Unprecedented events bring profound changes and significant consequences on many levels – the pandemic has been a reminder. When the world went into a lockdown to control the spread of a virus, academicians were forced to adopt a new model of education that many were not really comfortable with. As online education became the new norm, teaching, mentoring, research, and support activities needed to be done sitting at their home. The most affected were academic leaders in higher education who had to make decisions and act quickly on managing large educational communities, addressing students’, teachers’, and staff’s needs, as well as society’s needs.
Even after a turbulent academic year, the second wave and delta variants of the virus do not give the top-level education administrators any breathing space. Now, educational leaders are under the burden of making critical day-to-day decisions that will shape the future of their institutions. On a positive note, the time we call a crisis could be the restart button our higher education system has been looking for. Many leaders have already taken it as an opportunity to recalibrate their organizations and build a more efficient, accessible, and adapted set of offerings to the knowledge-based society in the post-pandemic world of work. Though there are many more to follow suit, higher education leaders should think of increasing their community impact in a competitive environment.
In this issue, we have handpicked ‘10 Most Influential Leaders in Indian Education – 2021’ who are playing an essential role in making future institutions. They have acted under high psychological pressure, with great expectations from members of various organizations for constant reassurance and support. On the cover, we feature Dr Rupa Vasudevan, Chancellor, Bharatiya Engineering Science and Technology Innovation University (BESTIU), who has been holding the leadership position and setting up of schools and other institutes for around 20 years.