Online Education Can Offer a More Personalized Experience for Everybody: Siddharth Chaturvedi, AISECT Group

Siddharth Chaturvedi, Executive Vice President, AISECT Group, talks about the impact of the pandemic on his institution, skills education in India and leveraging technology in the teaching-learning process

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As the country continues to battle the global pandemic, higher education institutions have been expanding on their learning from the crisis as they aim to strengthen their digital and technological infrastructure to ensure the learning is a smooth and continuous process, regardless of the situation.

Siddharth Chaturvedi, Executive Vice President, AISECT Group, talks about the impact of the pandemic on Rabindranath Tagore University (formerly AISECT Group), the importance of skills education in India and leveraging innovation and technology in the teaching-learning process.

Edited excerpts:

At a time when the education industry has been tremendously impacted by the global pandemic, how has your institution fared?

Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal ensured that education will no longer be constrained to the traditional classroom setting. As the pandemic has pushed our university to explore what digital education is capable of providing, we have realized that online education can offer a more personalized experience for everybody.

The horizon of our educational dimension has expanded multi-fold after we went fully digital for the admission process last year amidst the lockdown. The Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal counsellors also connected with the students through several apps and the University arranged free career counselling sessions along with free online classes on personality development, soft skills and more.

How has Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal catered to the demand for skills education during the pandemic?

In the pandemic era, colleges and universities have adapted to various advanced modes of learning to come to terms with the new normal and gain necessary skills. As social distancing and other safety precautions are here to stay for a long time, colleges have resorted to a new mode of learning where tech-mediated online classes take place.

Even Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal has started assessing students either through online mode, small projects or quizzes. As a skills university, Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal has been focusing extensively on gathering entrepreneurial spirit among students. It is the only private university in Madhya Pradesh to establish Atal Incubation Centre by Niti Aayog to reinforce a skilled startup ecosystem and currently has 45 incubated startups.

What do you think are some of the ways the NEP 2020 has addressed skills education in India and how do these objectives benefit the sector?

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 serves as a holistic foundation that aids the advancement of Indian education. NEP 2020 aims to concentrate more on the fundamental ideas and concepts for analytical and critical learning requisite for the growth of specific skills.

According to the policy, every university should aim to become multidisciplinary by 2040, which will help the country receive detailed expertise from the graduates of the universities. I believe that future employees can also gain a broader perspective towards problem-solving, than the current workforce, which specializes only in a particular field.

What are some of the ways Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal has leveraged innovation in the teaching/learning process?

Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal which is under the aegis of the AISECT Group of Universities, has mapped out the latest trends that cater to the requirements of the students in order to leverage innovation. Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal aims to provide an additional edge to the students by offering 32 skill-based courses that aid their bright future.

Besides that, it offers world-class knowledge through international tie-ups and new teaching methodologies which in turn increases the credibility of our universities. The university conducts various education fairs that offer relevant jobs for the students according to their capabilities. The university has also set up 10 Centres of Excellence in Art & Culture, Science and Communication, Agriculture and more.

How is your institution working to prepare the new workforce for a technology-driven, fast-paced future?

The pandemic has forced us to reimagine the present situation of the workforce in our country. Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal has been working to prepare its new workforce for the advancing nature of work through skilling and upskilling by offering various training to the employees.

At Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal, students are taught to be digitally enabled and independent in order to face the technology-driven fast-paced future. Ten Centres of Excellence have been set up by the university to focus on research and training in specialized sectors of future skills. Other than that, the University offers Internships and on-job training to provide exposure to students on emerging skills.

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