07 Oct 2021 21:45 IST

‘We want our students to deliver value for all stakeholders’

BIMTECH Director says the aim is to orient students and faculty to become value-conscious human beings.

Dr Harivansh Chaturvedi is Director, Birla Institute of Management Technology, Noida, which recently completed 33 years of imparting management education. In this interview, he looks back on the B-school's journey and on what lies ahead in a post-Covid world for B-schoolers. Excerpts:

BIMTECH is 33 years old. Looking back, what have been the high points of the B-school's journey through the years?

Dr Harivansh Chaturvedi is Director, Birla Institute of Management Technology, Noida.

 

During the last 33 years of its journey in management education, BIMTECH has had several high points. We were the pioneers to introduce PG programmes in insurance and retailing in 2000 and 2002 respectively. The institute shifted its campus from New Delhi to Greater Noida in 2004 which is an integrated campus spread over 10 acres. All our four full-time programmes got accredited by NBA and NAAC with A+ scores between 2008 to 2012. We have tie-ups with 64 foreign B-schools and universities across the world besides, EFMD, Brussels conferring "Business School with Impact" (BSIS) grade in 2019.

How did BIMTECH ride out the pandemic in terms of outcomes, student learning, faculty training for online tutoring?

Covid-19 has forced us to shift suddenly towards online teaching. The faculty has seamlessly shifted to appropriate technologies to intensify learning outcomes.

The faculty is empowered to implement changes in the course syllabi, suggested literature, applied teaching methods, assessment criteria, and ways of communicating with students to enhance the teaching effectiveness. The faculty utilises numerous innovative and effective teaching practices that have a positive impact on student learning.

Do you think the worst is over and students can return to campus to resume physical classes?

The global pandemic, has ensured that the world would never be the same again. We have started the blended classes for the students from September 1, 2021, with necessary arrangements for safety of students, faculty and staff.

The pandemic has altered the world in many ways. Digital is here to stay and everybody, including industry, is talking of a hybrid model of work. So, how has, or will BIMTECH undergo a change in its pedagogy ad well as in its teaching methods?

Now, as per the policy of UGC, AICTE and MoE, the institutions can run classes in blended mode. We conduct classes with 50 per cent students attending offline and 50 per cent attending classes online either from hostels or their respective homes,unlike in the US or European countries where 100 per cent offline classes are held.

How is the academic year 2021-22 faring in terms of placements and how does it compare to the previous year?

The Centre for Corporate Relations (CCR) BIMTECH has adapted itself to the new normal of the post-pandemic world. It ensures students’ placement is congruent with their capabilities, experience, preference and inclination thus able to satisfactorily place batches over the years. Over the last year, it conducted several corporate interactive sessions via CXO talks, webinars, Lyceum Masterclasses, Lunchbox sessions, Campus connect events, competitions, and series of certifications and skill-oriented workshops.

Last year 129 companies with diverse backgrounds visited the campus for final placement out of which 38 companies were new recruiters. The median salary was ₹8 lakh and maximum salary was ₹16 lakh.

How did the internships go for your students given the pandemic?

Every year, the students used to undergo the summer internship project from April to June. Last year, due to Covid conditions, we made changes in the internship process after the regulator AICTE directed us not to send the students for a physical internship. Students were asked to either undergo 80 hours of certifications programmes, or dissertation plus 40 hours of certifications, or an online internship with 40 hours of certifications.

How closely do you work with industry in developing and tweaking your courses for present industry requirements?

The PGDM programme of BIMTECH has introduced Business Vertical Specializations (BVS) in IT- ITES, Analytics and BFSI from 2020-22. The courses in business vertical specialisation focuses on the application aspects in each of the functional areas: marketing, finance, HR Operations.

Curriculum updating at BIMTECH is done by a systematic process by the participating faculty to ensure its relevance to industry.

What are the new courses and programmes that you have launched in BIMTECH over the past couple of years?

With the aim to orient students, faculty, and staff to become value-conscious human beings ready to face ‘Industry 4.0’ and capable of producing value for all stakeholders, BIMTECH decided to create a new centre named as ‘Centre for Business 4.0’. This Centre will study the developments in Industry 4.0 and recommend activities to be taken up at BIMTECH. These activities include the identification of and suggestion for inclusion of new courses in the syllabi of different programmes and the areas of research that should be undertaken.

Given how the world has changed over the past two years of the pandemic, do you reckon that management education itself has to change? And, in what way and how?

In March-April, 2020, we were left with no other option but to adopt and adapt to a sudden shift towards online teaching and learning from the traditional teaching in a physical classroom environment. Crises created by the Covid-19 has been converted by our faculty and staff to make perfect online arrangements for session delivery, feedback, and assessment of students.

Based on a KPMG report and estimated huge potential for online education supported by the proposed New Education Policy (NEP), the establishment of a Centre for Online Studies (COOLS) was set by BIMTECH in July 2020. This centre aims to provide PGCM, PGDM, certification courses and various self-paced courses. UpGrad, the education provider and facilitator, collaborated with BIMTECH for effective marketing and technical support in online education.

We understand that situations like the last two years may persist for long. Based on the agility, resilience, and courage demonstrated by our faculty, students and staff, we are confident of providing the highest standards of business education.

How did technology get incorporated in BIMTECH's name as a business school? What is the technology element?

The Founder Director of our B-School, late Dr CB Gupta, was impressed by the practice in B-schools such as Stanford where the management discipline was considered as technology in the 80s. Dr Gupta had attended a one-year course there in management.