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DTU Times Interview

His association with the college can be traced back to 1967 when he joined this college as a student. But little did anyone know that the alliance would continue even after his education; Mr. R. S. Khanduja is one exuberant personality who has experienced life both as a student as well as a teacher in the same institution. After completing his B.E (ME) in 1970, he did his M. Tech in Thermal Engineering from this college and joined as a lecturer immediately after his postgrad. He retired in 2003 as an Asstt. Prof. and continues to educate students of this institution even today, as a guest faculty member. He shares with us instances from his life and his views on education in the interview that follows: 1 What importance does Teachers Day hold in your life? It is a very important day for any teacher as it is a day when students and teachers remind themselves of their responsibilities. It is rightfully celebrated on the birthday of Dr. S. RADHAKRISHNAN, the great philosopher and teacher. 2 Having been a student as well as a lecturer here, which experience did you find more gratifying? Both were equally gratifying for different reasons. As a student, I was driven by the excitement of learning in DCE. And as a teacher, I have derived immense satisfaction from transferring the knowledge to my students. 3 What is the one thing that annoys you the most during a lecture?

Lack of concentration on the part of students during my lecture is the most annoying part. I have asked students to leave the classroom on some occasions if I think they are not paying enough attention. 4 Would you like to share with us the weirdest thing you did as a student? When I was studying in DCE, we used to go for the late night show at Golcha Theater at Daryaganj and come back on foot to the DCE (Kashmere Gate) hostel. 5 Tell us about your experiences with ragging. Ragging is a dirty word and should be condemned at all time. However, an interesting instance which I recall about ragging is from the time when I was a hosteller. One of our class fellows was taking an intro of freshers in a hostel room. He asked one of them, Are you Sujit Pant? He answered Yes sir, where as he was Ajit Pant, Sujits twin brother. However, both were introduced properly later on. 6 What motivated you to take up teaching as a profession, that too in the same institution? It was by chance that I took up teaching as a profession. However, now I feel very happy to have served my alma mater. 7 Whats the secret behind your enviable vivacity and exuberance even at this age? It is only by the grace of God. I try to keep myself physically active with a small routine walk, yoga for a few minutes and a little meditation. But above all, I think a positive attitude brings a lot of positive energy in me.

8 If theres something lacking in students of present generation, what would that be? I think lack of sincerity and a casual approach towards work are two big areas where students lack the most. 9 Respect, frankness and trust are very important factors for effective communication between students and teachers. Arrange them in descending order of importance? Trust, Respect and Frankness. 10 Apart from knowledge, what is that X- factor which makes one a good teacher? Communication skills, especially the ability to connect with students. 11 What do you miss the most about school? Nothing special, because life was very simple 45 years ago. I envy todays generation enjoying school life their own way. 12 Given charge of the HRD ministry for a day, what radical change would you like to introduce in the education system? I would work towards a system which ensures that the purpose of education is not limited to getting a job. I sometimes feel that students are more focused on the long term (ultimate) goals and hence take up subjects to serve those goals rather than attempting to learn something from them. 13 If you had it your way, would you scrap the 75% attendance system?

I would never do that. Students should attend classes to make the most of the opportunity they have by studying at such a prestigious institution. As told to: Tarun Chugh & Tushar Negi