DTU Times interviewed Raj Soin, DCE Alumnus, who was at DTU for the Alumni Meet.
What role does DTU have to play in what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come?
DTU has made a very profound difference in my life since it was my first experience away from home. Meeting students from all over the country gave me the sort of exposure that makes a huge difference in itself. This is also the time when one makes long-lasting friends. I still have friends from the 1969 batch and the best part is how we get to learn from each other. People talk about how college is all about learning from books, but what we study will become obsolete in 10 years. What remains is learning how to learn and how to deal with people.
How did having a technical degree help in what you’ve done after that?
I did not want to go into Applied Engineering. Hence, right after my graduation, I switched to Industrial Engineering. But, since I have always had a tilt towards the business side of things, that is what I ended up pursuing.
In the past few years, you’ve invested a lot in education. What motivated you in doing that?
If you take a look at what we achieve in life, a lot of it has to do with our early education. As an engineer I realized that there was a lack of good business schools and I still feel like that set me back in life a little. I had to learn business the hard way, with hands-on experience. Even today, what we teach in my schools and colleges is the convergence between engineering and business. Secondly, I support only two causes: Education and Health care. If you feed a hungry person once, you’d have to do it every day for it to bear some consequences whereas education is a permanent solution and improves the standard of living for all individuals.
There is a sense of ownership that all old alumni feels towards their college. What brings that about?
There is an old adage that charity begins at home. The feeling of satisfaction that one gets in giving back to a place that gave them so much is very exhilarating. Also, one should always try to leave a place better than how they found it. One wants it to be available for their future generations and influence them in a way better than before.
What is your take on the atmosphere in the USA, especially for students who want to pursue further studies there?
Politically and socially, the environment is changing very radically. In the US, people used to be very welcoming for anyone wanting to pursue further studies. However, over time, this has transitioned and there are a lot of people coming in that are demolishing the welfare system. However, for a person seeking higher education and adding some value to their country, the gates are always open. The steps they have taken to control their borders come across as shocking probably because this is the first time anything of this sort is happening. But for someone seeking knowledge, they are still very welcoming.
How drastic has the change been in DTU till now and what would you like to say to the students that are currently studying here?
The infrastructure and facilities are excellent. As a leading technical university, our labs should be at par as well. Technology can be put to use to ensure that the students get a more accurate picture of what is going on in the outside world. That being said, if I get to graduate from a college in India today, I would never leave the country. There is enough funding available these days, and all ideas are being appreciated and backed.
How can the labs here be improved so that positive steps are taken in order to provide a more practical education?
There needs to be a lot more investment in order to make learning more practical and hands-on. Education is very book-based right now, and it will only be useful if we get to actually apply this learning in our day to day life.