Where would you place education on your national list of priorities?
Among the top three, together with healthcare and law and order.
How best to upgrade government colleges and universities?
They must be given adequate autonomy and resources with incentives for performers.
Thinker/philosopher you admire the most.
Aristotle, a thinker, philosopher and much more.
Your favourite Nobel laureate.
Our own Sir C.V. Raman for the Raman effect and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, for the Chandrasekhar limit of the white dwarf.
Your leadership style.
I try to follow Lao Tzu’s example: “When the leader’s work is done, the people will say we did it ourselves.”
Your favourite book on education.
I don’t think I can zero in on a book on education. I appreciate books on the growth of human thought and development.
For or against foreign universities establishing campuses in India?
We should open up our education sector to high quality competitors from the US, UK and other countries. This will drive competition and improve the quality of education in India.
Should the public education outlay be doubled by cutting defence expenditure?
The quantum as well as the head of budget is debatable. Suffice to say it must be increased.
How satisfied are you with the growth and development of SRM University?
Fairly satisfied. But when I look back, I know there were a few things I could have done differently. With our new university in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, I believe SRM has taken a significant step forward to provide quality education to the country.
Pessimistic or optimistic about the future of education in India?
Optimistic. I trust governments and institutions to create a strong education system in our country.