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“Success and failure are cyclical and are a part of life”, says Dr. Chandrahauns Chavan

Dr. Chandrahauns Chavan, Director – Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Churchgate, shares his views on student development and placements

He is the director of one of the top-notch management institutes in Mumbai and his vision has a trickle-down effect on all of his students as well. Knowledge presents Dr. Chandrahauns Chavan, Director – Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Churchgate, who apart from having several laurels to his name, is also a Certified Corporate Director, World Council of Corporate Governance (UK). Excerpts from an interview:

How do you encourage students towards academics when the syllabus sometimes is archaic and outdated?

n It happens many a times that the syllabus gets repeated for years on years, this makes the syllabus out of date. Reviving the syllabus should be a continuous process, which can be difficult at times. Therefore, we at our institute try to make sure that our students remain updated with current knowledge. We do this by introducing new courses which can be academic or non-academic, which can be graded or non-graded, meaning they can be additional content or part of non-credit courses. For our initiative, our faculty and professors give their best and put in great efforts. We also encourage our students to take up field studies. As part of this they spend time in the field, i. e. industry to get exposure to the current happening in their domain and also assign live projects, discuss emerging issues and case studies. We strive to create an environment where all the students are encouraged to bring in new and updated information and perspective to a topic, we then discuss various dimensions including the effects it will have. We desire to create an environment where the student and the faculty are both actively contributing to the learning experience.

Should students in an institute be invited to participate in policy decisions regarding their education?

n The views of our students are as important as any other because, it is for them that we have created this institution, ultimately it is them who will be benefitted. We encourage our students to participate in the decision making process. Involving and empowering students to participate in policy decisions in education will help students understand and value several aspects of the education system. It also brings in fresh perspective into policy making and we will be co-creating the future of education. In fact, our institution is a student driven college. We have many important committees of which the students are a part of. Each committee has a different role, which helps the student to develop and shape their skills likewise. We understand that it is hard to involve all the students in the process and if only a select group is involved then one doesn’t know how far the group is really a representative group. But in the end, there is nothing wrong in finding out their viewpoint because finally it is up to the decision makers to use their discretion to accept or reject the students’ views. Sometimes, students’ participation may give some very important inputs and ideas.

How can educators motivate students to work towards the goal of knowledge in their particular subject, on a daily basis?

n The educators are certainly facing the problem to motivate students as far as ‘knowledge’ as an educational parameter is concerned. The following solutions may assist an organization in achieving the goal of ‘knowledge driven organization’:

• 21st century is earmarked by the ‘Industrial Utility’ phase, i.e. any concept that an individual deals with should have a proper industry application else that concept is equivalent to cipher. This phenomenon can be extrapolated to the college brains and the concepts that they learn can be given an application sphere with the college getting together with concepts specific companies (Start-ups, MSME’s etc.). This will enable the students to realise the actual problems and the practical solutions concerning that concept. Thus, rather than mechanical learning, the students will hone appropriate knowledge.
• The colleges can conduct ‘Simulation Studies’ where the subject specific concepts may be used for the same and then competitions on State level, National Level be held so that the competitive spirits prove to be a motivational factor in itself.
• The colleges can come together to form a ‘Student Knowledge Congress’, where knowledge intensive discussions will be held.

Do educators and students work towards getting out of the university mode and into the ‘real world’ mode, especially during the final year/ semester of postgraduate course?

Yes, these days students have realised the importance of ‘real world’ knowledge implications and they are working to navigate their learning experience from the ‘Head on examination’ attitude to ‘Industry oriented’ learning attitude.
Some of the measures that we have included in the curriculum are:

• Offering a knowledge driven ‘Summer Internship’ programme, where the students get to apply their management knowledge to industrial testing
• Assigning students industry oriented tasks such as ‘Case studies, Analysis of Industries, Global-phenomenon based projects, industry live projects etc.
• Encouraging the students to participate in competitions such as B-School Competitions, Business Plan Pitching, etc. wherein students apply their management studies acumen to analyse the company’s issues
• We invite experts from outside India to give international exposure and our illustrious alumni too involved as visiting faculty and many of them has international exposure.
• Arranging for ‘Guest Lectures’ by eminent business tycoons who impart management knowledge and guide the students to understand the business-world knowhow.

I understand that students need to consider marks, especially until class 12, since the admissions to undergraduate courses depend on marks. But do they really get out of the marks mode once they are admitted?

n Academic performance matters a lot in the context of the Indian education system, since it’s the only statistical parameter to measure a student’s progress as to how much he/she is actually absorbing of what is being disseminated at the institute. That being said, more and more attention is being given to activities apart from the exams for the assessment of students.

How do educators/ colleges counsel students about starting small, that is with smaller, lesser known companies during placements?

n Students mostly look for famous corporates for employment due to their superficial knowledge about the sector. The shallow knowledge leaves them with just the brand value and image of various companies to decide their possible recruiters. To tackle this issue, it’s essential to educate the students about the area that they are looking towards for employment. They should develop thorough insights about the sector, and be able to judge companies on the basis of their actual performance and future prospects, and not just the image.

There are a few students who perhaps don’t have the means or resources. What can these proactive students do to improve themselves?

n The best way to make up for the lack of resources is, perhaps, interacting with people with the know-how about the relevant subject. Talking to people just needs the will and the ability to communicate and express one’s thoughts in an appropriate manner. If one can zero in on who to talk to and how to talk to them, one can tackle this issue. Also, books, if available, are the best source of knowledge since they are a recorded source and can be used as proof in matters of dispute. Books are usually written by noted authors and the depth of the subject explored in the books ensures the student does not need to depend on any other resources. Internet & Information Communication Technology is available 24*7 at disposal where abundant resource of information is available for improvement.

Any message for our student readers?

n Students always ought to remember that success and failure are cyclical and are a part and parcel of life. Neither is constant. One just has to keep making sincere efforts towards the designated goal with full dedication and perseverance and try and help a few others on the way if possible. At the end of the day, a successful person will be remembered, but a good person will be loved. So every student should persevere towards achieving a combination of both.

Original: http://www.freepressjournal.in/education/success-and-failure-are-cyclical-and-are-a-part-of-life-says-dr-chandrahauns-chavan/1025641
By: FPJ Bureau
Posted: February 27, 2017, 9:20 am