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A Cross Cultural Perspective on Child Rearing – Student Blog – Ritwik Khurana

 

Parenting is regarded as one of the most challenging tasks for a person to take up. It requires patience, understanding, unconditional love and support. There is a quote that states “A single tree cannot grow a variety of fruits”, which implies that a person cannot possess a multitude of qualities to sustain a desirable life. But how does this translate to parenting?

There have been many stories of children who reminisced the times spent with their mothers and fathers, whereas there also have been horror stories of childhood abuse and parents who neglected their children. But overall, on average most children can provide a testament to having nostalgic and vivid childhood experiences in their adulthood. Parenting requires a person to possess the same multitudes of qualities as mentioned above, which proves this statement wrong. Humans are complex, are prone to lapses in judgement but are capable of possessing a variety of desirable and positive traits.

Universally, the challenges of Child rearing are very similar but differ in practice according to one’s culture. In todays Blog post we will try to understand the impact of parenting styles on Child rearing and mainly the cultural differences between Eastern & Western Child rearing practices. Diana Baumrind (1950s) revolutionized the existing thoughts on parenting by introducing 3 types of parenting styles, which are; Authoritative, Authoritarian and Permissive. Now let’s apply these concepts on Eastern & Western Child rearing. Countries like India, China and Vietnam are often recognized as truly Asian, because of their strong collectivistic values.

Indian parents are often typified as being “Authoritarian”, being too controlling and worried about their child’s future. This is often displayed through “High academic expectations” where these parents force their children to pursue excellence in studies and co-curricular activities. China also follows a similar model, barring cultural connotations. This attitude of parenting often stems from an excessive reliance on communal image and personal goals at the parental end, which harms the emotional and cognitive development of children.

The strength of cultural conformity and family bonds has even extended the authoritarian rights to neighbors and other adult members of the society. This often causes problems among the younger members of society, who require deserved autonomy in their youth. But on the other hand, the youth are usually well supported by their parents – emotionally & financially, until they can afford this autonomy on their own. Resulting in some members of this culture doing well for themselves. Which is not the case in Western culture.

On the other hand, a research conducted on American & Western parenting practices by Sandra Hofferth in 2015 discovered that America has higher proportions of poor and low-income children than other developed nations, and poverty explains more differences in parenting practices than family structure. It is slightly ironic, but can we infer this is as a reason for problems observed in Indian parenting, from the given statement? This statement gives us a reason to believe that the financial resources of a family in any cultural context, is the biggest extraneous variable in research conducted on Parenting & Child rearing practices. According to Hofferth’s research, the parents were performing well on average, but two aspects need improvement in American culture, as these cause a lot of developmental problems.

These are Poverty & Parental relations; Poverty and homelessness are the biggest causes of childhood abuse and exploitation in developed countries. There are many cases of resilience, but a lot of children succumb to their adverse circumstances. Strong Parental relations is a good indicator of peaceful family life, It is worth noting, moreover, that despite the preponderance of children living with two married parents at any one time, more than half of American children will spend some part of their childhood living in a household that does not include two biological parents who are married to each other.

This small overview has been presented to provide an insight into the commonly observed Child rearing practices between Eastern & Western cultures. The institution of marriage is highly regarded in the Indian culture and its impact can be evidently observed on child rearing practices in India. Whereas marriage in western cultures is often characterized as the “Next step”. It is very important to note, that when cultural contexts change the problems will also change. Countries like India & China, which have a higher density of people residing in an area, are prone to more collectivistic consumer-oriented parenting. Whereas North Americans are used to Individualistic consumer-oriented parenting. Here consumer-oriented refers to the impact of popular culture on Child rearing practices.

I hope you learned something today, and are able to take something home. Don’t get alarmed by these statistics, refer to the first paragraph of this post. Good Parenting can happen with patience, understanding, unconditional love and support!

For more Blogs on various Psychological Facets follow blog.iilm.edu.

By – Ritwik Khurana

BA Psychology

New outlook to work-life balance: Rejuvenation a necessity – Shruti Mishra (PhD Scholar)

In the world of chaos and unrest, it is essential to look within us for stability and comfort that will pull us away from burnout. The competition in today’s world is so intense that letting go of your guard, even for a moment, makes us feel like giving an opportunity to another person. You need to know where you are and where you are going, so it is important that you are able to enjoy what you doing rather than getting into the rat race. It’s because of this reason that Generations X, Millennials, and Generation Y are all in favor of personal growth and often find opportunities for self-renewal and self-development, and in the process find a career which best suits their unique self.

 

It is this search for self that has given rise to a boom of small business organizations or entrepreneurship in the last decade. While this might be true for some, youngsters in large organizations have found a different approach to take care of themselves. They are opting for sabbatical or paid leave to relax, to see the world, or better themselves in the search for self. It is a process of rejuvenation or self-relaxation that helps a person, before re-entering the rigmarole of working life. This process does not just enrich them, as a person, but helps them tackle the workload with new zeal, leading to benefitting the organizations. It is also because of this reason that many organizations are taking an active interest in sabbatical and the importance of encouraging employees to take them when needed.

 

Therefore, it is important we understand the word sabbatical in detail and what it means in today’s world.  When we look at the etymology of the word ‘Sabbatical’, we realize that the word has its origin in the Hebrew word ‘Sabbath’ which means rest. According to Bible Sabbath is the seventh day of the week for relaxing. It was in the 1950s that the Mosaic law was passed, and Sabbatical year came into existence. It was the seventh year when the fields needed to be left untilled and debtors and slaves released. It was from here that the word evolved and started being used in academia. It was a word first attested in Harvard in 1880 and became a part of academia (Walter Crosby, 1962). In everyday use, the word sabbatical to mean ‘break or change from a normal routine’ was first used in 1903. The word now is actively being used to mean a break from active working life – it could be for academic purpose, gaining a new skill, or just relaxation. More and more people are understanding the importance of it and are taking the benefit of it.

 

Studies have shown that it not only has a positive effect on the overall health and well-being, it also helps to rejuvenate, creating a perfect work-life balance. (Davidson et al, 2010) (Jarrod M Haar et al 2014). This is why second innings or second begins are equally important. Having worked in marketing and having traveled the world because of it for 12 plus years, starting your education afresh is a new and invigorating challenge. A challenge that IILM like a true friend helped me overcome. An encouraging word and a guiding light are all you need in a journey like this, which made the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” so true

 

BHARAT- A Vibrant Democratic Republic

We are celebrating the 72nd Republic day on 26 January 2021, the day on which India became an independent republic with a democratic system of governance. On this day when the Constitution of India, came into effect in year 1950 after being adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, we are compelled to express our gratitude to the framers of the Indian Constitution. Undoubtedly, they were men of great foresight and wisdom as they have drafted this unique document which has withstood the test of time. Over the last seven decades it has seen many ups and downs and emerged successful as the largest democracy of the world.

Every country wants to be known as a ‘Democracy’, for example even a totalitarian State like China prefers calling itself a Democracy but in the real sense only few nations qualify for democracy and India is one of them. A true democracy must allow free and fair competition. Our Constitution provides for impartial elections, sine qua non for a democratic setup. A free and vibrant Media is a hallmark for democracy. Except for a brief period of EMERGENCY in India during 1975 which was a temporary aberration, our constitution fortunately has survived all the onslaughts to only emerge stronger than before.

The Indian Constitution establishes the primacy of the legislature, executive and the judiciary in their respective domain with checks and balances. The Legislature is there to point out the mistakes and abuse of power by the Executive and put effective checks. On the pattern of American Constitution; the Superior Courts have the power of Judicial Review of executive actions. The drafters could comprehend the dangers of curtailing the liberties of the citizens by the executive if its powers were not controlled by the Judiciary. Hence, our founding fathers saw the role of Supreme Court of India very significant whenever the legislature or executive exceeded their powers.

In 1970’s the nation saw the pillars of the federal structure quiver when the Government deliberately made certain amendments in the Document which were subsequently turned down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. In the famous Keshavananda Bharati case, the apex court pronounced that though the legislation has every power to amend the constitution, but the government in no circumstances can change the Basic Structure of the Indian constitution. The then government strongly reacted to the landmark judgement and superseded the three most senior judges to appoint the dissenting judge as the Chief Justice of India. This paved the way to the concept of ‘committed judiciary in India’ and also confrontations between executive and judiciary. This indeed posted a great threat to the Basic Structure and the smooth functioning of the Democracy.

Though the Constitution makers had a vision of keeping the federal yet unitary nature of India while crafting this document but the center and state relations have not been cordial from the onset. The Constitution of India under Article 356 provided for the suspension of State Assembly by imposing Presidents Rule which was to be exercised by the Center only in special situations of a breakdown in the Constitutional machinery of any state. Unfortunately, this provision was abused and misused by the Center yet again during the then government in exercise of their power. Many a times various state governments were dismissed until the Supreme Court finally put some restrictions on the exercise of the said provision in the famous case of S. R. Bomai vs. Union of India.

The aspiring new India chasing the dreams of her craftsmen will have to make constant efforts to strengthen the existing pillars on which the nation stands tall and does not let it wither away with the systematic subversion by the governments elected with populous majority. Let ‘We’ the people of India come and join its representatives to work at all levels in order to redefine ‘Democratic Republic, India’. The challenges are manifold but the young India will channelize all its energy into Nation Building with small initiatives, be it digital India, startup India or Atmanirbhar Bharat.

We stand United with a mission to live up to the vision of what constitutes Bharat, a union of state.

Really is it True- Do we all Think Alike?

I was reading in the morning paper about how a game of Ludo saved our lives during the lockdown. The collective power of distracting ourselves from the pandemic glued people the world over to gaming. Obsession and now so much time on hand, made some people go back to board games, especially Ludo- the traditional four players’ game. Families hurdled up together for some fun time, given when they were free from their work from home schedule to enjoy each other’s company. Some took to phones and started playing ludo with friends and family near and far to play ludo on the app. It was all good fun and in essence, has taught many of us the virtues of living life. Pandemic was not only an eye-opener for so many of us who were living life in the fast lane but was also an insightful year to reflect and relax in life- we only get it once.

Ludo as explained by Wikipedia is a strategy board game for two to four players, in which the players race their four tokens from start to finish according to the rolls of a single die. Two, three, or four can play, without partnerships.

This game brings out the best in us- to win and go home and be happy or the worst- to keep killing other players’ tokens so that you can overtake them and win. A lot of animosities also stems up from those who are not interested in being killed and sent back to wait for a roll of dice to make a six and be released all over again in the game. This game is not for the weak-hearted, as only the most meticulous, careful, and fully aware player will make it first to home without a scratch.

Like others, I always begin the game hoping for my dice to show six so that my tokens will freely roam around the square of the board, only to occasionally meet threats from other players, who would be determined not to let my token take a peaceful walk by home, unscratched.

So, while I am rejoicing for my tokens and at the same time worried that other players may not harm me, I wonder, do we all play fair? Do we all think alike? Is it true that like-minded people think alike?

Thinking is a mental process of experiencing present events and making critical judgments from past experiences. Thinking is used almost every second of our living and most of the time engage in thoughtfulness without even thinking. It is like a habit you flow into without you realizing you are doing it (nail-biting for example).

We all display similar yet unique styles of thinking even though we can be characterized into personality types, yet something in our nature makes us individually unique. To explain how we think, I will bring in Sternberg’s ideology of thinking styles.

Sternberg (1988,1997) proposed his own theory of thinking styles, a theory he named the “theory of mental self-government”. He used the metaphor of mental self-government to portray how the human mind works. His theory postulated 13 different mental styles to manage our daily activities. To make it simpler, I would like to explain different mental styles with examples of players on a Ludo game and their strategies to win.

A legislative player will use his own method, not follow others, and look for winning moments but creatively.

An executive player will follow only a structured method and hopefully will not cheat.

A judicial player will evaluate other players’ moves and constantly comment in the game at them.

A monarchic player will spend all his energy on one token to safety than putting all his tokens in the game.

A hierarchic player will put all his tokens out in the game and make the most calculative moves to save his tokens.

An oligarchic player will be in a hurry to win and will move without looking in the game.

An anarchic player will go all out to win, unlike an executive, unlikely to see risk assessment of other players moves.

A global player may look like a loser in the beginning but will keep looking at the bigger picture than a quick win.

A local player will keep thinking, time-consuming player of the game, and take small steps.

An internal player is someone only playing for himself even if it is a group game, no partnership, no mercy to others.

External player unlike internal player is playing with everyone, will let others go at times than cutting their chance and putting them back in the box. He likes partnership.

A liberal player will keep changing his own strategies to surprise other players with unpredictable moves in the game.

Conservative player will be the predictable player of the game, everyone will know his moves even before he moves his tokens.

We like the players in Ludo have different thinking styles which we display in different scenarios when thinking critically and working through problem-solving. To make effective decisions, most of us jump from one thinking style to another, maybe from personal to professional concerns of decision making.

There is no one reason to explain this variation, but yes, some generalizations can be as to how skilled we are, varied past experiences, the seriousness of problem-solving, time at hand, and of course our temperament influences the way we think and from that thinking behave.

To conclude, thinking influences all facets of our life even when we are mindlessly doing something, say as simple as a board game. Interestingly, even if everyone knows how to play ludo, they will always play it differently than the last time; just like our thinking styles alike- yet different.

Impact of Personality and Behavioral Styles During Difficult Negotiations- Amitabh Mukherji MA PSY 2019-2021

 

This article is a small effort to help one understand the science and art of negotiation and manage the negotiation processes. It suggests few insights of the same.

Negotiation is all about trading or in simpler terms, it is nothing but a type of deal one does while carrying out businesses. It is distinctive from other forms of decision-making. “In negotiation there is an explicit trade: I get some of what I want and you get some of what you want” (Kennedy 1994: 3). There is no negotiation in voids since negotiations conclude in decision-making. We must however seek to resolve matters by various means, including submission of others.

One exhibits traits, which makes us understand the personality. These traits incline a person to respond in certain ways. If one’s personality is stable enough then it could produce predictable responses to different negotiating situations during the dealings one carries out with different personalities. In turn it helps one to secure better negotiated outcomes.

According to the research by Rubin and Brown, two variables were identified to determine personality styles influencing negotiation skills. The two variables are: Interpersonal Orientation (IO), also known as social ability and social awareness. If one is high on IO then one is responsive to one’s relationship with the other negotiator and low IO leads to non-responsiveness. The other is, Motivational Orientation (MO), means one’s nature is competitive or co-operative. These variables thus give rise to Aggressive and Submissive personality styles.

There is always a likelihood of coming across difficult negotiators in different walks of our life. They may or may not agree with us and may seem less than enthusiastic. Because of certain behavioral traits, they could be labeled as mean, aggressive and lacking in manners.

So the question is how one should deal with such complicated negotiators? One may want to negotiate but the other person may not want to! Their version of a solution implies that either one gives in and provide them what they demand or end it there.

What we need to understand is that their mindset regarding negotiation is different. They adopt such aggressive behavior(s) while negotiating, possibly because in the past they got what they demanded and they confuse aggression with toughness, which in actuality is different.

Need of the hour then is, to sever the connection of the other negotiator’s stances of intimidation and winning. For that one needs to grab the attention, choose the same style of negotiation or a contrasting style and assert unambiguously that the other negotiator will not resort to coercion or bullying but will deal either through merit of the case or through trading.

At-times matching style could be risky as it can easily get lost amidst the haze of threats and insults. The main purpose of it is to create an impression that one does not possesses a submissive personality style and it also leaves open an alternative settlement route. Contrasting style could also be risky since being possibly read by the difficult negotiators as one being submissive.

One can adopt the following during negotiations:

  • Quiet and soft conversations.
  • Displaying warmth.
  • Unhurried discussions.
  • Do not hear; but listen.
  • Empathetic attitude.
  • Understand non-verbal cues.
  • Non-interference and patience during interruptions.
  • Non-responsiveness, if there is swearing by the other negotiator.
  • Non-argumentative, if there are personal attacks.
  • Ignoring threats.
  • Be non-defensive against ascribed motives.
  • No acrimonious action.
  • Positive responses, if there is overt demonstration of aggressiveness and deviousness from the other negotiator.
  • Display of humility along with firmness.
  • Affirmativeness to be displayed upon arriving at an agreeable solution based upon merits of the case and trading.

Adoption of the above effectively renders an assertive message of; one’s toughness during negotiations, that is based on the rationale; that unless one acquires something, the other will obtain absolutely nothing.

It can be well concluded that negotiations are a fundamental element in our social lives. One knowingly or unknowingly, always negotiates for resources and attention. Recent studies have brought out that Negotiation is both an art and science. Cognitive biases (leading to deviation from judgmental rationales), personality and behavioral styles, affect negotiations. Thus a little psychology backed science added with conversational arts can deliver success during difficult negotiations.

“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.” Carrie Fisher

AMITABH MUKERJI- A Defence Officer who is also pursuing Masters in Psychology from IILM University..
Apart from being a Science Graduate, he has certifications and diplomas in Defence Management (Strategic Studies) and Cyber Law and is a qualified Assessor for selecting candidates for Defence Services.

Musing Minds- Student Blog- Ms. Ananya Suri MA Psychology

As I sat one night brainstorming ways to do justice to this blog and introduce myself to the world of sharing musings, I channeled all of my love for psychology into a “personality type” format to kick off my journaling. I recently took the popular ’16 personality’ test online to amuse myself. It is an adaptation of the theory of psychological personality types produced by Carl Jung. It is based on 16 personality types, which Jung viewed as stereotypes. At the heart of Myers – Briggs theory are four spectrum on which one can be positioned, forming their unique personality. These are:

  • People and things (Extroversion “E”), versus ideas and information (Introversion “I”).
  • Facts and reality (Sensing “S”), versus possibilities and potential (Intuition “N”).
  • Logic and truth (Thinking “T”), versus values and relationships (Feeling “F”).
  • A lifestyle that is well-structured (Judgment “J”), versus one that goes with the flow (Perception/ Prospecting “P”)While at first I struggled with how definitive it seemed in its diagnosis and how online “personality tests” can often seem like you are reading a horoscope, I decided to be less skeptical and introspect. Isn’t it my life experiences that make me who I am? How do they put together all of my essence  into this succinct format? 

    ENFPs’ (like myself) are invigorating, independent and socially adept at navigating our worlds using an enthusiasm for exploration. This has been true for every aspect of my life. My self-esteem is driven by my ability to produce original content and come up with creative solutions. I’m inherently curious, which leaves me longing for life-changing experiences.

    During my childhood, I discovered my need for social interactions and exploration. The first pillar of my personality, extroversion (E) shone through in my formative years.

    I struggled with learning disabilities and dexterity problems as a child. Focusing in class was an uphill battle and I could be easily distracted; I found it difficult to cope with classwork and homework, and was left to deal with the same largely undiagnosed.

    Despite my struggle with academics, it didn’t hinder me from pursuing extracurricular hobbies and I focused on being a complete people’s person. All of my parents ‘couple’ friends together provided a strong childhood friends circle that I carry along with me even now, forming a family-like bond making me learn to express myself through my friendships.

    In lieu of my prospecting nature comes my passion: Psychology. The world is my playground, and I intend to explore every inch of it! My intuitive (N) side thrives while discovering the beauty of the world around us. I tend to see life as a big, complex puzzle where everything is connected, through a prism of emotion, compassion, and mysticism, constantly seeking deeper meaning.

    On the other hand, that same intuition has a darker side, which shows in my low score of (P). I often deal with anxiety for a multitude of reasons, some of which are hard to admit. While I love social interaction, it can leave me caring too much about what other people think of me. Sometimes I get too hung up on the smaller details and fail to see the bigger picture and my overthinking takes over all else. Although, my flaws are a part of who I am. My anxiety makes me sensitive, it drives me to be a perfectionist and want to improve constantly. I give my all to anything I put my heart to, and for that, I am thankful.

    Lastly, my feeling (F) side is evident in all my interpersonal relationships ,and brings out all the other factors of my personality even more, especially with my family.

    My parents voracious and infectious energies have given me an immense passion that I carry on within me (and it even sometimes drives my sister and me up the wall). I have always been in admiration of how they brought us up, constantly learning from their creative parenting. Our home has always been a very open and progressive household, sharing feelings, thoughts, and ideas every step of the way. No topic has been out of bounds, no conversation that couldn’t be shared among us four. Anything and everything was open to debate and all our voices rang loud and clear. There’s ‘never a dull day’ in the “Suri household”.

    Another central aspect of my life is my very loving husband. We traveled together in the same school bus, and like most pre-pubescent in 8th grade, we fell head over heels. What one would assume was childish infatuation was anything but that. I’m now married to the same boy who lived down the lane, except now he lives in the same room!  We got married very young because we could not be apart any longer and now as of 4 days back, we have even grown as a family with the addition of our tiny 2 month old dalmatian puppies!

    Through all my facets of life, I’m ever-changing, but I always choose to live deeply and happily, laughing often, loving always and never looking back. While personality tests may not be the gospel truth, they are a great ally for some reflection into our lives!

The Business School community building starts with the cafeteria.

A blog post by Avani Natani (PGDM 2018-20- IILM GSM)

Have you ever wondered how a college would be without a cafeteria?

Exactly! A feeling of monotony strikes you with a grimacing face, how could someone just depend on mess food. But at the same time, the college cafeteria isn’t only about food or an excuse from the mess, it is much more than that. It’s a place holding a million memories that remain enshrined in everyone’s heart and soul even after we bid goodbye to our college but we carry along with those souvenirs of utmost happiness that remain fresh every time we think of college days.

It has rightly been said canteen is not just a place but an emotion where the probability of finding students is always greater than finding them in the classrooms. After all, it’s an easy way for the students to abscond from lectures to explore campus life. It’s also a respite from tedious long-lasting, and day-long lectures.  We have numerous reasons to believe that the college canteen is the best place for all. It’s a place where we see our student community being built up and the same is reinforced through love or hate or scuffle or debate. The sounds of everlasting conversations and gossip can be found echoing across the walls of the cafeteria.

“I have 50, you have 100”, perhaps only the canteen watches us silently what actual efforts we friends make to pool in for one appetizing and leisurely meal. Amidst all the chaos and disturbance this is the only place that every student finds comfort in all the projects and assignments related discussions. With every sip of tea, it somehow skips their mind how time is passing by, after all this is the place where bonds are not just created but are reinforced with every indulgence and conversation, shuddering the walls with their boisterous laughter.

No matter how strong your resolution of “Kal se fast food band”, the college canteen would break that too, as the aroma of paratha, chilly potato, cheese sandwich, samosa, and Maggi reach your nostrils.

Canteen is all about friends and foods the best duo anyone would ever come across. Be it an occasion of someone’s birthday, a treat from someone getting placed, canteen is always the perfect ambiance for such rendezvous where we brush aside all our hassles of monotonous and mundane life.  Be it Dominos or KFC, even a lavish dinner at Taj could not match the taste of that morsel of food that we snatch from our friend’s hand which is almost about to enter his mouth, and gobble them up. Fighting for that tiny morsel with our squad is indeed a true satisfaction.

Long after once they have left the college, this would be a place where they would shed tears remembering those precious moments with friends spent here.  Canteen culture is an important culture and an integral part of every college as it is not just a place to satisfy hunger but it also creates an environment for students to interact with each other, learn life skills, get along with each other, and finally become a family. The process of building the second family away from home starts from here.

 

 

 

 

Is Higher Education Necessary to Achieve Financial Success?

Perspective of a student –

During our childhood, we all must have heard from our parents and elders that if we study hard during our childhood, we will reap the sweet fruit of it during our later years of life, but we have many examples in front of us like Mark Zuckerberg who left the Harvard University without even completing his degree but still, he has a net worth of 10,680 crores US $. And one of the greatest examples will be of Steve Jobs, so today most of us will be proud and feel self-satisfied of having the latest model of i-phone with us but this couldn’t have been possible if back in 1997 a college dropout wouldn’t have “THINK DIFFERENTLY” approach and launched an entire series of iMac, iTunesiTunes StoreApple StoreiPodiPhoneApp Store, and the iPad.

Education is one of the important factors which might help us to decide our future goals and career paths to lead towards financial success in the future but it is surely not the most necessary component for creativity, innovation, and constructive disruption in society and most importantly for our financial success. The era of Industry 4.0 has demanded an immense need of technical skills which were not there in the existing fundamental formal education structure but since the New Education Policy 2020 came in, it signifies that how important IT and technical skills are, that the government has to include it in the basic curriculum of primary and elementary school children.

The current digital era has brought many new professions that do not require higher education. So even if we consider time duration of the long back but just recently a decade ago, people would have never believed that “vlogging” – making videos and posting them online – would be a future career option. Now, some vloggers pay the bills uploading YouTube videos alone which have given rise to an entirely new segment of “social media influencers”. Irrespective of whether you hold any degree or not it has no impact on your popularity.

Having a formal degree does not directly lead to a successful career. If we look into the current scenario most of the employers place a higher value on experience, which could mean volunteering, work experience, or general experience of life for selecting the best fit for their organization. With a mixture of skills, hard work, and luck, people will do just fine even without degrees.

Even in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a sudden higher drift in the demand of online Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning based technical and behavioral competency-based skill-courses which are quoted as vital to survive and compete in the current job market. As been quoted in one of the recent advertisements that to progress in career, continuous learning and skill-building are also important apart from basic institutional education.

One thing is also clear that most people do not land up working in their dream job aligned with their education even if they have enough skills for such a job or work. Intensive research should also be a mandatory part of the curriculum to reduce the current skill market gap and make our present and future workforce being ready for jobs in the upcoming digital era which will ensure financial stability along with a wider knowledge base as well.

As per an article in Financial Express dated December 26, 2018, India had only twenty- one thousand publications during the last decade which seemed to stand nowhere in the global mark. India holds its heads high in some of the key areas like traditional healthcare facilities existing in Ayurveda and other ancient histories. To survive and get successful in the current globally cut-throat competitive market, we should try to adopt an appropriate mix and balance of our ancestral knowledge along with adding technological aspects to the same.

And all these courses demand deep learning and research on the subject area which can be learned through various sources but just limiting ourselves to textbook knowledge or few restricted sources will never help us in attaining the right results rather we should focus more towards attaining a proper balance of theoretical knowledge along with practical aspect into the same.

So to conclude we can say that formal education should be made mandatory but then it should be flexible enough to let a student explore the creativity, innovation, and technological aspects of themselves. At IILM where I study for my higher education, the nurturing environment has given me the flexibility and freedom to choose from a wide array of electives and soft skills to pursue my passion and creativity and be future ready.

Author – Harshita Jain

MBA, Year II – IILM University Gurugram

 

 

The Arab World and Israel – Is the thawing of ties real?

“Now that the ice has broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead,” said President Donald Trump on August 13th, 2020. Having earned his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for allegedly brokering the historic establishment of UAE-Israel diplomatic ties and possibly even the Bahrain-Israel deal as well, he took great pride in getting these done. These are rightfully a big deal, for the world, and the upcoming US elections.

UAE and Bahrain became the third and fourth Arab States to recognize Israel (after Egypt and Jordan). Now it’s a kernel of truth that Israel has informal ties with the Arab World, but to have official recognition and seal of approval is a big step forward given the conflicts in the past along with the ongoing Israel-Palestine issue.

The Arab world and others welcomed this move as a positive step towards stability in the Middle East. This step taken by UAE and Bahrain has come as a surprise given the timing of the deal. Just days before the deal was announced, Israel was leveling Palestine with airstrikes and bombs, so it is not surprising that the treaty was met with widespread condemnation and cries of hypocrisy from Palestine’s leaders, who saw this development as a betrayal.

Now the warming up of Arab-Israeli ties has been in the pipeline for some time, from the energy and weapons trade to diplomatic statements in support of Israel’s right to existence. Even  Crown Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia spoke about this https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/03/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-mohammed-bin-salman-israel.html. 

 

It is well known that any positive step towards Israel would have to be blessed by Saudi Arabia, especially when it comes to countries like Bahrain and the UAE. Given recent developments, it is only a matter of time when other gulf countries follow suit. Qatar, Oman, and possibly Sudan might soon recognize Israel and will support the 2 State Solution, given their diplomatic stature in the Islamic World as well as their well established economic and security-related ties with Israel.

 

One might be forgiven for being too optimistic and therefore labeling these agreements as deals of peace, goodwill, and development, but these deals might be opportunistic and strategic too. Israel and Saudi Arabia often disagree on many things, but given the recent developments in the Middle East, they have not hesitated to point fingers at Iran as the supposed benefactor of the region’s multitude of issues. With these developments, Saudi Arabia and others not only look to whitewash their conservative image and secure their economic and security-related futures with Israel but to also eliminate their Shia rival, Iran along with Hezbollah, who even Israel don’t take kindly at all, in the long run.

 

Given the global PR campaign that is being run by Saudi, they will jump at any chance to appear progressive and open-minded. And what better way to do so than to side with the Jewish State itself. Despite hosting school textbooks that often refer to Jewish people as “swines”, there has been a massive outreach program to the Jews, overseen by De Facto leader of the KSA, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to reform its conservative image into that of a modern one… a proverbial UAE 2.0. 

 

It is be noted that the Islamic and checkbook forms of diplomacy that were often employed by the Arab nations are no longer actively used in the building of their international relations and foreign image now. From snubbing Pakistan at the OIC to warming up to Israel, the Arab World has distanced itself from the rigid ideologies that characterized their image. It was either the Islamic connect or resource-rich trade deals that often brought about these relations. But given the tumultuous oil and gas markets along with the prevailing Pandemic conditions, those 2 policies have been defenestrated and a new and unfortunately desperate roadmap of “Follow the money trail” has been drawn up by the big shots of the Middle East. From strictly dealing with the West to now investing in India, actively dealing with Russia and South America, and politically and economic-wise, warming up to Israel and China respectively, massive steps have been taken by Saudi Arabia and other such countries to survive in the more liberal political climate today. With Saudi’s UAE-esque goal of diversification of revenue by 2030, the Arab Big Brother will look to go to any lengths to survive in this current scenario.

Having lived in the Middle East for 13.5 years, it certainly is a remarkably interesting prospect to see Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab World adapt to Israel and the liberal climate today. I always wanted the Middle East (that is dear to my heart) to stabilize and harmonize among themselves and mingle with each other and the rest of the world. The Middle East has much to offer other than stereotypes and oil, it is time for them to step up their game, and if they believe Israel can help secure their future, then more power to them. 

Palestine in this case may well be the losers as per these lines of treaties. As of now, the Arab World only has the word of Israel that it would not infringe on the areas of Gaza and West Bank, but only time will tell if they hold to their word, and this is important given how much importance Palestine carries for the Arab and Muslim World, especially Saudi Arabia.

 

Now although the Arab Big Brother – Saudi Arabia, may not officially recognize Israel any time soon, these changing perspectives that came about with their blessing, will help bring about some form of stability in the region, and hopefully, bring down the curtain on the Israel-Palestine issue (may the 2 state solution come about and end the violence). Despite the overarching questions and conspiracy theories, fruitful results come about with these new ties. 

 

Inshallah! Peace and prosperity shall prevail!

 

To know more and to apply for the Bachelor’s Degree program in Global History and International Relations at IILM University Gurugram, please visit www.iilm.edu.in

 

Kavin Ramesh Pillai

BA (Hons) – History and International Relations

IILM University, Gurugram