Two professors from Mumbai institutes among 13 selected for national award for teachers

Two professors from Mumbai institutes among 13 selected for national award for teachers

Two professors from Mumbai institutes made it to the list of 13 selected for the National Award to Teachers 2023 for higher education – Prof Raghavan B Sunoj from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and Prof Keshav Sangle from Veermata Jeejabai Technology Institute (VJTI).

Known for his extraordinary academic support to his students, Prof Sunoj from IIT Bombay is also recognised for his work in outreach programme of IIT Bombay wherein non-IIT students and teachers are given a glimpse of teaching and learning process in IIT system where emphasis is on concept-based learning with problem-solving approach, instead of rote-learning. Exactly 23 years ago, his mother K Vasantha Kumari was awarded the National Award to Teachers for school education.

Soon after the institute announced about the award on its social media, the post was flooded with comments from students of Prof Sunoj, reminiscing how his out-of-the-box ways of teaching helped them grow. Most commonly shared experience by many was how Prof Sunoj would reach their hostels a night before the exam, to clear doubts of anxious freshers.

Even as Prof Sunoj does not use social media, his Facebook page for chemistry teaching is always a buzz especially when near exams. He said, “In the class, few enthusiastic students would come up to me to clear their doubts. But I have seen how even the brightest of the students are sometimes nervous to talk to teachers, especially in full class. But on the Facebook page, multiple individual chat-boxes give them a comfortable space.”

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After completing his degree and post-graduation from University of Kerala, Prof Sunoj joined IISER Bangalore for PhD. In 2003, he joined IIT Bombay as Chemistry teacher, after completing post doc from Ohio State University.

Prof Sangle from VJTI, who has been teaching at this reputable engineering college from the city since 2000 has a rich experience of teaching. He is known for emphasis on the practical aspect of learning. “By working on various projects, I broaden my practical knowledge in order to go beyond the theory in my class of structural engineering in the Civil Engineering branch. Students are encouraged to take up internships, we arrange site visits, collaboration with industry so that along with the theory students learn the ground reality to make them industry ready,” said Sangle who is currently Dean for Academics at the VJTI and taking the same approach to other engineering branches offered by the institute.

Prof Sangle has also been chief rector of VJTI hostels and is known for having a good connect with students. “Coming from rural background, I am well aware of the challenges of students from all walks of life and it helps me provide the required support to hostellers,” said Sangle, who completed his school education from Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools from Shrigonda taluka in Ahmednagar district. After completing his engineering and post-graduation from College of Engineering Karad, Sangle has completed his PhD from IIT Bombay.

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