My objective is to motivate my students to develop their learning interest and critical thinking – Dr. Arun Balodi

Dr. Arun Balodi
Associate Professor & HOD (ECE)
Atria Institute of Technology, Bangalore

Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey?

I have done my PhD in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, Roorkee, India (www.iitr.ac.in). Before joining the aforementioned doctoral research program, I earned a 4-year B. Tech. (Electronics and Communication) in the year 2005 from Shobhit Institute of Engineering and Technology, Gangoh, Saharanpur, India and M. Tech. (Digital Signal Processing) in the year 2010 from Govind Ballabh Pant Engineering College, Pauri (GBPEC Pauri), India. GBPEC Pauri, India, is an autonomous institute set up by Government of India.

My eight years of teaching experience includes, as a lecturer at Shobhit Institute of Engineering and Technology, Gangoh, Saharanpur, India from January 2006 – August 2008, and an Assistant Professor at Shivalik College of Engineering, Dehradun from July 2010 – December 2012. After submission of my Ph.D., I worked as Assistant Professor and Head, India Electronics and Communication Engineering, Department at Shivalik College of Engineering, Dehradun, India, from October 2017 to August 2018. I worked as Assistant Professor on contract at National Institute of Technology, Delhi from August 2018 to May 2019. Presently, I am working as Associate Professor & Head of Department (ECE) at Atria Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India, from July 2019 – Present.

Q2. You are an ECE Engineer. What did attract you towards teaching instead of any corporate job?

When I was doing my schooling, I used to mentor a few students for their science subjects. Even during my B. Tech, I used to help my friends for specific subjects and concepts. When I was able to show him a different way to approach the problem, and they “got it”. I got that this is the field where I will excel in my career. I love to explore more books for the same concept. I like to share my learnings and experience with the people around me. The teaching profession allows me to work with the young mind and to help them to build their career.

Q3. You are an Associate Professor and HOD in college. How can you play both roles simultaneously in your job?

“My objective as an educationist is to motivate my students to develop their learning interest and critical thinking.” As a career advisor to aware children and youths about education and opportunities, and to help them to increase competencies in them.” as a consultant to share knowledge and expertise to help the young generation to attain goals and solve problems.”

I started my career as a lecturer, where I learn teaching and other job responsibilities. With time I enhanced my qualifications and experience too. Our prime job is to help and motivate students so that they can solve unknown problems in their life. The environment of the workplace impacts employee morale, productivity and engagement – both positively and negatively. I firmly believe that happiness has a multiplying effect, and it inspires creativity, productivity and boosts efficiency. I always believe that whenever we are working in an organization or department, harmony should be there in the workplace. I always enjoy working with a team in the department.

As we all know presently, the world is facing a pandemic Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease. We are taking all necessary precautions to avoid its outbreak in our country also. Looking at the present scenario, the ECE Department has responded immediately with the advances in technology to bring the classes online for active learning. Since, March 20, 2020, the classes are being conducted on ONLINE mode effectively. Teaching, learning, assessment of learning outcomes was all done online. In the ECE Department, more than 28 faculties and 400 students are trained to LMS platform and mapped to courses. The department of ECE has taken a few steps for continuous teaching and learning. All the faculties of the department, including head, are connected with the students through e-mail and WhatsApp. All the faculties are sharing all the abundant contents/learning material/lecture notes/resources such as pdf files, e-books and other e-contents on LMS (Xcelerator platform), WhatsApp and e-mails also. For virtual classrooms, faculties have used Google hangout, Google meets and Zoom for video conferencing with students. We have also adopted blended mode learning, in which faculty teach a topic scheduled for that day and upload related videos, e-content for their references. After completion of reading the resources, students have to write an assignment given by faculty to upload and attempt Quiz for grading, which is part of their Internal Assessment components. Students were time to time encouraged for enrolling online courses provided by NPTEL/SWAYAM/UDEMY/COURSERA etc. Our library resources are also available through e-books and e-journals.

Q4. What kind of problems have you faced in your Education Domain, and how will you remove it?

I believe that problems allow you to find the solutions in different ways. I never thought that learning is a problem. Education and knowledge are a continuous process where we have to motivate us always, and we should not forget why we enter in this field. The only thing that we have to develop in ourself is the learning attitude.

Q5. How do you handle stress in this fast and competitive life?

See stress is an English word only which has a specific meaning in the dictionary.  It is a phycological phenomenon which gives us an opportunity to act, and the output of this act may be positive or negative. If you see the stress performance graph, you will find as we increase this stress level the performance also increases proportionally for a certain period only. We should develop a positive learning environment around us so that this stress only increases our efficiency. I think our learning attitude and acceptance of failure can help us to be stress-free. I feel the kind of competitive world we are living some time we take challenges which are not necessary at that time.  “I love travelling and photography; I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.” I feel this is the best method to release stress from time to time.

Q6. Computer Software’s and Internet have captured the market. What do you think about the future of Electronics and Communication Engineering for students as a career?

In the present scenario, all the branches of engineering are equal and interlinked. As I belong to the ECE branch, it doesn’t mean that I should be biased but If you have software that you need hardware also to run that. No one can imagine a life without electronic gadgets in today’s world. In all the fields, we use electronics and communication engineering. The future will be of IoT and Communication, whether it is home atomization or the mobility. All the devices are coming with sensor-based technology, and the coming future is of all these. So, the demand for ECE engineers is going to increase. The next time is for IoT devices, and we need more people having exposure to this area. In a particular time, the following areas of ECE will gain much importance:

Microelectronics & VLSI, Embedded Systems, Communication Engineering, RF & Microwave Design. Various companies are working in these areas such as Mediatek, Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Cadence, Global Foundries, Synopsis, Mentor Graphics, Xilinx, Microsemi, Texas Instruments, Cypress Semiconductor, NXP, Infineon, Wipro VLSI, IBM ISL, Sankalp Semiconductor, Aura Semiconductor, Samsung, L&T etc. Many of these companies do work in embedded systems too. Apart from these companies like Philips, Nokia, HCL, Dell, Bosch do work in embedded systems. Apart from these, other PSUs/government organizations like BARC, BEL, DRDO, CSIR do good works in ECE related fields.

Q7. You had done a PhD from IIT, Roorkee. What was that experience, and what was your Thesis topic in PhD?

Indian Institute of Technology – Roorkee is among the foremost of institutes of national importance in higher technological education and engineering, basic and applied research. Since its establishment, the Institute has played a vital role in providing the technical manpower and know-how to the country and in pursuit of research. Getting admission to such a great institution is like a dream come true. The overall journey was constructive in terms of learning, not only academic but how to handle a difficult phase of life. My doctoral research work in the area of medical image processing. The title of my PhD thesis is “Analysis of Mitral Regurgitation using Echocardiographic Images”.

Q8. What do you do in your free time? Do you update yourself in terms of education?

In general, whenever I got time, I tried to update my skills by some online classes like NPTEL, SWAYAM, MOOCS, COURSERA. I am fond of using social media also and connected with so many technical pages and blogs to update the advancement across the globe.

Q9. You won many awards in your career. Please share some of them and any membership too?

Awards & Achievements
Gold Medal in M. Tech. in August 2010.
Academic Excellence Award in Jun 2011.
Professional Membership
MIEEE (92553626).
MIACSIT (80340530).
MIAENG (143904).