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Talent Is Equally Distributed Around The World, It Is Opportunities That Are Not Equally Distributed: Raghav Gupta, MD – India and APAC, Coursera

BW Education hosted a panel discussion on ‘Mechanisms To Assess Students’ Progress Towards Job Readiness: Role Of Tech & Blended’.

The teaching and learning process is embracing various innovations and some of these involve the use of technology through blended learning. This innovative pedagogical approach has been welcomed rapidly, though it goes through a procedure. The commencement of blended learning (an amalgamation of online and face-to-face teaching and learning) initiatives is part of these innovations but its absorption, specially in the developing world, faces challenges for it to be a successful innovation in teaching and learning.  

To have a deeper insight into the subject, BW Education hosted ‘Thoughtful Tuesday’ Webinar on ‘Mechanisms To Assess Students’ Progress Towards Job Readiness: Role Of Tech & Blended’. The eminent panellists for the discussion were:  Dr DN Rao, President, Vignana Jyothi Society; Sasiprabha T, Vice-Chancellor, Satyabhama University; S Sriman Narayanan, Vice-Chancellor, Vels Institute of Science Technology and Advanced Studies; Dr RM Suresh, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Bharat Institute of Higher Education and Research; Sasangan Ramanathan, Dean - Faculty of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham; Dr Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, Saveetha University and  Raghav Gupta, MD-India and APAC, Coursera. The session was moderated by Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor in Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media. 

In his opening remarks, Dr RM Suresh, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Bharat Institute of Higher Education and Research, said, “Students should undergo a lot of entrepreneurship skills apart from their technical skills, communication skills and their soft skills as well.” He also discussed a concept that they have introduced in their institution called TOF (Test Of Failure). He suggested that this entrepreneurship will pave students a path in such a way that they face a number of failures to equip themselves to fit in any kind of scenario.  

Talking about the skill sets that students need to acquire to become job-ready, Sasangan Ramanathan, Dean - Faculty of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, affirmed, “The value-added course, the additional upskilling and the mindset of students to continue to learn and adapt, is something that needs to be imparted. He further added, “We should act more like mentors and not swallowing things down students’ throat. The interest should come within the students.”  

Sharing his insights on the prevalent gap between the industry and academia, Raghav Gupta, MD – India and APAC, Coursera, stated, “As a result of automation and COVID coming together, many jobs are getting displaced. The kinds of skills that industry is asking for, is changing even faster than they were changing earlier. Automation and COVID are significantly changing the way, the industry will function in the future.” He added, “Talent is equally distributed around the world and around the country, it is opportunities that are not equally distributed.” 

Sasiprabha T, Vice-Chancellor, Satyabhama University, shown confidence in dealing with the situation post-COVID. She asserted, “With the use of available technology, we can train the students, conduct the campus interviews and give proper outcomes to the students.”  

“For making the job easier for all the students post-COVID, there should be a strong interaction between the industry and the institution,” opined S Sriman Narayanan, Vice-Chancellor, Vels Institute of Science Technology and Advanced Studies. 

Prof Dr Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, Saveetha University, stressed for the need of a blended learning mode. He stated, “There is no replacement to face to face teaching, so we have to have a blend of both. Wherever online can be done, it should be done.” 

DR DN Rao, President, Vignana Jyothi Society, believes that every student has the capability to outperform. He said, “We give students a spectrum of activities what they can do, once they complete their four years of the course.” 



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