Shashidhar Nanjundaiah

Shashidhar Nanjundaiah is known nationally in India among media educators and students as an acclaimed teacher, education manager, and media expert. He has been the Director at the now-famed Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Pune, India, and the founding Director of the Indira School of Communication, Pune, India. He is currently the Managing Editor of North American edition of The Indian Express in New York, NY (2006-present). Shashi continues to receive several offers from corporations and private entrepreneurs to partner in starting up new schools, and is currently involved in establishing a first-of-its-kind institute of higher leadership learning in India. The methods of learning he introduced have been emulated at many other institutes in the country. He is a strong believer in experiential learning and laments its lack of widespread availability at academic and corporate levels. As walls between countries break down, globalization has still not reached the philosophy of higher learning. In Shashi's experience, industries often bemoan graduates' and employees' lack of basic grounding, width of learning, and (consequently) a worldview. To achieve these, he proposes that it is not sufficient to learn only one stream of subjects or to super-specialize. It is imperative, he says, to gain a fish-eye view of the world and then integrate that learning into project-based learning, enabling a true 360 degree evaluation of the learner's world. At Indira (2004-2006), Shashi accepted the challenge of building a new school of communication for the Indira Group of Institutes, Pune. He put his stamp of novelty in teaching methodology through his emphasis on independent thinking, knowledge creation and in-depth, wide-ranging learning while making the institute profitable from day one. As a start-up institute, paving the road was fraught with challenges at all fronts convincing parents, students, the industries, and the management. However, the success was measured, once again, when the entire first batch of trainees received employment in the relevant industries, including campus placement from international organizations. These accomplishments ensured that ISC would go a long way in the mind-space of parents, applicants, and the communication industries that it is possible to initiate quality educational institutions from inception of the project with the right team and a leadership with vision. Shashi has an M.S. (1995) in Communication from Radford University with awards and honors, and an M.A. (1990) in English from Mysore University. He has written award winning research papers and book chapters internationally. In addition to being a well-known educator, Shashi has extensive media industry experience at senior levels in television and newspaper management, having worked at senior levels in India and the US in Zee Network, Business India Television and The Indian Express. [+]