Quality Is At The Heart
Governance Today|January 2017
Quality Is At The Heart

Having been the Founder Vice Chancellor of PDM University for last few months, he’s had time to find his feet, and now Prof. (Dr.) Bakhshi looks forward to making the most of the potential he sees in the University.

Prof. (Dr.) A. K. Bakhshi

Has a long record of winning great respect from the higher education sector of India and abroad. From holding the prestigious Sir Shankar Lal Chair of Chemistry at Delhi University to becoming the Executive Director of Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Mauritius (a post equivalent to that of Chairman, UGC in India) and Vice-Chancellor of U.P. Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU), Allahabad and also Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, Prof Dr. Bakhshi has remained through an interesting and upward trajectory. He been very actively engaged at the national level in the development of e-content under Digital India initiative and was felicitated two times by the Former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for his contributions in the e-transformation of the University of Delhi (2009) and for outstanding contributions in the field of education (2011). He is also Chairman of Centre for e-Learning as well as Chairman of Guru Angad Dev Teaching – Learning Centre (a Centre of the MHRD Govt. of India) as well as Chairman of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) project in Chemistry of the CSIR. A double gold medalist of Delhi University, Dr. Bakhshi did his post-doctoral training at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany with Prof. J. Ladik and at the Kyoto University and the Institute of Fundamental Chemistry, Kyoto, Japan with where he worked with Nobel Laureate Prof. K. Fukui A Visiting Scientist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangaluru, Prof Dr. Bakhshi has many more honours, accolades and awards to narrate his profile.

You have so many years of experience in the field of education and academics. How do you see the changes which have taken place in the higher education sector & Indian education system over the years?

I was one of the youngest to enter into the teaching profession, when I was not even 21 years. Because I had topped the University, I secured a job immediately after I finished my MSc. I got the job at Delhi University College that time. I served in the college; I served in Punjab University, Chandigarh, and the journey then took me to Delhi University as a Chair Professor in Chemistry, which I still hold. And now am here.

The biggest change I have seen over all these years is, people have become more quality conscious now. The landscape of Higher Education has really changed. We have new students, coming from varied socio-demographic backgrounds, with very different mindsets. They have grown with technology and internet. They have experienced how technology makes their lives easier and convenient; so why not education? That is one change.

Second, there is a great demand for value for money, from all the stakeholders in education sector. They don’t mind paying good money, but they look for value in that. This is a great change.

Third, modern technologies have entered into the classroom. Because of these ever emerging technologies, the nature of teaching-learning has undergone tremendous change. Those changes can one see now very clearly. Earlier, it was chalk and talk method, where teacher was active but the student was passive. The entire approach was teacher centric. But now it has become more learner-centric. Technologies are making great impact in education.

Knowledge is also growing very fast in every discipline. The doubling time of knowledge has shrunk considerably. This is a change which poses a big challenge in education to keep pace with.

But unfortunately, with so many changes happening, we still don’t have high quality education in India.

What are the reasons for quality being missed out from Indian education?

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January 2017