Dr. K. S. Kumari, Director, Vocational Programmes, is a former Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, Pondicherry Central University and also the Principal, Pondicherry University Community College.
She has served as Director, DDU Kaushal Kendra (UGC sponsored Centre for Vocational Education and Skill Training) at Sree Sankara College, affiliated to the MG University. Prof. Kumari started her teaching career at St Teresa’s College, Cochin. She is a life member of various professional bodies like NSI, IAPSM, IDA, HSAI, KREEPA.
In appreciation of her expertise and the invaluable services rendered in the field of vocational education, UGC has granted her a service extension of five years post retirement, to continue serving the student community through the development of initiatives in skill development and the generation of employable graduates.
Prof. Kumari has won national and state awards for—
- Academic Innovation:
- Most Innovative College Teacher award from the All India Institute of Christian Higher Education (AIACHE), New Delhi
- The Prathibha Puraskaram BOLT Award (Broad Outlook Teacher) received from the then Chief Minister of Kerala, sponsored by Malayala Manorama and Air India
- Teaching Excellence:
- Catholicate Award for Best College Teacher at MG University, Kerala.
- Professor Sivaprasad Award (1997) for Best College Teacher in the State of Kerala
- St. Berchmen’s Award (2000) for Best College Teacher in Kerala
- Ph.D.—Food and Nutrition, MG University, Kottayam
- M.Sc.—Food and Nutrition, University of Madras, Chennai
- Recognised research guide for the University of Kerala, MG University, Pondicherry Central University, Mother Teresa women’s University and Bharathiar University.
- Prof. Kumari has guided thirteen Ph.D. scholars and is currently guiding three scholars for their Ph.D.
- She has chaired, moderated and delivered the keynote address at several national and international seminars, conferences and workshops.
- As a convener, she has conducted numerous national and international conferences and workshops sponsored by the UGC, NAAC, ANERT, Government of Kerala and so on.
- She has published research articles, chapters in a book and a lab manual, and translated a text book from English to Malayalam.
- As a resource person she has rendered service to the Department of Food and Nutrition, Women and Child Development, UNICEF, IGNOU etc.
- She has served as the Chairperson/Member of BOS for PG and research programmes, academic councils, Board of Examiners for PG, M.Phil., Ph.D. programmes, UGC-NET, curriculum development committees of UG, PG, MPhil, B.Voc. M.Voc. and CC schemes of various universities.
University and College Development Initiatives
- Established a PG and Research Centre at St.Teresa’s College, Cochin and the Pondicherry Central University.
- Started a Vocational Education and Skill Training Centre at Pondicherry Central University, Pondicherry and the Sree Sankara College, Cochin.
- Instrumental in starting a Women’s Study Centre: A centre offering vocational and skill training courses for women, at St. Teresa's College, Ernakulam.
- As Principal, took the initiative to launch vocational degree and community college schemes (2013-14) at Pondicherry University Community College, the first institution to start the vocational schemes of UGC.
- Instrumental in starting allied health care courses and industry related courses like Tourism and Retail management with UGC support at Pondicherry University.
- At the Sree Sankara College, she introduced courses in Renewable Energy Management, Tourism, Media and courses in filmmaking, event management, solar PV installation and maintenance, sponsored by the UGC, under the Community College Scheme.
- Collaborations with community colleges in the USA to enable students of B.Voc. to study abroad for a year on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Experience in Vocational Education at the National Level
- Pro. Kumari has rendered services as a nominee, vocational education expert and special invitee of MHRD, UGC, AICTE, IGNOU and also as the member of various committees of UGC, AICTE, IGNOU etc. for sensitisation, norms setting for funding, course implementation, monitoring reviewing etc. of Vocational education (NSQF) schemes including B.Voc. programmes.
- As a special invitee/speaker at national and international seminars and workshops on vocational education organised by the UGC and MHRD. Such as
- Presentation on the scope and relevance of the vocational stream in the present day context
- Presentation on the profile of ongoing vocational programmes, at a national level workshop for Vice Chancellors and Centre Directors interested to introduce NSQF Schemes, organised by the MHRD.
- On special nomination by UGC, participated in a VELT skill training—Phase 1 and 2, conducted by the Australian Education Council and had the opportunity to visit Australian vocational training institutions.