“Build a sense of pride in your in­sti­tu­tion”

Hav­ing stud­ied and taught at Mi­randa House be­fore re­turn­ing as prin­ci­pal, Prat­i­bha Jolly talks about the per­sonal bond she shares with her col­lege. By Mridu Rai

India Today - - PEOPLE - PRAT­I­BHA JOLLY / PRIN­CI­PAL, MI­RANDA HOUSE

Prat­i­bha Jolly, prin­ci­pal Mi­randa House, says she is proud to serve her alma mater and be­lieves that true ed­u­ca­tion is not only about en­gag­ing the minds of young stu­dents but also in­volves en­gag­ing their hearts in equal mea­sure.

HOLIS­TIC LEARN­ING When I was in school, I par­tic­i­pated in a a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties. I was in­volved with the the­atre group, the fine arts so­ci­ety and I took part in de­bates as well. But my big­gest in­ter­est was al­ways bas­ket­ball. I also rep­re­sented the Delhi state bas­ket­ball team. Even to­day, I of­ten go to the court at Mi­randa House and try to shoot some bas­kets. A few years ago I could have scored from the half

line of the court but to­day I’m happy if I can just get a cou­ple of shots in the bas­ket. In school, I found time to take part and ex­cel in many ac­tiv­i­ties and sports but I never let them af­fect my stud­ies. I was amongst the na­tional CBSE top­pers. I think it is pos­si­ble to be an all-rounder and have al­ways tried to en­cour­age my stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in as many ac­tiv­i­ties as they can. This way they not only de­velop a broad un­der­stand­ing of var­i­ous the­o­ret­i­cal is­sues but also dis­cover their own hid­den tal­ents.

POS­I­TIVE SPIRIT I did my un­der­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stud­ies at Mi­randa House but never imag­ined that I would one day be head­ing the col­lege. When I was first ap­pointed the prin­ci­pal here, be­ing a sci­ence stu­dent, I de­cided to look at the col­lege as my lab­o­ra­tory and make grad­ual changes. It was not just about de­vel­op­ing in­fra­struc­ture but more im­por­tantly about de­vel­op­ing a pos­i­tive spirit and an ac­tive col­lege com­mu­nity. I wanted both the stu­dents and the fac­ulty to feel proud to be a Mi­ran­dian. This was my big­gest task. Even to­day I try to meet with ev­ery stu­dent dur­ing ad­mis­sions to es­tab­lish an ini­tal bond of trust and to let them know that I am ac­ces­si­ble at all times.

COL­LAB­O­RA­TIVE EF­FORT At the new D.S. Kothari Cen­tre for Re­search at Mi­randa House we have or­gan­ised work­shops fi­nanced by UNESCO on ac­tive learn­ing. Then we have a pro­gramme we launched, when I was the chair of In­ter­na­tional Com­mis­sion of Physics Ed­u­ca­tion, which deals with strength­en­ing physics ed­u­ca­tion in the de­vel­op­ing world. We have also held a workshop on the same with 40 par­tic­i­pants and four in­ter­na­tional di­rec­tors. This year we won a grant of nearly $60,000 which en­abled nine of our fac­ulty mem­bers to visit Syd­ney for three weeks and study about en­hanc­ing learn­ing in the lab­o­ra­to­ries. Last week we were also in­vited by the Univer­sity of New South Wales for a workshop in mul­ti­me­dia in ac­tive learn­ing. Re­cently, a col­league of mine has re­ceived a grant of 70 lakh for her

` work on tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. So there is plenty for stu­dents and staff to be proud of at Mi­randa House to­day.

BE­ING A MI­RAN­DIAN I’ve no­ticed that af­ter the three years that each stu­dent spends at the col­lege they grad­u­ate with a voice, a sense of be­long­ing and pride in not only their col­lege but also in their own achieve­ments. Col­lege can re­ally em­power and change the life of a young stu­dent. Noth­ing gives me more sat­is­fac­tion than to see this.

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