Success is always the outcome of meaningful endeavor and dedication –Dr. Ashok Kumar Gadiya, Chairperson, Mewar University
“Success is always the outcome of meaningful endeavor and dedication. Big dreams can also be realized. All one needs to do is to set the goal. I am happy that I work for the students of the poor and deprived sections of the society. Students from far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Nagaland, Bihar and North Eastern states are receiving education in the institutions I have set up. My entire life is dedicated to the youth of our nation. I wish to work for our nation and society as per the present requirements and existing circumstances. I have dedicated my life to the cause of providing best education and best employment to the youth and bringing them into the mainstream of our nation and society.”
These are the words of Dr. Ashok Kumar Gadiya, Chairperson, Mewar University and Mewar Group of Institutes. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Dr. Gadiya is also a writer, professional educationist, and social thinker whoseinsightful comments always offer a meaningful perspective on the country’s present condition.
Dr Gadiya believes that the country’s present sad state of affairs is due to some politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists and unsocial elements. He thinks that the structure of our socio-political set-up should be such that it is entrusted with the power of not only appointing the political authority, but also controlling it. A big movement needs to be launched to bring about this change in the socio-political set-up, which would not be possible without the active participation of the youth who are not only educated but are also steeped in Indian culture and tradition.
That is why Dr Gadiya has been constantly engaged in imparting education to the youth based on Indian tradition and ideals espoused by great visionaries of our nation down the ages, which will bring the younger generation into the mainstream of our society.
Dr Gadiya is originally from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, though he has been living in the National Capital Region of Delhi for the last 25 years. After doing his B.Com, CA and Ph.D, he has dedicated himself to the cause of making education accessible to the poor and deprived sections of the society. His endeavor in this direction has broken new grounds in the field of education and set high standards in the Indian context.
Dr. Gadiya is married to Smt Asha Devi and has two sons – Arpit and Amit. Arpit is an Engineer whereas Amit is a Chartered Accountant. Excerpts from the interview with Dr Gadiya are as follows:
Que: You are a successful Chartered Accountant. Then why did you venture into higher education?
Ans: I wanted to do something for the younger generation of our nation right from my student life. Therefore, the moment I got some relief from my practice as a CA, the desire to educate the younger generation became stronger. In 1997-98, along with my CA friend Shri Ashok Kumar Singhal, I set up an institute for higher education.
Que: Please tell us about the institutions you are associated with.
Ans: At present, I am the chancellor of Mewar University. I am also the chairman of Mewar Institute of Management and Mewar Law Institute. In addition, I am the founding member of half-a-dozen educational institutions.
Que: What type of education you aim to provide?
Ans: It has been my constant endeavor to provide employment oriented education to the younger generation. They should be able to get either best employment or they should be able to become successful entrepreneurs. Our aim is to make them good citizens and patriots for which they need to receive not only sound education but also to be inspired to be the part of national mainstream. They need to be sensitive to the social issues and play the role of responsible citizens.
Que: We have come to know that you are making special efforts to provide education to the students of the poor and downtrodden classes. Can you please tell us about them?
Ans: Yes, you have rightly heard so. All my educational institutes make special efforts to provide education to the students of poor and downtrodden classes. You will be pleased to know that we have more than 12,000 students, out of which nearly 75% are from poor and downtrodden classes. I want to enable the students of deprived sections to become as competent as the students of rich and higher strata of the society. After receiving our education, the students of deprived sections must be able to stand on their own without any crutches and needn’t require any social benevolence.
Que: How far have you succeeded so far in your mission?
Ans: I have succeeded beyond expectationin terms of fulfilling my objectives. Since 1997-98, thousands of youth have passed out of my institutions to become lawyers, managers, teachers and professors. I am pleased with the fact that these people are playing their role in the society responsibly.
Que: How many students are receiving education from your institutions? Where are they from, and what kind of education are they receiving?
Ans: We have around 12,000 students in our institutions. Nearly all of them are from rural background. They are all pursuing graduation, post-graduation and Ph.D in various subjects. All the subjects are technology and employment-oriented. Prominent among these are Engineering, Law, Management and Computer Science.
Que: You have made some special efforts for the girl students from poor and backward classes. Please elaborate.
Ans: You will not only be pleased but also surprised to know that I have been running Mewar Girls College at my birthplace in Chittorgarh, which is especially meant for the girls of poor and backward classes. Nearly a thousand girls receive education from this college, an education that is employment oriented and steeped in Indian tradition. All the girl students are from poor and backward classes, and the mission of providing employment-oriented education to them continues.
Que: What are your plans of providing education to those who failed in Class 10 or left education after class 10?
Ans: We have now set up a skill development center and started 78 types of courses in it. This provides training of 200 hours and also helps them in getting employment. We do not charge the students any fees for this, rather we pay a stipend of Rs 2000 once they complete the course. This is being run in collaboration with the Government of India’s employment oriented programs.
Que: How do you contribute to nation building and social reforms through education?
Ans: All the institutions run by us inculcate in the students a sense of nationalism and sensitivity to social reforms. We celebrate jayantis of great people and national festivals. Everyone participates in them. The purpose isto develop among students a sense of respect for the great people of our nation and to inspire them to follow the ideals espoused by such great visionaries. Workshops, seminars and plays are organized from time to time to sensitize students towards social issues. These events are meant to inspire students to do something for the society. Besides, various sports events are organized to instill a deep sense of nationalism among the students.
Que: What is the social responsibility of the universities and institutions that provide higher education?
Ans: It is their responsibility to provide employment oriented education to the youth, instill a sense of respect in them for the great nationalists, and sensitize them to social issues. In brief, to prepare responsible citizens and bring them into the social mainstream.
Que: What do you do to make your teacher more competent and experienced?
Ans: We appoint competent young teachers. We provide them sound training and good experience, and then we properly put them into teaching. We have appointed experts to provide counselling to them.
Que: How do you train your teachers?
Ans: Before the start of a new session in our institutions, we organize a one week long training camp for our teachers. We provide all kinds of training for the teachers during this. This training is provided by our knowledgeable, trained and experienced professors. In addition, we also send them outside for attending seminar and training.
Que: How do you recruit talents for your educational institutions?
Ans: I see two things. Firstly, the person shouldbe intelligent and committed. Secondly, the person should be honest. If the person lacks experience, that can be overlooked, but if the person lacks the two aforementioned qualities, then that person will not be of use to the institution.
Que: What are the training and employment facilities available to the students passing out from your institutions?
Ans: Students in all the courses run by our institutions are sent for 21-45 days of training in various institutions. This training has to be completed in an institution recognized by the government of India. Additionally, various companies are invited to the campus for the placement of students. In the last semester, the students undergo compulsory internship for at least 6 months in the industry. After completing it successfully, the students themselves get jobs.
Que: It has been observed that students coming out of the present education system do not get appropriate jobs. Do you make some new efforts to address this problem?
Ans: You have raised a good question. We follow a three-pronged approach to address this. One, compulsory classes for personality development; two, compulsory training; three, compulsory internship. Any educational institution following this approach will produce competent and skilled workforce for the nation.
Que: What is your opinion regarding corruption, casteism, class conflict, communalism, terrorism, crime and violence against women that prevail in the country?
Ans: The solution to all these problems lies in providing best education to our youth, offering plentiful opportunities of employment to them, and trying to connect them with the social mainstream. If we can do that successfully, all these problems will get solved automatically.
Que: How do you feel living among the younger generation?
Ans: It feels nice. I do not get to realize my age.
Que: Whatever work you take in your hands or whatever challenges you accept, how do you handle them?
Ans: It depends on the circumstances. I always work according to the circumstances. Yes, no matter how difficult the circumstances, I never get disappointed. Whenever it seems like that everything is on the verge of getting lost, my mind always gets some kind of new energy, new inspiration. New ideas, new thoughts come to my mind, and difficult circumstances get under control themselves.
Que: What are your plans for the future?
Ans: I plan to work in the field of agriculture and medical sciences. I believe that like other countries in the world, food should be cheaper in India, too. Every citizen must get milk, water and health benefits at the minimum cost. Currently, 80% of our citizens struggle for food and basic needs. This should not be so. There are plenty of opportunities in the field of agriculture in the near future. We must train our youth in agriculture and leverage their potential to make basic necessities like food available to common citizens.