Dr. Surendra Kumar Sharma is a seasoned educationist and researcher for over 40 years who has been selected for the ‘Life-Time Achievement Award in Education & Research’- one of the key categories of Oxford Awards 2023 (organised by London Study Group, U.K.). He graduated in Physics (honours) from Banaras Hindu University, and later completed Masters in Economics in 1979. Later he was offered a Ph.D. in Econometrics Programme by the LSE; but because of financial constraints, he could not avail of the opportunity.
Naturally, he joined PhD in Economics at BHU and submitted his thesis on “Population Trends in India with reference to some of their Implications” under the supervision of Prof. D. K. Mishra. His PhD thesis was awarded in 1984. One of the external examiners who commended the award was Dr Ishrat Z. Husain, Division Chief, Health, Education, and Nutrition of World Bank. Since then, Dr. Sharma has been involved in teaching and research in various colleges. He has both academic and administrative experience in conducting national-level seminars on challenging issues that India faces in particular and the world in general.
Some of the national seminars he convened were “Impact of Economic Policy Reforms on North Eastern States of India” at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, from 27-31 March, 2000, and “Changing Scenario of Higher Education: Conventional versus Professional Courses” during 20-21 May 2012 at Government Girls’ PG College, Ghazipur of Uttar Pradesh. As the Principal, he always felt that his first responsibility was to provide an enabling environment not only to our students but also to our teachers and supporting staff to give them the maximum benefits of higher education.
He also served as Regional Director of Indira Gandhi National Open University in Patna for two years. He was the founder Regional Director (in charge) who established the Regional Centre at Patna in 1991. He coordinated the academic and administrative functions with all IGNOU study Centres and IGNOU headquarters in New Delhi. He organized many orientation programmes for the academic counsellors of various programmes of IGNOU at Patna. He was highly successful as he proved the relevance of “distance education” by writing different articles in the ‘Times of India’ and leading ‘Hindi Dailies’.
As Additional Secretary of UP State Higher Education Council, Lucknow, during 2004-05, his responsibility was quality gradation in higher education. He convened many orientation programmes for the Principals of Colleges for assessment and accreditation of their colleges by NAAC, Bangalore. He was also convener of ‘the board of studies’ and also on the ‘research degree committee’ of Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Jaunpur of India.
Four female students were awarded PhD in Economics on “Population Growth and Economic Development” from 2007 to 2014 under his supervision while he served as Principal of Government Girls’ PG College, Ghazipur. After retiring in 2016, he did not lower his craving for knowledge. With more vigour, he started his participation in ARICON. He contributed a research paper on “Economic Consequences and Overall Implications of BJP Rule in India during 2014-19” in ARICON on Business and Economics at Cambridge during 18-19 November 2019. This was later published in JIBM in 2020. ‘India’s development vis-à-vis developed countries of the world’ is at the core of his heart. He has an unassuming personality. He is a humanist and helps his students in their studies and research activities.