At the convocation event held in Dubai on March 5, Dr. Pratik Mungekar was conferred the Fellowship of the Royal University (FRU). He also gave his vice chancellor address on the subject of digital education and the value of money for many.
Vice Chancellor Address by Prof. Dr. Pratik Rajan Mungekar
The University of Kingdom of Atlantis, Singapore.
Hon’ble Chancellor, Deans, Members of Board of management, Academic council, Distinguished Members of the Faculty, distinguished invitees, proud graduates, their equally proud parents and friends, ladies and gentlemen.
It is indeed a special privilege and an honour to have been invited to deliver the convocation address of this university. The institute has the dream of becoming a global center of excellence in education, research and technology development. This dream that can be converted into reality, if we create the right ‘ambition’ and the right ‘ambience’. I see the presence of both here. I have no doubt, therefore, that this dream will be fulfilled.
Let me begin by extending my wholehearted congratulations and my very best wishes to the young graduates. You are going to enter a new exciting world, which is changing rapidly. There are extra-ordinary opportunities for those, who are prepared to face the challenge of change. Indeed, only those of us will survive and succeed, who will be able to anticipate the change and also exploit the change. And those who do this will one day lead the change. We in India should have the ambition of leading the change and make things happen on our own terms.
As educators and members of the business community who are here today to witness the University of Kingdom of Atlantis’ convocation ceremony, I will shed some light today on digital education and its value for money.
Digital education refers to the use of technology to deliver educational content and services. It encompasses a broad range of tools and technologies, including computers, tablets, smartphones, educational software, online courses, and digital media.
Digital education has become increasingly popular in recent years due to advances in technology and the widespread availability of digital devices. It has the potential to transform the way people learn by providing more flexible, accessible, and personalized learning experiences.
There are many benefits to digital education. For example, it can:
Increase access to education: Digital education can be delivered to anyone, anywhere, at any time, making it possible for people who might not have access to traditional educational opportunities to learn.
Enhance learning experiences: Digital tools can provide interactive, multimedia-rich learning experiences that can engage learners and make learning more interesting and effective.
Increase efficiency: Digital education can make it easier and more efficient to deliver educational content and services, as well as to track student progress and performance.
Promote collaboration: Digital tools can facilitate collaboration among learners, enabling them to work together on projects and assignments in real time, regardless of their location.
However, digital education also has some challenges that need to be addressed, such as the need for adequate infrastructure and technical support, the potential for unequal access to technology, and concerns about privacy and data security.
Overall, digital education has the potential to greatly expand access to education and improve learning outcomes, and it is likely to continue to play an important role in education in the future.
Value for Money and for Many
Value for many must not be limited to “for a few more,” but rather must include value for many more. Therefore, we must strive for extremely low costs rather than content with low costs. Therefore, we must choose extreme affordability rather than just affordability. This also means that we will strive for “disruptive innovation” rather than “incremental innovation.”
Can we really get value for a lot of people while also getting value for our money? Can we make a laptop that costs $2,000 available at a price that is not only 10% cheaper but also ten times cheaper? Can we reduce the cost of a $20 per dose Hepatitis B vaccine to 50 times less than 50 percent? Can an artificial foot that costs $10,000 be obtained at a price 300 times lower than 300 percent? Or, are we able to reduce the price of high-quality cataract eye surgery from $3,000 to 100 times less than that? All of these seem out of reach. All of these seemingly impossible challenges, my young friends, have been successfully overcome, and all of them in India!
You might wonder what it takes to accomplish such feats. My friends, setting ambitious goals for his team and inspiring them to achieve them requires an inspiring leader who believes in making the impossible possible. It requires more than just incremental innovation; it also requires disruptive, extreme, and game-changing innovation.
Take, for instance, the wireless communication sector of the Indian telecommunications industry.
Today, more than 950 million people own mobile phones, compared to just 15 million ten years ago. Why? Customers are getting a lot of value for their money. The world’s lowest rate for a minute of mobile phone time. A cellphone can be had for as little as $20. The lowest price anywhere in the world is for a single SMS text message.
Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder and chairman of Reliance, was the catalyst for this brilliant journey of providing value to many and value for money. Dhirubhai had the bold goal of making communication and telephony available to everyone in India. He challenged his team to come up with new ideas and lower the price of a phone call in India to the same level as a post card.
A number of innovations emerged in order to realize this common desire for value. The emergence of the “refining model of telecom” was most notable. Reliance’s success in constructing a world-class refinery in India served as a source of inspiration. Independently of the number of end users, the refinery integrated intricate processes. Therefore, Reliance developed its own model rather than adopting the conventional strategy of purchasing telecom equipment based on the cost per subscriber. Because refiners were accustomed to thinking in terms of barrels per day, Reliance paid vendors for the volume of traffic that passed through the equipment rather than for a significant upfront cost per subscriber fee. They stated that the equivalent will be erlangs per day in this location.
Free text messages, free phones, free incoming calls, and other innovative marketing strategies were also pioneered by Reliance. The outcomes were outstanding. Outgoing call rates dropped exponentially as a result of Reliance’s entry, causing a revolution in the Indian telecom industry. The arrangement that Reliance made with suppliers of equipment set the standard for the world’s lowest prices for equipment. And as a result of this initial move toward offering value for money, costs and prices dropped to near-zero levels. Airtel also advanced all of this significantly.
Additionally, when Reliance launches Jio, a 4G mobile revolution that is once more a case of “extreme innovation” and is conceptualized, designed, and delivered by yet another iconic leader from this country, Mukeshbhai Ambani, yet another value for money and for many will follow!
To demonstrate that innovation is all about doing things differently to make a difference, I will only provide one example. You must take a daring new route that hasn’t been taken before.
Innovation, compassion, and enthusiasm are the final three qualities I would like to see in you. The three things that are connected to your body are as follows: One is creativity, thought, and the brain. Passion is the second; third is compassion, or heartfelt compassion—passion in the belly.
While many societies, societies, and individuals may be extremely innovative and passionate, if they lack compassion, they are missing a crucial component.
As young Indian citizens, you will need to adopt these three characteristics. Compassion is especially important for India because we must create an “inclusive” society rather than an “exclusive” one. We talk about growth of 8% or 9%. “Inclusive growth” is required; It must be inclusive growth driven by innovation, which “includes” all of the unfortunate “excluded”—the poor, the deprived, and the have-nots.
And my young friends, you will enter this exciting new word that is called a VUCA word. Here VUCA means volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
But don’t worry. Here are ten Mashelkar mantras that might be useful for you.
And here they are
- Your aspirations are your possibilities, so keep them always high.
- Like instant coffee, there is no instant success. Work hard and success will follow.
- But work hard in silence. Let success make the noise.
- Persistence pays. It is always too soon to quit.
- Don’t wait for opportunities to knock on your door, create opportunities, build your own doors.
- You can do anything but not everything. So choose and focus.
- Be curious forever. Creativity follows curiosity. New creation follows creativity.
- When someone tells you it can’t be done, take it more as a reflection of his limitation, not yours.
- `I’ in every individual must stand for innovation, not for inhibition or imitation. It is better to fail in originality, than succeed in imitation.
- There is a no limit to human imagination and achievement, excepting the limits you yourself put on your mind. So go limitless. Outperform yourself.
My friends, let me give you my choicest blessings as you set out of the portals of this great university to create new India of our dreams.
I wish you all an exciting journey up the limitless ladder of excellence and achievement.