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Reforming our Education System- Student Blog (Kirti Manektala B.A(Hons)Psychology Year II)

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learnt in school” -Einstein

Introduction

The Indian education system is largely based on rote learning. Students focus more on memorizing the facts rather than understanding. This creates a bridge between education and knowledge. UGC even during the pandemic amidst the lockdown announced exams stating that exams are linked directly to academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress.

The question remains why are exams so important that even during the course of a pandemic which is causing a physical and a mental toll on people; UGC considers exams as an essential? Exams are built to test the rote learning capacity of a student rather than their actual conceptual understanding. In the real world, understanding the practical application is what comes in handy rather than mugged-up concepts.

Are marks so crucial for our future?

Marks still continue to be the most important factor in deciding the future of children. College cut offs, choice of streams, career choices, etc are all dependent on the marks a student score. 90% plus students choose the science stream, an 80% plus gets math, etc. The streams aren’t governed by choice but rather by 10th marks.

A 3-hour paper evaluates the individual’s potential, future and career choices. Evaluations should be based on real life skills as well as practical skills such as leadership, extra curricular, etc but rather they are based on a person’s ability to memorize provided content.

Subjects are also given different priorities for example: science students are given a priority over students with commerce or arts. Languages, communication, arts etc in the subject hierarchy are not considered as important as sciences.

Maths and science marks always determine a student’s overall capability. Students good in social sciences but lacking in math and science often find themselves condemned for their science and math marks despite their capabilities in other fields.

Similarly, students good at extracurricular such as sports, drama or dance but not above average in marks often face academic judgement.

Practical Knowledge over Rote Learning

A student’s potential to excel in subjects, academics and extracurricular often depends on their aptitude which is largely genetic. For example: a student with logical mathematical aptitude would excel in math, a student with linguistic aptitude would excel in languages and one with bodily kinaesthetic aptitude would excel in sports or dance. Education needs to be personalized according to the student’s aptitude. Similarly, our education system needs to focus on practical learning rather than rote memorization of textbook content. Students need to be taught practical applications of the knowledge provided in their books.

Media overemphasizes on excellence

Oftentimes news reporters are seen interviewing board toppers where they ask them the most basic general knowledge questions and the toppers are unable to answer the same. Similarly, reporters also interview school teachers who are unable to answer the basic general knowledge questions.

This showcases a large loophole of our education system where students are aware of what’s written in the book due to their memorization capacity but they are unaware of basic general knowledge required in real world settings.

An 18-year-old student coming out of school is incapable to engage in basic banking, healthcare, investment, etc. Students are unaware of basic necessities such as how to wire money, how to write checks, how to file FIRs, how to file a PIL, how to write actual formal letters and emails, create CVS and resumes, how to check taxes, etc which makes them incapable of dealing with real life tasks which are rather important.

Different learning styles

Every human being has varying learning styles- visual, oral, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary i.e. everyone has different ways of acquiring information. Our education system doesn’t take into consideration the difference in learning styles.

Education system needs to be moulded according to the learning needs of each and every individual. This would increase the effectiveness of the learning provided to each and every student. Rather than focusing on group learning where every student is supposed to acquire the information in the same way, education should focus on the strengths and weaknesses of every individual.

Similarly, the assessment types are again generalized rather than subjective for example: personality types- students who are introverted often find it uncomfortable to participate in group projects or present yet every student regardless of their individual differences are boxed up into the same type of learning as well as the same types of assessment. Every learner, every individual, etc is unique and that is something which education system needs to seriously consider.

Education is a journey to development

Education is an important part of an individuals’ growth and development. To create human resources, which would actually contribute to the resource pool of the economy we need to reconsider our methods of teaching. Adding technology to the equation doesn’t resolve the outdatedness of our education system. It is important that as we evolve our education system also evolves. It is important that education considers neuroscience, cognitive psychology and education psychology and creates a framework which is effective.

Conclusion

Education should focus on growth but shouldn’t create pressure. We need to consider where we are going wrong. Change is the only constant and our education system needs some serious change.  What are your views on the Indian Education System and how do you think National Education Policy 2020 would help in bridging the gap between education and employability?

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Einstein

https://blog.iilm.edu/kya-result-aaya-boards-2020/

The Research Mindset

 

Research in its real essence calls for unbiased analysis of problems, scenarios, and situations using scientific tools, to get answers and solutions to questions and generate perspectives. Research aids and gives direction to progress and growth. People and economies thrive when in a habit of research. The freedom to explore and analyze any topic under the sun that intrigues the human mind is essential for the growth of human intellect and human capital development. Good research is a good investment. Therefore, it is essential and wise for nations to invest in developing an atmosphere of research and analytical contributions to keep alive the discourse of development and freedom.

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen.

And to think what nobody else has thought.”- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Good research is research done in the context of a problem at hand. The research process involves observations, background study, hypothesizing alternative situations, experimentation or data collection, and analysis which brings out the results of the research to make new decisions or recommendations. Quality of any research must be maintained at every step to get useful results that can further aid policy-making and strategizing of plans.

The bounties of modern and civilized life, be it good concrete buildings to live, good food to eat and experience, clothing, transportation, education, healthcare, social work, governance, etc. have been a result of somebody’s research work at some point of time. There are many small countries like Israel, which give a lot of importance to research and development and have risen as the great economic power of influence in the world today with their products and expertise in healthcare, warfare, digital technology, and banking.

The research acumen and interest should be developed quite early, in fact from childhood itself. Children and youth should be encouraged to read, think, and question, analyze problems and think of solutions. The Indian education system is also making efforts to be research and researcher friendly and develop an ethos wherein an analytical mind thrives, but it is yet to make substantial progress in this direction. The education system should be inherently inclined towards a research mindset wherein good funding is provided to research projects and programs in schools, colleges, and universities. More and more national excellent research journals on the levels of the Management of Information System Quarterly (MIS Quarterly) should be established to aid quality research in the country. Also, educational institutions must stress on rewarding and recognizing quality doctoral degrees and research papers. This will prepare the students for the challenging job market ahead and land them their dream jobs.

IILM University is one such premier educational institution of the country that emphasizes research recognition and practice in its graduate and postgraduate programs. Research methodology subject is taught across all programs to inculcate analytical and scientific thinking in students and make them competent with research work and statistical tools that are very much in demand in jobs these days. Students read and discuss research papers, present their project thesis, give presentations of their research, etc. Students are busy with projects the year-round that involve deep analysis of case studies, products, and ideas in detail. This is one of the major reasons for IILM students always bagging top placements.  Besides the regular graduate and undergraduate programs, IILM University takes pride in its robust doctoral program that attracts candidates from across corporate and academic fields. The 6-month mandatory course work in the Ph.D. program prepares the candidates in the research process and research tools and develops their perspective in the right direction. The guidance provided to the researchers is immense and constant. The faculty, regular students, and doctoral candidates have published their research articles in top journals. IILM University International Conference held once every year is another very commendable effort by the University in its endeavour to promote a research mindset that contributes to the progress of the nation.

For all the aspiring candidates of degree programs in Management, Psychology, Law, etc., and PhD., IILM University offers a great environment to learn and grow, research, and develop. The learnings will remain with you and help you grow in your space long after one leaves the University.

The admission team or the author of this blog can be contacted freely for any queries related to admissions and programs. Let us be busy with research to always be at the front of the game.

 

P.S.: The author is a Ph.D. scholar at IILM University and can be contacted on email: Shahana.qutab.phd2019@iilm.edu

Blog on medium: https://medium.com/@shahanafatima/research-in-its-real-essence-calls-for-unbiased-analysis-of-problems-scenarios-and-situations-a108dc06fef?sk=e5295cffd3bb2800e7f62ce1f7b612e3

blog on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/research-mindset-shahana-qutab/?published=t

A HEALTHY MIND IS THE GREATEST TREASURE TO FIND (Student Blog B.A. Hons. Psychology)

 

Conversations around mental health have always been a taboo in our Indian society. It has been related to how a person might be possessed or simply is dysfunctional to be ever cured; thus not be able to work in an environment to sustain oneself. People in our country are struggling with varied psychological issues that have a direct impact on their overall well-being. There is a tremendous mental health crisis that has been brewing in our society ever since 2015. The problem is aggravated as people believe that mental health issues can be cured by visiting religious centres where God is the only source of direction and solution to cure such problems. Even today, such belief systems have a found place in people’s life which is quite far off from logic and rationality.

Rural areas perceive mental illness very differently. They consider mental illness equal, to be possessed by some evil soul under which individuals facing problems are many times handled quite harshly which leaves a long lasting impact on their mental health & well being. Many times patients whose families are totally unaware of their condition end up abandoning their family members considering them mentally unfit, which leaves a long lasting scar in the life of the suffering person. Lack of mental health awareness has many a time led people from backward areas to a wrong diagnosis which worsens the mental condition of the person, leaving him in a situation where they may have no door to knock.

There is a great need to create awareness about mental health in rural areas, as compared to the urban sector where acceptance and initiative for treatment has taken a positive turn over the years, where mental illness is not seen or considered a taboo to talk and discuss.

Cases of mental illness in urban areas are increasing as people face daily pressures in work and personal lives. Working hours that go beyond the schedule of 9-5, has left people with no time for themselves. Ambitions have over-taken the need for personal care, healthy diet, appropriate sleep and even family time has been compromised giving an open entry to multiple mental health related issues.

Addressing mental health is very important. Once we understand and open up about our struggles we would be in a position to see what awaits us. Living with stress is equal to letting a cancer slowly but steadily grow to eventually harm us one day. Opening up about one’s feeling, emotions, physical symptoms, or lifestyle can be a great start. This will bring focus on the prospects of managing one’s well being. It is like healing a wound which might initially seem quite painful, but with the right diagnosis can cure you to be your wholesome self again pretty soon. The more one explores, the better one feels about his/her mental health condition. Just accepting one’s problem, living with it and not taking corrective action is not a good idea.

One must be very careful, attentive and address any problem they might face. Some symptoms are:

  • Confused thinking.
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows.
  • Excessive fears, worries, and anxieties.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Strong feelings of anger.
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)

It is imperative for a person to seek the help of a professional psychologist, and get the right treatment. People should be made more aware of what mental illness is, through campaigns and workshops.

The first step should be taken by schools to create awareness amongst children and adults of all age groups explaining that “it’s okay not to be okay” and that it’s absolutely normal for boys to cry and experience emotions like pain. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Dedicated counsellors and special educators should be hired in schools, to help people know about mental health issues. Workshops for teachers, parents, and students can be organised to understand how to deal with stress and day- to-day pressures of life. Talking to a therapist should be emphasized upon.

In the end, always remember that mental health issues are never something to be ashamed of. Only when awareness increases in society, will we be able help each other in times of stress and emotional instability because as the saying goes – a healthy mind is the greatest treasure to find.

At IILM University, our Psychology faculty members are trained psychologists and you are welcome to reach out to us for free counselling sessions. Please visit www.iilm.edu.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close

“Kya Result Aaya?” #Boards 2020

Introduction:

Board results are the quintessential discussion for parents and students which also becomes the most discussed topic amongst family. Unfortunately, it’s marking a child’s future with the percentage for the rest of their lives and not to mention labelling them.

The amount of pressure that board classes bring with them has been accounted in various studies, clearly signifying, inverse correlation of stress and marks in board exams, even though we continue to pressurize students to attain, at times, the impossible.

Expectations (from parents, teachers, peer and self) may crumble the self-esteem, as well as performance in boards and can have devastating effects on students and their career options.

100% Board results-2020

In 2019, as many as 17,693 students scored more than 95% in CBSE XII and the numbers increased to 38,686 students in 2020. Board results 2020 have raised the bar for students, who will be giving exams from here on. To compete with 100% marks can have challenges in plenty. Not to downsize the student who made that effort and actually got those brilliant marks; the discussion is about students who got a distinction (above 75%) and still feel “not good enough”.

This unfortunate inadequacy of “could get better marks” is a dilemma any student scoring marks from 70-90% category feels, especially when the choice of subjects in a prestigious university looks bleak. Not that the ones who make it over 90% waltz through the top universities. They also struggle and at some point “have to compromise” on the course or a college.

Can you accept your marks and not label it as destiny?

My observation while looking at board results- Yes, it is the highlight of your life and will be compared in galore with cousins, friends and any known person who got better marks than you. However, could we stop putting the blame on either teachers, Corona or pressure from known and accept what we scored gracefully?

Can we find jubilance in clearing class XII and being ready for applying in colleges rather than whining of what could happen if we scored better? Acceptance of board results brings inner peace and reduces comparisons which clearly isn’t helpful. I believe board results don’t shape your destiny and that only if you are ready to believe in yourself, can life offer opportunities for you to carve out the best in self.

If we can make a reality check and be honest with oneself, as to what are the strengths and to work on them, we may find our success, even if it feels inadequate to others. The key to convince parents and friends is when you, yourself can accept what you want to do, or reach out for counselling, if unable to make career choices.

Try reducing those mountains of expectation or mirages of “what I should be” to “what I can be” for a better career path and at the same time enjoy the journey of becoming your own person.

Experience the “Joy in Learning at IILM”

With newer opportunities coming up every day like School of Humanities at IILM University, Gurugram, we encourage students from varied fields to open their minds to choose a trending subject and experience the joy in learning. With latest pedagogy in teaching, faculties at IILM strive to help students create a niche for themselves and prepare themselves for better career opportunities.

Conclusion:

Board results could have brought tears of joy or disappointment given what you were expecting and what was received as results. See this as an opportunity to explore and search what and where you want to take your college education. Comparisons and expectations can be hurtful, so try avoiding them by focusing on “what you think you want” than “what you should be”.

 

“Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try”

Winning through the Art of Communication

 

‘Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.’  – Rudyard Kipling

 Communication is central to the very existence of humans. Man has been communicating since time immemorial. Communication is the lifeblood of our whole being. In every age of man’s existence on earth, communication has acted as an agent of facilitation, social life, and development. Cavemen developed their own lingua franca to make meanings out of things and send meaningful messages. They also communicated through art. As the importance of communication is second only to oxygen for humans, the importance never lost its sheen throughout homo sapiens journey in the historical chapters of planet earth. In the modern ages or in other words, the competitive world, which is, even more, a world of survival of the fittest, every day demands constant steadfastness in the face of challenges and opportunities, both in personal and professional arenas. Nobody wants to lose the opportunity to fair well or make better of it. 

Present times are fraught with people battling stress. Resultant of the busy competitive world we live in, stress eats away on our happiness and well-being like a termite which is evident in high divorce rates, dysfunctional parenting, on-job burnout, boss-conflicts at the workplace, joblessness, violence, depression, increasing suicide rates, etc.  There is a continuous nag that ‘nothing is ever going to be enough’ constantly nudges at you. Communication helps to combat stress as we learn to express ourselves, thereby clearing doubts and confusion, and building valuable connections. But communication must be effective so as to be of any use in delivering the right message, to the right audience at the right time and make a fruitful impact. ‘Effective communication’, remains the no.1 skill to lead and manage a successful life.

The Communication Gap

Today the world is impatient, does not wait for anybody. Everyone wants to grab that chance to a better life, job, or income. This demands us to constantly up-skilling ourselves, and being in the right circles, aka, effective networking. But, even here, to be successful, we need an empathetic human to human connection. Communication gaps can hinder relationships between boss-employee, teacher-student, parent-child, siblings, and friends. Married couples ought to work on their marriage by constantly enhancing communication and listening.

Effective communication can act as a glue and heals discord, builds bridges, which is good both for business and personal life. While everyone starts their professional life equipped with in-demand degrees or skill certifications it is the skill of effective communication that decides who will sustain in the race and be the best or among the best, to succeed, to grow, and to enjoy the journey that life presents.

Tools for Effective Communication

Good communication is a crowd puller. Imagine a leader without the art of communication. As simple as it may seem, communication to be effective is still a challenge for many. The ways of what is good in oral communication differ from what makes an impression in written form. Also, styles and techniques of communication differ from person to person, situation to situation, and medium of communication.

Oral Communication: When it comes to improvement in oral communication to become good public speakers, orators or impress in meetings and interviews, skills can be honed by listening to good speakers, study their body language and use of vocabulary as much as possible. It is very important to understand aspects of the speech like tone, fluency, eye contact, pauses, use of space, gestures, etc. Using anecdotes, emotional stories, poetry, couplets, and humor enhances oral communication by helping build connections with the audience. The only thing to be kept in mind is to not over-do these tools and use them appropriately. Regular practice and proper planning help sharpening the oration skills immensely.

Written Communication: Written communication is very important from documentation and legality perspective. Academic teaching and learning, business transactions, print media, legal issues, emailing, etc. depend on written communication. It is very important for a writer to write and convey their thoughts clearly. The inability to write what one wants to express will be an impediment to one’s success. Tools like using the right approach, style, and words help in creating powerful, meaningful messages for the readers. practicing the use of correct grammar and spelling (Grammarly app is one such tool) and setting the right tone in the writing is very important. If not drafted well, written communication can fail or backfire due to misunderstanding, as it does not have the advantage of being face-to-face.

Visual Communication: Pictures, graphs, charts, and all kinds of imagery are part of visual communication. Pictures/images speak a thousand words, have the power to set the tone of communication, leave an impact, and project the intended message without hours of speech or pages and pages of writings. The presenter must have the skill to navigate the mind and eyes of the audience to create an impactful visual presentation with the right captions, slogans, etc. Learning visual arts professionally or with practice and guidance can tremendously help a communicator.

Overall, for effective communication, it is very important to know the mind of the audience and shape the message accordingly by appropriate use of communication tools.

Communication Skills in Education 

A good communication course or certification is an added advantage but not enough to become a real good communicator. Life experiences and good education teach us that indispensable skill. Not many organizations especially educational institutions, present an education rigor that makes one an effective communicator. But there are some which do.  World-class educational institutions like IILM in the Delhi NCR region, have a brilliant history of producing positive minded and competent professionals with excellent communication skills. Such institutions are known to lay stress on creating a learning ethos with communication skill development at its core. Students hone their oral and written communication through impactful and professionally designed study programs including active and participatory classwork, club activities, dissertation, outreach projects, competitions, events, etc. Every student comes out of their shell, gains the confidence to stand up in face of an audience, learns skills to lead, collaborate and connect through good verbal and non-verbal skills and shun negativity from their life.

For students, as college years are formative years of their personality and crucial years for building their career base, IILM is a great investment for those years and emerges confident and competent.

Personality Traits in Mahabharata and the Ocean Model

Introduction:

While going about our usual day we interact with people, judge their personality as to how they are different from us and at times compromise  with the changing facets of their personalities without even thinking. We unknowingly almost like an automatic response form opinion about people depending on their overt behavioural responses.

Why we do this? Because we humans are wired for curiosity to know more about our environment aWhy we do this? Because we humans are wired for curiosity to know more about our environment and the people we live with. Like when we notice someone at a party surrounded by a large group of people, obviously the centre of attention, chatting and laughing; we may conclude that person is an extrovert.

So, how do we understand personality?

While studying personality we assume that personality characteristics are relatively stable over time and that traits show stability across situations. For example, someone who is described as an extrovert may be very outgoing and chatty at a party but less so in a conference. In both situations, they are likely to be more sociable than an introvert person. We also assume that personality traits influence behaviour. The person is outgoing and chatty because they are an extrovert.

At IILM, we offer courses in personality to undergraduate courses to help them discover themselves as well as understand our basic individual differences.

Personality and its spectrum

Cattell (1965) defined personality as being the characteristics of the individual that allows prediction of how they will behave in a given situation. Psychologists increasingly agree that five super traits may adequately describe the structure of personality.

Costa and McCrae (1992), who measured personality with their OCEAN model represents a continuum along which individuals can be explained in terms of their traits.  For a better understanding of these traits, the following is my explanation of how characters and their personalities were depicted from Mahabharat.

Characters from Mahabharat to explain OCEAN Model:

At IILM the curriculum is an interesting blend of science and mythology. I will explain how we teach traits to our Psychology students with the help of characters from Mahabharat.

OPENNESS – This factor refers to the individual having an openness to new experiences and an active imagination.

Karna was seen to be high on this scale as throughout the epic he justified his never-say-die attitude and courageously confronted all the odds of his destiny. His character in Mahabharata has everlasting fame because he teaches how can one present himself better than the destiny and accomplish everything with shatterproof determination. Bhima was seen low on this scale as he was conventionally oriented towards a particular goal that is of being the mightiest warrior.

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS– This factor describes our degree of self-discipline and control. Yudhishthira was high on this scale; was hard-working, organized, goal-driven whereas Shakuni was seen to be low on this scale as he is the person who poisoned the mind of his explosive nephew Duryodhana and fuelled-up the destructive war of Mahabharata, thus becoming the cause of the destruction of the Kauravas.

EXTRAVERSION – This factor is a measure of the individual’s sociability, energetic, optimistic, friendly and assertive.

Krishna was high on this scale as he attempted to navigate negotiations between the Pandavas and Kurus before the Kurukshetra war even happened. He convinced Balarama to not partake in the war itself. He even tried to get Karna to fight for the Pandavas as well. Sahadeva was shown to be low on extroversion, even though as the wisest of all the Pandava brothers he mostly kept to himself reading Vedas, spoke less and followed mostly what his elder brothers decided upon him.

AGREEABLENESS – This factor relates to the characteristics of social interaction. Individuals with high scores are trusting, helpful, soft-hearted and sympathetic.

Bhishma was high on this scale as his peerless statesmanship to be the mediator between the Kauravas and Pandavas and other impeccable characteristics still inspire his ardent followers across the world. Dronacharya was low on this scale as he discriminated against Karna and Eklavya on the basis of their caste. He did not voice out any objection in the court during Draupadi’s assault.

NEUROTICISM – This factor measures an individual’s emotional stability and personal adjustment. Duryodhana is seen to be high on this scale as he is motivated by greed, jealously, and a desire for retribution. Yudhishthira was low on this scale as he is calm, even-tempered, secure and happy.

Is there a situational difference when we portray our personality?

Psychologists explain this by segregating personality into a private and public persona. Private being the ‘real’ inner person, while public is the way that the individual presents themselves to the outside world. We may be confident and outgoing in some situations and less sure of ourselves and more retiring in other situations. A case where a shy reserved person joins an organisation but eventually becomes an arrogant and stubborn boss. This fits the explanation of how our personalities differ situationally.

Conclusion:

As much as individuals behave differently in different situations, our behavioural reactions can be clubbed into traits as similar reactions across age and cultures. To conclude, we can say that each one us is uniquely different yet distinctively similar as well.

 

“Personality is a mask we believe in”

Dr White

 

Psychology and Your Future in India

Introduction

Today’s disruptive changes have made Psychology one of the most sought-after careers. The demand and supply chain in Psychology will help overcome obstacles in personal and professional lives in the future. Our fast-paced lives, demanding jobs and complicated family dynamics are making mental health a prime issue of survival in the 21st century.

Countries across the globe are looking at making mental health equally imperative and vital as physical health. Therefore, the role of psychologists in future will become as crucial as our medical workers. Simply put, we may take medicine for any physiological ailment, but what about societal, global pressures coupled with tragedies? There is no known medicine to handle all that, hence Psychology becomes crucial as a subject to be pursued.

Psychology as a subject and its specializations

Psychology has been an undercurrent in any field offering a myriad of opportunities. IILM University, which is considered one of the best colleges in Delhi/NCR for Psychology provides components of the following in the course as fusion in undergraduate as well as specialization in masters.

Clinical Psychology: Anyone who has been a student of Psychology has been amazed by abnormal psychology and at least once aspired to become a clinical Psychologist. Facets such as diagnosis, understanding and management of disorders while working in hospitals, rehabilitation centres come under this. Given the emotional pressures people go through, the demand for good clinical psychologists is expected to rise. We hear and see many celebrities openly discussing their mental health and concerns. This trend has increased awareness and acceptance towards disorders and with time the need for experts in clinical psychology is only expected to grow.

Counselling Psychology: Counselling is like a second skin to any Psychologist as it deals with facing day-to-day scenarios and its management. Counselling being a broader term branch into career guidance, marital and academic. Counselling Psychologists are seen working in private set-ups, career centres, schools, NGOs and organizations. Today, it is required across all walks of life, and the need for it will only continue to grow. At IILM, we invite guest lectures as well as electives in CBT/REBT for Psychology students.

Organizational/Industrial Psychology: Psychologists in this field focus on workplace issues at the individual, group and organizational levels to enhance the productivity of the employees and ultimately the organization. As more and more MNC’s are paying attention to the mental health of their employees, Psychologists with I/OB specialization are working in HR as consultants/managers and are assessing emotional, social intelligence and performance in the employees.

Developmental/Child Psychology: This field works with lifetime development of human beings focusing on psychomotor, cognitive, as well as emotional development from early years. Popularly known as Child Psychologists they work mainly with children in therapy centres, schools, paediatric setups, NGO’s with close association with special educators and psychiatrists.

Sports Psychology: This is a fairly new branch that works with athletes’ physical and cognitive performance along with coaches, nutritionists as well as physiotherapists. Sports Psychologists endeavours to help sports teams to increase performance and motivation of sportsmen. India being a sports passionate country, this field has a lot of scope as a career.

Forensic Psychology: This branch deals with legal and judicial systems and is closely related to criminology. At IILM we help B.A students, enhance their understanding of laws in India while offering Law as an elective course.

Military Psychology: This is yet another contemporary branch of specialization dealing with military personnel and their families. Concerns such as depression, anxiety, grief as well as stress-related issues are taken care of by evaluations and treatment of mental and emotional disorders along with counselling. Psychologists are routinely hired in forces and are doing extensive research and policy-related work.

How to pursue Psychology as a budding career?

In India, we can pursue Psychology from graduation level (Psychology as a subject in Class XI & XII is preferred) and then pursue a B.A. / B.Sc. programme in Psychology. Master’s programme in Psychology is mandatory for seeking a career as a Counsellor as well as to apply for a job. M.Phil. is important to practice as a clinical psychologist and may accompany it with diploma courses in any therapeutic work (cognitive behaviour, rational emotive, career guidance, etc.) IILM University offers BA (Hons) as well as MA Psychology with specialization in counselling and organization behaviour.

Conclusion

Psychology as science finds applications in all walks of life. Psychology presents immense career options in the present times and will hold promising opportunities in the future as well.

The best way to predict your future is to create it

Abraham Lincoln

A CACTUS IS REALLY JUST AN AGGRESSIVE CUCUMBER

Introduction:

As a cool cucumber can turn into a savaged looking cactus, all of us can indeed turn our calm selves to something ferocious because of anger which at times triggers violent responses. Reactions ranging from rash driving to banging doors to actually getting into a physical altercation and verbal aggression are seen most commonly with people who are apparently aggressive.

Social Psychologists cleave the concept of aggression into emotional and instrumental aggression which is to say that former results from unhappy/negative emotions (carried out in the heat of the moment like slapping in a fit of rage) whereas the latter is intended, a well-planned move (to hurt someone purposely like a bully in school or at work).

Aggression is exhibited in physical aspects – hitting, kicking to non-physical aspects like verbal (yelling), social (bad-mouthing, excluding others), racial (micro aggression), sexual (misogyny, homophobic jokes) that are intended to harm others.

Following Liberal education at IILM University, we teach life skills in out everyday classes in the form of role plays or class discussion to help them accept, understand and manage negative emotions.

But why do we aggress? Is it like a life skill that we all need so that we don’t look meek?

Evolutionary Scientists explain that we have an innate ability to protect as well as seek continual survival of our genes. Human beings need to be able to aggress in certain situations, and nature has provided us with this skill which means that under the right situation, almost all of us will aggress (Buss & Duntley, 2006).

Physiologists’ support evolutionary perspective as it is known to mankind that aggression is controlled by Amygdala i.e. limbic system inside the cortex controlling emotions. This further controls our autonomic nervous system which in stress activates flight-or-fight mechanism.  What science is trying to explain to us is that under stress, we will either fight the stressor or run away from it. Not only this, some imperative chemical substances in our body like serotonin which when found to be at low levels predict aggression (Kruesi, Hibbs, Zahn, & Keysor, 1992; Virkkunen, de Jong, Bartko, & Linnoila, 1989).

Behavioral scientists feel that what we see in our environment is how we condition ourselves to be; so if children see their parents act out aggression by hitting, to them it’s OK to do the same. It’s no rocket science to explain that aggression would harbor aggression and the more we see it, the easier it is for us to repeat it.

It is imperative to say that one’s social situation also makes it critical for a response like aggression. As it is commonly noticed that we may react violently in situations where we are uncomfortable/ fearful or provoked (with friends or subordinates) but may react more calmly in others (in front of an authority).

On hindsight, it is easy to recall that when we were aggressive, we were likely to be experiencing a negative emotion (example- unhappy thoughts, pain or discomfort) that’s why it became so easy to react aggressively. In general, it could be the feeling of being ill or undergoing emotional disturbance that makes one vulnerable to frustration which further provokes violent behaviour.

At IILM University which is considered one of the best private universities for Psychology around Delhi/NCR, we teach critical thinking and communication skills along with other courses where we discuss how anger does not become an issue till you keep ignoring it. Reaching to the core of an internal conflict and addressing concerns is half battle won without inflicting pain to self or others.

 

How to if not stop, control aggression?

The answer to this is Catharsis which is a process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotion. For reducing negative affect and its arousal, if we can actively distract ourselves from that emotion it can help break the cycle of being provoked to react in anger. Catharsis can be any form of meaningful engagement like talking it out, exercising, listening to music and is most useful when done alone.

At undergrad and master’s courses in Psychology at IILM University we teach positive and social psychology and most importantly emotional intelligence. We endeavour to help our students with a thorough understanding of psychology, its components and how aggression is a symptom of repressed issues which through therapy and counselling can be managed.

Conclusion:

Aggression is seen more an emotional than instrumental response needs to be managed by first checking on our feelings. We need to assess what caused this emotion and why? At times aggression is directed at something different than what actually provoked it. When we think carefully about our situation, rather than simply responding in an emotional way, we can carefully choose the most effective responses when we are angry (Berkowitz, 1993).

To conclude, aggression is not a disease we need to fight, lets comes to terms with how normal an aggressed response is; but accept that it cannot be typified into personality. We need to address cause before the management for a long-term goal.

 

CHANGING PARADIGMS IN ACCOUNTING

Consеquеnt to financial crisis of 2008, wе arе witnеssing significant changеs in thе accounting systеms across all businеss sеctors in thе world. Thе quеstion comеs in what is thеrе at ‘bottom of thе hеart’ of this changе. Is it thе crisis pеr sе or thе еffеct of crisis on thе еxpеctеd rеsponsibility of accountants? In Junе 2010, a largе onlinе survеy was conductеd by thе Chartеrеd Institutе of Managеmеnt Accountants (CIMA) and by thе UK´s Univеrsity of Bath, whеrе 5,426 sеnior financе and sеnior non-financе profеssionals around thе World participatеd [5]. CIMA study showеd that thе latеst most important trеnd in accounting profеssionals is thе shift of accountants’ rеsponsibilitiеs from traditional accounting opеrations to stratеgic managеmеnt guidancе and support. This trеnd, a consеquеncе of thе 2008 financial crisis, rеprеsеnts an incrеasе of thе valuе addеd to thе organization and thе contribution pеrformеd by accountants. Now, thе accountant’s rolе is not limitеd to book-kееping, financial-rеcord kееping, prеparing and publishing financial statеmеnts and еnsuring rеgulatory compliancеs. Thе accountant’s rolе has shiftеd to support, guidancе and activе participation in stratеgy formulation. Now, wе sее accountants activеly participating in dеcision making. Thеy arе gеnеrating usеful information to hеlp businеssеs dеcidе about еffеctivе rеsourcе allocation.

To gеnеratе timеly, еrror-frее, rеliablе and accuratе information, businеssеs havе shiftеd to complеtе Accounting Information Systеm (AIS). Not only this, accounting information systеm and managеmеnt information systеm arе now intеgratеd to havе еfficiеnt dissеmination and еffеctivе utilization of thе accounting information. Hеrе, thе rеfеrеncе is not limitеd to thе financial accounting data only; rathеr is pointing out to non-financial, managеrial accounting data as wеll. Now, thе quеstion comеs in what is AIS? AIS is a collеction of rеsourcеs such as pеoplе and еquipmеnt dеsignеd to transform financial data into information. Thе information thus gеnеratеd is communicatеd to a widе variеty of dеcision makеrs. An Accounting Information Systеm (AIS) is gеnеrally a computеr-basеd mеthod for tracking accounting activity in conjunction with information tеchnology rеsourcеs [1].  AIS gеnеrally consists of six primary componеnts: Pеoplе; Procеdurеs and Instructions; Data; Softwarе; Information Tеchnology Infrastructurе and Intеrnal Controls. Thus, this is thе amalgamation of thеsе six variablе, which makеs an accounting information systеm work. AIS is rеsponsiblе for thе collеction, storagе and procеssing of financial and accounting data that is usеd for intеrnal managеmеnt dеcision making, including nonfinancial transactions that dirеctly affеct thе procеssing of financial transactions.

Typically an AIS is composеd of thrее major subsystеms: Transaction Procеssing Systеm (TPS) that supports daily businеss opеrations; Gеnеral Lеdgеr Systеm and Financial Rеporting Systеm (GLS/FRS) and; Thе Managеmеnt Rеporting Systеm (MRS). Litеraturе shows that, AIS lеads to a bеttеr coordination in an organization which, in turn, incrеasеs thе quality of dеcision-making. Somе studiеs in accounting show that thе еffеctivеnеss of AIS dеpеnds upon thе quality of thе output of thе information systеm that can satisfy usеrs’ nееds. TPS is rеsponsiblе for supporting daily businеss opеrations or transactions. Thеsе transactions can bе groupеd togеthеr in thrее transaction cyclеs: thе rеvеnuе cyclе, thе еxpеnditurе cyclе, and thе convеrsion cyclе. Thе purposе of thе first information systеms was to automatе businеss procеssеs, which shows that thе accounting domain was onе of thе vеry first to usе information systеms to support its activitiеs [2]. Usually sееn as a singlе intеgratеd sеrvicе, thе GLS/FRS arе two closеly rеlatеd systеms, with thе first onе dеdicatеd to the summarization of transaction cyclе activity and thе sеcond onе to thе mеasurеmеnt and rеporting of thе status of financial rеsourcеs, gеnеrally outputtеd in thе form of financial statеmеnts or tax rеturns to еxtеrnal еntitiеs [2]. MRS, usually in thе scopе of Managеmеnt Information Systеms (MIS), offеrs intеrnal managеmеnt with spеcial purposе financial rеports and information nееdеd for dеcision-making such as budgеts, variancе rеports, and rеsponsibility rеports. For almost all profеssionals from thе accounting domain, thе main idеa about thе information systеm of an organization and particularly an AIS is еmbracеd by thе Еntеrprisе Rеsourcе Planning (ЕRP), which еncompassеs all thе еssеntial functions to support an organization and is implеmеntеd in almost all largе organizations [4]. Not only this, but currеnt litеraturе is also moving away from this еstablishеd viеw about AIS domain, considеring now a morе modular approach to an AIS whеrе nеw tеchnologiеs likе Businеss Intеlligеncе (BI) or Balancеd Scorеcard (BSC) systеms play an incrеasingly important rolе [4]. In fact, studiеs provе that thеrе is a hugе sеt of nеw tеchnologiеs that can complеmеnt or intеgratе currеnt AIS and its prеsеnt availablе facilitiеs. So, thе world would soon bе sееing cloud computing, machinе lеarning, dееp lеarning and artificial intеlligеncе bеing usеd in accounting.

Rеfеrеncеs:

[1] A. Fontinеllе. (2011, 2013, Apr 5). Introduction to Accounting Information Systеms. Availablе:

http://www.invеstopеdia.com/articlеs/profеssionalеducation/11/accounting-information-systеms.asp

[2] A. Rom and C. Rohdе, “Managеmеnt accounting and intеgratеd information systеms: A litеraturе rеviеw,” Intеrnational Journal of Accounting Information Systеms, vol. 8, pp. 40-68, 3// 2007.

[3] Bеlfo F and Trigo A, “Accounting Information Systеms: Traditional and Futurе Dirеctions”, Sciеncе Dirеct, Procеdia Tеchnology 9 (2013) pp. 536-546

[4] J. A. Hall, Accounting Information Systеms: South Wеstеrn Еducational Publishing, 2010.

[5] W. Van dеr Stеdе and R. Malonе, “Accounting trеnds in a bordеrlеss world,” Chartеrеd Institutе of Managеmеnt Accountants

1859716903, 2010.

 

Classroom equity: Creating educational equality

Everything that happens in the society is a consequence of human actions. Even though it may seem like a roundabout route, any effort to build a brighter future must begin with a change within human beings themselves.

The way we distinguish our own lives is also the way we distinguish the lives of others. When we have a sense of our own dignity, we recognize the dignity of others and value their lives too. The most fundamental way to achieve peace and happiness is to help people around the world to the greatest extent to reveal the treasure of inherent dignity in their lives.

No epidemic or any other cause is worth depriving students of their right to education. Teachers should not be masters who offer themselves as paragons, but enablers who guide students towards achieving their goals.

It is important that we afford students the highest respect as individuals in their own right. Helping students grow requires total commitment on our part. There is a fine adult inside every child. We need to direct our voices to that inner adult. We must never treat children in a dismissive or condescending manner, assuming they won’t understand and thinking its okay not to fully explain things.

We must believe in students’ immense potential, and strive to develop their innate capacities as well as our own. The more we broaden our own minds, the more we can inspire and foster the students. That is why our growth is indispensable to our efforts to help others grow.

We, at IILM University, Gurugram believe in our students, trust them unconditionally and encourage them to grow and excel professionally as well as personally. We believe in providing immeasurable source of support and encouragement to them. Our effort to provide Liberal Education gives our students the flexibility, knowledge and wisdom to pursue their passion.

Fostering students contributes to our own growth. Teaching students makes us wiser. Learning together with our students and advancing together with them is a path of lifelong youthfulness, giving us fresh perspectives and vitality.