Excellence in research, innovation and higher education are hallmarks of highly successful economies which lead the world in overall development indices. Once upon a time, India was a cradle of knowledge and wisdom. Takshila and Nalanda Universities – among the oldest seats of learning in the world – attracted scholars from across Asia and the world and spread India’s intellectual influence far outside its borders. Today, however, in spite of having a large number of higher educational organizations and a large base of talented faculty and students, no single Indian academic organization features among the top 100 institutions of the world.
A transformational change is necessary to propel some of the Indian higher educational organizations to the top. This cannot be achieved easily or quickly and necessitates mechanisms that link the leadership of institutions with their human resource in ways that can extract the very best out of the available talent and resources. Leadership of the highest calibre in higher educational organizations is therefore a crucial, if not the essential element in the path towards excellence.
Recognizing this, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India has conceived the Leadership Development for Academicians Program and selected the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata as one of the hosts of this program. IISER Kolkata in partnership with Harvard University has planned a unique leadership program custom designed for India. We expect this program to catalyze excellence through able leadership, eventually transforming the landscape of academia in the country.
The program is intended to train top level potential leaders (Directors, Vice-chancellors) of Indian academic organizations and would therefore be very selective. We are targeting 30-40 participants from Indian higher educational organizations who are successful academicians with high integrity and a flair for leadership and management. Applications are invited from accomplished academicians who are below 55 years of age with at least 10 years at the level of Professor or equivalent and with at least 3 years experience in administrative positions (Dean, Department Chair, etc.).
The national organizing committee is led by Sourav Pal and Dibyendu Nandi of IISER Kolkata, and L.S. Shashidhara of IISER Pune. The partnership with Harvard University is administered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The partnership between IISER Kolkata and Harvard University was facilitated by the United States-India Educational Foundation. This program is supported by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.