Putting the Focus on Project Management Education and Research
BY SAPNA SABIN GUPTA
Organizations in India are steadily waking up to the need for a projectized work culture, resulting in an increase in the demand for project management professionals. PMI India's third Research and Academic Conference, hosted at the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, focused on delivering project management excellence through education, research, and practice.
The three-day conference on 13-15 February was a forum for researchers, educators, students, and industry professionals to not only gain insight into their respective worlds but also constitute a strategy to impart quality project management education in India. The conference attracted over 250 attendees.
There were nine keynote addresses by well-known project management educators and industry experts, four tutorials, and two discussions, besides paper presentations by faculty members, researchers, and students.
The distinguished keynote speakers were Prof. Vijay Kanabar, professor and director of project management programs, Boston University, USA; Prof. Mangesh Korgaonker, director general, National Institute of Construction Management and Research; Mr. Pushkaraj Kale, banking, financial services and insurance sales - western region, Microsoft; Mr. K. Subrahmanian, vice chairman and managing director, Afcons Infrastructure Ltd.; and Mr. G. S. Tuteja, chief signal and telecommunications engineer, Western Railways; Prof. R. K. Shevgaonkar, director, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Ms. Tessy Thomas, project director, Defence Research and Development Organisation; Ms. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, managing director, Maharashtra Small Industries Development Corporation Ltd.; and Mr. Arun Balakrishnan, former chairman and managing director, HPCL.
The organizers received a total of 118 abstracts, out of which 34 papers were selected for presentation. These tracks covered topics under construction and infrastructure, information technology, organizational projects, research and development, social and public systems, and managing a dynamic project environment.
PMI India launched the PMI Curriculum and Resources - a curriculum framework for project management at the under graduate level. This is a faculty-to-faculty initiative in which PMI acted as a bridge. A whitepaper on 'The urgent need to establish a project management program' was also launched.
A highlight of this year was the faculty development program that was organized and conducted by Prof. V. B. Khanapuri. It was held for five days starting two days prior to the conference during which NITIE faculty members held classroom training and tutorial sessions for program attendees on various pedagogical approaches to teaching project management.
PMI India presented awards to honor academicians for their contributions in project management advocacy, research, education, and training. There were 16 nominations for two awards under the PMI India Distinguished Scholar category and three awards under the PMI India Young Research Scholar category. The awards ceremony was followed by a cultural program in which musician Mr. Ravi Iyer and his group played Indo-western fusion music. Awards were also given to the best student technical paper and the best technical paper presented during the conference.