New Education Policy

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New Education Policy is well thought out and good intentioned document to enhance access, retention, equity, inclusivity, quality, affordability and outcome of learners across various levels.

The present government insists that the policy of ‘Make in India’ be interpreted correctly as one that generates not just meaningful employment for skilled people but also makes the country a hub for research. Is it time for India’s premier institutes to also make sure that they activate a ‘Keep in India’ policy so far as their students are concerned? What more needs to be considered to keep our brains here.?

SS: India is emerging as a land of opportunities for talented and meritorious people. Make in India is attracting foreign investors to create manufacturing facilities in India as India provides large and diverse talent pool and cost-effective labour force. We have also improved our position in‘ease of doing business’ and stable government. Thus Make in India policy provides opportunities to skilled human resources and access to very large consumer base, for the produce generated through it.

As far as “Keep in India” is concerned I don’t see any problem. Now craze of leaving India for better pastures elsewhere is diminishing. However, since India is a land of vast talent pool, thus the competition for available resources for Research and Development is very high, and thus few researchers and trained professionals are moving abroad. However, this should also be seen as India’s contribution to the world science and technology as they contribute to India’s image by performing excellently in their domain in the countries of their domicile. They often contribute to Indian Economy by foreign exchange remittances. Now our IITs, IIMs and many other institutions and Universities are providing world class education and research facilities. However, we have to go a long way to create world class universities and institutions on a large scale so that a wide gap in quality of education between top and bottom institutions is reduced.

In this direction, the current Government’s efforts to strengthen higher education and providing autonomy and resources to high performing Institutions are praiseworthy.

There is a rising voice in corporates that professionals with an intuitive understanding of economics and psychology can manage better than those with a mere MBA. What is your opinion?

MBA syllabi of premiere Institutions provides good doze of Psychology and economics plus many tools of analyses and syntheses which prepare an MBA to start with much stronger footing to face the business world than just psychologist and economist. In fact many business schools also train their students on how to hone their creative and intuitive faculties. MBA training is more about strategizing and developing ability and knack to solve new problems and making human life better. Of course, we may have many effective managers who have never seen a business school. They may have learned through their own experience and through coaching mentoring from others. What MBA experience does, it shortens the long cycle of learning, people learn from peers, also develop ability learn and unlearn quickly.

Do you agree with people who believe that being a street-smart businessman doesn’t need a person to necessarily become a theory-spouting management graduate? Please give your reasons.

A Theory is developed after many studies and observations. Thus a business theory is derived after a series of business experiences and studies. Being street smart may be good in short run for business success but understanding the connections between various factors of business may be good in the long run.

Yes having good communication skill including ability to reach out people is essential for business success, but management is much more than just communication skill.

There are many fiction writers who are from premier engineering and management institutes. Do you think it is time for MBA curriculum to have modules in creative writing? Will this have a tendency to disturb the left hemisphere vs right hemisphere equilibrium as quite a bit of management deals with objective interpretation?

Management is both art and science. When we talk about Balance sheet, Optimization techniques, Statistical tools we tread in the domain of science. When talk about Entrepreneurial orientation, Management of change, Creativity and innovation, Leadership, Strategy etc. we tread in the domain of art. Creative thinking, creative writing, Communication skill, Conflict management, negotiation skills tread in the domain of art. Thus issues having objective type one answer and subjective type multiple possibilities are integral part of management curriculum. Further, the pedagogy of case method, role plays and simulations stimulate creative faculties of students. Behavioural issues including emotional and social intelligences covered in management do cater to so called right brain hemisphere areas. Further, what we traditionally used to consider objective, i.e., finance is now recognizing the role of subjectivity, and now an area behavoural finance has developed. However, based on their own preference, people follow and practice management as objective science or as subjective art or both at the same time.  

Colleges and institutes offering management courses have proliferated to an extent that an overall devaluation of perception about MBAs has slowly gained force. What do you think are the steps that must be taken to correct this perception?

Market forces will correct the situation. If after having a degree of MBA but not possessing skills of MBA may perform worse in job market than an ITI graduate having requisite skills. Regulator like AICTE should also play its role in recognizing /derecognizing the institutions imparting MBA training. Quality of faculty, infrastructure, Institution-Industry interaction, Governance of the Institution and Sustainable Revenue model are the essential factors in making of a good business school. 

Students who opt for BBA vs those who go for an engineering degree – which course is a more success-oriented path to finally getting selected for MBA from a reputed institute? Why?

Both BBA and Engineering are having equal chance of getting selected in reputed MBA programs. If a candidate is choosing CAT as a qualifying exam, engineering student has natural edge over BBA student, as engineering students have better chance of scoring high in quantitative   and data interpretation sections. However, if BBA student score higher than minimum threshold marks that (s)he is called for interview and written aptitude test, then probability of final selection is higher because institutions allocate certain weightage to academic diversity factor.Even other MBA tests are having numerical aptitude and data interpretation sections where engineering students do better than BBA students. Thus, essence is good preparation for entrance test rather than background of the student.

How do you perceive the suggested changes in the Draft NEP 2019? How do you think these changes will education?

New Education Policy is well thought out and good intentioned document to enhance access, retention, equity, inclusivity, quality, affordability and outcome of learners across various levels. If implemented properly will help develop India into knowledge society. Good amount of emphasis has been given in the area of quality, innovation and research. Initiatives like rigorous teacher preparation, robust recruitment process and abolition of para teacher system, flexible curricular structure and multiple exit points, autonomy for higher education institutions, National Research Foundation and Rastriya Shiksha Ayog are some of the laudable proposals.

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