Dr Salunkhe was a part of the delegation from the University of Mumbai to China. Shri Ranjan Welukar, VC University of Mumbai led the delegation that included head of various academic institutes and organisations. The four day trip was a step forward in learning and sharing with our neighbors and thus using the knowledge pool for the betterment of society. Dr Salunkhe, known to be a great champion of innovation shared some of the takeaways from the same. Dr Salunkhe was recently nominated to the senate of University of Mumbai by His Excellency Shri. K Shankarnarayan, Governor of Maharashtra and Chancellor of State Universities.
Dr Salunkhe, we congratulate you for your nomination to the Senate. How do you plan to use the current pedestal to take ahead the educational designs to the advantage of students and academia?
I express my heartfelt thank to the authorities for reposing faith in my capabilities. It will be my sincere endeavour to perform to the best of my capabilities. Our endeavour will be to bring about transformational changes in the management education and groom managers who can take into their stride the unpredictability and dynamicity of the modern economy steering clear of the pitfalls. I would also lay emphasis on the ‘Triple A’ concept which evangelizes the Acquisition, Assimilation and Application of knowledge by these young minds. And even at the risk of sounding clichéd, I would like to work on professionals with brilliant grasp of their domains and smooth interdisciplinary approach.
Earlier this month you were in China as a part of the Mumbai University Delegation. What were the major takeaways from the same?
• The delegation visited Tianjin University which happens to be the oldest University of China, Tianjin University of Technology and Nankai University. Three MoUs were also signed for collaborations in various study areas, including joint research. These will benefit both the students and faculty on either side as both will get to interact with best minds of the other. One Confucius institute will also be set up in Mumbai University. The MoU with Nankai University will probably pave way for joint research project in various disciplines of Management, Engineering, humanities & science along with exchange of PhD guides & research scholars and stress on lab concepts
• It will also facilitate the identifying talent and building up faculty teams on significant issues, theoretical & practical, thus forming a rigorous & precise, free & open academic atmosphere with the goal of serving society.
• We also plan to work on the setting up innovation facilities with joint efforts of the two countries under Chinovation a term coined for China India Innovation.
What is a Confucius Institute?
Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions that aim to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, as well as facilitating cultural exchanges. These are advantageous to the host and parent country as both a better understanding of the atmospherics of the host nation. This enables the academicians to plan their curriculum and groom their managers accordingly to meet the requirements of the emerging needs of a global economy. There are hundreds of such institutes spread across the globe.
What are the prominent features of Chinese approach?
They treat their classrooms as labs in the sense they are far more experiential, they have lot of experimentation in management studies with economics, engineering and sciences. They are very much into multi disciplinary and interdisciplinary mode and with a heavy inclination towards application orientation. We still have to do a lot to match steps with them. They have a keen foresight as they have their feelers spread all across the globe in shape of Confucius Institutes.
In India we surely seem to engage in big debates on globalization, FDI and economy, but training those who will be running these still seems to be a sideshow. We are still tackling it with an approach that at times prove to be short sighted and wrong footed. Some of our policies, curriculum and evaluation methods are anachronistic and need updation. We are working in this direction but there is still a long way to go.
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