Today AAINA is going to share a brief interview with Dr. Onkar singh. He is the founder Vice Chancellor of Madan Mohan Malviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur. He is the Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Harcourt Butler Technical University (Formerly HBTI), Kanpur. He is native of Unnao district and has a family consisting of parents, wife, daughter, son and a younger brother and his family.
1. Why did you choose to become an engineer?
It was my creativity and innovative aptitude that led me to choose to engineer as a course after completing Intermediate education.
2. Why have you chosen this field of specialty?
Frankly speaking, after completing B.Tech. at the age of 20 years and 8 months, I was not sure about the career to be chosen. It all happened during a postgraduate course that I developed flair of teaching due to the compulsory teaching assistantship is given to me by one of my Professor, as it was made mandatory along with the enhancement of scholarship from that year itself. During various opportunities given to me for conducting tutorial classes, I realized the role of a teacher and became passionate about becoming a teacher in engineering Institution. In fact, this was the year in which the Mandal Commission recommendations for giving reservation to Backward classes were implemented in the country and there was a lot of commotion across the country against it. The prevailing circumstances of the country and the role of certain teachers in flaring up the agitation against the said reservation made my resolve further strong that I should strive to become a teacher in a technical institution and ensure that justice is met to every section of student community as per its merit.
3. What is your professional experience as in your profession?
I started a career as Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Institute of Engg. & Technology, Lucknow in May 1991 and served as Lecturer / Senior Lecturer upto August 1999 there. Subsequently, in August 1999, I came to Harcourt Butler Technological Institute (Now Harcourt Butler Technical University), Kanpur as Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. I also got opportunity to serve the Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Lucknow as Additional Controller of Examination during August 2004 to January 2007 and made the unique beginning of use of ICT in U.P. Technical University through innovation of OMR cover type answer books & online marks submission for transparency in tabulation, web-based college management system for examination works. In January 2007, I became Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Harcourt Butler Technological Institute (Now Harcourt Butler Technical University), Kanpur. It was in December 2013, when I was appointed as founder Vice Chancellor of the first non-affiliating technical University of U.P. state namely Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur and successfully established and run this University till April 2017 during which this University earned a number of firsts in the state to its credit. I also had the privilege of being the Vice Chancellor of Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Lucknow during April 2015 to August 2015 and made a significant contribution in a time bound deliveries, bringing in transparency and rescheduling the University activities during this short stay. I was the youngest Vice-Chancellor of any University in U.P. during this period.
4. What are the unique and different skills you have in your profession ?
As a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, I have developed my own teaching methodology in certain subjects being taught by me. I am a strong advocate of developing new products and refining existing products which are directly useful to the society through minor / major technological interventions. I also motivate students to become a successful technical professional and mentor them in career planning.
5. Please share your journey of life till now.
Due to my father being in transferable defense service, I completed primary and secondary school education from different places including Jamnagar, Gwalior, Chandigarh, Unnao. After completing my intermediate in 1985, I got admission in B.Tech. at HBTI, Kanpur and completed in 1989. Subsequently, I did my M.E. and Ph.D. from MNREC, Allahabad. Since 1991, I am serving technical education of the state of U.P. and had the privilege to serve in all possible capacities starting from Lecturer to Vice Chancellor.
6. What is your planning for the future?
My future plan includes putting in my sincere efforts in whatever capacity and opportunity available with me to strengthen higher education in general and technical education in particular through various initiatives for creating capable and responsive educated human resource.
7. Your ways of handling emergencies and the workload.
I handle emergencies and the workload through purity of thought & action, patience, and perseverance.
8. What is your routine on daily basis?
I usually get up at 5 AM in the morning and complete Yoga and morning walk for an hour followed by reading a newspaper. After finishing breakfast around 8.30 AM, I check up my engagements during the day and make preparations for them. On a working day, I leave for office at 9.45 AM and come back home in evening around 6 PM. In case of holiday, I plan my day for completing the pending activities. In evening, I go for half an hour walk and then update my self with the daily happenings through watching television. The pending activities of the day, if any are completed before dinner around 8.30 PM. Finally, I go to bed around 9.30 PM.
9. Do you have any weakness or strength?
I am weak in making compromises and wish to continue with this weakness so that I do not act by killing my conscience. I consider my passion for doing justice with the responsibilities I owe to society and hard work with honesty to be my strength.
10. What are your achievements till date?
I have authored 5 books, 07 chapters in different books, 186 papers in International / National journals/conference proceedings and guided 11 Ph.D. students. I also have two National Records for development of air turbine engine for running motor-bike – LIMCA Book of Records, March 2014 and as one of the first Indian authors to appear in U.S. text-books for the article “The melting of glaciers cannot be reversed with global warming” in February 2015.
I have been associated with various apex bodies in different capacities such as Member of the Board of Governor of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Indian Institute of Technology, BHU Varanasi, Member of General Council, National Board of Accreditation, New Delhi, Member of Northern Regional Committee, AICTE New Delhi, Member of Governing Council of Ram Manohar Lohia Law University Lucknow, Member of Court of University of Allahabad, Allahabad, Member of Board of Governors, Gautam Budha University, Greater Noida and Member of Board of Governors of Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology, Sultanpur and U.P. Textile Technology Institute, Kanpur, Member, Member, Governing Council, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, Solan, Member of Finance Committee, National Board of Accreditation, New Delhi, Member of Board of Governors, IET, Dr.R.M.L.A.University, Faizabad..
Also, I am Fellow of The Institution of Engineers(India), Life Member of Indian Society of Technical Education, Life Member of Oil Technologists Association of India , Member of Indian Society of Heating and Refrigeration Engineers, Life Member, Indian Science Congress Association, Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, USA and recipient of National Scholarship throughout education, AICTE Young Teacher Career Award in year 2000, 100 Most Influential Vice Chancellors Award – 2016, and Asia’s Education Excellence Award – Exemplary Leader award -2016.
11. What is your ability to face the challenges both professional and personal?
Though everyone has a threshold in facing challenges, I consider myself to be quite good in meeting the professional and personal challenges upto certain extent due to my composed nature and belief that this time will also move on.
12. Is this your dream job?
Yes. I am passionate about mentoring younger generation.
13. As for your profession do you have any preferences?
My preference is to improving governance of academic institutions for making it more responsive, responsible, accountable and quality conscious.
14. What is one of your key message/advice to fellow Yaduvanshis ?.
My message/advice is to have bigger dreams, be disciplined and dedicate yourself for achieving your goal through hard work, honesty, concern for others and quest for excellence.
15. Your contact details including email
Prof.(Dr.) Onkar Singh T-51, Type-IV West Campus HBTU, Kanpur-208002 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 09415114011
16. Tell me the most challenging engineering project that you have been involved with during past years.
Some of the most challenging projects, I have been involved in include; the development of low cost lightweight motorized wheel-chair for handicapped, the development of air engine for automotive applications and the development of solar-powered tricycle for handicapped. Along with these, the most challenging project for adding value to technical education was the transformation of an engineering college into a State technical University (MMMUT, Gorakhpur), which has been done successfully by me.