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Upgrading Engineering Education in India – 2: HRD as part of

Upgrading Engineering Education in India – 2: HRD as part of

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Published by Raju Swamy
This is a follow-thru on my earlier article “Upgrading Engineering Education in India –
1: New Role for the Professional Teacher: by Raju Swamy: May 10, 2009”. In this final
instalment, an attempt is made at providing a Management and HRD Strategy for
institutes of higher learning, like engineering colleges, in terms of a specific Action
Plan. The original version was published in ‘THE HINDU’ of Tuesday, November 13,
1990.
This is a follow-thru on my earlier article “Upgrading Engineering Education in India –
1: New Role for the Professional Teacher: by Raju Swamy: May 10, 2009”. In this final
instalment, an attempt is made at providing a Management and HRD Strategy for
institutes of higher learning, like engineering colleges, in terms of a specific Action
Plan. The original version was published in ‘THE HINDU’ of Tuesday, November 13,
1990.

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Published by: Raju Swamy on Jul 07, 2009
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11
Upgrading Engineering Education in India – 2: HRD as part of Institution Building: by Raju Swamy: July 07, 2009
(3 pages)
(This is a follow-thru on my earlier article “Upgrading Engineering Education in India –1: New Role for the Professional Teacher: by Raju Swamy: May 10, 2009”. In this finalinstalment, an attempt is made at providing a Management and HRD Strategy for institutes of higher learning, like engineering colleges, in terms of a specific ActionPlan. The original version was published in ‘THE HINDU’ of Tuesday, November 13,1990.)1. Before an action plan for organization development can be initiated, certain groundrules have to be set:
1.1. Heads of Departments and teachers at all levels in the college must accept that theresponsibility of an engineering educational institution which caters to bothundergraduate and postgraduate education will encompass Teaching. Research,and Consultancy.1.2. That involvement in Research and Consultancy will enrich the quality of teachersand teaching.1.3. Teachers have to be “accountable” like any other working professional.
2. Once the Ground Rules have been understood ‘The Action Plan’ can be initiated:2.1.
To incorporate and promote Research and Consultancy as key functional areas ineach department in addition to teaching, senior HODs need to be given theadditional responsibility of overseeing one each of the above for the purpose of monitoring progress.
They could be designated Dean of Teaching, Dean of Research, and Dean of Consultancy.2.2.
The Deans, as a first step, wIll work with each HOD and their respective teams onestablishing the most rational priority or weightage to each of the objectives in eachdepartment keeping in mind the capacity of the department and felt-needs of theenvironment in which they work.
 2.3.
Once the priorities are fixed for each functional activity, the HODs of the respectivedepartments will be required to allocate down the line “weighted” roles to each of the teachers in their department again based on aptitude and other personal factors.This marks broadly the initiation of 
“accountability”
in departments.
 2.4.
The next phase of the “accountability” programme would be for the HODs to initiate,first within their departments and later among themselves, a broad, mutuallyagreeable, monitorable job description (job expectation) for different levels of professors, lecturers, and other teaching and research staff.
2.5.
It is advisable for the job description to evolve from within as such a step wouldensure not only an improvement over the past but at the same time easeimplementation. Also since external formula will always be “suspect” – or prone toresistance ---- an internal formula will carry with it a degree of self-motivation tosucceed.
 2.6.
To accomplish this task, the Deans/HODs will have to modify their style of functioning where required – become less hierarchial and more motivational.
 
 
22
3. Since the realization of the institution’s ambitions depends to a large extent on theeffectiveness of HODs, it is suggested that they may be exposed to a LeadershipDevelopment Programme (or a series of such programmes) which will enchancetheir academic standing with managerial capability.
Such a programme (or programmes) will include Financial Management in addition to Leadership and HRD:
 3.1.
Financial Management Principles (with special reference to HODs).
3.2.
Recognizing Departments as Cost Centres: Planning and Budgetting: Monitoring.
 3.3.
Leadership and Human Resource Management:
3.3.1.
Motivation of teachers.
 3.3.2.
Motivation of students.
 3.3.3.
Formation and Motivation of high performance teams, and of exceptionalindividuals.
 3.3.4.
Setting personal example in enhancing performance standards.
 3.3.5.
Performance Appraisal System for teachers.
 3.3.6.
Career Planning and Counseling.
 3.3.7.
Training and Development.
 3.3.8.
Innovation and Talent Planning.
 3.3.9.
Succession Planning.
 3.4. The faculty for the above programmes can be drawn from academic as well asindustry professionals with a global track record of performance milestones,particularly in promoting productive and mutually beneficial interactionbetween educational institutions of higher learning and industry.4. The traditional and truly outdated belief that whatever is applicable to industry isnot applicable to an educational institution is contrary to facts when the situation isunderstood in the proper context:4.1.
A private, aided educational institution has to work effectively with limitedresources: hence planning and budgeting are imperative.
 
4.2. When resources are limited (whatever the magnitude) and have to be allocated inthe most efficient (or economical) manner, the concept of “Cost” and “Cost-Benefit”becomes important.4.3. Understanding the concept of “Cost” also leads to an understanding of the conceptof “productivity” : when one recognises that a lecturer costs X, or an assistantprofessor Y, are we not interested in ensuring his effective utilization at least to theextent that he costs something?4.4. When an HOD says he does not have enough staff, does he know what it will costextra to have all the staff he needs, and how will he justify these additional coststhrough “output”? In fact, most of the teaching world has not thought of suchconcepts, and even a little progress in this direction would be good progress.4.5. Managing “salaried” people to get effective performance from them: this is aproblem common in all sectors including government, industry, banks, public andprivate sectors and so on. Is there no need for “managing” people to perform inteaching institutions? Teachers today are salaried professionals. So they are asmuch driven by motivations of money, recognition, etc., as those in industry andelsewhere.4.6. One has necessarily to worry about those that do not have these motivations and atthe same time have a low output: how can such people contribute to the institution,

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