India, Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur, NIRF ranking, NIRF ranking 2016, opinion

Rankings and Ravings !

A couple of weeks ago, the first ever NIRF rankings were released by the MHRD, Government of India. Lot has been said and written about the rankings in the last few days, especially about the list of Management Institutions. While some were happy with the list, some were surprised; some were pleasantly satisfied with it, some were seemingly vexed; some called it faulty while some called the list politically motivated and that’s the beauty of a healthy democracy. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion. I too have one.

Perceptions and stereotypes are hard to get rid of. Majority of people (including me), look at management colleges as placement agencies. For prospective students, things like ROI and job opportunities are major decision making factors for choosing a college. The mean and median CTCs of previous graduating batches are considered the benchmarks to judge the potential of institutions. One may argue that this method of ranking institutes is not utterly wrong, but objective ranking of the institutes based on subjective judgement is again a debatable topic.

I am fortunate enough to be a part of the student community of IIM Udaipur a young college that managed to find its way in the top five, speeding ahead of the many giant and established old names. Being closely associated with this institute, I am informed enough to actually try and shed some light on the way this institute works and why it well deserves the position it was conferred with.

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The close knit community – being a new college with a relatively smaller alumni base actually opens up possibilities for a “deeper organic” networks instead of the more prevalent “mechanistic wider” ones. I being a current student am in touch with almost all of my seniors on formal as well as on personal levels. It’s the same with our professors; the good faculty student ratio enables both the fraternities to know each other not only at the academic level but also at personal levels.

The emphasis on research – “Institute” as defined by Oxford is “an Organization having a particular purpose”. And what’s the purpose of an educational institute, if is it is not to explore, analyze, create and dispense knowledge for the benefit of the society, nation and the industry?  One of the core strategies of IIM Udaipur right from its inception has been its belief in research driven ecosystem. For those who have less faith in the MHRD’s “desi” list, can check out this link: http://jindal.utdallas.edu/the-utd-top-100-business-school-research-rankings/search#rankingsByJournal

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This ranking is based on the database created by UT Dallas to track publications in 24 leading global business journals.

The unique course structure – I believe IIM U’s PGPX program to be of one the most uniquely designed programs in India for experienced professionals to advance their career in the field of Supply Chain and Operations. Unlike any other General Management Programs of older IIMs or other prestigious B schools, this 15 month rigorous course is highly focused on the Global Supply Chain Management, and consists of a 2 month industry internship along with an entire semester at Purdue, Krannert School of Management.  Another such unique program is the MDP for women entrepreneurs especially designed to encourage and empower current and aspiring women entrepreneurs. Corporate Immersions, rural immersions, international immersions are just a few examples of the unique elements embedded in the course work of this institute.

Apart from the above three factors, there are a multitude of reasons why IIM Udaipur is one of the best B schools of the country. The current NIRF ranking is a mere reflection of the fact that we are on the right track, boosting our confidence to work even harder and smarter in the years to come, so as to pen a legacy of our own.

Thanks,

Anand

 

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amir khan, India, intolerance, opinion

Limits, Fits and Tolerance !

As citizens of the world’s largest democracy freedom of speech and expression is one of our fundamental rights. But the stark reality is we are free to express our opinions as long as no one is offended. Isn’t Freedom to offend others is the true freedom of expression. Where is the freedom if I am not allowed to speak my heart out?

Yes I agree, what I may perceive as a harsh reality can be perceived as offending to someone else. But that’s the entire concept of democracy; finding middle ground between the differences to develop together as a society.

There is a difference between mocking religious beliefs, bullying the less powerful, inciting people through hate speech and racist remarks and merely sharing one’s thoughts. I believe what Aamir Khan said, was just a reflection of his thoughts nothing more. He as a part of our society and has every right to speak his mind. Yes since he is a superstar celebrity he should have been more careful in wording his fears. But the way entire social media retaliated and the some esteemed intellectuals reacted, indeed just proved that he was right after all.

Here is the link to the transcript of entire conversation of Amir Khan during that event:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/aamir-khan-at-rng-awards-here-is-the-complete-conversation/

Read it for yourself and decide if “Intolerant India” should be the best two-word-description for the entire conversation.

I believe what Aamir said about the growing intolerance is wrong and I don’t agree with him, but does this mean I have the right to shove my bigotry down his throat too? Instead of hate comments and personal attacks on him and his family, couldn’t we have taken a more civilised stance? Doesn’t the lash back that Amir received post his comment only justified his comment?

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Yes we Indians are indeed very tolerant group of people, but the only thing that we can’t tolerate is someone offending us especially by calling us Intolerant !

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essay, Future, India, Vision

Essay : Vision 2050 for India

Indians are a diverse set of people; this diversity is what defines India. With great diversity come great differences.  Difference in thoughts is what gives strength to a democracy. Difference in opinion is the central thread which ties together the various facets of democracy. But running parallel along with this thread is the thread of respect. No matter how different the opinions or thoughts are; a mature society needs to learn the importance of respecting these differences, if it is to thrive for centuries to come.

I am 26 years old and by the year 2050, may be my kids will be almost of the same age as I am today. So, my vision for 2050 is neither political nor apolitical, it is neither GDP centric, nor technology centric, it is neither patriotism driven nor intellect driven. In fact my vision for 2050 is reflective of my innate human desire to be free to choose my way of life and is driven merely by my desire to lead a happy life.

So, I’ll not talk about the government’s plans and policies for years to come, or about the different projects that corporate giants will be undertaking in decades to come, or about the way technology will be changing the face of our nation, and I’ll definitely not ponder upon the possibility of India emerging as a super power by 2050. Because I believe all of the above things are rather driven by individuals who are very much a part of the same society, which we are a part of. So I will talk about a few random and regular but important things.

Yes, I agree there are a few setbacks and there will be more. Honour killings are still happening, so is female feticide. Homosexual relationship is still considered an offence and consensual pre-marital sex between adults is still frowned upon. Illogical bans are still a common phenomenon so is corrupt use of political power. Many of the media houses still act irresponsibly and so do many celebrities and leaders.

But I am optimistic. The good news is we are already on the right track, we have come a long way from caste, and community based coalition governments to a single party majority government. A lot of progress has been made in the field of women empowerment. Trans-genders are gaining prominent positions of respect based on their merit and talent. Many young entrepreneurs are making their mark among the biggies with their innovative start-ups and business ideas. People are using social media as a powerful tool to voice their opinions. Things are changing, and things are changing for good.

Marshal McLuhan, a great philosopher of communication theory had rightly said, media is an “extension of man”. Media encompasses both the reporting media as well as the social media, and its role in shaping a society is essentially a function of how the society wishes to use it. In recent past, we have seen how capable media is of swaying people’s opinion, may it be the case of rohtak sisters, or the case of Jasleen kaur, we saw the frustrating face of Indian media houses and the judgmental face of social media users. If India wants to change, its media has to change. National goals and objectives can be worked upon, nurtured and achieved through wise and matured use of media. People using the internet should be more careful about what they say, interpret and forward. Digital maturity is extremely important if we want the Indian culture to evolve along with the other cultures and face the wrath of time up to 2050 and beyond.

Moral policing is another facet of Indian society!  We often try to pass judgement and enforce it purely based on our own assumption that we are correct, we use flawed data and a few personal experiences to arrive at the ‘absolute truth’. In some cities, couples are afraid even of holding their partners hand in public.  Let’s not even discuss the matter of sexual orientation and gender fluidity, in a country wherein many states have food items and beverages banned because of certain community taking offence. India definitely can’t be a super power in 2050 if the rate of people getting offended due to harmless acts of others does not reduce! I hope the future generations have more forbearance, more tolerance than we have.

Nelson Mandela believed: “Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world”. Post our independence, our fore fathers did a great job right from formulating our constitution up to framing policies and laws, and brought our literacy rates from a mere 12% in 1947 to a whopping 74% in 2011. Experts Say we will reach 100% by 2030. And In deed we will be a different nation by 2030 when each one of our brothers and sister would be able to read and write. Add twenty years to that and by 2050 we can be the most formidable nation on the face of the world.

Our generation is thriving on and sustaining on what our fore fathers left behind for us. Similarly our future generations will live on and build upon what we will be leaving behind for them. This is how any society, any civilization works. Government will do its job, let’s just take care and see that we vote for the right kind of government. Leaders will try to divide us for vote bank politics, let’s just be aware and stay away from such narrow politics! Media houses may try to fool us emotionally for TRPs, let’s be mature enough to take our own wise, well informed decisions. Religious fanatics will try to breach the communal harmony for their own goals, let’s stay united as Indians and concentrate in building our nation. Let’s come together and pave the way for future generations, making India a better place much before 2050. Let’s face the future with a smile.

Jai Hind !

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India, opinion, porn logic

Porn logic

So it seems like, Govt of India has finally found the Ram-ba(a)n” to curb the rising crimes against women, porn-ban !!

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According to the government of my country watching porn leads to crime against woman. So basically our government is saying until a few years ago, when internet and porn was not that mainstream or in the medieval times or in the ancient times, women were not raped or eve teased because there was no pornhub.com, or redtube.com !!

But wait, life is full of ironies, so is India. Last weekend, I re-visited the famous konark temple. That amazing 13th century temple is full of sexually explicit imageries, sculptures of seemingly strong and flexible men and equally flexible and voluptuous women engrossed in all kinds of kamasutra-ic plays. If you look closely, you may spot statues of males , females and  transgenders engrossed in all kinds of modern day digital tags- “3S, MMF, FFM,4S CFNM, GB, 69, TS etc” !!

I am attaching a few snaps I took at Konark, lets hope I am not violating any DOT/ High court/ Competent Authority guidelines, by publishing these pics here.

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India must have been full of degenerates, perverts and rapists and eve teasers during those times , I am glad, I popped out in this country a few centuries later.
If shiv lingam really represents the “beginning-less and endless cosmic pillar (Stambha) of fire, the cause of all causes” , and nothing else, then in my opinion, videos at redtube showcases the celebrations of one-ness and love and Xhamster is like a guru that dispels the darkness of ignorance. For me banning porn, means to devoid me of my spiritual time, I spend every night in the privacy of my 4 walls.

Its only logical to conclude that , those days are not far away, when our government will be issuing orders to demolish the konark , khajurao and other such temples as they have been doing the same thing for centuries what internet porn has been doing only for past few years.

For the first time since May 16 last year, I am doubting my judgement, whether I voted for the right person to lead this country ! Banning porn websites to prevent crime against woman is like banning sex between consenting adults to control the increasing population . Porn Ban, defies all logic and is an extremely barbaric act on part of DOT.
Its less about porn, but more about internet freedom. Today its the matter of porn, which is too taboo a subject to discuss openly and revolt. But tomorrow it may be some other content, which our government dislikes and may decide to ban it. It has been done before (Remember the case of Wendy Doniger ?), and it will be done again. Absolute democracy, is certainly a myth !

On a lighter note, lets stare at the irony, more than 800 porn websites has been banned invoking section 69 A, of IT act , that too just before the 69th Independence day celebration of our nation !
{if you know what I mean :p :o}

Thanks for reading,
Anand.

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Facebook, Gay, India, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage equality, Profile picture, Rainbow

Bandwagon of rainbow display pics !!

Some desi intellectuals are really, curious as to why the fuck are Indians so happy about the US verdict on Marriage equality and why are they celebrating as if India has won another cricket world cup !!

Curiosity can be handled with answers but i don’t know any way to reply those self proclaimed cool people, who consider themselves above the herd, and mock every mainstream phenomenon. Without even trying to understand a simple fact, some people, some even my friends are trying to mock everyone with “VIBGYOR-ed” profile picture, posting out of the world justifications as this , as if in India, not being able to marry the person we want to,  is a thing of “PRIDE”.11541943_10153467608269662_4167311500673329047_n We as Indians are aware that there are a lot many factors that decide, whether we will be marrying a certain person or not. Religion > Community > Caste > Gotra > region > chu***pa , more or less,  this is the prioritized list of parameters, on which potential partners are weighed upon.  Ever heard about Consent ??   No we haven’t.  For us consent to marriage is choosing one among a shortlisted few potential candidates, let me tell you these candidates are the best potential partners, who have passed the scrutiny as per the above scales.

And trust me, this system of marriage is valid only for Opposite sex couples. There is no such thing as same sex marriage in India. Its illegal, couples can be arrested for this or may be worse, mobs with saffron or green flags may even lynch them to death.

As average Indians, we care a lot, about things that actually matters to us, and things that we can relate to !! We can relate to heterosexual inter caste marriages, because its so common now a days. Inter caste couples, Inter religious couples are coming out of the closet even before their marriages. And its a great thing. We do listen to stray unfortunate incidents of honor killing, but things are indeed slowly and gradually changing.

We all have that (at least), one school or college time crush whom we didn’t approach because probably he/she belonged to another religion, caste or community. Don’t tell me you didn’t thought about it and cursed the society at-least once in your life for this.

” If only a Hindu could marry a Muslim, without any fear”

“If only a Agarwal could marry a Singh without facing any repercussions”

But GAY marriages… whoa..wait wait.. isn’t that just another level ?? How can it be legal, is it even natural ? Why are people coloring there FB profile pictures, gay marriages are un-natural, its blasphemy, why are Indians supporting it. 

Oh Indians are inherently stupid, they are just following the west and trying to look cool, That’s why they are coloring their profile pics. They don’t understand the intricacies of LGBT laws of their own country, they can’t make their own marriage decisions, and just see the number of stupids, riding the bandwagon of colored DP.  They think they are looking cool, Stupids Indians.  

In India , we still make fun of our male friends by calling him gay, or less masculine,  may be because he is simply too fair to be a man. (yeah.. you read it right…..,  In India believe it or not skin fairness is proportional to femininity.) Or may be we mock him because his walk is just a little too feminine (whoever decides the difference and draws a line between a feminine walk and a masculine walk). We are the people who turn away our faces when we spot transgenders somewhere, and laugh at them – if not on their faces then on their back. We are the people who watch with horrified eyes, when we spot some petite girl riding a royal enfield. We are the people because of whom homosexuals don’t even dare to come out of closet. Forget about coming out of closet we are the people who force them to reconsider their sexual orientation and make them feel guilty , alienating them to question their own existence, as if they are affected by some kind of deadly plague.

Now something good, some thing great happened, in US yesterday.  I am in India, I am a pride supporter and I have worked closely with some of the LGBT activists here in India. And I have seen my close friends afraid for their lives. Afraid that some religious fanatic may decide to throw acid on their faces or may simply decide stab them in the name of god.

Indians with colored DP , are not merely celebrating, the US verdict, but they are showing there support, not to the US government’s thinking, but to the LGBT movement in general. Just like free speech , freedom to choose our partners is also one of the fundamental human rights. The rainbow is a symbol that I as a person will not judge someone based on his/her sexual orientation. Colored DPs of Indians prove that Indian mentality is changing. People are becoming more and more tolerant. People are maturing. and it indeed is a good thing.

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India, lead, lead poisoning, maggi, noodles, packaged food

The gift of Maggi.

Not that I am a big fan of death by lead poisoning, or that i have a weird lead fetish , but still I miss Maggi. Many years ago, long before Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) woke up from its slumber, my mom had declared, “Maggi is bad for your health”. If only I had been a good kid then and listened to her.

I am not saying Maggi is innocent, its just that it is the least guilty one when we compare its crime to other known convicts of lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is indeed a big problem for most of the developing countries, but the irony is 99% cases of lead poisoning in those countries are not at all related to direct consumption of Lead from packaged food products like Maggi. In fact Lead is present in most of the items of every day use:  from plastic buckets and mugs to our wall paints. From toys our children play with to pens and pencils they write with, and the list goes on. Escaping lead in today’s world is near impossible, it is omnipresent, it is there in the soil around us, in the air we breath, and yes even in the water we consume.

As per the the National Referral Center for Lead Poisoning Prevention in India (NRCLPI), the top six sources that accounts for most lead exposure around the globe are as follows :

  1. Gasoline additives
  2. Food can soldering
  3. Lead-based paints
  4. Ceramic glazes
  5. Drinking water systems, and
  6. Cosmetic and folk remedies.

Other significant exposures result from vehicular and industrial emissions.

Kudos to FSSAI, for doing a great job, but its high time, that other law enforcing agencies of the Indian government like Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) etc. start doing their job in a efficient and ethical manner. Lead effects mostly, the younger generation. Lead poisoning is a time bomb, ticking slowly and most of the parents, even the educated ones, are mostly ignorant of this deadly element slowly and gradually creeping into their children’s lives.

Nestle India is just a small fish in the big black lead lined pond of sharks like the paint industry and gasoline industry, and media needs to play a more responsible role in making public aware about real bigger villains.

-Anand

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a song of ice and fire, Game of thrones, Game of thrones Season5 episode 9, GoT, spoilers, the dance of dragons

An emotional take on “The Dance of dragons”, Game of thrones Season 5, episode 9 !!

Spoiler alert:  Get Spoiled on your own risk  , spoilers for season 5 episode 9 !!

Countless thoughts were running across my mind, while they were dragging her to the pyre to burn her alive. May be Ser Davos will come back to rescue her, or may be the Boltons will attack the enemy camp and create a chaos, or may be, just may be Stannis will have a sudden change of heart, or may be the soldiers of the Baratheon army will revolt against the royalty and kill the red lady, thus saving the princess. Princess Shireen of house Baratheon, may your soul rest in peace ! The red lady had once rightly said – “there is only one hell, the one in which we live in”, truly a world with people like Stannis “the menace” and Melisandre, is even worse than hell.

Stannis from the books is way more cooler and way more logical than his counterpart from the show. I doubt shireen from the books will ever be facing such a brutal fate, because the red lady’s need of king’s blood was fulfilled by some other equally innocent and even younger royal baby. But yes, at least Stannis from books along with the readers,  didn’t gave a shit about that young prince in the books. So, there is at least a Tyrion sized possibility in the books that Princess Shireen of house Barathean, may live a long life. Damn you, the self proclaimed, one true king from the show, for burning your own daughter !!

Boltons are famed for flaying their enemies alive, and unfortunately all the Baratheons now alive are turning into religious fanatics as well , keen on sacrificing friends and enemies alike for the god of light. Seems like the religions and gods of GRRM’s world is no different than gods and religions of our world. I was rooting for stannis through out the 5th season, for his upcoming battle against the Boltons, but now I am doubtful.

I am doubtful because now I am not sure who is the lesser evil of the two : enemy flaying bastards or the daughter torching highborn fanatics !!

Just as Shireen was shouting for her worthless father’s help, something bigger was about to happen across the narrow sea. In Mereen : in the Spartacus styled, Gladiator themed fighting pit, Ser “Friend-zoned” Jorah, killed some of the best fighters from different fighting pits and at last threw a spear in his beloved Dany’s direction just like the fallen King Leonidas had thrown his spear towards Xerxes, the only difference being Lenoidas had missed but our westorosi knight didn’t , he saved Dany’s life and killed one of the masked Sons of harpy !!

Soon after a chaos ensued that engulfed the entire arena, and sons of harpy killed a lot of innocent civilians. In the end Surrounding Dany along with Tyrion, Mr Let-me-do-what-i-do-best, and The beautiful hacker from Fast and furious. Honestly I was not at all worried, because I had some Idea what was coming next … , so instead I was excited. #grins

But something unexpected happened – how easily were the sons of harpy able to wound the mighty Drogon, biggest of the three dragons of Dany , just with their spears ?? Isn’t Dragon hide is supposed to be really tough, even ordinary steel weapons are considered worthless against their tough hide !!  #confused
What conspired next was even better, after Drogon had burnt and eaten and chopped off his share of enemies surrounding team Dany. Dany, the unburnt,  first of her name, queen of the andals and the first men, mother of dragons, queen of mereen, khaleesi, caressed Drogon like a mother and carefully and lovingly rode his back and went for her first test ride. Hell it was fun 😀

Eagerly waiting for the next weeks season finale.

– Anand

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