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Friday, 30 September 2016 08:19

Skilling the right one is the real challenge

Jobs often go to candidates who are not qualified either professionally or temperamentally. This leads to chaos The Government must be credited for having brought alive the phrase, ‘skill development’, on an unprecedented scale. It seems to have become the latest bandwagon on which all wish to climb. So be it. However, like in many things in public life, the phrase appears to be akin to ‘old wine in a new bottle’. As the knowledgeable know, this usually creates cracks in the bottle. More to the point, skill has been made synonymous with downstream livelihood, focussing on domains like drivers, plumbers, electricians, and more. There is nothing wrong with this approach. All communities in the country need this kind of skill formation. The trouble is elsewhere, in at least three manners. Talk of skill development in India has been on since independence. ITIs are a chain of institutions across the country, so well-known that many confuse them with IITs. However, the pace of growth and requirements has been so large that not even World Bank grants were able to breed vibrancy into ITIs or polytechnics to either make them world-class institutions or indeed make them the seed-bed of certain types…
No component of the Independence Day’16 speech from the Red Fort has merited so much attention as the reference to Baluchistan .It is characteristics of the way a communication which lasted over an hour, is covered by the media and the commentators. Nearly ten days down the line the reverberations are can still be heard of a debate which, to begin with, had very little to say. However, now, with three Baluchis involved, reportedly, being charged with sedition, for having praised the PM, the matter is not going to fade away soon.No one is denying the significance of the reference to Baluchistan. It was a defined embellishment to an otherwise predictable narrative which is heard year after year. What was said in that reference, was prima facie, quite innocuous, because the Prime Minister was only expressing his reaction to the way people of Baluchistan have referred to him recently. Seemingly, it is innocuous and can hardly be seen as a threat of any sort to anyone. That it has been put to use that way is perhaps, best understood by the kind of critique that a handful of people have made of it. The writer has been in and out…
Friday, 18 September 2015 10:39

WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD OF DIGITIZATION

There is little debate on the emerging contours of our information society, which will impact all aspects of life In the last two decades, the public discourse has seen certain key buzzwords. These words have become almost like a religious chant. They would number about two dozen words and cover about a dozen themes. The interesting part is that these chants are now transcending geography and becoming part of the lexicon of most political leaders who have a large media interface. In the list are phrases such as ‘connected digital universe’, ‘energy conservation’, ‘climate change’, ‘strengthening industrial base’, ‘seeking deeper and fairer internal markets’, ‘better coordination between units and the centre’, ‘balanced trade agreements’, ‘fundamental rights’, ‘mutual trust’, ‘demographic consideration’, ‘power of the youth’, ‘empowerment of women’, and ‘pollution control’. The ghost writer had never had it so easy. Speeches are becoming predictable, and they can be churned out at the speed ofpapads. In this list, the word ‘digitisation’ is beginning to occur with higher frequency than before. Maybe this is as it should be. However, the danger is of seeing the dialogue transforming into babble. Now, even Mr Rahul Gandhi has a view on digital empowerment. Who doesn’t? The…
Friday, 18 September 2015 10:38

AVOID THE MAD RUSH TO PUT ALL SYSTEMS ONLINE

As the Kachir Gaaw case shows, functional, not just fashionable, delivery mechanisms need to be in place We live in the electronics era. Perhaps, the first major penetration of this medium in office work happened when the electronic typewriter replaced the manual one. It revolutionised office functioning. The standards changed, the work measurement changed and work life was never quite the same. The character of employment in the offices evolved and one was either pushed up or pushed out. The Indian corporate work situation began experiencing this change from the early 1980s and in the last three decades and a half since then, the movement has considerably widened and depend. There is a greater and increasing push to put everything online. The speed is such that few are pausing to consider if, beyond the road maps, the delivery vehicles are operational. The delivery vehicles not only need to be fashioned but they need to be functional. The urge to keep up with this fashion is so intense that everything and anything must be moved onto the electronic media. In such an environment, it is natural that even admit cards will be issued online. Newspaper reports have it, that in a…
Measurements of US space shuttles can be traced to the horse-driven chariots of ancient Rome, for good reason A time has come in the management profession when sub-areas of the subject matter are progressively becoming disciplines in their own right. This includes areas as marketing, organisation studies and manufacturing. Further, like all disciplines they tend to they acquire an interdisciplinary frame. The situation is made more complex by the fast changing character of the domains. This is an important stage in the evolution of the subject of management. In addition, contextual concerns have to be factored in. Consider the finance domain, which spans from accounting to auditing, taxation to sourcing of funds. Somewhere in between it picks up areas such as international finance, corporate finance, micro-finance and more. It’s not uncommon to see single theme institutions emerging. It does, however, raise several unprecedented issues including the need to define the sub-areas themselves. Consider the case of auditing. Conventionally, auditing can be divided into internal audit and external audit. In popular imagination, auditors are rule-bound and un-accommodating. The auditors, in their turn, plead helplessness because they have to follow the professional standard and what their institutes legislate. This need not always…