Over the past year, the world has been battered by multiple crises, including a global pandemic that has infected tens of millions, costing more than 1.5 million lives, and devastated almost every nation’s economy. But coming as a bright light of hope even during these times of uncertainty, were countries led by women, who systematically and significantly performed better when compared to other countries. Similarly, as we all witnessed the field of education crumble due to the safety precautions and mandatory norms imposed on all, women fared better as education leaders, guiding their respective institutions and countries at large, and making progress even in the most difficult of circumstances. Thereby, throwing a spotlight on such women leaders who have given their best in pursuit of creating amiable environments of academic excellence and achievements, Dr. M. Akila comes out as one such leader, who leads to guide, in turn, fostering leadership qualities in others and promoting & encouraging professional development activities.
Leading the entire team of the institute as the principal now, Dr. M. Akila realizes that her job as a leader is to guide and direct every individual appropriately and make effective decisions to create an amiable environment to facilitate the achievement of academic goals and objectives. After having accomplished the best track record as a proficient Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, as a versatile Principal of one of the best engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, she dedicates herself to the cause of academics and engages in varied activities for the enhancement of the college and for the promising career of her students.
With a good networking and coordinating skills, she is engaged actively with professional organizations as IET, IEEE, ISTE and also as the Secretary of IGEN, has organized numerous faculty development programmes, training programmes, conferences, seminars, workshops etc. both for faculty members and students. Dr. Akila, realizing that developing holistic individuals is the objective of National Educational Policy 2020, utilizing the autonomous status of the Institute, has initiated interdisciplinary subject in every discipline of engineering course and thus increased creativity and innovation, developed critical thinking and higher order of thinking capacities, enhanced problem solving abilities, and also the communication skills in students.
With the perennial support of Dr. K.P Ramasamy, the Chairman of institute, the latest digital infra structure including e- content, digital library have been provided and thus maximized learning outcomes. She, being in the 21st century technologies made it possible with the help of the dedicated team, for her students to study one or more specialized areas of interest at a deep level. She has also infused in the student’s character development, ethical and constitutional values, intellectual curiosity, scientific temper, creativity, spirit of service and 21st century capabilities across a range of disciplines through scores of clubs in vogue and their periodical activities.
Being quite aware that the role as a Principal is to develop and implement the best practices of academics and research in the institution to ensure a holistic development of students and faculty members, she has deep interest in entrepreneurship, incubation and institution building. Her role is remarkable in the branding of the institution as the most preferred institution in the country. She is quite confident, as the vital personality at KPRIET to create a vision of academic success for students, fostering leadership qualities in others and to promote and encourage professional development activities.
Dr. M. Akila is committed to assure a world class education to the students. Being a staunch research expert with 5 patents to her credit and having published several international journals, she encourages students and faculty members to win National and International acclaim through their innovative projects and products.
The latest achievements as the principal are that the Department of EEE has won the best AICTE- CII Industry Linked Institute 2020 and won Green 9 Maxima award 2020 from IGEN. Through tireless efforts the institute has come to a top level among the Autonomous colleges under Anna University.
A face of effective leadership
The greatest challenge before every renowned administrator like Dr. M. Akila was the surge of pandemic that threatened the human lives and absolutely toppled the educational platform. Being in a key position of leading a big team, as futuristic leader, made an immediate transformation from physical classroom atmosphere to online mode and neither the students nor the faculty members found it difficult to adapt themselves to this academic revolution. Students stayed protected at home but pursued regular classes. Not only that, the campus turned to be the safest hub against the pandemic, as arranged sanitizers and masks to be distributed to the needy. As also, problems identified turned into projects and they came out as products. Indeed, many startups radiated from the campus with her patronage. Thus, lockdown turned to be a blessing in disguise. Dr. M. Akila proved her testimony and knew how to harvest despite weather and rain. With mentors in constant touch with parents Dr. M. Akila, the captain stood a colossal against the pandemic and created a covid -19 free safe campus.
Learn beyond, the motto of KPRIET is made a reality through Dr. Akila’s futuristic vision of offering a curriculum to Learn Beyond the usual, by ensuring various services like, Foreign Language training, Intellectual property Rights cell, Career Advancement Cell, Office of International Relations, Centre for Innovation and Incubation and entrepreneurship Development, Industry Institute Partnership Cell, Women Empowerment Cell and Liberal Arts programmes for the students to learn beyond to up skill themselves.
Dr. Akila feels proud to create and transform students into sports personnel both at the State and University level with the continued patronage of Dr. K.P Ramasamy, the Chairman who has provided indoor and outdoor play areas with international standard She feels privileged to have satisfied students, interested in good physique by facilitating them with Multi gym for men and fitness centre for women.
An epitome of responsibility
“In the life of a professional, certain losses and sacrifices are inevitable, & as a professional it’s necessary to know how to distinguish between the personal and social space”, stated Dr. M. Akila, telling us how a woman education leader of today operates, giving equal importance to both her professional and personal life. She also added – “In the life of an administrative head, all what we require primarily is to win the trust of the family that we live in and live for”. Thanking her family back home and her extended family at KPRIET, she believes her associations have always helped her march ahead, thus, being a solution to problems and not a source.
Finally, learning thoroughly from the ongoing pandemic scenario and understanding the uncertainty this life has, Dr. M. Akila has been preparing towards the change and as an education leader, she holds responsibility of expecting the unexpected, yet leading to nurture. Also, being an experienced individual carrying an extensive 27 years of experience on her shoulders, her mission was and will always be towards enhancing the standards of education, by providing an excellent, ingenious, learning environment for all.