CKK bids adieu to the esteemed Principal of SRCC by way of a parting interview!Watch Mr. P.C. Jain indulge in a lively conversation with the team of CKK!oWe believe that CKK is the fruit of SRCC’s orchard. Today, we the members of CKK, take thisgolden opportunity to know more about a person who has nurtured this orchard. Right fromthe day we joined SRCC, we were very curious to know about the personality who is upholdingthe prestige of our alma mater. So, here comes the moment of honor and privilege when thedoor of our Principal’s office is wide open and welcoming us to interview him. So, we shallproceed with interviewing Dr. PC Jain, our principal.
Q1. Can you give us a brief account of your journey from being a student to the Principal of this prestigious college?
Ans. I started my career trying to be first in things. In my village, looking at my background, I evaluated what all options were there. The only option available was education which is relatively free. So, I made up my mind that I have to stand first in my class. Eventually, I beat all the students. Once I had beaten them, I became the hero of my village. People started knowing me. Then self esteem was built in my thought process and then I continuously became number one in my village. Then, I left my village and went to my neighbor village for my middle school, sixth to eighth. There were students of six-seven villages and still I maintained my position among them. Then I went to my home town and in ninth and in tenth and eleventh, again I stood number one. Then I joined college and there also I became number one. Then I joined my Master’s course and even there I became the topper. There was an unwritten policy in SRCC that whoever will be the topper of any university will be selected as a teacher in SRCC. So, I and the second position holder, both came for interview here. I was selected and he was not selected. This is my journey of education. This means education is the biggest achievement, nothing more, nothing less. You don’t have to depend on anyone. You can read on your own. You want to read a thousand books, you can read. Because there is no tax on any books. There is no check on it. It enriches your thought process. Once I became the teacher of SRCC, a small boy from a village became a teacher of SRCC, slowly and gradually in the teaching profession, I had to prove myself. So, one day, it actually gets proved that you are better than many of the SR-ite teachers. And ultimately, you become the vice principal. Then, you finally become the principal of the college. And, I was very confident, even at that time, about this. So, this confidence is based on my hard work, nothing more. I have nothing to lose, nothing to gain. Sir, as a person, you have shown a very good rate of consistency. It has been said very well that education is tax- free and thus nobody can stop you from studying.
Q2. What is it about teaching that made you choose it over other professions?
Ans. Actually, I am a product of education. I have understood the importance of education in the life of a person. If you want to change or transform the lives of the people, who are the biggest asset of this society, there can be no better profession than this. Therefore my choice as a teacher, and when I selected it, I came to know the importance of education. Therefore, I continue to be in the teaching line. I do not have any desire to achieve a high position, a big bungalow or a fancy car. There is no point in running after these things. This greed only destroys lives, both our own and of others, too. It is better to live on the streets, simply, and try to uplift the lives of people on the streets, through education. I think that is the strongest motivation to be a teacher.
Q3. You have been a teacher as well as a principal. What challenges do you think you have faced as a professor and how are they different from the challenges of being a principal?
Ans. When you are a teacher, you are thinking about a restricted number of students, say 60 or so. Once you become the principal, your responsibility goes beyond those 60 students. Then your job also changes. Because, as a principal, your job is to fulfill the aspirations and dreams of students. You create an environment where every student who wants to fulfill his or her dream in the college, can fulfill it. And, in that direction, we have taken some stand, some initiatives over time. Some are successful, some are in the process and some are expected to be completed, shortly.
Q4. What problems have you encountered in life that students should know?
Ans. There were problems. But, I don’t personally believe in problems. Because, problems really sharpen you. They give you more confidence in that particular situation. So, I believe, after facing them you become a problem solver. You are a principal. If you will not solve the problems of students, who else will? So, in that context, it is a great place to work as the principal of this college.
Q5. Personally, what do you like more, teaching or holding a position of the institution’s head?
Ans. Look, when you are in teaching, you teach many things theoretically, principles, theories, and all that. After becoming a principal, it gives an opportunity to apply those things that you have learnt in your lifetime. So, earlier I thought I would be the teacher of management accounts, tax, accounts and even maths also. The most scoring subjects! But, now, I can say with confidence that all the streams of management have been relevant. They have helped me a lot in managing this college. If I had not been a management student and had been teaching some accounting and tax, I would think more about minting money and notes. So, managing an institution, managing people, is a big challenge. But, it is also very inspiring and
Q6. It can be drawn from your answer that you like being the principal of the college. Please elucidate.
Ans. It is in a different way. As soon as I became the Principal, I thought God has given me an opportunity to serve a bigger community rather than a smaller community. Now, I have to say that by serving them, I am able to show that. I will just give one example. Suppose that classrooms have become air conditioned, the efficiency of the students has increased by multiple times. In the last meeting, I told my chairman about this renovation. I pointed out that I am sure that as soon as the hostel becomes air-conditioned, our students’ performance would increase three times, four times. Comforts at that time looked like a luxury, but today, it is almost a need, it is necessary. Now suppose people are sitting in the library, all the rows are full, because it is a comfortable zone. Every place of the college is a comfortable zone. For teachers, we have created many schemes, to support them. For students also, we are financing them. Earlier they went to Hong Kong, Harvard etc. So we are creating many opportunities for meritorious students. See, they should take benefit of this and move forward.
Q7. Sir, you mentioned about the things in our college, like AC. So, from the time you have taught in this college and till this time what all challenges did you face during your tenure as a principal? How did you overcome them?
Ans. There have been a lot of challenges. They used to laugh at me. “What are you talking about? How can we do it? We cannot even think of it!” Now, the vice chancellor also told me to scold the kids. Different people come from different colleges and ask me, “Why don’t you scold the kids?” But, you know, being principal is a very powerful thing. Very powerful. I just visited London and met some of our old students and they are ready to do anything for the college, if I ask them to do it. They are so prosperous right now, that contributing rupees 1 or 2 crores is no big deal for them, because they have homes worth thousands of crores. Their maintenance is about crore rupees. So, where do they put all their money? Whom will they save for, especially in this age of westernization, when people do not believe in saving that much for the future generations? So, they contribute their wealth towards the college. So, college needs the change. Already our vision and some of the schemes have been approved by the governing body. We wish by 2026 that SRCC would be the college of your choice, the college of national choice.
Q8. What changes have you experienced from that time in the college to present time?
Ans. Changes have been taking place. Infrastructural development has taken place. Library wise we are better off. Computer section we are better off. Sports facilities are better. Teachers section, classrooms have changed a lot. Overall ambience in the college has changed a lot. And then, many more small things here and there. Overall, everyone speaks better about SRCC today, than any other college of the country. So, it is of huge pride to be a part of SRCC.
Q9. Who is that one person you think you could count upon, during hard times, during the tenure of yours?
Ans. Sometimes, you feel very lonely at the top. But it increases your strength over all these people who are below you. So, I never count on anyone. In the last 9 years as the principal, never. Whosoever comes to my office and makes unjust demands etc, I never lose my cool. They can do whatever they want. I have to make my college the best, come what may! So, I depend on my own conscience because I am honest to my cause. I am honest to my purpose. These are the things which cannot distract me from my goal. They cannot. I am very strong. So, I don’t have any single person whom I need in any crisis. Nor do I want anybody. Because if I am competent to handle the crisis, then why should I depend on anybody? If I start depending on people, people will start blackmailing me. So, I am always happy. Even in the worst crisis, I don’t want anybody’s support. Sir, this is a very unexpected and surprising answer!
Q10. From where do you think this will power has come?
Ans. I have a strong will. When I am honest, when I am true to my words, when I am working for the college twenty four hours a day, then, what is the weakness in me? Why should I go over to anybody? And, no one is going to help me, I tell you. Everybody will take benefit of that situation. Everybody. You know, people are of various characters. Therefore, I do not want to give them a chance to speak about me behind my back. In that context, I am a very private person and not a very public person. Even my friends asked me repeatedly, “Why are you taking up the job of a principal? You don’t have the required temperament. Don’t accept this job.” But today, those very friends praise me and hold me in high respect.
Q11. What has been your most cherished time during your days at SRCC?
Ans. I cherished every moment because you are helping selflessly whosoever comes to your office, be it students, outsiders, workers. It is tough to be a critic of a Principal in today’s times. There was a time when people used to raise slogans and hurl abuses against principals. But, in my nine years here, I have never seen any such thing happening. I have seen the worst time in SRCC, earlier as a vice principal.
Q12. What was your tenure as a teacher, before you became the principal?
Ans. I taught for almost 34 years, before this. And, now, nine years as the principal. Overall, I’ve been in SRCC for about 43 years. So, virtually, I worked with 7-8 principals. I worked with Radhika Ma’am who appointed me as the principal. Then, CB Gupta,DN Lawrence, HN Mathur sir and others.
Q13. Any moments in the college which made you so glad that they brought tears to your eyes?
Ans. It may seem I am always glad. There is no need to be in desperation, frustration. When you are actively involved in your work, where is the point of frustration and depression in all this? When you are working, some unusual things, as well as, some good or bad things are likely to happen. But things tend to get normal over a period of time.
Q14. Do you think life has rewarded you nicely?
Ans. More than nicely, I believe. What I was and what I am today is completely different. Today, the whole world knows PC Jain as the principal of SRCC, no matter wherever I go. But, when I was not here, nobody knew me. So, I believe there can be no greater reward in my life. Whether you go to the south, like Tamil Nadu, or to the North East, every street, every state, people know you as the principal of SRCC. I have visited four continents, South East Asia, Europe, America and everywhere, everyone knows. I don’t think that there could be a better reward possible for me.
Q15. What has been your mantra- a one line mantra, to direct the college through all situations?
Ans.An honest way of living. Stay honest and solve problems, as many as you can. Don’t postpone. Don’t have fight. Because it complicates life. So, honesty, that is it.
Q16. As we all know you are about to retire, what is that one thing you are going to miss about SRCC?
Ans. I will not miss. I have already made up mind. I have to leave SRCC. It is already fixed. Rather, I want to forget SRCC once I leave. Let SRCC enjoy its life on its own. Why, as a former principal, unnecessarily interfere? I believe that people should love to be the master of their own destiny. Similarly, I believe SRCC should be allowed to be the master of its own destiny. You got a chance, you did something for the college or you did not, that is a different issue and just forget about it. So, that one thing that I believe, I just want to forget SRCC. Let a new person come and take care of everything on his own.
Q17. Since you talked about the new person, what characteristics do you think should your successor possess in order to sustain the number 1 position that our college has gained?
Ans. I think he should be a man of integrity. I think he should be a man of honesty. A man of total commitment to SRCC. This can be put in another way. The way Arjun sees just the eye of the bird, his ultimate target; he should also focus on SRCC. He should devote all 24 hours to solve SRCC’s problems. SRCC is such an established college that not much needs to be done, as it is. Many people have already set up the system. So, if you are honest to that, committed to that, I believe it will take care of itself.
Q18. What are your plans post retirement ?
Ans. To be very honest, I have no post retirement plan. I have not thought of it till today, nor am I going to think of it. Rather, if I have to think of some plan, let me go underground first, for some time, like a year or two, and read the things I wanted to, but did not have time for. I want to read stuff that made me who I am, and then write and share my feelings with people. When you are in a job, you spend your life in it. But, you can build an independent thought on certain issues you confronted over a period of time in our education system. So, I don’t know about a plan. I don’t know!
Q19. What message would you like to give to SRites?
Ans. I want them to ponder upon the metamorphosis of an ordinary person becomes extraordinary with the help of education. What better example can I give except myself? A nobody becoming the principal of SRCC! Just because of education which is not even expensive. I think every student should avail the benefit of education, especially when they have got the best at SRCC. They should build a career.
As far as the college is concerned, there are many more things we want in SRCC. More discipline. More commitment. I want them to realize the need of preserving the clean ambience of the college. I wasn’t then to ask themselves, how do they want their SRCC to be? (Humara SRCC kaisa ho?) If they set aside a day, an hour or even 10 minutes for SRCC and think about the SRCC of their dreams, then, I believe SRCC will improve by a hundred times. After all, how much can one person do, alone? But, all the students together, can achieve a lot.
After all, your identity is founded on this institution. The day the brand name falls, you will be embarrassed to admit you are a product of SRCC. So, it is your responsibility to protect the brand name of SRCC. This is the collective responsibility of the thousands of Sr-ites across the globe to protect, sustain and build further the brand name of the college.
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