Thursday, April 30, 2009

7 myths about private b-schools in India

If you are an employable graduate but do not see any job opportunities coming your way, will you go ahead and do an MBA?
In 2009, thanks to proliferation of unregulated b-schools all over India; an ordinary graduate need not be disheartened for not getting through the popular IIMs. He/she can as well do the MBA in fifty more 'going-concern' type private business schools that adorn the middle spectrum .
But will he get a job of his/her liking at the end of the course?
Looking at the recessionary trend, one is not very hopeful as yet. But for some , who can afford, it may be a good idea to be engaged with value-additive activities like professional education. Hence if you are looking at private business schools as an engagement option, you probably need to increase your level of awareness about the myths that surround private b-schools in India. .

  1. Myth : Private b-schools are easy to get admission to , if you have the merit. If one doesn't have the necessary means ( 7 - 10 lakhs for a 2 year course), then it is a very difficult proposition. Here , 'means' is the necessary condition, 'merit' is the sufficient one. Almost all of them demand around 10-15% of the total fees even before the actual admission. Its what they call the 'seat-reservation' fee. For sure, the amount in majority of cases is non-refundable.
  2. Myth : Education loans at low rates are easily available from banks. Banks , more than the students, look at the prospective placement scenario of the b-school. In 2009, nearly all the top-100 private business schools have a placement record of only 50-60% and the trend is still looking down. With such a figure, banks will be more prudent in doling out loans to all and sundry like they did 3 years back.
  3. Myth : Scholarships are easy to get in b-schools. That's only if one tops the batch but for the rest of the batch (which in some b-schools are in 1000s) , scholarship is a mirage that they have been chasing , if at all, right from their school days.
  4. Myth : Quality of Intellectual Capital in private b-schools is very high. Although ranking survey of private agencies often throw up some private schools at a higher position than even the IIMs; the truth is private b-schools have mediocre quality of publications coming most often from mediocre & confused faculty members. Some larger b-schools have effectively outsmarted the ranking system by churning out their own magazines & journals which are filled up with pages of gibberish read only by the author & cited by none.
  5. Myth : Examination & grading system in private b-schools are easy on the students. Just because one has paid through one's nose for the course does not imply a grade card full of As. In fact, the reality is just the opposite. Private b-schools compensate for their poor quality of intellectual capital by directing extra effort for creation of a rigid grading system. Often, grades are used as a filter during the placement season.
  6. Myth : High industry-academia interaction in private b-schools lead to industry-tuned course material. Even one percent of faculty are not engaged in consultancy assignments from the industry. The only interaction that happens when the b-schools spend a fortune holding a seminar in their premises debating themes with common jargon randomly placed. Seminars are like day outs. Lots of sound bytes, good food, networking , publications of proceedings and promptly forgotten the next day.
  7. Myth : One can pursue higher education abroad after receiving MBA degree from private b-schools. Majority of A & B grade universities in North America or Europe do not recognise the degree/diploma of most of the private Indian b-schools as the process is not certified by either Indian regulatory bodies like AICTE and/or international certification agency like the AACSB.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The old gives way to the new :IPL2009

When Rajasthan Royals pipped past Kolkata Knight Riders via a super over tiebreaker, Sourav 'Dada' Ganguly walked back to the dugout looking forlorn & dejected. In spite of Dada's super knock of 46, his dismissal in the penultimate ball of debutant Kamran Khan's last over vindicated the cricket fans' belief that Dada's knock was good but not good enough to win the match. On the other hand , Kamran Khan's furious pace bowling has brought in a refreshing breath of fresh air to Indian cricket.

Photo Source : Cricinfo

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Resurrection and Romance in the revealing ads of IPL2 DAY1

Vodafone started the IPL second season with a couple of fantastic new ads. One of the latter, depicts a Jinda Laash(meaning zombie) on a charpai ( a bed for carrying the dead) jiving his way to be the STAR of the match while the credited players stand forlorn on the side. While the objective of the ad was possibly to hint that the common man can be the STAR without hurling a ball or a bat (he has to just send a SMS ); the inaugural matches of IPL second season actually threw out senior Indian players ( including one retired) as STARS of the day. Of course , this is not to ever say that either of Tendulkar, Dravid or Kumble is being called a zombie but probably the analogy is acceptable in a format of the game tailor-made for the young, talented & the energetic.
Tendulkar made 59 batting through and had right-arm slinger Malinga backing up Mumbai Indian's winning total of 160. Dravid, partnering Petersen, epitomised 'Casablanca-in-a-sinking-ship' when his 66 helped Royal Challengers bounce back from 0/2 to a score of 133 . Kumble then bowled out Warnie's Rajasthan Royals with a figure of 5/5.
Airtel reused Vidya-Madhvan onscreen chemistry to preach in its new ad that romance survives even deep meltdowns. Almost mimicking the storyboard, a visual of Geoffrey Boycott closeted with Shilpa Shetty in the sponsors' box popped out on the telly and it didn't take long to figure out that the meltdown has hit hard Shilpa, the owner of Rajasthan Royals whose paltry score of 58 measured up to her budget.
Castrol's ad appeared like a mediocre exercise of an art workshop in a science school. The game of Chennai Kings without Murli/Morkel would probably fall in the same category. Abhishek Nayar's quick-fire 35 for Mumbai Indians was a reminder of the old ad of Havels. The wonder boy of a wide-eyed mother made sure his knock put his side up by a game on the first day.
Three of the famous five of recent Indian Cricket came good today. Wonder what would Ganguly and Laxman , the balance two, have to show on the second day when they face each other?

I shall look out for the telling signs in the ads again.

Photo Source :Cricinfo

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Coalition Jam of the Indian Parliament

As India heads for its fifteenth general election to the Lok Sabha, the media channels are clogged with numbers that the two major political alliances can cobble together as part of the 543 seats in the lower house of Indian parliament. The third front looms in the background as the balancing factor in a fragmented house that in all probability will be run by a coalition government representing a mix of "fundamental" interests of caste, religion & lingual communities.

Possibly the chances of a clear majority for any of the two biggies can increase if the number of seats is increased. In spite of the Delimitation Commission's exercises to change territorial constituencies, the number of seats since 1951 has increased by only 10% (489 to 543 in 2009) while the total population has increased by 200% (from 360 million in 1951 to 1.03 billion in 2001) .

Population growth alone should justify an increase of at least 50% to 800 seats. Further , remotely located and under developed geographical areas such as the North-Eastern states should get more reserved seats . Some tribal NE states like Nagaland & Mizoram continue to get just one seat when the requirements of the populace demand more. And maybe an additional dimension of unifying interest like "development" can be added by making larger tax paying states get a larger proportion of the incremental seats.

Overall a Lok Sabha of 825 to 850 seats will probably be more representative of the true character of Indian polity. This could then break the "coalition jam " that India seems to be locked in since 1996.

Cartoon Source : Ninan's World, Times of India.