Collaborative learning with more emphasis on projects is focus of our teaching-learning process: Dr A K Srivastava, Director, SRMS College of Engineering and Technology

Collaborative learning with more emphasis on projects is focus of our teaching-learning process: Dr A K Srivastava, Director, SRMS College of Engineering and Technology

Dr Anant Kumar Srivastava is Director of SRMS College of Engineering and Technology in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.  He is a professor in IT, Systems & Operations Management. Prior to this current role in SRMS, he headed SRMS College of Engineering, Technology & Research in Bareilly, UP.

In this interview, he talks about the emphasis his institute puts on library, seminars and workshops. He also shares his opinion on steps needs to be taken to lift the Indian higher education system at par with the international standards. Read here for more…

Q: How much importance you put on libraries, seminars and workshops as part of academic processes at your institute?  

 A: At SRMS Institutions of Bareilly and Unnao, we are highly proactive in our approach to fulfill the needs for excellence in academics. We put lots of importance on libraries, seminars and workshops and consider these as integral part of best academics. It helps us to diversify the learning with better understanding of concepts.

Every year, the books of libraries are reviewed and replaced/added. In this process, the faculty members are involved. It enhances the learning and knowledge updation among the faculty as they keep updating themselves with latest publications and research trends. The effective uses of libraries are ensured. The seminars and workshops are conducted regularly either by external resources or through internal resources. The applications and industrial relevance aspects are covered during workshop while seminars help us in knowledge sharing and building professional linkage. It’s all based on our eternal philosophy of learning i.e “Knowledge is power and it increases with sharing”.

Q: How do you evaluate the contribution of such academic components on the outcome (Placements/Research etc)? 

A: Seminars and workshops are most important components for effective outcomes in placements and research. During seminar, latest aspects of management or technologies are discussed, by inviting resource persons and research paper presentations. It provides a valuable platform for researchers to share and validate their findings. Our seminars and workshops empower our students with managerial concepts and technology in real world situations. Our students are successful in industries and research, because they are effectively trained.

Q: How much should B-schools usually spend on their library (Books, journals, e-resources) and other academic components like Seminars, Workshop etc.      

 A: Spending on library, seminars and workshop by B-School depends on the financial models adopted by the B-School. In my opinion, the uses pattern of library must be audited and analysed every year. At least 10% new titles must be added every year and outdated books must be removed from the library. E-resources are very much popular today, due to its easy access and cost effectiveness. Hence, use of e-resources must be enhanced in the libraries. At SRMS Institutions, we have huge collections of E-resources for books and journals. Numbers of workshops and seminars must be suitably increased to get effective and relevant outcome of learning.

Q: How have you evolved your curriculum and pedagogy over last 2-3 years?    

A: At SRMS Institutions, we have a well designed methodology to review the curriculum and pedagogy. We believe that course contents and pedagogy must be updated and we do it regularly after each semester. The contents of syllabus are updated after getting relevant inputs from industries, experts and alumni. Faculty members and training and placement department regularly interacts with experts of industries and renowned academicians when they visits to our institutions. It makes our pedagogy and curriculum most relevant and acceptable.

Q: What are the key changes in the teaching-learning processes that you plan to bring in the coming academic session at your institute? 

 Answer: We are planning to introduce some aspects of self-paced learning also along with regular classroom session. Our faculty members are working to develop case studies and learning modules which will be accessible to the students. Faculty members will be working on projects which will be socially relevant along with students. Hence, it will be a form of collaborative learning with more emphasis on projects. Further, it has been planned to setup at least two centre of excellence in next one year.

Q: Please share your thought on the academic processes in India as compared to international standard.

A: I personally believe that the academic processes in India are having potential to evolve at par with international standard if proper ecosystem is developed. At present, the ecosystem for excellence in academics are missing entrepreneurship, patents, quality projects, research and development etc.

The foundations at school levels must be made strong enough also for effectiveness in higher education. Focus should be given on specialised learning creativity and inattentiveness by preserving our rich value system. We need not follow the existing International System of academics, rather we have to take best from them and we have to develop our own system of academics which are to be followed by others. The regulatory organizations have to foster the culture of creativity and innovation.

Q: What are the key policy changes that can bring a better academic environment at B-school campuses in India? 

 A: The autonomy and mandatory accreditation can bring appreciable changes in the B-School campuses. The faculty-students ratio should be maintained and faculty representation from industry should be increased. The research findings should be opened to all accredited institutions irrespective of them being private or government.

Q: Why a b-school aspirant should join your institute? Any message?

 A: SRMS Institutions are known for “Value Based professional Education”. Our students feel the impacts of learning during their period of study. They are well placed due to effective training. The teaching – learning processes are parallel to the best institutions of India. Hence, to achieve their dream of “Successful career with valuable life skills”, I invite  the aspirants of B- Schools and technical programmes to join our institutions.