see all his/her remote students and students would be able to see and interact with other students as well as the teacher. The technology is expensive at the moment, but it will become more accessible as the volume picks up. This is not to say that the traditional classroom be dismantled in favour of virtual ones. The basic idea is still to exploit technology to make higher education available to a larger number of people and more exciting for today’s youth. This is an extract from Dr Desai’s keynote at EDU tech 2012, at ISB Hyderabad


CT 168

CT 178

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By Design or Default?  

There is a global wave that promises to make D-schools the next B-schools. What is India doing? Read MP Ranjan's views on the growth impetus...

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