Pravesh Dudani: Paving the Path of Success with Impactful Leadership in Education

Pravesh Dudani - Founder - Chancellor MSU

Mr. Pravesh Dudani, Founder Chancellor, Medhavi Skills University

In an era where the Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping industries, the significance of a dynamic, outcome-focused, and inclusive ecosystem in skill-integrated higher education is paramount.

As industries pivot towards automation, AI, and other technological advancements, the onus is on educational institutions to prepare students for the jobs of the next decade.

Mr. Pravesh Dudani, an illustrious alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, recognized this shift early on and founded Medhavi Foundation and subsequently Medhavi Skills University, a UGC and NCVET approved Skills University to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Mr. Pravesh Dudani, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, is a visionary thought leader in the education industry. With a passion for empowering youth, he founded Medhavi Foundation in 2012 and then established Medhavi Skills University, driving transformation in skill-integrated higher education.

Mr. Pravesh Dudani, the Founder and Chancellor of Medhavi Skills University, is not just an educationist but a visionary who believes in the transformative power of education. His commitment to youth leadership is evident in his endeavors to reshape the educational landscape, aligning it with the New National Education Policy’s vision of holistic and multidisciplinary learning.

How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far? What is the motivation that fuels your daily routines?

Pravesh Dudani: My journey began with a deep-rooted passion for education, ignited during my transformative years at IIT Kharagpur. Over nearly two decades, I’ve pioneered and nurtured various educational ventures, each reflecting my commitment to revolutionizing the way we approach learning.

The New National Education Policy’s (NEP2020) emphasis on practical and outcome-based learning resonated with my belief in valuing real-world experiences.

At Medhavi Skills University, we’re not just imparting knowledge; we’re shaping future leaders, innovators, and change-makers. Every day, I’m driven by the potential I see in our youth and the transformative power of education.

Could you tell us about the unique experiences IIT Kharagpur offers and what did you learn from the campus beyond academics?

Pravesh Dudani: My five years at IIT Kharagpur were truly enriching, and while the classroom education was valuable, I found even greater learning and growth outside those walls. The dynamic environment fostered student-run communities and societies encompassing music, dance, and technology fests.

Engaging in extracurricular activities led to cherished friendships, and I am immensely proud of my batchmates excelling in leadership roles worldwide. Also, I sensed the need for a more industry-experienced faculty to inspire students for their corporate journeys.

This insight ignited my passion to revolutionize education with industry-relevant practices. I envisioned involving corporates in the learning process, ensuring real-world applications and meaningful outcomes.

This multidimensional approach to education, which is now a cornerstone of the New National Education Policy, deeply influenced my vision for Medhavi Skills University.

How would you define Medhavi Skills University as an organization and its current position in the market?

Pravesh Dudani: At Medhavi Skills University, we go beyond the traditional university model. Recognized by both UGC and NCVET, we possess the authority to customize and offer skill integrated degree courses and NSQF aligned standard skill competency certifications, as well as establish occupational standards for professional training.

Our focus extends to collaborating with various industries to develop short-term academic credit-bearing certifications. For instance, partnering with South India’s prominent music production studio, we offer courses in music production and technology, sound engineering, and sound mixing.

These courses seamlessly lead to a comprehensive BSc degree in sound engineering and music production. Additionally, we believe in valuing work experience, aligning with the new National Education Policy.

This enables candidates to convert their real-world expertise into academic credits, significantly reducing the time and effort required to earn a degree. Emphasizing practical learning, our programs cater to the needs of today’s dynamic industries, ensuring our students are well-prepared for a successful and rewarding future.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?

Pravesh Dudani: My leadership philosophy is anchored in three core aspects: Vision, Empowerment, and Empathy. I believe in setting a clear, transformative vision that not only charts our path but inspires those around me. Empowerment is key; I trust and delegate, allowing my team the autonomy to innovate and take ownership of their roles.

This fosters a culture of responsibility and innovation. Lastly, empathy drives every decision I make. Understanding the aspirations, challenges, and dreams of our students ensures that we remain student-centric in our approach. At Medhavi, we’re not just imparting knowledge; we’re shaping futures, and that responsibility guides every step I take.

In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?

Pravesh Dudani: We are living in one of the most exciting times for education. The confluence of technology, globalization, and a renewed focus on holistic development presents unparalleled opportunities. For budding leaders, my advice is to be audacious in your vision.

Dream big, because today’s challenges demand bold solutions. Embrace change, for it’s the only constant in our rapidly evolving world. But most importantly, always keep the youth at the heart of your mission.

They are not just students; they are the future leaders, innovators, and change-makers of our country. By empowering them, by understanding their aspirations and equipping them with the right tools, we have the unique opportunity to shape the future of our nation.

This is our moment to make a lasting impact, to leave a legacy that future generations will look back on with pride.

Can you articulate the core mission and vision of Medhavi Skill University? How does the university aim to distinguish itself from other institutions, particularly in terms of fostering skill development?

Pravesh Dudani: In the dynamic landscape of higher education, where traditional models are being challenged by the demands of the new-age economy, Medhavi Skills University is revolutionizing higher education by interweaving industry-relevant skills with academic learning, in line with the mandates of the New National Education Policy 2020.

Our core vision is to establish an outcome-driven, and inclusive educational ecosystem that embraces a hands-on, practical learning approach equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in today’s competitive world. We aim to promote in-demand skill-focused education, directly linked to employability and career growth.

Medhavi Skills University is India’s largest skills university and is duly recognised by UGC (University Grant Commission), NCVET (National Council of Vocational Education & Training), DGT (Directorate General of Training) and NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation), the national regulators of higher education & skill development.

Within the last three years, MSU has pioneered the Dual model of Education through apprenticeships / internship embedded programmes while partnering with 200+ industries / employers for on-the-job trainings.

Currently 15,000+ youths are deployed in various work embedded degree / diploma programmes in partnership with industries under the “Learn & Earn” model thereby making higher education more affordable, relevant and outcome driven.

What distinguishes traditional universities from MSU is how “Skills” and “Learning Outcomes” take center stage enhancing the learners’ ability to apply concepts in real-world workplaces. Our industry-endorsed curriculum is meticulously designed focusing on experiential learning and on-the-job learning, a proven method that encourages our students to learn through hands-on experience.

By immersing themselves in real-world projects, our students develop cognitive abilities to critically think, solve problems and hone analytical skill-sets essential for their professional success. Our driving ideology is that the learning should happen in all realms i.e. on-campus, online, on-site, on-the-job.

How does the curriculum align with the current industry requirements, and what measures are taken to ensure students are well-prepared for the workforce?

Pravesh Dudani: MSU, driven by its core ideology of providing industry-relevant and industry-led skilling and education gives specials emphasis on making sure that the programmes are handpicked and launched as per industry demand and the skills required by industry is mapped and embedded into the curriculums.

The govt of India through NCVET has notified National Skills Qualification Framework” which is standard curriculum framework to standardize occupational standards (Workplace Job Roles) in India.

Recognized by both UGC and NCVET, MSU enjoys the unique status of “Skills Awarding Body” or Certification Body for Skill based courses. Under the aegis of NCVET, MSU works with Industries to develop NSQF aligned standard skill competency certifications, as well as establish occupational standards for Job roles and qualifications most suited for the world of work.

The Skill competency certifications thus awarded by MSU are linked to academic credits as per the “National Credit Framework (NCrF)” enabling seamless integration of skill competencies into higher education curriculums.

These industry collaborators play a pivotal role as stakeholders and influencers in shaping the curriculum design, delivery methods, and practical skills training thus preparing the students for the world of work.

This strategic approach ensures that our students are equipped with the latest industry-relevant knowledge and skills by using “Industry as Campus” thus enhancing their workplace readiness. This industry-led-skilling model enables recruiters from leading sectors to identify and customize talents to get the desired human capital for their operations.

This work integrated model leads MSU to emerge as a pioneer institution of skill-based education recognized by employers, nationally and internationally. It provides opportunities for flexible learning, competency-based modular courses and credit accumulation/ transfer across educational streams for continuous learning.

What sets Medhavi Skills University apart is its diverse range of programmes catering to different educational needs and aspirational career paths tailor made for students. From regular courses to skill-based programmes, short-term training initiatives, and innovative work-integrated diploma/degree programmes, the skills-university offers a comprehensive bouquet of options to suit varied interests.

Furthermore, through our apprenticeship and on-the-job training programmes, MSU students graduate with a competitive edge, ready to make a meaningful impact in their chosen fields from day one of their jobs.

Can you share the success stories of graduates who have excelled in their respective fields?

Pravesh Dudani: Established under the Sikkim Act, 2021, and recognized by UGC, Medhavi Skills University has achieved noteworthy milestones. We became India’s first skills university 100% compliant with NEP2020 and received NCVET approval to function as an Awarding Body.

Partnering with 200+ corporates, we’ve launched Work Integrated Higher Education and Apprenticeship courses. Our MoU with DGT (Directorate General of Training) enables us to offer work integrated ITI education.

Additionally, MSU works with NSDC for candidate enrolments across India leveraging their Training Partner network and continuously onboarding industry partners.

As of date there are 15,000+ candidates who are deployed as apprentices with various industry partners of MSU for doing on-the-job training as part of their UG programmes. Below are some unique success stories.

In the rapidly changing landscape of education and technology, how does Medhavi Skills University stay innovative and adaptable? Are there any recent initiatives or advancements that highlight the university’s commitment to staying at the forefront of educational excellence?

Pravesh Dudani: Medhavi Skills University is spearheading India’s journey to become a global education hub by championing global collaborations and fostering digital advancements. We’ve formed partnerships through credit transfer articulation agreements, dual degree, or twinning degree agreements with overseas universities and international awarding bodies.

We’ve also expanded our reach to diverse audiences by providing online upskilling courses in emerging sectors like AI, ML, and AR/VR. Our curriculum bridges the gap between education and employment, equipping students with practical experiences and industry-oriented skills.

The last two years has been important in recognizing the pivotal shifts occurring in the higher education landscape, particularly in light of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020) and the subsequent introduction of the new National Credit Framework (NCrF).

The NEP 2020 has ushered in a wave of reforms aimed at modernizing and revamping the higher education sector in India emphasizing an outcome-based education, which focuses on tracking learning outcomes and competencies rather than merely monitoring the amount of time spent by students in classrooms.

The introduction of the new NCrF further reinforces this shift towards outcome-oriented education. By aligning academic credits with learning outcomes and competencies, MSU is encouraging learners to prioritize skill development and holistic learning experiences.

Additionally, Medhavi prepares students for a diverse future through training in life skills, digital skills, and liberal skills. Emphasis is placed on community impact, adaptability, and maintaining a global perspective, preparing students for a dynamic and technology-driven world.

The recent budget emphasizes the Skill India Mission, highlighting Medhavi Skills University’s alignment with its goals and objectives. Details on specific initiatives or collaborations are requested.

Pravesh Dudani: Our initiatives for scaling this education model involves critical partnerships and innovative learning methodologies. We’ve partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) as an anchor Skills University, offering Work Integrated Higher Education courses via their network of 10,000+ registered training centres across India.

Also, MSU works closely with the skill training instructions of NSDC to recognise their courses for award of Skill certifications and academic credits as per NCrF.

Additionally, we’ve collaborated with 200+ companies and industries for course development and on-the-job training opportunities, ensuring our students gain practical, industry-aligned skills. Our curriculum, designed in-line with sector-specific competencies, brings multi-dimensional learning to the fore.

This learning occurs on-campus, online, on-site, and on-the-job, fostering dynamic, engaging experiences. These initiatives are our commitment to enhancing the education landscape, making it relevant, accessible, and aligned with industry demands.

MSU collaborates with industry leaders under its WISE (Work Integrated Skill-based Higher Education) initiative. WISE aims to deliver industry-relevant curriculum and outcomes through a blended approach.

The hybrid nature of the programmes encompasses the theory component through physical, online, live classes, and the practical component is delivered and practiced through On-the-Job Training (OJT) at Industry premises.

The initiative aims to empower students with industry 4.0 aligned work-integrated programs. The candidates will get on-the-job training experience and be exposed to real-time industry-relevant projects through Apprenticeship-Embedded Degree Programmes (AEDP).

MSU has partnered with AEQUS, NIFD Global, IHG, AIHBA, Windmill Lane Recording Studios, B4M Entertainments & NHQ studios, Framebox under the aegis of WISE.

Also, MSU has tie-ups with the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy fraternity for unique customised skill development and higher education programmes tailored to their needs. Also, MSU, through its parent body Medhavi Foundation, works with 14 state governments for implementation of capacity-building and skill development programmes.

In the last 10 years, under the Skill India Mission, Medhavi has impacted 2 Lakh plus individuals across India through employment-centric training and skill-development.

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