An article in the one of the pink papers yesterday created ripples it was intended to create - that 3 b-schools in India had received offers of over Rs 1 crore during pre-placements. A similar story had been published a while ago and when we cross-checked with some of the schools concerned, they said the news was not to be trusted.
Finally, placements in b-schools is all about the moolah, nothing else really. Whether the hefty packages announced are for real, or are they just converted figures of the salaries in rupees (from the currency is which they are being offered) and how much of all this is take-home, has alwaysbeen a point of debate. Anyway, the article can be read in http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/students-from-two-iims-isb-receive-five-offers-of-over-rs-1-crore/articleshow/10861979.cmshttp://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/students-from-two-iims-isb-receive-five-offers-of-over-rs-1-crore/articleshow/10861979.cms" target="_blank">http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/students-from-two-iims-isb-receive-five-offers-of-over-rs-1-crore/articleshow/10861979.cms
Switching to less buoyant news, the crisis in Europe just does not seem to be going anywhere soon. An article in The Economist reads ... "one can almost hear the gates clanging: one after the other the sources of funding for Europes banks getting shut. It is a result of the highly visible run on Europes government bond markets, which have reached the heart of the euro zone: an auction of new German bonds failed to generate enough demand for the full amount, causing a drop in bond prices." The article analyses what will eventually become of this scenario which could be " a credit crunch that leaves businesses unable to get loans and invest. At worst, some banks may failand trigger real bank runs in countries whose shaky public finances have left them ill equipped to prop up their financial institutions. For the grim scenario read http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/11/euro-crisis-16?fsrc=nlw|newe|11-23-2011|new_on_the_economist
Another article in The Economist calls the European crisis "the slow motion disaster" with every day bringing some herald of bad news. "Go back nine days and there were worries that the bond buyers' strike was spreading from the periphery to France and even countries with solid finances like Finland and the Netherlands. But today, even Germany failed to meet its target for an auction, raising just under 4 billion out of a potential 6 billion." This article goes on to evaluate that the over-dependence on Germany to assuage the problem which has caused the movement to slow down. The article quotes Stuart Thomson, chief economist at Ignis, the bond fund manager, "that foreign central banks have also lost their enthusiasm; they seem to have stopped their previous policy of diversifying out of dollar assets and into the euro. Only the repatriation of assets by European banks, struggling to meet new higher capital ratios, is holding the Euro up." Read the analysis in http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2011/11/euro-zone-crisis-3?fsrc=nlw|newe|11-23-2011|new_on_the_economist
For some Harvard Business School news, after almost a year of planning, negotiating, and remodeling, the Harvard Innovation Laba $20 million project designed to foster entrepreneurship in the Harvard and Boston communityofficially opened its doors. The said article quotes Gordon S. Jones, the i-labs director. It feels like that hectic period of six months of anticipation leading up to my childs first day of school. The opening ceremony packed the i-lab with University students and affiliates and local community members sporting business suits and conversing about the entrepreneurial possibilities the new facility could bring. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/11/20/innovation-lab-officially-opens/
Still on Harvard, an interesting blog in the Harvard Business Review. Just what is 'constructive criticism' - the blog tries to analyse whether there is such a thing at all? "Here's a question guaranteed to make your stomach lurch: "Would you mind if I gave you some feedback? What that actually means is "Would you mind if I gave you some negative feedback, wrapped in the guise of constructive criticism, whether you want it or not?"
The blog points out that "the problem with criticism is that it challenges our sense of value. Criticism implies judgment and we all recoil from feeling judged...The conundrum is that feedback is necessary. It's the primary means by which we learn and grow. So what's the best way to deliver it in a way that it provides the greatest value meaning the recipient truly absorbs and acts on it?" Read it all in http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/
And for some gender-related stuff, The Financial Times has raked up the cliched man versus woman employee issue again. The article states that strong market growth among European companies is most likely to occur where there is a higher proportion of women in senior management teams. Firms with more women on their boards outperform their rivals with a 42 per cent higher return on sales, 66 per cent higher return on invested capital and 53 per cent higher return on equity. If you want to know what is that makes women better employees in senior positions, log onto http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/23b91ca8-0ee0-11e1-b585-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1ei685cvM
For some news back home, the HRD ministry has decided that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) should be rebranded as primary research institutes that should ramp up PhD students from less than 1,000 students to 10,000 PhD graduates by 2020-25, and the number of IITs from 15 to 20. This has been recommended by the Kakodkar Panel. This panel, the article quotes, has given a "comprehensive report on a wide range of issues. Some recommendations need legislative intervention for which the Institutes of Technology Act would have to be amended. There are academic issues that can be dealt collectively by the IITs." More in http://www.indiaeducationreview.com/news/iits-should-be-rebranded-primary-research-institutes-kakodkar-panel
Still on IITs, the news is that they are considering conducting an online joint entrance examination (JEE), on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Management's Common Admission Test. "While the common admission test (CAT) for entry into IIMs went online three years ago and even AIEEE went online in a few centres, the IITs are yet to take the big step. This step has been taken by IIT-Delhi- the organisers of IIT-JEE 2012.
The All India Council for Technical Education is always in the news. This time it has made subscription to E-Resources mandatory for select few foreign publishers. In protest, the The Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI) has written to Union Minister of HRD Mr Kapil Sibal voicing its concern on the arbitrariness and unfairness shown by the AICTE. The 'Approval Process for 2012-2013' document, which was recently released has states that AICTE has made it mandatory for all higher education institutions (including management institutions) to subscribe to e-Journals of selected companies. What more, the AICTE has also mentioned the annual subscription price per Institute in the document. Guess this will mean another war between EPSI and the AICTE and if tradition is followed, other organisations will also enter the fray.
Some stuff to feel good about - quite a few Indians have made it to the list of the World's Top Management Gurus. If that makes you feel better, no Chinese is on the list. The Thinkers list, produced by Suntop Media in association with Skillsoft, is much looked-up to collection of who the most influential living management thinkers are. Take a peak in http://www.indiaeveryday.in/news-8-indians-amongst-worlds-top-management-gurus-1002-3255559.htm