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BW Businessworld

Continuous Assessment Of Curriculum Should Be Ensured

Pratima Sheorey advocates the need to continuously revise the curriculum to make sure that the required skills are imparted to students.

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Pratima Sheorey, Director, Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development in an interaction with BW Businessworld, advocates the need to continuously revise the curriculum to make sure that the required skills are imparted to students.

What kind of strategies drive business schools in India?

With the digitalisation of  the education sector, post pandemic, the Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD) has adapted itself to the latest online mode of education that gives students an exposure to various platforms that are also an integral part of the corporate world today. Students of SCMHRD get an opportunity to test their competency, get exposure to real time industry case studies and improve themselves by taking part in various case study competitions that are offered to the college by reputed corporates. The institute has been successful in maintaining a large network of alumni who frequently grace the institute with their presence and deliver insights about business.

What are you doing to stay ahead of  your competitors?

The institute was quick to adapt a hybrid model post the pandemic, to enable students to learn both online and offline. It has also provided students with an online library and access to various industry related portals. The SCMHRD has incorporated and updated its curriculum according to the emerging trends and feedback from the business world. Also activities related to social media were incorporated into the curriculum and student driven committees.

The online mode of learning facilitated exposure to leadership talks and guest lectures from eminent personalities from reputed companies and institutions both in India and from abroad.
Will the changed scenario impact on-campus education?

When the pandemic struck nearly two years ago, the conventional classroom was replaced by a virtual classroom. With the pandemic slowing, campuses have been opening all across the country. The SCMHRD also hopes to shift from the virtual scenario to an in-class setup. Despite the online scenario, the classes were conducted in such a way that the quality of education was not compromised. The classes were made interactive by different group activities, surveys, and in-class discussions. The students were privileged to participate in various guest lectures and panel discussions. There was increased participation in business case study competitions – an essential part of MBA education.

Peer interaction was the only factor that was hard to incorporate into a completely online scenario. With an offline or even hybrid setup, there will be more peer interaction and teachers will be able to gauge the effectiveness of their classes in a better manner. We have also built a hybrid set up for both virtual and in person interaction, keeping all Covid protocols in mind. In-person sessions will also begin as and when feasible.

How should educators re-orient themselves to cope with the times? The pandemic has increased the distance between students and institutions. It is of utmost importance that technology be used to enable learning for every student. The conventional teaching methods should be molded according to the need of the hour. The inclusion of interactive tools should be made sure to spur students’ interest. The pandemic has accelerated technological innovations, and the world is more connected now. With that, not only are the jobs in the market changing, but industry-relevant skills are constantly evolving as well. To make sure that the required skills are imparted to the students, the curriculum needs to be continuously revisited and revised. Educators need to make sure that special emphasis is drawn to the mental and physical health of students.
How has the Covid crisis-affected campus placements?

In the light of  the pandemic, campus placements in 2020 faced some disruptions in terms of conducting the process virtually. Since the pandemic has impacted businesses across sectors, some of  the offers were delayed and the joining dates were deferred as well. However, the support from our alumni and the legacy of SCMHRD kept us going. This year, as businesses ensure continuity and attempt to return to pre-Covid levels, we’ve achieved exceptionally good placements. We have seen recruitment in large numbers from the technology, BFSI and consulting industries and a significant increase in the number of new recruiters visiting our campus.
What are the new management courses that need to be introduced now?

Some of the new management courses that should be included relate to technological innovations like AI, ML, Cloud etc. There needs to be renewed understanding of design thinking, liberal arts courses, learning from the cultural heritage of India, ability to handle stress and resilience and most importantly, a renewed understanding of the criticality of the ESG triad of Environment, Society and Governance.
Do you have any predictions for the future of  management studies in India?

The pandemic has increased the utilisation of the Learning Management System (LMS). Future B-schools will need to incorporate workshops, work-from-home certifications, mock meetings and guest lectures. The National Education Policy announced in 2020 will have a major impact on all higher education institutions in the country. Business schools in India will have greater autonomy.