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INDIA – AN OPPORUNITY IN CHALLENGE

Blogpost By:- Prof Sonika Sharma (OB & HR), sonika.sharma@iilm.edu

Ongoing pandemic has changed our world in many terms. The community of nations has come to realize, how vulnerable it is to a crisis like COVID 19. Despite having all the economic muscle, robust industrial ecosystem and military might, the powerful and mighty countries are found helpless and they are forced to have a rethink about their capabilities. This crisis has blurred the stereotype distinction between developed, developing and non-performing economies. Needless to say here, India is not left untouched by the impact of COVID 19. A country which was on its way to address the core problems like basic education, health for all, raising farming income, rural infrastructure and employment generation has been distracted from its path.

As the old adage says, there is an opportunity in every crisis. India is given a chance to remodel its policies and strategy about developing its huge human resources. A population of 1.35 billion with over 65% under the age of 35 is wealth in real tangible terms. If we take our lessons well from history, we find that Europe rose from the ashes after the Second World War. Japan became an economic powerhouse after nuclear destruction and South Korea joined the club of the developed world.

This pandemic has provided a window to us for raising the quality of our educational institutions who are preparing our students in the fields of scientific research, engineering, medicine, agriculture and management as these are the core areas where a lot of qualitative changes has come and still yet to come. If India desires to be counted amongst the nations having a world-class workforce, this is the time for a serious re-look at our education sector. Best of our students get admission in the premier colleges and universities across the globe and this is a testament to their mettle.

The demand for domain experts will give birth to a whole new class for employment. Students from engineering, medicine, manufacturing and management sectors will have immense opportunities as both government and private sector employers will be willing to pay better remuneration to the aptly skilled manpower.

India can only go upwards from this level of economic health in every sphere. It will be logically correct to say that a whole generation of working professional shall be rendered useless when faced with the new, demanding technological advancement in every field. Revolutionary up gradation in skillset will be the key to success for growth and survival. A very promising future awaits the management students, equipped with the right kind of knowledge and specialization. Next three decades and going to be the growth period for service and manufacturing sectors in India and resultantly the country will become a big employer.

Since 1993, IILM is contributing to India’s growth story by providing responsible education across its 6 campuses with a global alumni network of over 12,000+ members. Today, after 25 years of its inception, IILM has been delivering superior quality education consistently and incessantly. The IILM ethos is focused on identifying and nurturing the next generation of thought leaders through intuitive education and experimental learning.

Written By:-

Prof Sonika Sharma (OB & HR)

sonika.sharma@iilm.edu

Learning Rebooted in Higher Management Education

By Winnie Ranjan who is a Second Year PGDM Student at IILM Lodhi Road

Higher management education has witnessed a radical transformation in a matter of months due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Technology in the education sector has become an integral part of the new normal. This paradigm shift in the education sector has boosted the overall learning process. As a management student, online learning has made me wonder about the different trends and opportunities evolving in the field of education in the coming years.

As a response to the COVID 19 challenge, colleges and universities have revised the courses and subjects offered to students in order to facilitate learning that aligns with the skills required in the upcoming job market. The digital market space has taken another sharp upward turn and has evolved faster than ever before with new powerful sectors leading the pack. Different fields like data analytics, remote management, digital business, technology advancements among others have created even more demand for jobs. IILM has started offering subjects which foster alignment with the required skill sets in the job market.

In the current business world where everything is heavily dependent on data, analytics has become one of the powerful tools for the success of any organization. Considering this scenario, IILM has started offering different analytics-based courses to its students like Marketing Analytics, HR Analytics, Business Analytics, etc. which are in high demand in today’s job market. We also have a course on Python as technology is rapidly changing and learning programming has become crucial for future managers, so that they can provide innovative solutions for problems in the business world.

The lockdown has highlighted the importance of  E-commerce due to the changing behaviour of the consumers. It is very important for management students to learn about E-Commerce for both job opportunities as well as self-employment. Industry experts are delivering guest lectures so that students can gain insights into the practical application and challenges of e-commerce in various sectors.

IILM revamped its courses based on the current scenario and future forecast. It is also offering a course in Logistics Management. Apart from the digitalization in this industry, there has been a lot of changes in the global logistics management and supply chains due to the disruptions brought by the pandemic. Understanding these interactions is very important for managers to manage inventories and plan ahead.

There has always been a concern with remote learning with respect to imbibing social skills. Management students as “future managers” need to work in teams and manage people effectively. To help students incorporate these skill sets, IILM has offered a course on “Managing Virtual Teams” where international faculty have collaborated with IILM faculty members. This has enabled the mutual benefits of global learning for both students and faculty.

It is very important in these high times to interact and engage with students so that they don’t feel isolated and miss out on the personal touch. Business schools are planning sessions where they engage the students through different fun activities, games and other medium. At IILM, we have an interesting career course on “Management Through Movies” where students participate enthusiastically and discuss different movies keeping in mind the management approach.

The past few months have led to the digitization of education which has given rise to many online education platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Byju, etc., which in turn has widened the scope of learning for both students and professionals. In fact, many business schools have made it compulsory for students to take some courses on these platforms so that they can upscale their existing skills. IILM also took a similar kind of initiative and has tied-up with Coursera for providing free certificate courses to its students. Each student has her own strengths, weaknesses, interest area and pace of learning so based on choosing their own courses from a wide variety offered on this platform has been very helpful in providing personalized learning to students.

Looking into the future:

Looking ahead to a time when colleges and universities would re-open, there are higher chances of integration of analytics and technology into the course curriculum. As management students, it is important that we think through and analyze what is happening around us and how we can create opportunities for ourselves and harness these changes to the best for our learnings for a better future.

To learn more about how the new courses at IILM, please visit us at www.iilm.edu

A Letter by Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee

Towards a world where the human mind is without violence and the environment is without pollution…

Dear friends,

With all of you I am also in deep pain for millions and millions of persons across the world who have been faced with unbelievable and immeasurable suffering. I join you in expressing our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all who are risking their lives to help and serve the needy and the society. We are together in prayer.

I want to share the following thoughts with you:

The pandemic of coronavirus has shattered the human soul.

The cosmic law of justice has pronounced an unprecedented and unexpected fury on the human race in this planet.

But this cosmic fury has awakened the damaged and the anguished human soul to another reality of spiritual realization of human concern.

For years now, my mind and soul have been disturbed and challenged by a certain question.

Today, I want to share this challenging thought with you.

I have been feeling for some years now that human beings are certainly not the most important life in the creation. It is a human being’s concept that the human life is the superior most. Even at the highest intellectual and spiritual level, human beings can think and act within the limitations of the human mind. What do we know about other lives? Whether insect life, animal life, plant life or environment, we know nothing about how plants speak to each other or how animals and insects communicate with each other. What is their philosophy? We know nothing. At least we know that we know nothing about other lives.

It is very humbling that if the humankind is wiped out on this planet, the environment will not miss us at all. In fact, the environment and every other life will be happy without us. This pandemic has really proved that the nature can live beautifully without the existence of human beings.

Even from my modest house, I am suddenly able to see so many rare flowers with lovely fragrance. I can also hear in my house the various chirpings of lovely birds which I had not heard before. It delights my heart and soul to see beautiful and rare birds in the little courtyard of my house.

With the emergence of the purity of the fear free nature and environment, human beings are also perceiving the awakening of the human soul with the greatest compassion for one another and all life.

In order to bring some cheer around me and for others, I have been telling my friends on the phone – “At this stage in my life, I have finally found a companion of life. He is called Mr. Isolation.”

“Mr. Isolation” has inspired me for further introspection.

The entire creation is wrapped in a cosmic net. Destiny is playing with the warp and the weft of the cosmic net. While destiny is playing it’s game, we as human beings will have to remain with compassion and non-violence towards each other and to every life.

We are all together in a spiritual awakening with the consciousness of human conscience.

Man pollutes the four elements, earth, sea, fire and air. With the negativity and violence of our mind, we can also pollute the space. Let us not pollute the fifth element- the space.

His Holiness Pope Francis had once repeatedly said in a public audience, in five different languages – “The creator forgives us always but what is created never forgives.” Let us work together, and do our best, for a future where every life respects the other life. Let us work towards a world where the human mind is without violence and the environment is without pollution.

With you,

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee

About the Author

Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, has held the position of Vice-Chairperson of the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Smriti for nearly nine years. She is also involved with the ‘Save the Ganga Movement’, an initiative to protect India’s environment and rivers for the last 18 years. For the past 28 years, she has worked for the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust (KGNMT), founded by Mahatma Gandhi in memory of his wife. The KGNMT is one of the oldest pre-independence, non-governmental institutions serving the women and children of rural India. She has been decorated with one of France’s top honour  L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres for her contribution in promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education and development.

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Into the better ‘designed’ world

Pandemic, a term we never thought we will come face to face with in a lifetime. Our lives have become a Sci-Fi movie that prepared us for times that have never been seen but have always been imagined. With the fear of what will happen next, the fear of crashing economies’ and stock markets, the global health alarms; India prepares for the unprecedented times of crisis and the new world will find new opportunities and new pathways. The world as we discuss now will move into a “Better Designed World”, How?

EMPATHY is the key

The home isolation and the confinement have forced the human mind to find alternatives in life and forced to look at life from a new perspective. With new ideas emerging, we need to look at new ways of understanding if these ideas can be successfully applied and turn into good design.

When we learn design process and apply design thinking to our thoughts to generate creative & innovative ideas, Empathy plays a key role in making successful design. Our very ability to put ourselves in others situation and understand the decisions one would make & look through their perspectives, generates the existence & meaning of Empathy. Though none of us can fully experience things the way someone who is actually going through it, but we can attempt to get as close as possible, and we do this by putting aside our own assumptions and choosing to understand the ideas, thoughts, and needs of others instead.

With the health crisis around the world, every individual sitting in any part of the globe, can understand the fear and emotion each one is going through. Current times have given birth to humanity with a new definition. We can feel, acknowledge and understand each other and empathize with one another with utmost sensitivity. This by far is the strongest basis we can create to define any design problem in the process of design.

The Design Process

We ideally follow a four step design process. We go through the stage of DEFINE: where we define our problems; RESEARCH: where we research on various aspect related to our design problem; IDEATE: we generate the pool of new ideas from our mind cloud and map it with the practical solution and; PROTOTYPE: where we actually make our real time solution and test it to success.

 

In this entire process of the design our core remains intact to culture and empathy, this global crisis has brought the culture on a common platform and empathy to the front foot. We look forward to more successful new ideas and make this world a better design for humans and the entire Eco system to live in peace and happy times.

From Me to US generation

There are steps people have taken to acknowledge their biases and to move beyond their own worldviews to try to understand those held by other people. The crisis has given humanity a jump from the “Me Generation” to “US generation”. The responsibility shouldered on not just one self but on every individual to achieve a greater good has made a symbolic reference to “US” existing in this world and in reality has made us more empathetic towards humanity and environment.

And that my friend is the key to the Better designed World.

CASHLESS TO CONTACTLESS PAYMENT: COVID-19 SPREAD

 

In this era, where the entire world is suffering from COVID-19 pandemic, cash is no longer a king. According to WHO (World health organization), the novel corona virus may spread through cash payments, debit Card and credit card payments. As per a scientific paper published, the virus outbreak found the virus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Banknote avoidance is happening in the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Iran. Germany is the cash loving economy and it has also switch to contactless payment. In India when the corona virus is still in the early phase, this is the right time to adopt the contactless payment as compared to cashless payments. Hence, it becomes essential to promote contactless transaction as compared to currency notes or cashless transactions.

CASHLESS VERSUS CONTACTLESS PAYMENT: 

Mostly people take cashless and contactless payment as interchangeable term. But there is lot of difference between cashless payment and contactless payment.

Any type of payment that is made without using cash is considered as Cashless payment methods. The examples are credit card payments, Bank transfers, debit card payments, mobile payments, and digital wallets. To complete the cashless purchase, the customer doesn’t need to have any cash.

Contactless payments are those where debit cards or credit cards that either use near-field communication (NFC) or radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. In contactless payment, no PIN or signature for card is required to make the payment — you can simply tap and go. One needs not to do swiping or inserting your card in any POS machine or ATM, you simply can just wave the card near the reader to complete your payment.

RBI INITIATIVE FOR CONTACTLESS PAYMENT:

In our dream to build a feasible digital world and to come alive, wireless technologies always have a critical role to play. In India, we have reached to the next level of innovation in fintech domain. Any full proved payment method should have following three features:

Accessibility and interoperability: Accepted anywhere and offers multiple uses

Convenience of transaction: Clutter free smooth gesture, like tap and go

Speed of transaction: local secure processing with batch synchronization.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) took the first step in 2019 to promote contactless payment. Now for transactions less than Rs 2,000, the customer can do a payment within a fraction of seconds.

CONTACTLESS CARDS IN INDIA

  1. Mastercard Tap & Go: Mastercard offers Contactless Credit  card or Debit Card partnering with almost all Indian Private and PSU banks.
  2. Visa payWave: Visa PayWave also offers Tap & Go contactless payments and the card also globally accepted.
  3. Rupay Contactless Card: Developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), It is an Indian alternative of global card issuing brands such as Visa or Mastercard.
  4. Paytm- Contactless Card: Paytm also offers a Contactless payment card, named as Taptopay. The card can be issued at designated venues at the time of ticket purchase or online tickets on Paytm.
  5. National Common Mobility Card (NCMC): The NCMC card is a Debit or Credit card that can be used to make payment for transport anywhere in the country, like Metro, Bus, sub-urban railways, toll-plaza, parking, etc. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has released Contactless smart card launched on 4 March 2019. NCMC is maintained by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and it is also Rupay Powered. The RFID reader is developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and NCMC is also partnering with Indian Banks.

CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS APPS IN INDIA

Contactless Payments Apps work similarly to contactless Debit or Credit card, where you don’t have to carry physical cards, instead your smartphone works as your Contactless Payment Card. Currently, Samsung Pay is technically the only App operates using the near-field communication (NFC) Payment technology. However there are few more Contactless Payments Apps in India you can install on your smartphones.

  • Samsung Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Pockets by ICICI Bank
  • Ultracash
  • PhonePe
  • Mobikwik
  • Yono by SBI
  • HDFC PayZapp
  • BHIM Axis Pay
  • My FASTag App

Contactless Payments can turn the face of India’s Digital Payment Systems. The question comes that how will you know that your card is supporting Contactless Payments or not. In order to identify, you will find a symbol similar to Wi-Fi at any side of your Debit or Credit Card. Indian are still depending on physical cash for doing Low-Value retail transactions. With the acceptance of several Contactless Payments Apps and Govt. of India’s thrust on the “Digital India” campaign, we definitely expect a low spread of COVID-19 in our nation through currency.

Reinventing Pedagogy

Reinventing  Pedagogy

Every challenge is an opportunity, they say. I cannot begin to imagine how a deadly virus could be a game-changer for the humanity at large. These are trying times for all of us, but we need to accept that what began as an alternative approach to ensure business continuity is most likely to become the new normal. COVID-19 has brought along a reality check – that education technology that delivers prodigious content and engages students and teachers has never been more vital.

Corporates have been using online video collaboration platforms to keep business going, but for an industry like Education, this is the time for upskilling in a way that we continue to provide learning opportunities and other critical services to our students. This is the time to reflect and think beyond the challenges of the next few weeks.

Today there is an application for just about anything in education. A lot of us are deploying the best in AI, VR and AR and they are demonstrating the power to serve as a teacher in cases where students need to be isolated. However, we should not need a crisis like COVID 19 to rethink how education can functionbecause students, no matter where they are and how old they are should be able to make their way through their education and work journeys with the benefit of superior technical innovations that can more seamlessly identify, respond, correct and expose them to deep learning.

Let’s hope that when COVID-19 is in our rear-view mirrors, the innovations and technology that is helping our students today, continue to offer adaptable, online formats to educate our bright young minds. We should focus on developing our online infrastructure and have everything available to us and also because it’s not complicated. We need to change the age-old structure of imparting high-quality education that requires a face-to-face format.

While we wait with a lot of uncertainty for now, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s keep moving forward with all the resources that we, fortunately, have with us. Let’s together fight and emerge more stronger and consistent, because this too shall pass…