Importance of Networking – A panel discussion for undergraduate educators


This webinar was an effort to explain the importance of networking for the betterment of education in the country and encourage more educators to venture into this activity.

It featured eminent speakers such as Shakila Shamsu, former Officer in Special Duty (National Education Policy), Ministry of Education; L. S. Shashidhara, Dean of Research and a Distinguished Professor at Ashoka University, Sonipat; and Mayuri Rege, DST-Inspire Faculty, Ruia College, Mumbai. They shared their views and experiences with networking and offered solutions to the common hurdles faced by educators in the process of networking. 


00:00:00 Introduction 

00:08:31 Aspects of Networking 

00:11:35 Why networking is important 

00:16:35 How networking has helped you 

00:23:38 How does networking benefit the education system 

00:35:11 Networking platforms 

00:48:31 Tips on networking 

00:57:18 Question-Answer session

Summary of the webinar (by Poornimai Abirami G P)

Networking is a very powerful tool, which can be very beneficial not only to educators but also to the institutions they belong to, their students, and the whole networking community. At the national level, there are numerous steps taken by the Government of India (GOI) to facilitate networking and harness its potential to the fullest extent. In this webinar, panellists Shakila Shamsu, L. S. Shashidhara and Mayuri Rege discuss the importance of networking”. They share their views on and experiences with networking, and offer solutions to the common hurdles faced by educators in the process of networking.

According to Shamsu, a network is a community of people who come together agreeing to disagree”. She says that networking opens grounds for brainstorming sessions where topics and ideas can be revisited and the final outcome is a blend of ideas from various sources. Inclusivity is one of the major attributes of networking, and treating every individual equally with respect dissolves the invisible barriers while networking, says Shamsu. Though language is currently one of the major hurdles of successful networking, it can be overcome by innovative solutions, like making use of illustrations, images, etc., she says. She showcases the efforts of the GOI to promote networking among educators from different institutes and to make quality education equally accessible to students all over the country with the aid of networking.

Shashidhara too opines that while networking benefits the educator, the major beneficiaries are the students of the educator. While learning how to network from their supervisors, students also enjoy other benefits like sharing equipment, grants, chances to explore how research is done in different parts of the globe, etc. Educators should never refrain from networking and should be proactive about it, says Shashidhara. It should happen spontaneously, whenever and wherever possible, and educators should make the best use of any gathering, not waiting for a proper set-up to form a network, he says. According to him, being open-minded and selfless are vital for successful networking.

While Shashidhara emphasizes the benefits of in-person networking, Mayuri Rege highlights the advantages of networking online. According to Rege, networking can be best compared to travelling. Like travelling, where people get to meet new people and come in contact with new cultures, new ideas, and new perspectives, which later can be incorporated into their own lives, networking benefits us in getting in touch with new people and new ideas. Online platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are very useful in creating networks and teachers and researchers should make use of them to form their own networks, says Rege. Being original in our approach and knowing what is exactly needed from the person with whom we are interacting are some of the tips for networking effectively, she says.

To know more about the panellists’ views on networking and its value to the educational community, and answers to some very interesting questions from the educators in the audience, please watch the recording of the webinar.