A brainstorming session for assessment of learning in higher education during pandemic was done by the top leadership in academia with special guest, Prof. Rajan Saxena, management expert, author & former Vice-Chancellor, NMIMS; Dr. Harivansh Rai Chaturvedi, alternate president-EPSI Director-BIMTECH; Dr. Manpreet Singh Manna Associate Professor & TPO SLIET, Former Director ACITE, Govt of India; Dr. A K Sen Gupta Founder & Convenor Higher Education Forum (HEF); Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Dir, FORE School of Management, New Delhi with the Panellist Dr. S S Mantha, Former chairman, ACITE, currently Chancellor at K L University; Dr. Sayalee Gankar, Vice Chancellor, D Y Patil University; Dr. Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, The Shahani Group. was present among other delegates. The seminar was organised by ASMA in virtual mode.
Dr. Jitendra K. Das, moderated the power packed session, ‘How cutting-age research & cutting-age Technology go hand-in-hand in Higher education’ along with the panelist Dr. S S Mantha, who has been the erstwhile chairman of AICTE; Dr. Sayalee Gankar and Dr. Akhil Shahani.
Speaking on the topic, Dr. Das stressed on the criticality factor of higher education when compared to school level, K-12 or UG level education. He said, “Higher education should focus on the process of enhancing the knowledge while adopting a technology driven content delivery mechanism”.
Citing research activity in higher education as the essential key towards achieving quality and excellence in institutions, Dr. Das said, “If we look at the Indian scenario as compared to the international institutions; we are far far behind. Even countries like China with little or no knowledge of the English language have performed many times better than us. They have published papers four times more in English journals compared to Indian professors. So there is some kind of structuring that is required to be in place to enhance the research activity”.
On a similar note, Dr. S S Mantha, Former Chairman, AICTE, agreeing with Dr. Das said, “Research is really required and institutions must invest in research. They should have the right people in the right place with the right amount of facilities for research which in turn must be tangible and meaningful”.
Dr. Sayalee Gankar, V.C. DY Patil University, referred to National Education Policy (NEP) and stated that while tremendous change in the terms of transformation of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary education has happened, ‘research’ should also undergo a similar transformation. “How do we promote Science and Technology, Humanities, Social Science and other disciplines is very important. Enhancing collaboration between R&D and Industry,we need to focus on promoting entrepreneurship as we are talking about ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, she said.
Dr. Akhil Shahani, M.D, The Shahani Group, had a different point of view. Citing his own Ph.D which he pursued from the UK and USA, he said that “research work undertaken by the University does not benefit the students”. He also stated that the skill set required by great teachers differ from great researchers. Skillset of researchers may not always be the skills needed for teaching.