We plan to make 25% of classes activity-based and student responsive: Dr Sailesh Sampathy, VP & Dy Chief Executive, Siva Sivani Group of Institutions

Dr Sailesh Sampathy is Vice President & Deputy Chief Executive of Siva Sivani Group of Institutions. In this interview with BigDisha magazine, Dr Sampathy shares his insights on advantages of out-of-class pedagogy in institutions. He also advocates for more industry participation in the teaching learning process of academic institutions so that the academic output is relevant to industry needs.

At Siva Sivani Group, he is in the process of building state-of-art intellectual infrastructure such as cyber corridor, full-fledged e-learning environment including e-library for the Management Institutes. Read more…

Q: How much part of pedagogical practices relate to libraries, seminars and workshops at your institute?

A: Students are expected to get exposure to off-class room resources like library, seminars and workshops for about 25% of their pedagogical practices and self-learning methodology.

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

A: Our system of evaluation comprises of Continuous Internal Assessment (CIA) and term – end examinations. Faculty members include in their CIA the methods to assess the knowledge acquired through off-classroom sources. Placement training also covers these inputs and effectiveness and quality placements are yardsticks of assimilation of such knowledge.

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

A: A total of 5-8% of the financial resources available on annual basis should usually be spent on not only books, journals, e-resources but also on learning soft wares and database.

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

A: As a learning organisation and market-focused institution, we obtain feedback from industry through our industry connects, attending topical seminars and industry conferences. The industry feedback obtained during placement drives also helps. Our internal Academic committees and HODs exchange ideas in Board of Studies and Academic Advisory Boards to evolve relevant curriculum and pedagogy.

To hone the soft skills of students, SSIM has many innovative and indigenously planned activities such as Book Review Sessions, Article Review Sessions, Company Review Sessions, Accent Neutralization, presentations, group discussion sessions, panel discussions and many other such activities.

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

A: We will assess the student-load and find out the time availability through time audit so that we can make student-centric activities and self study more effective. Around 25% of classes will be activity-based and student responsive. Many learning clubs will be an integral part of teaching-learning and it will be truly student-driven activity.

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

A: Our academic processes are filled with outdated curriculum. Thus, the course structures seldom provide an opportunity to the seeker of knowledge (student) to be practical, innovative and creative. Round the week, when the college is on, the emphasis is strictly on conducting class-room based classes and completing the syllabus so that the students can write examinations. The second half of the brain is not put to use. Consequently, the students lack employability and zeal for acquisition of higher knowledge. It is high time that Indian education is lifted on par with international standards in academic processes.

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

A: B-schools need to focus on their objectives and academic outcomes. Following are the key criteria on which B-schools should always evaluate themselves:

  • Make the students to work more in a guided environment to build scope for application, innovation and creativity.
  • Should focus on English communications – oral and written, hone the skills of students on corporate communications, preparation of business plans, executive briefings and email etiquette.
  • Make them conscious of their physical appearance and behaviour and positive sense of attitude and character.
  • Make students digitally competent and follow work ethics.

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

A: We believe in transforming a student into a useful, learned, competent and matured person so that he/she can take up any business /social activity in right earnestness and contribute to the cause of organisation where he/she proposes to serve/make career.