Wednesday, January 25, 2012

THY SPIRIT TO IMPROVE.. THOU SHALL NOT STOP...!!!!

PROF. JK MITRA SPEAKS ABOUT HIS FABULOUS JOURNEY OF LIFE AND CAREER HIS TEACHING METHODS, AND THE GLORIOUS PAST OF IIPM, TO PROF. JAYDIP DUTTA GUPTA AND ARCHANA SHARMA.

Simplicity is the most powerful yet harmless weapon one can have. Prof. JK Mitra is one such man and his life's gaph is truly exponential by nature. Determination and dedication are adundant in his educational background which includes BA Hons., MA Hons, and PhD in Psychology. Prof. Mitra got associated with IIPN in 1982 and is adored by one and all for his immaculate teaching methodologies which appear elusive to many a modern day professors. A legend by every sense of imagination, Prof. Mitra is living proof that, with spirit and belief, there is nothing that cannot be done. He recalls his days of youth when he was a typical Bengali, much in lines with the inspirational Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Anand.'

Robert Frost's poem in the year 1915 ended with the words, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”. Similarly, Prof. Mitra has trailed a trek that needs immense determination and it is not for people who choose the path that has been trailed by many people before. Dr. J.K. Mitra got into RK Mission in West Bengal which was one of the best schools back then housing the Xth toppers from across the state. “RK Mission had the reputation of putting people into streams that suit their attitude”, he iterates. His mother wanted him to become a doctor, and his father wanted an engineer, but in accordance with Robert Frost, Prof. Mitra opted for psychology. At St. Xavier's College he pursued his BA. Hons in Psychology. This was also the college where Dr. JC Bose studied. “I topped the batch, won a gold medal, and received national scholarship”, he reminds us with joy. He then adds, “Those days were a different kind of time”.

Prof. Mitra then moved to Delhi for his MA. “I also got the job of research associate at the University of Delhi”. After completing that, Prof. Mitra pursued his PhD from Calcutta University and worked as lecturer there in the Department of Advanced Psychology. He spent four years there. After his marriage, he finally got back to Delhi in 1982. He remembers how Prof. NR Chatterji used to cajole him to start teaching at IIPM. “I also remember how Dr. MK Chaudhuri used to visit canteens of institutes and find out about the best professors from the students, before inviting them to take classes at IIPM”, he adds. Those days for two sessions, the fee was Rs. 37.50. This is how Prof. Mitra finally got associated with IIPM. “I was teaching subjects like Organisational Behavior, Group Dynamics, Industrial Psychology, and, Management by Objective”, he says.

Prof. Mitra remembers, “The infrastructure was not great back then, but, the basics were right always”. There were overhead projectors in IIPM which many institutes did not possess. He tells us that Dr. MK Chaudhuri was very adaptive to technology. Maximum emphasis was made to get the best books for the students, and the quality of students was good. “The main difference was noticed in the students when they graduated. There was treamendous value addition in the final output that came out of IIPM”, he opines. The highlights of the curriculum according to him were the freedom to learn, experiment, innovative, and actively participate. He talks about how Dr. MK Chaudhuri used to feel that management was the most interesting course to teach and learn because of the rich pedagogy. “With the various case studies, games presentations, debates, the students got phenomenal exposure. Even ordinary and nervous individuals came out as eloquent speakers and went on to ride the corporate tide with panache”.

Speaking on the cherished memories at IIPM, Prof. Mitra believes that everything back then was fun. He says, “If you love a place and the people, and they love you back, you will enjoy every single moment of yours”. That is why he feels that he never got strained by teaching. A firm believer in solid work, Prof. Mitra reveals how he had a totally different approach towards case studies to ensure that every student reads in at least once. “I used to take a rapid fire round of some 40 questions from the case study in 'true' or 'false' frame, and one could answer them correctly only on reading the case”. Coming to Indian education, Prof. Mitra says that the idea of education is to develop a strong foundation to allow students to explore, thing, imagine, experiment, and generalize. According to him, the prime reason for the success of IIPM is the fearless attitude. “Once you are fearless, you are ready to face any challenge head-on”. Also, because of Dr. MK Chaudhuri, some of the best practices were adpoted from XLRI. Today, he thinks IIPM has grown manifold times. “It is one of the best publishing houses in terms of variety”. He appreciates the initiative to start “Cult” which will help the alumni to reconnect. But, he emphasizes that there are more frontiers to conquer for IIPM. He goes on to opine how Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri has given it a grand shape since 2000, and many a times people do not recall the early hardships that Dr. MK Chaudhuri had to face.

Prof. Mitra claims, “Few more leaders are required in the field of teaching with higher levels of passion”. Interested in cooking, classical music, and mythology & sci-fi TV serials, He met his wife Mrs. Chhanda Mitra during his days of MA in Delhi. They have two sons Wrick and Ritwik. And then, he uses the simplest of lines with the most sublime message, “I generally enjoy everything around”.

To the young aspirants of today, his message is to try and develop a strong self belief. One should not expect that everything one does is going to be perfect. He explains how making an incremental improvement everyday is important. “As long as you have the spirit to improve, you will end up being a happy person if not the most successful”. He then concludes by stating that at the end of the journey, one must be able to say with pride, “I tried my best.”

Cult celebrates and salutes the indomitable spirit of Prof. Mitra.

Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
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1 comment:

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