And for a Friday, returning from the Central University of Kerala in Kasargode….. some thoughts…..
I am thankful to Dr. Gopa Kumar the Vice Chancellor of The Central University of Kerala, a brilliant academician, specialised in International Relations, Competitive Politics and Indian Politics, a scholar and an outstanding orator fluent in both English and Malayalam. He invited me to inaugurate the MBA programme of the University. Amidst so many scholars, the trip was an eye-opener for me. Govt. of India set up 15 new Central Universities in 2009 (totaling 49 Central Universities), one in each state by choice, to be located in the most backward district of the state. Thus the University becomes the Catalyst for growth and development of the whole Region. Dr. Gopa Kumar, the VC – an extraordinarily Ethical person – acquired 310 acres of land and rehabilitated the Tribals peacefully in a 5 year term. He increased students strength from 464 to 2400, teachers from 41 to 126 and education Departments from 11 to 27. Hats off to him!!!!
We in Corporate India are oblivious to the challenges faced by the Educationalists/Adminstrators. Unfortunately our Universities and Colleges are cut off from Industry. Syllabi, teaching methods and tools are obsolete with the result that Innovation and employability is missing. Industry and Academia cooperation and relationship is minimal, almost non existent. For India to reach a 5 trillion $ economy, free movement and Exchange of Talent between Industry and Universities must be made possible. New bold initiatives must be undertaken. I strongly recommend that at least 20% of Vice Chancellors of Indian Universities be appointed from amongst successful CEOs from the Industry on 5 year contracts. BCCI, CII, FICCI, IGCC, all can help identify these candidates and all VCs and HODs must do a six month orientation with the Board of a large listed Indian or MNC. PhD students must have projects relevant to MSME or specific industry applications. The IITs and IIMs have presently consultations and Projects. This one move will change Course Content, Research, Skill development and prepare Academia and Students in India for Industry 4.0.
India’s demography can be an advantage only if the Entrepreneurial skills and Employability is increased. Let us all work together to build a Developed India, the Industry-Academia cooperative way, the Entrepreneurial way, the SEEGOS way.