Preparing for the role

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IIT Kharagpur is currently holding the MHRD inspired and sponsored LEAP program (May 13-24). Announced in November 2018 by the MHRD, LEAP is a three-week flagship ‘Leadership development’ training programme for second level academic functionaries in public funded higher education institutions under the Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) Scheme. Two weeks are dedicated to domestic training and the third week to foreign training.

The objective of the program is to prepare a second tier of academic heads who may have to assume leadership roles in the future. LEAP fulfils a long-felt need for preparing the senior faculty of the premier institutes of the country for future governance roles.

This program engages senior faculty- such as Deans and Heads of Departments – who have at least 8 years of experience in the grade of Professor and at least three years’ experience in administrative positions. The program provides them the opportunity to develop the required leadership and managerial skills, including skills of problem-solving, stress management, team-building, conflict management, better communication, understanding and coping with the complexity and challenges of governance in financial or administrative roles.

Prof. Adrijit Goswami, Dean, Continuing Education, the Department of IIT Kharagpur which is organizing the program, said, “Today, those assuming top administrative positions in an academic institution, such as that of the Director of Vice-Chancellor, now have multifarious responsibilities. They have to deal with the ministry, industry, international academia, funding bodies and so on. This program helps one prepare for the role.”

IIT Kharagpur is one of the 15 top academic institutions in the country – which include IITs, NITs, IISERs, TISS, DU and other institutes – which have been selected to run the course. Prof. M.K. Tiwari, program coordinator for IIT Kharagpur, said, “This is a judicious mix of institutions, and the program will help enhance the educational ecosystem in India.”

The venue of IIT Kharagpura’s LEAP, currently being held in Kolkata, will shift to the campus from May 20-24. The final leg of the program will be held in association with IFM, the University of Cambridge from June 3-7. There are four participants from IIT Kharagpur of the 28 who are attending IIT Kharagpur’s LEAP program.

Prof. Goswami, said, “Speakers at IIT Kharagpur’s LEAP have been chosen with great care. They are mostly Directors or former Directors, or top administrators of premier higher educational institutes, or from the industry, such as K. Anant Krishnan from TCS, or R. Gopalakrishnan of Tata Sons Ltd. Mr Parth S. Ghosh, policy advisor, strategist for Corporates and Governments, and alumni of IIT Kharagpur was also there for four days. There is also a top paramilitary officer, IGF S. Raveendran, who will talk on stress managment.”

Mr Ghosh, who has also seed-funded the forthcoming Academy of Leadership in IIT Kharagpur, spoke on the ‘DNA of leadership’ and ‘Visionary Leadership – for next generation Industrial and Social Revolution’. Mr Krishnan spoke on ‘Collaborative Leadership – Team Building, Delegating powers’ and Mr Gopalakrishnan on ‘Organizational leadership’ and ‘Charismatic or transformational leadership’.

Director, IIT Kharagpur, Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, whose talk on ‘Anatomy of the Academic System’ included slides on cricket, said, “I am grateful to the stalwarts for sharing their knowledge and experiences to the next generation in a unique programme for developing the next generation. Lot of interesting ideas generated through discussions and assignments!”

Apart from hearing out speakers, field research, the program will expect the participants to research and write a substantive essay within the field of the programme for the Institution. The topic will normally be based on the interests and skills the participants develop through the program.

The participants will be evaluated based on several leadership attributes like problem solving abilities, handling stress; managing conflicts, decision making etc. and this assessment will be formulated in consultation with experts.

The final round of IIT Kharagpur’s LEAP will be held in UK in June. The star speakers for the program from May 20-24 in the campus will be Swami Atma Priyanand on ‘Code of Excellence’, Santanu Choudhury on ‘Leadership Everywhere – People in the Academic Institutions’, Srikumar Banerjee on ‘Power and authority – Financial Management and Planning’, Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti on ‘Future of Leaders and Leaders of Future- -Creating/ Developing Leadership’ and Prof. Sriman Kumar Bhattacharyya on ‘Building Futuristic Infrastructure’.

By Chirosree Basu

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