Almost all B-schools have spoken about achieving it. Some have even taken a few steps to inculcate it. But if there is one B-school that has successfully implementedthe dream 21st Century knowledge-society campus – a completely green and an uncompromisingly ‘paperless’ B-school – it is Jaipuria Institute of Management Indore.
The leadership at Jaipuria Indore realised that going ‘paperless’ is less about technology, and more in the minds of its stakeholders. There was no point having the best software in the world if it was never going to be used. The Jaipuria Indore management raised the stakes and from day one Jaipuria Indore was a fully digital entity. Everything is controlled by Academia – a campus management system integrated with emails and Smart Phones, capable of sending messages via SMS, email and social networking sites. Academia integrates all academic and administrative modules – right from Admissions, to Hostel Management, HR and Payroll, Inventory, Stores and Transport Management. The Time Table, Attendance and Student Information System, all processes are integrated and automated. Course content, media files, class notes, pre-reads, assignments, articles, case studies, reviews and analyses- everything is available on e-reader format, 24/7, across the globe. The faculty members at Jaipuria Indore uploaded – books, case studies, and other resources for research and scholarly articles. Everything is categorized and ready for use.
“Changes! Changes! Changes!” emotes Aditi Sharma. “It is a completely new experience. Everything carefully cultivated over the last 20 years has had to be discarded. This stone will keep rolling for the next two years at Jaipuria Indore but will definitely accumulate enough moss that it will achieve a prominent place in professional and personal life.”
One big change from the ‘normal’ is the Digital classroom at Jaipuria Indore. Students might be on traineeship and faculty members out on consulting assignments; and yet, the show never stops! Classes are conducted and the grades awarded go automatically to the students’ account, the PGP office, and the Admin office for further action.
“This curriculum will help us emerge as leaders who can create new ideas and new markets, as well as constantly design new systems, by using digital-based strategies, processes and operations in all functional areas,” exults Prasad Shejwalkar of the 2011-13 batch of Jaipuria Indore.
No aspect of B-schooling is unaffected by digitisation at Jaipuria Indore; even the administration has had to rechristen itself a ‘digitaladministration.’ At Jaipuria Indore, CCTV cameras lurk at key locations to ensure that the entire campus is visible to those in charge, monitored online and synced with SmartPhones and email. While the Wi-Fi campus is a given, electronic sensors, working on the principle of influence, are the real deal when it comes to avoiding wastage of electricity.
“This is the creation of a completely new ecosystem,” says Rajani Kispotta, a final year PGDM student at Jaipuria Indore, specialising in Marketing. “The most amazing part is that even our examinations in the first and the second semesters were online. For papers like Marketing, MIS and HR, the questions were sent to us through the mail, or through the Academia software, or simply written down on a board. We submitted our answers in a word file.”
Students of Jaipuria Indoreare required to collect their own study material, picking out details and descriptions from the web.Rajani Kispotta says that most of her batch-mates are, in fact, so used to the ‘Google it’ culture now, that when, for the first time they saw a course book in the third semester, they felt they were being caged. They felt as if there were no options available, no variable applications and no endless ideas or views on a subject.
“With books, a student’s mentality is to restrict himself to the instructions of the teacher, or the book itself. But when the material is online, students get into the habit of researching. When we do not understand a word or a line, we search for its significance. An online search inevitably throws up multiple variants and applications, thus adding to our knowledge-base. Thanks to the visionaries of Jaipuria Indore, ‘Google it!’ is the buzzword for us now.”
Social media is a compulsory part of the curriculum at Jaipuria Indore, withstudents constantly exploring it – not merely in their leisure time, but with the purpose of studying it. While Facebook is used for personal branding,viral marketing,peer connect, competitions, opinion, podcasts, and conducting and attending virtual seminars; LinkedIn is studied for itsindustry connect, feedback, mentorship, curriculum validation, peek behind the curtain of corporates and for gathering real life case studies. Twitter, of course, is of extreme importance in keeping tabs on the social movements gathering momentum in the digital space.
“Videos and clips of released movies and ads are studied in great detail to explore the marketing strategy and methods. Everysingle feature introduced by Mark Zuckerberg is discussed threadbare. A major change like the ‘timeline’ structure recently introduced, leads to a brainstorming session in our Marketing classes at Jaipuria Indore.”