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#8 November1, 2012

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. - Swami Vivekananda In this issue… Higher Technical Education - Path to Excellence - S A Khader


Repay your ऋण EDUCATE – Rajiv Khurana


Tips Talk


This Earth…


Wisdom from Alexander the Great


Oscar Wilde said, “ You can never be over dressed or over educated.” The trouble in Indian education is that we have limited aspirations and perspiration to raise the levels. Conferences after conferences we talk about the sad state of affairs but have done nothing enough. All the premier education institutes were established almost 4 decades ago and cannot meet even a small fraction of rising demand. Who should take the responsibility? Government – Yes. Educational Entrepreneurs – Sure. Students and Parents – absolutely. Absence of dignity of labour – most certainly. We have lakhs of unemployed engineers and yet limited untrained plumbers and electricians as unfortunately we don’t consider these jobs in-league socially. This issue highlights the plight and path ahead in terms of higher education and also talks about the role that you can play in educating people. Time to ask Y. WhY can’t I play a meaningful role? Start MAG – My Actions Game to remain a true INDIAN. Cheers, Rajiv Khurana Editor


PS – Please don’t forget to send your feedback at You may even call me at 9810211256.


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S A Khader, CMC, FIMC SAK Consultants & Associates

#8 November1, 2012

Higher Technical Education - Path to Excellence 1.0 Institutional framework for Higher Technical Education Higher Technical Institutions like colleges of engineering and management are being guided and directed as well as regulated by a new set of scientific & technological universities specially established for this purpose by the state governments. These institutions are expected to be no longer mere centers of higher learning and academic excellence, but they have become a kind of enterprises turning out human resources needed for the fast changing global economies and at the same time providing an opportunity in fulfilling the aspirations of current adolescent generation and their parents. The private sector and individuals with social sector orientation have seen a good business cum service opportunity in this context, started establishing Higher Technical Institutions (HTI). Ever since full-fledged opening up of higher technical education sector, these promoters have begun to invest more to develop their institutions into integrated campus to be recognized as deemed universities (refer table below). Growth of Higher Technical/Professional Institutions in India Decade/year


No. of colleges for Prof. Eduction

No. of Universities

Total No. Institutions

Increase in Nos. during period/year









2342 (1990-2001)




































Source: Statistics of Higher & Technical Education 2007-08, Ministry of HRD,GOI


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#8 November1, 2012 By 2011, the number of engineering colleges alone increased to 1522 with an intake capacity of 582,000 and that increase in poly-techniques to1244 with an intake capacity of 265,000. The number of graduates coming out of technical colleges increased to over 700,000 in 2011 from 550,000 in FY 2010. Intake to such institutions got swelled due to increasing concerns of the parents to make their progeny as professionals of different shades (as a means of fulfilling their own as well as their children’s dreams), further propelled by easy availability of bank-loans for funding the expensive technical education by these privately-run institutions. However, the recent evaluations and assessments of the output from these technical institutions reveal that about 75% of technical graduates and more than 85% of general graduates are not employable by India's high-growth global industries, including information technology and call centers. This speaks for the performance and excellence of these institutions which are primarily suffering from inadequate faculty and unsuitable academic ambience as well as in-appropriate curricula, further compounded by the lower standards of enrollment quality. These Institutions of higher learning, above all, need to maintain good academic environment which calls for discrete investments in faculty and their continuous professional development. At the same time, preparing and grooming the students to the demanding requirements of the emerging competitive environment to ensure placements & employment, which also calls for considerable strategic investments in student development. Thus, central to sustaining the growth of these institutions is enhancing the intellectual capital of the institutions.


1.1 Conceptual Modeling of an HTI Students with different family background and abilities join HTIs with the objective of becoming successful citizen - as Engineers & Managers and Scientists & knowledge-based workers. The student enrollment situation has become increasingly complex these days, considering the compulsive, but much needed affirmative action by the government (for ensuring social justice and inclusive growth), when the intake-standards across the group in a class have widened forcing the institutes to evolve innovative methods of transformation of human capital. It is an onerous challenge that HTIs face in taking the present abilities and skills to a level where they would successfully perform in the current highly competitive industrial and the societal environment. To meet this challenge, HTI need to evolve and develop more flexible & innovative approaches to knowledge transfer through creating an academic ambience that suit the absorbing capabilities of the diverse & wide spectrum of intake.


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#8 November1, 2012 The learning ambience in an HTI consists of i). academic component (knowledge) and ii). physical academic facilities. The academic ambience, which is a major factor for knowledge transfer is constituted by knowledgeable faculty members, who are motivated towards teaching their subjects and also have interest in R&D. On the other hand, physical academic facilities referred to as good labequipments, library, IT facility and physical ambience – class rooms, labs and e-libraries & workshop facilities would enhance the effectiveness of knowledge transfer process. In order to bring all the above infrastructure constituents to a state-of-the-art level, it is essential for the management/administration to undertake bench-making exercises by visiting advanced institutes & research facilities. Ultimately, it is incumbent upon the management of HTI or the university (its values, ethos and commitment to professionalism) that govern the creation of an attractive and congenial environment to develop its intake of students as confident and value-adding technocrats & managers and good citizenry. HTIs also have challenges of enhancing the existing knowledge base through research and development.


In the current context of fast globalization of the society, there is utter need to inculcate in the students a sense of professionalism, valuedevelopment & ethics as well as commitment towards world of knowledge & work, institution/enterprise and ultimately to the Indian society & nation.. This conceptual cum practical thought process is depicted in the frame work:


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P A R E N T S & S O C I E T Y

A INCOMING STUDENTS •Zeal Enthusiasm Commitment  Passion  Ethos  Family Values  Career Vision

KNOWLEDGE –WARE Faculty, Learning Environment, KM & KT Systems, R & D, Student participation, Software & Connectivity

Institute of higher Learning & Research

PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE Class-room, Labs/Workshop, Library, Hostel, Canteen, ITInfrastructure, Extra Curricular s & Administration.

D ENGINEERS/MA NAGERS/ RESEARCH •Placement in reputed Industries •TechnoEconomic/ Societal contribution. •State of the art Knowledge, Research & Innovation Capabilities with Service Orientation B

M A R K E T & I N D S T R Y


Thus, HTIs should be put on paths of excellence in every facet of their operations with overarching focus on academic ambience creation. All round development and system repositioning and strengthening is essential from the angle of the stakeholders requirements – be it the students & parents, faculty, industry & service sector beneficiaries, regulators & governmental agencies and the society in and around as well as in general in the country. 5


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#8 November1, 2012 2.0 Excellence at Higher Technical Institution The primary focus of a technical university or it’s constituents as affiliated institutes/colleges/ schools (HTI) is to create adequate institutional enrollment capacity to meet the changing human resource (in terms of skills & expertise) requirements of the industry and economy nationally to begin with and also for global openings. However, all these efforts have some meaning only when it results in industry placement & student satisfaction, faculty stability & growth, along with meeting the acceptable social & environmental performance and compliance standards of regulatory environment. In other words, this means excellence in all facets of HTI operations. Towards accomplishing all the above, the following five primary internal strategic interventions as measures of repositioning or system strengthening are essential at each of institution or technical university level, while macro policy-level issues left to the external agencies.

A. Academic Excellence System Manual An academic ambience conducive for effective teaching-learning & research oriented work is the need of the hour in bulk of the HTIs promoted by private enterprise. The systems & subsystems such as - Content & Delivery Review Process (subject/lecture & interaction wise), Bench-marking & Content up-gradation process, Peer Review Process, Research & Patenting as well as Knowledge Dissemination process would support the basic academic prowess of faculty and bind them to high levels of academic standards. (AICTE guidelines & Accreditations such as NBA provide some insight into this). Unless, the faculty is supported & facilitated by excellent Systems of knowledge management, sustaining the delivery of excellent academic results is not possible. An Academic Excellence Systems Manual is a good facilitative tool for the faculty for continuous benchmarking & improving the knowledge-ware and its delivery. 6


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#8 November1, 2012


As far as possible, the interventions in the academic processes need be inhouse driven by involving the faculty to develop the change processes on the basis of absorbability of the local academic community and also the valuesystem of the promoters & academically-bent leadership. To begin with, catalyzing the senor level personnel such as principals, deans & professors and HODs (generally obsessed with their academic accomplishments) is essential to initiate this process of mind-set change in the academic community. It should be drilled in the faculty ethos that technical teaching both a science and an art and systems are only to supplement their efforts and not substitutions and also there is always a scope for improvement.


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#8 November1, 2012 B. HRM & CPD Process Manual For full benefits of the virtuous cycle of academic excellence, primarily attack and improve upon the faculty quality by strengthening the processes such as Recruitment/Induction, Performance Management & Compensation, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) & Learning, and Promotion & Recognition etc. The above integrated HRD model for an HTI establishes clearly the inter-linkages of HR processes with academic excellence. Here, the key focus in the process delineations would be to bring in rationality, objectivity, transparency, consistency and meritocracy in managing the faculty resources. For accomplishing this, the promoters and owners themselves should be progressive and forward looking – some what visionary and also have academically-bent leadership. (AICTE provides certain benchmarks in this area). A Manual on HRM & HRD at an HTI should imbibe & integrate these values & outlook towards its employees – whether it is the faculty or supporting staff. These HR process should be complemented by two documents that ensure effective implementation of the HR policies and these are i) Service Manual/Employee Handbook and ii) Compendium of Job Descriptions (JD) for all positions in a typical HTI C. Student Development Process Manual Mere accomplishing academic excellence is not the end in itself, till such time, the student gets placed to his satisfaction commensurate to his potential in the industry and economy. Thus, an HTI will be able to attract more and more students and also attract good faculty as a basic impetus to sustain and grow. Here, the basic idea is to create an environment that encourages students' growth not only in the technological skills and expertise, but also to provide an opportunity to unearth his hidden talent and develop himself as a holistic person through various student & personality development processes. Thus, a set of processes (as suggested below) need be put in place in the form of a manual for the faculty & students to follow. PDP & Finishing & Counseling Process Talent Search & Promotion Extra-Curricular Development Sports-clubs & Events (Regional/State)


Industrial Training Process Annual Events (FD & Cultural) Placement & Student (Parent) Satisfaction CSR & Regional and Rural Development


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#8 November1, 2012 These processes essentially leads to boosting one’s confidence, improving communication and language speaking abilities, widening ones scope of knowledge, developing such skills & learning fine etiquettes and manners, adding style and grace to the way one looks, talks and walks and overall imbibing oneself with positivism, liveliness and peace (In other words, grooming the students to the 21st century work-environment). Ultimately, the student should transform himself to be a team player in the working environment and also as an effective global citizen. (Counselors and industrial psychologists and finishing school specialists are to be deployed to give attention to these aspects)


D. Infrastructure Development Manual The academic ambience is full and effective only when it is complemented by the physical academic facilities (both hard & soft). With enhanced globalization in the sector, the role of infrastructure in an academic institution is gaining more and more importance from the perspective of students, parents and contemporary institutions. These days the tendency by private sector had been to build state-of-the-art infrastructural ambiance to attract students of affluent parents and also NRIs children as well as foreigners. In fact, there is considerable competition on this front between different private players to develop an edge over each other, let alone the traditional governmental institutions with their proven marginal-change track record. Processes like IT integration in academic ambience & campus development contribute extensively to the institutional excellence and are quite significant these days. Other related developmental activities include - creating and bringing focus on environment, energy and resource conservation in the campus, building green campus and strengthening health and hygiene system for the benefit of student and faculty community. (These are dependent on the promoter’s vision-mission and related strategies of institutionbuilding). The key developmental processes that should be incorporated in the Infrastructure Developmental Manual are:


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#8 November1, 2012 • • • • • • • • •

Class Room Maintenance – Up gradation & Modernization IT Integration for Academic Ambience Development Lab Development & Modernization and Effective Management (Resource & Consumable Efficiency) Faculty Seating & Facilitation for Academic Ambience Student Facilitations & Welfare Activities Student Hostel Management Student Transportation System Up-gradation & Maintenance Health & Hygiene Development & Maintenance Modern Sports Facilities – Maintenance & Augmentation

E. Strategic & Operational System Manual All the above makes some practical sense, when the HTI is in a position to generate surpluses as a plough-back to enhance its capacity so as to enroll more students and also keep its stakeholders satisfied. For this purpose, there should be simple but effective systems of performance management in place for managing the specific departments/institutes and thus the overall campus. Further, HTIs being the modern temples of learning also have the challenge to balance the social goals such as development & philanthropy vis-à-vis the compulsive commercial cum business goals of growth and profitability. The manual focusing on the ‘Strategic & Operational Systems’ may include essentially the following seven processes. 1. 2. 3. 4.


6. 7. 10

Academic/Institution Operational Review Process Productivity & Quality (Input-Output)Improvement Review Budget Performance & Coordination Review Process Overall Performance (Commercial & Social Goals) Review Process Strategic Management (Academic & Faculty development/Campus/ Infrastructure Development/ Modernization) Review Process Promotional Linkages Development - Statutory Agencies (State/National) Promotional (Professional & Business Organizations -State/National/ Interna-tional) Linkages Review


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#8 November1, 2012 Basic purpose of such review processes is to ensure proper facilitation & support rendered so as to realize the targeted academic, financial and social objectives. These are dependent on the structure and style as well as ethos of the promoters/management; where as democratic and participative approaches in goal setting would create a satisfying environment for all and thus good final results. A unique feature of managing HTIs is by instituting a process of participatory goal setting to result voluntary harnessing of the full potentials of the human capital for good quality academic output and research. Achieving Institutional Excellence (AIE) is about working together to realize ones own ambitions & mission, setting aside the egos. According to the author’s experience of consulting HTIs for over a decade (to some well-known and reputed higher technological universities and HTIs in the Central and North India), the above five strategic interventions were found to be effective to realize and sustain excellence. However, it is further cautioned that such system development & repositioning should be to the extent possible in-house driven by involving the local faculty, when the ownership for the improvement process gets developed. Further, such participation is bound to make these systems amenable to the local academic & work culture and ethos cherished by the promoters, which is essential in enhancing its implement-ability. 3.0 Conclusion HTIs have the onerous responsibility of enabling India to realize its potential through reaping the benefits of democratic dividends. This is possible when the technological universities and HTIs reposition themselves to meet the challenges of transforming the current adolescent population (with the compulsions of inclusive growth issues) to value-adding and value-based global citizen. This can be easily accomplished by focusing on Achieving Institutional Academic Excellence (AIE), by repositioning themselves on an integrated system based working.


References: Statistics of Higher & Technical Education 2007-08, Ministry of HRD,GOI Nandakumar, Hindu (2011-11-24). "Number of tech graduates swells; salaries at IT firms stay stagnant". The Economic Times. "Knowledge Professionals". Indian IT-BPO: Trends & Insights. NASSCOM. Retrieved 2012-03-19. Anand, Geeta (2011-04-05). "India Graduates Millions, but Too Few Are Fit to Hire". The Wall Street Journal. "Infrastructure: S&T Education", Science and Technology in India, 30 Excellence in Higher Technical Education – Consultancy Reports by SAK Consultants & Associates, New Delhi "Shouldering the Quality Responsibility". EDU Magazine. 2011-01.


Rajiv Khurana

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#8. November 1, 2012


Have you ever wondered why the quality of students, executives, entrepreneurs and leaders in different walks of life are not up to the mark these days? They miss the potential teachers/trainers like you. Rishi Ryna – the obligation to contribute back to the learning that you have acquired is an integral part of responsibilities that you need to shoulder as per Hindu Scriptures. Why complain the absence of something when you have the solution within you? Take charge. Discover yourself. Get set and Go. Forget whY? Believe in whY not. Start. We all by default educate. Now EDUCATE by design.



Examine Self Competence


Draw Actionable Goals


Undertake Skills Building

Helping people improve their Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits extends a wide spectrum. Forget academics if you are shy of it. Your experience is good enough. Discover the top 2-3 fields and you are ready. Don’t overbite. Avoid procrastination. Start with investing just 10-15% of your time. Pick willing learners. Create a learning contract with them. Be a part of their team to learn and share diligently. A good learning attitude can ignite the attitude to learn amongst others. Be a role model first. Hone up your technical, commercial or behavioral skills. Read more. Watch youtube videos. Participate in webcasts. You will get a good hang of what you need to improve.


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#8. November 1, 2012



Create Network Advantage


Align Learning With Practicality


Train But Also Entertain


Enjoy, Enthuse, Energize

You may be knowing 20 guys! Yes, just 20. Spread the word around. Each one of them would be knowing 20 guys too. Your initial network is ready. Take advantage! Why is education so boring in India? Because we only cram and vomit. Avoid being another of those teachers. Be creative. Link teaching with practical realities. Your learners will get glued to you and would always remain grateful to you. Why is it that we remember most of the songs we hear yet we forget whatever is taught to us in the classroom? People have the capacity to learn what comes to them packaged comfortably. Good teaching/training is 25% content, 75% entertainment. Be an EnterTRAINER. I presume that you are a working professional or a recently retyred senior executive. Teaching/training is not your profession but an option to be part of the fraternity that believes in performing instead of complaining. Go out and enjoy the sharing of your life and learning experiences. The more your distribute your intellectual wealth, the more you will turn out to be richer, wealthier and healthier. Start looking around. The seekers will find you.


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#8 November1, 2012

How to listen more effectively. Be a ready listener Decide to listen. Make preparations. Select the right time and place to interact with people. Be a willing listener Empathise with the person who is talking with you. Use body language to convey that you are listening. Be an active listener Interact with the person. Provide feedback. Ask questions. Share what you have understood.


- Rajiv Khurana

How to reduce wastage of time. Decide high/low leverage activities - Distinguish amongst the important, urgent and routine activities. Focus on those that take you closer to your goals. Use quiet hour - Hide out for a short duration to plan for the day. Set your priorities right. Follow your to do list seriously The more the tick marks the more the success. Avoid procrastinating. Be assertive with interruptions Negotiate or convey the time when you will be available. Enjoy/Invest the time you save Aquire new knowledge and skills or celebrate the extra time available with your nears and dears.


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#8 November1, 2012


promise to take a five minute shower not a bath.  I promise to put a water saving device in my toilet cistern.  I promise to turn the tap off when I brush my teeth.  I promise to use rechargeable batteries.  I promise to use a 'bag for life' when I go shopping instead of plastic carriers.  I promise to air my washing in public - not in the tumble dryer.  I promise to boil only the water I need, rather than filling the kettle every time.  I promise to share my car journeys to work with a colleague, cycle or replace car  I promise to journeys with public transport at least once a week.  I promise to use a climate payback scheme to reduce the impact of my air travel.  I promise to organise or volunteer for an environmental project in my community.

15 Source:


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#8 November1, 2012

The last three wishes of

Alexander the Great Just before he died, Alexander convened his generals and told them his last three wishes: 1 - That his coffin SHOULD BE carried on the shoulders and transported by the best doctors of the time. 2 - That the treasures he had conquered (silver, gold, precious stones), should be scattered on the path to the grave site, and ... 3 - That his hands should be dangling in the air, outside of the coffin, and in view of all. One of his generals, astonished by these quite unusual desires, asked Alexander about his reasons. Alexander explained to him: 1 - I want the most eminent doctors from the land to load my coffin to show that they did not have the power to heal in the face of death. 2 - I want the ground to be covered by my treasures for all to see that material goods conquered here, cannot be taken, so, also remain here. 3 - I want my hands to be swaying in the wind, so that people can see that just as we came here with empty hands, we leave too with empty hands, when we are ending the most valuable treasure, which is our time.



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