Hello everyone to the first conversation of Content City. When I first thought of this category, the sole purpose was to introduce some people to the public domain to inspire, inform and share their journey through conversation as that is something I am good at ;0.
We are honored to have Dr. Kiran Amin, Principal of U V Patel College of Engineering as our first guest. It is auspicious and inspiring to start with the ‘Guru’ itself.
If you want to know more about his academics, work, and achievements, click the link below.
Without taking much time, let me present you In Conversation with Dr. Kiran Amin.
Prologue: There are 13 questions about his daily routine, thoughts on education, ambitions, College memories and rapid-fire round. There are some talks in between the main question and it is between brackets.
In between brackets and in bold letters: Spoken by Shivam Joshi between the main question.
In between brackets and in normal letters: Spoken by Sir.
Q: 1. Students have often numerous conceptions about many things, but very few know about the routine through which our principal goes through. Can you take us around your daily routine from morning to evening?
Ans. Usually, I wake up early in the morning, around 6:00 am and then I start my day with routine exercise, which consists of normal warm-up and jogging. I use to jog around 3kms a day, we have a huge playground nearby where I use to run 6 rounds of 500m each but as the time passes, now I also have to listen to my body and so I keep changing my workout style.
[Yes, we actually found out from our research that you are a kind of fitness freak!
Yeah, I love my exercise routine and whenever a day passes without doing work out I feel like, it’s a day wasted. But wait, (With serious concern) how you got to know about my love for exercise. (With a little chuckle) Well, we do our research and I am also your Facebook friend. But I had never posted about it on social media! Yeah but pardon me, Sir, I am also a fitness lover, so when I look someone I can deduce that we share same fondness. (Not convinced) So you are saying that by looking at me you came to know that I work out? I hope you are not making fun of me! (Light laughter). Never Sir, You look fit and fine.]
After 7 am I start checking my emails as it is really hectic to answer every mail together after reaching college so I start answering them from home itself. I read the newspaper till 8:00 am then around 8:30 am I am ready and fresh to depart for college. From 9:00 am I start working in college till 6 pm. My work in college usually keeps me engaged till late evenings and around 6:15 pm or 6:30 pm I leave the college.
[Well after spending so much time on the waiting couch we seriously agree on your tight schedule statement, we were feeling for you watching you handle so much of appointments and hustles! Yeah, it does wear me out].
Once I am at home from work I try to spend time with my family or I would go shopping with my wife.
[Wow, so do you really help your wife? Definitely, she is also a working woman and also she is equal to my position at work. If we may ask, about her work? Yes, she is a Senior Medical officer in Government department.]
Again in evenings also, emails and excel sheets don’t leave me alone. However, I try to end my day early to wake up and repeat the same routine.
Q: 2. Nowadays we hear a lot of comments on how today’s generation has fallen apart from one way or another. But what do you think is that one thing or one area which current generation is better and previous ones were lacking?
Ans. Definitely, if you look at current generation there is a lot of enthusiasm towards their goal which was absent previously. Apart from it grasping power, ability to complete the tasks on time has grown exceptionally over the years. Previously it was difficult for people to deal with presentations and all but this generation can even make presentations overnight.
Q: 3. Education has taken its own course of evolution but how will we stop it from entering into the full-fledged business sector?
Ans. I completely agree with you, there are many people now who are sighting monetary benefits over quality education and they don’t have any inclination towards education, students or society. This has inflamed due to the arrival of some business people in education and I think it should be evaluated on basis of their character, attitude or purpose. People with philanthropic mentality and motivation towards education are needed in this sector.
[So do you think kind of background check is important of the person or a group which are in control? Yes, there should be proper analysis and examining before handing over to someone such responsibility.]
Another thing is that the Fee structure should be decided by a central authority and they should do an inspection that whether certain institute is running on no profit no loss equation or do they have any justified reason for their profits. There should be total transparency on where and how the money of students are utilized and on what purpose it is spent.
[Is there any committee which is investigating any such thing? Well fees structure is decided by FRC]
But still there are people who get there ways but this should be stopped immediately by certain implementations. I think Government is potent enough to pull such things.
4) The one word which has hogged so much of limelight and has the power of swinging the electoral decision of superpower of the world, “DATA”. Given your credible amount of contribution and work on big data and data mining. What are your views on its future impacts on bigger stages?
Ans. It is something which is going to be at the top of every study in the next decade. Unfortunately, it is not being used in a certain way but I think the concept is still growing and as the time will pass things will get better.
Transmission and storage of the data are on full-fledged due to internet and globalization right now. It is a kind of two-faced sword.
5) They say college life is one of the golden periods of life and all of us have some great memories of the time. But what is that one memory of yours that is still fresh inside your heart and very close to you?
Ans. Yes, there are some moments which stays with you and I can literally play those moments whenever someone utters the word ‘College Life’.
I use to stay in the hostel of L.D College of Engineering, Ahmedabad. I did my Bachelors from 1989-1993 in Computer Engineering. Hostel life has many shades to it, I was pretty studious from the beginning but as I told there were some group of people and we have to stay with them. They use to get involved in certain notorious activities like strikes and all. This all used to happen but I was fortunate enough that I was not influenced by such things. But still, those days are close to my heart. (Started getting nostalgic)
Another thing I remember is that I use to possess a cycle to travel from hostel to University library, it was around 1-1.5 km. During holidays and reading period I use to stay in the library for the whole day except the lunch time because at that time we use to come back to the hostel and then again to the library. So this cycle was actually shared among many friends in our group and sometimes it was used more by others than me. So when I went to the USA, I bumped into one of my friends and he told me hey, where are that bicycle of yours and we both kind of enjoyed that moment as it might be naïve for others but such small things were special and remain with you forever.
[I am anticipating that you might have been really good in studies, weren’t you? Yeah, I was a topper in 12th Std and scored well in college too. Being studious was never a problem (with a little smirk). What were some other activities you enjoyed at that time? I use to do work out, By the way, I was really thin at that time (laughs) and I use to enjoy reading books on history, literature, communication skills kind of books.]
6) You got the opportunity of serving as a principal in the year 2017. What have you lost by gaining the most prestigious yet important position of the institute?
Ans. Well definitely, there are few things which you miss doing like previously I use to enjoy certain things like going on a ride with friends on two-wheelers and all around my area of living but certainly, this position brings some amount of cautiousness. So we have to be aware of such things for another example, I love eating in ‘dhaba’ but now I am sort of conscious regarding those things. You do miss out on some-things for sure.
[There might be some days when you would not feel like not coming to college but you have to. Did it ever happen to you? No! I don’t know why, but I do love this job and till now I have never felt like that and I hope that thing never comes up. That’s great Sir, seriously salute (with proud feeling). Thanks.]
7) What is Dr. Kiran Amin like after we leave or forget the word principal or even professor? What are some other activities you like to indulge in?
Ans. There are some activities such as singing being one of them. (We were surprised) [So have you ever sung on stage or just like a bathroom singer? No, never on a stage. I am just a bathroom singer (laughs)].
[Any other sports? Yeah, I love skating. Ohh that’s kind of unconventional favorite!]
8) What is your aim or what is that direction towards which you want to take UVPCE under your helm?
Ans. My first and foremost goal is to provide high-quality education and to raise that bar every year. Along with that, we try to provide education and help to needy people.
[Have you started any programs or any such thing under your tenure? Well, I personally try to meet those people who need such guidance regarding any financial problem or confusions related to the field of education or any other counseling. I try to give them my personal time irrespective of my schedule and commitments.]
Although, for this institute, I want to help and make this college as one of the best Institutes, especially in teaching and education.
9) What are your comments on students aiming for engineering studies and similarly students which are on verge of completion of bachelors in engineering?
Ans. The students who are planning to pursue their bachelors, at that juncture the most important thing for them is to get aware of their department, college, and all those things for the next 4 years. Now it is not possible to know everything perfectly but at least they should try and get information about such things. We as a college are trying our best to guide both students and parents about all such things because there are still 50% of students and parents who are not well aware. So this is most important for them.
The students who have graduated and are now in the market, for them the topmost priority is to hold strong ethics and morals because this will take them a long way in their career. The second thing is to keep themselves updated about the latest technologies and trends which will hit the market every now and then. If they don’t do those things then it might get difficult for them. The third one is to realize that market is a performance oriented, if you don’t perform then you are in trouble so you need to work hard. Last but not the least is aptitude and communication skills if you have immense skills as a professional Engineer but you are lacking in communication skills you will fail at certain stages of your career. So you need to develop those skills too. Good aptitude will always help you at every stage of your life. These all things will make a complete Engineer which our society needs.
10) As time has passed engineering studies are evolving along with noting some highs and lows in admissions too. What are your thoughts on the future of engineering and remedies for same?
Ans. The thing is that it is a kind of cycle and we face this situation after every 6-10 years and it is linked with the imbalance in the market too. However, I think still if we get sustainability for some time for any department which is low on admissions then I think tables will turn again but we have to be patient in such situations.
[But don’t you think that up to some extent even students are contributing to this situation by thinking about jobs and money rather than their field of interest? Definitely, it should be a factor in deciding your future but you should not take decisions solely on such a basis, as the market itself is volatile. So it would be foolish to take such an important decision like that].
11) Teachers are very important for any student. How do you motivate your staff for quality teaching?
Ans. I personally believe a lot in quality education and it is impossible to deliver it without better teachers so we do pay a lot of attention towards that. We have some faculty development programs which helps teachers in various aspects, we even arrange some expert lectures for faculties and we also fund them to visit certain workshops or seminars in IIT’s or any other place. Although, it is a constant endeavor and we are trying to work towards it.
[I am in no position to advise you sir but don’t you think that there should be constant evaluation system for faculties also? Well we do that and sometimes we know through complaints and feedbacks about some faculties underperformance and we try to improve them but sure as you said we will think about that, it is a good thought].
[Another aspect is that sir sometimes a teacher is outstanding in knowledge but unable to communicate or teach that knowledge. Yeah, that’s an unfortunate thing and teaching in a teacher should be the foremost skill and I know that it is a problem sometimes but as I said faculty development programs are aimed at improving those areas and we are putting in our efforts towards our goal of quality education].
12) There are always some moments which are really special. The moments which kind of changes direction of our journey of life. Or there are some people who make this possible. What are those moments of yours or some people which made your turning point in life?
Ans. Previously I was working in Government and that time I was believing that one should not leave working for Govt. for the sake of any private organization. However, after working there for 5 years I understood that if you are really a better performer you can contribute, learn and also earn better in private organizations, because in Govt. even when someone is not working properly then also it doesn’t make any difference or vice-versa. So then I decided to work in private organizations and that was a kind of turning moment of my life.
[Do you have any role model? Actually, there is no role model in my life but I tend to get inspired by everyone’s qualities. That’s a great strategy (laughs) to grasp the good qualities of everyone! Yeah (laughs)]
13) We as a team of Content City are having a GOAL to make the best content possible and we think that reading has a direct impact on our thought process which is really important in one’s life. What are your thoughts on reading habits and quality content?
Ans. Yes, reading is the sole thing which improves a person’s vocabulary, imagination, knowledge, and thought process all at the same time. Apart from that it also makes your decision making better and one student of today’s generation should compulsory read to improve their communication and language improvement. All these things will affect their career and life positively so the reading habit is a must for everyone.
RAPID FIRE Questions
14) Music Concert or Movie?
Ans. Music Concert [Which type of music do you like? Western]
15) Romance or Sci-Fi?
Ans. I would prefer a suspense movies.
16) Traveling or Home lover?
Ans. I love staying at Home.
17) Favorite Bollywood Actor/Actress?
Ans. Shahrukh Khan
18) Favorite Movie?
Ans. (Sir forgets the name) Rab ne Bana di Jodi
19) Favorite Dish?
Ans. Normal and Simple food from Home.
20) What is that one thing that you would like to improve in our education system if given the authority?
Ans. Two things I believe that I would like to improve in our education system. 1) There should not be any type of scarcity of resources for the student. Whatever a student needs in his academics, those things must be fulfilled because financial status should not decide anyone’s academic career.
2) Students should be given a freedom to perform and apply their craft on experiments inside the institution, they should be groomed in such a way that they should be able to perform independently and that is possible only when we groom them in that manner in their academics.
Again thank you Sir, for giving us the permission and taking time out for us.
Thanks a lot, everyone this was our first Conversation. We hope you liked it and we have introduced share options, please share this post, comment and give feedback as this will encourage us to present you more conversation. Especially UV Patel students must share as every student of the college must read this to know more about their Principal.
We promise you that our next conversation coverage may or may not have a well-known face but it will definitely have more inspirational and quality content.
Interviewer: Shivam Joshi
Special thanks to Dhaval Soni Sir for always being there for us and showing us the right path. It would be impossible for us to do this without you. Our ‘Guru ji’. 😉
Also to Darsh Panchal for being with me and helping me bring the best out of myself.
If you missed out on our first guest article, then click the link below.