Archive | November 2013

Higher Learning – Rambunctious Thoughts to Deliberate ! ( India centric )

     Background  :   Teaching  and  Learning  has witnessed a massive  transformation where the faculty now don the role of a mere  “FACILITATOR”  and not the Lecturer/Professor in the traditional mold.  It is highly participative now with students contributing to every topic substantially in the class room  –   in application,  innovation  and  future trends.   In funda  probably the role of teacher  still stands reasonably firm.   This,  however,  is  not to generalize and universalize  the  scenario.  Several  factors  are  making  this  transformation  a  reality  and  a boon.

     My  Notion;   my  mind;  and  my  view  here  in  brief  :

     1.  Sourcing,  where teachers played a dominant role has  been reduced to almost nil  with  the onslaught of  web  and  networking  technologies.

     2.  Ideation, again,  is not the sole preserve of the teacher  now.

     3.  Methodology,  analysis  and  interpretation  have also been aided  by  “Open Tools”  easily accessible to anyone at the click of a mouse.  Students discuss,  argue,  and  learn  while watching  MTV  or while sipping Coffee  in  the  Cafe –  which scenario when I predicted in the late-seventies and early-eighties evoked  laughter and derision.

     These are real now and in no way  impede the learning process.  Faculty  ‘enabling’  within the boundaries  of  shifting  methodologies  is  what  I  term  the  “altered  roles”. The  point to note is that  “teaching is not less attractive  but  involves  a  role  shift  requiring  adaptation  and  when  that  happens  it  is  an  enjoyable experience  (less  burdensome )  for both the teacher  and  the  learner  today.

     What today’s  faculty  need to do is to enrich this experience by  “research  inputs”  ( local, regional, national,  international;  gathered and self-conducted );  Case studies written;  Best practices  collected;  and  new  ways of participative  contribution  –  debates,  presentation,  short problem solving exercises  and so on.  The industry  internment  is  the  Laboratory  Experiment making practical gains.  Many  others  can  be  reasoned upon a thought  and  added.

     Many Institutions promote independent initiatives ( once the overtopping province of  IITs  and  IIMs )  by the faculty in so far as involvement in a variety of assignments  –  fund raising for the Institute with contribution and recognition for self,  e.g.,  Consulting,  Executive Development Programs, Workshops,  Short-term Courses  to cite just a few.   Hence,  the oft quoted reason  that  ‘financial package’  for the faculty is a constraint in maintaining standards does not hold water.

     For years ( or is it decades ? )   IIT  and  IIM  faculty  have  been  insulated from competition within the country;  and even hailed as demi-gods.  Perhaps, rightly for a variety of reasons which today evoke discussion(s) and sometimes stokes contentious debates.  How  many top ranking  students of IITs  pursue doctorate degrees in India or join as faculty here? –  a question posed by many  in different discussions.  Is joining  multinationals/moving abroad  a  ‘recherche’  while  joining as faculty or taking up a job here   ‘en  dernier  ressort’ ?  Faculty  from  small players today  exhibit  remarkable intellectual  prowess  in  National  and  International  Forum  with  ease  and  elan.  This has been possible mainly due to the advent of ‘Electronic  Technologies’  and  ‘Smart Partnering’  activities.  With adequate funds from the Government / other funding agencies   and  better  infrastructure promoting research,  their performance  and progress will see an upside. That will be sonse  for learning  initiatives  and an answer to  our  plaguesome malaise  worrying  the  academic  administrators  and  policymakers.

     With changing times one needs extreme degree of adaptation to the good  and  not-so-good of  every initiative.  Faculty,  Students,  Parents,  Administrators,  Support staff  included  with no stakeholder  remaining  excluded.

     ” Dieu  avec  nous  “

 

     Monday,   November  11,   2013   –    9.55 p.m   (IST)

 

     Tidbit   :      Years  teach  more  than  Books.   I  have  experienced it to the full.

Banks’ Powers and Capabilities on Test-bed (India centric) !

Need to cut

     Soon we will see a mushrooming growth of banks in India thanks to the proposal paving the way for New Banks ( approval likely in January 2014 )  and New branches by the existing players in this sector.  Banks are already buckling down to face the competition.  It is strategy time for them.  It is also time for a sneak peek at the challenges facing the banks and the path they need to tread wisely.  Here,  I lay a short map on the possible course to follow and take :

     Banks need to show profits while at the same time lending judiciously to growing sectors of economy to be able to stand on their own feet.  Defensive and Offensive combat actions call for a creative and aggressive set of strategies to encourage growth promoting the reform trajectory to move forward unhindered. 

     With the monetary ( and fiscal to a lesser degree) initiatives fairly and firmly entrenched in the system, banks today are facing the daunting task of lowering the lending rates in an effort to promote growth and investment.  A not so uncommon scenario  is the skepticism and reluctance of managers  to the lending initiative in general combined with a sense of  ‘aboulia’  in making the right choice of borrowers.  Compounding the task is their inability to unwind  the nasty  NPAs  in the woodshed.  It requires a bold and a newfangled approach to regain confidence in the present critical time and engage  aggressively in stepping up the efforts.

     For this to be realized effectively it is prudent to adopt a two-pronged approach as follows :  (a)  an aggressive promotion of Small & Medium Industries;  and  (b) a mild promotion of Big industries/sectors.  My logic for this is clear.  In the present circumstances of accelerated tech development and adoption  plus  the competitiveness due to the opening of more banks/branches,  the need to adapt for survival and growth/prosperity is paramount.

     A characteristic enabling them to be adept at this is their “responsiveness”.  Small and Medium organizations can adapt better to the prevailing credit situation nimbly. They can even trim their manpower with little conflict and tension.  They can also achieve growth in a relatively short period.  It is easier to grow from  1000  to  1100  ( an increase of 10%)  than from  1 crore  to  1.1 crore (again an increase of 10%);  which means for the big players to grow to the same size as small players, the numbers will have to be in crores.  The comparison is in absolute terms,  a simple arithmatic  for the discerning.

     Given the fast tech absorption-cum-training  opportunities and progress through selective support (available easily now through software packages etc.,)  small and medium organizations can even outpace others by a good margin.  Big players need not always be the smartest and strongest eternally.  With the impending stringent regulations and keen oversight,  banks have their tasks cut out clearly,  and hence need to judiciously exercise the above options with confidence.  The success possibility is plain commonsense and not empirical.  If, say, 7 or 8 out of 10 individuals buy a particular brand of car;  if 7 or 8 out of 10 individuals witness a particular movie;  if, say, 7 or 8 out of 10 parents admit their wards in a particular school;  if, say,  7 or 8 out of 10 individuals like a type of music  –  all within a strata of society,  then it becomes a NORM and becomes the right thing to do.  Extending this logic,  if, say,  7 or 8 out of 10 banks begin disbursing loans to a specific sector, then that will become the norm and others will follow suit.  This can simply boost the investment,  increase production and employment.  Stringent observation of credit worthiness and performance as yardsticks for allocation of funding shall not be sacrificed,  however.

     When times and rules of the game change drastically, as I foresee for the near future, ( with new banks opening )  it is imperative that all players, small or big,  stay in the game;  keep alert;  and adapt themselves to the new order.  ‘Cut your coat according to your cloth’ is the mantra for Banks. This will impact growth positively and contribute to our economy.

     There are some essential  requirements  to effect this strategy and I will explore them separately in due course.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Sunday,  November 10, 2013  –    9.00  a.m.  (IST)

 

     Tidbits   :    “There is one thing about Life : Whether you are rich or poor, it’s always good to have plenty of money in the Bank.”

     Try this on your banker sometime :    Put 50 Rs or $  in the bank and make with drawls as below:

                                                                     Draw out   20,    Leaving   30

                                                                     Draw  out  15,    Leaving     15

                                                                     Draw  out     9.    Leaving    6

                                                                     Draw   out    6,    Leaving    0

                                                                     Total             50,    Total        51

A Piece of my Mind on Three Issues.

     What is clear to our mind  :   1.  Education is now a SERVICE sector activity;   Students are the  PURCHASERS;    and  Institutions/universities  are the  PROVIDERS.   2.   Technological,  Sociological,  Economical  and  Governmental  forces  influence  Education.   3.   Our  National  Growth  and  Competitiveness  is inextricably  tied to the attributes, character and excellence of  Higher Education in particular.

     I now want to piece together my thoughts succinctly and pithily  on three issues  that  evoke a lot of discussion among  educationists and trainers in recent times.

     1.  A common lament among the recruiters ( engaged in supply side talent for industry  )  is that a significantly large proportion of  graduates  coming from the portals of many institutions do not make even the pass grade.  Quality of training in institutions has taken a back seat.  Even the process of identifying the lacunae and remedying the situation is not being given a serious thought.  Hence the mismatch/gap between what is needed and what is available is appalling.  I just pen my first thoughts and reasons I visualize for this malady in education :  Could these be the possible causes ?

     (a)   Unchecked proliferation of institutions with ill-designed promotion of education in the garb of affording opportunities to virtually everyone;   (b)  Lack of oversight and extended leeway to the institutions without a thorough, due and proper assessment of the efficacy of them vis-a-vis the requirement;   (c)  Lack of Quality Faculty combined with a deliberate insouciance to SELECT  WHEN  RIGHT CANDIDATES  PROSPECT THEIR CHANCES & OFFER THEIR SERVICES  in full earnest and desire;   (d)  Suppression of  ‘Faculty Freedom to Engage in Newfangled areas’  out of deeply ingrained fear(s)  of possibly getting outsmarted, further spawning unhealthy competition;   (e)  Least emphasis on ‘Productivity, Quality & Reliability’ (PQR)  of pedagogic accomplishments/achievements leading to demoralization of even the well intended personnel;   (f)  System encouraging students to be trained  more to be “slaves of routine”  than to “demonstrate skills and competence.” ;   and   (g)  Failure/Inability to take students out into the ‘real world’  through a planned set of activities as appropriate to the discipline.

     These are just some thoughts (right or wrong – time will judge);  though not detailed and exhaustive.

 

     2.   Ranking of institutions by several  agencies periodically has been the norm in the last decade specially.  Some take pride  in achieving good rankings;  Some decide to strive hard to make the cut, the next time;  Some simply tend to ignore and keep the status quo remain firm;   Some discuss and discept elaborately and disregard the rankings that the parameters considered are not valid;  Some reject the rankings outright contemptuously.   Every hue and shade is visible to all and sundry.  Of particular concern to the educational administrators is the very low number of institutions proportionate to the available in the country that make or would make the Global 100/Global 200/ Global 500 and the like.  My thoughts run in an unconventional mode and pace :

     Just as Globalization is making the geographic boundaries of Nations vanish (in terms of trade, economy, exchange, and whatever ) ,  Education & Training in this new age obfuscates the distinction between institutions, fashioning/rendering the ranking  A SIMPLE MARKETING EXERCISE.

     Today we say  ‘the schoolmaster is abroad’  implying the education has spread far and wide.

     Highly creative and innovative products & services today originate from less well known places and institutions.  Flexitime,  Performance recognition,  Offering a healthy work environment,  in an attempt to motivate students and associates have contributed to the enhancement of skills and competency.  Rules of the game are changing dramatically in the field of Education & Training.  Every  institute is now boasting of innovative methods to take students out in to the ‘real world’ and the term universal(ity) is losing its sheen.  ‘Specificity’  is becoming the order of the day, be it in terms of disciplines,  courses,  approaches,  degrees,  or institutions.  And with it the parameters of evaluation are also increasing disproportionately making the very ranking a LESS IDEAL or  LESS PERFECT way of comparison/assessment.

     Shall we not go beyond ranking on a set of archaic (I do not mean to be harsh) elements and rather focus on  “Economic Social and Quantitative improvement of Society/Nation”  as a single yardstick in the process of evaluation of Educational Institutions ?

 

     3.  Human Relations (HR) is generally viewed as an industry need, position, and function.  And  HR  is  also considered to be a noiseless, invisible, flavorless task of taciturnity for decades earlier.  The key importance of  HR generally gets lost in the milieu of technology, production, marketing etc little realizing that HR imbibes the best from each one of these for its up gradation, and  confers the very functions of Tech, Production, Marketing their Status and Rank of importance that they envisage and enjoy.  The more the advances in technology, the more the value of HR.  Same is true for education & training too. Educational institutions should embark on creating special HR positions (now being handled by the administrators mostly) from the ground floor up.  And HR is transforming rapidly too.  This is how I  see :

     We know Ninjas strike and get out without being seen.  That is what HR has been doing for long. They should avoid operating  in “Stealthy Ninjas”.  They should also shed their diffidence  to get their ideas work and even  become popular  with employees/associates.  Nothing wrong if one wants to be popular by contributing constructively.  It should be hailed and rewarded.  HR should be  “leading the change”  and  “taking the risks”  –  a transformational responsibility in times of uncertainty specially.  HR  represents the entire people in the institution – the REAL ENGINE of DIFFERENTIATION.  This needs to be indoctrinated, formally and informally through every action.  Indoctrination,  Yes.  Each day that  HR stays  stealthy is another day  our people are hidden from peers/seniors/top brass;  and another day they are not seen as valuable.  Even  HR  heads  sadly fail to understand this reality and that drives them to do and react the way they are doing ( just plain, ornery, handling run of the mill tasks ) now.  They need to be  showy, noisy, even obtrusive without being offensive in order for them to assert their locus standi.

     We  need  HR  positions  specially  in Educational and Training Institutions  to deal with the varied and wide spectrum of customers as  Students,  Parents,  Faculty,  Staff,  Alumni, the community around, and the like.

     Hail the portals of the Institutions engaged in ‘Eradicator of Ignorance;  Booster of Self Confidence.”

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

 

     Saturday,  November 9,  2013.     7.45 a.m.   (IST)

    

    

Tidbit : “Take care of Your Troops and train them well; All Jobs will get Done.” ( Leadership Mantra )

My Pithy Reflections before Speaking !

     Nations have progressed  with  Innovation  and  Creativity  since the olden ages.  Where does India  stand and can we regain the glory if the consensus is that we have lost the edge ?  This is just a concise reflection just to accend our minds and not meant to be an exhaustive analysis and interpretation.

     I strongly believe that  the “way to progress and prosperity is as plain as the way to ‘market’.  It just depends on two things :  ‘Industry and Frugality.’  Make the best use of both, but never waste time and money.  Without industry and frugality, nothing can succeed;  with them, everything can be attained.”   ( I am frugal but not grudgingly niggard  though in life )  Sounds simple, isn’t it ?  But true. Here’s the substantive :

     U.K. held the lead over the world for a long time in history.  Industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th Centuries propelled it forward.  Electricity invented;  Textile mills boomed;  Railways and Ports flourished ( Ports traded on seafood exports/imports );   Excellent Civil engineering (British became famous for that);    Cambridge and Oxford Universities  stood in the fore front.  They combined well with industry to bring about the transformation.

     After the World war I  and  World war II,   U.S.A.  took the lead with its industrial revolution and innovation on the ascension.  Hoover Dam,  Golden Gate bridge, Sears Tower,  California to east Coast network,  Highways,  Aircraft,  Boeing,  Automobiles,  Combustion engines, Computers,  Internet  are just a miniscule part of the growth.  Harvard,  Stanford, and Yale became prominent and integrated well with the industry.  BSD,  DEC,  Unix,  NASA Space program,  Hardware  SPARC,  IBM,   and software giants like the MS, Oracle, Cisco  ..  ..  added the catalysts to progress.  U.S.A.  had taken the lead ( and is still leading )  over the World.

     Can  India replicate and take the lead in future and if so when ?  Jawaharlal Nehru  envisioned Public sector as the growth engine of India ( BHEL,  SAIL,  AI,  BARC  etc) to put India on the International map.  Despite good initiatives and aggressive persuit what we witness today is cankerous corruption,  nepotism and cronyism pervading all sectors of economy stoking the CULTURE of Personal Aggrandizement in the Society.  India  lost its  hardware to Taiwan and South Korea.  Chinese are galloping with focus on Infrastructure,  Dams,  Roads,  World Class cities making a mockery of our attempts ( I remain humble  even while admitting this ).  The best known  Indian Products still are  “Yoga”,  “Ayurved”,   and  “Vedanta”  philosophy that is original.  Ancient Indians took pride  in their inventions of  Numeric System,  Zero,  Surgery,  Astronomy,  Mathematics,  Algebra,  Trigonometry  etc.,  We now seem to desperately depend on ready made or quick fix  research done by others and to translate here.  Is it lack of innovation or Creativity ?  Where are the new marketable software or development ?  Have they deserted our shores so soon ?  Have we created a  ‘halo’  around people from  IITs  and  IIMs ?  Even  before  these  institutions  we had  promising  institutions/universities  in  Thompson’s  College of Engineering,  Roorkee;    Guindy Engineering College, Chennai ( formerly Madras);   Bengal Engineering College, Seebpore;   Banares Hindu University   nurturing  and  fostering  excellent  practices  and  thinking  in the minds  of  the discerning.  Einstein,  Edison, Graham Bell and the likes  were not educated or trained in  Harvards  and  Stanfords.  Where do we actually stand  today/now ?  What needs to be done immediately ?

     Reflect and ponder !!!

     ” Dieu avec nous ”

 

Friday,  Novembar 8,  2013.    10 .00 a.m.  (IST )

Can Social Media put Voters Wise ? ( India Elections )

     Can  Social  media excite and influence Voting ?   Does it have the power  to  move the emotions of voters ?   Can  Social media really cause  wild  enthusiasm  among Voters ?   Will Social media Campaign become an attribute or parameter influencing the choice of voting ?   When will Social Media be firmly in a position to choose our  next  Legislator ?  These  are  the  questions  weighing  upon  the  spirit and  mind  of  digitally literate voters who make up 85 to 90 million (not negligible when one considers the persons these voters in turn can influence) in India. This number is also set to explode in future.

     Use of social media is on the rise.  I see young school children in growing numbers  taking to Social Media and they are likely to attain voting age in 4 – 5 years. I am also delighted to see Seniors and Elders on social media in good numbers.  I need not have to say anything about the well-known – the  ‘au courant’   YOUTH of our country  who hold the ace to transform attitude, attution,  and  action  amongst  the  polpulace.

     That Social  Media  presents excellent prospects  in blending a party’s  insights  with  motivational  messages,   is evidenced by  major elections in a couple of developed nations in the last five years.  The major  Digital  Tools  are  Twitter,  Facebook,  and  YouTube.   “About  90% of  Senators and  House  members  (in  U.S.A.)  have Twitter accounts  as  do  more than  45  Governors  and  35  World  Leaders” – says  Laurence Cruz,  an  analyst  and contributor.  That  is the crux.  Myths  regarding  Social  Media  are  also  getting  demystified  with  each  passing  day.    PROOF :   In the aftermath of the Boston Bomb Blasts  (April 15, 2013)  people took to   Social Media  and a general analysis of the postings  revealed that the comments/postings  were  “restrained &  generally accurate”  reflecting the true  impact of  Social Media to a Cause.   This, however, was not the case in the Connecticut shoot out  (December 16, 2012 )  last  year.  Social Media is turning to be  more  positive;  becoming more ‘responsive;  responsible  and  rejuvenating.’  POLITICS  is  no different than People’s  cause  and  LEADERS  should be ready to  embrace  and benefit  from it.

       Here’s  my  take  :    1.  In the short term, in India, in the 2014 Elections  Social Media  effect  may not be high or stellar.  But  in the long term i.e.  by the end of this decade  –  say  in the 2019  Elections –  any party can only afford to ignore  Social Media at its  peril.  2.  Announce  the  selection of Candidate(s)  via  Twitter.  ( Barack  Obama  announced  his  running mate  Joe Biden’s  selection in 2008 via  Twitter, Obama made extensive use of it in 2012.)  3.  Use digital platforms as Facebook,  Twitter  and  YouTube  liberally to promote policies and mould the minds of citizenry as a sculptor will mould the clay.   4.  Use  YouTube  Videos  to cite  the challenges  the nation is facing  and the candidate’s  plan(s)  to  tackle  them  effectively.  5.  Be  FIRST  and  Be  RIGHT  too.  6.  Push  yourself  to  be  BETTER;  Grow  further;  and  not   fail  your  Constituency;   Remember,   SOCIAL  MEDIA  is the best  CATALYST.  7.  Also  remember  that  at least  10  friends  are  swayed  by  each  individual’s  Facebook  posting.  It  is a small stimulus   producing  large  vibrations.  ‘Many a little  makes  a mickle’ –  certainly not to be disregarded.  8.  By the election(s) of 2019,  for sure,  TWITTER  will  even  replace  our  9 p.m.  Prime  Time  news  order.   9.  It will also not  be surprising if these  Social Sites become the major Advertising  Sites by then.  10.  Every  candidate  will be posting  photos to Instagram (now a part of fb );  posting images to Pinterest;  Use  Tumblr  and  Google+  ;  favorite  message filled songs  on  Spotify. 

     When  Candidates  struggle  to  keep  up  appearances  and  keep  down  expenses,  this  ‘ON-LINE  FRENZY’  will serve  a cocktail  of  ambrosia  and  elixir  and  boost  their  spirits.
Social Media will positively influence Voting. It has the sure power to move the emotions of voters. Social media will, sine dubio, enthuse voters and be of consequence. Social media campaign will be a parameter of assessment by the voters. Future legislators will be chosen by voters with Social Media playing a prominent role.

 

     ” Dieu  avec  nous ”

Idea Tidbit : Computer Scientist(s)/specialist(s) have an excellent opportunity to explore “BIG DATA” with its modern Tools for collecting, culling and analyzing the voluminous data obtained from Social Media data and throw valuable insight into VOTER BEHAVIOR. This is likely to be the NORM in future with increasing voter awareness, assessment and activity. It is a goldmine in waiting for the Computer Scientists/specialists. Sadly, I am neither a Computer specialist nor a competent enthusiast.

 

     Wednesday,   November  6,   2013;      11.10  p.m.  ( IST )

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – India – “Promise of Prosperous Progress.”

     November 5,   2.38 p.m. (IST) ,  from Sriharikota, ANDHRA  PRADESH,  india launches its maiden satellite to Mars –  Mars Craft  or  Mangalyaan as christened here  –  , an Interplanetary Mission. (As at  3.25 p.m. now everything is according to plan says ISRO, the Contractor).

     A  300 day,  485 million-mile journey;   Worth  Rs 450 Crores;   1350 kg  Robotic Satellite;  Payload  mass 15 kg;   Power : Solar cells. 

     Success will mean  India will be the  FOURTH  Space Agency in the World to have sent a mission to the Red Planet.  U.S.A.;  Russia;  and  Europe being the other three agencies to have achieved this before.

     According to NASA there have been 51 missions so far by some countries,  only 21 have been considered successful.

     Experts  describe this as the cheapest Inter Planetary Mission ever to have been undertaken in half a century of Space exploration (India).

     Mission holds Quintuple  Objectives :  1.  A sensor to track methane gas (a sign of possible life);  2.  Color camera(s) for taking pictures;  3.  Thermal Imaging Spectrometer to map the surface & mineral wealth of the planet;  4.  Analysis of martian Atmosphere;  5.  To spot any new ways for future.

     This is a boost to India’s  status in the World Space arena.

     Will this be the defining moment in our aim to beat China in the space race,  many  are  already  pondering.   Remember :  A  Russian mission carrying a Chinese satellite to Mars failed in  November 2011.  Japan failed in its attempt in 1998.

     When we succeed we should see if  (a)  we can engage in  collaborative  International Deep  Space  Missions;  (b)  we can develop Technologies  for  Design, Planning, Management, and Operations of an Interplanetary Mission; (c) whether the 300 day journey can be compressed further.   These three factors, I feel, will be critical to Future explorations/missions.

     Naysayers are already out to undermine the intent and worth of this exploration.  Strepitant  clamour is already filling the  air freely with questions as (a)  Is it necessary ?  (b)  Are there not issues critical for more attention ?  Hope these will be submerged  when the mission starts delivering even an iota of what was promised.  Also, when this starts igniting the young minds in Space Science & Space  Journeys.

     Launch is successful;  Journey sure is long;  Space programs and space applications get a boost;  Verdict remains to be passed;  And,  ‘a coup sur’,  every Indian can be proud of this moment.

     The “Tale of Mangalyaan” is a salute to all those involved in this arduous effort.  It is a mission “well-defined;  well-derived;  well-developed;  well-desired;   and  well-directed”.

      Judgement  as of now  :   “Path Defined;  Race  Run;  Only Rights to be Conferred.”

 

     ‘Dieu avec nous’

 

     Tuesday,   November 5, 2013,    4.05 p.m.  (IST)

   

 

    

 

    

Diwali India Special – Motivating Musings !

     This is my Diwali presentative thoughts for you :

     1.   “What to look for in Management Graduates for employment ?”  –  asked a participant in a discussion with me.

      My Answer:  Three key capabilities to look for are – (a)  Look for candidates who can apply  Logic,  Intuition,  &  Commonsense ( I termed it “LIC” for short) to solve problems in a pragmatic manner irrespective of whether they had a MBA degree or not;  (b)  In fact candidates with such aptitude as above complemented with knowledge/interest  in  Science,  Technology,  Engineering, &  Maths ( STEM)  will be the real need  for  Industry, Business, Commerce, Health, Sports and others;  (c)  Education & Training  today needs to focus on developing the holistic & Integrative profile of students  ( remaining Connected is  the mantra ) so as to get themselves fit for a variety of interactive scale of jobs.

     A participating student added a fourth characteristic which I phrase in my words here :  “On the job training during the course of the management program  for at least SIX  to  EIGHT  EFFECTIVE  MONTHS on a live problem/project with  ‘avant-gardiste’  outlook and not limited to being a tirocinium as is often held.”

 

     2.   A topic that heats up the academics in discussions often is whether  there is any  Indian University waiting to be the Harvard of  U.S.A.

     My Answer :  Yes,  a  direct  reply to this is possibly  the “Indian Institute of Science,  Bangalore.”

     “What  India needs is  Pluck & Scientific Genius.” –  Swami Vivekananda said.  He also emphasized on the need to have three things among Youth for Education :  “Heart to feel;  Brain to Conceive;  &  Hands to Work.”   We have in our own shores a Premier Institute of Education & Research in  “The Indian Institute of Science”  ( in the salubrious environs of Bangalore )  whose students are epitome(s)  of these prescient qualities.  One simply needs to  emulate the “practices” of this Institution to be a true  Learning  Force & Power  in the reckoning.

 

     3.   It is expected that the Reserve  Bank of  India  ( RBI )  will allow 7 to 8 new Banks in January 2014.    26 Financial & non-financial entities have applied for approval already.   RBI  has stipulated  as one of the conditions  –  “Sound Credentials,  Integrity,  and Financial Soundness for 10 years as the established FIT  &  PROPER  Criteria”  –   to arrive at the short leet  from the applicants.

     My  Point  :  Public/citizenry to ponder if “Cases pending with CBI,  Enforcement Directorate, and Income Tax Department(s)”  will fall under the category of  Sound Credentials  …   …   stipulated by the  RBI.  The straightforward answer to this is a FIRM  ‘NO’  as the terminologies’ literal and commonly perceived usage would imply.  Central Bank (RBI)  holds the Final Word on this, however .  Two factors need to be looked in to :   (a)  Will permitting those candidates  with cases pending amount to SAFEGUARDING them even before the roll-out ?   and  (b)  Is it akin to giving undue Rights and Preferences to Candidates while allowing them to continue with their own ‘internal modeling’ of functions – a la prestidigitation –  that must have caused the irregularities with little regard for their true state of affairs ?
RBI is seized of this matter. There is still breathing time left.

 

     4.   Leadership  Commandments for acquiring skills :

     The  “Ten  Leadership  Commandments”  I set for myself – and  Lived,  Living and shall Live through my life at Work, in Home, and in my Community :

     1.   Acknowledge mistakes boldly;   2.  Promise less but do more;  3.  Aim at Perfection, so you can achieve Excellence;  4.  Take a position on any issue firmly even if it is unpopular;  5.  Be honest in all your dealings and stick to the schedule (time-frame);  6.  Always plan in advance what you’ll do for the day, week, and month;  7.  Tell always the truth even if it is difficult;  8.  Live and conduct business within means and core, so you can afford  more experiences;  9.  Learn to meditate and practice meditation daily;  10.  Go to bed earlier and get up earlier.

 

     5.   Ten Commandments of Health  for   Leaders :

     The  “Ten Commandments of Health”  I set for myself – and Lived, Living and shall Live through my life at Work, in  Home, and in my Community.

     1.  Never lose interest in Life and World;  2.  Eat sparingly and at regular intervals;  3.  Take plenty of exercise, but not too much (Walking is a good exercise);  4.  Get plenty of Sleep;  5.  Never allow yourself to become annoyed;  6.  Set a daily schedule of life and keep it;  7.  Get a lot of sunlight ( My apartment is exemplary on this characteristic );  8.  Drink as much milk as will agree with you;  9.  Use natural medicines and products;   10.   Don’t overdo things.

     I have been religiously following these commandments I set for myself and I have personally overcome even dreaded ailment(s) for more than 14 years.   I have only drawn for treatment  funds  solely ‘ex propriis’   –  (No  Government, Private, or any other form of allowances ).  ‘Health is Wealth’ – pithy adage says.  Never fall prey to greed and go at uncontrolled pace as the person, “who amassed wealth by spending his health;  and with might and main he tried to turn around spending all his wealth just to get back his health !”  Is this the Quality of Life we aspire to lead?  Ask yourself !!!

 

     “Dieu  avec  nous”

 

     Friday,  November  1,  2013;        10.25  p.m.  (IST)