Chennai, Dec 16:
VIT Business Schools, here, on Saturday organised a day-long Balancing Purpose and Technology conclave for Principals of Business Schools. The conclave was held at the Chennai VIT University.
Setting the agenda for the day, Dr. Indira J.Parikh, Advisor, VSB and former Dean, Indian Institute of Management and Founder President of Flame University, spoke on “The Road Not Taken” or Not: Enabling Future Generations to Make Choices, said education as seen and practised in the country at present has been present for over 100 years, but it was here with a specific reason and purpose and that no attempt was made to look beyond it.
She said that children who were currently pursuing education were the eighth generation since independence. The present batch of students were living in a world of plenty, globalisation and technology and were not even aware of what the previous generations had to undergo and the sacrifices they had to make to attain freedom. According to her, the present generation of students lived with limited education and in a cocooned life.
Stating that India was an ancient civilisation, Dr. Parikh said that during her interaction with students, she often noticed that they were sharing only negative things about India. “Due to 500 years of amnesia, our entire dignity and self-respect is wiped out. Most of the research is happening at British archives and Libraries people are hardly looking at our own resources and archival material,” Dr. Parikh said.
She pointed out that even in educational institutions in India which had a world-wide ranking, maximum points were given based on how many international students and faculty they had on their rolls. The Central government, she observed, had now passed a law that the international faculty should not be appointed without a certain amount of remuneration. “The whole ranking is skewed against us and we feel very sad that we figure very low in the rankings. This ranking system is against us,” she remarked.
Speaking about the quality of education, Dr. Parikh said pedagogy in India either went in favour of the students or teachers, but it was never learning centric. Students today were unable to build relationships.
Teachers and parents had only seven years to give to their children, values and value-based education. Majority of the management students are engineering students, who end up depriving the opportunity for many seriously interested students to study and become engineers.
In the second lecture on Managing Diversities, Dr.A.F.Mathew, Associate Professor, IIM, Kozhikode, said there was so much of discrimination against women in all walks of life. They were subject to abuse and violence all over the world and even in work spaces, they were discriminated against, not getting a remuneration on a par with women. He said that it was important for teachers of students, not just management, but all aspects of education to teach male students about being sensitive to women students. It should not begin at the college level, but at schools, Mr. Mathew said, adding that people cannot become good teachers until they stop discriminating against women, poor, marginalised and the disabled.
In his address on “How Machine Intelligence is Shaping our Future Human Contexts, ”ManjunathNanjaiah, Founder and CEO, SwarmverseBigData Solutions Private Limited said education had for some reason, made obedience as a virtue, while in reality it only communicated to the receiver that it was a command and control system, which worked well with machines and not very well with humans. He said that in official communication, the terms used were very masculine forceful. “There is a lot of hidden intelligence within all of us, but crucial issue is, are people really able to focus on it? People have bigger intelligence than machine intelligence,” he added.
Mr.Jayavelu, Dean, VIT School of Business, said a lot of students who came to colleges did not have a clarity about which course to choose and what they would be getting out of these courses. To bring about some clarity on these issues and to enlighten them about the courses, they decided to organise this conclave. “We organised a Conclave in Hyderabad and this event at Chennai is the second. We are planning to organise similar events for students and Business School Principals all over the country to create dialogue spaces to try and find a way to shape the youth of the country,” he said.