A Revitalizing Dialogue with an Enigmatic Guru

At times, we find the need to seek guidance from a young and energetic professor, someone who is capable enough to identify with our day-to-day hurdles and advise us in practical terms. Dr Paresh Kale, Professor from the Department of Electrical Engineering, is a savior to a number of students who find solace in his compassionate and amiable personality. Dr. Kale knows the thin line of difference between friendliness and discipline, and he handles his classes with an appropriate dose of both. A technologically sound figure, he encourages his students to mail him electronic coursework, instead of spending hours in manual labor. These traits set him apart from the regular crop of professors. In a rendezvous with this charismatic professor, team MM explores this dynamic personality.

Hailing from a family that lacked financial stability, and being an average student, engineering came upon him as fate, rather than a choice. While his heart lay in pursuing a degree in law, the persuasion of his father eventually led him to engineering. His father’s job in the state electricity board appeared as a safety net for a graduate degree in electrical engineering; hence he enrolled in an undergraduate program in Mumbai University. 

He completed his degree with a stellar score and worked for three years before appearing for the GATE exam managing to bag a seat at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. During his post graduation an excellent project came along his way and therefore, he turned down high paying jobs with a view to pursue his doctoral thesis.

Elucidating his experience at IIT Bombay, he expressed the cultural disparity between IITB and NITR. At IIT Bombay one could have a cup of coffee at midnight or work on his research project till 2am; such an atmosphere isn’t prevalent at NITR. He pointed out several factors of IITB that are conducive in achieving excellence for a technical institution; the first and foremost of it being the favorable geographical location. The institute is not only located in a metropolitan city that has all sorts of communication facilities, but also seated amidst headquarters of prominent industries which results in a substantial inflow of consultancy projects. It is also a recipient of massive funds from alumni consultancy finances and HRD budgets. Social and communication skills among the PG and doctoral candidates at NIT are also incongruous as compared to IITB. NITR unfortunately doesn’t enjoy such a scenario and though the institute has a pretty good student quality, it fails to bring out their potentials to the forefront owing to a dearth in facilities and exposure that its counterpart IITB has. Having said that, he appreciated the ambience of Rourkela city and enriched cultural integrity of the students. 

“A courteous ‘namaskar’ that a professor receives here is seldom witnessed in a city like Mumbai.”

Prof Kale is not only a fine academician but is also a poet, writer, fantastic photographer and an active blogger. His blog, “Virtuous Quatrains” showcases his copious talents. This vivid side of his life has a motivating concept behind it. Prof Kale believes in being sensitive and compassionate to the persisting environment and social issues around us and says we must encapsulate the day to day occurrences through one way or the other. His way of expressing his thoughts and perspectives on such issues is through penning down stories, poems and indulging in photography. Prof Kale encourages his students to discover their paths of expression too.

While doing his doctoral research he realized that he didn’t desire to be a conventional engineer working from 8am to 6pm at an industry and having no time for himself. Thus he decided to make his debut as a professor. Dr. Kale says that professorship caters to all his expectations from a job, it pays enough to lead a good lifestyle, his creative side is satiated by new research projects and most importantly he has time to explore other facets of his life. He is one of the few people who place a wholesome life above monetary prospects

Elaborating on the scope of research in India, Prof Kale states that being a populous country, we have a command on how the market is driven and we should exploit this authority. As of today, the market is dominated by foreign companies and hence R&D’s of these countries are more productive owing to the supply-demand phenomenon. But the future for Indian research organizations look bright. He doesn’t deny problems in the system here, like corruption, low funds, politics, sluggish government etc. but confidence is key and a scientist should believe in himself, says Prof Kale.

When asked about enhancements he wished to see in NITR, he said he is happy that some reforms like good infrastructure are on the wheels and he would like to see more professionalism in the institute. He agrees that the institute faces a major setback due to lack of air connectivity and says once this issue is resolved there’ll be no bound to the growth of NITR.

Research is about patience. One should believe in his ideas and find the right people and place to materialize it.

Get up and start working!

are Prof Kale’s words of wisdom to the NITR junta.

Get a sneak peek at Prof. Kale’s blog at: http://pareshkale.blogspot.in/