“Bouncing Back: Swim but don’t Sink, Bend but don’t Break”

Ms. Megha Kochhar and Dr. Kriti Vyas

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychology

29th March 2022     10 mins Read

Resilience has often been referred to as “ordinary magic” while it looks like an extraordinary act. It is more than once thought. It’s a human trait inhibited by all, but only used by some.

Research by Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, suggests that no matter how extreme the difficulty may seem, people will bounce back to their happiness baseline in what seems like a short time. Rather, it surprises us how fast a huge majority of people who experience any kind of tragedy or trauma get back to their daily routine, as Gilbert notes “We don’t recognize that we are as resilient a species as we turn out to be.”

I don’t remember someone teaching me to be resilient nor telling me that trouble and turmoil would be an inevitable part of my life. That, someday I would face really tough times with disappointment, fear, and the occasional carpet pull (when life pulls the ground beneath your feet.) I always grew up thinking life was a fairy tale, all rosy and that staying safe and secure was the best strategy to survive. Over the years I have realized I have become much more resilient by challenging my own limits, facing my fears and enduring through my perceived limitations. After surviving near to death situations in my life, I started to face more challenges in life.

The secret to resilience is not stopping, it is to keep trying hard, then falling, getting up then recovering, again trying, then falling, then getting up again and keep trying again. It’s more like climbing a mountain without a route map. Yes, it undoubtedly requires time, effort, and support. One may face setbacks and roadblocks along the way. However, you will eventually reach the top and will feel proud of your journey. It’s all about becoming aware of and then building the endurance levels residing within you.

You are stronger than your beliefs, this is the affirmation you need to give yourself every moment. Build your stamina. It’s all about your self-belief, hope and optimism. Stress is an internal process and our emotional reaction that we add meaning to based on external events in our life.

Dr. Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology writes “Talk to yourself. Give yourself a cognitive intervention and counter defeatist thinking with an optimistic attitude. Challenge your downbeat thinking. And replace it with positive outlook.”

The bestseller author of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goldman also opines that changing our self-talk makes us more resilient. This is the key to resilience, and we overcome from our self-induced stress. Positive conversations with our self, give our lives a perspective that opens new windows of hope and belief. We have heard of the flight-or-flight response. So, the way we fight back and regain our control over our self helps us to talk to our inner self in a compassionate and gentle way. Being mindful of your internal states helps us to become generative, positive and more pragmatic.

So, step one is to take care of physical body, love yourself, and eat healthy, foods that have all colors of the rainbow. Get quality sleep. Install a habit tracking app. Make self-care your second nature. Finally, rather than blaming yourself about what all that’s happening in you life world treat yourself, with love, compassion, and empathy.

Practice accepting life’s impermanence, nothing stays forever not even your pains. This shall also pass. Ask yourself “How can I mould myself to life’s changes.”

Get curious to deal with uncomfortable emotions like embarrassment, disappointment, failure, comparisons as they arise. Our ability to be comfortable in uncomfortable emotions builds our resilience. There are various forms of meditation like sound, water, light self-guided meditation, practice what resonates best with you.

Build a supportive network of friends, family, health care professionals whom you can reach out to, not all challenges in life re meant to be faced alone.

How about creating a set of Calm Cards, pick a card in the morning that will help you reflect on the intention of the day. Pick a card on Sunday to set an intention for the week. Pick a card when you are struggling with another person, explore his good qualities and ease your relationship. Send a card to someone who needs some inspiration in life.

Adopt a Furry friend, don’t know about you but, my dog Raja was one of my strengths during my tough times, fostering him and getting greeted by him with those extra cuddles was so therapeutic.

Self-Reflection works the best –

  • Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. When you are facing tough time just ask yourself “What can I learn here” or “How can I add meaning to this situation of my life?”
  • Which part of me is tender and needs special attention?
  • Journaling really helps to get your stream of consciousness going.
  • Ask yourself “Am I taking anything for granted”
  • Am I letting matters that are out of control, stress me out?
  • Make a list of 21 things that make you smile. When was the last you followed them?

We all are aware that setbacks are a part of our lives. What matters is how quickly we learn to bounce back from adversity and negative events. In the words of Angela Duckworth that has inspired me “As much as talent counts, efforts count twice.”

Let us take a step forward and make our time worth it.

Share your experiences with us on megha.kochhar@iilm.edu / kriti.vyas@iilm.edu

 

Collaborative Research

In academic writing for research, the phrase “collaboration” is commonly understood to refer to an equal cooperation between two or more members of one or more academic institutions who are pursuing mutually fascinating and helpful research. Collaborative research is carried out by bringing together a large number of people from various departments. Different scientists and practitioners from agencies, universities, non-profit organisations, and businesses work together to frame the issue so that management or policy decisions directly benefit from the findings through collaborative research.

A well specified policy or managerial need characterises collaborative research. It is a collaborative approach that provides systematic and expressive chances for user feedback, as well as a project structure in which practitioners and scientists collaborate to impact project scope and design, as well as generate research results and outputs.

People engage in collaborative research for a variety of reasons when working on a topic. Many funding agencies favour interdisciplinary research teams that may pool their resources and, as a result, have a larger scope. One of the most significant advantages of collaborative research is that no one person bears the entire load because it is based on the equal division of labour model. There are also numerous opportunities for team members to learn from various departments while working on the project. Collaborative research ensures that scientists, politicians, and managers’ strengths and perspectives are utilised, and that different teams collaborate to address relevant and important challenges. Doing research with practitioners instead of doing it for them yields better benefits for everyone involved.

There are majorly five different types of collaborative research:

  1. Within academic institutions– here members from different departments in the same institution come together to work on a project. Since it is done among the departments of the same institution no external funding is involved and the division of labour is also equal among the different groups.
  2. Between academic institutions– here members from different departments from different institutions come together to work on a project.
  3. Academic institutions and a government agency/department– in this type of research an academic institution works with a government agency to address an issues. For this research, the funding comes for the government agency.
  4. Academic institutions and industry– in this type of research a researcher from a private company works with the research group of an academic institution. During this time the non-academic researcher pursues his own project while at the same time learning about the current techniques and research questions from the members in the group.
  5. Domestic and International– two or more institutions are involved in this type of research collaboration for different countries to work together on a project.

While collaborative research is one of the most fruitful types of study, it can also raise a variety of ethical concerns, owing to the enormous number of people, institutions, and resources involved. It raises a slew of ethical concerns about authorship. Different domains have different agreements about the type of contribution that must be made to a project before researchers can have their names listed in a publication. Before being registered as an author, each member of the research team must provide a “substantial intellectual contribution” or a “major scientific contribution” to the project.

Corporate Social Responsibility in Pandemic

The Concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was very much there in India However, for the past two years, while the country faced the Covid-19 pandemic, many dimensions related to it came up. Corporate Social Responsibility is the act of fusing environmental and social concerns with a company’s planning and operation. The basic idea behind fusing this idea was to reduce the adverse effects of businesses on society. We can define Corporate Social Responsibility as an effort to improvise a company’s eco-friendliness and increase its social impact.

In 2020, the companies (CSR Policy) Amendment rules 2020 was drafted to carry out amendments in the companies (CSR POLICY RULES), 2014. This brought in a balance between the interest of Corporates and society. In a pandemic where individuals were suffering from the shortage of cylinders or beds the idea of bringing in help from corporates by giving them benefits under the tax regime was proved to be helpful.

For a company to be socially responsible, it first needs to be accountable to itself and its shareholders. Often, companies that adopt CSR programs have grown their business to the point where they can give back to society. Thus, CSR is primarily a strategy of large corporations. Also, the more visible and successful a corporation is, the more responsibility it must set standards of ethical behaviour for its peers, competition, and industry.

The data available on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website for money spend by big corporate under the flag of Corporate Social Responsibility shows the standard created. For the Financial Year 2019-20 Reliance industry spend 908.71Cr., Tata Consultancy Services spend 602.00 Cr., Oil and Natural Gas have spent almost 582.35 Cr. Big corporates have spent a lot to promote the environment and protect individuals’ rights. This not only helped the society at large but also provided relaxation to the big corporates in the form of tax deductions.

CSR tries to touch the triple bottom line that is Economical, Environmental and Social Performance. It is a proven fact that CSR is a effective tool to accomplish the 2023 goal of Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty and promote and protect individuals’ environmental and social rights.

There are seven pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility that helps in making strategy. These are as follows: –

  1. Use and reuse of resources for better implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility.
  2. Cross learning
  3. Nurturing and Supplementing Corporate Social Responsibility.
  4. Knowledge management and documentation
  5. Per beneficiary cost reduction and maximizing the impact while reaching more people
  6. Capacity building of the CSR workforce and re-skilling.

IILM University being a Management University has contributed a lot to fulfill its Corporate Social Responsibility in pandemic. IILM believes that social change should be deeply ingrained in the community of business leaders. It focuses on guiding and creating a businessman who knows the aspects related to Business Management. IILM Social Impact programming is designed to expand its PGDM student’s awareness of the pivotal role of management plays in society. It aims to inspire business leaders to create a positive, significant, and sustainable impact on society and the world.

IILM has various Social Initiative programs like the ICHHA Club, Donation Drives, and Blood Donation camps through which the University fulfills its Corporate Social Responsibility and becomes a brand.

Moving towards Inclusivity in the classroom

 

 

 

For the effectiveness of successful learning of the students, a faculty needs to ensure that the student feel accepted, motivated , & continuously guided & supported by their teachers & classmates. In a class room you will always find a very diverse group coming from various cultural backgrounds with high disparity in the class. It becomes crucially important as a mentor & guide to bring to class, equality, inclusion, belongingness and most importantly purpose to learning. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the classroom are more important than ever as students return to their campuses; it’s imperative that educators show they are committed to helping every student feel valued, represented, and heard.

From my experience , would like to share some personal observations on how to ensure that you’re creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all your students—on the first day and every day.

Make students feel accepted & inclusive

How much are you prepared as an educator to approach students and ready to discuss topics, that might make them uncomfortable. If faculties are on edge talking about social or economic disparity, it’s going to ensure, students don’t feel to drag away from there is the first encounters with the professors and would feel positive that the semester will go successful.

Talking about differences is important, acceptance is important

Its important for the educator to share an understanding and comfort about subjects that require open conversations. Practical exposure is the best way for an educator to feel comfortable about conversations about diversity & inclusion. For example, if educators find themselves strongly opinionated about subjects like “Black and brown people” or “LGBTQ+”, then they need to do the work outside of the classroom to normalise it for themselves.
Try joining a book club, debate club, talking with colleagues about these topics, and attending workshops devoted to building cultural competence and cultural responsiveness. It’s important to expose ourselves to difference in order to be comfortable with that difference.

Don’t let biases built in your module

To achieve true inclusivity, educators need to identify with our own biases and be aware of what they are. It’s important to carefully reflect on self, as yourself about the barriers that pervert you form being fully engaged with your students and accept the biases to be able to deliver the content is class that gives student the freedom to make a choice, make their own opinion, speak out your mind and be able to question, once’s beliefs and biases. Knowing the answers to these questions and realising what may cause some difficulty for students is a big part of fixing the problem.

Disparity in Online & hybrid teaching needs to be accepted & acknowledged

The disparity of access of technology among students has really hit home during this pandemic. Students going to their local internet café , shops to learn from your class is true and has to be accepted by the educators.
Educators teaching online should take a moment to acknowledge the challenges faced by your students in online learning and let them know that you have made sure such issues are incorporated in your module teachings these challenges and connectivity issues. The technical resources to be shared and challenges accepted in these learning environments. Let students know you understand there will be connectivity problems or times when students have to share technical resources with others. This will show students that you’re aware of the trials and tribulations students are facing and that you’re concerned about students and their well-being


Prof. Nidhi Gupta
Design Department

IILM University

Digital Transformation in Design Education

The current scenario we are in, change has become the only constant. Designers have always been known as early adaptors and change makers. The sudden paradigm shift in the way lifestyle, health and economic scenarios are building, designers require to evaluate the current health situation is bringing to light problems, changes and opportunities for the industries that make us wonder what is truly important and what is needed to readjust to the new normal. The need to have more designers in the industry to bring out the change has made many educational institutions put more emphasis on design integrated thinking. Management uses fields of design with tools like critical & design thinking, whereas technology is ready to embed and explore design experiences which incorporate the new normal.

Today’s ‘New Normal’ reality is set in motion by the age of global consumption, data mapping and artificial intelligence. As a result, designers needed with updated toolkits to respond to these new conditions. IILM University sees education as a responsibility to equip students with set of tools to understand the contemporary condition and allow for the emergence of new types of multidisciplinary design practices. Speculative design understanding is not supplemental to the serious work of remaking the society, but essential to its responsibilities in a moment of change and uncertainty.

The impact on global wellness and the economy has forced organizations in every industry to flex and evolve, both in real-time and in the long-term. The curriculum we design is a  collection of ideas, thoughts, and strategies, to explore how design can play a role in making the world a healthier place, a successful and forward looking careers that are purposeful and immune to the changing world.

Image Credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Let’s talk about how design education can build an optimistic & equitable Future.

Crisis give birth to creative problem solving. Education has reacted in real-time to the pandemic, addressing tactical challenges of shifting entire campuses online overnight, with innovation and sonic speed. In the process, however, systemic challenges and disparities have been exacerbated. By its nature, learning from home depends on access to technology and Wi-Fi, but on home environment, family situations, and emotional stability for learning.

Keeping in view, Design education at IILM focus on creating learning spaces, whether physical or virtual, that empower every student & faculty equally to create new ventures to exchange the power of knowledge and know-how. National Education Policy is navigating the strategy of varying degrees, exit points developing an infinite number of scenarios that students can design through, resources, socio-economic landscape, infrastructure, and purpose.

How can we take what we have learned during this time to impart positive change on our future to ultimately shape healthier, wiser, and more equitable communities?

Pandemic is not a change agent, but an accelerant for addressing some fundamental issues for education.

Image: Photo by Gaberiel Benois on Unsplash

A vision for a adaptable & equitable future

The core to the future of learning is learner-centred design, which implies a major repositioning of the learner, the role of the educator, and the environments we design.

Blended Learning is the key

We have been slow at adoption of alternative technologies and pedagogies as human resistance to change. The immediate shift to virtual learning that schools and universities across the world had to make, nearly overnight, has granted us an enlightened perspective. Educational Institutions need to find new ways to address the needs of every student. The demand for more engaged learning will accelerate new digital platforms, better equipping students to craft their own learning map and future.

Our each program combines hybrid and remote instruction using real world and social emotional learning. The program combines hybrid learning, real world learning, and social-emotional learning to “learning with a purpose.”

Gensler reports that Scott Galloway predicts that online learning and digital platforms will only continue to expand as universities navigate the indirect financial impacts of the pandemic. A focus on the student experience will double-down on the interplay between virtual and physical space. But it’s also critical to address inequities in remote learning, such as disparate access to technology, in order to ensure that digital and physical classroom environments are accessible for all learners.

Learning with a purpose, community & place development

During this pandemic big question has raised on online learning, called into question the need for a physical campus and generated much speculation as to whether the campus would cease to exist. While transitioning to virtual learning has proven successful for some students and for some types of course material, hands-on learning, soft skills, and connection to classmates and course material have been more difficult to translate to learning  online. Many schools and institutions saw the pandemic actually elevate the importance of human interaction, further underscoring place and community as a core value proposition.

Essential to campus experience, the value-add of space and community will evolve in near future. Just as creative environments will employ hybrid solutions for learning, so will student life, dining, housing, and recreation as they seek to engender culture and community. The campus here derives student experience increasingly combining digital platforms with physical space, also reprioritize on-campus activities for “highest and best” use of social and interactive space.

Encourage interdisciplinary approaches.

For nearly a decade, culture of innovation has held its place of importance — both inside and outside of the classroom. This urgency to transcend silos has changed the way departments solve problems both academically and administratively, and the pandemic has only heightened that trajectory.

Now campus assembles core planning teams, championed by senior leadership, that cut across disciplines to produce comprehensive solutions for immediate and near-term plans. The ability to solve challenges that have emerged from the pandemic will foster a lasting interdisciplinary mindset.

Our Campus develops enhanced infrastructures of technology and services Additionally, new career paths continue to emerge out of this need to collaborate in uncharted ways. To support the integrated thinking process and spur intrinsically-driven motivation in students, the spaces we design continue to provide a level of diversity, multimodality, and flexibility.

Turning campus into synergy spaces to build new processes

Connections made beyond the campus through partnerships with local business, government, and community makes learning resonant. With the pandemic, such connections are identified as essential for operations survival. As public and civic entities form new alliances between industry, technology, and education as a way of plotting the course to reopening, imagine what could happen if these alliances stayed together to solve problems going forward.

Great Management Apps for Small Business Owners

 

In today’s time we all have different goals or resolutions as individuals. If it is to read more, think less or finally taking some time off. Apart from personal aspirations, we might have some for our businesses too. And we probably wish to get things faster, better and more efficient. Small business owners sometimes need to do many things by themselves, and it can be hard to manage. The good part is that now there are a bunch of applications and tools designed to help these small businesses. These apps can be operated by anyone with a motive of easy to use, affordable, no-commitment plans, good customer service, and good returns.

We provide you with a list of such best small business applications for 2021. The categories defined by us for these apps are ones necessary for business as per functions. Let us have a look at these applications.

QuickBooks

When it is a talk about money, depending on one’s business models, there can be a lot of paperwork. Managing and tracking money can be a tall order, but fortunately, you have QuickBooks. It is the most popular accounting software on the market as it efficiently manages your business needs irrespective of the size of the business. QuickBooks can track expenses, create and send forms (such as quotes, invoices, statements, etc.). It makes you understand where the cash flow stands and helps you with tax as well. A cloud-based software which offers numerous integrations.

Alternative to QuickBooks: FreshBooks, Wave, Sage business cloud accounting.

Gusto

Formerly known as ZenPayroll, easy to understand by name, is an HR app you might consider for full-service payroll. It makes the payroll process more accessible than ever before. It takes care of all onboarding paperwork, managing payroll and benefits, file payroll taxes, trackside days and vacation time and more.

Alternative to Gusto: Toggl, Teamdeck

Trello

It can be termed an app for project management or team & task management that helps keep track of tasks. It makes it easier for teams to collaborate by creating individual tasks or various for team members to complete. Within each step, one can assign due dates, tag others, create a checklist, and upload documents. It offers different integrations such as EverNote, Slack and even Google drive.

Alternative to Trello: Asara, Basecamp, Airtable

Square

It does not matter where you sell; if you need an all-in-one payment system, Square is your choice. You have likely heard of it as this POS provider which has changed the world of small business apps. It is an excellent affordable, and accessible set-up option that has improved the credit & debit card transactions with an easy option to build a custom solution also for each business. Square is best for low-volume merchants that work in low-risk industries.

Alternative to Square: PayPal, QuickBooks, Lightspeed, Shopify

SOS

Inventory tracking is an integral part of any business. SOS inventory is designed to make inventory tracking, order management and manufacturing easier. The best part is that this app can sync easily with QuickBooks and Shopify. One can easily manage inventory in more than one business location by tracking your item and hence giving different attributes to differentiate.

Alternative to SOS: Delivered, Sortly

Salesforce

It perhaps is one of the most prominent and most widely used CRM software on the market. Many small and big businesses use it worldwide, but the smaller businesses use lightning essentials, a basic edition of the same app. So this platform allows you to track and manage customer profiles across departments, make personalized marketing plans, respond to customer issues, and so much more.

Alternative to Salesforce: Spendgo, Belly, Nimble

We have listed the most famous and preferred small business apps above, and we know the usage of any of these will make your workday better. After all, there is basically an app for everything.

Being an Ally to the LGBTQ+ People

The 21st century has brought a lot of changes in the world, ranging from technology and science to reformation in societal norms and stigmas. The LGBTQ+ has been one such aspect that has created some stir worldwide. However, the LGBTQ+ community needs more and more allies to feel accepted and comfortable. Such allies can be instrumental in raising the effective and powerful voices for LGBTQ+ equality and aid them in coming out in their respective society and help others realize the vitality of equality and unbiased behavior for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Most of the LGBTQ+ community members decide to come out for the first time when they are in high school or university. There is no full-proof or single way to be a perfect ally, but one can practice the multiple ways to be a more supportive teacher, mentor, friend, parent, or colleague. You can start by being open to learn, listen and educate yourself, which involves knowing the difference between sex and gender and keep yourself updated on LGBTQ+-related news and issues. Secondly, you need to start speaking up or confronting people when you hear offensive or anti-LGBTQ+ comments and let your friends, family, and co-workers know that you find them offensive and degrading.

Thirdly, stop making assumptions that all your friends, co-workers, or relatives are straight as someone you know could be looking for some support in their coming-out process, and such assumptions can meddle with space and comfort they might have anticipated. Fourthly, understand that language matters, and if you’re not sure of someone’s pronoun or label, just ask them respectfully. And, lastly don’t hesitate to apologize when you mess up or assume someone’s sexual orientation and ask for guidance which will be appreciated.

In addition, being a good queer ally begins with taking a step back and listening to the people you want to help. The LGBTQ+ people are well aware of how to liberate themselves. Therefore, by truly centering their voices, the non-queer folks can provide an allyship that will have the power to promote real and lasting change.

LUXURY REDEFINED – Making Sustainability Fashionable

Luxury has always been synonymous with the terms expensive, status, power and exclusivity. While the luxury consumer of the past was the extremely wealthy and still represents an important segment, they are no longer the only audience in town. There are younger consumers, especially millennials that are making up an increasingly large share of the luxury market.

Would this segment of consumers be interested in sustainable or ethical fashion?

Sustainability is a concept with many definitions and its application in fashion involves diverse outlooks, covering environmental impact of materials, social justice and issues concerning labor rights. A topic that is so widely covered in conferences & creative interventions around the world and yet remains a mystery to most.

It is mostly since there is a lack of knowledge of sustainable fashion and the destruction caused by the fashion world to the environment. The perception of products and their accessibility, availability and pricing also play a big role in a sort of ignorance towards sustainability.

The consumer’s mindset in a developing country like India is most interesting and different age groups and social strata of society reveal the complexities of contemporary consumption behavior.

While the discovery is slow, it is steady. This movement is gaining momentum with celebrities endorsing the cause of responsible consumer behaviour via digital media and popular brands promoting it via ad campaigns.

Even though the majority of society does not really understand or worry about the repercussions of their actions, there is a growing number that would be happier to choose products wisely. Knowledge is key to the growth of the sustainability movement to empower consumers and future designers in society. 

The more endorsements and popularity that this wave of ethical fashion gains the more people would want to adopt it and luxury would have a whole new meaning – sustainable and responsible. The design courses at IILM are geared towards inculcating these very ideas in our students.

 

 

“When the going gets tough, the tough keep teaching online”.

By a total surprise, we got into lockdown, no ten-day notice, no world is coming to an end, a simple stay home stay safe alert. And from there on, came a supposedly temporary arrangement of teaching classes from zoom so that we could get over this unknown virus soon. Must admit it was so tuff, like going online for all classes, something totally unimaginable by teachers and students alike.

As all new things have a flavour of surprise, we all took the plunge and felt something different about teaching and learning from our homes. Suddenly, there was no private life, as we could bring our students to the dressy part of our house and teachers could log into their students’ private corners of the house.

Obviously, when this new normal looked like it will stay and all baking and cooking did not look fun anymore, we started getting edgy about zoom classes, scattering about attendance and participation of students in “classes”.  As Covid 19 cases started to rise, so did the pressure to continue dedicated classes and assessments, something no one had any experience with or knew how to make it look close to fair assessments.

Open book exam got a new name, in the form of online assessments and suddenly CGPA’s started blooming all over. Students who initially seemed enthusiastic to keep their cameras on slowly slipped into the mode of keeping their cameras off and when asked complained of network issues.  The world of learning and teaching was solely surviving on the speed of network connectivity as work from home and study from home became our reality.

Two years and no respite, we look to online teaching and learning to escape from growing anxiety lurking outside on streets in the name of social distancing. What was a class once filled with happy faces, dressed up in their favourites, trending the trends and catching up or bunking classes turned into no escape from online classes?

But I ask, is everything lost? Has online teaching been that bad? Well, this can be answered in many ways. Redundant old ways of teaching and rote learning found a jolt and everyone who is a part of the education system irrespective of nation and economy had to change. This change was something new and challenged a lot of beliefs of what is an academic success is and how learning can be seen besides exams.

Online learning has made it easier for students to freely access their classes, see recorded videos and go through the content to clarify doubts and grasp the subject. Resources once only available in college libraries have found comfortable outreach and sharing amongst students.

What continues to be a large concern is unstable networks, a poor economy affecting students and teachers, no protocols of ethics of online teaching and learning.

Would like to conclude by saying, pandemic took us by surprise, leaving us unsettled and then came our endeavour to be busy with classes to keep distractions at bay. Turning a new leaf in education both for educators and student’s perspective is showing fruitful results in our resolution to learn.

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.