HomeWord’s Worth

‘Pandemic showed us the value of on-campus education’

SSS Kimar, Professor for Finance, Accounting, Control at IIMK

IIM Kozhikode had to shift gears instantaneously to meet lockdown. Former CAT Convenor Prof SSS Kumar gives BluePencil.news a glimpse.

How was teaching impacted?
Like many other facets of life, teaching was not left untouched by the pandemic. In a jiffy we have to move to online teaching and thanks to the pioneering efforts of IIMK that had more than 15 years of conducting online management programmes, we could adapt to the new normal with minimum transition time.

Are students on campus or left?
Students left the campus long time back.

What prep were made to combat the lockdown – professors and students?
The institutional infrastructure and its resilience was amazing, demonstrating excellent skills in managing this kind of unforeseable situation. The administration made arrangements for the state-of-the-art online teaching platform, digital paraphernalia, reading material, databases accessible remotely, examination software and the requisite training for conducting the classes online. Since the students of the current age are digitally savvy there was a seamless transformation to the online mode of classes.

Has it impacted internships and how?
To the best of my knowledge internships offered by companies are honoured and the projects were completed as per each company’s work norms.

Do you see the pandemic changing the course of education?
Yes, it first brought in realisation of the value and importance of on-campus education. Secondly, in the coming days we may be seeing more of a hybrid model (online+on-campus) of education.

Any trends or change in direction of study patterns have you noticed since the pandemic?
I can comment on this after completing the current teaching term.

As former CAT Convenor, what changes do you foresee in the exam this year. If you were to set the paper what would you keep in mind. What will be the logistical difficulties this year?

I pray we walk into normal life asap. AT the least the pandemic abates by next month. Transportation possibly could be a pain point, at least for some people, but test centre infrastructure, safe test taking protocols etc., should not pose any problems.

Do you think exam postponement is an option to be considered?
No, not an option unless there are extremely challenging circumstances. The sooner things get normalise, better it will be for all of us.

Three slots works fine, if yes, why?
That comes in the realm of the committee conducting the test. Given the huge testing infrastructure, in my view these should be sufficient enough.

Did the lockdown give you time to devote to research?
Yes, thats the best part, got opportunity to finish ongoing research and also opportunity to explore new vistas.