Dr. A.K. Sengupta, currently serving as Mentor at SIESCOMS has vast experience in the field of education. It gives us immense pleasure to share his thoughts with our readers.
Q) After having worked with several reputed colleges, you are now back in SIESCOMS. According to you, how different is SIESCOMS from the other colleges you have worked with?
Dr. A.K.S: Firstly, the SIESCOMS campus harbours a divine ‘serenity’ which is unique in its own way since most of the college campuses seen around are very flashy in nature. This serenity in SIESCOMS is definitely a differentiating factor. Here, majority of the students are from the middle class background and they are well disciplined. Adding to it, a vast majority of our faculty is young and vibrant, which helps them connect with the students effectively. What one can vividly observe is an appropriate ‘channelization’ of energy, thoughts and leadership qualities which has contributed to building a good and strong value system in SIESCOMS.
Q) You have always been passionate about education, and have founded the Higher Education Forum (HEF). What was the inspiration behind forming HEF?
Dr. A.K.S: I always envisioned to initiate an individual driven forum of intellectuals and of people who are involved in managing and administering higher education. HEF is like a strong voluntary force which aims at facilitating a transformation in higher education. It is not politically motivated or supported by any political agenda. I strongly believe that the prime stake holders of every educational institute i.e. the ‘teachers’ are the ones who can be instrumental in bringing about this transformation. In the near future, we expect the HEF youth wing to contribute in a big way towards building a value based, integrated and educated society!
Q) Don’t you think primary education in India also needs a major reform?
Dr. A.K.S: Yes, definitely. In fact, primary education needs immediate and heavy reforms. I think children should be raised in a tension free environment without being taken aback by the social differences. But we, as HEF, are directly connected to and wish to endavour in the realm of higher education and so we are focusing on it.
Q) In schools and colleges, how can teachers help in developing essential skills and competencies in the students?
Dr. A.K.S: I strongly believe that there is a lack of integration and a bitter divorce between the education and skills. Anil Kakodkar’s commission proposes that each student must compulsorily pick a skill of his/her choice and interest and develop it. For instance, out of the total 1000hrs dedicated to an MBA course, the student must devote at least 100 hours on developing that particular skill. Implementation of such programs will immensely improve the current state of education, and integrate skills acquisition as an important part of the system.
Q) Your message to aspiring MBA students and MBA aspirants?
Dr. A.K.S: ‘The future of the country belongs to you. Do well and be good.’
Interview & Compilation : Snehal Deore (PG-Pharma 2011-13)