Set up in 1955, Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS) Ranchi is one of the oldest management institutions in India. Like XLRI, XIMB and LIBA, it is part of Jesuits Group of Institutions and offers many PGDM programs in areas like Human Resource Management and Rural Management.
Dr. Joseph Marianus Kujur, SJ assumed office of the Director of XISS during this COVID-19 crisis period. He has a clear vision for the future of XISS – to strengthen the current programs and to transform into a University in next few years.
Dr Kujur joined XISS as an Adjunct Professor in December 2011. He was also the Chairman of Governing Body, XISS. Dr Kujur obtained his Ph.D. from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University and Post-doctoral from Center of Latin American Studies (CLAS), Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. Dr.Kujur has co-supervised Ph.D. students of University of Spain and the USA. He was also invited as an external examiner of M.Phil & Ph.D. theses in JNU, DU and IIT Roorkee.
In an exclusive interview with MBAUniverse.com, Dr Kujur shared how he is planning to strengthen current programs, improve learnings resources, and his plans to transform into a University in next few years. He also shared important Placements and Admissions details. Edited excepts follow.
Q. XISS is part of the Jesuit group of institutions. Please tell us more about the group.
A: The Xavier group of institutions has a legacy of more than 5 centuries. XISS, Ranchi is managed and governed by the Society of Jesus – more popularly known as the “Jesuits”. The Jesuit order was established some 500 years ago by St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus which came into existence in 1540 in Rome and since then they have been engaged in promoting quality education throughout the world.
The Jesuits run nearly 3900 Educational Institutions in 96 countries. These Jesuit Educational Institutions cater to the educational requirements of approximately 29.28 lakh students across the globe. Some of the best colleges in India like St Xavier’s Colleges in Mumbai and Kolkata, Loyola College Chennai, Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai, XLRI Jamshedpur, XIM Bhubaneswar are run by the Jesuits and belong to the same fraternity and share the same legacy of quality education.
Q: What is the ethos of XISS and its core values? How are they different from other management institutions?
A: XISS is rooted in the Jesuit tradition of education with Magis (a Latin term for “more” that was adopted by St Ignatius of Loyola), at the core of everything and the spirit of Magis inspires one to do things better continually for the greater good. Jesuit education is universally regarded as a model of excellence around the world and the goal of Jesuit education is to form leaders of competence, conscience and compassion who strive to build a better world.
XISS Ranchi believes in the philosophical attitude of nurturing and shaping “Professionals with a difference”. Following the principle of “Cura Personalis” each individual is groomed to become professionals with a distinct virtue of caring and sharing and an attitude of giving back more to the society while being responsible citizens for a sustainable world.
At XISS we strive to groom young minds that will transform them – from just “any other person” to a “professional with a difference”. A professional who cares – cares for others, cares for the society, and cares for the world. This transformation is what makes our graduates different to graduates from other B-Schools.
Q. You have recently taken over leadership role at XISS. What are key initiatives undertaken at XISS during last 9-10 months?
A: From the very start of my stint as Director of XISS, Ranchi, I have endeavoured to enhance the Brand strength of the Institute and prioritise student experience and academic offerings. Some substantial initiations in this line are:
- NBA accreditations
- Prepare the groundwork necessary towards applying for University status
- Revamping research related polices to create an environment of knowledge creation and dissemination
- Stressing on faculty development and resource upgradations
- Revitalizing the institute-industry interface
- Strengthening the alumni relations.
Q. What is your Vision for XISS? Where do you see it in next 3-5 years?
A: As I assumed office of the Director during this COVID-19 crisis period, I have a dream for the future of the institute. The NBA accreditation, essential for the prosperity of the institute, is the first priority. Exploring possibility of a larger space for the new XISS campus is another priority. The talk of XISS being enhanced to the University status has been going on for the past more than ten years but it is time now that it requires a concerted effort to take the matter to its logical conclusion and I foresee to make it happen within the next 3 to 5 years. In the meantime, strengthening of the programs, promoting faculty and staff development programs, need to be emphasized. While trying to be competitive to face the market, it will also be important to promote ethical and human values, which are the hallmark of XISS – Creating Professionals with a Difference.
Q. How did XISS adapt to COVID 19 related disruptions? What steps were taken to ensure that learning doesn’t stop?
A: Covid-19 has forced educational institutions across India and the world in fact, to suspend physical classrooms and shift to online classes.
- After the initial phase of the lockdown, we too, quickly shifted to the online mode of conducting classes as webinars, google meet or zoom sessions. We supplemented by providing pre-recorded classes, videos, study materials and reference notes almost on a daily basis.
- We took special care that there is no delay in the academic session and proceeded with the online conduction of examination which came with its own set of challenges of administering the tests, online proctoring and evaluation of the test papers.
- Besides the regular teaching engagements, various Programs conducted as many as 30 webinars of high standard involving top personnel from the academia, industry and the administration.
- Living up to its motto, XISS also collaborated with the district administration in addressing the issue of reverse migration and partnered with them in terms of serving the migrants and the shelter-less by way distributing food packets along with dry ration packages and other essentials. (So, neither learning nor social service stopped because of the disruptions.)
Q. Please tell us the current status of campus reopening. Has XISS opened its campus for 1st Year and 2nd Year students?
A: We have recently, resumed face-to-face interactions and offline classes for the second-year students. We decided to open up phase wise - starting with the outgoing batch so that they do not get a feel of being left out. Both online and offline classes are being carried out parallelly.
In this challenging time, we prefer to stand alongside our students and assist them find job opportunities and hold their hands in the final phase of their association with us.
Q: What are the key initiatives for the post Covid-19 era in coming year?
A: The future of education after Covid–19 is going to be more challenging and thus more rigorous. The mandate for the ‘next normal’ is to prepare professionals to face extraordinary circumstances and imbibe in them a sense of resolve, resilience and adaptability.
- The academic programs will be re-contoured to address the above mandate with an emphasis on e-learning and technology.
- The student mentorship programs will now focus on enhancing the capacity of our students to imagine and think critically for extraordinary situations and exhibit resilience.
- We have introduced a Counseling center with an aim to provide space for self-realization, self-exploration and to address psychological concerns leading to personal, social, and professional growth.
- We are also introducing a Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (CBCS) as an Interdisciplinary Centre that intends to promote new ideas, thoughts and programs.
Q. How were the Placements 2020? What percentage of the total students were placed? What was the average salary…
A: The final placement figures for the year 2020 touched 89%. As a testimony of competence and tenacity our students exhibited during their internship period, we were able to bag 11 PPOs. The highest CTC clocked was another feather in the cap. The Program of PGDM-HRM received a CTC of Rs 26.49 lacs which was highest ever. Stipends offered to summer interns were equally encouraging with the highest stipend reaching Rs 1.25 lac.
In all, we had about 122 companies which participated in the campus recruitment process for the year 2020 and out of the 122 recruiters, 35 were new. A total of 264 offers were made with highest CTC of Rs 26.49 lacs per annum and the average CTC was Rs. 5.85 lacs per annum. The average salary for the HR program touched a record Rs 8.61 lpa. The programs of Finance management, Rural management, Marketing and Information Technology has achieved a placement of 96.43%, 94.52%, 89.09% and 83.33% respectively.
The recruiters represented well diversified sectors such as consultancy, automobile, power, steel, edu-tech, BFSI, IT, retail, telecom, pharma and social/non-profit organizations.
Q. Thank you for sharing details candidly. How are Placements 2021 progressing…
A: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the sharp downturn in the economy, the placements in the current year are going strong for XISS. The process is still ongoing and will continue till the month of May 2021. So far, it has already crossed the 70% mark for the program of PGDM-HRM and about 55-60% for other programs. A good number of companies are still lined up for the forthcoming months.
Most of the companies, this year have conducted online placements and it was not easy for the placement cell and the students to handle the interviews remotely. The pace with which placements have progressed is already a testimony of competence and tenacity exhibited by our students during the placement season. The highest CTC for the season, so far, was Rs. 13.50 LPA and as many as 5 PPOs to boast post the lock-down period.
Q: Coming to Admissions, how is the response for admission this year?
A: The response so far is good. It is in-fact, overwhelming for most of our programs, particularly after the recent announcement of the CMAT examination dates.
Q: CMAT exam was delayed this year, and held on March 31. Results are expected soon. What are the changes in admission process to accommodate this delay?
A: The institute is closely following all the AICTE norms regarding admissions and is extending its last date of admissions in view of the belated CMAT exams.
The institute is committed to the cause of the mass and shall:
- Wait for applicants applying through CMAT besides CAT and XAT aspirants
- Finalize its merit list only after the CMAT results are available.
- Accommodate “graduation appearing” candidates and allow delay in submission of final marks sheet and pass certificate in view of the delay in university exams due to covid-19.
Q: Finally, what is your message to MBA aspirants? What can they expect at XISS in coming years?
A: My message is that MBA is not about the CTC or the Company in which one gets placed, it is about education for a life time and acquiring those skill sets that will help one flourish in whichever industry one steps into.
Over the last 65 years, XISS has established itself as a pioneer in the field of management education. Our commitment to impart education with social sensitivity has received widespread accolades and acceptance. Moreover, the unique blend of academic exercise, industry exposure and extracurricular activities endows students with the necessary aptitude, decision making abilities and leadership skill that every recruiter seeks. We are constantly working towards upgrading and updating our programs to make them more futuristic and pragmatic. In the coming years, we plan to introduce more programs to our line of offerings that is in demand - and for this; we are exploring scope for collaborations with the industry and the global academic fraternity.
Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS) Ranchi