The Responsibility of a Leader

There was once a seminary in the mountains where a group of monks lived along with their master. During their teachings, they used to face a lot of problems and every time a problem would come they would run and face their master for a solution. Now one day the master decided to travel down the mountain and he left the students a box, with an instruction that when they are faced with the problem they should open the box and for within the box lied their solution. It so happened that on a particular day a problem came, and with all their confidence, they all ran towards the box in search of the solution their master had left for them. They all assisted each other in opening the box and once they had it open, there was inside of it, a mirror, they were all surprised to see this mirror so much that one of the most terrified students thought it was a magic mirror. However their surprise ended the moment they all read the short inscription written beneath the mirror and it said “face yourself for the solution”.
Each and every time they were faced with the problem, the master solved the problem for them, and in solving the problem he was in return teaching the students how to solve problems. This is what I believe to be the best way to describe what it means to be a leader. The purpose of the mirror was to show these young students the true ability that was within them, this being an ability that they had acquired from seeing what their master used to do. This shows us that the only way you can learn how to become a leader, is when you allow yourself to become a good follower. In simple words a leader is the one that evokes and awakens the abilities within each and every one and puts them into effect in the most productive way possible.
A father once took his young daughter to the park to teach her how to ride a bicycle. The first time she got on the bike the father had to hold it for her. He would hold the bicycle for hours, and every time he made sure that she knew he was holding it. This created comfort and confidence deep within herself, so much that when he finally let go of the bicycle, he was the one who had to run and catch up to her. You see for the father, teaching his daughter how to ride the bicycle was more difficult than the daughter actually learning how to ride. In other words the leader has more responsibility than the student, for it is a mixed fruit salad made up of a refreshing taste of patience and understanding, the sweetness of faith and above all the tenderness of motivation. As a leader you need to hold the bicycle through-out the way, guiding the people so much that even if the bicycle wheels hit a stone it stays in balance, you need to hold the bicycle up until a point where they find their own balance.
Mitt Romney once said leadership is about taking responsibilities not making excuses. In simple words, the only line of difference that lies between a leader and a follower is the amount of responsibilities the leader looks after. It means that when faced with any obstacle you need to face it head on. The reason for this is quite simple. A problem faced by someone who is under the leader is not a problem for that person alone, but it on goes to become the leader’s problem as well. Which is why today we speak of great leaders like Nelson Mandela, simply because he made the problems of all the African people become his responsibility. We talk of personalities like Francois Hollande, the French President who took under his care 30 000 Syrian refugees. They all felt deep within themselves a kind of responsibility for the troubles faced by others, a kind of responsibility that is brought out by true leadership.
As Parul University, this is the kind of drive that is fuelled deep within our leading staff, and a kind of quality leadership we gracefully desire to impart on our students. A symposium called Confluence that was recently hosted by Parul Institute of Medical Sciences and Research acted as the best medium to enhance the responsibilities of our medical students. Apart from being responsible for only the hospitals, they played a very prominent role in a successful display of social leadership skills as they assumed responsibility for every life element, be it literature, drama, fine arts, as well as medical aid initiatives.
In all this I have gotten to understand that none of us are born as leaders, the same way we are all born not knowing how to ride a bicycle. Leadership is something that is learnt, and you do not learn by going to the front, but you learn through being a follower first. For I confidently believe, the moment you take responsibility of anyone and everything, you definitely can become a leader to everyone and everything.

Dr.Devanshu Patel, a dynamic, visionary and proactive leader, is President of Parul University. His unflinching commitment to the cause of education and whose continuous efforts for spreading the cause of education not only in Gujarat but also in different states of India and also in 49 different countries have resulted in more than 25,000 students pursuing their under graduate, post graduate and doctoral degree programmes in 32 academic institutions offering more than 150 degree programmes.

Dr.Devanshu Patel, after successful completion of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and Doctor of Medicine (Pharmacology) from the world renowned Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, decided to concentrate his efforts in establishing state-of-the-art educational institutions offering technical professional and medical courses in the State of Gujarat as he felt there was no dearth of talented individuals in Gujarat and such talented individuals, if provided a quality education and skill building programmes, could be transformed into dynamic leaders and thinkers of 21st century.

From 2008 to 2013, prior to establishment of Parul University, was instrumental in starting Parul Institute of Management & Research (2008), Parul Institute of Physiotherapy (2009), Ahmedabad Physiotherapy College (2009), Parul Institute of Business Administration (2010), Parul Institute of Technology (2010), Parul Institute of Architecture & Research (2012), Parul Institute of Computer Application (2013), which were affiliated to Gujarat University, Gujarat Technological University, Saurashtra University and Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University respectively. Moreover, he also took up the responsibility of starting of post graduate courses in these institutions.

He also played pivotal role in establishment of Parul University under an Act of State Legislature viz., Gujarat Private Universities Act, 2009 and Gujarat Private Universities (Second Amendment) Act, 2015 which led to incorporation of 14 institutions of engineering & technology, management, pharmacy, nursing, homoeopathy, physiotherapy, architecture and computer applications into Parul University. Being a Doctor himself, his dream of establishing a medical college came true when Medical Council of India accorded its approval to Parul University to establish Parul Institute of Medical Sciences & Research offering Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with an intake capacity of 150 seats. Since Parul University is located in rural area of Vadodara District, he saw the need for starting a Hospital which would provide medical facilties and treatment to underprivileged people in a surrounding area at competitive charges. This led to starting of Parul Sevashram Hospital, a 400 bedded multispecialty hospital. At present, owing to dedicated and concentrated efforts, have established a 300 bedded Parul Ayurveda Hospital offering Ayurved treatment and Jawaharlal Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College Hospital offering Ayurved and Homoeopathy treatment to needy and downtrodden respectively.

In order to prepare the students can meet challenges of the professional world effectively, he set up a Career Development Cell in the University under which a highly qualified team of 55 teachers train students of the University for Competitive Examinations, English Language Proficiency, Entrance Examinations for admission to prestigious institutions such as CAT/GRE/GMAT/IELTS/GATE etc…, Foreign Languages i.e. French and German.

He believes that the world today is more in need of job creators and not job givers. Hence, he brought together a team of Mentors under Entrepreneurship Development Cell of the University who could guide students towards becoming Entrepreneurs. Owing to continuous guidance of experienced faculties at Entrepreneurship Development Cell and constant support from Dr.Devanshu Patel, students have initiated and successfully implemented their innovative ideas into a functioning Start Ups.

He has been lauded for his efforts and support in encouraging researchers from the University to take up, publish and promote their research work through starting of Research & Development Cell at Parul University. Faculty members, with the support from Research & Development Cell, have filed 141 patent applications during the last three years. Owing to encouragement and guidance received from Research & Development Cell, the engineering and technology and pharmacy institutions have succeeded in obtaining several Minor Research Projects from the Government Funding Agencies such as GUJCOST.

Taking the cause of education abroad, he has also developed close ties and signed an MOU with international universities of repute such as Poznan University of Technology, Poland; Kansas State University, USA; Lambton College, Canada; University of Transport Technology, Vietnam; Humber College, Canada; University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany; Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland; University of Applied Sciences, Aschaffenburg, Germany etc…Till date, more than 500 students from Parul University and international students from these Universities have participated in International Student Exchange Programme. Further, the University has also received a monetary grant from European Union and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through which regular International Student/ Faculty Exchange Programme is conducted.

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