Sayalee Gankar

An interview with Prof. Dr. Sayalee Gankar | Vice Chancellor | D Y Patil University, Pune

Sayalee Gankar

Q1. What are the core Strengths of the DY Patil University?

D Y Patil group of Institutions was founded by Padma Shri Dr. D. Y. Patil, a forward thinking leader who initiated the pursuit of education in Mumbai. With the guiding principle of “Knowledge is Supreme”, the institution was established to deliver quality, value based and cutting edge education. Under the leadership of Dr. Vijay D. Patil, President and Chancellor and Dr. Shivani Vijay Patil, Vice President and Pro Chancellor. Since 2006 D Y Patil technical campus has transformed into a University with schools dedicated to Architecture, Design, Engineering & Technology, Hospitality and Tourism Studies, Law, Management, Pharmacy as well as Polytechnic and Agriculture.

Our Core Strengths are –
• Diverse Program offered to the youth of India.
• Recognition and Approvals – University is recognized by UGC, New Delhi, India. Approved programs by AICTE, PCI, BCI, COA and MSBTE.
• Curricula and Program Structure – Curriculum specifically designed to meet the needs of tomorrow, integrating cutting edge fields like AI, Block chain and Business Analytics.
• Industry Integration – Real world experience and Industry perspective, workshops with top organizations, certification and credit transfer initiatives.
• Experienced Faculties with network with industries.
• Achieve excellence for economic growth through innovation, transformation, inclusion and mentoring.

Q2. Online learning is fairly a new concept in India especially when it comes to Higher education. What kind of readiness in terms of technology, mindset etc. do require to make the most out of Online Learning? What is the role of Artificial Intelligence in Indian Higher Education?

Online learning has become a vital and alternate solution of knowledge sharing after the world has seen the pandemic situation of COVID – 19. The ecosystem took a while to adjust with the sudden closure of academic Institutions due to social distancing. The creation and adoption of virtual classrooms had become necessary to continue the teaching-learning process. While the focus is to create an engaging learning environment, people involved in the delivery of the content had to quickly upgrade to remain relevant with the changing dynamics.

Online learning is education which takes place over the Internet. Online learning is bringing shift in our pedagogies. The top-down lecturing and passive student approach is shifting to a more interactive approach. In e-learning, the role of faculty members should be transformed from the traditional teacher-centric to student-centric model to co-create the learning process. With online teaching, teacher should become more of a facilitator to have major influence and impact on student’s experience. The skills required for this are administrative skills, communication skills, and technological competence. Teacher should also provide constructive feedback & support to students. Student’s attitude towards online learning gets affected by learner autonomy, structure of course, quality of instructional methods, Interactions with another students & teacher.

There are many advantages of online classes for both teachers and students. For teachers, it allows new method of teaching using advanced tools and technology and reaching many students. And student can acquire knowledge of using different online tools to get benefit of live / recorded sessions, listen, and watch classes many times at their own pace. This online learning has helped the entire education ecosystem to connect with each other including international educators and companies. This helps to learn and implement best practices in our curriculum and
improve employability of the students. It also increases interaction with the leading industry and academia across the world.

Role of AI in Higher Education – Artificial Intelligence in higher education can help students and faculties in providing information for the preparation of Research, concepts for preparation. However, critical analysis and rewriting is required to ensure individual views and apply experiences.

It has the potential to enhance inclusivity, access, and support. AI plays a significant role in increasing administrative efficiency in higher education by automating tasks, personalizing education experiences, and analyzing data to improve overall efficiency.

AI helps in promoting fairness, and safeguarding student data privacy. The long-term impact of AI on higher education encompasses the evolution of learning environments, preparation for new realities in academia, and support for students in navigating the job. This will shape the future of education and career readiness.

Q3. What activities and programs are offered by the University to ensure students are ready for the Industry? How do students benefit from universities’ collaboration with organizations and other industries?

At D Y Patil University, Ambi, the career services are provided to the students round the year to prepare them for the industry. The office of Corporate Relations and Career Services strategizes activities to develop students from day one, transforming them into professionals. A strong network with the industry, government and community at the local, regional, national and international level helps employers and students to work together on internships, projects and final placements.

Some of the activities involved are:

• Competency Mapping
• Communication Skill Lab for written skills and presentations
• Counselling Career mapping with individual analysis which includes self-assessment, career exploration, on-the-job training, internship, on the job training
• Writing resume, covering letter or other professional document reviews
• Aptitude Test, Group Discussion and Personal Interview Practices
• Mock interviews by industry experts and behavioural experts.

Students are encouraged and given additional credits after completion of certification courses from EdX, Coursera, NASSCOM, MOOCs, Swayam, NPTEL, UNESCO-SEEK as per the guidelines of UGC, New Delhi.

The initiatives taken by the University includes industry collaboration, research projects, workshops-summits of the CTOs, CHROs and CEOs. “Honhar Bharat”, Techfusion, Research Scholar Day, Hackathon, Project Presentations, Antarang, Sports Meet-Vijay Trophy and Rajveer Trophy are annual events in addition to the events organised by respective schools and faculties such as focussed seminars, guest lectures, national tours, participation at national and international competition and panel discussions to provide opportunities.

Q4. Internships are now mandatory as per AICTE guidelines. How does your student get on campus Placements? What process do the university follow? What is your advice to the HR Leaders on Campus recruitment perspective?

The University has established two important services to promote a discovery and innovation-driven environment namely CIAP, KRITI and IIC. These platforms are designed to facilitate collaboration between Corporate and University, with a goal to develop competencies, future skills, research, projects and final placements.

Centre for Industry and Academia Partnership (CIAP) – The objective of this initiative is to develop the young workforce as corporate professionals, techno-managers and entrepreneurs through industry and academia partnership.

Centre of Excellence KRITI (Knowledge, Research, Ideation, Technology, Innovation) – The focus of this initiative is to develop the students on technical and professional skills through professional organizations and trainers.

Q5 What is your advice to the HR Leaders on Campus recruitment perspective?

Build Strong Campus Relationships with key faculty, career centers, and student by creating opportunities such as internships, co-op programs, or workshops to introduce company culture and career opportunities.

The companies need to study and initiate tailored Recruitment Strategies to understand the unique strengths and skills for the campuses and programs.

In the recent times there is a new industry growth in various sectors, MSME and Startups. It has been observed that these companies, their culture, career progression opportunities and impactful projects are required to be introduced by actively participating in various networking events by visiting campuses.

University and Campuses need constructive feedback for improvement of academic structures, academic delivery, design of research projects, certifications for increasing the employability of the candidates as an objective of industry-academia partnership.