Professor Patel Returns To BIMTECH After An International Assignment In Tanzania
One of the best perquisites of being an internationally acclaimed teacher is that when the summer break is in progress, one can simply hop across to pass the winter somewhere in the Southern hemisphere.
Greater Noida (I-Newswire) July 20, 2012 - One of the best perquisites of being an internationally acclaimed teacher is that when the summer break is in progress, one can simply hop across to pass the winter somewhere in the Southern hemisphere. For Professor Gokulananda Patel, teacher of Quantitative and Operations Management at BIMTECH , this time around that ‘place in the Southern Hemisphere’ was Tanzania!
“Tanzania is a beautiful country. I stayed in Arusha for 17 days and enjoyed a maximum temp of 22 degrees, while the lowest went even below 14. The best part of my visit was the stay at Dar-es-Salam. The climate was delectably balanced there. It was lovely!” said a beaming Prof. Patel.
Invited to the IAA, or Institute of Accountancy, Arusha, in Tanzania to deliver a course in Quantitative Research, Professor Patel’s job was to help their MBA students understand the approach towards research and how to focus mainly on the quantitative aspect of it. A part of his one-month long stint with the Institute of Accountancy Arusha, was also dedicated to building capacity within the faculty and help them achieve student mentor/guide levels as well.
“IAA operates in the modular system, which is very different from BIMTECH. Evaluation is monthly by nature. The theoretical curriculum is imparted in the first half of the month – that is five days a week for two weeks, for four hours each day. For the remaining two weeks, students are pretty much left to themselves to prepare for their examination. Teachers evaluate them on their presentations, written tests, case studies, research work, etc.”
Between the 3rd of June and 1st of July 2012, Professor Patel groomed his students in Tanzania in all kinds of Quantitative Research methods, ranging from questionnaire-based research - how to frame questions, gather data, analyse , how to interpret it, etc. – to model-based research as well.
“It was also my mandate to equip them with methods of carrying out research work on the basis of secondary data. This included distinguishing between secondary and primary data and their evaluation as well.”
Professor Patel feels that the spadework has been done for a long-term partnership between BIMTECH and IAA.
“Management education is barely a decade old in Tanzania. Most of the institutions are government sponsored and are more focused on the domains of IT, Logistics, Finance and not really on Marketing, Operations or HR. African countries look with great respect towards India and are not suspicious of our intentions. The same cannot be said of their relationship with many western countries. IAA has expressed a keen interest in sending their students to BIMTECH for their PhD. They are looking forward to more faculty exchanges with BIMTECH.”
He feels that the partnership between IAA and BIMTECH has tremendous potential. In fact, he was quite surprised by the average Tanzanian student’s display of interest in the mathematical aspect of management.
“I’d go so far as to say that they were far more interested than their Indian counterparts. Their enthusiasm for Quantitative research is of a different sort, and therefor the approach towards teaching Quantitative is also different in Africa. Most B-schools in India are, unfortunately, dropping the mathematical and analytical papers from their curriculum. Quantitative research can structurally solve any problem pertaining to Marketing or Finance or HR. Decisions can be defended and acted upon through an efficient approach towards the subject. ”
Professor Patel has been an academician for nearly three decades now, and has his finger on the pulse of the changing times. He keeps reminding his students at BIMTECH that things are evolving at an unimaginable pace, and the only way they can stay relevant is by adopting ‘learning, unlearning and relearning’ as the basic essence of their stay in BIMTECH as well as their lives.
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Published On:July 20, 2012
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