National Conference on Quality Improvement Concepts and their Implementation in Higher Educational Institutions
Several eminent speakers from industry and academia recently came together at the Amrita campus in Coimbatore for a National Conference on Quality Improvement Concepts and their Implementation in Higher Educational Institutions on December 11-12, 2009.
Among the dignitaries on stage were Prof. Ashoka Chandra, Principal Advisor and Professor, International Institute of Management, New Delhi, Prof. Venkitaswamy Raju, Professor, State University of New York at Farmingdale.
Quality control is key in manufacturing and other industries. “Higher educational institutions also need to improve and maintain quality,” reiterated the guest of honor, Prof. Ashoka Chandra, at the inauguration. Prof. Venkitaswamy Raju, who teaches at a premier university in the US, provided the global context for this need.
Incidentally at Amrita, Internal Quality Assurance Cells have been recently instituted at all campuses and schools. Mandated by the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC), this is a requirement for all institutions of higher learning in India in India that are accredited by NAAC. In December 2008, Amrita University was accredited by NAAC with an A grade.
Several invited speakers shared their perspectives with the delegates. Prof. Rajagopal, Head, Indian Statistical Institute, SQC and OR Unit, Coimbatore spoke about the changing scenario of more Indian students opting for higher studies and the challenges that awaited them. Dr. Devadasan, Professor, PSG College of Technology, outlined the benefits to be achieved by implementing quality models via ABET-based accreditation.
Other invited speakers included Mr. Joghee Nagulan, Head, Quality and Technical Training, Blue Star Infotech, Bangalore who elaborated on the quality-related expectations of the corporate world from academia and Dr. K. Ganesh, Consultant, Global Business Services, IBM India Private Limited, Mumbai, who led an interactive session on the topic “Value and Value Chains for Education in India”.
Four technical sessions saw the presentation of over twenty-five research papers from delegates representing various educational institutions from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. These papers covered different aspects of the following topics: Total Quality Management in Higher Education, Six Sigma Quality in Higher Education, Statistical Quality and Quality Improvement in Higher Education.
The conference came to a close with Dr. N. Narayana Pillai, Professor Emeritus, Amrita School of Engineering, stressing the importance of improving quality in higher educational institutions both from the perspectives of students and faculty, in his valedictory address.