With over 25 years of experience in the education industry, Dr Anant M Chakradeo has proven to be an inspiring leader. His work at the MIT Art Design and Technology University and his commendable role in establishing the Institute of Design has made him appear in the list of one of the 10 Most Inspiring Leaders in 2022. He decided to put his creative and innovative mind to good use and become a mechanical engineer. After completing an undergraduate course in Mechanical Engineering and acquiring a Postgraduate degree in Production engineering, specializing in ‘Manufacturing Automation,’ he became a faculty member at the MIT Art and Design Technology University (MIT ADTU).
Dr. Anant joined MIT in 1994 as a junior lecturer in the Production Engineering Department. Today, he adorns multiple hats, as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the MIT Art Design and Technology University, the Dean of faculty of MIT Institute of Design, and the Director of International Relations. With a desire to be faculty and contribute to nation-building, he set out to face new challenges and became instrumental in bringing the latest technology to the institute. Dr Anant is known for his love for learning and research. His contributions have given him a place in a number of councils and associations including the Fulbright Fellowship, Academic Council at MITADT University, the Governing Council at MITAOE in Alandi, the Governing Council at Avantika University, the Association of Designers of India (ADI), CII National Committee of Design, Board of Studies, Chandigarh University and is a Life member at MAEER.
The CAD and CAM center was established in 2000 and served to create design professionals for various sectors of the industry until it was formally converted into the design institute. Across the 25 years of development, dedication, and efforts, Dr. Anant gradually moved up the leadership ranks, from a faculty to the Head of the Department, to Dean, to Director, and now holds the position of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor. “A Leader essentially wears 4 hats as a Thinker, Doer, Collaborator, and Mentor. I guess I may have worn these 4 hats with a flair, which probably inspired others to see me as a leader. I am grateful for the opportunities that came my way, and I was able to give it my 200%,” says Dr. Anant.
Today, the MIT Institute of Design, a constituent of MIT ADTU stands as an iconic pan-India destination for learning Design, Innovation, Designeering ( Design + Engineering), and Sustainability. Dr. Anant has lent his expertise and inputs for the Institute and the larger University to be well known for its exemplary educational practices and encouraging environment that motivates students and faculty alike. “I personally consider the most significant contribution and a breakthrough milestone of my career is establishing the MIT Institute of Design, Pune campus, and watching it evolve from one classroom in 2006 to what it is today,” shares Dr. Anant. After joining MIT, he was also inspired by his guru Revered Prof. Dr. Vishwanath Karad, Founder and Director General, MAEER’s MIT, a Visionary Educationist, Thinker, Philosopher-Scientist.
Dr. Anant M Chakradeo revels in wearing multiple hats. Apart from being the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Art and Design programs, he is also responsible for Design and Architecture Programs as the Dean of faculty and looks after the International Relations Office (IRO) of MITADTU as the director. “As the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, my role serves as the link between all stakeholders of MIT ADT University by connecting the Heads of all Institutes, Senior Management, Teaching and non-teaching staff, and above all Students and Parents. Together, we aim and work towards transforming it into a University of excellence and putting it on the world map of renowned and desirable universities,” shares Dr. Anant. Keeping an open, experimental mind, tuning in to the frequencies of change, and allowing myself to explore the varied opportunities that came along with time, helped me become the leader I am today.
“My typical workday continues round-the-clock. As much as there are age-old misperceptions about the slow pace of the Academia industry and the city of Pune, I can assure you that MIT ADTU works in the reverse mode. We are a speedily responsive team; we delegate well and, therefore in a better position to handle pressure and stay calm all day. There’s always a ready song to hum or sing at such times,” shares Dr. Anant. Meanwhile, massive reforms in education are taking place at the country level. For the reforms to penetrate to the ground level, as an experienced academic administrator, Dr. Anant aims to lend his support to the higher vision and bring about a speedier change in the current education system. “If my 25+ years of experience in the academic domain can be of any use to the country’s authorities, MIT ADTU and I look forward to participating in the national-level policies,” he shares.
In recent years, Dr. Anant has been leading the mission to take the university to an international level. As the Director of International Relations, he spearheads the team that signed up multiple agreements with many renowned universities around the globe. “We encourage our students to get international exposure by participating in our well-crafted Exchange/Study abroad programs. Some students also participate in Summer/Winter Schools in collaboration with our international partners. We also have signed up a few progression agreements through which our students get an opportunity to complete some part of their program with the partner university,” shares Dr. Anant.
Safeguarding the Vision
MIT ADTU was established under the flagship of the prestigious MIT Group of Institutions, Pune. It is a UGC-recognized multidisciplinary university and was bestowed the ‘Best Campus Award’ by ASSOCHAM. MIT ADTU offers multiple courses at undergraduate, postgraduate, and Doctorate levels in Design, Engineering, Innovation, Management, Marine Engineering, Bio-Engineering, Food Technology, Film and Television, and Broadcasting and journalism. These programs have been crafted in sync with the current industry standards. 3500+ new students get enrolled in these varied courses every year. The university’s strength is now close to 10,000 students, and the numbers are increasing by the day.
With a vision to combine art, design, science, and technology, MIT ADTU aims to have a transformative impact on society through holistic education, multidisciplinary research ethos, innovation, and entrepreneurial culture. To carry on this vision, the whole of MIT works towards providing the impetus to faculty, learners and staff through the development of their innate intellectual capabilities, creative abilities and entrepreneurial mindset for the nation’s socio-economic development. The institute empowers learners to become adaptive and agile global professionals through unique, specialized programs building academia-industrial partnerships. By providing a technology-enabled, learner-driven curriculum, value-added courses, simulated learning environments, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and opportunities for community engagement, this dream becomes a reality for many university members.
MIT Institute of Design, a constituent of MIT ADTU offers specializations in Industrial Design, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Experience Design, and Management. Aspirants can learn at either of the country-wide locations: Loni Kalbhor / Alandi at Pune, Maharashtra, or at Shillong, Meghalaya, or at Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Across the last 15 years, more than 5000 MITID Alumni, spread across the world, are now leading Design and Innovation practitioners and industry experts. They play an active part in ensuring the curriculum stays industry-relevant. During one of the most recent placements drives, Google selected students specializing in User Experience Design. “Google is a part of every student’s wish list. It is a part of every citizen’s day worldwide. When a world-class Innovation player chooses our student, it gives me a greater boost and adds confidence to keep giving my best for the decades ahead,” says Dr. Anant.
Ably led by Prof Dr. Mangesh T. Karad, Executive President & Vice Chancellor, MIT ADTU and taking forward the 40 years legacy of the MIT Group, the university launched new schools, introduced various initiatives to help students and faculty on multiple projects and experiments. This includes MITADTU School of Holistic Development (SHD), MITADTU School of Corporate Innovation and Leadership (SCIL), MITADTU Centre for Research and Innovation for Young Aspirants (CRIYA), MITADTU Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), and MITADTU Future Skills Excellence (FUSE).
Through these schools, centers and communities, learners are encouraged to be intellectually curious and technologically equipped to face challenges. They also learn to be mentally sound, physically fit, spiritually elevated, socio-culturally sensitive, and environmentally conscious through continuous holistic education for the ever-evolving world.
Redesigning the Curriculum for Agility
With the pandemic in the backdrop MIT ADTU found moving over 10,000 students into the new system to be a mammoth task. “We run Creative programs like Design, Architecture, Film, Media. It was difficult to switch these programs into Online/Hybrid mode,” shares Dr. Anant. The most important challenge was to convert the training material into the format suitable for Online/hybrid teaching. But, the faculty and staff worked towards ensuring that the delivery of all the courses took place. “Last 2 years, we witnessed our hybrid-mode batches graduating and successfully completing their Bachelor’s / Master’s Degrees/ PG Programs. They are now part of national and global brands, pursuing flourishing careers. The most important part was that we could save their valuable academic years without diluting the quality of programs,” says Dr. Anant.
MIT ADTU continues to work for the betterment of education and upskilling students to prepare them for the ever-evolving world that awaits them. As the pandemic continues, Dr. Anant says, “The immediate plans would be to ensure the safety and well-being of our 10,000 students while continuing the hybrid-learning/teaching mode and executing placements for most of them.” All in all, MIT ADTU is a complete package to transform young children into successful professionals and socially sensitive leaders of the world. A holistic environment is most crucial to encourage innovation and achieve creative outputs from students.
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