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A Journey from Hindi-medium small-town scholar to the international level academic administrator

In conversation with Dr. Sandeep Kautish.

Dr. Sandeep Kautish is working as Professor & Dean-Academics with LBEF Campus, Kathmandu Nepal running in academic collaboration with Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation Malaysia.

He is an academician by choice and backed with 16+ Years of work experience in academics including over 05 years in academic administration in various institutions of India and abroad. He has meritorious academic records throughout his academic career. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree in Computer Science on Intelligent Systems in Social Networks. He holds a PG Diploma in Management also. His areas of research interest are Business Analytics, Machine Learning, Data Mining, and Information Systems.

He has 40+ publications in his account and his research works have been published in reputed journals with high impact factor and SCI/SCIE/Scopus/WoS indexing. His research papers can be found at Computer Standards & Interfaces (SCI, Elsevier), Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing (SCIE, Springer). Also, he has authored/edited more than 07 books with reputed publishers i.e. Springer, Elsevier, Scrivener Wiley, De Gruyter, and IGI Global. He has been invited as Keynote Speaker at VIT Vellore in 2019 for an International Virtual Conference. He filed one patent in the field of Solar Energy equipment using Artificial Intelligence in 2019. He is an editorial member/reviewer of various reputed SCI/SCIE journals i.e. Computer Communications (Elsevier), ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, Cluster Computing (Springer), Neural Computing and Applications (Springer), Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing (Springer), Multimedia Tools & Applications (Springer), Computational Intelligence (Wiley), Australasian Journal of Information Systems (AJIS, International Journal of Decision Support System Technology (IGI Global USA), International Journal of Image Mining (Inderscience).

He has supervised one Ph.D. in Computer Science as a co-supervisor at Bharathiar University Coimbatore. Presently two doctoral scholars are pursuing their Ph.D. under his supervision in different application areas of Machine Learning. He is a recognized academician as Session Chair/Ph.D. thesis examiner at various international universities of reputes i.e. University of Kufa, University of Babylon, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Anna University Chennai, Savitribai Phule Pune University, M.S. University, Tirunelveli, and various other Technical Universities.

1. Please share your experiences with your academic and professional journey so far.

I am an academician by choice. I was very good at studies since the beginning and brought many academic accolades during my school education and even college days including merit scholarships and batch topper badges.  In our school days, computers used to be highly talked about but never experienced the kind of resources of a school. My parents suggested me to pursue my masters in computers and as a result of this, I joined M.D.S. University, Ajmer for M.Sc. in Computer Science in 2002. I remember my first day of post-graduation class when my instructor was discussing databases & FoxPro and I was struggling with the computer mouse because it was the very first opportunity for me to interact with the computer system. Being a Hindi medium student, it was like a nightmare for me to study a never studied subject especially in a language with which I was not very comfortable. I accepted this challenge, started giving me 100% towards my studies, and passed my M.Sc. with first division. I started my professional career in 2004. It took me 4 years to understand the difference between classroom teaching and comprehensive academics. When I look back at my first publication, it was a single author article published in 2008 and I was paid an honorarium by ICFAI Press worth INR 2500. It was just the beginning of the entire story and today I have over 40 publications in form of articles, research papers, review articles, book chapters, monographs, case studies, and a couple of these are published at very reputed venues of leading publishers. Presently, I am working under a Malaysian University academic system at LBEF Campus Kathmandu as Dean-Academics and looking after the entire gamut of academic activities of my academic campus.

2. What are your research and teaching interests?

My teaching and research interests got evolved during my job tenures with ICFAI University and IMS Dehradun where I taught courses like Business Analytics, Information Systems to MBA/PGDM programs, and later a few more were added as Healthcare Analytics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning.

3. You are working as an academic administrator since past few years and quite active in academic research activities as well. How do you make a balance in these?

I always aspired to be the best version of myself. I firmly believe that one has to realize his own potential through self-exploration and experimentation in a variety of ways. This is actually a misconception that a person cannot do academic administration while carrying out research and publication activities. In the past few couples of years, while acting as Dean-Academics at a high-end academic institution at one side, I have got published my works at top research venues i.e. Springer and Elsevier journals with high impact factor along with a couple of book projects with Springer, Elsevier, IGI Global, CRC Press kind of reputed publishers. I am actively engaged in reviewing activities with reputed journals as well. Also, I filed a patent application related to Artificial Intelligence in 2019.

4. Have you faces any setbacks/failures in your life/career?

I have no hesitation to admit that I have had many failures and mistakes in my life and career as well. During my initial days of graduation, I was very keen to go into Civil Services but I could not make it. Then after a few years, I made a couple of mistakes in job selection also when I had multiple job offers and I made a wrong decision by selecting the wrong organization. However, one mistake/failure cannot define you and your destiny. In larger contexts, all our mistakes are proofs of our efforts and testimonials of learning processes which are essentials for building a successful career,

5. What challenges you foresee for academic institutions in coming years?

In the last 5-10 years, sustainability is proved as the biggest challenge which is coming across to all academic institutions of India and abroad. During this period, we have got many private universities all over the country and moreover, now the government has allowed foreign investments in the higher education sector which will allow foreign universities to start their campuses in India. Under the light of given circumstances, sustainability is going to be an even more crucial challenge for all academic institutions in the coming years. In my personal opinion, only half the number of the present academic institutions will able to sustain in the next ten years. The key deciding factors of this survival will be the degree of focus on developing research infrastructure and competencies of the institutions and bridging industry-academic gaps using collaborative research projects.

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