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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

Simulation Games Enhance Learning Outcomes

The biggest challenge of our education system is to leverage the learning of concepts and theories with the use of modern technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for all students that represent the reality of their future.

Most B-schools and universities follow a teaching style that is a blend of theory and practical. The traditional methods of teaching within the four walls of the classroom that include lectures and textbooks do set the basic foundation for a student. However, to attain the skills, which will be required at the workplace, these concepts have to be applied. The application of the learning will ensure that the student has been able to improve their critical thinking skills. The two years of PGDM should comprise of this blend of theory and practice giving the student a comprehensive curriculum.

Subjects like Entrepreneurship give the students ample opportunities to collaborate and work with peers. For subjects like this, the implementation of simulation is the best solution as it deals with the real-life application of the knowledge gained in the classroom.

What are the benefits of Simulation?

Simulations are games that follow a system or a phenomenon. The players are expected to achieve certain pre-specified goals and the environment of the simulation is pre-defined through algorithms and programming. The biggest benefit of simulations is that students get involved in playing the simulation and they consider it as a game or a competition in the real sense. In the process of playing the simulation, the students start applying the concepts that they have learnt in the classes. This provides them with an opportunity to find out how the concept actually works.

It is also the best way to implement Action Learning, i.e., learning by doing. These days, simulations are available online so they can be accessed from anywhere. Students can form teams and access the simulation from any part of the world. It also encourages more interactions among the students that set the platform for learning from each other. They can also afford to do mistakes and learn from it as the stakes are low and they have nothing to lose in terms of money or any other resource.

How to include Simulation in learning pedagogy?

Since simulations are beneficial for management students, it is imperative that it is included in the learning pedagogy. IILM has been implementing simulations in its UG as well as PG courses. Some of the key aspects that need to be considered for including Simulation in the learning pedagogy are:

  • Decide the learning objectives of the subject and check the relation between the concepts taught and the simulation game. There should be a perfect match between the learning objectives of the course and the skills that the simulation tests in the student.
  • The simulation game should be in a sequence. The sequence should move in terms of complexity. For example, a simulation may be played over 4 quarters and the decisions that the players have to take in the initial quarters should be simpler than the ones that they have to take in the later stages.
  • The class has to be guided by a coach who will channel the thoughts and ideas of the students. There has to be a little bit of hand holding in the initial stages of the simulation so that the students understand the process.
  • The coach can first give a brief synopsis of the situation in which this simulation is being conducted. If required, the initial stages can be demonstrated by the coach so that the students can follow his or her footsteps.
  • As the students play the simulation, the coach should encourage the students to think about their decisions and predict the consequences of their decisions. The coach will then have to connect this analysis with the learning objectives of the course.
  • The teams should be able to present their decisions and if required prepare a brief report of the simulation. The coach can then give their feedback so that the concepts become clear to the students.

In the present dynamic environment, the main focus of higher educational institutions is to enable student-centred teaching. This will be possible only when learning happens in an active and collaborative environment. The inclusion of Simulations in the teaching and learning of management concepts will not only make the students better learners but will also prepare them to face the challenges of the corporate world.

To know about other Management teaching best practices like case based learning, mentoring have a look at the following:

Business Case Studies – An Effective Teaching Tool

https://blog.iilm.edu/case-based-teaching-learning-management/

The Many Avatars of a Teacher – A Facilitator in Learning

What is the Mantra for right mentoring?

 

 

 

 

The Beautiful Road Ahead – IILM, School of Management

Just out of school, a student enters a life, less cocooned, more puzzling, and challenging full of promises and heartbreaks. Parents also anxiously want their children to be on the right track of a steady career growth that promises a secure future. Wise decisions taken at this stage by the student and parents about the choice of course and institution will ensure good learning and focused career growth that is both rewarding and fulfilling. A beautiful road ahead is possible if one plans and decides well. Who wants a rickety ride in the graduation years?

In the market that is full of enticing offers and promises for a beautiful road ahead in education right after school, IILM, a top-ranking institute, is a name of trust running the helm of top-class education for decades. It has a unique reputation of welcome and warm ambiance with student-centric education that is in line with the demands of the market. One can see the wonderful reviews of students and parents on the internet about the quality education being offered in echelons of IILM. IILM has three imposing campuses in Delhi NCR, namely in Lodhi Road, Gurugram, and Greater Noida. IILM University, in Gurugram, offers several graduate and undergraduate courses in Management, Law, Psychology, Design, etc. apart from its rigorous Ph.D. program in different streams. All the departments boast of high-profile faculty and management, having an illustrious experience in their fields.

The School of Management

IILM University is nestled right in the heart of Gurgaon on the glistening Golf Course Road. The School of Management is one of its oldest and prestigious departments. The well-guarded campus housing the School has beautiful green manicured and well-tended gardens and lawns full of trees of mogra and pansy buds striking a contrast amidst the concrete and glass jungle of the Golf Course Road. One can see students sitting in the gardens with their laptops studying in the natural peace of nature or busy playing basketball/volleyball on the courts. Everywhere you see students, busy, happy, and secure.

The school of Management offers different undergraduate and post-graduate degrees and diplomas in varied streams of Management, Marketing, Human Resource, Entrepreneurship, Insurance, and Risk, etc. A well-equipped library that is regularly updated does not leave much for asking in terms of knowledge resources. The School of Management also aims and delivers 100% placements to the students in companies like Toyota, L’Oreal, HDFC Bank, Gartner, etc.

Faculty

‘No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.’ Margaret E. Sangster

Indeed, at the School of Management, the teachers are in love with their profession. The faculty is well-read and industrious in their efforts to impart impactful classroom teaching to the students. Many teachers have rich industry experience behind them and have research papers published in top research publications. The teaching sessions involve students and teachers in active, engrossing discussion of insights and wisdom. Case studies and role-plays, debates, quizzes, projects keep the students alert in the learning drill for a competitive future. Faculty is also deeply involved in continuous mentoring of students even after classroom sessions and students are active participants in organizing conferences, events, annual fairs, and social outreach programs.

Student life

‘The secret in education lies in respecting the student.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Student-centric education is the mantra at the School of Management. Students are involved everywhere, be it classroom, conferences, placements, etc. from day one at the school, the student feels part of the IILM family that builds his sense of responsibility and deliverance. The activities and clubs, like Marketing Club, Finance Club, Entrepreneurship Club, etc., keep the students busy in the learning mode. Yearly life skills training rendezvous to Jim Corbett Park help to relax the freshers and help them connect with their new friends and faculty and developing in the team spirit. Industrial visits and industry connect meetings and seminars help students gain exposure to the market they are readying up for. Students also participate in various competitions and social work programs with equal interest. long hours are also spent in the peaceful library. The hostel available for students is safe, secure, and hygienic. The management of the School is very cordial with the welfare and development of the student of topmost priority for them.

Good Decision

Choosing IILM University, School of Management is a wise decision to invest in a wonderful future in the business world. The teaching pedagogy is world-class and placements assured. Great global exposure is a value add with a number of student exchange programs and international visits. Guest lectures from the best in the industry help students get attuned to industry practices. They also become socially aware and responsible citizens. And of course, the beautiful green shaded campus is a big bonus.

The graduate years must be the best as they do involve the precious youth of a person’s life. A good institution will make focus on the future clear and be the mantle of guidance and support for the students. School of Management, IILM University, offers just that with passion and commitment. Students can get in touch with the IILM University admissions team on the university website and will be guided in the admission process and assisted with any queries. As the seats are limited in various programs offered by the School of Management, it will wise to submit applications as soon as possible.

So, for the prospects out there, make the right choice. Visit iilm.edu.in now to apply.

Surely, a beautiful road lies ahead!

 

Keywords: IILM University, IILM, Management, MBA, Gurugram, Student life, Placement, Golf Course Road.

Does Financial Literacy help in developing “Financially Smart Individuals”?

Making informed financial decisions is the key to effective financial planning. Every individual is required to deal with many financial decisions daily. Easy availability of a wide range of complex financial products in the market has led to a situation of “Paradox of Choice”, Killins, R. N. (2017) for the Individuals. It is thus imperative for individuals to be financially literate. To be equipped to make decisions, people must have an understanding of the basic financial concepts. Lack of such understanding may result in unproductive decisions. Financial choices relating to investments, savings, borrowings, retirement planning, estate planning, etc are effective and more productive if made by financially literate people.

What does Financial Literacy mean?

Financial literacy is achieved when an individual has access to the information about the various products and services available in the market; the information is achieved through an authentic source; the individual can comprehend that information in a way which results in informed financial decisions, thereby leading to financial betterment and well-being. 

According to OECD INFE, financial literacy has been defined as “A combination of awareness, knowledge, skill, attitude, and behavior necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial wellbeing.”

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has defined financial literacy as “the ability to make informed judgments and to take effective actions regarding the current and future use and management of money. It includes the ability to understand financial choices, plan for the future, spend wisely, and manage the challenges associated with life events such as a job loss, saving for retirement, or paying for a child‟s education.” 

Basic understanding of the various financial products and services and the applicable framework of risk-reward forms the broad base for achieving financial literacy. Individuals must, therefore, appraise the key determinants of financial literacy and how they impact our daily lives. This can be the only way to wiser financial planning and welfare maximization, both- at the individual level and for the society as a whole. 

What are the key determinants of financial literacy?

The ability of individuals to control their Financials, how well they make their ends meet and their approach towards choosing appropriate products reflects an individual’s money management skills. An Individual’s level of financial planning, however, depends on the provision for Savings, knowledge about investments and attitude towards financial planning. Whereas financial knowledge of an individual can be assessed based on their understanding of key concepts such as inflation and compounding; and their knowledge about the concept of diversification. Thus, money management, Financial Planning, Financial Knowledge and Understanding are the key determinants of Financial Literacy levels. OECD INFE (2011), S&P FINLIT (2014).

 

Conclusion: 

As per a Global Fin Lit survey by Standard & Poor‟s Financial Services LLC (S&P) only 24% of adults or less are financially literate in India, S&P Fin Lit Survey (2014). Among the group of emerging economies, India stands at the lowest level in terms of financial literacy. This proves that financial literacy is yet to be given priority by Indian citizens. Being in a situation where 76% of its adult population in India does not understand even the basic financial concepts, the need of the hour is to refurbish the savings and investments approach of the Indian Households and develop financially smart individuals. 

 

http://www.oecd.org/finance/financial-education/49319977.pdf

http://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/3313Finlit_Report_FINAL-5.11.16.pdf?x87657

Killins, R. N. (2017). The financial literacy of Generation Y and the influence that personality traits have on financial knowledge: Evidence from Canada. Financial Services Review, 26(2), 143-165.

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.

 

Role of financial inclusion in achieving sustainable development goals…

What is financial inclusion?
According to world bank, Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
Financial inclusion does not only include the access to and usage of financial services by individuals and businesses but also includes the dimension of quality of the products and the service delivery. It is also a key to prudent financial development and well being, both- at the individual level and for the economy as a whole. An all-inclusive approach which considers both demand side and supply side needs to be adopted to reach global goal of Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020, says World bank.

What are the key indicators of financial inclusion?
First and the foremost step towards broader financial inclusion is to have access to a transaction account allowing people to exchange and save money. Thus, ensuring that people have a transaction account is the most crucial dimension of financial inclusion (Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative). Financial access opens the doorway to various financial services such as managing daily monetary requirements, long term planning and even planning for future unforeseen circumstances. However, by merely having an account, the objective of financial inclusiveness cannot be achieved. It is therefore imperative that the focus should equally be levied on the usage of these financial services, which forms the second dimension of financial inclusion.
(https://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/g20fidata/G20_Financial_Inclusion_Indicators.pdf)

The current status: According to Global Findex database, 2017; about 515 million adults worldwide opened an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider between 2014 and 2017.
• About 69 percent of adults now have an account, Up from 62 percent in 2014 and 51 percent in 2011.
• About 65% of the women adults now have an account.
• About 52% of adults either receive or make payments.
• About 87% of SME’S have an account with a formal financial institution.
• About 30% of people worldwide have Received wages or government transfer payments directly to an account.

(https://globalfindex.worldbank.org/basic-page-overview)

The above facts reveal that the economy’s worldwide are progressing towards the goal of financial inclusion by staying committed to G20 High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion, Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020, Sustainable Development Goals, National financial inclusion strategies, financial consumer protection and literacy and many more initiatives taken so far in this direction.

What are Sustainable Development Goals?
A new set of development goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Sept 2015, are collectively called as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),2030. After years of deliberation and negotiation, the agenda for these goals was put in place and has been endorsed by around 193 member nations of the General Assembly including booth developed and developing countries. The SDGs cover a set of 17 goals.(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs)

How does financial inclusion help in achieving sustainable development goals?
Financial inclusion offers wide range of benefits such as Improving earning potential, enhanced women empowerment by encouraging women entrepreneurs, reduction in the costs of transactions, easy accumulation of funds, increased use of digital platforms etc. While financial inclusion does not explicitly targets achieving the SDG’s, greater access to financial services has paved the way for achieving a number of sustainable development goals. Financial inclusion has been identified as an enabler for 7 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, says World Bank.

The following SDG’s can be achieved via increased financial inclusion:
A better access to financial services enables the people even in the rural segments of any country to have better access to funds and other related financial services. This enables people to come out of poverty and thereby enabling the first SDG i.e Eliminating extreme poverty (SDG 1). Better and improved access to avenues for raising funds, access to crop agricultural insurance and improved credit facilities also enables the people working in the primary sector to mange their finances in the season for plantation and thereby generate higher yields. It not only improves food production in the country but also generates food security in the economy, which is the second SDG i.e. Reducing hunger and promoting food security (SDG 2).When people are able to come out of the poverty line, are ensured of their food security ,have access to various insurance facilities; achieving the third SDG i.e. Achieving good health and well-being (SDG 3), is bound to fall in place. Increased availability of funding options has removed the barrier of monetary constraints which stop people from getting educated. People are encouraged to invest in educating their children and this enables the achievement of the fourth SDG i.e. Fostering quality education (SDG 4). Financial inclusion has also encouraged women entrepreneurs to take up ventures which earlier were impossible for them. Enhanced women empowerment is the key to promoting gender equality (SDG 5), the fifth SDG. Financial exclusivity weakens up the thread between smaller goals and larger socio-economic goals. These five SDG’s acts as a strong base for achieving broader socio-economic goals such as Promoting shared economic growth (SDG 8) and Promoting innovation and sustainable industrialization (SDG 9).

Given the fact that there exists an association between Financial inclusion and overall economic development, it can be concluded that greater emphasis should be laid on financial inclusiveness.

References:
https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/financialinclusion/overview
https://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/g20fidata/G20_Financial_Inclusion_Indicators.pdf
https://globalfindex.worldbank.org/basic-page-overview
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
https://www.microinsurancenetwork.org/sites/default/files/CGAP_Working-Paper-Achieving-Sustainable-Development-Goals.pdf

Critical Thinking: tool for a concrete judgment.

Critical thinking could simply be defined as – evaluation of a problem to find the solutions
rationally but with novelty. It is what is applied to all forums despite of its nature of tasks and
execution, educational fields and employment settings. Preparing our students for future
employment, World Economic Forum has identified “Critical Thinking” as world’s important
dimension to promote futuristic learning and innovation. Hence it is mandatory to necessitate
the inclusion of this component.
The most challenging and debatable question in the present world is whether or not our
students are tuned to give logical judgments and critical solutions that are developed through
reasoned course of action. Quite contrary to what is expected the easiest way chosen by
students nowadays is to provide and subside for readily available solutions to problem
without scratching their creative minds. This could be either because of their inability or lack
of positive engagement to enable them to tap on their critical mind thus deterring them to
think of multiple solutions to arrive to a problem which is otherwise answered by them in a
singular pre existing manner.
All this makes the importance of brushing critical thinking component in the young mind
most vital. Fostering creativity, innovation, exploration can further lead to the nurturance of
critical thinking which can help them arrive at multiple solutions to the problem and then
evaluating while arriving at the best solution.
Many education institutions are constantly ensuring to brush upon this component by actively
engaging and encouraging students to think out of box, promoting and recognizing creativity
via projects and assignments tapping novelty. Recognizing the importance of the component
in employment world, higher education bodies are tuning the students and preparing them
well for futuristic job which involves the component of critical thinking along with leadership
skills, interpersonal skills with sound technical knowledge all making up to desirable
“Employability skills” looked by the employers during recruitment and promotion time
periods.
Why critical thinking is important?
APA defines critical thinking as- “ purposeful, self-regulatory judgment that uses cognitive
tools such as interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, and explanation of the evidential,
conceptual, methodological, or contextual considerations on which judgment is based.”

While we all agree that change is the only constant element of the world, it is not wrong to
say that with every minute change in the existing element new complexity arises and when
new complexity arises it is important to attend to it differently. If we were to attend to it in
the same manner then newness, creativity, exploration and innovation will be hindered. Thus
it is very important that we constantly switch directions, rethink and adopt creative problem
solving strategies to ensure that we enable divergent thinking to reach to convergent way of
reaching to solutions.
It is increasingly essential for Young minds who are also the future nation builders to explore
their creative minds and develop diverse strategies to apply new knowledge to current
complex situations of the world with the prerogative of coming to the finest of solutions.
Where knowledge institutions promotes critical thinking and suggests students to engage in
problem solving technology has massively created a constant stoppage by readily providing
the pre existing knowledge and solutions resisting students to think beyond the limits and
come up with novel ideas. While this seems to be challengeable issue, teachers in present
century are devising curriculums that promote critical thinking and are taking immeasurable
steps to prepare the futuristic nation builders to act purposefully. Not critical thinking is being
included in all courses where students are encouraged to use their problem solving ability to
identify, analyze, evaluate and derive solutions using their competencies. Teaching pedagogy
is now essentially incorporating it in the study plan through projects to ensure it gets
manifested in students while preparing them for professional world.
Following teaching strategies have been adopted to help promote critical thinking amongst
students:
1) Assessing the students on the basis of the learning outcome after every class either in
written or oral form so as to understand the extent of their learning and
comprehending the same in their own words.
2) Promoting group learning by presenting problems and helping them to argue ,
brainstorm and come out with multiple ways of arriving at solutions to the presented
problems.
3) Using the discussion oriented method students are encouraged to discuss and reach to
a potential viable solution of the case presented which is led by the student.
4) Utilizing peer group interaction to come up with innovative project inducing novelty,
team work and collaboration

Hence critical thinking is important in today’s world as it helps us in the process of reaching
conclusion. While it is important for all to harvest this trait to logically arrive at solutions
involving low to high risk matters.

Questions to reflect upon:
 Can students really benefit from strategies listed above to imbibe critical thinking?
 What are different unidentified errors that can bring inconsistencies in reasoning?

Liberal Arts Education: Door to Creativity, Happiness and Bright Future

Liberal Arts Education has become a buzz word in India from past couple of years. More and more parents and students are inquisitive about it and also showing positive inclination towards the same. Liberal world holds its origin in a roman word ‘liberalis’ which means freedom, hence, simply freedom to pursue the choice of discipline can be called as liberal arts. The term liberal arts originated in Europe however it was American Universities which make the concept not only popular but also successful. In fact, the liberal education brought many American Universities in limelight and on top spot in world university rankings. The Indian higher education was focused on Job driven unidirectional studies where focus was on ‘what to learn’ than ‘how to learn’. However, thanks to the fast changing world dynamics and need of multi facet skills, this trend is changing and driving Indian Higher Education system to embrace liberal arts education with arms wide open.

Is liberal Education new to India?

Before answering the question lets understand Liberal Arts Education. In the words of John Henry Newman, “The purpose of a Liberal Arts education is to open the mind, correct it, to refine it, to enable it to know and to digest, master, rule, and use its knowledge, to give its power over its own faculties, application, flexibility, method, critical exactness, sagacity, resource, address, and eloquent expression”.

If we read the above expression in depth then we understand that Liberal arts education had wide presence in ancient Indian universities like Nalanda and Takshila. Students studying in these esteemed Universities were imparted simultaneously knowledge in the field of grammar, philosophy, ayurveda, surgery, politics, warfare, astronomy, commerce, music, dance, and much more. The students were taught right blend of skills and subjects which were important to contribute in civic life.

Despite having strong educational past; during colonial era India was forced to adopt fixed curriculum model set up by British Education System. Also the greedy aspirations for professional degrees liberal education took back seat from main stream academia.

The Changing Paradigm

There is a pressing need for people to learn and enhance their creativity along with analytical skills and be a path finder in rapidly changing environment. The fast paced technological transformations and disruptions and challenges of degrading physical and social environment put forth the demand for leaders and scholars with deep sense of imagination, analytics and creativity.

Liberal arts education broadens the minds and understands the scenarios from diverse perspectives rather than being a conservative. It lights up the intellectual curiosity which fosters knowledge creation in subjects ranging from arts and humanities, social sciences to the natural and applied sciences.  Liberal education inculcates problem solving and critical analysis skills which are much desirable in corporate world as well as in daily civic life. A sufficient emphasis on liberal arts education help us to tackle practical problems of this century and also provide our current and future generations a chance of freedom of knowledge and a way of living happy.

Who are making efforts?

Since 2015 Indian government decided to invest more in research universities, in social sciences and liberal education so that world ranking of Indian Universities can improve. Taking the initiative of the government forward private universities took charge to address the challenge and creating inter-disciplinary curriculum which are globally bench marked. However, very few have moved in this direction. IILM University situated in the heart of corporate Gurugram is centering interest in Liberal Arts education and aiming at inter-disciplinary education. IILM University has created the curriculum focusing on technology, psychology, business, design, communication skills, critical thinking and academic writing. The best part is, these courses are well aligned to the demand of the market. The extensive major and minor combinations open multiple career options. In all, liberal education not only shape career of the students but also creates informed and happy citizens.

Entrepreneurship – Job and Wealth Creation

Entrepreneurship – Job and Wealth Creation

(Entrepreneurism must be practiced to be learned)

Entrepreneurial success does not take place in a vacuum. Entrepreneurs exist in the context of their particular geography – be that their local, national, or even supranational economy and society. This mix of attitudes, resources, and infrastructure is known as the entrepreneurship ‘ecosystem’.

Having an entrepreneurial mind-set is critical to being successful as an entrepreneur. An entrepreneurial mind-set stands alone in terms of its importance. No other attribute, personality, inherent entrepreneurial proclivities, training, or demographic profile is common to all successful entrepreneurs whether Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, or the neighbourhood florist or grocer.

Family controlled businesses, both private and publicly-traded, are characterized by unique challenges that threaten their continuity and distinct core competencies.

The challenges are primarily the result of issues presented by the changing ecosystem, government laws, and interaction of family, management and ownership -particularly where the family wishes to perpetuate its influence and/or control from generation to generation.

A large majority of successful companies started as entrepreneurship and few survive into the second generation. Family Business Management has to undergo changes in order to thrive in India.

The leadership issues, adoption of technology, modern HR practices and corporate governance will help companies to become more competitive and relevant.

It is imperative that students learn entrepreneurship as a course to delve deep and understand “What is entrepreneurship” and what it take to have an “Entrepreneurial mindset”.

IILM University focuses on providing such an education to students through an entrepreneurial ecosystem. This course aims to give basic fundamentals to students towards understanding the ecosystem for entrepreneurship and startups and a direction towards developing a mindset for pursuing this as a desired program in as a specialization and an area to work on for wealth creation. The students are also given an exposure into understanding the fundamentals involved in ideation, researching the idea, knowledge about finances in the entrepreneurial space.

While understanding the entrepreneurial journey it would be of fundamental importance to understand the entrepreneurial and startup system in India which is aggressively promoted by GOI. The Startup India initiative launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered incentives to such ventures to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation

Students will explore some of the myths and key facts about entrepreneurship, and find out what it takes to be an entrepreneur, so that they can conduct their own self-assessment and identify priorities for their own growth as an entrepreneur.

Students will learn how to unlock creativity and innovation to help generate more and better entrepreneurial ideas. This course provides learners with insights to re-frame their thinking in order to maximize their chances for success.

The course provides learners with an understanding of the attributes and perspectives of an entrepreneurial mindset, and the process to acquire one. The course introduces concepts that enable a person to start a trans-formative process in the way they think generally, and in the way they think about business specifically. This new way of thinking has the potential to positively impact not only them, but their family, and community.

So what can a learner expect to gain from this course? At the end of this course a learner:

  • Will be able to argue effectively against all of the reasons for not starting their business (or reaching some goal);
  • Will be able to operate effectively within the new framework or model for starting a business (or any new endeavor), thus increasing their chances for success; and
  • Will be able to make the initial business startup decisions of what type of business to start, and what type of business owner to be.

Entrepreneurism must be practiced to be learned

  • Maybe a student knows and wants to be an entrepreneur, but you’re not sure where to start? This course is for anyone aspiring to be an entrepreneur – regardless of the industry or type of venture you might have in mind.

The course will enable a student to think and maybe start with a project and develop insights to pursue detailed learning towards job and wealth creation.

 

 

Book Review of Dan Ariely’s “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations”

payoff-9781501120046_hr

ISBN: 1501120042 (ISBN13: 9781501120046)

Motivation is a topic of great interest to behaviour and organizational scientists who are generally looking for ways to improve performance and productivity. The subtitle of the book “Payoff” attracted my attention, whetting my curiosity with the promise of the hidden logic behind motivations. ‘Payoff’ is an engaging melange of research findings with personal stories and experiences, blended into an interesting read as much for a lay person as for a researcher. Catchy chapter headers also added to the appeal.

Dan begins with a dictionary definition of motivation and how it is a significant part of all aspects of our lives – personal and professional. In the author’s own words “This book explores the jungle of motivation’s true nature, as well as our blindness to its strangeness and complexity”. His introduction talks about an interesting theory that motivation is a sum of a number of factors suggesting the equation:

Motivation = Money + Achievement + Happiness + Purpose + A Sense of Progress + Retirement Security + Caring About Others + Your Legacy + Status + Number of Young Kids at Home2 + Pride + E + P + X + [All kinds of other elements]. He presents the complexity of the concept of motivation and how we tend to attribute it to different factors before a project and during the project. He also points out that often we become aware of the various factors affecting our motivation levels only after the negative effects are evident.

He then goes on to describe an experience that made him realise that what pushed him to come out of a tragic incident was the strong need to conquer a feeling of helplessness. The need to “reclaim even a tiny modicum of control over his life” was the motivation to endure the pain and to get better. With these words the author brings out the significance of experiencing meaning in life as against living an easy life.

Dan cites several interesting studies that he and his colleagues have conducted where performance of research participants as well as actual factory employees went up much more significantly when they were able to find meaning in their work than when their work was simply rewarded with monetary returns. In fact his research points to the fact that monetary rewards actually hampered rather than helped productivity whereas a simple word of acknowledgement from the superior worked wonders.

Through four easy to read chapters, Dan enlightens the readers on what kills motivation, how joy and finding meaning in work are significant, that money is a wrongly over-rated motivator and how often the need for finding meaning unconsciously extends to encompass even the afterlife. Dan concludes with the answer to the ultimate question alluding to the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Expressed in a light and humorous language, while the book reiterates what several other researchers have found in recent years, it also encourages the reader to ponder some of the simple yet often ignored aspects of leadership and motivation. It is a small book, quick to read and packed with wisdom.