Published: March 23, 2017 | DNA
Shailendra Mehta is keen to create an intellectual space to share ideas
Dr Shailendra Mehta, who has been appointed president and director of MICA, talks to DNA about his priorities, the lacunae in higher educational institutes and his research. Dr Mehta, who takes charge from June 1, has also been appointed distinguished professor for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Your priorities at MICA
Through passionate involvement, I intend to create an intellectual space to share ideas along with deepening links with MICAs alumni. I will also be looking at various avenues and opportunities having a lot of marketing and intellectual innovation combined with design.
What do educational institutes lack today?
Good institutions need a balance between autonomy and accountability. While institutes need maximum autonomy, the tragedy is we need both to go hand in hand. Another aspect lacking today is good research supported by public and private funds and the role of alumni becomes highly important.
What does your research involve?
One of my research papers is on seven ancient universities of the world, in which I have not just tried to look at the historical aspect, but also from the point of view of an economist. For example, Nalanda had 3,000 faculty members and nearly 1,000 classes would run simultaneously. Hence, I have tried to study its functioning, funding, etc. Another paper is on free speech and academic freedom.
Dr Mehta has impeccable academic credentials with degrees from institutions like Oxford and Harvard University. He is currently chairman of the board of management at Auro University where he is also acting VC. According to a recent paper by Sahoo, Singh, Mishra and Sankaran (2015) from IIM Bangalore and XIM Bhubaneswar, in terms of global impact, he is rated as one of the top researchers in the field of strategy in India.