An inspiring five days mark Shiv Nadar IoE Faculty Professional Development Programme 2022 | Shiv Nadar University
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An inspiring five days mark Shiv Nadar IoE Faculty Professional Development Programme 2022

01 Aug 2022

Five days, 15 sessions, 40 speakers, 23 hours of engagement, and 110 participants made up the Faculty Professional Development Programme (FPDP) at Shiv Nadar IoE. Spirited discussions, democratic debates, and challenging questions highlighted the event.

“Teaching teachers how to teach in a university is an exercise fraught with complexities. At the FPDP, critical issues were raised for the faculty to find a solution. This made the exercise more thought-provoking and open,” says Dr. Sambudha Sen, Senior Professor and Head Department English, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS).

In the week-long program, speakers discussed topics like writing grant applications, innovation and filing of patents, curriculum design, and developing a world-class student experience for a research university like Shiv Nadar IoE. The event began with a discussion on what faculty success in an Institution of Eminence involved and concluded with a faculty Town Hall. 

“The events were curated well. What made it even more special was the encouraging views of the leadership. The FPDP will help us plan our future course,” says Dr. Bikramjit Rishi, Professor Department of Marketing Management, School of Management and Entrepreneurship (SME).

As part of the program, faculty members visited the Metaverse lab at HCL technologies and experienced how new-age technologies are being used to create better user experiences. 

The team from HCL, led by Nirmala Datla, Senior Vice President, HCL Technologies, and Sanjeeb Behera, Lead XR strategy, gave a stimulating presentation about how to transform educational experience using technology as a tool. As a part of the immersive program, the faculty visited the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and went through a workshop designed for our faculty members.  

One of the event’s highlights was the presentation by Dr. Partha Sarathi Roy, Associate Professor, Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, School of Management and Entrepreneurship (SME), on the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements. Dr. Roy explained the nuanced parameters to be followed. 

The faculty and speakers discussed topics ranging from Science, Management, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Art at the five-day event. 

“We are keenly aware of the need to constantly improve our work – our teaching, research, the environment for our faculty, staff, and institutional practices. We deeply value our faculty’s thoughts and will try to act on the suggestions or criticisms we receive. In line with the global need, we are also developing a special initiative on higher education leadership,” said Dr. Ananya Mukherjee, Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar IoE.

Wrapping the event with a Town Hall, Dr. Mukherjee discussed the achievements and addressed the challenges faced by the university. The open conversation saw the Vice-Chancellor take on queries from the faculty on various issues.

“I genuinely appreciate the efforts taken by the University in holding such an event. The diverse and cross-cultural mix of people and multi-disciplinary issues during the discussion will help understand better. This will ultimately make us better educators,” said Dr. Nguyen Quynh Phuong, Assistant Professor, Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, School of Management and Entrepreneurship (SME).

Dr.Rajeev Kumar Singh, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean of Academics, was the five-day program’s principal architect. Dr. Singh, a founding faculty of the university, has played a significant role in the institution’s development. 

“A faculty member’s job is to teach and do impactful research, but the core philosophy of teaching is to make the learner think. Such forums allow faculty to share best practices and learn the art of teaching together so that we can bring the joy of learning in the classrooms,” says Dr. Singh. 

The event saw a spirited discussion on mental health. Prof. Prasun Kumar Roy, Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, Shiv Nadar IoE, brought in his vast experience to explain how faculty were the first gateway to set students with mental health issues on the path of recovery.

Moderating the panel discussion, Dr. Anshu Paliwal, Associate Director and Head of Student Life, Office of Director of Students, Shiv Nadar IoE, said, “Mental health is the cornerstone for positivity, productivity, and the foundation of a healthy society and state.” 

“I found the session held by Tarun Khurana, co-founding partner and Patent Attorney of Khurana & Khurana (K&K), fascinating. As a faculty member of physical sciences, it was highly informative for me to learn about the complex process. I thank the university for bringing in experts to help us understand the issue better,” says Dr. Bhaskar Kaviraj, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, School of Natural Sciences (SNS).

The session by Dr. Paromita Goswami and Aadya Kaktikar to sensitize the faculty on gender relations, issues of consent, politics of power, and personal space was a big draw. Dr. Goswami, Professor of Marketing and Social Innovation, SME, and Kaktikar, Associate Professor, Art & Performing Arts, held the audience’s attention with small skits to explain the immense power wielded by the faculty in sensitizing students and the teaching community on gender issues. 

Speaking about the FPDP, Aadya Kaktikar said, “We need to have more meetings like this. There needs to be a sustained engagement between the leadership and faculty and discussions to help faculty. A faculty support cell will also go a long way in helping the teaching staff.”

Another event that held the faculty’s attention was the session by Dr. Uday Maitra, Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who spoke about the need and challenges in developing a competitive research proposal. Explaining the dichotomy of creativity and innovation, Dr. Maitra said innovation could take place only when there is a quest to answer difficult questions. Elaborating on the topic, he noted that curiosity-based research was the fulcrum for a good proposal. The packed house engaged in a spirited discussion with Dr. Maitra, who explained the challenges.

“The five-day FPDP was a significant change from such events held in the past. The positives are evident as the topics discussed were inter-disciplinary. Knowledge about funding in humanities is essential in India, where STEM gets favorable treatment,” said Dr. Vikram Kapur, Professor, Department of English, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS).

Dr. Mukherjee thanked the faculty for the successful event and said, “We have decided to conduct events like this more frequently. We will also set up a Faculty Leadership Development Program soon. This topic is very close to my heart, and I assure you that we will continue what we have started. I am deeply grateful to the leadership team, Dr. Singh, and his team, particularly Dr. Bala and Vikas, for bringing us together.”