What is your background?
Teaching - Political Science/International Relations; Research - International Terrorism and College administration. In total, I spent 7 years in research, 3 years teaching, and 3 years of College management as a principal.
What initially attracted you to your job?
I consider teaching a novel profession because there is no end learning process in this sector. In other jobs one ceases to acquire knowledge through books, journals and direct interaction with scholars and students. I have a passion for learning and at the age of 45+ I am planning to obtain a law degree.
Define your job?
My job is to teach, conduct research and contribute towards educating people especially at the higher education level.
Can you walk me through your day to day activities?
My main work involves teaching and research. I teach political science, a foundation course that includes basic knowledge of social sciences, personality development, communication skills, career guidance, time and Stress Management etc. to students at my coaching class.
Occasionally, I am invited to guest lecture on terrorism - my area of specialisation - in various colleges and research institutions.
How has your job changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
By and large I have been committed to research and teaching. But my last assignment as the Principal of an Undergraduate College, affiliated with the University of Mumbai, has changed my profile considerably. This assignment was very challenging and I delivered my duty beyond my expectations. This offered me an opportunity to learn the nuances of college management and made me confident to set up any academic institutions in India. The result of my last assignment is manifested in my venture on setting up research institute and an educational public trust for future generations.
What are the key issues facing your sector?
Higher education is the most neglected sector in India. Government seems to have lost sight of the significance of HE. The policy makers often ignore the basic fact that economy cannot accelerate without sufficiently skilled and qualified workers, which would come from the Higher Education sector. While on the one hand government supports private institutions, on the other hand it makes excessive rules and regulations to restrict their liberty, without offering any financial grants and support.
How does government legislation affect your job?
Rules and regulations keep changing, and rightly so. But sometimes some of the rules seem to be irrelevant. For instance, in India, UGC is the Nodal body for setting rules and regulations for all the Universities in India. Some of the rules have become subject to interpretations by individual universities, e.g. for recruitment of a College Principal, a PhD is an essential qualification. But if a candidate has done more research than teaching, authorities account only for the teaching experience and research experience is kept aside.
What impact has technology had on your job?
It has had a considerable impact on the teaching sector. Ten years back I could manage without computers and internet, but now there is no room for computer illiteracy. The Internet provides easy access to global data bases on any subject selected for research, although library books and journals still remain the authentic sources of information.
What are the best things and worst things about your job?
The best thing about my profession is the everlasting process of learning, knowledge and wisdom.
I don't see any thing bad particularly, except that the teaching profession must be made financially lucrative so that bright faculty remain in the business of teaching rather than desert it for a fat salary offered in the corporate sectors.
What attributes do you need/what are you looking for when hiring someone in your role?
Join academia only if you are committed to educate children for a better future of the world. Do not join if you consider teaching as just one of the jobs available in the market. Teaching is a mission not a profession.