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Interview

Technical Institutes with Their Tremendous Potential Can Be Used For the Betterment of the Society

Dr Anurag Mudgal

Believes, Dr Anurag Mudgal, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), Gujarat. Graduated from Bundelkhand Institute of Engineering and Technology, Jhansi, Dr Mudgal has done his M. Tech- PhD from the prestigious IIT, Delhi.

Dr Mudgal’s expertise covers thermo-fluid mechanics, environmental issues including the effects and management of salinization, sustainable energy resources, heat transfer, advanced mechanics and refrigeration. He has executed a multiple effect distillation (MED) system for distilled water production for rural communities. Recently he is engaged in projects of purifying water through thermal-reverse osmosis coupling and cooling applications using renewable thermal sources including solar, wind and biomass. He has Received Royal Academy of Engineering fellowship under Newton fund scheme to work at Aston University, Birmingham, UK in 2015-16. He is engaged in several other sustainable environment related issues of national and international importance.

Dr Anurag Mudgal in an interaction with Ekta Srivastava, Education Technology…

How has mechanical engineering changed over the years?

Over the years, the face of mechanical engineering has changed significantly. Time has come when engineers have to think out of the box. Most of the modern era issues are multi-disciplinary. The new generation young engineers are successfully addressing these issues with their specialized training and skills.

With that said, what are the characteristics or qualities that make a successful Mechanical Engineer?

A successful Mechanical Engineer should be equipped with good knowledge of soft wares, a basic knowledge of sub branches along with thorough knowledge of Mechanical Engineering concepts.

A Mechanical or any Engineer should be able to translate complex technological challenges into applicable solutions for the benefit of society in today’s context and requirements.

What’s driving the engineers to pursue business skills these days?

Renewable energy based solutions to cater the need of Food, Energy and Water (FEW) are the most promising and emerging area. Decentralized, environment friendly and affordable technological solutions are required to make a common man life easy. Carbon capturing and energy storage are another area of interest for the present era engineers.

What are that things which makes you proud of your students.

PDPU offers multiple courses ranging from engineering, arts and management along with maximum exposure and opportunities to its students through various national and International exchange programs with Best Universities worldwide. Students of PDPU are engaged in problem solving and practice with sound fundamentals, through active and continued partnership with energy &infra-structure sector companies and National and International Universities, Consultants and Vendors with Emphasis on holistic engineering as key to long-term economic and environmental sustainability of communities and that gives a valid reason to be proud on them.

Our country is in a profound transition and the development of education society is related closely to that of society and times. So what should universities change and what should not?

If technically visualize, there is unawareness among the mass population about their existing resources, capabilities and skills. One of the major cause for the situation is the poor accessibility of the recent technologies in the reach of common man.

The role of Technical education has to be viewed with the new concept and vision. Technical institutions need to include the objective of promotion of mass population that will not only help in eradicating the poverty, but will also strengthen the country in all respect. The technical education can achieve the objective by proper utilization of the existing system.

Technical institutes have tremendous potential that can be used for the betterment of the society. These institutes can work as nodal centers for awareness and training of nearby rural artisans and also for the labor, working in nearby industries.

In India many of the traditional industries work on hundreds year old concepts. With the shear changes or modifications there may be scope of betterment in quality of the product as well as in the working and living standard of the labor working there. The time has come when knowledge should come out from the books and shall be used where it is applicable and required.

Under new situations and challenges, what relationships should universities pay more attention to in the process of innovative development?

To solve the purpose institutions can set up Liaison Cells that have adequate data bases on facilities, equipments and expertise available in the institutions, as also on the type and important features of industries in this region. Institutions can provide material characterization, testing and certification facilities and can keep the industry informed about new discoveries, developments and innovative scientific work being undertaken. Institutions can provide consultancy service to variable nature like development of computer software, conduct of surveys and solving problems and can undertake research related to technology transfer in collaboration with R&D units in industry. Institutes can help small and medium scale industries to induct and maintain modern technology. Institutes can provide training programmes for technicians, scientists and engineers and can also develop specialized continuing education programmes for updating skills and knowledge. Institutes can also design and develop the product needed by the industry.

Do you think eLearning can help in educational progress in a vast country like India? Does PDPU use it?

Yes! Obviously. Dr. Abdul Kalam always stressed the need of proper networking of electronics and communication, information technology, marketing, road transport and technical education for bringing the rural sectors in the connectivity with the developed cities and this way the concept of mass upliftment can be brought into reality and India may reach in the group of developed nations.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs provides, to entire PDPU fraternity, support for the free and responsible conduct of investigative, scholarly and creative activities at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. The Office of Research & Sponsored Programs offers support from the initial stages of proposal development to grants management, publication and the transfer of technology. The office provides internally funded grants, pre-award and post-award support for externally funded grants and offer education and support information on grant compliance and the responsible conduct of research.

What support do you plan for the government’s skill development initiative?

With the technological advances, liberalization and globalization, the country has moved in leaps and bounds. But, because of the inertia of the technical education systems in the country to respond to this changed scenario, there has to be paradigm shifts in order to deliver the required competent manpower to the industry and society. The country is producing a large number of technical manpower, but many remain unemployed or underemployed. At the same time industry/community complains of not getting the right type of workforce.

The industry can support research programmes, especially those on applied research and can arrange sophisticated and costly equipments for the institute for research work. Industries can offer their services for the learning engineering graduates for on hand training at their premises. Also Universities may provide services and space to materialize Government skill development initiative.

In fact this is a two way process and indeed will benefit both industries as well as institutes. Institute-industry participation is must to cope up the situation, without which it will be difficult for both to survive in long run.

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