Not that I’m a true patriot, but I love my country a lot. May be it’s the mesmerizing Himalayas or the delicious Indian Punjabi food or even the entertaining (at times silly) Bollywood!! But now, after working for two months in the banking sector, I realized; there’s more to life, more to discover, and hence I got my new expedition, the Indian Economy.
I feel as if, the Indian economy is stuck in the meadows. The great Indian economy is struggling with falling growth and stubbornly high inflation, increasing population but decreasing workforce demand, increasing avenues for FDI but decreasing FIIs, large fiscal deficit, pessimism among businesses and consumers. All this has driven down investments and demand. And to top it all, the IMF has also lowered its forecast on India’s economic growth to 5.7% for 2013 compared to the estimated growth of 5.9%. It also revised its 2014 growth forecast to 6.2% to 6.3%, but looking at what’s happening in India, my estimates are much lower.
But now as I love my nation, let’s not forget that in the decade from 2003 to 2013, the average annual economic growth of our economy was a healthy 7%. But of this 10 year period, then came a block of 5 years, from 2009 to 2013, when the world economic growth was extremely sluggish. During the year 2012-13, our GDP growth was lowest in 10 years at just 5%, which is much higher than the G-7 countries.
So now, the need of the hour for India is to reverse the deceleration in growth and to re-enter the 7%-8% growth bracket in the next 2-3 years. But for that to happen, the Indian economy needs to be revitalized. For any economy to progress, it needs to strike a perfect balance of its income and expenditure. There has to be an increase in investments, industrial production, exports etc. And to curb inflation, the RBI needs to adopt a tight monetary policy.
Now to strengthen the industrial production, the growth of which is slipped to 2% in April from 3.4% in March; the industry desperately needs a cut in the policy rates. But as the rupee continues to fall, the scope of further rate cut by the RBI also gets limited, leaving India in trouble.
Another area of concern for India is its widening current account deficit. The CAD, which is the difference between the outflow and inflow of foreign currency, was around 5% of the GDP in the FY 2012-13. A large amount of financial savings in our country are absorbed in meeting government deficits and other loopholes. If this is controlled then a greater proportion of savings would be available for investment.
To revive growth in the short run, India must also shift from consumption to investment. And it must do so by creating new norms for transparent investment practices and minimal political interference.
Apart from more investment, India needs less consumption and higher savings. The first step towards this that the government has taken in this regard is the much debated removal of subsidies. Households also need stronger incentives to increase financial savings. New fixed-income instruments, such as inflation-indexed bonds, will help.
If all goes well, India’s economy should recover and return to its recent 8% growth in the next couple of years. A number of new projects are lined up to boost the economic activity like construction of India’s highway system. One of which is The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, linking the country’s political and financial capitals. Foreign investors are positive about our economy. The net inflow from Foreign Institutional Investors at Rs. 1.6 lakh crore in 2012 is a substantial rise from the Rs. 39,000 crore in 2011.
The world economy is also expected to revive in 2014 as their economic growth is projected to increase from 1.4% in 2013 to 2% in 2014. India can also gain by this forecast by enhancing the competitiveness of the domestic industry, especially the export enterprises. India should exploit its comparative advantage of abundant manpower which is one of the prime drivers of industrial progress.
To make sure all these things happen, we need a strong and stable government that could act as an accelerator for India’s economic recovery. If this all can be achieved, it will be a step towards recovery, and thus help the country to find a way out of the entangled meadow it is in.
Not that I’m a true patriot, but I love my country a lot. May be it’s the mesmerizing Himalayas or the delicious Indian Punjabi food or even the entertaining (at times silly) Bollywood!! But now, after working for two months in the banking sector, I realized; there’s more to life, more to discover, and hence …View full post
“Cross cultural interaction not only teaches us that people have different beliefs, but that people seek meaning and understand themselves in some sense as members of a cosmos ruled by God.” My friends from FIIB and I were so excited to meet the students flying from the Walton College of Business as we prepared to …View full post
18th-19th May, 2013 were one of the best days in the lives of my colleagues and I when we received the students from The Walton College of Business (WCoB) Arkansas, USA as a part of their study abroad program where they visited New Delhi. “I am loving India a lot, I would probably want to …View full post
Unforgettable 48 Hours The two full days I spent with my fellow exchange students as part of a cross-cultural experience offered jointly by both our colleges (FIIB, New Delhi and Sam Walton College, USA) have been etched deep in my memory forever. The joys of getting to know someone who lives halfway across the globe …View full post
“Atithi devo bhava”, (Guest is God) It was exactly by these words with which we welcomed the Sam Walton College of Business students to our campus (FIIB, New Delhi) on the 18th of May 2013. FIIB in collaboration with Sam Walton College organised a very interesting cross-cultural interaction opportunity for the students home and abroad. With the …View full post
Not that I’m a true patriot, but I love my country a lot. May be it’s the mesmerizing Himalayas or the delicious Indian Punjabi food or even the entertaining (at times silly) Bollywood!! But now, after working for two months in the banking sector, I realized; there’s more to life, more to discover, and hence I got my new expedition, the Indian Economy.
“Cross cultural interaction not only teaches us that people have different beliefs, but that people seek meaning and understand themselves in some sense as members of a cosmos ruled by God.”
My friends from FIIB and I were so excited to meet the students flying from the Walton College of Business as we prepared to host them for a weekend that we couldn’t wait for the weekend to arrive. On 18th, we welcomed the delegation from WCoB comprising of 14 students and 2 Faculty members from Walton College of Business. The students – either pursuing graduate and post graduate courses in management at the University, Prof. Vikas Anand and Prof. Alan E Ellstrand were really excited to explore the city. We assembled in the Faculty lounge at 9 am. Our first activity started with a Market Research Group Activity. We had been divided into 4 groups, my team members were chosen to be Anchal Bedi, Rohit Kumar Jaitly, Teah Bidwell, Lauren Davenport, Craig Mahan and Kristen Raney. We got exactly 20 minutes to select a topic, and my group decided to go for a comparison between Formal and Informal market. The main objective of this research was to observe and analyse the behavior of consumers when they come across formal and informal sources of communication, and to determine which source affects their buying behavior the most. To do the same, we decided to go to Ambience mall in Vasant Kunj. While enroute, we exchanged information on American and Indian lifestyles,cultures, politics, education system, work culture etc. After tedious observation at the mall, noting down prices of various commodities and speaking to many customers, one major difference my American friends observed was that when the malls in India were compared to US, there was a higher number of staff personnel in India while the cost of the commodities was much cheaper.
From a centrally air conditioned Shopping mall, our next destination was Sarojini Nagar Market. Delhi’s summer with 44 Degree temperature couldn’t let our enthusiasm die. Infact many times we noticed WCoB students being more active and energetic without minding the hot weather. Here as well we interviewed many customers and got a clearer picture of main factors that influence Indian customers buying behavior.
After compiling our data and observations, we went back and assembled at the hotel in Defense colony where the American friends were staying. The groups were then asked to plan an interesting activity for next day, which should be informational and enjoyable for all the students and as a group we concluded that we would explore the Cuisine of both Indian and American cultures.
We then moved towards FIIB for a joint class session with the students in WCoB School, Fayetteville, Arkansas
The lectures were given by Mr. Manish Kheterpal (Chairman, FIIB) on Indian Investment Climate and by Mr. Alan Ellstrand (Progessor, WCoB) on Comparison of emerging economies.
The second day of the exchange program started with “Amazing Race”, for which new teams were formed and the rules of the race were as follows
The teams had to cover the following places
New Delhi Railway Station (Ajmeri Gate Side):need to click Photo at Platform 6 with the sign showing.
Coasta Coffee in Janpath : need to Buy coffee –keep the receipt
Emporio Mall: Need to click the picture in front of it .
Roopak Spices—Ajmal Khan Road, Buy a spice and bring receipts.
India Gate: Need to click Picture
The group that finished all the tasks, and reached the hotel would be declared the winners. The groups had to keep in mind that altleast three modes of transportation were used and the total travelling expense should not exceed 1000 rupees. The experience was beautiful and my team was judged as the first runner’s up.
We then proceeded for the activity we had planned the previous day. We decided the menu and went to purchase the ingredients from the nearest market. It was decided that FIIB Students would teach WCoB students taught how to prepare typical Indian food items like Chicken curry, Sooji halwa, Roti, Indian chai(tea) and students from WCoB would teach the FIIBians how to prepare “Apple pie”
It was an awesome experience for me to cook with the wonderful students from WCoB as we explored the cooking and eating cultures of both United States and India. At the end we served the food which we made to the entire delegation.
We then moved proceeded to Sagar Ratna where WCoB had hosted a dinner for FIIBians. During the dinner, Mr. Alan Ellstrand declared the 1st prize for the best learning and enjoyable activity and we were elated to hear our name!
The time to bid farewell came faster than we thought but as they say
“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again”
Unforgettable 48 Hours
During these conversations, my American friends made me realize the following 9 basic aspects of my Indian life that I take for granted, and hence do not think much about:
Can’t Say No – My American friends pointed out that it’s difficult for Indians to say no. Asking a yes or no question in India will commonly be answered with, “actually, it is…” Asking to go to a particular place can be met with, “I’ll try, We’ll see”. Indians consider ‘No’ to be very rigid and they don’t like to disappoint. While my initial reaction on this was “not true”, on more reflection, I agreed with my American friends.
Sex Taboo – While talking on topics like sex in India is generally avoided, and arranged marriages are a common feature over, there it’s common to have in live-in relationships before marriage. And these could start as early as college years!
Indian Drivers: Friendly or Rude? - One of them said -”Indians think nothing of cutting in front of each other in traffic. Sometime they don’t even look when merging into your lane”. Which is mostly true. However, very quickly they also pointed out that the drivers on road are extremely friendly and happy to help with directions when approached. In the US, this would not happen.
Corruption Matters - Talk about on corruption is rampant throughout the media and within inner circles. As youth, we also seem to have taken it for granted and there’s not much discussion on the “What you do to stop it?”. Looks like the US has had some recent scandals of corruption too recently. But it is not as entrenched into the economy there as it is here.
Religion All-Around - Our friends mentioned that they can guess the extent of religion in an Indian’s everyday life by the proliferation of temples and mosques all around -whether under a tree or larger structures spread all around the city. It was a new idea for them that there are small houses of worship in almost all Indian households.Delhi Metro - Jenna in particular enjoyed the metro ride (she commented how it was a relief after the “shaky and twisty” rickshaw ride!). The frequency of the trains and the cleanliness of the metro stations impressed them (and even me for that matter. I found myself wondering if we can do it at the metro stations, why can’t we do the same for the rest of the country. Something to ponder on).
Poverty a Disease - For them Poverty is illness which could be justified as beggars appear whenever our cab get stopped before the red light signal and ask for money all the time. For me, again one of those things that co-exists side-by-side. What does one do?
Men in the Kitchen - We discussed how in the US cooking food by men doesn’t reflect on any social barrier. Marcus mentioned how his dad himself cooks food for the family on a regular basis. I contrast this with my own family where my mother is the sole person in the kitchen,At the end of the day, having discussed these differences between our lives, we all decided to celebrate them. And what better way than enjoying the best of the Indian and American cuisine over a discussion of sports. So over a sumptuous home-made meal prepared jointly we had halwa and apple pie for desserts, and discussed cricket and football!
“Atithi devo bhava”, (Guest is God) It was exactly by these words with which we welcomed the Sam Walton College of Business students to our campus (FIIB, New Delhi) on the 18th of May 2013.
FIIB in collaboration with Sam Walton College organised a very interesting cross-cultural interaction opportunity for the students home and abroad. With the help of some really unique and adventurous activities designed by faculty, our friends from Walton College and us had to study the socio-eco-political-cultural scenario of India. And with this thought, we started with one of the most memorable and exciting experiences of our lives -India re-visited, like never before!
To start with, we were all split in groups of 4- 5 students and each group was given a particular topic to research on. My group had Ally, Jenna and Alex from Walton College, and Ajay and me from FIIB. The topic given to us was “Acceptance of Packaged Chicken Snacks in India”.
This was my first time that I’d be interacting with an American. And so at the outset, I have to admit, I entered this exchange program with some pre-conceived notions of the Americans and their culture. Some of these notions were: Americans are rude; Americans are so set in their own ways, and hence extremely rigid in their outlook; Americans are so independent. Imagine living on my own when I was 18…
However, what I discovered through my interactions with my friends was an eye-opener for me. I realized that there were more similarities between us than differences. Once I was able to go beyond the strange accent and the skin color, we were people who shared the same likes and dislikes; made similar jokes and comments regarding our political system, faculty and friends; and had similar aspirations.
First let me address how my American friends fared on my pre-conceived notions – I had a general perception in my mind about the Americans being rude and rough. But after I spent some time with them, they proved me wrong, entirely wrong. To my surprise, they are so adaptive in nature. On the day of the market research it was inevitable for anyone to complaint about the 44 degrees heat, but keeping aside the heat, they enjoyed the street children performing acrobats for money or a labour trying to balance 4 bags of cement alone. From the day I got to know that I’m selected for this program, I had so many questions in my mind for them. I was sure that they would be bored with the bundles of questions I had for them. But to my surprise, they welcomed my questions with equal enthusiasm. But it wasn’t just a one sided affair, they too were equally enthusiastic to know more about our culture to the great Gandhi family.
Now for some ways in which our contexts are different – The very first thing I compared was their college to ours. They just have around a 4 hour classes a day for 3 days a week. The spare time goes in the co-curricular activities. I was told that their college provides them with a perfect work-life balance that allows them to pursue their hobby which makes their resume look better. They also have a leadership class every week, where they are given leadership lessons by industry people. The thing that scared me the most was when they spoke about “plagiarism”. Plagiarism is a serious offense there which can result to expulsion of a student, which when compared to India reminds me of a friend’s speech that our MBA degree should be given to “Google” solely.
They were amused to see how people drive in India, and I was amused to see them getting thrilled by something that we never noticed! There were some things that they said that I can’t get off my mind. On seeing the reckless driving, one of them said “Indians are so proactive in nature; they wear kadas and tabeez in perception that they are safe already”.
I was surprised to know that in the US, one can get a learner license at the age of just 14 and a regular license at 16 which when compared to India is 16 and 18 respectively. To this one of my team mates, Alex told me that there is a never ending fight going on between the insurance companies and the government to uplift the age bars to 18 on account of frequent accidents of teenagers.
Earlier when I thought of America, I just thought of How I met your Mother and Starbucks. Now the word “America” brings images of a mix of different cultures, the democrats, the republicans, their apparels, their lifestyles, their cuisines. Americans also became synonym with the word‘independence’ to me. Almost all the students left their homes after their high school, picked up a part time job to cover their expenses. Everyone had their private means of transport and a separate unique identity from the very beginning. This is so different when I compare this to India where mothers don’t let their child leave her anchal even when they are married!! Talking about marriage, when I asked them the legal age to get married, I was surprised to know that with prior permission of your parents, one can marry even before attaining the age of 16! I surprised them more when I told them about ‘child marriage’ that still prevails in the rural India.
The moment that startled the Walton students was their visit to the New Delhi Railway station. It was almost like a scene out of a movie to them. Millions of people running around, cow on the platform, coolie carrying luggage that probably weighed more than the arms lift by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator, left their eyes wide open. They asked me, who was the railway minister of India, and I said Mr. Pawan Bansal, and just after a moment I got reminded that he was sacked for a corruption scandal the week before, and this talk made way for the most interesting discussion on Politics. I used to think India has a copy-right on dirty politics. But I was proved wrong when they shared that recently in USA two ministers were found guilty of favouritism during the police recruitment process. And also that apart from the Medical reforms, no other reforms have been initiated that Obama talks about. The students are facing jobless growth with rising inflation. I wondered the situation is pretty much the same here. India has the resources, but not good governance and USA has the governance but not the resources. I wish I could merge the two economies.
The learning that we got from them can’t be explained in words. May be two days were too less to know about America, or maybe all it took was an hour to know about the Americans. These were some beautiful moments that the FIIB’ians would cherish all their life. Thanks to FIIB and University of Arkansas for introducing me to such beautiful people and thanks to my new friends for making me fall in love with my country all over again!
It’s the night before we meet our exchange students from the Walton College of Business (WCOB), USA. I am eager and nervous to meet them. There are a number of things to learn about them, their country, and many questions pop in my head in anticipation. But first, I have to introduce myself as a cool dude…so I practice…
”Hey friends my name is Dhruv….. Hey!! I am Dhruv…. Hi, nice to meet you, I am Dhruv”… Thinking…Still thinking…adjusting my sunglasses… Aahhh. Maybe I should change the ‘Dhruv’ to ‘Dhruvy’…Like they always change their names –‘Elizabeth’ becomes ‘Liz’, ‘Richard’ becomes ‘Dick’ and ‘Thomas’ becomes ‘Tom’.
A week before their arrival, we were divided into groups and an informal session had already begun over emails and facebook. Not just the FIIB students, but the WCOB students were equally eager to meet us. The groups had four to five students with a mix of students from both FIIB and WCOB. My group constituted of Ravi and Shreesti from FIIB, and Todd, Marcus and Caitlin from WCOB.
Our journey was an amazing one – it took us from the crowded streets of Chandni Chowk to the plush and exquisite interiors of the Emporio Mall. Our conversations over this 2-day period were very deep and vast. I have tried to include them here with a prologue on my thought process for each issue I have reported (included below in square brackets).
However, at first, I am totally appreciative about my foreign mates’ curiosity and drive to know more about India, its people, the culture, religions, economy, and politics. Despite the blistering 44-degrees, they kept the conversation going enthusiastically in the rickshaw, in the metro, in the cramped car. Read on for their responses to some of my questions aimed at understanding them and their American context better…
[Each group was given a topic to study and research on, and our group had to prepare on the income levels of India. With this I started my first question]
Dhruv: So what do you understand by the income levels of India and what are they going to help you achieve?
Todd: The project consists of us understanding about the different income levels or the income groups of India and what an American company needs to learn about the perception of an Indian consumer. The two places we visited, Sarojni Nagar and South Ex are contrasting in every sense. Sarojni has Shirts available at an average price of Rs. 150 while South Ex which usually has American companies sells a Shirt at an average price of Rs.850. Even though an American would prefer the Rs 850 shirt over the Rs 150, because of the quality, most of the Indians would choose the opposite. It is not because quality doesn’t matter to the Indians, it’s because most of the Indians fall in an income group which leaves them with no option except Sarojni.
[Recently I read an article which stated that the Federal Bank of US is trying to pump in money into its economy by reducing the interest rates and trying to boost the U.S. economy. However the article did give me a brief, but I wasn’t completely satisfied by it. So I thought of asking.]
Dhruv: Hey I have heard that the U.S. Federal Bank is trying to increase the inflow of money….?
Before I could complete my question, Marcus was all over it. Here’s how it went.
Marcus: In America the interest rates are as low as half a percent or even less. Hence people were investing into gold and this was not just causing a reduction in the investments but also a fall in the US Dollar as dollar and gold are inversely proportional. Yes the Federal Bank of U.S. is trying to pump in money in the economy, and this process is called Quantitative Easing. In this process, the government tries to increase the money supply by buying government securities or other securities from the market, thus pumping in capital in the economy, which will later not just boost the stock market but also the US Dollar. This was the major reason why gold prices have fallen.
[The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, lately removed the burden of loans (crores of it) from the Indian farmers which were given to them when the last elections were held. This has greatly increased the deficit and buried India under it. With this, I came to politics in U.S. and their thoughts on it. And to my surprise, the things I got to know were completely different from what I had thought.]
Dhruv: So what are your views on the U.S. politics, the scenario of the republicans and the democrats, and whether Obama has been a hero for them and for America?
Jenna, Alley and Alex: We are republicans.
[And this sentence just hit me, because with democrats leading, Obama himself being a democrat, I thought most of the people would have said democrat.]
Jenna: The scenario as of now between the democrats and the republicans is not so intense, as it was a couple of months before.
Alley: The North and the Eastern Americans usually support the republicans while the democrats are supported by the South and the Western Americans.
Alex: Obama hasn’t been as successful as the voices, which have reached a thousand ears. I do appreciate that he has improved the healthcare system, but the improvement has been at the cost of cut in taxes, fall in interest rates, ailment in the economy.
Alley: The republicans are to the point i.e. pay taxes, increase the interest rates and they would invest in defense, in infrastructure, in the development of the country, and of course focusing on the healthcare and the education sector as well.
Jenna: Obama should stand for the country, instead of just focusing on a particular area, should focus on the whole economy.
[In our Macroeconomics lecture, Prof. Kumar uses a phrase quite often, “When US sneezes India catches cold”. This made way to my next question. The global downturn in 2009. ]
Dhruv: The US economy has seen one of its worst times after the global crisis. How do you think US will be able to re-establish itself?
Mary: As Marcus had already discussed about the concept of Quantitative Easing, that would shortly be my answer to the question. In 2001, Japan had faced similar crisis, where its economy was stagnant with the Yen going weak and a rise in the unemployment. USA is in a similar situation and to counter the same, a few bold steps have been taken by Obama like putting pressures on the interest rates, increasing the money supply which would further boost the stock market and thus would trickle down in helping the companies revive and the economy stabilize.(Without realizing that this might boost the inflation as well). The pressure on USA has doubled from just reviving its economy to competing with the next superpower- China.
My questions didn’t end here, but unfortunately the two days did. I must appreciate the patience with which they answered my questions and have promised to continue the same when they head back home. I was lucky enough to be a part of this amazing program. I made some very good friends and have memories of a lifetime.
Today we all talk about women empowerment, equality of men and women in our modern society,
We feel proud of Sonia Gandhi being the 6th most powerful women on this planet, or thinking about Chanda Kochar and Kiran Mazumdar.
But to know what people think about it… Are men and women actually being treated equally in our society…
What kind of modern & powerful nation we all talk about? Women in our society have to face biases daily starting from their birth to being held responsible for being molested or abused.
Those few thousands of people who were at Jantar Mantar on 31stdec 2012 at night when it was 3 degree Celsius, are modernised…we think & talk of gender equality and respecting women…for that matter most of the today’s youth thinks the same as we do…but not the whole society! Any individually cannot do anything..but if we all unite we can bring that change..Change is required in the mindset of the people who live in our society right from the VIPs & the politicians to the labour class.
If this young India is getting outraged, the govt and the society is to be blamed. First, already people have cheap mentality or you can say narrow mindedness when it comes to women. Secondly, the laws and rules n regulations and the judicial system is so weak that people are not afraid even a bit before or after committing any sought of abuse against any female.
Some people say that women get raped because the way they behave and dress. This smug segment of society refuses to believe that victim has nothing to do with being raped.Women are told not to venture out, dress properly, etc etc…these perceptions need to be changed…first we ourselves have to realise that a girl wearing a short skirt or hot pants is not carrying a tag of ‘RAPE ME’ with her.
Mothers and sisters should teach their boys how to respect women in their family and in the neighbourhood. Women empowerment should start from home.
If we guys are free to do whatever we want to..then so are women, there is no point in saying men will be men and women should behave. I just have one questions for those who think like this…can we people even think of surviving one day, ie, 24 hrs…if all the women go on strike n do not work for one whole day?….and the answer is obviously no. Infact we are here…because our mom, a female, suffered from pain & gave us birth, she left everything and took care of us.
A high court judge recently said…women will have to suffer from domestic violence and abuse as the guys of the family are earning and spending on them….so what…have they got the rights to abuse her now..? even she can go out and earn money..but only if she’s allowed to do so!!
Stop blaming the victim….and change the mindset of our society. We the masses and the hundreds and thousands of young Indians can do this.
Plus, Population of our sought of people is way more than those VIPs and ministers who are the law makers and think that they have the power to play god. If we get together we can change the way our society is behaving right now…
In January this year, there was a news that an Akali Dal leader was eve-teasing a girl in Punjab and when her father who himself was policeconstable tired protecting her was shot dead by the akali dal leader from point blank. If that bastard would have been caught and beaten up by public on the spot when he did such a shameful act..he would have learned a lesson plus it would have set an example for others.
The 5 rapists who were caught and put in tihar jail for the rape crime in December, were beaten up like hell by police…plus by the prisioners in tihar jail…they were made to eat each others shit…forced to have gay sex with each other.
Also, even the president’s son, Mr Abhijit Mukherjee, was made made to apologise on National TV when he passed a cheap comment on women and girls who do clubbing and were there at the Jantar Mantar protest.
Till now people used to commit such crimes and get away easily…but not now…we need to rise….
There has been an awakening…and it should not fall now…infact rise.
The revolt at Jantar Mantar & India Gate forced the govt. To change the law and bring a few amendments in the judicial system. And in fact it was for the first time that a change in law was done so speedily.
It is high time now friends, lets get together and raise this tide that has risen…and make our society a good and safe place to live. This thing is so much needed in our nation that it has become a global topic now. BBC world hosts a show…”world have ur say”…and it had a couple of episodes discussing the safety of women in india and the peoples mindset. Also…baan-k-moon, UN secretary, asked Indian govt. To look into our judicial system and harden the laws.
We should take a pledge, that if we see any sought of harassment being done with any girl anywhere, we would not just sit & see what is happening thinking that she is not my mother or sister, infact, RISE…TAKE A STEP FORWARD…and try and protect her from harassment..REMEMBER- EVEN THOUGH SHE IS NOT YOUR MOTHER OR SISTER BUT SHE MIGHT BE SOMEBODY ELSES.
FIIB’s conducted it’s 3rd, one of a kind, Sustainability Summit, on the occasion of FIIB’s 19th Founder’s Day on 21st Februray 2013
The Sustainability Summit was hosted by the Sustainability Development Centre or SDC which was founded by FIIB in 2011 with the aim of contributing to sustainability development in the developing world. The SDC is unique in its integration of diverse interests to develop creative, balanced, and achievable solutions to the environmental, economic and social challenges facing organisations and communities.
The inaugural session was graced by the key note speaker, Ms Anita George, Regional Industry Director, Asia Infrastructure and Natural Resources, IFC, Ms. Radhika Srivastava, Executive Director and Member of the Governing Board, FIIB, Mr. Manish Kheterpal, Chairman and Member of the Governing Board, Dr. AK Sinha, Director FIIB; and Dr. K B C Saxena, Dean and Chair of the SDC and a tribute was given to our late founder.
According to Ms Anita George, Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions. IFC introduced Sustainability as a main plank of our business 15 years ago. “I remember when we first began we IFC staff and clients thought that being sustainable was adding to cost rather than an opportunity to minimize life time costs and create opportunity”, she said.
IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector – the global leader in private sector development finance. They create opportunity for people – to escape poverty and improve their lives. Driven by their vision and purpose, they make a unique contribution
to development. They invest, advise, mobilize capital, and manage assets – providing solutions for an inclusive and sustainable world. Building Prosperity, Eradicating Poverty in a sustainable way is what IFC does.
IFC sees a huge role of private sector in promoting sustainability. Typically they think of sustainability as Renewable Energy which is a very important core. They see sustainability in much broader way. It is a way of doing business which will endure. People should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives in a sustainable manner is what motivates IFC.
Innovation is the key to sustainability. Each year, the World Economic Forum selects 25 technology companies that have the potential to transform business and society. In 2011, they selected IFC equity client Attero – an Indian e-waste recycling firm. Attero is the only recycling company in India operating across the full spectrum of e-waste management. The company has developed a recycling technology to extract metals and plastics from e-waste, such as computers and mobile phones. In the process it has created jobs, reduced pollution and conserved metal resources. IFC Advisory team is working with Attero to incorporate into its business groups of low-skilled workers who collect and informally recycle most of India’s e-waste.
What is the impact? Providing companies with reliable power could boost annual job growth by at least 4 percent. In 2003, IFC committed a loan of $75 million to Powerlinks Transmission Limited, a joint-venture company, to construct power transmission lines to carry hydropower from Bhutan to northern and eastern states in India. This project has a significant effect on poverty, as the transmission lines were constructed through some of the poorest states in India. Estimates show that the construction, maintenance, and operation of the lines will create about 9,700 direct and indirect jobs over the 25-year life of the project. In addition, the second-order growth effects of the increased supply of power and its improved reliability have generated 75,000 jobs from 2006 to 2012, of which 4600 jobs were created in West Bengal.
In India, more than 50 million farmers depend on sugarcane cultivation for their livelihood. IFC is working with DCM Sriram Sugar Limited, DSCL, a major sugar company in India, to improve the productivity of farmers in its supply chain by training them on advanced farming techniques. As a result, the productivity of farmers who received training is estimated to have increased by 86%, compared with a 19% increase among farmers who did not receive training. This successful business model will reach 50,000 farmers in DSCL’s supply chain and also be replicated by other companies in India’s sugar sector.
IFC is working on developing innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions with the private sector. IFC conducted a cleaner production assessment of plant sites of our client, JK Paper Limited. The assessment covered operational sustainability in five areas – Energy, Water, Raw Materials, Technology, Operations and suggested way forward. Through this initiative, JK Paper reduced greenhouse gases of over 67,000 tons of CO2e/year (equal to taking12,270 cars off of the roads for a year).it generated water savings of 3.4 million cubic meters (equivalent water consumption of 75,000 average Indian households). It generated electricity of 30 GWh (equivalent energy consumption of 9110 average Indian households).
IFC works with Lanka Orix Leasing Company Micro Credit Limited, LOMC to provide group lending to improve lives in post-conflict Sri Lanka. With IFC’s investment and advice, the company offered a new type of loan to a group of people who lost everything (homes, jobs, businesses) in a region emerging from conflict. This loan helps them start a small business and does not require collaterals as security against loans. LOMC has benefitted 100,000 micro and small entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. The company is now scaling up its activities in Northern and Eastern parts to bring financial services to those who need it the most. Many banks consider lending to small and medium enterprises too risky and cumbersome. IFC has shown that it is actually about customizing financing as part of a larger business strategy. The short term SME Liquidity Facility is of $105 million to four partner banks including BRAC Bank. IFC responded to a major foreign currency liquidity crisis in 2011 by establishing the liquidity facility. This fund provides SMEs with working capital, trade financing solutions, and access to critical funding .In addition, IFC is also bringing in outside investors in a country which has no venture capital industry. This is often critical for high-potential small and mid-sized companies which often need investments of upto $500,000 and related advice to reach the next level.
IFC has a long-standing association with India’s largest network of self-employed women called SEWA. Through their investment and advisory, SEWA is providing start-up capital and credit to women in Gujarat. They are helping SEWA Bank secure a national banking license and expand to underserved rural areas building on its already strong reputation. IFC is also helping SEWA provide energy-efficient cook stoves and solar lanterns to its members and by linking them with a commercial bank to provide credit facility for purchase of these equipments. Through various initiatives, IFC is helping expand the parent organization, SEWA, a diversified family of more than 120 organizations.
IFC is promoting water conservation practices to ensure sustainability in client operations. They invested in Jain Irrigation to modify Global Agricultural Practices and adapt them to Indian conditions and applied the new water conservation benchmarks among onion and mango growers. It achieved water savings equal to the annual water consumption of more than 10 million households. Through this initiative, 16,300 small farmers have raised annual incomes by up to $1000. IFC is now working with Tata Group to develop strategy to improve water efficiency in their operations, across 11 Tata group companies. This will set the paradigm of water conservation in industries for India.
And on a concluding note, ma’am made a remark that last year, their clients provided 2.5 million jobs, $200 billion in micro, small, and medium enterprise loans, 12.2 million patients with health care treatment, 34.3 million people with clean water, 41.9 million people with power connections and 900,000 million students with education.
It was an exciting day of deliberations ahead for all. The 2 Panel Discussions lined up were, “Implementing Sustainability from Board Room to Shop Floor” before lunch and “Sustainability and Entrepreneurship: Turn Ideas into Projects, and Projects into Successful Businesses” post lunch.
After the meaningful inaugural session, our first panel discussion of the day, titled: “Implementing Sustainability from Board Room to Shop Floor” commenced.
Our first panelist was Dr. Annapurna Vancheswaran, Director Sustainable Development, Outreach Divison at The Energy and Resources Institute or TERI.The focus of Dr. Annapurna’s work is in the area of global sustainable development that includes interactions with organisations in India and globally, Government Departments, NGOs and the private sector with particular application to the diverse problems of India.
According to ma’am, the basic components of sustainability are:
- Ecological sustainability
- Equity with the same generation
- Equity between generations
“The roads we take are more important than the goals we announce”- Frederick Speakman
The corporate iceberg consists of both tangibles and intangibles. By tangibles, we mean for example, the balance sheet and intangibles include the public, media, government, insurers, investors, competitors, employees, NGOs. In short, tangibles capture the market share.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it”- Warren Buffet
Our 2nd panelist, Mr. Pranshu Singhal, head of sustainability at Nokia India discussed Enabling Sustainable Production and Consumption. We are 1 planet with 7 billion expectations. The critical need at this hour is Producing “Better & More with Less” and Consuming “Better & Wiser”. Sir discussed “Producing Better – Life Cycle Thinking”.
- Product & technology development: Energy/Eco efficiency in products, solutions and operations
- Suppliers’ activities: Sustainable supply chain and logistics
- Manufacturing and Use: Sustainable operations
- Reuse, recovery, recycling, disposal: End of life, Take-back and recycling
- Raw materials: Sustainable materials
Nokia considers the environment during the entire life cycle of all their products. Most of the greenhouse gas emissions occur in component manufacturing by their suppliers or in the usage of their products.
All Nokia devices are:
•free of BFR and RFR since the end 2009*
•free of PVC since 2006
•free of mercury, lead and numerous other substances of concern for many years now
•constructed of materials that can be recovered and used to make new products or generate energy, so nothing goes to waste
•supplied in a recyclable package
They improve their offices, factories, logistical operations and use of technologies in ways that save energy and reduce emissions. Smaller and lighter packaging has reduced transportation needs. In theory, Nokia now only needs one third of the trucks to transport these products. Nokia works with their suppliers to ensure they meet their own high standards of ENVIRONMENTAL & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. 100% of the materials in your old phone can be recovered and used to make new products or generate energy. You can drop off your old phone at any local electronics recycling point. Nokia has also own recycling points around the world.
Every Nokia device is created with the environment in mind. Every Nokia product comes with an Eco profile, which tells you about its materials, energy efficiency, packaging, environmental impact and recycling.
Consuming Better and Wiser
•Bring behavioural change on how goods are consumed
•Enroll & Inspire People to make Sustainable Choices in all spheres of Life: Living, working, eating, buying, commuting, entertaining,…
Indian Consumer Research Results : Very Stark Contrasts in the society:
•High environmental concerns amongst individual Vs. Aspiration to consume more
•Strong fears of getting impacted Vs. it’s very little that an individual can do
•Rising environmental awareness Vs. Little/No action
•Belief – we need to consume less Vs. High aspirations for a luxury car
•Highest level of guilt amongst individuals Vs. No actions to change the situation
•WTP high for greener products Vs. Absence of a green product market
•I want to do a lot Vs. I do nothing
How to bring about Sustainable Consumption? By People, by the roles people play daily, their reasons, their influences and things that inspire & drive them.
Sir also threw a light on Nokia Create to Inspire Fellowship:
- Initiative to inspire people on Sustainable Consumption
- Platform to use creative arts for building innovative projects that initiate fun and exciting conversations
- Creative fusion of – music, dance, theatre, drama, film, photography, handicraft, design and technology – with sustainability
- Create ownership on judicious consumption and management of water, energy, transport and e-waste
Make a difference which makes a difference.
Other eminent panelists were Mr. Santanu Roy, General Manager (Corporate Planning), GAIL India Ltd and Mr. Aveg Agarwal, Country Manager, FERSA.
The second panel discussion on “Sustainability and Entrepreneurship: Turn Ideas into Projects, and Projects into Successful Businesses” witnessed legendaries like Padma Bhushan Mr. Devendra Raj Mehta- Founder and Chief Patron of JaipurFoot, world’s largest organization providing solutions for the handicapped and giving them mobility and dignity options in their lives. Mr Anshu Gupta, who founded GOONJ with a mission to make clothing a matter of concern and to bring it among the list of subjects for the development sector. An Ashoka Fellow and the Global Ambassador of Ashoka, Mr. Anshu is creating a mass movement for recycling and reuse of waste. Ms. Bharati Chaturvedi, founder and director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group Ma’am conceived Chintan as a partnership between the urban poor in the informal sector. The objective of such a partnership was to advocate for cities that are green, sustainable and inclusive of the poor in their terms. Ms. Vasudha Mehta who is passionately and empathetically inclined towards environmental and animal issues; and is the Co- founder of ‘Jaagruti’, a Trust formed in 2009. Jaagruti serves as a platform that uses information disseminated through its blog and helpline, to sensitize, educate and empower people to care for animals and environment around them. Besides this, Jaagruti works with around 80 respected institutions, including FIIB, under its ‘Waste Paper Recycling Initiative. Mr. Saurabh Bardhan, Co-founder of GreenBandhu and Co-founder/Technical Head of Earthima Technologies, an organization involved in training, consultation and implementation of innovative products and solutions related to the environment.
I would begin by asking “which cricket match you would never like to miss”. And I am pretty sure our answers would surely be the match with our biggest rival whether in cricket or in any other field, our neighboring country Pakistan.
Do you remember the incident that happened on 3rd march 2009? I am talking about the unfortunate incident where a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers was attacked by 12 gunmen at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
“Should India resume its cricketing ties with Pakistan”? I would try and speak about it, hoping to bring some light for you to ponder upon.
The India–Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the most intense rivalries in the world, rivalry in any sense. A match that no one wants to miss. An Indo-Pak cricket match has been estimated to attract up to three hundred million television viewers, and the defeat is usually unacceptable to fans of both the teams, for some obvious reasons of course.
The last series between the two nations was Pakistan’s tour of India in 2007, and of course we won, although Pakistan played the 50-over World Cup semi-final in Mohali last year. Bilateral cricket between the two nations stopped after the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed almost 200 people. On the basis of the arrest of Kasab and certain evidences, India blamed Pakistan-based militants for the tragic incident. India was supposed to tour Pakistan in January 2009 but due to the tensions among the countries all further tours were cancelled. Pakistan’s players were also not allowed to play in the IPL after the first season due to the terrorist attacks, which hampered their reputation and most importantly their pockets. There were also doubts raised in the minds of the Bangladesh Premier League and Sri Lanka Premier League whether they should follow the decision of BCCI or not. This was another setback for the Pakistani cricketers, for which they got a relief eventually.
Since almost two years from now PCB has been literally pleading to the BCCI for resuming the cricketing ties between the two nations. On frequent request from the PCB for revival of the matches BCCI finally agreed to resume the cricketing ties. I wonder the decision is for good or not. However India did raise its concern regarding the security of the Indian cricket team and hence on 16th July BCCI announced Pakistan’s short tour of India in December this year. This would be the first bilateral encounter between the two countries after 5 long years.
There have been mixed reactions to this decision.
The Pakistan Cricket Board welcomed the proposed series warm heartedly, though former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar criticized the decision saying Pakistan was still not cooperating in the Mumbai attacks probe. He commanded that how can we let someone enter our land to play who is responsible for the massive bloodshed in our country. However, former skipper Bishan Singh Bedi welcomed the revival.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram stated that he saw no objection to the proposed India-Pakistan cricket series. He said that India and Pakistan had been talking on trade relations and other issues related to fishermen etc, and therefore, he did not see any reason why sporting relations could not be normalized as well, and that foolproof security arrangements could be provided. But then isn’t this mixing Trade Politics with Cricket?
Pakistan legend Imran Khan stated that anything which can bring both the countries to negotiations and normalcy is very good and it must be appreciated. India’s right-wing party Shiv Sena said it would not let Pakistan play in India due to the 2008 Mumbai carnage. They’ll do anything to snap the match. BCCI and the Government should take the warnings of Shiv Sena seriously as we all know how violent they are. The acquisitions that we put on Pakistan ,would turn to India.
Now if I just shift from this political arena, I would like to tell you that there is an attractive opportunity for advertisers, especially because both the tea-ms will be playing against each other after a very long time. Such a high-voltage encounter will have an audience not just in the subcontinent but also beyond and would garner about Rs. 100 crore in advertising revenue. No wonder the BCCI Vice President said that there is no provision for revenue sharing and the host country would get the full share of the revenue against any ties with Pakistan. The prospect of India and Pakistan playing against each other is excellent news for international cricket because these matches are followed by millions across the world.
So friends what do you think “should Pakistan team be allowed to play on Indian ground?”
I agree with Sunil Gavaskar and believe bilateral cricket should not be resumed. I just can’t agree with BCCI. For e.g., Taj Hoteliers would be catering to the Pakistanis who’s countrymen were responsible for the killing of their fellow partners. I can’t digest the fact that Pakistan will be making money on Indian ground. We all know the hate messages in Assam and Bangalore originated from Pakistan. Every day we get to listen news of some acts by Pakistan, recently BSF found a tunnel in Samba which was again dug by Pakistan. How can we let someone as violent as them to come and play where they cause the maximum damage?
I strongly think that sports and politics should be kept apart. Sports inculcate a feeling of brotherhood, healthy competition and pride among the fellow sportsmen. But then till Pakistan takes charge of its actions, there can’t be any brotherhood. If there has to be any Indo-Pak match, it should be held at a neutral place like Dubai, where both the teams can presume to be safe. And if it has to be in India the security should be more than the security of the great politicians.
I would like to conclude by a mind storming question. If just Pakistan cricket team were not allowed, then why the musicians like Atif Aslam, and comedians like Shane Shakil were allowed?
Do think about it.
When it was time for final placements in my graduation college, two friends of mine were pitching for the same job by HSBC. It was a tough call for me to come to a conclusion as to who will conquer as both of them had the same scores in their schools and in college, same IQ level and analytical skills. I’m sure it would have been a tough time for the interviewer as well. But as the vacancy was just for one candidate, it startled me to know that the one who had participated in various college events was selected, and at that moment I realised the value of the SUPW activities we used to have in school and college.
We all know what co curricular activities are, yet a very few of us take the advantage them. That is quite evident from the attendance we see during our club activities.
In today’s highly competitive world, we have to bear a lot of mental stress and also have to get involved in so many things in order to acquire knowledge. This is where co-curricular activities play a very significant role. They help us get mental rest and also help us stay physically fit and healthy.
Participating in activities does not only give weight to our CV, but it also develops our personality. Companies don’t just look at the number of activities that you participate in, but rather that you are participating in activities that appeal to your interests. It’s because being both academically and co-curricular talented helps us to face the world. It’s good to be aware that many recruiters frown upon loading up on too many activities. So don’t feel like you need to sign up for everything your college offers. It won’t contribute to your overall goal, and juggling all those activities will surely hurt your GPA. Pick one or two activities you think you are interested in. Like I play sports and participate in quizzes and Toastmasters Officers Training Programme.
Friends we are in college right now, and probably now we have much more time to see what activities interest us, so don’t be afraid to dip your hand in a few things. Since when I have joined this college, I have applied for almost everything that interests me. Our college won’t make us to decide on a major until the end of first year, so make sure to explore all of your interests while you still have time. When you choose a major, your exploration of different classes and activities will have helped you choose a field of study you’ll be happy with.
There are so many events going on here in our campus, Moment of Truth, Meraki, Finance Debates. Don’t you think we should definitely go and participate in them? Being a good debater means that you can face any kind of interview that you apply for as naturally, by then you would have polished your speaking skills.
As the development of the well-rounded individual is the main goal of co-curricular activities, the numerous experiences have a positive impact on the students’ emotional, intellectual, social, and inter-personal development. By working together with other individuals, students learn to negotiate, communicate, manage conflict, and lead others. Taking part in these out-of-the-classroom activities helps students to understand the importance of critical thinking skills, time management, and academic and intellectual competence. Involvement in activities helps students mature socially by providing a setting for student interaction, relationship formation, and discussion. Working outside of the classroom with diverse groups of individuals allows for students to gain more self-confidence and appreciation for others’ differences and similarities. Participating in co-curricular activities also develops teamwork skills. We work together for an event or in an event; we get to know about various persons from different backgrounds and cultures. At the time of Sankalp, my team emerged as a leader in many events due to the sense of unity and belongingness .These are the skills we can use in future careers and in relationships with family, friends and co-workers. So all of us who feel that we are not good team players or have been accused of the same, learn & develop these qualities by joining some clubs and participating in various activities.
Joining TM would help you become a CC, joining the editorial board would bring out the writer in you. Having the right CGPA is not just the only thing, there is a constant need to improve your weak areas and build the strong areas, and there is a need for continuous learning and to improve your skills which can be majorly done through co-curricular activities.
One thing I can make you sure of that these activities would surely help you stand apart from your fellow batchmates when it would be time for our placements. You would surely be more confident and focused towards your life and career.