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Showing posts from October, 2011

Clarity of Purpose & Path and Continuity of Efforts

I have always tried to zero in on the necessary and maybe also sufficient conditions to be successful. Successful both in terms of personal benchmarks and also in terms of universal paradigms of being healthy, happy and productive.
For many years I have had many hypothesis. Some those were junked quickly, and some others dumped after being held dearer for a longer period. Very recently, I seem to have further fine tuned my understanding and like is most issues – settled for the simplified and almost clichéd message.

Despite the obviousness of the message – I wanted to write about it again. Because it is probably missed by many, if not most. Certainly during long patches by yours truly. The reason for writing, is not to try to further justify the message. But to introspect aloud as to how many of us can miss them less often.

Clarity of Purpose & Path – howsoever easy it seems, it is a wily animal – as I have found. It is very easy to point out when friend or a family member or a colle…

What ails OJEE’s e-counseling system?

We regularly hear of scary stories about aircrafts. Ditto with Indian Railways. In the last few months we are witnessing massive protests regarding widespread corruption in the Indian democratic system. What is our reaction to such situations? Do we ban air travel, stop plying of trains, or invite some other country / person to run the country. No way. Drastic steps are never the solution to a problem.
That’s the essence and relevance to the headline.

Many well-meaning stakeholders of the engineering education in the state say that the e-counseling is the prime cause and should be done away with. The solution lies in strengthening the loop holes, rather than throwing the baby along with the bath tub.
The e-counseling system was mooted in the first place about 5 years earlier to make it simpler for the students – who used to travel from different places to Bhubaneswar to get admissions in engineering colleges. In the process they and their guardians incurred significant costs and went t…

Engineering and Other Technical Education Colleges In Odisha Are In Dire Straits

The number of engineering colleges have more than doubled in the last five years, however students appearing for engineering joint entrance examinations have not grown at the same pace. As a result, all engineering colleges [read those affiliated to technical universities] are on the back foot to start with.

What has made things much worse for them, is that only 14,000 students have taken admission after the first phase of admissions. This is far less than that students who took admissions last year and just about thirty per-cent of the intake capacity of Biju Patnaik University of Technology [BPUT] affiliated engineering colleges. This is clearly certainly unsustainable.

If one examines objectively, it is obvious that a part of the problem is because of the larger issues of employability of engineering students – which ails colleges from all over the country. The other part of the problem are clearly local factors, which have been building up over the past few years.

The first problem,…

Funding Factor – Diverting Focus From Academics

Thanks to statutory anomalies, a very large proportion higher education institutes in India are promoted by group of individuals or SME entrepreneurs. AICTE guidelines for starting an Institute mislead the first generation promoters on the need for funds, while corporates who understand the capital intensity shy away from the business because of the convoluted mechanisms involved to realize returns.

Most greenfield Higher Education projects will be able to recover the initial investments only in about seven years. In that sense this is a sector with a longer payback period. Also in the first few years of the institute’s life, it does not operate at full student strength [and concomitantly student revenues]. However, financing institutions in India – as they are wont to - are giving principal and interest moratorium of about 12-18 months on the loans extended to such projects. Interestingly, in the initial years, the need for capital investments in also the highest. As a result of which…

Human Re-engineering – The Path Less Trodden

‘Human instinct is correct to significant extent, that is the reason human race has survived all these years. However the very fact there is widespread strife, distrust and one-upmanship proves that mankind is not living optimally and hence many significant instincts are grossly mis-aligned with self-interest’

That is the very root of this article. On one hand the human body is an incredibly amazing piece of engineering. No other machine which we use in our daily lives, can come anywhere close to this creation. Parts of the body are inert to the most powerful acids, while other parts are sensitive to a minute ruffle. The cells independently can live for only a very small duration, whereas individual humans can live beyond 100 years and the human race is already a million plus years. Some parts can be as long as a few kilometers whereas the human height is around 180 cm. Some humans can eat only bland food is small quantities – anything else will cause them indigestion; similarly for so…

Increasing Repo Rates Will Just Not Work!!!

Inflation in India has been at ugly levels for a good many months now. Prolonged inflation has started pinching the country. After being within acceptable limits for about ten plus years since the middle of 1990s [which roughly coincides with a significant part of tenure of the NDA government and the first half of the first term of the current UPA government] it has gone topsy-turvy.

So what do the policy makers do in such a situation? In the classical macro-economics paradigm one has the monetary policy and the fiscal policy as the two levers to control inflation. The fiscal policy inevitably has a lag effect from the time of policy pronouncement to the time of visible / measurable impact on the economy.

Therefore, the short term solution seekers that we are, the onus is invariably on the RBI to tweak the monetary policy.

That is what has happened. The RBI has increased the repo rate 11 times since April 2010 in an attempt to mop up the surplus funds in the economy and hence reduce de…

Having Two Birthdays

Gone are those days when only very organized had the opportunity to religiously dig into their diaries and earn the delight to spread the bday word [or date]. No longer could forget your own birthdays and miss out on the party [because in the 20 century sometimes no one else remembered to ask for one – unless you announced it].

These days apart from the Ministry of External Affairs, Income Tax Department, Transport Department, ICSEs/CBSEs, Universities everyone else including banks, LIC companies, hotels, airlines, credit card companies and a host of other organizations religiously send Bday wishes/sms-es before the end of the day. The day isn’t far off when the Govt depts. Above also compete to wishes earlier than the rest.

To add to that, thanks to FB and other collaboration enablers, there are whole host of wishes - from friends, family, extended family, acquaintances – from every nook of the world. No wonder, everyone gets to feel like a star - as if the whole world was waiting to w…