BHU: A Great Experience

From April 16 to April 18, I stayed with my wife in theIT-BHU guest house. It was a great experience when I talked to the students and faculty members of IT-BHU’s mechanical engineering department on April 17. I had handed over my write-up to Dr. Sudarshan Sharma, the head of the department in advance. I tried to be informal and emphasised on certain relevant points.

My main thrust was to enhance the interaction between the educational institutes and the industry to make the professional education relevant, and re-engineer the curricula with a bias to inculcate entrepreneurship and innovativeness. Mechanical engineering department of IT-BHU must have an effective arrangement with units such as Railway’s Diesel Locomotive Plant in Varanasi, and get associated with its R&D activities. Why can’t such manufacturing facilities in India be global leader of its products?

The course of mechanical engineering must emphasise on design and development of new products and tools for manufacturing systems. And for making the design cost competitive and delighting, the knowledge of manufacturability, assembility, and serviceability is equally essential.

Tendency of students to get addicted to work on computers must change. Computers are nothing but the advanced aids such as log tables, slide rules, and scientific calculators of yester years. They must get better exposure to the latest in domain knowledge, analytical skills, and soft skills such as bench-marking, brainstorming that are essential to make them effective team workers.

As an old man, I did provide some tips from my professional career:
1. There is no substitute to hard work.
2. Keep learning on, particularly about your domain knowledge.
3. Create a transparent system in management
4. Keep on educating your own people
5. Tell subordinates and peers ‘Why?’ clearly.
6. Have holistic approach
7. Keep ethics

I also expressed some of my disliking:

1. Fresh engineering graduates aiming for IIMs and IAS. India needs more of engineers in every field rather managers.
2. Indifference in industry about the capability of the people in the professional educational institutes and a similar approach among the teachers to keep themselves away from the latest industrial innovation. I could get my notion confirmed after the interactions with the heads of many departments who were present in the dinner organized by the director that evening in the guest house itself.
I did also suggested the professors to do something to sell some of the research works going on in the university that can be market its capability. Why are our professors not known to even people like me? Why media is indifferent to the activities in the educational campuses of national importance?

Surprisingly, all the professors agreed. But will some take initiatives?

Some reporters from local language press interviewed me and I found all of them covering my speech pretty well on April,18. And I was elated to get a replica of the bust of Malviyaji as a gift from the head of the department.

The gift from the head of mechanical engineering department after my talk

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya is a live example what an individual can achieve. It is huge with educational facilities in almost all possible areas such as technology, law, medical science, pure science, agriculture, social science, and other subjects. It could have easily ranked in the least of top universities of the world.

I wish the government at center could have the ambitions to make it one and the institute could get some missionary vice-chancellor to make it get in the global best rank.
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