Dr. Hari Krishna Maram, Chairman Vision Digital India

The advent of Industry 4.0 has created countless opportunities for the tech-savvy learners. In an exclusive interaction with the Higher Education Digest, Dr. Hari Krishna Maram, Chairman Vision Digital India –a provider of digital, analytical and app developing skills – talks about the current trends in Indian education sector. Dr. Maram is a highly motivated, experienced creative communicator with proven ability to “Achieve beyond Expectation”. He is specialized in concept development, market research, marketing, brand positioning, sales, sales training, educational consulting, university/AICTE/UGC guidelines, Institutional building, international marketing.

 

  • How does ‘achieve beyond expectations’ apply to higher education today?

Today Indian Higher Education system is the world’s largest with 985+ universities, 39,500 colleges, 2,98,700 schools with closely 37 crore student population. The reality is still no Indian Higher Education institution is able to reach world class institutions or even in top 200 rank globally.

To achieve beyond expectation, we have to work hard to meet the expectation of all the stake holders of the system by giving value for the time, money and industry- ready students.

 

  • What is the strategy Vision Digital India has adopted to attract more students towards digital learning?

Vision Digital India under the umbrella of Imperial Group has launched a course that aims to bring digital education to 1 lakh students in the upcoming 4-5 years. This course will equip the youth with digital and analytical skills, which are much sought-after by the corporate sector.

Many bright young minds today do not get to live their dreams of making it big in the corporate world, simply because there exists an immense divide between the education that has been imparted to them and industry requirements. The core problem is that the industry is upgrading itself at such a breakneck speed that most educational institutions cannot keep up. That is why the courses they offer are becoming dated and obsolete, and students armed with such degrees find themselves to be inadequately trained to make the cut in a highly competitive industry.

“This is what Vision Digital India had in mind when it created a course that is precisely tailored to meet the demands of the corporate world and ensure that students are industry-ready. Through its endeavor, Vision Digital India is trying to make PM Narendra Modi’s flagship campaign Digital India a resounding success and it is succinctly summed up in their motto ‘Enable Digital’,”

 

  • Digital education has the capability to change the educational landscape of rural India. What is the current status of digital learning in India and what will be the focus of Vision Digital India in the market?

To turn aspirations into reality, Vision Digital India has incorporated niche technology into its course-structure to make it industry-relevant. Employers don’t just look into a candidate’s scorecard but what truly works in a student’s favour is how quickly he/she can be inducted into the workforce. And, this calls students for acquiring a better understanding of new and advanced technological concepts like data science, cloud and analytics, forming the backbone of an industry.

What sets the course apart is the fact that Vision Digital India is bringing to the table top-notch education at extremely affordable prices. What adds to its USP is that it has joined hands with the likes of Google, IBM, and Amazon, to rope in their technical know-how. For example, the analytics certificate comes from IBM and Google certifies the Digital Marketing course.

Moreover, Vision Digital India has secured the help of industry professionals who know the real world, how it works, latest updates and requirements, and what employers expect from employees. Who is better to instruct and train students than those men and women who have been working in the corporate world?

But, how does it go about it? Vision Digital India approaches colleges to implement its course. As per university regulations, the duration of the course is set at 80 hours. The bulk of it, around 60% is dedicated to hands-on training and the remaining 40% is all about theories.

 

  • Do you think the draft NEP 2019 is poised to help students as well as the industry achieve beyond expectations? If no, why? If yes, please elaborate.

Draft in NEP is very well drafted and answers pertinent questions for a robust education policy. However, all of this will be of no use if there is no implementation on the ground. The crux of the matter is implementation. Vision without action is a shallow thought. One of the fundamental aspects to achieve the NEP goals is quality of teachers. Perhaps having a strong minimum wage policy along with qualification can bring rigor.

 

  • What do you think have been the major flaws in education policy in the past decades? Do you think NEP 2019 is attempting to address at least some of them?

National Education Policy ignores the ground realities of research quality in higher educational institutions but sets enormous goals for the country. The policy envisages that all higher education in India will become multi-disciplinary by 2030. The new education plan will give us graduates who are creative and adapt in critical thinking. Their multi-disciplinary training will ensure that they always remain employable even as single-disciplinary jobs become automated.

We have numerous private universities that offer bad quality academic training but do great advertising claiming a great placement record, but, only 5-10% students will be getting good salary and great company. The real story is that most of them are understaffed in terms of faculty and the quality of existing faculties is poor. The learning outcome is truly terrible.

 

  • Education in India has focused on learning of facts all these years. William Butler Yeats wrote: “Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” What sort of changes in the system do you recommend to switch over to training of the mind to think?

Good education is about encouraging the student’s natural tendency to explore, experiment and experience. It is about igniting the fire that will spread light globally.

  • College is for partying and a vacation for both students as well as teachers. Does this effectively sum up the education system in India as it exists today?

Unfortunately, social and emotional skills are not taught in schools and colleges. Incidentally most organizations choose candidates for their attitude and character. In India lack of emotional hygiene and mental well-being is an epidemic. Everyone in the industry and society complains lack of civic sense, social responsibilities, negativity and permission in the society but there is no effort towards building right skills. A focused approach on developing skills for emotional, social and mental well-being can not only mitigate most of these issues but also gives overall development.

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