Significance of Computer Science Engineering in a COVID-19 infested Era

Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus from December 2019 till date, the whole world is adversely impacted by the induced pandemic which has forced on every form of the established system, a drastic change in the day-to-day lives of the people belonging to different strata of the society. The socio-economic setup that was prevalent throughout the world, is already significantly shattered, and hence calls for the conceiving as well as establishing a new system wherein the various functionalities may ensure the smooth and orderly execution of different aspects of the human society can be reinstated keeping in mind the robustness of this system against a pandemic like situation such as these.

This COVID-19 infested pandemic has exposed major loopholes and faulty perceptions regarding the various domains like, healthcare sector, financial institutions & bodies, educational establishments, research & developments bodies as well as public welfare organizations, as a result of which the whole world community stands not just clueless but also helpless in grappling with the current catastrophe.

a) Impact of Covid on the domain

The viral outbreak at a massive global scale has forced governments across the world to impose hard lockdowns and travel restrictions thereby compelling the shutdown of offices that offer varied services related to several sectors. Furthermore, at an individual level, people need to maintain a safe distance and be physically covered (especially facial areas) at maximum times when outside. This has invariably impacted interpersonal communication greatly.

Considering all the above factors, a computer/smartphone device, internet connectivity and a relatively stable power supply has come to the rescue of people in many ways. Professionals associated with the computer science & engineering domain are able to maintain various sorts of data in large bulks securely and meticulously with the help of different technologies. Furthermore, with the advent and development of the internet infrastructure, an abundance of virtual space can be created and managed for warehousing these data. Various applications are these days widely used via handheld devices to serve day-to-day purposes like product or food delivery, cab or train booking, hotel booking, seat reservation at any event, online academic courses, online mails, messaging and meeting and so on.

With this current pandemic prevailing all over, the usage of the above online applications is greatly amplified as these software-based utility tools are proving to be beneficial in running the various sectors simply while sitting at home. More and more people are continually seeking online services and demanding applications that will make it possible in every way to handle various business or commercial activities, smoothen the functioning of the education and healthcare sector and providing real-time support to travel as well as transport services. Even in the entertainment industry and also crime investigation & forensics, complex application development with easy user-friendly outlooks are ever-growing.

In short, the computer science & information technology domain has invariably become even more lucrative, prospective and ever-growing field as the pandemic has forced majority of the services to go “online”. Interestingly, a number of professions has by this time become obsolete and many individuals lost their jobs except for some cases such as this domain. These days the most important and valued element is data on various things and this data is available in such large quantities that it needs organized storage and management. While attempting to find a robust and effective solution to the COVID-19 virus, several amounts of data are being recorded and used. Efficient handling and accessing of such data is thus necessitated which is realized by the applications developed by various professionals who are experts in the computer science field.

b) New trends

As mentioned earlier, several sectors across the world are either closed down or grappling to survive by somehow managing to lift their face up the troubled waters of the pandemic crisis. An interesting trend of relying on online services is being noticed among such sectors.

Education: With almost all academic institutions physically shut down, this sector has shifted to online mode of admission, lecture delivery, examination conduction, assignment delivery, subject-wise note sharing and student evaluation. These activities require the support of some multimedia-enabled devices having a camera, microphone and speaker, online document preparing web services, and virtual (cloud-based) storage space. There has emerged a vogue of online coaching and academic preparation via the use of mobile apps like Byju’s Classes, Unacademy and so on which have reduced the dependency on availing tutors. Altogether, all these necessitate the development of software-based applications that require the expertise of domain professionals.

Healthcare: Currently as the majority of the professionals in this sector are the frontline ‘warriors’ in this battle against the pandemic, naturally, they are highly exposed and vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus attack. Despite the extreme precautions taken, most of them even are losing their lives to this deadly virus given the highly contagious environment they are working in. This has led to a fear of psychosis among the general public to avoid visiting the doctors and other medical professionals for a routine health checkup.  As a result, the growing demand for online health checkup from home has led many software and app developers to build such dedicated applications that aid in routine healthcare and delivery of medicines. Some of the prominent apps operating in India are DoctorOnDemand and PharmEasy.

Business, Commerce, Banking & Industry: Several commercial and industrial workplaces are physically shut thereby causing losses and job cuts. A growing need has propped up for automation of industrial machinery and online support to various financial services as well as transactions, remote ordering, selling and purchasing, delivery of items. Some of these applications are realized by popular app services like Yono app (State bank of India), PolicyBazaar, Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Myntra.

c) Areas of research

Unlike other domains where research and development include extensive needs for laboratory or enterprise-level facilities and field works, pursuing research in the computer science domain requires just three things at home: a good quality computer system/workstation, internet connection and access to research-level online repositories. There are several open-source development tools that can be downloaded and utilized for effective research. Some of the major domains where computer science has pervaded are Medical science, genetics & genomics, microbiology, transport technologies, core industrial & engineering, basic sciences. Researchers under this domain by sheer knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Machine Learning and Deep Learning are gradually succeeding in presenting automated models for determining the nature and spread of the COVID-19 virus. Although the concept of Artificial Intelligence is not new (coined in 1956 by John McCarthy), the extensive development and the need for massive automation across several fields has uplifted the status of this concept that has led to enhanced research in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. In short, a professional equipped with such domain knowledge easily feels valued and almost indispensable across several multi-disciplinary fields.

Communication Management-Influence, persuade, manage and control the flow of communication

Commenting on language, Federico Fellini, the acclaimed Italian film director once said “A different language is a different vision of life”. The same goes for communication. An embodiment of human emotions manifested through diverse means and tools – advertisement, public relations (PR), corporate communications and so on. How can you control free-flowing human emotions? Like a bridge that tames a river to attain productive outcome, communication management controls the flow of information both online and offline through systematic planning, implementation and monitoring of all channels of intra and inter-organizational communication to achieve an efficient system of communication dissemination.

MBA in Communication Management program offered by the Department of Communication Management, Adamas University, Kolkata, trains its students on the ways to design corporate communication strategies and devising internal and external communications directives.  Our program is designed and delivered according to the 40:60 Educational Model, where the classroom teaching constitutes 40 per cent while the remaining 60 per cent is field-based training. How does our media education system cater to the dynamic world of communication? Let’s explore more.

As we are aware, Covid 19 has indeed impacted the communication and media ecosystem globally like never before. The revenue of traditional media houses is dwindling. Execution and administrative work will now mostly be done by artificial intelligence (AI). Clients are demanding from agencies creative insights and strategies. This adds to already existing conditions of increased noise, lesser attention span, media cacophony, diversified media, ever-increasing influencer list and the fast-evolving social media. The complexity of media ecosystem has just increased manifold.

The success of public relations or any communication professionals will depend on achieving measurable business impact. The pre-pandemic and post-pandemic expectations from industry and professionals may vary widely. Customer “sensitivity” that is undoubtedly is on an all-time high remains vigilant about the cause and statements from influencers and ambassadors of a brand. Here comes equipping our students with adequate and relevant skills. The MBA in Communication Management program promotes ethical consideration, compassionate outlook, and socially responsible approach among the learners. We mentor 24×7.  Online study materials, videos and exercises are available round the clock. Our well-entrenched network facilitates regular networking of students with distinguished industry professionals. Workshops and training sessions are regularly conducted by experts from the industry.  The learners participate in national and international seminars and conferences. Internships, industry visit and familiarization tours/visits to relevant facilities enhance their skills.

We believe in Experiential Learning – a process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.  Experiential learning, participative learning and problem-solving methodologies are used to nurture the leaders of tomorrow.

Our Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) enable efficient interactions among students, faculty members and other stakeholders. Likewise, through Capacity-building, we “develop and strengthen” the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world. “As a part of Skill development, we actively (1) identify skill gaps, and (2) develop and hone those skills.

Awareness of trends in technology as a skill refers to being mindful of the technology that is recently becoming popular and is readily accepted in the market or industry.  Ideal technology trend awareness skills mean a person’s ability to either correspond to the industry-wide technology adoption or surpass it, which is our endeavour is to inculcate knowledge of technology in our students.

Our focus is research-oriented. The communications industry is dynamic and ever-evolving. Our focus includes research relating to situations and techniques to address the same.

Industry Orientation sits at the core of our courses at MBA in Communication Management. Many of our mentors and advisory board members are respected figures in the industry. Internships and industry-sponsored projects by students are compulsory. Our trainees are continuously exposed to the best practices, points of view and perspectives.

Entrepreneurship is the spirit of the day, and our program actively encourages the objective of entrepreneurship that inculcates competence to succeed in the market and confidence to create new ventures, and jobs in the economy.

Our constant endeavour is to advance the agenda of Global Standards and Outreach. Our curriculum follows best-in-class global standards. We have a mix of faculty members from academia and the industry with extensive international exposure. International tie-ups and regular connections through specially designed events are our speciality.

Whether its Consumer Behaviour, Brand Management, Communication Management & Experiential Marketing or Entertainment Media Revenues or any subjects that you choose from the bouquet of the subjects that we offer – our program comes with courses like Human Resource Management, Economics, Finance, Information Technology and Soft skills to transform you into a complete professional.

Our placements and internships include compulsory industry internship. Reputed news organizations from across the country and abroad hire the passed-out trainees. The salaries offered to passed-out trainees are at par with the best in the industry.

What are you waiting for? Join MBA in Communication Management and experience the world of difference.

School of Business and Economics: Unique Aspects

On 29 July 2020, the Government of India, through its renamed Education Ministry (erstwhile MHRD), launched the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), the first education policy of the 21st century, based on the foundational pillars of access, affordability, equity, quality, and accountability, and aligned to the aspirations of the citizens of the era. For Adamas University, this path-breaking policy presents the perfect setting of its cherished aims and objectives. Since its inception, Adamas University, through the general notion of academic freedom, benchmarking with the best of the world, unshackling the quality framework, has been nurturing all its constituent schools and helping them realize the aspirations of the millennial population they serve as students and scholars.

In spite of the raging pandemic, the School of Business and Economics (SOBE), is well poised with its robust work practices, frameworks, strategies and tools to understand and manage the challenges of building a modern, international, relevant centre of excellence, catering to the unique needs of the students and the corporates that it considers as primary stakeholders. The School rests on three strong unique pillars (USPs, if one may call them):

1. Deep connect with the corporate:

In the most canonical way, business is a practice-driven field, so the deep connectivity with the corporate world is imperative, and a real differentiator in this red-ocean of management or business schools, the vast multitude of institutions operating with essentially no difference, leading to commoditization of business education in India. At SOBE, we believe that business is going to transform the world for the good of all by facilitating more and deeper communication between management professionals, scholars, and students. SOBE with most of the faculty either having substantial corporate experience or having worked as consultants to the corporate world, try to mimic through modern online teaching methodologies how the real world works to ensure employability of its students.

Ever alert to the dichotomy between what is taught and what is needed in the job place, SOBE bridges the perceptual gap between the corporate world and the world of academia collaboratively. A few programs, in cutting-edge sunrise sectors like logistics, analytics, and entrepreneurship, offered by the School are actually conducted in tandem with industry partners. The proverbial parallel worlds of the academics and the practitioners are not only divergent, but also mired in deep mutual suspicions. In these and other programs offered by SOBE, corporates are involved not just delivery of content, but in almost every facet of the scholastic activity – curriculum design, planning of evaluation methods, internship design and execution, student assessment, apart from the usual delivery of content through industry speaker series, guest lectures, best practice or case study discussions by corporate professionals.

2. International curriculum:

One clear area that the prevalent situation has brought to the fore, and compelled humanity to take note of is the fundamental assumptions behind much of our business practices. Business is integrated, supply chains cover the entire globe and borders do not restrict exchange of ideas, products and people, just like they have not been able to do with the virus! Globally, corporates are waking up to the wasteful nature of business processes, a general lack of concern for human values (echoing the maxim of end justifying the means), apathy towards the environmental and climate issues, considering any goal other than profit (and the few other variants of the notion with sugar-coated nomenclatures) as tick-in-the-box items to have to look good, rather than to be good, and many such ways in which business have been running for quite some time now.

SOBE, in tandem with its partner institutions and universities across the globe, notably from Europe, USA and South East Asia, exposes its students to the imperatives and challenges of global business with all its covenant human and world issues. 

3.Digitally enabled:

The pandemic time is perhaps an opportunity to once again revisit the question of what we teach, why we teach, who must teach, how we teach, and where we teach the future business and management professionals. But the physical restrictions that it brought about forced academia to shift from the conventional classroom lectures pedagogies to digital online learning systems and processes. SOBE, along with the other constituent schools of Adamas University, made an effective move, which was endorsed and vindicated by none other than QS, and we were awarded the QS e-Lead certification, one among the early few to get it in the entire East and NE India.

Developing a scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of enquiry and reform among students in the digital environment, though challenging, is the mainstay of SOBE faculty. Gravity of the pandemics on people will humanize business schools by bringing society in their cross-hairs when it comes to research agenda, teaching curricula and outreach. With the entire World Wide Web at one’s disposal as teaching-learning tool, creativity and ingenuousness of faculty members enable multi-faceted learning among students. Unique digital pedagogies, like flipped classrooms, are being constantly developed by the faculty members to enhance student engagement and learning.

SOBE believes that education is a transformative process. How to we transform ourselves? Essentially, it is a matter of mindset and courage to buck the trend. While the rest of the business schools keep zigging the way they have been for some time now, few torchbearers need to zag and stand the ground at least for a reasonable amount of time for the business school environment as a whole to go through this transition by unlearning the old way, and relearning the new. SOBE wants to be among the pioneers to shed the image of an also-ran, easy-going, mostly local, average-placement oriented program to a unique, rigorous, global, good placement oriented force to reckon with. The best part of this is that as a nation, we know what needs to be done. It is in execution that we fail. The National Education Policy, NEP 2020, as a whole, urges us to take the plunge into this new world of excellence.

Creative Folks: Have Your Best Pick Now

Education Often ‘Killed’ Us

Everyone remembers how, when we were of 10 or 12 or 14 years of age, our parents and teachers almost gloated on our tiny abilities to draw, paint, dance, sing or write a poem; how we were paraded before our relatives to ‘show our talent’ or perform on school stage on Annual Day/s.

As we turned 16 till 18 and faced two Board exams of X and XII standards, all these great abilities took a back seat, were dubbed as ‘hobbies’ and declared not to be pursued much for the moment. We must rather focus on our careers, education that will give grades, make us logical and rational, and put us on a great professional track as the best engineers, doctors, lawyers or stock-brokers of the world.

We even thought that anything which is creative, which is right-brain, which is aesthetic or artistic is for appreciation, admiration, a tool to break ice with others, for social charm, and only that much. They are not to make money, create careers, be valued in the economy.

Exceptions to the Order of the Day:

There were exceptions though. Someone’s piece of art sold at thirty lacs you hear. Someone sang for almost half a crore one night. Someone wrote a story whose film rights went for twenty lacs you got to know. And many more. But these were not enough for your ‘security’ seeking parents and would-be parents-in-law to consider you having a recipe of ‘success’ ahead.

Security? Sustainability? Career? Money? Fame? Name? Network? Recognition? You name it and it is there for the taking. But only for those who would go the full hog to turn their die-hard dogged passion into a marketable sustainable admired profession. Dog is my favourite animal indeed.

Today, the media and entertainment industry is pegged at Rs.1.7 lacs crores (some 22 billion dollars) in India, according to FICCI Frames annual report of 2020, with some 2.4 million people working, and till 2019, it was growing at 13% annually on revenue and 11% in new work-force addition (with some 9% falling to attrition as well). The figures are far higher than the GDP growth rate of the nation. Surely, pandemic has caused a havoc in these figures, details of which are still not known till we have the next FICCI Frames white-paper on the industry. The digital revolution is sweeping across the world of creative expressions bringing forth web entertainment on the internet and through OTTs, mobile and online journalism, reputation and branding online, radio online, et al. Lower entry barriers are making digital media almost a cottage industry, though the revenue models for all digital media properties are still not in place, which is a question of time to evolve.

Bold New Path Ahead:

So, the storytellers around, stand up and choose your medium and audience to tell your story. Tell it in audio through podcasts and radio. Tell it in pictures through photo features and creative photography. Tell it visually through your computer-generated graphical or animated visuals. Tell it audio-visually through short stories, feature films, web series. Tell it for-profit and not-for-profit organizations through branded content. Tell it on streets, tell it on stage. Tell it in whispers, tell it in small groups, tell it to many, tell it to all, tell it loud and clear. Tell it in silence, tell it with sound. Tell it in tears, tell it with laughter. But tell it with all your charm and boldness. And making good money in the process. No one thought that a 400 crores investment in story-telling on celluloid over five years can bring in 3500 crores. Bahubali did. Or that a 90 crores investment can bring in 2200 crores back. Dangal did. Even Marathi and Bengali films have crossed the 100 crores mark.

But know the right techniques to tell it effectively, know your right audiences to tell it with the best-desired impact, know how to be resourceful in your work without chasing just the mundane. And, above all, know not just how to produce great content, but how to monetize it seamlessly across all media, and more particularly, in the digital medium.

For the dancers, the singers, the composers, the writers amongst us, we have a world of opportunities knocking on our doors. There are some sixteen types of professional writing, for example, that can make money: fiction, non-fiction, journalistic, web-writing, branded content, screenplay, dialogues, playwriting, copywriting, jingle writing, technical writing, and a lot more. You want to tell what you see, or what you imagine, or what you believe in, or what you observe: you have takers for all.

Media and communication domain has three broad pathways: journalism, entertainment and brand communication, and then several specialization areas within each of these. While specialized skills and knowledge are must, one must begin from a broad base of understanding the entire gamut of communication, its technology and its business, before specializing in one segment.

Tech-driven Story-telling Ahead:

Those creative geeks with penchant for technology more than others: you have a longer path of fun and success. We are now in a world of fantasy visualized into animated images, characters and stories, or into engaging games and play-stations. The stories you cooked up all your life, with some observation of your sample audiences, can be evolved into video games that engage them. Today, virtual reality (creating the make-belief world which is not in front physically) or augmented reality (extending the physical reality to a larger canvas) are storming the creative space. They are breaking all frontiers of imaginative story-telling.

And to get this knowledge right, with a portfolio that can command a price, and acquiring technical skills that will hold you for long in the marketplace of talent, choose an institute which is hands-on, which is intricately industry-connected, and which is strong in technical infrastructure and intellectual capital.

Learning Hands-on, the SOMC Way:

But you cannot get it all right unless trained well and trained by professionals with high academic and industry accomplishments. That is where Adamas University School of Media & Communication (SOMC) comes in with two Bachelors degrees (BA in Media & Communication, BSc in Media Technology), and five focused specialized Masters degree programs (MA in Journalism or Entertainment Studies, MSc in Media Technology, MBA in Communication Management or Events & Entertainment Management). And to get you strong on fundamentals, all the programs bring in Media Literacy, Computer Operations, apart from learning photography, film & television production, radio, et al. All of these with a detailed film and television production studio, sound studio, and in-house radio. A plethora of initiatives (e.g. MediaNext event, SOMC Blogspot, YouTube channel, international film festival, etc) engage you within the School, and IndiCommS, Jaipur Literature Festival, International Film Festival of India at Goa, FICCI Frames, PRSI Engage et al involving the learners outside the campus. With faculty drawn with backgrounds of Symbiosis, Asian College of Journalism, SRFTI, Roopkala Kendra, Amity, MIT, and with international experience in European and Asian nations, the School has a decidedly global perspective.

Come and interact with the School, the learners and the counsellors to know more, to know better. Bon Voyage in your creative journey.