By Sonali Garg, Batch of 2016
He has had a long, fruitful journey and donned many caps. He was the first HOD of ICE and has served as the Dean of Student Welfare, Dean Administration, Dean academic, HOD of COE –IT, HOD of Applied Sciences over time. Popularly known as ‘JRPG sir’, he is always ready to share his vast experience.
Q. firstly, we would like to know how you entered the teaching arena.
A. Earlier I was with the Ministry of Communication from the year 1974 to February 1976. However, due to some bureaucratic hurdles I felt suffocated, so I resigned and started teaching. My first assignment was at Muzzafarpur Institute of Technology that comes under Bihar Engineering College. Then, I went for PhD at IIT D. Ultimately, I got the post of professor at NSIT (then DIT, Kashmiri Gate).
Q. You have been here a long time and have tried to incorporate a lot of changes. What were the changes you were able to incorporate and what more can be improved at NSIT according to you?
A. I was involved in opening the MPAE branch. I was one of the professors who played a crucial role in opening M.Tech. courses in ICE. Earlier ICE was not recognized by industries, few companies were open to ICE, but, I emphasized that they should be allowed to compete alongside COE and ECE students. Till I was HOD, there was no dearth of jobs for ICE students. I wanted to revise ICE syllabus but I was posted as HOD of COE- IT for 4 years. I never came back to ICE as the institute head, so the syllabus revision could not take place.
Q. Now that NSIT has been granted the status of a University, the intake of students and the number of branches is likely to increase, how do you think it is going to affect the students as well as the teachers?
A. The standard declines. However, if talented people are brought in, the quality can persist. The faculty-student ratio should be brought up to the mark so that the teaching standards do not deteriorate. In India, good students prefer careers other than teaching and most of them prefer to go abroad.
Q. Please enlighten us about the various projects for which you have provided your guidance to the students.
A. I generally prefer inter-disciplinary projects like bio-medical. I have guided several Ph.Ds in topics like natural language processing etc.
Q. ….And the ones you are currently mentoring?
A. This year, I have handed over projects to students regarding inter-planetary communication. It requires networking, which is computer and electronics related and sensors, which is ICE-related.
Q. A few words of advice for NSITians…
A. The very first and foremost duty of the students should be to attend classes regularly, they should not bunk classes. Then, labor hard. Here, students only do surface reading and do not go into the depth. Take project work and practical training very seriously as that is ultimately your lifeline. Complete the projects you take up. Students should expand their knowledge base; it should not be confined to any department.