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Can IITs be Made World-class? 39 >>>

August 2011

KM is Pertinent in the Social Sphere too

Organizations have realized that KM is important both for their long-term survival and success, and for building sustainable competitive advantages

DIAC will place UAE on the global map Dr Ayoub Kazim MD, TIEC

Banking sector needs grads with specific skills M V Nair

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EDITOR’S NOTE Volume 1 Issue 4 | August 2011 Editor Prof James Joseph Consulting Editor Padmabhushan Emeritus Prof Dr M V Pylee Managing Editor Tom B Mannapurathu Chief Executive Officer Jettin J Manuel Features Editor James Paul Sr. Sub Editors Celine George Ziad P S Reporters Lakshmi Narayanan B Sreenath Design Kailasnath BUSINESS Head - Business M Kumar Senior Key Account Managers Rohil Kumar A B, Ph: 09844001625 Anu P M, Ph: 09847903598 Editorial & Business Offices Bengaluru: ED TODAY MEDIA Opp. Mount Carmel College Palace Road, Vasanthnagar Bengaluru – 560052 Cochin: ED TODAY MEDIA Civil Lines Road, Padivattom Cochin – 24 UK: ED TODAY MEDIA 145 - 157, St. John Street London, EC1V 4PY Marketing & Sales Middle East: Radhakrishnan Ph: 00971 505081525 Colombo: Sivabaskar Ph: 0094 777747245 Delhi: Jomon Thomas Ph: 09911416803 Mumbai: Mathew M. Antony Ph: 09870323964 Bengaluru: Anish Antony Ph: 09845311332 Published from ShadWell Avenue, Civil Lines Road, Padivattom, Cochin – 692024 and printed at S.T. Reddiar & Sons (EKM), Veekshanam Road, Cochin – 35. Printed, published & owned by Tom Baby

Contact: Phone: 0484 – 4233305, Mob: +91 9656144111, Mail: info@edtoday.in

Knowledge has become part of our life

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anaging knowledge is the most important task for modern society. The knowledge revolution has arrived and become very much a part of our everyday life. Explosion of knowledge has reached even the far end of society. It has almost become axiomatic that knowledge is the most important asset of a firm. Knowledge Management (KM) deals with organizational processes and strategies to ‘consciously’ manage this critical asset. Organizations have realized that KM is important both for their long-term survival and success, and for building sustainable competitive advantages. Asian Educator presents an in-depth view about KM. Dr Sreekumar Nellickappilly of IIT Madras analyses the application of KM in our day-to-day life. Sandhya Shekhar, CEO of IITM Research Park, Chennai, also throws light on the various aspects of KM. Prof L S Ganesh, an expert on the subject, will present his view about KM in the forthcoming issues. M V Nair, Chairman and Managing Director of Union Bank of India, has made some vital observations on our education. The banking sector will need graduates with specific skills. The expected intake by the banking industry for the next 10 years is five to seven lakh. The education sector has now to totally change its curriculum. It has to introduce case studies and should have tie-ups with banks for some kind of internship and introduce banking curricula. “I think that would make jobready candidates coming out of our universities,” says Nair. Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is the most happening place in the world in the field of education. DIAC is the only Free Zone in the world dedicated to Higher Education and has been striving to develop the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy since its launch. We carry an exclusive interview with Dr Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) and Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), members of TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster. He explains the tremendous opportunities offered by DIAC. We have the story by S B Mujumdar, one of India’s most successful edupreneurs. It’s an inspiring one for youngsters who plan to enter this sector. Also read the interview of Prof Balram of the Indian Institute of Science, a follow-up on ‘Challenges before Indian Science Education’, the cover story in the last issue. There are also our regular columns, news items and other reports.


CONTENTS

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Cover Story

The Knowledge Explosion It has almost become axiomatic that knowledge is the most important asset of a firm. Knowledge Management (KM) deals with organizational processes and strategies to ‘consciously’ manage this critical asset. Organizations have realized that KM is important both for their long-term survival and success.

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48 Prof P Balaram

Nothing in Indian Education System Designed to Foster Creativity

Dr Sandhya Shekhar KM not Limited to IT and Technology

There appears to be only one motivating factor - money. And therefore government has taken what I would call a pragmatic view and decided to provide a large number of scholarships for students who study sciences.

IT is an important facilitator. It is necessary as a tool. It doesn’t mean that you cannot have KM without IT. It has been tremendously simplified with IT.

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M V Nair Banking Sector Needs Grads with Specific Skills Universities are not yet able to figure out the demand that is going to arise in the banking industry. The expected intake by the banking industry for the next 10 years is five to seven lakh.

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ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


CONTENTS

S B Mujumdar The story of a successful edupreneur.

43 Columns 26 I Karthikeyan Iyer 53 I M V Pylee 56 I Dr Sreekumar

Shantanu Prakash

On Higher Education There is going to be a definite increase in number of institutions in Higher Education sector as India is set to increase GER to above 25%.

Nellickappilly

66 I Sajeev Nair

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Dr Ayoub Kazim

On UAE’s Edu Vision We believe that Dubai International Academic City has significantly contributed to realizing the goal of internationalizing higher education and the creation of quality human capital in the region.

54 Julien Machot On Executive Education India and China will definitely play a vital role in the global education sector. Demography is a major thing. The population growth rate in India and China is well known. So we know that there is going to be a huge demand for education.

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

39 Special Story Can IITs be Made World-class? Despite the facts that the seven IITs churn out graduate engineers who are among the best in the world our IITs are not considered among the best in the world. Why this dichotomy?

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NEWS PICS Australia faded for Indian students SYDNEY: The number of Indian students eyeing on Australia for education has plunged, while the number of students’ visa application to US, which has been stagnant for the last few years, has risen to a significant level. As compared to previous periods, the students’ visa application during July 2010 to June 2011 to Australia tumbled by 63%. Meanwhile, the US consulate is reported to have registered an increase of 20% from October 2010 to June 2011 over the same period the previous year. In absolute terms, there are more than one lakh Indian students in the US and about half the number in Australia. The slide in numbers for Australia comes after a steep increase in the number of offshore student visa applications from 12,592 in 2004-05 to 67,141 in 2008-09.It declined sharply in 2009-10 to 18,514 and dropped to 6,875 in 2010-11. This resulted in India, which had the highest student population in Australia in 2008-09, going to the second position behind China in 2009-10.The next year, it went down further, to the third place as the US took the second position.

Dubai Cares for girls’ edu drive DUBAI: Dubai Cares, the philanthropic organisation, will address the importance of education for girls in developing countries as part of an annual Ramadan initiative. Titled ‘Girls’ Education Campaign 2011’, the month-long project aims to raise monetary funds and awareness through channels and activities. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s Global Monitoring Report 2007 on education showed that 42 million females in countries around the world are unable to attend school due to several cultural and financial reasons.

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Tokyo Varsity to begin English medium courses TOKYO: The University of Tokyo has decided to start courses fully conducted in English language, in order to promote internationalization, by the beginning of 2012 fiscal, it said in a statement. The entrance exam for the course to be set up in the College of Arts and Science will also be conducted in English as it mainly targets foreign students.

Navitas profit increases by 20.5% SYDNEY: Education providers Navitas’ net profit rose to $77.39 million for the 12 months to June 30 from, the $64.3 million a year earlier, Perth-based company said in a statement. Revenue increased 15.6 per cent to $643.8 million.The company declared a final dividend of 12 cents per share fully franked, compared with 10.7 cents a year earlier. Navitas Chief Executive Officer Rod Jones said the company would continue to expand in new and existing markets where value can be added. Navitas said it had moved from a net cash position to a net debt position of $102.8 million after the acquisition of SAE for $294.3 million. The acquisition also resulted in a 131 per cent increase in equity to $239.2 million, up from $103.4

Indian banks revise education loan scheme MUMBAI: Amid the issues related to the repayment of education loans, Indian Banks’ Association has moved a revised loan scheme to the government on its demand. The government urged banks to increase the share it allocated in the total credit portfolio for education loan. Meanwhile, banks revamped their education loan schemes by increasing the credit tenure and funding more than one person per family for loans up to Rs 4 lakh. At present, banks do not seek collateral on education loans up to Rs 4 lakh, loans above Rs 4 lakh require joint application and collateral. IBA has proposed that banks will now consider more than one member of the family for loans below 4 lakh. Currently, as a safeguard measure against defaults, most banks don’t give loans to more than on member of a family.

Health and Education at top priority: Gilani ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said health and education are top priorities of the government. Talking to Mubashar Riaz Shaikh, Executive Director of Global Health Workforce Alliance at WHO HQs, Geneva who called on him at PM’s House, the Prime Minister said although the education and health subjects have been transferred to the provinces but the Federal Government will remain engaged with the provinces to improve facilities in these areas in the country. ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


Assam’s Cotton College ties up with Columbia University GUWAHATI: Assam, a State of India, is all set to mark its name on global education map with its well known Cotton College in collaboration with the University of Columbia. A delegation team from Columbia, which visited the college recently discussed various possibilities for the co operation between the university and the college. As a result of the first round of meeting, the team, headed by the director of Earth Institute of the University, decided to form a core group to carry forward the process. The University of Columbia has also tie- ups with a few leading educational institutions of the country including the JJ college of Architecture and Birla Institute of Technology.The University has also set up seven global schools including one in Mumbai. The possibility of joint research projects by the Columbia University and Cotton College would be explored in the future with the possibility for mutual visits of teachers and students of both the institutions.

NEWS PICS Washington Post earnings slide 50% WASHINGTON: Falling enrollments at Washington Post Co.’s highereducation business helped send the publisher’s earnings down 50% in the second quarter, as the company’s primary profit engine continues to struggle amid tighter government regulation and a weak economy. The forprofit colleges that comprise Post Co.’s Kaplan highereducation unit enrolled about half as many new students in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier.

Amrita bags award for e-learning

Repro India eyes education sector MUMBAI: Repro India is planning to turn its attention on the education business and also formulating tactics to be more educationoriented, according to Mukesh Dhruve, Director and Chief Financial Officer, Repro India. Repro India provides content, print and fulfilment solutions to publishers the world over and is the largest books exporter. Macmillan is one of the largest education players in India. It is a more than 100-year-old company and a 100% subsidiary of the UK-based Macmillan education giant. ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

KOVAI: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has excelled in ‘Best Innovation’ in the Higher Education (Open and Distance Learning) category of the World Education Awards at the World Education Summit held in New Delhi. The university was judged for its indigenouslydeveloped e-learning platform A-VIEW (Amrita Virtual Interactive e-Learning World). The World Education Summit 2011 was organized by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Centre of Science Development and Media Studies, and Elets Technomedia. The World Education Awards have been instituted with “the aim of felicitating and acknowledging unique and innovative initiatives in the field of education globally.”

DeVry buys AUC to extend medical education WASHINGTON: US-based DeVry University has taken over American University of Caribbean of Florida for $235 million with a view to extending their activities in the medical education spectrum. With the acquisition of AUC, DeVry plans to develop postgraduate-level courses and reckons it could tackle the unmet demand such as trained and licensed physicians in the United States. Increasing demographic trends have augmented the demand for doctors. DeVry’s acquisition of AUC will initiate the development of the medical sector. DeVry University has a chain of educational institutions and spreads across the US and Canada with more than 90 centres.

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NEWS PICS India’s education expenses rise, stature plunges NEW DELHI: Despite a whopping rise of 345% in India’s spending on education, the stature and quality of education it disseminates have been seen pathetic, said NSSO in its recent survey report. According to the 66th survey round of the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), the country’s spending on education in general jumped by 378% in rural and 345% in urban areas during 1999 and 2009. The survey further shows that the spending on children’s education has also marked a significant rise of 63% for rural and 73% for urban families, respectively. Corroborating the finding of the survey, Reserve Bank of India’s Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty said that the expenditure on education during 2010-11 stood at nearly Rs 15,440 crore, which is huge compared with that in previous years, particularly on higher education. The total educational loan amount outstanding is Rs 42,808 crore for the year ended March 2011. The number was Rs 27,729 crore in March 2009. The number of education loan accounts rose to 23,00,000 from 18,00,000 two years ago. However, the output the country has been receiving even after infusing higher amounts is pitiable. Chakrabarty said that the

gross enrolment ratio (GER) for higher education in India was 12% in 2010, while there are states that failed to utilize the capacity fully.

Australia-India Council meet NEW DELHI: The first meeting of the Australia-India Education Council saw extensive discussion on mobility of students between the two nations. Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said student mobility could be ensured only if there was assurance on quality of education and if qualifications were recognized. Terming mobility of students the key to any successful collaboration between the two countries, the Minister said the two sides agreed on a number of issues during the bilateral talks. About the issues under discussion with the visiting Australian delegation, Sibal said: “A whole range of issues were discussed between the Vice-Chancellors to ensure that quality education is imparted in the university system to allow student mobility.” The Australia-India Education Council was conceived in April 2008.

He said that in India, there are about 1.86 crore students enrolled in various streams of higher education, including business management. However, Chakrabarty argues that many of these students are not employment-ready. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) for higher education in India was 12% in 2010. However, the enrolment level varies across states. “We also need to recognize that our enrolment level is far below several other countries,” he said. Meanwhile, if we measure the amount India spends on education in GDP percentage; it is a meagre 1 as compared to countries like the US, UK, France and even Malaysia, Thailand and Chile.

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I B M T


PERSONALITIES

Power Behind the Purdah Hina, who feels proud of being a Pakistani, cannot stand her countrymen, whether inside or outside, who do not think so, and is wedded to serving the people of her country Lakshmi Narayanan

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enazir Bhutto, Margaret Thatcher, Sinimavo Bandaranaike, Sheikh Haseena, Sonia Gandhi,..Now one more name has been added to the list of these feminine political luminaries: Hina Rabbani Khar. Hina, just 34, when she was sworn in as Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in July 2011. Buoyantly zestful lady, Hina, hails from Multan, is quite at home in politics and administration. Graduating from the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Hina earned her master’s in Management from the University of Massachusetts, US, in 2011. Hina’s study at Massachusetts was noteworthy because it was very uncommon among Pakistani villagers to send their daughters abroad even if it is for education. Though a businesswoman by profession, her verve to serve her nation made her choose politics as a career. Of course her father Ghulam Rabbani Khar was instrumental in changing her course. His support and the influence he had on her were so powerful that she could gain the necessary strength to tread a path so different from the one she pursued at university with such great zeal. At the time of her entry into politics; she was a co-owner of Polo Lounge, an upscale, popular restaurant located on Lahore Polo Grounds where she was trying to establish her business by applying her management tactics. In the initial stage of her political career she was associated with Pakistan People’s Party

Parliamentarians (PPPP). Later, however, she switched to Pakistan Muslim League (PML). After returning to her motherland from the US in 2002 Hina won the 2002 parliamentary elections on the platform of PML-Q and became the Parliamentary Secretary, Economic Affairs and Statistics. In 2008, she was elected Member of the National Assembly (MNA). On June 13, 2009, she presented the budget speech in the National Assembly, the first woman in the history of Pakistan to do so. During her tenure as Parliamentary Secretary, Economic Affairs and Statistics, Hina handled the specific portfolios of economic affairs of the country, and her responsibility included the granting of international, multilateral and bilateral loans. Her Ministry was also officially authorized to sign any projects launched in Pakistan with foreign financial assistance. After taking oath as the first woman Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in Pakistan, Hina feels that being in the Federal Government is as good as it can get. She has no problems, whatsoever, with being a woman, and is proud that she is in charge of a key portfolio. And she is fully conscious of Pakistan’s urgent need to develop strategic foreign collaborations. Following a Western style of administration, she firmly believes that there has been a huge and positive revolution in Pak society in fields like education, administration, telecommunication, banking and foreign affairs. Not only Pakistan’s society but the entire world is promisingly waiting to see how Hina is going to bring about changes, changes that will take her country ahead of many others. w

The people of Pakistan also feel that Hina can effectively implement and put to work strategies to lead the nation to prosperity. What lends them confidence is her sterling performance since she took over as Minister.

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YOUNG ACHIEVERS

elina Soochan is a synonym for music for Canadians .The 26-year-old Canadian-born Melina is not only a soulful and sophisticated singer, but a songwriter and pianist too. This multi-faceted talent has performed heavily across Eastern Canada and won the hearts of music lovers. She has collaborated with several international musicians across the country and independently produced music videos. Acoustic Nights is her poplar music band, which has performed all over the world creating waves.

motivated her to get a bachelor’s degree in music in classical piano from the prestigious McGill University under the renowned pianist, Luba Zuck Bach, Mozart, and Chopin’s are her masterpieces. At the age of 11 she started writing songs and composed some of them to perform at concerts to the accompaniment of her piano. She was crowned Miss RapSohD talented youth and Jal Jackson talented youth at very young ages. A blend of pop, jazz, the piano and R & B made her quite different on stage.

Melina captures the attention of her audiences with her mellifluous voice and deft notes on the piano. She specializes in the musical genres of jazz, rock, R&B and folk. Melina began learning music at the age of four. Her passion for music

Through her music, Melina strives to deliver positive messages about life, women empowerment, beauty in diversity and the simple enjoyment of everyday life. w

Symphony of a Lass

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Lucian’s Professional Touch

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t is exciting to hear of the creator of an outlet that creates professionals, Lucian Tarnowski, 27, is that man. Founder and CEO of BraveNewTalent.com, the social recruiting platform building professional talent communities for employers such as IBM, L’Oreal and Tesco, Lucian has won the honour of Europe’s Youngest Young Global Leader (YGL) from the World Economic Forum. He has also bagged the title of Global Enterprising Young Brit, Finalist for Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the UK’s One Among the Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs for his effort in moulding professionals. Spectator Business and UK Trade and Investment have named Lucian Britain’s ‘rising business star’. His company has been referred to as ‘Technology Company of Exceptional Potential’ by the UK Government. Lucian’s network and service have spread to over 140 countries and professionalized over 1,00,000 young leaders through the social media. He has cleverly used the social media to identify and engage the brightest young minds to find solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. Lucian is in touch with India to become the youth adviser for Next Generation India on the Board of the UK India Business Council. w

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

Teen CEO

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CEO at the age of 14? That is impossible, one might think. But Sindhuja Rajaraman of Chennai has proved that it is possible. She has entered the Guinness Book of World Records with the title of being the Youngest CEO of the World. Chennai-based animation company Seppan is safe in Sindhuraja’s little hands. And Seppan has become well established under the administration of this wonder kid. It was her talent in animating films that has brought her to this position. She has worked on all kinds of software—Flash, Photoshop, Corel Painter, After Effects and Maya. She is the youngest digital caricaturist certified by Corel Corporation. The National Association of Software and Service Companies has also recognized her as the Youngest CEO. She was awarded the fastest 2D animator by Nasscom in Hyderabad recentlu. Her 2D projects include ,the movie Virtual T-Nagar which reveals the true nature of the specific location of T-Nagar in Chennai city. w

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VOICES We must go on fighting for basic education for all, but also emphasize the importance of the content of education. We have to make sure that sectarian schooling does not convert education into a prison, rather than being a passport to the wide world Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate

Universities should be an incubator of insightful global leaders, a leading creator of new knowledge, and a prestigious university that is held highly in both national and global esteem. Byoung-Chul Kim, President of Korea University

There’s a good reason why nobody studies history, it just teaches you too much. Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher and activist The major challenges in education of our age are increasingly shaped by science and technology, and by daunting problems of quantitative analysis and complex synthesis. Susan Hock Field, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Education is transformational. It changes lives. That is why people work so hard to become educated and why education has always been the key to the American Dream, the force that erases arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture and unlocks every person’s God-given potential. Condoleezza Rice

Worldwide, universities play a vital and critical role in the development and evolution of societies. Prof Dinesh Singh, Professor of Mathematics and Vice-Chancellor University of Delhi The University - Industry Collaboration is absolutely essential especially for the technical education to be purposeful. The curriculum should be designed by taking inputs from the industry. Prof G. L. Datta, Vice-Chancellor, K L University

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For Indian higher education to become world class some global practices are very much needed. University Industry collaboration is in the best interest of both university and industry. Prof M Basheer Ahmed Khan, Vice-Chancellor, Sido Kanhu Murmu University

The major issue concerning research development in our universities is of funding. The educational institutions should be funded by government as well as alumni who are doing very well in their field. Dr V B Sahai, Vice-Chancellor, SVSU, Meerut

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S B Mujumdar

EDUPRENEUR

uses a 1977-model Ambassador car, the first he bought, a symbol of his simplicity. Tall and healthy, Mujumdar, 76, comes to the office daily to oversee the day-to-day functioning of his institution. Under the flagship of Symbiosis, the educational empire of Mujumdar is spreading its wings across the country and abroad, with 38 institutes teaching more than 200 courses and accommodating over 45,000 students from different states of India and 60 countries. Mujumdar has been the Chancellor of Symbiosis University ever since its recognition as a deemed university by the Union Human Resource Ministry in 2002. In an interview with Asian Educator at his office in Pune, Mujumdar recently shared his achievements and the hurdles he had to face in his mission to provide quality education to students from different countries and different castes, religions and cultures.

Dr Shantaram Balwant Mujumdar

has been on a mission for the last 41 years, with an obvious vision to bring the globe under one umbrella for the sake of education and knowledge Dr S B Mujumdar, the founder Chairman of Symbiosis, India’s prestigious private education consortium, is as simple a person as his words and deeds. Clad in his trademark white khadi kurta, Mujumdar still uses a 1977-model Ambassador car, the first he bought, a symbol of his simplicity. Tall and healthy, Mujumdar, 76, comes to the office daily to oversee the day-today functioning of his institution.

Ziad P S

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or the last 41 years, he has been on a mission with an obvious vision to bring the globe under one umbrella for the sake of education and knowledge. Yes, he is building a global education village in a country where ethnicity, language, caste, clan and clad differ. The highly successful educationist has reached the zenith-almost-in his

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

words ‘with God’s blessings’, something that everyone dreams up. Dr Shantaram Balwant Mujumdar, the founder Chairman of Symbiosis, India’s prestigious private education consortium, is as simple a person as his words and deeds. Clad in his trademark white khadi kurta, Mujumdar still

Born on July 31, 1935, Mujumdar had his primary education at a school in the small village of Gadhinglaj in Kolhapur district, Maharashtra, where he was born. “That was the only primary school in the village for all students, irrespective of caste, religion or social or economic status. I was very naughty those days,” remembers Mujumdar. After obtaining a second class in the SSC examination he joined the intermediate course in Kolhapur. Like many parents, Mujumdar’s father too wished his son to become a doctor. But Mujumdar fell short of the required marks for entry into a medical college on merit. “Though my father was rich enough (he was a successful lawyer) to pay the capitation fee of Rs 12,000, a big amount in 1954, for a managementquota seat, he refused to pay it and, instead, sent me to Rajaram College in Kolhapur for BSc Botany, says Mujumdar. “I have always valued honesty and transparency in my life. I believe in

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at Fergusson college, Pune, for the post of Botany Professor. I was not sure whether I would be considered for the post when I applied for it as I did not have the necessary experience. But luckily I was selected and I managed to obtain a doctorate in Soil Microbiology while serving as professor at Fergusson College.” the beauty of simplicity and continue to live the same lifestyle. Nature creates man to work and it is only work that gives you satisfaction. Moreover, I have realized the things that give us pleasure and happiness.” His father’s refusal to pay the capitation fee had of course annoyed him at the time, but it later made him a man of principles in his career as an educationist: he kept away from levying capitation fee from students seeking entry into his institution. Ever since Symbiosis was born, no fee as capitation or donation has been collected from students. Admissions are made purely on merit based on an all-India entrance test. Back to Mujumdar’s days at Rajaram College, He

Like many parents, Mujumdar’s father too wished his son to become a doctor. But Mujumdar fell short of the required marks for entry into a medical college on merit. “Though my father was rich enough (he was a successful lawyer) to pay the capitation fee of Rs 12,000, a big amount in 1954, for a management-quota seat, he refused to pay it was almost debarred from writing his final-year BSc examination as he had failed to attend many lectures. “I pleaded with the then Principal, Prof Armando Menezes, and convinced him that I would make up for the lost lectures. With his sympathetic inclination towards me, I was allowed to appear for the examination and I got a first class”, he says. He then went for MSc Botany and obtained a first class with distinction from Pune University. After that he served Bhaurao Patil College, Satara, and Borawake College, Ahmednagar, as lecturer for a short period. “while i was serving as an assistant professor at Gokhale college, Kolhapur, I heard of a vacancy

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The idea of Symbiosis shaped in his mind when he was teaching at Fergusson College, where he had witnessed the dilemma faced by foreign students. At that time Fergusson College had accommodated students from different countries, particularly from Afro-Asian countries. Most of them studied with the scholarship the Indian Government provided with a view to improving friendships between countries. However, many students, particularly those from African countries or of black ethnicity, were seen being ill-treated. The atmosphere hurt Mujumdar a lot; In fact, it sowed in his heart the seeds of a new platform for students from diverse cultures. “It inspired me to think of a place where all could get together for the common cause of education, without the barriers of religion, caste, ethnicity and language. I conceived the idea of an ideal place for education from Rabindranath Tagore’s Visva Bharati and from Antar Bharati, founded by Sane Guruli, a social activist and freedom fighter from Maharashtra, and with the mantra of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the world is one family.” What struck him deeply; perhaps, and contributed more than anything else towards deciding to set up Symbiosis was an incident during a Diwali vacation at Fergusson College in 1969. “When I was serving as Head of the Botany Department and Rector of the Boys’ Hostel simultaneously, a girl caught my attention. After wandering along the boundary of the Boys’ Hostel, she was seen handing over a packet through the window to a person at the other end. I moved straight to the room where I found a student from Mauritius, who was suffering from jaundice. Nobody was there to help him as almost all students had left for the Diwali vacation. The girl used to bring him food and pass it through the window since girls were not allowed inside boys’ hostels”. The incident shook him deeply and hung over in his heart for several days. Mujumdar thought of ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


such problems being experienced by foreign students and found that more than 800 students from 28 different countries were studying in Pune. “I came to know that foreign students, particularly black students, were facing difficulties pertaining to accommodation, food, guidance and counselling. They were being discriminated against because of their colour. My thought was how I could tackle the problem before they leave the country embittered.” Keeping in mind the miseries faced by these students, he envisaged a place that would fulfil the needs of foreign students such as decent accommodation, food they wish, medical assistance, classes in the English language and information about university courses and Indian culture. He constituted a welfare organization for foreign students on April 7, 1970. Its motto was to boost the friendship between foreign and Indian students. He had no money, but was convinced that a good cause would beget the resources it needed. “The welfare organization we started was called ‘Symbiosis’, a botanical term meaning ‘the living together of two different plants and animals for the benefit of each other’. I then realized that social get-togethers and site-seeing would not have a long-lasting impact. So I decided to start an educational institute with the firm belief that education would bring about harmony between students and foster stronger ties between countries. Since then there has been no looking back.” To start an institution, particularly an educational one, is no easy task, as everyone knows. Mujumdar strove a lot for the sake of an institution that was to impart education along the lines of cultural understanding of diverse spectra. It needed money, something he lacked. “I went on knocking at the doors of people for funds to start the institution and did not hesitate even to accept small amounts as at that time we needed nearly Rs 15,000 as initial payment for acquiring one acre of land offered by the State Government. I never felt ashamed even when I was repudiated. I learnt to swallow all the humiliation and criticism as I believed I was working for a larger cause. If you have faith in your mission, you can bear with or tolerate anything. Great dreams and faint hearts do not go together. The three Ps that helped me in starting Symbiosis were patience, perseverance and prayer”. The unique concept of ‘Symbiosis’ on the envisaged lines as a study centre was shaped during his experience at Fergusson College but it ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

was rooted in 1971 with a contribution of Rs 250 each from his wife, five friends and he himself. Very poor was the condition of Symbiosis initially as the classes were conducted in a small room allocated to him on Fergusson College’s campus. “When we started an institution for English Language Teaching for foreign students under Symbiosis, it was the beginning of the transformation of Symbiosis from a cultural centre to an educational and cultural organization. But a major step towards this was the offer by Pune University to start a Law College. I approached Atur Sangtani, a builder and philanthropist, for the construction of three classrooms, a room for the Principal and one for the staff (the minimum

The unique concept of ‘Symbiosis’ on the envisaged lines as a study centre was shaped during his experience at Fergusson College but it was rooted in 1971 with a contribution of Rs 250 each from his wife, five friends and he himself

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household responsibilities to enable him to fully devote himself to his cause. “In the early stages of Symbiosis, I was very active in university politics and teaching. Sanjiwani was the one who looked after the finances and household responsibilities. I was a candidate for various university bodies for over 25 years and even chaired some 55 committees at one time. When I realized the need for full involvement in developing Symbiosis, I left Fergusson College and stayed away from university activities”, says. Mujumdar. infrastructure required for a college) in a record time of 28 days. Since then, we have been growing at the rate of one new institute a year. Once I am possessed by an idea, I do not rest until I find a satisfactory solution to it”. Mujumdar strongly believes that you could convert every failure in life into an enormous success if you put your heart and soul into the projects you take up. “When I was denied life membership of the Deccan Education Society, which runs Fergusson College, I felt very sad but now I realize that the refusal was a blessing as it could bring me the post of Principal of the college. Similarly, I did not like it when my UGC scholarship was withdrawn at the last minute. But had I got that, I might have become Head of the Botany Department, Pune University, and would have been content with that. I also lost the battle for the post of Vice-Chancellor of Pune University in 1977-78. Had I won, I might not have been able to build Symbiosis.”

A ‘democratic man’ both at home and in the institute, he has given autonomous power to all heads of departments which, he believes, has helped them to introduce innovative changes independently

Mujumdar acknowledges with gratitude the role his wife Sanjiwani has played in his success. She has throughout his life provided him with moral support. She was a PhD research fellow in Zoology with a UGC scholarship when she gave it up in the middle of the course to look after

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A ‘democratic man’ both at home and in the institute, he has given autonomous power to all heads of departments which, he believes, has helped them to introduce innovative changes independently. At home, he takes decisions after discussions with other members of the family. “I have never interfered in the business of my daughters Vidya and Swati, nor have I forced them to go my way. They have their own ideas and vision and I have only given them the moral support they needed—in the form of suggestions and advice”. The doctor couple, Vidya and Rajiv Yeravdek, returned to the country after a successful tenure in their respective fields in Oman to start a hospital in Pune and to help in the administration of Symbiosis. After 13 years of service with Nortel Corporation in the US, Swati too quit her job in order to provide a new direction to the distance education programme of Symbiosis. In recognition of his long, illustrious and distinguished contribution to the cause of education Mujumdar, the President conferred on him the prestigious Padma Shri in 2005. Mujumdar is also the Chairman of the education wing of the prestigious Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He has contributed several research papers to national and international publications. His Symbiosis; A Biography of an Idea’, the first one of its kind, is a path-breaking book which narrates how Symbiosis has effortlessly combined the country’s tradition Vasudevaika Kudumpam. It is a compilation of the experiences of students and well-wishers of Symbiosis. Mujumdar was also a member of the Executive Council of Pune University for nine years. w ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


Toc H Institute of Science & Technology (An ISO 9001:2000 Certified Institution)

Arakkunnam, Pin – 682 313, : 2748388, 2749600, 2738112, E-mail : mail@tistcochin.edu.in, Website : www.tistcochin.edu.in

(Approved by AICTE, Delhi and recognised by Cochin University of Science & Technology)

Toc H Institute of Science & Technology (TIST) rated as one of the top 10 Self Financing Engg. Colleges in Kerala, offers the following Programmes: B.Tech. - Electronics & Communication Engg., Electrical & Electronics Engg., Computer Science & Engg., Information Technology, Mechanical Engg., Civil Engg. and Safety & Fire Engg. M.Tech. - Computer Science, Electronics, Wireless Technology MBA programme (2 year-full time residential) A Silver Jubilee Project of

Toc H Public School, Toc H School Road, Vyttila, Kochi – 682 019

Phone: 0484-2304468, 2306951 Fax: 0484-2303686, E-mail : toch@md4.vsnl.net.in Unique Features:  Tie up with WIPRO for Technical Training of the students.  Placement cell effectively finding jobs for the students  Industrial unit for the practical training  Well qualified and experienced faculty  Industry Interaction Cel  Science Club, Music Club, Photographic Club, Multi Gymnasium, sprawling Playing Grounds, Separate hostel for girls & boys etc.


DIAC

EDU MODELS

Call of the Desert DIAC is the only Free Zone in the world dedicated to Higher Education and has been striving to develop the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy since its launch AE Team

D

ubai, a confluence of diverse cultures, languages and people of different penchants, is a major hub of global businesses in the Middle East. It is also a venue of globally recognized teaching centres that impart quality education with meticulous dexterity. The land of deserts had at one time experienced a dearth of knowledge and education. Now however the atmosphere has changed as more and more people are inclined towards education with the inception of Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV). It was a remarkable initiative by TECOM Investments, which funded the endeavour that lighted the lustre of knowledge again in Dubai as well as the entire GCC countries. It is a committed attempt to build up knowledge-based societies in order to strengthen the cultural unity of the region.

DIAC is host to 53% of the universities in the UAE and 23.5% of the universities in GCC, according to the ‘Guide to Universities in the Arab Countries’ 2009 issue published by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States, Beirut. In 2010, DIAC was ranked among the top 10 in the Middle East with strong ranking under Best Transportation Links by fDi magazine in the 2010/11 Global Free Zones of the Future Rankings. DIAC is also a premier destination for higher education in the region, located on a fully-appointed 18-million-sq ft. campus with state-of-the-art modern facilities. DIAC currently has 28 academic institutions from 11 countries and is host to over 18,000 students from more than 100 nationalities. DIAC students also have access to over 300 higher education programmes.

In an attempt to expand the envisaged activities of DKV and, of course, the paces of the incredible success it has gained in the course of disseminating international standards in education, TECOM showed the courage to establish Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) in April 2007. It is reckoned that DIAC has significantly contributed to realizing the goal of internationalizing higher education and the creation of quality human capital in the region. DIAC is the only Free Zone in the world dedicated to Higher Education and has been striving to develop the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy since its launch.

From humble beginnings in 2007 with 10 universities, experiencing growth in 2010 with 27 regional and international universities, DIAC has catered to the needs of the region. There are now universities from 11 countries and over 18,000 students from the modest beginnings in 2007 with just 2,500 students. In 2007, there were 36 degree programmes being offered and now the number stands at over 300.

For DIAC, it is a mission to provide the infrastructure and services required to enable academic institutions to operate programmes at full capacity and eventually to acquire a name to be the regional destination for higher education providers serving the development of the UAE and regional workforces. It is a journey for DIAC, not the destination. Its corporate vision, mission and strategy statements are fundamental in its success and drive DIAC to perform even better. ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

The growth of DIAC continues into 2011 with many of the academic partners moving to purpose-built campuses within the DIAC Free Zone. DIAC along with its academic partners is also looking to offer more programmes catering to the workforce planning needs of the UAE. The two business parks under the Education Cluster belong to the TECOM Business Parks portfolio, which includes eight other business parks focusing on sectors such as ICT, Media, Science and Manufacturing and Logistics. As a result, all DIAC business partners have full access to the products and services provided by other TECOM business parks. w

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We believe that Dubai International Academic City has significantly contributed to realizing the goal of internationalizing higher education and the creation of quality human capital in the region


Dr Ayoub Kazim

EXPERT TALK

‘DIAC WILL PLACE UAE ON THE GLOBAL MAP AS AN UPSCALE EDUCATION HUB’

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r Ayoub Kazim is the Managing Director of Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) and Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), members of TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster. He is responsible for strategically steering the education clusters and further consolidating their status as leading centres of learning excellence in the region. Heading a proficient team of top-tier academic professionals, Dr Kazim has successfully ensured consistent growth in the number of business partners at both the clusters. Under his guidance, DKV has channelled its focus on human resource development, human resource management and business consultancy. Dr Kazim’s persistent endeavour has also paid rich dividends at DIAC, the world’s only free zone dedicated to international higher education. DIAC currently hosts 28 institutions from 11 different countries. With nearly 20 years of experience gained from working with Dubai Municipality and UAE University in Al Ain, Dr Kazim has an in-depth understanding of technical, administrative and academic work environments.

How do you appraise the contributions of DIAC to the region? Education in any part of the world works towards the shared vision of social development. Likewise, GCC is committed to creating knowledge-based societies and is relentlessly working towards achieving this key objective. We believe that Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) has significantly contributed to realizing the goal of internationalizing higher education and the creation of quality human capital in the region. DIAC is host to 53% of the universities in the UAE and 23.5% of the universities of GCC, according to the ‘Guide to Universities in the Arab Countries’ 2009 issue published by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States, Beirut. DIAC has attracted reputed institutions such as HeriotWatt University, Manchester School of Business, BITS Pilani, Manipal University, Michigan State University and other international institutions that offer highquality industry-related programmes to students of diverse nationalities. When and why was DIAC established?

In addition, he is actively involved in research studies and has published numerous articles and technical papers on renewable energy, hydrogen energy, fuel cells, energy policy and economics.

DIAC, founded in 2007, is a natural offshoot of the growth of Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) and was born out of the need for an academic zone that is dedicated to higher education.

Dr Kazim holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree from Polytechnic University in New York. He received a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami in 1998.

The inception of DIAC was also the result of an unprecedented demand for higher education from both regional and expatriate students due to the tremendous growth witnessed by DKV, the precursor to DIAC, and the emirate as a whole over several years.

This is what he shared with Asian Educator during a recent interview:

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

Launched in 2003, DKV has placed Dubai and the Middle East on the global map as a destination for learning excellence. Currently, the free zone hosts over 450 business partners specializing in human resource

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EXPERT TALK

Dr Ayoub Kazim

management, consultancy, training and personnel development programmes. What are the USPs of DIAC?

The multi-cultural fabric of Dubai helps students gain the ability to interact with

individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. It also shapes their personalities, effectively preparing them for the competitive global landscape

The 18,000-strong student body at DIAC have access to over 300 higher education programmes, including undergraduate and postgraduate courses in varied fields such as engineering, IT, media,

business, fashion design, healthcare and mass communications. In addition to the regular disciplines, universities at DIAC also offer programmes in niche areas such as forensic science, biotechnology, hospitality and logistics that present rich growth opportunities for qualified professionals. DIAC’s operation under the umbrella of TECOM Investments enables students to leverage opportunities that this recognized leader in the global knowledge industry offers.TECOM manages entities such as Dubai Internet City,

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Dubai Media City, DuBiotech and Enpark that expand students’ prospects through offering internship opportunities. Located in Dubai, DIAC also provides students with access to the diverse sectors and the multidimensional opportunities that are available in Dubai. The city attracts people from across the globe because of the excellent career opportunities and upscale lifestyle it provides. The multicultural fabric of Dubai helps students gain the ability to interact with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. It also shapes their personalities, effectively preparing them for the competitive global landscape. How is DIAC receptive to international students? DIAC provides a perfect alternative for students looking at pursuing higher education in the West, extending multiple options to choose from, while maintaining international education standards. Top universities from all over the world including the UK, the US, India and Australia have set up branch campuses at DIAC. The Student Hub, a special team formed to cater to the students’ requirements, highlights DIAC’s commitment towards its students. The Student Hub is extremely accessible and approachable, providing guidance to students on numerous issues and several services to ensure an enriched student life. Its services include organizing a series of sporting, social and community initiatives and also supporting and guiding students in identifying an ideal career path. Internships, career placement opportunities, personal development seminars and workshops are also made available to students through the hub. Further, the hub facilitates the visa application process for international students. ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


As the Managing Director of the Education Cluster of TECOM Investments how do you envisage the future of DIAC and DKV and prospects of Dubai as a leading player in education? TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster, which includes DIAC and DKV, is committed to driving Dubai’s and the UAE’s vision to create world-class infrastructure for education and promote itself as an international destination for higher education. Accordingly, we shall ensure that the free zones grow in response to the dynamic needs of the sector and place the UAE on the global map as an upscale education hub. How successful is DIAC in attracting reputed institutions and talent to its nest? The demand from universities to establish a campus at DIAC is high. Our aim is to ensure a proper balance of institutions based on their global standing and the quality of programmes they offer. We follow a meticulous selection process while reviewing applications and ensure that the education standards of branches at DIAC match those of the parent university. We will continue to enforce this stringent approach in the future to sustain our position as a facilitator of quality education for students from diverse nationalities and backgrounds. Whether it is to do with opening our doors to new universities, initiating expansion strategies or realigning universities, all our experiences have contributed to the learning of our current and future crop of institutions and successfully brought in 28 academic institutions and 18,000 students from 11 countries to DIAC. Do you have any plans to recreate the model in some other parts of the continent? DIAC is part of TECOM Investments, an inherently unique organization operating 11 business parks across varied industries, including information and communication technologies, media, sciences, education, and industry. TECOM’s international expansion has encompassed two countries: Malta and India. Different nations have different requirements and, therefore, a single template cannot be applied to ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

all. For us in Dubai, the first criterion is whether we believe the industry in question fulfils our mandate of growing Dubai’s knowledge-based industries. DIAC is one move in that direction. Without an educated population, a knowledge industry cannot flourish. Regarding placements, do you have some innovative solutions? Among the value-added services that the Student Hub offers, career placement is one. DIAC students must be registered as a ‘JAWAZ’ member in order to log into the DIAC Careers Channel, an online job portal that connects DIAC students with recruiters for internships and fulltime career opportunities. DIAC has a consortium Our aim is of organizations that have teamed up with us and post to ensure a proper balance their job vacancies online of institutions based on their for fresh graduates as well global standing and the as students looking for internship opportunities. quality of programmes Also, students have access they offer to CV writing tips and can post their CVs for registered employers to consider.

The demand from universities to establish a campus at DIAC is high.

Other initiatives at DIAC include the Virtual Career Fair where students can visit an online portal and meet potential employers from the comfort of their homes. DIAC also ensures that its students are well informed of forthcoming regional events, seminars and workshops that focus on employee recruitment. Our universities also offer career placement and internship programmes that are set by their respective academic teams. w

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INNOVATOR

Karthikeyan Iyer Karthikeyan Iyer (Karthik) is a Founder Director of Crafitti Consulting, an innovation research and consulting firm working with a wide variety of enterprises in multiple domains on complex innovation challenges and opportunities in business and technology contexts.

Building Highly Effective

Idea Management Systems

with Living System Principles – Part II

I

n Part I of this series, we discussed the rationale behind modelling idea management systems on living system principles. We also looked specifically at the “Waste = Food” principle and how it can be mapped to idea management systems by creating a recycling process channel for ideas, working on a long term continuous context and synchronizing with the enterprise rhythm. In this article, we will visit some of the other living system principles. Diversity, Multifunctional Nature doesn’t try to predict or pre-decide outcomes. Instead, living systems evolve through the continuous process of variation and selection. Through variation (achieved through combination or mutation), every organism tries to reach a special niche where competition for resources will be less.The continuously changing, unpredictable environment or context selects the most conducive variations. Of course, most variations are unsuccessful. Wider variety improves the chances of selection in the short term. In the long term, over multiple cycles of variation and selection, multiple diverse capabilities combine to create more and more robust organisms, species and ecosystems.

Far from equilibrium, Flux, Oscillatory Organisms strive to constantly change and adapt, because they are never quite perfectly suited to the environment, which keeps changing; there is no equilibrium state. While individual variations are completely unpredictable, chaotic systems are known to oscillate around and gravitate towards equilibrium points called attractors.For example, the temperature of a lake may hover in and around a specific range, never settling in on one temperature point, for the lake ecosystem to flourish.Idea Management Systems have to walk this tight rope as well. 1. Identify existing inertia points Most enterprises have long histories of processes that improve productivity, efficiency and predictability of work. These are strong inertial attractors. Indeed, existing idea management systems (even the latest ones that use online innovation platforms etc.), have been unable to escape their pull. 2. Define new attractors Here, we can take inspiration from multiple sources. •

Following the above principles, an idea management system should: 1. Createan extraordinaryvariety of ideas This is easier said than done. An enterprise typically consists of a set of people with similar shared experiences, academic and cultural backgrounds. Within the enterprise, standardization is the norm, not variety. Even serendipitous ideas tend to be very similar. Initially, combination and mutation capabilities have to be artificially injected into the system; with time these capabilities get embedded into the enterprise fabric.

• • •

a. Combination can be achieved through cross-functional and cross-cultural teams, either from within the enterprise or from outside. b. Mutations can be introduced through creative and inventive thinking frameworks like De Bono’s Lateral Thinking, Altshuller’s TRIZ etc. c. One may also have to recruit people with the “variety” gene – people who naturally search for variety and change rather than stability.

2. Create a naturalenvironment Ideas should be allowed to evolve and become more robust before they reach the “natural” market environment, by playing out the variationselection processes within the enterprise. • • •

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a. Business ecosystemsshould include modeling, simulation and scenario building to play out ideas and explore outcomes in diverse alternative futures. b. Technology ecosystemsshould include a variety of labs – labs to combine and cluster ideas, labs to introduce and test variations, technology foresighting labs and labs to run through iterative idea prototypes c. Pseudo-market ecosystemsshould include forums where employees, customers, suppliers etc. can use, play with and vote for ideas.

• •

a. TRIZ, The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving,stresses on “Ideality”, a state where all benefits of a system are achieved without cost or harm. This is seconded by principles of The Toyota Way, which strives to achieve maximum value with minimum resources and waste. b. Design Thinking proponents stress on “Simplicity” and “Elegance”, a seamless combination of form, function and behavior. c. Natural systems revolve around “Sustainability”, to ensure survival and longevity.

Good attractors are like lighthouses. An enterprise where each idea strives to get simpler, ideal and sustainable can expect to be very successful in the long term. 3. Measure movement and success with relative rather than absolute metrics It is never easy to predict if an idea can fetch you a million dollars. It is much simpler to assess if one idea has a better chance of fetching you million dollars than another. Relative metrics allow for variation, freedom and flux while absolute metrics, stuck in space, time and context, soon become obsolete. In the final part of this series, we will explore two extremely critical principles of Living Systems Co-operation and Emergence. w ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


The Knowledge Explosion AE Team

The knowledge revolution is here. It has almost become axiomatic that knowledge is the most important asset of a firm. Knowledge Management (KM) deals with organizational processes and strategies to ‘consciously’ manage this critical asset. Organizations have realized that KM is important both for their long-term survival and success, and for building sustainable competitive advantages Asian Educator presents an in-depth view about KM by Dr Sreekumar Nellickappilly of IIT Madras who analyses the application of KM in corporate process. Sandhya Shekhar, CEO of IITM Research Park, Chennai, also throws light on the various aspects of KM. Prof L S Ganesh, an expert on the subject, will present his view about KM in the fourth coming issues

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

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COVER STORY

KM

Knowledge has emerged as the single most important factor that gives organizations a competitive edge in the market l

Dr Sreekumar Nellickappilly

C

an we sell or buy minds? Body and its parts have a good market in the healthcare sector, but how can minds, which are invisible, be sold, bought and marketed? That is what precisely IBM did when it purchased Lotus. Out of the $3.2 billion it spent, $1.84 billion was estimated as the cost of the R&D capability residing in the minds of Lotus’s employees. Obviously, it was knowledge or its potential that makes these minds so expensive. Knowledge has emerged as the single most important factor that gives organizations a competitive edge in the market. Since it is located in human minds, its behavior is as complex as the human organism. Its location within the organization, use and application are extremely difficult tasks and hence pose enormous challenges to organizations and their managements. There is the story of an organization which intended to design a product for which it needed to develop a particular chemical component. It tried it for several months in its laboratories and eventually realized that buying the rights of production of the component from those who had developed and patented it would work out cheaper than developing it anew. But soon to its surprise it discovered that the component had been developed and patented by its own R&D a decade earlier. It painfully realized that had it known about this in the beginning it could have saved a significant amount of money and time. Here the required knowledge already existed, even though the organization had forgotten about it. In this age of mergers and acquisitions, hire and

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fire and ‘systematic downsizing’, organizations are expected to attain optimum productivity through the rationalization of their management procedures. Thomas Devenport points to an important problem organizations may face in this context. He refers to the post-cold war retrenchment of the defense industry, which prompted many aerospace companies to offer buyout packages that encourage employees to walk out fostering downsizing. Many employees took the offer and walked out, but along with them went the vast and deep experience, expertise and knowledge they possessed being part of a dynamic industry for several decades. This may happen— even though on a small scale—when employees retire. A 2008 report by the US Office of Personnel Management warns that by 2016, almost 61% of the full-time permanent federal workforce will be eligible to retire, taking away with them valuable institutional knowledge. All these concerns ultimately point to the necessity of ensuring the consistent generation, application, distribution and conversion of knowledge within organizations. It should be readily available as and when it is required and it should reach the needy at the right time. Organizations should mould themselves in such a manner that they are capable of constantly generating knowledge and avoiding all sluggishness in its flow towards different directions. History of knowledge management Knowledge management (KM) has a history that is as old as human civilization. All human societies have been managing knowledge ever since they formed social groups and in the ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


COVER STORY

KM different stages of human social evolution one can see remarkable examples of individuals as well as societies and communities managing knowledge for their advantage. A systematic study of KM began when many acclaimed models of management efficiency either fell short of expectations or proved obsolete in the changed world in the post-war period. With KM, management goes back to its rudiments, exploring the secret that lies fundamentally at the foundation of all human achievements. Certain interesting details were revealed when people started exploring what was behind the amazing success of many Japanese firms during the post-war era. During the years following the devastating war, the Japanese largely followed the model that was prevalent in the western economies, a model of management that ideologically opposed the socialist paradigm which dignified human labour and advocated in its place a model that emphasized productivity which sought to know how practically we could increase the output per unit of input. Frederick Winslow Taylor, the American mechanical engineer hailed as the father of scientific management, began his work on productivity with this proclaimed aim that ultimately led to a revolution in the field of global industrial production. Human economic progress owes a lot to Taylor and his idea of scientific management. As time changes, philosophies too will change. Taylor’s model triumphed over Marx’s and ultimately laid the foundation for the evolution of the industrialized West. But later this foundation began to crack, as Taylor’s scientific management was able to tackle only problems related to manual-worker productivity and not issues associated with the productivity of knowledge-workers, which now constitute the backbone of all developed economies. Organizations and nations globally face enormous challenges associated with the complexities that ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

hinder knowledge flow inside their structural premises. It is not that developed economies and professional organizations lack the required knowledge, but they often find it difficult to locate it and deliver it to the right place at the right time. The Japanese model offered valuable insights into the way organizations can define themselves as knowledge organizations. For the Japanese, KM is culturally integrated with their organizational structure in a natural manner, as the values that form the foundations of their civilization ensure transparency and the natural flow of knowledge. Contrary to their Western counterpart, an average Japanese would not define their self as an autonomous entity, but accommodate other people well inside their individual horizon, and as Nonaka and Takayuchi say, they work with an ontology that consider the ultimate unity of the self with nature.

Thomas Devenport refers to the post-cold war retrenchment of the defense industry, which prompted many aerospace companies to offer buyout packages that encourage employees to walk out fostering downsizing. Many employees took the offer and walked out, but along with them went the vast and deep experience, expertise and knowledge they possessed being part of a dynamic industry for several decades

KM challenges To recognize the necessity of KM constitutes only the diagnosis part and the solution consists of implementing it considering a number of other factors that make the organization unique. One set of methods that succeeded in one organization may

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COVER STORY

KM

not work in another. But the most important task is to change the culture within organizations into a vibrant knowledge culture that constantly generates knowledge and fosters its smooth flow, distribution and reach. Organizations may have to adopt hitherto-unknown methods and strategies, as the more familiar scientific methods may not work here owing to ambiguities surrounding the phenomena of knowledge The primary difficulties are related to the location of knowledge. It is found in the minds of individuals. Moreover, a huge amount of knowledge lies in the individual’s mind which influences and even determines what s/he does, but nevertheless cannot be articulated or codified, so that its management becomes difficult. This knowledge is tacit and even its possessor need not know how to make it explicit. An experienced tea taster may not be able to articulate how he could judge a particular flavour as superior to another. He would simply say that A is better than B. What we usually term intuition in our day-today life has incredible value in KM, as intuition is the result of knowledge gained in long years of experience and lies as an individual asset in the human mind. People often struggle to explain what they know and what they mean by knowing something. There is the story of a baker, whose bread was remarkably tasty, but he was unable to explain what made it unusual. A team of The Japanese model apprentices stayed with him to find out offered valuable the secret. They ultimately noticed that insights into the way the peculiar ways in which he moved and twisted his hand when he prepared the organizations can dough were responsible for the difference. define themselves as Though these movements can be knowledge organizations. mechanically repeated, recognizing their For the Japanese, KM role in the whole process was a different task.

is culturally integrated with their organizational structure in a natural manner, as the values that form the foundations of their civilization ensure transparency and the natural flow of knowledge

Nonaka and Takeuchi in their celebrated book on knowledge management, The Knowledge Creating Company, narrates a KM process by unraveling the various stages of designing and producing the Honda City car. It was the time when the Japanese auto firms had just begun their invasion of the global car market with their cute and fuel-efficient models. Compared to the bulky and huge American cars—American cars used to resemble the pampered Yankee chubby guys—the Japanese versions were small and cute—like the Japanese women whom you see in the ads of their airlines—and they had hit the market with ample force and became instant successes. Honda’s City was a product that targeted the global auto market with a novel idea of combining comfort with

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efficiency. They envisaged bringing out something new, novel and different. This grand idea was floated before a group of young and enthusiastic engineers and managers. They met frequently, discussed the project with extreme details and eventually came up with a number of alternative projects. The team leader subsequently clarified the initiatives with a metaphor and named the entire process ‘automobile evolution’. The discussions went on in an informal and friendly environment and even after several brainstorming sessions they failed to come up with a concrete proposal. They were not clear about how their new car should look like. But they were all in a position to say how it should not look like. Taking clues from the term ‘evolution’ they began to conceive their product as an organism, since only organisms can evolve. They thus invented a slogan, ‘Man maximum, machine minimum’ which would then become the guiding metaphor in their journey forward. The City car symbolizes the liberation of the auto industry from the rigidities of a mechanical age by conceiving man more important than machines. This was a paradigm shift. The entire world looks different with this perspectival change. Yes, “the world is really different from what we thought it was” was the response of one of the enthused discoverers of the new driving philosophy. The evolution of City reveals the value of intuitions and tacit human knowledge in materializing innovative ideas and the role of ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


KM collective deliberations and metaphors in tapping and converting tacit knowledge explicit. The Japanese bring to the global market not only cars and machines but also a beautiful philosophy of life, which enables one to see things differently, from different perspectives. They teach us how to use the resources by supplementing the process with a near-perfect waste management exercise. They are conservative when it comes to the values of life but are to the core modern with regard to the comforts of material life. But above everything, they teach the world the culture of knowledge sharing and development. They differ from the Western societies in their treatment of knowledge. Many modern Western organizations have now initiated intensive KM programmes for fostering the evolution of knowledge culture, which emerges as a natural process in the Japanese firms. The innovations in information technology have added—and are adding—novel dimensions to the management of knowledge. The knowledge developed at one corner of the globe can now be transmitted to the other end within seconds. Organizations can now make their whole workforce equipped with the new technologies and information. They can store knowledge in ‘huge quantities’ and make them available to anybody at any time with all details. But the intensive use and dependence on information technology too may prove to be counterproductive, as with these technological advancements we can tackle knowledge that is explicit and not the vast amount that lies in the minds of individuals. The Japanese—and Asians in general—by nature love to communicate more organically. They spend a lot of time in the office after office hours, simply because they enjoy working in groups, interacting and sharing experiences and aspirations and also perhaps they can keep away from their spouses (!). This tendency to make other individuals part of oneself is a characteristic feature of their culture. In this process, valuable knowledge is also shared in Japanese organizations. The management of Japanese firms is convinced about the success of this exercise and they design occasional events and programmes to foster such informal exchanges of ideas. They frequently take their professionals to holiday inns and make them spend some days together. This happens particularly when they want to solve some important problem inside the ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

COVER STORY

organization. The informal meetings in a relaxed environment, away from the usual working place, will bring out the expected positive results. KM primarily deals with people and not with machines of technology. It addresses human minds, which are dynamic and active even when one is asleep. An organization can increase its knowledge base by means of several methods; by renting it by appointing consultants, by acquiring another organization, which has a good knowledge base, from dedicated resources like R&D units, through the fusion of diverse perspectives etc. All these ultimately emphasize the value of cultivating a suitable KM culture. Whether it is through the arrival of new knowledge—acquisition, rental etc—or the mining of existing one, all these initiatives happen only in a conducive cultural framework. The following points may help organizations effectively tackle knowledge: • • • • • • • •

1. Creation of a knowledge culture by fostering communication, interaction, promoting trust and establishing transparency. 2. Establish a system of knowledge pricing: send out the message that creation and sharing of knowledge are treated as valuable contributions and will be rewarded. 3. Prevent knowledge sluggishness, both by promoting trust and a reward system and by the use of appropriate technologies. 4. Prevent knowledge drain; avoid knowledge walking out of the door. 5. Tackle all those factors that resist knowledge flow. 6. Preserve the acquired and generated knowledge by means of appropriate technologies. 7. Determine the location of knowledge, so that it can be made available when required. 8. An appropriate and wise use of technology.

Dr. Sreekumar Nellickappilly, is Associate Professor (Philosophy), Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. He can be contacted at srkumar@iitm.ac.in. Sources

http://www.caci.com/special/knowledge_capture_transfer.shtml The Knowledge Management Yearbook 2000-2001 by James W Cortada, John A Woo Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage that They Know by Thomas H Devenport and Lawrence Prusak , 1998, Boston, Harvard University Press. The Knowledge Creating Company by Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, 1995, New York, Oxford University Press.

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Dr Sandhya Shekhar

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hy has Knowledge Management (KM) become an area of interest to a lot of organizations?

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andhya Shekhar is the Chief Executive Officer of IIT Madras Research Park, which is India’s first university research park, set up for a pioneering effort in the country to provide a significant impetus to innovation and R&D through industry-academia collaboration. Earlier, she had worked in the IT industry for over two decades. A university rank-holder in her bachelor’s degree course, Sandhya pursued her management studies at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. She earned her PhD from IIT Madras, with her dissertation on ‘Knowledge Transfer in Virtual Organizations’ winning the international award for Outstanding Doctoral Research from the European Foundation for Management Development and Emerald. In her previous assignment, Sandhya was a Director with Gartner Inc. She set up the consulting practice of Gartner in India and was the competency lead in Enterprise Solutions for the Asia Pacific region. Earlier she had held positions like Chief Technology Officer of BconnectB.com, Head of Knowledge Management Research in Aptech Ltd and Group Consultant in the software division of NIIT Ltd. She has co-authored a book, Knowledge Management— Enabling Business Growth, published by Tata McGraw Hill. Her papers have been presented at and published in several international conferences and journals. She explains the importance of Knowledge Management in our day-to-day life in an exclusive interview with Asian Educator. Excerpts:

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In a globalized scenario everybody is looking for competitive advantage. When you look at competitive advantage, you should know the areas you differentiate yourself. Infrastructure, resources, technology, process etc can be replicated. If there is something unique to an organization it is its people. So if you have extremely passionate, committed, intelligent people working for an organization, it becomes very difficult to replicate the same kind of expertise, knowledge base and commitment. There is something very unique to every organization. There is increased awareness among all the parameters that leads to an organization’s success. An organization’s intellectual capital is of paramount importance. And what is intellectual capital? It is the combined intellect of all the people who constitute an organization. With this awareness comes the recognition that an organization needs to be able to configure in such a way that it become easy to manage one of its most important tasks. So that is the intellectual capital asset. How do you manage it? The first thing is to tap the knowledge. Even when you are not looking at a competitive scenario, in very large organizations what happens is that they might have one particular business unit performing exceedingly well but another unit might be seeking to solve the same kind of problem. But they have been starting from the base level instead of leveraging the learning ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


KM

COVER STORY

KM not Limited to IT and Technology IT is an important facilitator. It is necessary as a tool. It doesn’t mean that you cannot have KM without IT. It has been tremendously simplified with IT l

James Paul

that has happened in some of the divisions. It is important to understand what this organization knows collectively to solve the problem, instead of treating it in pockets. That means identification of knowledge resources is important. Once you identify the knowledge resource, it is important to aggregate that knowledge and keep it in one place and you need to disseminate knowledge. Once it is disseminated it needs to be contextualized and reused to solve a new business problem that might arise for the organization. The incremental learning that arises out of the reuse is flowed back into the central depository of knowledge. So it is a spiral process that keeps expanding and the knowledge base of an organization keeps expanding. You thus manage the entire process effectively, which means any organization is able to leverage its intellectual capacity much more. That creates the need for KM. How does KM important for an organization in the present market scenario?

If you look at the Fortune 100 companies, I would doubt if is documented knowledge which can easily be relived, easily used. Tacit knowledge requires any organization more technology, more collaborative tools etc. does not in some Even then does it not fail to attract organizations way or other in a big way? use Knowledge Management What makes you say that? If you look at the Fortune 100 companies, I would doubt if any principles to organization does not in some way or other use further business Knowledge Management principles to further interests. Today it business interests. Today it is an all-pervasive is an all-pervasive phenomenon. Every organization will use some flavour or other of KM. It could be a learning phenomenon. system-based initiative or be data mining system- Every organization based or expert system-based and it would be will use some into the financial sector where banks can analyse flavour or other which is their A-category customers. They need to have a closer knowledge of their customer base of KM

The two eyes of Knowledge Management

As I mentioned, organizations disperse a lot. When you talk about graphically dispersed organizations, it becomes important for you to transmit the best practices from one region to another. Identify expertise and we are able to leverage that expertise irrespective of where you are in the organization. It is important to stay interconnected. People are just one resource; there could be other explicit knowledge resources. These are called tacit knowledge resources. Knowledge is broadly tacit or explicit. Tacit knowledge is what we have in our heads. Explicit knowledge ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

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COVER STORY

Dr Sandhya Shekhar

to understand how to interact with them. So this could be centred around customer knowledge. In the retail segment it would be centred around consumer behaviour. What are the purchasing patterns of the consumers? In the medical fraternity it could be in the form of diagnostics. So in every sector there are manifestations of KM. Basically is it technology-based or IT-based? It is an important facilitator. It is necessary as a tool. It doesn’t mean that you cannot have KM without IT. It has been The other area where KM tremendously simplified with IT. can help is in creating a

community of innovators. That’s what we are doing tworesearch eyes of Knowledge inThethe park.Management We bring together innovators from different areas, share their ideas and understand how they can grow. So a lot of knowledge sharing can happen among innovators

Is it limited to IT and technology? It’s not. IT is a tool. IT is an instrument that facilitates KM. You mean to say KM is possible without IT or technology?

Of course it is possible. Ayurveda is the best example of that. In a lot of what is inherent in our culture, whether it is music or tradition or even the arts, there has been a ‘gurushishya parampara’ where there is a relationship between the teacher and the student. Somebody who is an expert in Ayurveda is able to teach or communicate to people who are working with them. So there are 10 or 15 who constantly work under an expert who also in turn become experts. Thus expertise gets carried forward. But

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Ayurveda is special because it also takes special efforts to document these things. Whether it is by way of herbs or by plants, the kinds of natural remedies that can be found for arriving at the right combination are very clearly documented. Knowledge is getting transmitted, knowledge is getting reused. A patient goes back to the repository and it enhances the knowledge base. There is no IT here. How does KM useful in the development of society? Do you think that KM’s complete potential is being put to use? I don’t think that its entire potential has been leveraged. KM is highly visible only in the corporate sector. It is my belief that KM is not getting shackled by corporate interpretations. KM is very relevant in our social context. Even if you are talking about the government structure or the citizen-government relationship, what is the level of transparency? It becomes extremely easy to establish an interface. If a knowledge portal can be created for the government, the citizens can directly interact with it. The government will be able to post in the central depository all the documents required for you to get a licence or land or whatever that requires government interface. The procedures are explicitly stated and the documents are downloaded, e-mail IDs of the contact persons and other persons could be provided. The entire time for the process then can be reduced from many years to a few days. So we will become much more efficient. I also believe, especially in the Indian context, that our ‘native intelligence’ in the rural areas is getting lost very rapidly. Kerala is a typical case of it. The state is a repository of many ancient practices with lots of cultural and other practices right from Ayurveda to dance forms to health schemes. Especially in these areas the collective knowledge seems to be diminishing rather than expanding. Because of the fact that others do not have access to it is important to preserve this knowledge with the community. There is a generational gap right now. People who have lived in Kerala for years are now ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


KM

COVER STORY

innovators from different areas, share their ideas and understand how they can KM is an integral way to grow. So a lot of knowledge sharing configure a business. We don’t can happen among need to worry about how we innovators. Is it still not an abstract idea for major sections of society?

beginning to leave the state and new generations are not aware of these practices. So what happens to all this knowledge gained over the years? Is it lost to the future world? It means that unless this knowledge is codified and preserved in a manner that is accessible to future generations we are losing a very invaluable part of our culture. It could even be video tapes of grandmothers who used to prepare a particular item in the kitchen. It could be how a traditional function is celebrated. Today modern technology is able to capture all these things. So whether you are in Los Angeles or Sydney, you can download it and say that this is what our ancestors did. These are the best practices available. KM needs to be seen as something with much greater possibilities. Innovation is the buzzword in industry and academia. How can KM contribute to it? Good question. Innovation is not affected either positively or negatively by KM. Innovation is a more spontaneous kind of activity leveraging creativity to a large extent. But it can be a facilitator. The so-called bright ideas that we keep are predicated on our knowledge of a particular space. The kind of ideation and creativity that we have is definitely influenced by the degree of exposure we have with the knowledge of that space. From that perspective, KM can be a facilitator to increase the knowledge base of the people who are trying to be innovative. At least they can understand what worked and what did not work. There are 10 things that did not work and this is the reason it did not work. Maybe one can come up with the 11th idea which can possibly work. If one’s idea is similar to any of the earlier ones, one won’t waste one’s time and money on it. Therefore it can cut down innovation cycle times. The other area where KM can help is in creating a community of innovators. That’s what we are doing in the research park. We bring together ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

explain it to the youngsters. It’s so naturally a part of an organization. KM is important for organizational health. Intelligent use of knowledge is important for personal as well as organizational success. KM is a philosophy. It is not a tool. It is not an initiative

KM is far from being abstract. It is very real and tangible. However conceptually it is abstract. So for organizations that have taken the initiative and implemented it, KM is very concrete. But if you ask me whether the man in the street knows about KM, the answer is ‘no’. To that extent awareness is limited to the corporate world. What is your advice to our young CEOs on KM?

KM is an integral way to configure a business. We don’t need to worry about how we explain it to the youngsters. It’s so naturally a part of an organization. KM is important for organizational health. Intelligent use of knowledge is important for personal as well as organizational success. KM is a philosophy. It is not a tool. It is not an initiative. What is the future of KM? KM is currently used for business benefits by corporates. It is my belief that KM has to go to the masses to every social walk of life and their dayto-day activities. w

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M V Nair

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s one of India’s largest public sector recruiters what is your opinion about the quality of our newgeneration graduates? Are they adaptable to the banking sector?

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SU banks are on a hiring spree now. They need at least four lakh employees in the next two years. Faced with a human resource crunch, banks are planning to hire about 45,000 personnel during 2011-12 to meet workforce requirements, according to the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection ( IBPS). Currently there are 26 public sector banks including six associate ones of State Bank of India (SBI). Banks have also started activities like distribution of insurance policies, mutual fund schemes and other financial products. Recruiting specialized workforces in special segments has become necessary now. In a bid to standardize the recruitment process and fill vacancies faster, IBPS now conducts common entrance tests for officers and employees. But there is a severe crunch of quality candidates . IIM and IIT graduates are keeping aloof from banks. Our education system is not capable enough to create employable candidates for banks. Asian Educator talk to MV Nair, Chairman and Managing Director of Union Bank of India, in this context. He explains the future scope for the new-generation graduates in PSU banks, the merits and demerits of our education system etc. Excerpts:

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The needs of the banking sector have undergone tremendous changes. Technology is developing in a big way and banks have started offering multiple channels. The manpower needs of banks have increased because of large-scale network expansion and changing business profiles. Unlike the plain vanilla banking of yesteryear, today’s banking structure demands people with specific skill-sets that suit particular domains of the banking business. In this respect newgeneration graduates are better. They have the advantage of being exposed to various alternative channels of knowledge and information like the Internet and social media networks. Even in the classrooms of many institutions, the case study system exposes them to the nuances of real-life business issues. Clearly we need two types of people—one in the branches to primarily deal with customers. The new-generation graduates are in a better position to cater to the needs of customers. They are more technically oriented. So they are good for us. It is very difficult to get skills from the universities. Recently we recruited a large number of general graduates as also those from business schools. They are working in the branches or in the specialized domains like treasury, project finance, risk management and financial inclusion. Our experience shows that they have good capability of leveraging their knowledge in their assigned jobs. ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


M V Nair

EXPERT INTERVIEW

Banking sector needs grads with specific skills Universities are not yet able to figure out the demand that is going to arise in the banking industry. The expected intake by the banking industry for the next 10 years is five to seven lakh. The education sector has now to totally change its curriculum. It has to introduce case studies and should have tie-ups with banks for some kind of internship and introduce banking curricula l

James Paul

What kind of training do you expect from our educational institutions? Attitudinal and technological capability is one way to look at it. But banking practices are undergoing very profound changes. Universities are not yet able to figure out the demand that is going to arise in the banking industry. The expected intake by the banking industry for the next 10 years is five to seven lakh. The education sector has now to totally change its curriculum. It has to introduce case studies and should have tie-ups with banks for some kind of internship and introduce banking curricula. I think that would make job-ready candidates coming out of our universities. Prepare students for the huge opening which is coming up in the banking sector. What are the specific skills banks are looking for? As I mentioned, in the specialized skills, we need treasury skills, forex skills, risk management skills, analytics, economics etc. Actually banking touches everybody’s life. So we need all specialists. We need budget financing capability, lending capability, legal experts, technical officers who can work with the industry and give us the technical inputs. So virtually we need a variety of skills. Why are graduates from the best institutions of the country like IITs and IIMs keeping away from the banking industry? Compensation is an important determinant of their entry. In 2008, when things were not all good for the employment market, we recruited 51 people from IIMs. There is tremendous growth potential for IIM graduates in banks. Compared to others, ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

they will be recruited mostly to higher levels. It will be a great opportunity for them to reach the top within a short span of time. Do you think our graduates are industryoriented: in other words will they be capable of meeting the demands of our growing market? The supply of graduates has definitely increased because of increase in the number of educational institutions and courses offered by them. However, it is also true that a majority of the graduates are not job-ready. A recent study by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) estimates that only 25% of the technical graduates and 15% of other graduates meet the standards of employability considered the minimum essential by companies. As a result, companies have to invest significant time and money in training the new recruits and making them capable of meeting specific job requirements. Having said that there are certain institutions like NIBM, Pune, where the focus is on banking and, therefore, the candidates from such institutes find it easier to adapt to banking industry needs. Educational institutions must focus on result-orientation and self-motivation and put emphasis on ethics and values as core parts of the curriculum. Your suggestions for improving our curriculum and teaching modules to enhance our graduates’ marketability?

The needs of the banking sector have undergone tremendous changes. Technology is developing in a big way and banks have started offering multiple channels. The manpower needs of banks have increased because of largescale network expansion and changing business profiles

Considering the recruitment needs of the banking sector, educational institutions must respond

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EXPERT INTERVIEW

M V Nair

by providing the candidates with required skill-sets. In public sector banks alone, there would be a recruitment requirement of five to seven lakh over the next ten years. For this, there would be a need for change in curriculum and the teaching modules at educational institutions. In fact many institutes have introduced one or two banking-specific electives in the course module and some also offer management courses with specialization in banking. Secondly, more emphasis on bankingrelated case studies may be given so that the understanding of practical banking concepts is easier. Thirdly, a partnership between banks and educational institutions for programmes like summer internship and youth scholarship may be promoted. At Union Bank, we actively promote summer internship. This is an evolutionary process and I am sure educational institutes There is tremendous growth potential and training for IIM graduates in banks. Compared establishments to others, they will be recruited mostly will respond to the growing needs to higher levels. It will be a great of manpower opportunity for them to reach the top requirements in the within a short span of time banking sector. Moreover, educational institutions will also have to ensure the adequacy of the infrastructure, quality of teaching, credibility of evaluation and the accountability of the teaching community and those running the institutions. According to reports, after IT, the banking sector will be the largest recruiter in volume-wise in the coming years, what are the specific requirements that the banking industry expects from our graduates? As I said, the banking sector would recruit five to seven lakh people in the next ten years to meet business expansion and offset the retirement of large numbers of employees. More than the number, the quality of manpower will be the key differentiator. Commercial banking has entered many new domains where specific requirements of skills are vital. For example, financial inclusion and rural banking can be done by people who have not only the understanding of the rural economy but also an avid interest in this area. Similarly, project finance will be the flavour of the decade. As India focuses on infrastructure creation for development, banks will need people who have appraisal skills, monitoring skills etc. Also, banks will have to market their products as ‘follow the customer’ will be the new norm. Customers are becoming very demanding and this will only get accentuated further. Therefore, banking skill needs will be varied as we go ahead. The banking scene in India is changing both quality-wise and quantitatively. What will be your staff requirement in the coming years? Union Bank has been recruiting people in large numbers during recent years. This was necessary in order to provide manpower to the many new branches and new business activities. In the coming years, the bank has plans to open 400 to 500 branches every year and to strengthen its capabilities in areas like project finance, risk management and treasury and leadership at branches. Accordingly, our manpower requirement will increase. Union Bank will be recruiting 3,000 to 3,500 people every year for the next two-three years. This will include staff for operations as well as for specialized segments.

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V Nair has been the Chairman and Managing Director of Union Bank of India since April 1, 2006. Having started his career in Corporation Bank, where he was instrumental in establishing the Cash Management Services, Nair was the Chairman and Managing Director of Dena Bank before joining the current position. A series of transformation initiatives have taken place in Union Bank under his leadership with the focus on bringing excellence in process, product and the people. In March 2008, when Union Bank networked all its branches under the Core Banking Solution (CBS), it was the first large public sector bank having achieved this feat. Soon, the bank was the first to have all branches of its sponsored RRBs under CBS (September 2009). Nair’s vision to make Union Bank the ‘bank of first choice’ resulted in a successful transformation process called Nav Nirman. By leveraging technology, changing processes and empowering people, Union Bank has today become a customer-centric organization. Nair also pursued the vision of the bank becoming a financial supermarket with global presence. Today Union Bank has a joint venture life insurance company and a subsidiary for asset management business. Nair has been associated with many important committees set up by the Reserve Bank of India and the Government. He is presently a member of the Committee on Customer Services in Banks, the Committee on HR Issues of Public Sector Banks and the High-powered Committee set up by the RBI to review the Lead Bank Scheme... Nair was also the Chairman of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for a one-year term beginning June 2009. During this period, he took several institutionbuilding initiatives like formation of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for a robust and affordable retail payment mechanism, Central Electronic Registry Office for home loans to equip the lender better for making a fair assessment of the risk undertaken while providing finance against property and CORDEX to help in complementing internal loss data while migrating to advanced approaches under Basel II. Presently Nair is the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) and serves on its Finance Committee. He is the VicePresident of the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF) and also serves as Chairman of the institute’s Executive Committee and is a Director on the board of GIC-Re, member of the Management Committee of IBA etc.

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ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


DESPITE THE FACTS THAT THE SEVEN IITs CHURN OUT GRADUATE ENGINEERS WHO ARE AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLD OUR IITs ARE NOT CONSIDERED AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLD. WHY THIS DICHOTOMY? ARE OUR IITs REALLY COMPETITIVE? WILL THEY REMAIN MERE TEACHING INSTITUTIONS RATHER THAN INNOVATIONDRIVEN RESEARCH CENTRES? WHAT DOES THE COUNTRY REALLY NEED? COULD THEY DELIVER KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMIC PROGRESS? Ziad P S


SPECIAL STORY

Can IITs..?

Can IITs be Made World-class? A country of India’s size, on a rapid economic growth path, would require significant emphasis on large-scale research at the highest levels. This is necessary to push the frontiers of knowledge and create new cutting-edge technologies thereby sustaining progress. Unfortunately, the institutes are still run with the years-old paradigms

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ndian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are considered the country’s most respected learning centres turning out energetic, dynamic and multitalented youngsters trained in analytical and technological research for the country’s development. So they are expected to equip its students with the necessary quality, discipline and competence. The ideas and ideals on which IITs are built evolve and change with national aspirations and perspectives, and worldwide trends. In the meantime, the remarks by then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, himself an alumnus of an IIT, a few weeks ago about the quality of IIT and Indian Institutes of Managements\ (IIMs) faculty and students and their infrastructure have cast a shadow on them and are feared to affect their progress. The incident has also sparked a nationwide debate. The crux of what Jairam Ramesh said was that the faculty in IITs and IIMs are not world-class.“It is not because of their research faculty that IITs are excellent but because of the brilliance of their students,” he said. One good result from the ministerial remarks is that the directors, the faculty and the political leadership appear now to be united in the realization that these prestigious institutions need to be thoroughly recast so they can be elevated to global standards. “I think we are doing excellent in India,” said Prof Dinesh Mohan of IIT Delhi. Prof S K Lahiri, retired professor and Deputy Director of IIT Kharagpur, said that IIT teachers always played a proactive role in guiding the students at every step. “The infrastructure in all the IITs in India has developed for grooming the students. They were designed on the lines of the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and they have played a great role in human resource development.” IIT Madras Director M S Ananth said, “All that counts in academics are peer evaluation, nothing else matters. Jairam Ramesh can only provoke us to do better.” “I don’t think Jairam knows enough of the research that is going on in the IITs,” said Prof Ananth. Pointing to the educational

background of the 500 members of faculty at IIT Madras, Ananth said: “Three hundred of them have IIT degrees. A third of the faculty have their B Tech degrees from the IITs. So if they were world-class as students, then they remain worldclass as faculty as well.” Corroborating Jairam’s comments, C N R Rao, noted scientist and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, said: “IITs and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are not the best in the world.” He added, “The saddest thing is that not even a single research institute in India matches the best in the world, or MIT and Cambridge.” However, Prof Rao made it clear that his statement had nothing to do with Jairam’s remarks. Despite the fact that the seven IITs churn out graduate engineers who are among the best in the world our IITs are not considered among the best in the world. Why this dichotomy? Because of the gap in research that world-class institutes are expected to deliver and for which the benchmark is set by the likes of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Institute of Technology (CALTECH). Allegations against IITs’ status Are our IITs really competitive? Will they remain mere teaching institutions rather than innovationdriven research centres? What does the country really need? Could they deliver knowledgebased economic progress? How excellent is their infrastructure? Could they bridge the gap between the demographic affluence and the development aspirations? The IITs are among the best engineering teaching institutions with their BTech graduates having made a very significant impact in various domains and MTech holders playing a leadership role in industry and R&D organizations. They have also provided some PhDs to educational institutions, in addition to industry. Experts, however, say the IITs seem unwilling and unable to change—overburdened by work, driven by small vision, starved of adequate resources

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ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


and owned by an apathetic master. They seem to be in a state of perpetual decline though there are some bright spots, but not large enough to meet the needs of the day. In a country where population growth is at its pinnacle, the demand for an IIT seats is enormous because of its goodwill, while the seats are limited to those who surmount the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). This competition among aspirants has resulted in the mushrooming of tutorial institutions to shape up the student according to IIT norms. Consequently, the most talented and brilliant students from low-income backgrounds are being forbidden from the IITs. For the country it is losing the sand of brilliance from its feet. The rich spend lakhs for coaching their children to pass the entrance examination, considered one of the toughest. Thus, the students are being moulded to ‘module’ that divests them of creative thinking and problem-solving. About 60% or more of intake in the IITs is from the coaching centres. This has resulted in many bright young Indians deciding not to undergo the ordeal and go overseas for higher education”, says Mohandas Pai, member of a committee constituted to suggest steps to revitalize the IITs. “Today, nearly 2,50,000 students from India study abroad, over 1,10,000 in the United States and about 45,000 in the UK, spending around $6 billion on fees and costs annually, depriving the country of much-needed resources for education and talent, adding to the wealth of those countries”, Pai adds. Meanwhile, IITs seem reluctant to realize the impending damage to the nation. They have steadfastly refused to change. “Even though the annual intake of undergraduates by all IITs stood around 7,000, only 2% go on to their master’s and PhDs,” Pai laments. “Graduate studies at IITs are unparalleled”, says Alok Mittal, MD, Canaan India, who passed out from IIT Delhi and did his master’s at the University of Berkeley. “But they lack in postgraduate studies and research”, he says, adding, “the IIT faculty is brilliant and many of them are highly regarded by peers around the world. But in the academic world respect does not come from how well you can teach undergraduate students, but from research. IITians have set up companies, they have taken on leadership roles in government and corporate sectors alike, they ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

have created millions of jobs and wealth. But they have demonstrated an aversion to staying on in their alma mater to do research”. For instance, collate the IIT stature with China, which has about 1,000 universities, occupying 25,000 to 40,000 students, running fully residential courses and churning out nearly 50,000 PhDs annually. It is expected that China will overtake the US in 20 years as the world’s higher education hub. China is infusing billions to promote its education sector and for its growth through quality institutions while India seems ignorant about it. As a result, China’s top five universities are listed among the top 50 universities in the world while India contributes nothing in this regard. India’s funding for research and development is meager with only $8 billion annually while the US and China spend $250 billion and $60 billion respectively. “While funding is an issue”, Mittal argues that for courses like computer science, it is less of an issue than in, say, aeronautics or research. “We need a policy intent and investment in faculty and infrastructure to scale up IITs. They are unlikely to be world-class as long as they are under the thumbs of babus and netas. Directors are appointed for five years and that is not a long-term horizon to pursue a dream”, he adds.

Most PhDs in engineering in the country are now coming from the IITs. Even so, the number of PhDs from the IITs is very small In research, the IITs are continuously enhancing (about 1,000) in their activities as evidenced by the increasing comparison to number of PhDs coming out of them. Most PhDs our economy’s in engineering in the country are now coming from the IITs. Even so, the number of PhDs from the IITs size and its number of youth is very small (about 1,000) in comparison to our economy’s size and its number of youth. Further, only about 1% of IIT BTechs do PhD at the IITs.

How do we tackle the menace? A country of India’s size, on a rapid economic growth path, would require significant emphasis on large-scale research at the highest levels. This is necessary to push the frontiers of knowledge and create new cutting-edge technologies thereby sustaining progress. Unfortunately, the institutes are still run with the years-old paradigms. To create a platform for a sustainable enhancement of facilities, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has constituted a panel, comprising high-level academics and headed by Anil Kakodkar, eminent nuclear scientist and mechanical engineer. The committee is

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has suggested the setting up of five more IITs over this period of time. Thus, the committee has recommended the number of IIT PhD graduates per year to be scaled up to 10,000, while continuously enhancing quality. The committee has suggested the retention of time-tested parameters like a certain faculty-student ratio (1:10) and PGUG ratio (1:1 or higher).

to suggest a roadmap for the autonomy and future of the IITs as worldclass institutions for research and higher learning. The committee held several meetings, including discussions with the IIT Directors and faculty members. A stakeholder survey was organized which provided valuable inputs. The committee also visited China on a study tour of five universities there. Conscious about the need to ensure access to all deserving bright young people to the IITs, the committee has proposed that only those who have parental income beyond a threshold determined by the Union Government (Rs 4.5 lakh at present) would need to pay the operational cost of undergraduate education. For the rest it is proposed that their expenses at IIT would be covered by the Government on a per-student basis. It is also proposed that a hassle-free bank loan facility not involving any collateral should the committee has be made a part of the admission process for recommended the all those who may need it.

number of IIT PhD graduates per year to be scaled up to 10,000, while continuously enhancing quality. The committee has suggested the retention of timetested parameters like a certain faculty-student ratio (1:10) and PG-UG ratio (1:1 or higher)

Recommendations The IITs are now on a growth path to cope with the expansion mandate recommended by the Oversight Committee (OSC). Currently, around 500,000 engineering graduates come out of our engineering colleges. This number would cross one million in three to four years from now. There is however a serious question about their quality. Industry finds a large number of these graduates unemployable needing further training. In the 1970s and early 1980s, close to 10% of engineering graduates came from the IITs; this has dropped to below 0.5% today. The decreasing fraction of IIT graduates and with a significant fraction amongst them moving away from engineering and technology has led to decreasing benefit of IIT graduates to national development in proportionate terms. While the established IITs could aim at reaching this scale up in about 10 years from now, the newer IITs could take longer. Further, the committee

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A comparison with the annual PhD output per faculty in the IITs vis-à-vis the situation in some of the high-ranking universities would suggest a scope for improvement here. The committee has suggested a minimum of 0.6 PhDs per faculty annually, eventually reaching one PhD per faculty. On this basis, it has suggested that we should aim at scaling the IIT system to 16,000 faculty and 1,60,000 total student strength (with 40,000 at the PhD level, 40,000 at the master’s level and 80,000 UG students) by around 2020. Each year, then, the IIT system will admit 10,000 PhDs. The committee has also recommended an Executive M Tech programme for about 10,000 working professionals from industry through live video classes to enhance the knowledge base in our industries. While students with a master’s degree and, to some extent B Tech students of IITs would constitute an important channel (all efforts must be made to attract them into the IIT PG stream), one would need to tap other channels to get quality students in adequate numbers. The committee has therefore suggested engagement of IITs with other good-quality engineering and science education institutions, particularly those of the Central Government like NITs, IIITs and IISERs to enlarge the pool for selection of quality students and also attract their faculty into the PhD programme. The committee has also suggested special efforts to identify and pick up bright 3rd year students of IITs, NITs and such other such public or private institutions and to initiate them into the PhD programme. An augmented intake of PhD students from industry and the engineering education system has also been suggested. The IITs would have to aggressively pursue candidates from different streams to join their PhD programme. To support such a large number of PhD students (40,000 at a time) with challenging and meaningful research problems would require comprehensive augmentation of research facilities and infrastructure. w

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


SPECIAL STORY

Industry Opportunities

26.000 Schools

15 m. Learners

27 Offices Worldwide

HIS BEGINING Shantanu Prakash grew up in an “absolutely typical middle class background.” But he knew entrepreneurship was his calling, early in life. He founded a company while still in college and started another one right after graduating from IIM Ahmedabad. …*

HIS ATTITUDE The thing about Shantanu that strikes you is how much at ease he is as he relates the story. It’s not like he made it big overnight, it’s actually taken close to two decades. But through the hard times, the weak sales, the poor cashflows, he says it was “never difficult. ... This is against conventional wisdom. The middle class ethic of being careful and completely realistic about the big, bad world around you. But all I can say is the formula seems to have worked for Shantanu. ...*

HIS VISION “Every single day of my life, I experience that and I go out of my way to create those experiences that give me the challenge of being alive, driving something, doing something meaningful. Especially in the business that I run, which is education, it’s so easy to feel that you are contributing to society.”*

HIS COMPANY Educomp Solutions Limited, founded in 1994 is a globally diversified education solutions provider and the largest education company in India. For many years, Educomp have been at the forefront of various pioneering initiatives in the e-education space. Educomp is the leader in education content, professional development, online learning and the first company to set up high quality schools across the country. Educomp works with over 26,000 schools and 15 million students across India, USA and Singapore and has joint ventures with Pearson PLC and Raffles Education Corporation for vocational and higher education respectively.

*Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal, 2008 CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad, India

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

Shantanu Prakash


EXPERT TALK

Fr E Abraham, XLRI

Shantanu Prakash

I

ndia’s higher education sector is growing/ changing like anything – what are the positive elements, challenges and growth potentials you are perceiving through this?

A

n MBA from IIM-A, Shantanu Prakash founded Educomp Solutions Limited in 1995. His vision has been to transform the teaching-learning process through technology and best practices. Educomp was ranked number one in Education and Training in the study, India’s Best Companies to Work for-2009, conducted by The Economic Times. It also won, in the for-profit category, the NASSCOM Foundation Social Innovation Honours-2010 and was named in the 200 Best under a Billion for the Asia-Pacific region by Forbes magazine September 29, 2008 issue. BT 500, 2009, featured Educomp in its list of most valuable private companies in India in November 2009. It was chosen as the ‘Future Titan’, one of the 10 hottest companies in India, by Outlook in November 2006. Widely recognized for the visionary impact he has made on education, Shantanu was honoured with Entrepreneur of the Year at Indian Education Awards 2011, Dare Entrepreneur Award 2001, Dataquest Pathbreaker of the Year 2010 and ET Now’s ‘Leap of Faith 2011. Shantanu has invested in innovative early-stage and mid-stage companies focusing on the Internet, education, media, gaming, finance and infrastructure. He is a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE)), an organization that connects entrepreneurs. He shared some of his views with Asian Educator during a recent interview:

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The projected substantial increase in Gross Enrollment Ratio in Higher Education in India will lead to creation of a pool of skilled and talented people which will raise the standard of quality of life. Higher Education will result in supply of quality manpower to the work force resulting in quality production output and services, which will have a positive impact on the GDP of the country. Growth of Higher Education will foster the growth of Research development in the country and will provide opportunity to students to do their research projects in India than going abroad at a higher cost. This will ensure that we are not Low cost human supplier as a country but also a knowledge Economy. How you perceive the growth of our higher education sector in the coming three to five years? There is going to be a definite increase in number of institutions in Higher Education sector as India is set to increase GER to above 25%. The growing demand for higher education will necessitate many more universities and colleges to be opened in the years to come which are estimated minimum doubling over the next decade. Most of these institutions will be in either Community College models i.e. where vocational & Higher education will be taught with the focus on employment or higher research Institutions ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


Industry Opportunities

SPECIAL STORY

Education will be the Key Driver of India’s Growing Economic Clout There is going to be a definite increase in number of institutions in Higher Education sector as India is set to increase GER to above 25%. The growing demand for higher education will necessitate many more universities and colleges to be opened in the years to come which are estimated minimum doubling over the next decade l

B Sreenath

with PPP (Public Private partnership) with corporates funding the research component. The biggest thrust is coming from the corporate sector in our country that now have strong interest in Higher Education. This will bring in good governance, quality assurance and funds to fuel and sustain a high quality education. What is the size of the Indian higher-education market?: how much is your market share?, and your plans to increase the same. The current market size is somewhere between $7 to $8 Billion. We have good plans to become a Quality Higher Education player focused on research and employment. Among our current initiatives in the higher ed sector are Raffles Millennium International (Design Schools in JV with Raffles, Singapore) and JRE Group of Institutions (offering postgraduate and undergraduate programs in Management and Engineering) and Millennium Academy of Professional Studies (MAPS) offers a two year MBA Program. How technology will be going to contribute our education system in an innovative way, you may have interesting solutions since you are a pioneer in ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

the segment. Educomp is a pioneer in leveraging technology to deliver high quality education. But as technology gets modernised year after year, adopting these changes is itself a big challenge. Technology is going to be used for delivering high quality education as we have severe shortage of good faculty currently so it will take at least 10 years to fill the current gap of faculty. Education has to embed features like multimedia and will need to provide solutions that are


EXPERT TALK

Shantanu Prakash

highly interactive. It is moving towards anytime anywhere learning. We are pioneering a novel 24/7 interactive learning management system (LMS) ,where all study modules will available through this system. Globalisation of Education will happen with the usage of Technology. We are sure that Smartphones/ Tablets will play a big role in delivering high quality content to reach students in remotest of areas.

The biggest thrust is coming from the corporate sector in our country that now has

strong interest in Higher Education. This will bring in good governance, quality assurance and funds to fuel and sustain a high quality education

Studies points to the massive scope for investment in K12 sector; what is your take on this?

The demand for education services is growing at a phenomenal rate as there is an urgent need for high quality education systems and infrastructure in order for students to compete effectively in a knowledge-based global economy. Market size can be quickly gauged from the fact that there are 460 million children below the age of 20, making India by far the largest home for learners in the world. Today, education is widely recognized as among the hottest sectors (currently 50 billion USD opportunity annually) on back of a huge demand for products and services and due to the recession-proof nature of this sector. Education will be the key driver of India’s growing economic clout. Educomp has been in the forefront of this trend, having built the K 12 education business model from scratch. Report shows that 39% of eligible students in our country do not actually enroll; in high school classes the percentage goes up to 68%. a. Why do you think it is so? • Lack of nearby Secondary Schools (Access) The number of Secondary schools in India are far less than the number of Primary schools in the country. Thus demand is not met. • The environment of Classrooms & schools is not conducive (Quality) • Children have to work to supplement family income (Low Income Group) • Students (Parents) are not interested in studies (All the reasons as above) b. Do you think our public sector can do anything to make amendments? • Both the public Sector and Private sector have their role to make amendments. • As far as Public sector is concerned faithful implementation of law to ensure compulsory education is crucial. • Give Priority and provide higher allocation –a greater percentage of GDP-for Education (schools ) • Apart from starting/improving schools in the Public sector, they must rope in private sector that has rich experience and expertise and is ready to invest, through PPP Model. c. If not, who do you suggest should take the responsibility? • Private partner with expertise and rich experience in establishing and running the schools and who is ready to invest have to be identified and more and more quality schools started under PPP Model. • Different PPP models could simultaneously be taken up. For example starting new ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


schools under PPP Model, Improving the existing schools in PPP Model, Voucher system …etc could be undertaken d. If private sector is your answer, will it be interested in investing in the rural areas where the problem is acute… not enrolling, high dropout rates etc..? •

Yes. The private partner will be interested in investing even in rural India. The demand for good education (Good Schooling) is on rise. The PPP models should not be confused with CSR. The Private partner should be allowed to take back his investment over the years with interest .Then the Model will attract more Private players.

The report further suggests that India would need 20,000 to 25,000 quality schools. How do we go about setting them up? As referred above. It should be a joint effort by the Government and the private partners. While selecting the best possible private partners, the entire PPP Program of setting up and running of schools has to be effectively monitored to ensure Quality schools emerge. PPP model a full proof? There is no better way than PPP Model to get more quality schools in India. Government financial resources are limited. Also the Private Player has expertise and can provide better management to get desired outcomes. These factors weigh high when you think of building a mammoth number of schools in the country. How Educomp is going to contribute to our education sector, shall we expect something unique from leaders like you? Educomp has been at the forefront of many pioneering initiatives in the Indian education sector. The company has developed many innovative tools and processes to address the growing education needs of the Indian market. We were the pioneers in leveraging ICT to deliver high quality education services in schools. The Indian government has also now recognized that effective usage of ICT in the classroom is ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

correlated to positive academic outcomes, including higher test scores, better attitudes towards schools, and better understanding of abstract concepts. Amongst the many initiatives led by the company, Smartclass is a digital initiative pioneered and invented by Educomp and has already been adopted by over 8000 progressive schools in India. Smartclass is transforming the way teachers teach and students learn and is fast becoming an imperative for schools. This apart, Educomp has been instrumental in opening up new categories in the education segment like teachers training, skill development, distance learning through VSAT technologies providing a new dimension to the entire education value chain in India For instance, IndiaCan, which is an Educomp-Pearson joint-venture, has developed a highly robust organization that provides skill development programs for professionals in India. Under the IndiaCan umbrella, Educomp has also come up with a unique initiative called Educomp Tele Education Network (ETEN) which provides coaching via VSAT. Currently Educomp through ETEN centres, is helping CA students get advanced, scientific and personalized coaching from acclaimed faculty, in their home town, and at a lower cost compared to what they would have incurred if they took face-to-face classes from the same faculty.

The PPP models should not be confused with CSR. The Private partner should be allowed to take back his investment over the years with interest. Then the Model will attract more Private players

What is Educomps’s strategy for growth in the coming years? In the coming years, Educomp will continue to innovate and create products and services that should play a significant role in fast tracking the education goals of the country. w

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FOLLOWUP STORY

Science Education Commerce. So there is greater rush for Commerce colleges than there is for Liberal Arts and science colleges. But there is a worry in India that number of students going for science courses is limited and then the number that slowly gets to the higher level is even more limited. Even more serious concern is that while you have a large number of students going to engineering colleges and acquiring engineering courses they are not really engineers. They are not the one who would build you a power plant, build buildings or do innovative products development in one sector or other. They are just recipients of degree and these degrees make them employable in some sectors.

P

rofessor P. Balaram, the current Director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has been in to forefront of research in basic science. He has given IISc a new direction with a deep thrust for research that are relevant for India. A Professor of Molecular Biophysics, he has authored over 400 research papers. He received his M.Sc. from IIT Kanpur (1969) and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon, Pittsburgh, USA (1972). Prof Balaram is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and the Third World Academy of Sciences, Trieste, Italy. He has received many awards/ honors in recognition of his work, of which mention must be made of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize of CSIR (1986), Alumni Award for Excellence in Research from IISc (1991), TWAS Award in Chemistry (1994), G.D. Birla Award for Scientific Research (1994), Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT Kanpur (2000) and Padma Shri by the Government of India (2002). In an exclusive interview, Prof Balaram speaks on the status of science education and research in India. Excerpts:

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Challenges Before Indian Science Education

Q

: What is the current status of the students opting for basic science in India compared to glamour attached to Engineering and IT?

Relatively a small number of students opt voluntarily for science as compared to students opting for engineering courses. In some states, like Karnataka, I think an overwhelming number of students opt for engineering courses. The perception is that if you have a BE or B’ Tech degree you are immediately employable. And one of the sectors in which employment opportunities has grown very rapidly in the last few years is the IT sector. Therefore a large number of students have gravitated towards IT sector. Science as a career is not something that many people know very much about and I think what they do come to know does not appeal to them. For example, if you pursue science as a career and if you want to do research, you will have to do an undergraduate degree, post graduate degree, a PhD and now you will have to do some post-doctoral work before you get your first job. Unless one is prepared for a long haul, a scientific research career is not one which many people know very much about or they are sort of intimidated by it. Today, if you didn’t go to Engineering you would go to

Science in some ways is much more elaborate and requires a great deal of preparation if you are going to adopt it as a career. Government is trying to promote science in a big way by creating new institutions where undergraduate programs will become exciting and more challenging and maybe more people will in. Q: What do you think can encourage students in pursuing science? What can prepare them? There appears to be only one motivating factor -- money. And therefore government has taken what I would call a pragmatic view and decided to provide a large number of scholarships for students who study sciences. We also need to make our scientific institutions much more attractive places where students, when they come, are actually challenged by ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


Prof P Balaram

EXPERT TALK

Nothing in Indian education system designed to foster creativity There appears to be only one motivating factor - money. And therefore government has taken what I would call a pragmatic view and decided to provide a large number of scholarships for students who study sciences. We also need to make our scientific institutions much more attractive places where students, when they come, are actually challenged by the kind of work they do and the problems that they are exposed to l

Shankar Raj

the kind of work they do and the problems that they are exposed to. Because I think quite a large number of students also require an intellectual challenges to really taken an interest in the subject. Q: Are the students who take to science are more text book oriented? Nothing in the Indian education system – in engineering, medicine or science or really even in school is really designed to foster creativity or I would say even thinking out of the ordinary. Our education system has become so strongly examination oriented and even to get into a course we need to take so many entrance examinations; we train students to become very good at taking examinations and passing them. That does not make them suitable for a research career. Sometimes in research careers, very long apprenticeship period is there, people tend to blossom, and many of our students, who don’t have stellar academic records actually turn out be really good in what they are doing. And in India there is so much of heterogeneity of educational background that students come to the higher education institutions with vastly different levels of preparations, exposure, ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

family backgrounds and therefore we can’t make judgments very quickly on the basis of the examination they have passed or not passed but we need to be somewhat more accommodating. The education system in India does not encourage or support innovation or support


Science Education risk taking innovators. What is your idea about it?

Innovation is not something that can be legislated. Just like examinations, we are very good at legislations. Innovation necessarily is an act of creation by individuals and I think extremely innovative individuals will be innovative despite their environment. You can’t keep them down

50

Here I cannot give you a sensible answer. Because although this word `innovation’ is widely used, I don’t think anyone knows what it means. And I certainly don’t know what people mean by it when they say we are going to promote innovation, we are going to have an national innovation council, state innovation council, we going to have innovation varsities. Innovation is not something that can be legislated. Just like examinations, we are very good at legislations. Innovation necessarily is an act of creation by individuals and I think extremely innovative individuals will be innovative despite their environment. You can’t keep them down. There are lot of people innovating new things, but we don’t hear about them as they don’t come to you asking support for innovation. All the successful things that you see around you have been created by people who are extremely innovative. For example, to classify, if you look at Infosys, and if you look at Murthy’s model when he started, it was truly innovative. No one else thought of it. So you would put that on top rank of innovation. In science people are trying to discover things, they are trying to invent things; so discovery and inventions might sometimes be separated from innovations. For example: If you take the discovery of antibiotics, when Fleming discovered penicillin, he discovered it by accident; the only thing is he realized that he discovered something. So that’s a discovery. Invention is someone’s done something in a purposeful way. Edison invented the light bulb; he was looking for a way of getting illumination. Even if you are very theoretical and abstract, you can say that Einstein’s relativity was an invention, because he explains things. On the other hand, if you see, what an innovation is – I would say the retail store is an innovation – the neighborhood store was always there – now if Reliance or Foodworld comes and puts

in everything into one shop, that becomes an innovation as far as the shopper is concerned. ATM machines, credit cards are innovations. But if you ask if the technologies on which these are based – that would be an invention, which was invented much earlier. Q. I have a sentence – It is often said that in a typical classroom scenario in India – Front benchers…..Entrepreneurs …. Last benchers…. Politicians… What do you say… No, I don’t agree. When you have a class and you have people sitting in the different places in the class, I don’t think those who perform the best sit in the front row. The students who sit in the front row are the one who want to impress the teacher. So they are the kind of people who have learnt the right values in life – to impress the people who are important so they can get what they want (laughs). The ones in the back would be the non-conformists in one way or the other – they might be wastrels or they might be simply brilliant people who like to distance themselves from authority. We have a big hall here in which we have all our lectures. So right up to when I became a director and I am now compelled to sit in the front, I always sat at the back (laughs). I wouldn’t like to be labeled as a politician. So I think those are the kind of stereotypes that people have. It’s probably a mix. I know of some students who are on the first row just because their vanity does not allow them to wear glasses. They can’t see the board! Q. Is there a disconnect between research and reality? I would not say there is a disconnect between research and reality. Research is real. Everything that people do is real. Whether it has any direct bearing on the surroundings or not at the moment – that sometimes can be questioned – if you ask me what use is your research and I try and explain – you might come to a conclusion that it is not of any use to you – you probably will – you might be right –and that is the conclusion you should come to. Your conclusion does not have to be right. This kind of perception might be there about anything. Why would you ask such a question about research – because in research, public fund is involved. I would not ask this question where private funds are involved as it is their money and nobody can question them. But it is a very fair question to ask in research. A great deal of research can be very basic and may not have any application. But at the same time it trains a lot of students. So I think one needs a more reflective look at what science has done in the past or technology has done in the past before one writes ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


Prof P Balaram about science as a driver of the future. It certainly is a driver of the future; Commerce is not. Q. Why is that Indian researchers doing research in India do not get a Nobel Prize? You are probably the 100th person who has asked this question. Sometimes in public and once by a minister when I was young and less cautions - My answer is – if you want to progress you should ask the right questions – in research, if you want to do well the most important thing is to find the right questions to ask much more important than finding in the answers. Now, in evaluating the past of science in India and in looking at what its future might be.. this is completely the wrong question – this is because prizes are given for one off events – they are sometimes given for discoveries – and Raman Effect was a discovery. They are sometimes given for a very large body of work in a given area which has advanced the area substantially but that is work given to individuals who had stayed the course and who had worked for 50 to 60 years in a given field. And this becomes the lifetime achievement of an individual. But whichever way it is.. what prizes recognize are individual exceptional achievement and merit. So when this will happen (getting a Nobel Prize) is something that cannot be predicted and again we cannot legislate it. It is not enough for a PM or minister to stand up and declare we are not going to invest this much money or we will have five Nobel Prizes in five years. I think we are sometimes unnecessarily obsessed with Nobel Prizes because we crave for recognition from the West. And I don’t think we are in a stage that we can say look there are several potential Noble Prizes won by India. I can ask you a counter question – We have one gold medal by Abhinav Bindra – you can ask a question – when was the medal won – has it done much for shooting event in India; has it done much for Indians more generally ? We have to be more pragmatic in realizing that individual achievement is not an indication to collective progress. What a country needs is collective progress… an institution also needs collective progress… Our country has progressed enormously on all fronts… and many of those fronts I think one aspect or the other science and technology has contributed greatly to progress… you must remember even if an invention, discovery is made anywhere you still need an huge amount of knowhow to be able to accommodate, accept and use that .. so in industries as diverse as IT industry to ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

Nuclear program or Space program we can’t say that we have not done well. We have done very well… and we can’t say that our institutions have not done well.. without the institutions where are the people to work then. Q. Should we compare China’s development to India’s development? It’s a question that can be asked but we should not worry about it too much. China has its own trajectory and we have our own. Comparing the two is not required – we should worry about how to make our trajectory successful .. China has a completely different social and political system and a set of historical circumstances under which the country has reached the stage it has reached and we have a different set of circumstances… really I would view both India and China as great success.. we unfortunately sometimes look over our shoulders at China.. it might be good sometimes but I would not actually succumb to China syndrome. Q: Funding for research … has it been a problem in India? Funds for research are far more substantially available in India than they were a few years ago. Sometimes I wish I were younger all over again. There seems to be much more money available to do what we wanted to do. At the same time many institutions are reaching a capacity where they are not able to absorb and utilize funds that are limited. Our administrative structures, our financial structures within the institutions need to become innovative. If there one sphere in which we need innovation, it’s the sphere of finance and administration. Q. Your opinion on involving private sector in research… We would very much welcome the private sector’s involvement in basic research – industry of course has its own compulsions – they cannot invest in long term research which appears to have not end – but if you don’t invest in long term research you lose people – you need good people to stay in research - it is these students who go on to work on other problems later – research is also education – research is one of the important components of education for people who are going to employ at the upper reaches of R&D. Industry needs to recognize this and needs to recognize it has vastly benefitted by many reforms that have taken place in the last few years.. In addition to making large profits they must think in some way of using some of the money earned to back into research. w


Dr M V Pylee

GUEST COLUMN

The Harvard Oath, an Unprecedented Innovation Many critics attacked Harvard Business as the culprit who was largely behind the economic crisis. They said that it was Harvard which created thousands of business leaders who paid little attention to their social responsibility. They were interested only in making profit, more profit and much profit

L

ast year when I was in the United States, I visited the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. To me it was like my going back to my alma mater. I was at Harvard during 1953-54 as a Fulbright scholar who took a postgraduate degree. In the US today the Harvard Business School (HBS) is known simply as Harvard Business. It was Harvard Business School which made the world-famous degree of MBA (Master of Business Administration). The HBS is the largest of its kind. On average it admits over a thousand graduates from all over the world for its MBA degree course. Years ago Harvard used to boast of its alumni occupying the top executive positions in most of the leading industrial and business organizations in the US. Of late, however, that lofty position has lost its sheen, particularly during the recent economic crisis. Many critics attacked Harvard Business as the culprit who was largely behind the crisis. They said that it was Harvard which created thousands of business leaders who paid little attention to their social responsibility. They were interested only in making profit, more profit and much profit. In this mad race they gave scant respect to ethical behaviour and encouraged unethical practices which tarnished the image of thousands of business organizations. This was a serious charge. It made the Business School faculty of Harvard think seriously about the school’s role, its curriculum, its teaching methodology and, in fact, the whole philosophy of the school. The Business School faculty which numbered over 200 began to debate in groups. Some of them went to the oldest days of HBS. A hundred years ago, when there was a practice similar to that in the medical school where every medical graduate had to take the famous oath of Hippocrates. The medical graduates got the first advice, ‘do not harm’. But because of no clear-cut vision, gradually the practice was abandoned in the Business School. Faculty members like Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria, both senior professors, advocated the adoption of an Ethics Oath to make graduating students conscious of their new social responsibilities of the 21st century. They thought that the oath at first could be voluntary; only willing students should come forward and take it. Now Nohria is the Dean of the school and his influence has increased several fold and year after year the number of students who volunteer is

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

increasing. (It is interesting to note that Nohria is of Indian origin, son of parents who migrated to the US from India many years ago). Not only Harvard but other business schools also in the US have started campaigning for the MBA oath. For example, Angel Cabrera, an alumnus of a business school in Arizona State, suggests that the students themselves could write the draft of an MBA oath. It soon became a part of the school’s MBA programme. It has also become a phenomenal ‘change management’ tool. Students constantly use it to question the things they are taught. For example, some students question the faculty members who assert that paying bribes is a normal practice in doing business. Mr. Cabrera says that he has evidence of graduates who challenged unethical behaviour succeeding in their new jobs. Aspen Institute, a think tank, the World Economic Forum and several others are trying to work out a way to force ethical behaviour on managers. One idea is to keep managers informed of the latest developments in ethical behaviour which have relevance in their own field. Another is to develop a professional licence from them. Yet another is to set up an organization which can punish unprofessional behavior. Today we are moving into a transparent world where honesty and accountability are considered important; only such values can make the managers trustworthy and honest citizens who strive to create wealth and not run after simply making profit at easy cost.

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PERSPECTIVE

Julien Machot

‘India, China becoming global education centres’ India and China will definitely play a vital role in the global education sector. Demography is a major thing. The population growth rate in India and China is well known. So we know that there is going to be a huge demand for education

J

ulien Machot, MSc, MA, is the CEO at MBA Center; owner of Sloane Group Management Consulting; and consultant, keynote speaker and workshop leader, London, He is also Non-Executive Director at 96Auto. He was Director of International Business Development EMEA at MBA Center, Director of Business Development at Sloane Group and Director of Business Development at London School of Business and Finance. “I first started my career with the focus on sales management and on business development operations. After several years in France and in the United Kingdom, I invested in the Sloane Group, a boutique business development management consulting firm. After over five years of management with MBA Center, I have become Chief Executive Officer in France. I aim at growing my portfolio of companies within the next decade. The new projects I am involved in include 96Auto in the United Kingdom and ShadWell’s Education in India. My proven track record shows that I am a true problemsolver and a team player, with a dynamic entrepreneurial mind,” said Julien in an exclusive interview with Asian Educator during his recent visit to India. Excerpts:

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P

RO EXED is your unique executive education solution. Could you please explain the concept? We try to identify the difficulties and problems companies are experiencing and we go to the company concerned with management support. We deliver training to fix the problems. This is what we do. A very pragmatic approach of training. We do it within the company to help the management. How do you perceive the scope of the executive education programme in the changing market scenario? Basically if you look at recent changes in countries like India, Russia and China we have been asked to support their development; mostly the problems of management, training of administrative staff and the better under standing of international development. We have to adapt to the changing environment. Most companies have to reduce their cost. Here all the companies need to spend on training programmes which affects the budget. If we focus on developing soft skills and more training the results will be favourable. So we have to focus on practical knowledge

and help the company to solve the problems. What are the changes you foresee in global education? First of all, I must say we entered the global education sector years ago. Globalized education system means the degrees are recognized everywhere in the world. The workforce can move from country to country and continent to continent. Universities are opening campuses around the world. Look at the business schools in India, China, Russia or Dubai. All are globalized. I think when the population increases, more and more European and American business schools will come here. The population explosion in India and China helped the Americans and Europeans to start universities there. Probably they have campuses opened in India also. China is emerging as an education hub. How do you evaluate the present management education there? China has already entered this field, I think that within the next few years, there is going to be big development in the English programmes to help its executives. I still feel a gap between ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


the needs for the workforce and its availability. There are shortcomings in the soft skills and organizational skills. For the workforce, basic communication and administrative skills are very necessary. In the case of some Indian and Chinese companies toplevel managements should be very conscious about technological knowledge. They should also be careful about governing, and that should be systematic. What kind of courses are you mostly concentrating on? We work more on management courses and training programmes and professional qualifications. Recently courses like ACCA, CIMA and CIM have become more popular in companies. Professional short-term MBAs, specially designed for professionals, are also conducted by our company. We have a new MBA programme. It’s only for five days and six hours a day—30 hours in total. I think all these are becoming very popular these days. Which are the target markets or countries? For the past four years our focus has been on India, China, Russia and the CIS countries and this will continue for the next 10 years. We have offices in Europe. There we mostly do business with individual clients. With several areas of growth remaining in Asia, including India and China, all our attention is focused there at the moment. These countries will become a great hub for these courses soon. Do you think our corporates are really promoting executive education? Now there is a trend that companies build their own academic status. Corporate academies have become common these days. However we have set up corporate academies so that they can develop the executive education required for them at their own academies. That will provide better results from the employment point of view. Do you have any specific plans for Asian countries? We have already established good relations with India. We are planning to open an office in China by 2012. For the past four years we have been planning out the project and the facilities. ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

How do you perceive the scope of Asian countries as a future educational destination? I think India and China will definitely play a vital role in the global education sector. Demography is a major thing. The population growth rate in India and China is well known. So we know that there is going to be a huge demand for education. How do you evaluate the education sector in a developing country like India? There are many business schools and colleges in India. But the fact is that several of them are not of good quality. My suggestion is that India should be more careful about these institutions. The second thing is that the faculties and, professors at the business schools must be capable of evaluating the changes taking place in the global education field. India and China both should develop strategies that will enable their institutions to produce future managers. What is the scope of courses like ACCA and CIMA in developing countries? Lots of students are registering for these professional studies. They are global qualifications. Students obtain a global degree along with professional as well as much-focused training. These courses empower the students to get jobs as the qualifications are more focused and realistic. They also uphold ethics and ethical standards.

Universities are opening campuses around the world. Look at the business schools in India, China, Russia or Dubai. All are globalized. I think when the population increases, more and more European and American business schools will come here

What are your future plans? We are trying to increase our participation in India by implementing more and more programmes in executive education. Especially, we are planning to cooperate with multinational companies. In China, we have plans to open an office next year. w

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GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

Immanuel Kant

The Prophet of Enlightenment Immanuel Kant was the prophet of Enlightenment, in whom modernity finds its most accurate definition and programme. He sought for locating the rational foundations for all legitimate human endeavours

E

nlightenment was treated as one of those major objectives of education in general and philosophical wisdom in particular since the days of antiquity. But what is enlightenment? The answer varies. An access to truth, self-realization, knowing God, being one with God are a few perspectives on the issue. But in modern Europe, during the 17th and 18th centuries, enlightenment was more than a philosophical or metaphysical problem. It was a cultural phenomenon! Every intellectual was concerned, contemplated and debated about it. Everyone had to shape their ideas and lives in accordance with its prerequisites and conditions. Responding to an essay written by Johann Friedrich Zollner in 1783, and to the question raised in it, Kant has written his article, An Answer to the Question: “What is Enlightenment?” where he defines enlightenment as man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Owing to this immaturity man repeatedly depends upon others— all forms of authority like the Church, Institutions, political and other forms of organizations and the customs

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and conventions—to decide what is morally right and aesthetically appealing. Kant adds that this immaturity is self-imposed, as its cause lies not in a lack of understanding, but in a lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from others. Lending the expression Sapere Aude—which literally means “dare to know”—from the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (popularly known as Horace) Kant proclaims that the motto of enlightenment is “Have courage to use your own understanding!” One may find an ever-relevant problem here. Are individuals capable of taking decisions about their own lives independent of others? Or do they on most occasions, simply accept what others say and swim according to the tide? People come up with different answers to this problem and even with theories of individuality and personality in order to support their views. For some, none of us can have ‘completely independent’ and absolutely ‘unique’ perspectives, as we are always with others and are influenced by others. Such a viewpoint has different shades, ranging from those supporters of theocratic societies to communitarians in modern democracies. We have people like Ayatollah Khomeini who asserted the sanctity and authority of one text in deciding everything about life and people like Charles Taylor who considered others as significant— ‘significant other’—and maintained that we always negotiate our lives

through conversations and conflicts with them. We all are socially and linguistically bound! Yet another group advocate individual freedom and they are Sartrians who consider all attempt to run away from individual responsibilities as instances of bad faith! As Sartre says, man is free and is condemned to be free! But before we reach Taylor and Sartre, we must see how similar issues were conceived and represented. European thinkers during the period of enlightenment in 17th, and 18th centuries, grappled with such problems and many of them boldly questioned the customs, beliefs and dogmas that prevailed over their historical existence for several centuries. I have written about Descartes in the previous issue, who hails the title of the father of modern philosophy. But it was Immanuel Kant who was the prophet of Enlightenment, in whom modernity finds its most accurate definition and programme. He sought for locating the rational foundations for all legitimate human endeavours and developed an allencompassing philosophical framework that would explain how individuals, despite their differences owing to cultural and historical factors, can envision attaining certain common objectives which were guided by the pursuit of higher values of life; truth, goodness and beauty. Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in a poor family, which migrated from Scotland one century ego and had very strict and rigid religious training during his childhood. He led a very quiet life, which was nevertheless intellectually active and stimulating. He worked in the University of Koinesberg, where he joined as a student when he was 16 years old and produced most of his work from this place. Culturally one feature that made the enlightenment era peculiar was the ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


Immanuel Kant emergence of science and the search for rational universal foundations. There was a demand for justifying and legitimizing all our claims in the light of rational foundations. Whether we make an assertion about a fact in the world—for example, “my car is red”—or a moral assessment about certain action—eg. “It is not good to cheat others”—we need to substantiate them with certain universal conditions that make them legitimate. In other words, we need to show that the car is red or cheating is bad, not just for me alone or to some people who agree with me, but practically, to ‘all’ human beings. In short, our assertions have to e ‘rational’. But what makes ‘reason’ sacrosanct? Does not ‘reason’ or what we call ‘rational conditions change from time to time and from place to place? To answer affirmatively to the second question is to end up in the bottomless abyss of confusions, uncertainties and chaos. We cannot make social conventions or customs the basis for our knowledge. Nor can we accept religious beliefs and faith as the foundational. Kant thus sought to locate them in a platform, which does not change in accordance with time and place. He thus found them in the structure of the human mind. The human subject, or conditions of subjectivity becomes the foundation of reason.

GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

‘innate’ to the human mind, the empiricists contended that sensations or reflections were the sources of knowledge, which we build bit by bit from the scattered data that reach the mind from the world and from the mind itself. Kant realized that the rift between these two mighty traditions was counterproductive and to arrive at a balanced philosophical vision for the enlightenment era we need to bridge the gulf that separated them. The rationalists assert that, what are vital in the process of knowledge acquisition are ‘concepts’ which constitute our mental structure and for the empiricists, they are the ‘percepts’ that result from the sense data. Kant revolutionized epistemology with what is perhaps the most celebrated statement of modern philosophy; “percepts without concepts are blind and concepts without percepts are empty”. For genuine scientific knowledge, he affirmed, we need both sense data that come from an external world and the innate structure of the mind that arranges the data in certain ways. Since this mental structure is transcendental, the conditions of human knowledge are founded on a universal and transcendental edifice. Apart from his theory of knowledge that explained the possibility of objective scientific knowledge, Kant’s moral philosophy offers a unique perspective in ethics debates. His attempt was to find a rational basis for ethics. He endeavoured to refute not only those rational approaches advocated by various consequentialists (who believe that an action is good if its consequences are good), but also a faith-based and theological approach to morality. Morality has its basis, neither in certain calculations that would determine the surplus residue of happiness over grief, not on the authority of the scriptures, but it needs to be located in reason. His standpoint is known as deontologism, which emphasizes the vital role of ‘duty’. For Kant a morally rightful act is an act performed as a duty. A right action is right, neither because it leads to good consequences, nor because it is performed by a good man, but because it is a dutiful act. He derives a concept of Categorical Imperative from this notion of duty and affirms that the moral law is a categorical imperative and hence is intrinsically valid.

While the rationalists like Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz affirmed that all knowledge is fundamentally ‘innate’ Kant dedicated a whole life to the human mind, the empiricists of intellectual contemplation for determining what are contended that sensations or reflections these conditions. He lived were the sources of knowledge, which in an era that identified the we build bit by bit from the scattered role of philosophical activity data that reach the mind from the world Kant inaugurated a paradigm shift in with theory of knowledge; and from the mind itself enquiring into the nature, kinds the domain of human thought and more and sources of knowledge. Europe was dominated by two divergent and often contradicting perspectives on the fundamental sources of knowledge; the Continental European school of rationalism and the school of British Empiricism. While the rationalists like Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz affirmed that all knowledge is fundamentally ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

than anyone else, he is the representative of European enlightenment. Though he has published many books, his three Critics are considered as the most significant of his works. The three Critiques he has written—Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of Judgement—are arguably the most phenomenal contributions to the tradition of enlightenment philosophy. w The author can be contacted at srkumar@iitm.ac.in

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FOCUS

XIME

Regularly ranked among the country’s top 25 by business dailies and periodicals

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oused amid placid surroundings in the heart of Electronics City of Bangalore, Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME), the premium management institute of the Garden City, is spreading its wings—it is all set to open its campus in Kerala. Constantly updating and innovating its teaching methods, curricula and industry partnerships, the business school has completed the first decade of its postgraduate management programme. XIME’s thrust is towards internationalization of its programme. Explains the institute’s Director, Prof J Philip: “That has involved avoidance of superficial tie-ups with foreign institutions or the practice of sporadically associating foreign academics with course programmes merely for appearances sake. XIME’s drive, on the contrary, is to enhance and deepen its core competence through selective association of foreign academics with various aspects of its established postgraduate programmes.” “In fact, what XIME has now embarked on is a systematic process of opening up its campus to interactive rapport with select foreign academics and foreign B-schools,” says Prof Philip, a former Director of IIM-B and a former Dean of XLRI, Jamshedpur. “The purpose is to nurture global managers for Indian business and industry.”

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Prof J Philip, founder of Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME), is currently the President and Director Emeritus of the institute. Before venturing into building this institution from ground zero, he was the Director of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), from 1985 to 1991. In this position he is credited to have turned round the institution and set it firmly on its path of academic excellence. While at IIM-B he took the initiative of founding the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS), the umbrella organization of the business schools of India. He was also its first President from 1988 to 1992. Prof Philip started his professional career as a faculty member at Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, at the young age of 24, going on to became a full Professor and Dean in 1969. Before taking over the directorship of IIM-B, he had worked as VP (HR) of the Oberoi Group of Hotels, Delhi, and before that as Director of the Management College of Steel Authority of India in Ranchi. He was elected first President of the newly founded Association of BRICS Business Schools (ABBS) in January 2009 when the association was founded. In November 2009, Prof Philip was honoured by XLRI, Jamshedpur, with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in recognition of his contribution to higher education in management.

“Given my exposure to Harvard Business School, Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI) and IIM-B, I have always felt I had it within me to promote a B-school which would incorporate the best teaching-learning practices and provide the value addition of exposing students to international business and management practices. Therefore when I promoted XIME in 1991, the year in which the then Finance Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, presented a historic Union budget which began the process of integrating what was an isolationist Indian economy with the emerging global economy, I resolved to develop a curriculum with greater outward orientation and stronger emphasis on developing entrepreneurs than mere corporate professionals, as was the dominant practice of B-schools at that time. And to this day they have been the distinguishing characteristics of business management education at XIME,” says Prof Philip, an alumnus of Kerala University and XLRI, who pressed on to acquire the prestigious ITP (International Teaching Programme in Business Administration) diploma of Harvard Business School. Starting his professional career in 1960 at XLRI,, Prof Philip moved on to Hindustan Steel ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


XIME

FOCUS

Turning out not just Managers, but Corporate Citizens XIME was established in June 1991 to contribute to excellence in management and entrepreneurship education in India. Although its beginnings were modest, over the past years the supportive infrastructure constructed on the 4.3-acre XIME campus in Electronics City has blossomed impressively. (later renamed SAIL) in 1971, and subsequently served as Vice-President (Human Resources) of the globe-girdling Oberoi Group of Hotels (198085) before being appointed Director of IIM-B (1985-91). XIME was established in June 1991 to contribute to excellence in management and entrepreneurship education in India. Although its beginnings were modest, over the past years the supportive infrastructure constructed on the 4.3-acre XIME campus in Electronics City has blossomed impressively. Yet perhaps its unique selling proposition (USP) is its broad focus and international orientation. In 2007, the institute’s ‘year of internationalization’, the management signed memoranda of understanding with six foreign universities—Wouerzburg Schweinfurt University of Applied Science, Germany; Cotrugli Business Academy, Zagreb, Croatia; Redlands School of Business, US; Di Milano Biccoca University, Italy; Negocia School of Management, Paris; and Audencia Nantes School of Management, France. At least four more partnerships are now in the pipeline. Consequently there is robust student and staff interaction with the institute’s affiliated B-school partners abroad. With XIME’s teething pains now a distant memory, and the institute regularly ranked among the country’s top 25 by business dailies and periodicals, it is hardly surprising that Prof Philip looks to the future with optimism. ASIAN EDUCATOR I

“We have taken several new initiatives to expand our curriculum and capacity. Among them are introduction of a new one-year postgraduate certificate programme in construction management— perhaps the only one in the country—and developing an intensive full-time 15-month diploma programme for business executives with at least five years’ experience. “These study programmes will increase our annual intake from 240 students currently to 330 this year. And with demand exceeding available capacity by a 5:1 ratio, in response to pressing invitations from across the country, we have drawn up plans to establish affiliated centres in Kerala and Tamil Nadu,” says Prof Philip. Quality and relevance in management education and service to industry and society were the key concerns of the founding group. XIME is a non-profit organization whose primary objective is promotion of managerial competence in key sectors of society. XIME strives to ensure that the management graduates it produces are not only efficient corporate managers but also responsible corporate citizens imbued with a positive set of values. It constantly reviews and updates its curriculum and pedagogy towards this end. w


FOCUS

IGS

IGS is an Institution Committed to Ethics and Values in Business “Our students come with social concerns and passions that ought to be cultivated and integrated into their future paths, not reduced to hobbies or philanthropic opportunities once they’ve made their fortune. These are the same concerns and passions that will motivate employees to maximize productivity and fulfilment in their working lives.”

J

ohn Ligo, Chairman, International Graduate School (IGS), decided to enter the field of education with a vision to create future managers and entrepreneurs who have respect for ethics and values in business. IGS is not one among the so-called B-schools we are familiar with. Its motive itself is the redefining of management education.

of economic and social outcomes. But people also value outcomes, other than money. The institution’s mission is to develop and enhance business leadership

through innovative world-class programmes in management. It helps its students to excel and to utilize the knowledge and expertise they gain in the service and welfare of the community and in development at all levels. IGS is trying to bring about the much-needed and much-awaited revolution in the present education

system. According to Ligo, IGS imparts management education in a very cohesive, disciplined and professional environment. It strives hard to prepare its students to become perfect decision-makers and pathfinder managers in the fields of business management, he says. IGS is undergoing the

“Our students come with social concerns and passions that ought to be cultivated and integrated into their future paths, not reduced to hobbies or philanthropic opportunities once they’ve made their fortune. These are the same concerns and passions that will motivate employees to maximize productivity and fulfilment in their working lives,” says Ligo. The core IGS value is commitment to good business, both competent and ethical. People make investments based on profitability, not the aggregate

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ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


IGS

FOCUS

SO UE IQ UN accreditation process to offer EDEXCEL management programmes. These courses are recognized in 140 countries and by most top-notch companies. The Association of Indian Universities recognizes them too. EDEXCEL is a Londonbased for-profit company and one of the five main examination boards of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the UK’s largest awarding body and the only large examination board in private hands (it is a part of Pearson Plc). EDEXCEL offers a variety of qualifications, including A-levels (GCEs), GCSEs and the BTEC suite of vocational qualifications. It is an international organization, awarding over 1.5 million certificates to students around the world every year. IGS produces more technologists than leaders and their business schools teach management instead of training them as managers There are only one or two business schools from India on the elite list of top 100 business schools in the world. How pathetic for a nation which has one-sixth of the world’s population! By 2020, 65% of India’s population will be between the ages of 10–49. That means we will be delivering about 80% of the human resources of the world. But there will be tough competition from Britain and the United States and also China which is trying to overtake India by introducing English language education unless we change our ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

management education system. So what IGS offers is next-generation management education, identifying the needs of the corporate world. It has a distinguished faculty from India and abroad providing its students with a global perspective in postgraduate and executive education programmes. The Art of Learning IGS believes in an education system which supports innovation, research and independent thinking rather than one

based on book reading. The graduates will have to undergo market research and paid internships in order to qualify for

the degree. The course module consists of theory papers with credit transfers, corporate skill training, Business English Certificate from Cambridge University, market research, case studies etc. “A good business education helps students imagine how to do this, not just as an elective or even a core subject, but as something that permeates every subject—an imaginative, constructive element that draws them out as human beings who want to positively impact their world,” says Ligo. “We run UK University and professional qualifications accredited by QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum

Authority), UK. We offer internationally recognized full-time UK University courses at an affordable fee structure at our various education centres across the globe. We also offer twinning programmes where students could do a part of their curriculum in India and the rest in the UK so that they could save a significant amount in the tuition fee.” “After successful completion of our programmes in the UK, students could apply for two years’ post-study full-time work permits to gain International experience and exposure,” Ligo adds. w

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FOCUS

TIST

Toc H Institute of Sc

(An ISO 9001:2000 C

Arakkunnam, Pin – 682 313,  E-mail : mail@tistcochin.edu.in,

Excellence at Work

(Approved by AICTE, Delhi and recognis

Meeting the rapidly arising needs of the technical education sector with excellence is what Toc H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) is striving for. It is a unique institution in that it offers some specialized and rare courses Toc H is an international organization with many branches embodying Christian fellowship and service and has its headquarters in the UK. Founded in 1915 to rehabilitate soldiers wounded in the First World War, Toc H later started educational institutions all over the world as it felt that the sector needed to be developed. It came to India in 1972 by launching Toc H Public School at Kochi

M

eeting the rapidly arising needs of the technical education sector with excellence is what Toc H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) is striving for. It is a unique institution in that it offers some specialized and rare courses. Toc H is an international organization with many branches embodying Christian fellowship and service and has its headquarters in the UK. Founded in 1915 to rehabilitate soldiers wounded in the First World War, Toc H later started educational institutions all over the world as it felt that the sector needed to be developed..It came to India in 1972 by launching Toc H Public School at Kochi. After the school completed its silver jubilee, the management thought of adding a milestone to the successful journey of Toc H institutions, which resulted in its launching the Toc H Institute of Science and Technology in 2002. The ISO 9001-2008-certified institute is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and recognized by the Cochin University of Science and Technology. The TIST campus at Arakkunnam, near Kochi, is

62

spread over five acres of land. Environmentally responsible practices and education go hand in hand here. The theme of green campus has made the management’s effort different. The agricultural initiatives, rainwater harvesting and solar energy savings of the students had enabled the campus to bag the Energy Award 2009.

A pioneer in the self-financing education sector, the institute serves as a centre of excellence for professional education and is a breeding ground for the young generation in engineering, technology management and research. TIST provides high-quality manpower, infrastructure, management and technological ambience to the Toc H Institute of Science & Technology (TIST students to enhance their cognitive potential. More than 2,000 students from Colleges different partsin of Kerala, offers th the country are studying in TIST for the BTech and MTech courses, 800 of themElectronics being provided & Communic with hostel facilities. Computer Science & Engg., Info Engg.,

B.Tech. -

Civil, Electrical Mechanical Engineering, CivilandEngg. and Safety & Fire Engg. Electronics and Communication, Electronics, - Computer Computer Information Technology .and Science Science, Electr are available under the BTech stream. The subjects programme (2 year-full time res for MTech are Computer Science, Wireless

M.Tech MBA

A Silver Jubilee

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

Toc H Public School, Toc H Schoo


TIST Technology, Power Electronics and Divers, VLSI and Embedded System, Construction Engineering and Management and Software Engineering. TIST has delivered techies having fine potentiality to several multinational companies and industries. “TIST is one of the seven colleges in the country and the only technical institution in Kerala offering MTech in Wireless Technology. BTech in Fire and Safety Engineering is the new course approved by AICTE and it will commence in the coming academic year,”says Prof P J Joseph, President TIST. Innovative teaching and learning processes based on soft skill development are TIST’s methods

of moulding future techies. It has been able to establish its unique status in the technical education sector in Kerala as the first engineering college having extensive research facilities. Its worldclass infrastructure including audiovisual units, vast library, most modern labs, research facilities, worthy faculty etc opens up a new vista of technical excellence to students. Programmes like EDUSAT with the support of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Social

Innovative teaching and learning processes based on soft skill development are TIST’s methods of moulding future techies. Its world-class infrastructure including audiovisual units, vast library, most modern labs, research facilities, worthy faculty etc opens up a new vista of technical excellence to students Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Creative Talents (SPECTA) for entrepreneurial development, TRIIE (TIST Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), CISCO Networking Academy, various clubs for photography, cultural activities etc enable the students shine in intra- and extracurricular activities, making them fit for industry. TIST has signed MOUs with Infosys, HCL Info systems, IBM, Hewlett Packard (HP), L&T etc.for student placements. In coordination with IBM, the institute conducts various on-campus certification training programmes for students.

Prof P J Joseph, President TIST with Dr K Varghese, Founder Director, TIST ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

TIST is hopefully looking forward to sailing lots more in the innovative voyage of technical education in India. “We don’t do different things, we do things differently,” says TIST, A different voice among self-financing tech institutions. w

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Younus Kunju

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he unquenchable thirst for gaining education and for imparting it to the poor and needy has transformed a man of business into an educationist. Younus Kunju, the founder Chairman of Younus College of Engineering & Technology, started the college in 2002 under the Fathima Memorial Educational Trust, in memory of his mother Fathima, at Manakkad, Vadakkevila, Kollam. The charitable trust was established on October 26, 1991, to promote education in poor

and backward regions. Younus Kunju, who is a former M.L.A, is its founder Chairman. The trust runs several educational institutions such as Fathima Memorial Training College and Fathima Memorial TTI., Kollam, and undertakes many charitable activities Younus Kunju spent his early life in penury and could not get proper education. He however completed his primary education from a local school and took up work in a cashew factory as a labourer “When I reached a position in life through business, I could go for higher studies,.he says.. “I entered the cashew business ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011

IN LIMELIGHT

Businessman Turned Educationist The unquenchable thirst for gaining education and for imparting it to the poor and needy has transformed a man of business into an educationist. Younus Kunju, the founder Chairman of Younus College of Engineering & Technology, started the college in 2002 under the Fathima Memorial Educational Trust, in memory of his mother Fathima in a small way in 1963 and by the grace of God it flourished,” he says. His foray into the education field was in 1975 with the Imam Hussain Memorial Teacher Training Centre (IHMTTC) Karbala, Kollam, as Manager. In 1979 he started an aided high school in Mylapore, a backward region in Kollam district in memory of his father Abdulla Kunju. The school was later upgraded to a higher secondary school in 2004. He was elected member of the Kerala Assembly from the Malappuram constituency in 1991 on the Muslim League ticket, Fathima Memorial Training College, a BEd college, was set up in Kollam district around this time. For all his educational institutions, minority status has been given by the Central and state governments. Efforts are also on for starting more professional colleges under the trust. Younus Kunju relentlessly carries on

his social and religious activities. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Cashew Export Promotion Council (CEPC), a Central Government organization, twice consecutively. He was also the Chairman of Steel Industries Kerala Ltd (SILK), a Kerala Government undertaking, for five years and is the state Treasurer of the Kerala Juma-ath Federation. Younus Kunju has been working as the President of Kolloorvila Muslim Jamaath, one of the biggest Jama-aths in Kerala, for the past 20 years. Moreover, he is also the President of the Indian Union Muslim League District Committee, Kollam, and the President of the Kerala Unaided BEd College Managements’ Association and President of the Kerala Self-financing Engineering College Managements’ Association. As part of his welfare and social work Younus Kunju has helped many poor girls

from the Kolloorvila area get married. Every year he has been offering engineering course seats to 42 (10% of the total intake) to backward classes students. Besides, huge amounts are being spent on supply of educational items and monetary help to students in the other institutions of the trust. Younus Kunju has received numerous awards like Educational Prachaarak Award, Rajiv Gandhi Award, Man of Excellence Award of the State Bank of Travancore and Outstanding Achievement Award for Global Educational Development-2009 from All India Achievers Foundation (AIAF), New Delhi. The Lifetime Achievement Award for Educational Excellence from IEDRA, New Delhi, was given to him 2009 for his outstanding contributions in the educational field. w

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MENTOR

Sajeev Nair

A ‘MUST-AVOID’ habit for Professional Success Most of us would like to succeed. Most of us somehow feel a sense of entitlement to success. You have seen that success is not just a matter of money, fame or power. Success comes through the diligence of becoming all that God wants us to be

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here are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. The truth is, all of us have found ourselves bouncing in and out of each of these categories, depending on our personal circumstances. The key to ultimately becoming someone who consistently MAKES THINGS HAPPEN in a positive and productive way is developing the proper attitude and habits. For most of us, that requires change, which is often uncomfortable and even painful. And yet, most people are closer to achieving their dreams and goals than they realize. In fact we are just one quality decision away. It is the decision to get started and not quit until the job is finished. Luck and Diligent Work You could say that luck is a major player in the game of life. Thomas Jefferson said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” King Solomon, the author of many proverbs, says, “Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering.” Do we succeed by luck? Only when that luck is created by lots of hard work. Most of us would like to succeed. Most of us somehow feel a sense of entitlement to success. You have seen that success is not just a matter of money, fame or power. Success comes through the diligence of becoming all that God wants us to be. During that process, we sometimes stumble over the crutch of laziness. How do you keep from failing to measure up to what you could have or should have been? How do you find the internal motivation to keep up the fight? How do you tackle life rather than allowing life to run over you? You throw away the crutch called LAZINESS. You can get a new grip on life when you realize the importance of the following integral elements, which you must master: • 1. The lasting defeat of the problem of procrastination as a habit and hindrance • 2. Making discipline as essential and effective part of your character. The most damaging and destructive company you can have in this world is with PROCRASTINATION (Keeping things in pending). Through out history, people have struggled to get out of this and how to motivate themselves into action. It is said that the French novelist Victor Hugo ordered his servants to seize his clothes and not return them until his scheduled writing time was completed. All those people who are successful in life taken deliberate action to get out of this danger called PROCRASTINATION.

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When we procrastinate we always find some wonderful reasons, which in fact are not reasons, but EXCUSES for not doing things. Interestingly I have heard of a chartered Procrastinator’s club, whose members live by the credo, “ If you put off enough things until later, you will discover that most of them didn’t need to be done in the first place.” Every one has got his/ her own reasons or rather excuses for keeping things in pending. Problems occur when your procrastination becomes a lifestyle pattern, which leads to mediocrity in numerous areas of your life. Can you choose to live with procrastination that costs you significant amounts of time, money, personal fulfillment, and success? Remember, procrastination is a habit. Any habit can be erased or created by deliberately practicing it repeatedly. You may start practicing procrastination in a small way; “I will call him after 5 minutes”, “I will do it after half an hour”, I will deal with it tomorrow”, “I will telephone him once I come back from my trip”, etc. Here actually you are practicing, practicing your way to one of the most foolproof habit that ensures failure in life; procrastination. To procrastinate in ways that cause us to fail to reach our goals or fail to realize our potential should certainly be unacceptable to us all. The truth is that there is a heavy price that comes with the habit of procrastination. Nothing can be sadder than looking back on life and saying, “If I had done that…”, “I wish I had…”, “I shouldn’t have waited for so long..”, etc. Perhaps the heaviest price of procrastination comes in the form of lost opportunities. While you are busy postponing, life is busy passing you by. Opportunity doesn’t knock twice. You have to be ready to jump when opportunity calls. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, put it bluntly when he said, “A lazy fellow has trouble all through life.” Procrastination has an incredible way of turning a simple problem into a crisis and a routine situation into a disaster. w Sajeev Nair is a successful first generation entrepreneur, internationally renowned life-coach, author and philanthropist. You can connect with him on www.sajeevnair.com or www.facebook.com/iamsajeev

ASIAN EDUCATOR I August 2011


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