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Centered on the over-arching theme "Bharat ek Khoj", Horizons will focus on three sub-themes -Rediscovering Rural India, Unleashing India Inc. and Unlocking the Human Potential. Horizons will feature eminent thinkers and policy makers to initia...
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        Move over excel sheets, the renaissance of campus placements is here!


Campus placements, which undeniably is one of the most critical episodes of a student’s life is dependent on a tiring manual system, food for thought? While our leaders dream of cashless societies, the career services and placement cells of most colleges across the country are still stuck with excel sheets and free gmail. The aspirations of millions of students about to step into professional lives are dependent on this-a 90’s system in the 21st century.   


The fact is that the basic processes of campus hiring being fairly outdated does not suit the nation that hails digitization at such a large scale. It’s not just sad, it’s downright scary. Digital transformation is the need of the hour. In an era where automation, data analytics and data intelligence are optimising even the most mundane of daily activities (think ordering groceries online), why do we still persist with heritage systems to shape the future of our youth and the nation they are building?  


Fortunately though, some of the young minds experimented and successfully synchronized the procedure of shaping professional careers with the times that we live in. Their start-up Reculta organizes and digitizes campus placements across the country. A concept developed and implemented by the alumni of some of the top B-schools of India like IIM-A and FMS, Reculta shines as one-of-a-kind solution for campus placements, with an impressive clientele including IIMs, FMS, NMIMS, IIFT and many more.   


“It was disheartening to see the world getting digitized but campus placements still working the way it was working in the 90s”,says Vidyarthi, co-founder, Reculta. While speaking about the challenges he faced during developing the concept of Reculta, Vidyarthi adds, “Even the top campuses are using primitive tools to handle campus placements that serve as the most critical part of the campus life for almost every student. I wanted to challenge the status-quo even after being repeatedly told not to play around with well-established processes.”   


The dismissal of the trusted-yet-tiring paper-pen procedures by the institutions is very evident in the way day to day activities are being carried out: this includes application management, payment of tuition fee by students, access cards, biometrics to record attendance, salary disbursement to employees etc. Campus placement is no exception to this revolution. Kajal, co-founder, Reculta, explains, “In a space as critical as campus placements, where every shortlist, every offer is hard fought for, it’s amazing how minimal is the effort given to capturing and organizing data. The waste of such valuable data is criminal and we want to change all of that.”   


When the source of change is readily available, there remains no question of looking back to find loopholes in the new plan. Giving up old-fashioned rags to don a new gown is never a bad option. After all, Change is the only constant in life.  


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What Is Your Opinon About Campus Placements In Our Country?

Placement systems badly need digital tech to match 21st century needs
Students need more personalised insights to prepare for placements
Digitisation eases access to information and removes opacity/red tape
Placements are just fine and we should not tinker with tradition
Anusha Gaur
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Have a read about my case with TAPMI: 

In absence of any revert from yourselves, or from the your so called 'Grievance Cell' (Ombudsman) I am assuming that the institute has backtracked on its commitment. It is extremely sad that a renown educational institute such as TAPMI has sidelined a student's career aspirations altogether. The actions of the institute has put the student's future and his family's money under immense risk. 

Letter forwarded to ombudsman already twice (Got no Response), have a look:

I solicit your intervention in providing resolution to my grievances caused by TAPMI's insensitive and unscrupulous actions which have severely dented my educational and career aspirations. As part of admission process, I had paid Rs. 8.25 lakhs for academic fees of 1st year but was forced to withdraw from the course after 1st semester itself and asked to re-join for 2015-2017 PGDM program. However, during re-joining I was not allowed to enroll under 2015-2017 roll number.  I thus seek refund of fees after adjusting for first semester charges. The following are the complete details of my case.

After undertaking CAT examination and clearing successive interview rounds, I applied and completed application formalities for TAPMI's 2 years PGDM program (2014-2016 batch) by May14th, 2014 with payment of Rs. 8.25 lakhs. Even though this was an expensive amount for my family, who is also meeting medical expenses of my sister's terminal illness (multiple sclerosis, details in attachment 1), the entire fees for 1st year was duly paid in advance.

It was thus implicit that I would be allowed to participate in PGDM course for 1 year, and my promotion to next year's program would be based on the entire year's academic performance. This fact was also mentioned on the institute's website at the time of admission Thus, at the time of making fee payment, my father and I were assured that this fee amount will be utilized towards my education for at least for 1 year. Furthermore, the clear statement on institute's website left no uncertainty in this matter.

Please note that the PGDM handbook was not made available till then and I was not aware about the rules of the institute. In fact, as per the communication received on 24th April 2014, there was no definitive timeline for availability of PGDM handbook. I, thus, came to know about the rules of the institute during induction program only.

As per a rule which was communicated during induction, the institute can enforce withdrawal from program if I don't score GPA of 4.4 or more from 1st semester itself.  This rule was in complete violation of the evaluation criterion mentioned on the website. I was surprised as to how could TAPMI exhibit such misguidance. I am sure you would agree that there should have been more clarity about such a critical rule where a student stands to lose the entire year's fee after 1 semester itself.

Please note that there is no other institute in India which follows such a rule. The best practice followed by institutions is to provide education at least till 1 year, during which the student is provided enough chances to prove himself or herself.  By providing false information on website, I am sure you will agree that TAPMI has indulged in a wrongful ethical practice and its code of conduct is objectionable.

Thus, I was not given a fair chance to prove myself. My father later met the institute's director, Mr. Natarajan, and appealed for giving me another fair opportunity. Even though the director acknowledged that the rule for withdrawal after 1 semester was not apprised to the student or parents during fee payment, the institute will not allow me to continue and that I need to make a fresh restart from 2015-2017 batch. The director however promised that I will not be at any disadvantage after re-joining.

After that meeting, there was no communication from institute until April 17th 2015. As per the communication  I was expected to make another payment for Rs. 2,16,331 which was to be adjusted as academic fee and mess charges for 1st semester of PGDM Programme 2015-2017. The entire communication emphasized upon re-admission to the 2015-2017 program. Even at the risk of financial discomfort, my father agreed to arrange for the fee payment, in the hope that I would be able to excel in my studies and join a reputable organization based on my merit.

However, as the deadline for re-admission approached, I came to know from a friend that I would be enrolled under 2014-2016 roll number and not 2015-2017 roll number. I could not understand as to why TAPMI would indulge in such a wrongful act by asking for payment of 2015-2017 batch's 1st semester fee while enrolling myself in 2014-2016 batch. Please note that roll number of 2014-2016 naturally puts me at a disadvantage as compared to rest of the batch during placements and internships. This is because any organization recruiting candidates for jobs would prefer 2015-2017 batch students over those whose roll numbers belong to 2014-2016 batch. In such a scenario, my resume would not be able to clear the screening stage itself, and I would not be able to prove my potential.

My father repeatedly sought clarification from institute on this matter. but the institute did not reply on the same. Given the grave seriousness of the concern, it was essential for us to seek a written confirmation from the institute so that we can plan accordingly. This is because we already had been fooled before and hold apprehensions towards the institute's autocratic methods. Eventually, the admission date deadline lapsed while the institute did not revert on the matter.

As per the earlier received communication, if payment of Rs. 2,16,331 was not received by the deadline, the offer for rejoining would be considered as withdrawn. Left with no choice, my father requested the institute to close my admission file and make necessary refund. Since the institute failed to keep its commitments for fair re-admission, it is only apt that the institute refunds the fees.

The institute has however reverted that the director is travelling abroad and apparently, there is no other person who holds power to take the matter forward.However, I can no longer afford to wait and hence am reaching out to you for your intervention. An entire year of my life has been made futile by TAPMI's unethical actions. The harassment caused by TAPMI to me and my family cannot be expressed in words. Given my family's financial constraints, I cannot pursue higher education from any other institute. I request for your help in expediting the refund process so that I can regain control of my life's direction.

Since I've participated for 1 semester only, kindly make adjustment till that extent (assuming its Rs. 2,16,331) and refund the remaining amount (Rs. 8,25,000 - 2,16,331 = Rs. 6,08,669) Haven't got any response as of now.

After total ignorance about my case, Requesting now for your judicious action in this regard.

Regards

Ankit Garg

Case forwarded to AICTE.


2013 Season: CAT: 81.35%ile, SNAP: 78.9%ile. Converted: TAPMI (PGDM), SITM. Rejected: FORE, LBS, IMI, GIM, Nirma, IFMR, XIME Waiting for: DTU (WL 135), BITS. Skipped: ICFAI (hyb), IMT-N/H, SCIT. JOINING: TAPMI
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One fine day, a dirty pig was soaking himself in a pool. A thirsty lion came to drink water, but unable to bear the heavy stench went away. The foolish pig thought that the lion cowed down seeing him and excitedly challenged him to a duel. "Maybe tomorrow," replied the lion and turned away from the smelly pig. The pig went h6me and told his parents how he had challenged a coward lion. "What have you done you, foolish pig? It's not you but your stench that made him run away," explained his father. The dirty pig's excitement crashed instantly. His father suggested that he should leisurely roll in the dirty waters so that he might stink even more and then meet the lion. The pig listened to his father. As soon as the lion approached him, the foul smell spread around and he ran away unable to bear it. Since then, pigs always keep themselves dirty so that no animal might come near them.

With Best Regards, Vivek Acharya
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The Case for India. 
(a must read article by Dr. Raghuram Rajan)

Indian cricket fans are manic-depressive in their treatment of their favorite teams. They elevate players to god-like status when their team performs well, ignoring obvious weaknesses; but when it loses, as any team must, the fall is equally steep and every weakness is dissected. In fact, the team is never as good as fans make it out to be when it wins, nor as bad as it is made out to be when it loses. Its weaknesses existed in victory, too, but were overlooked.
Such bipolar behavior seems to apply to assessments of India's economy as well, with foreign analysts joining Indians in swings between over-exuberance and self-flagellation. A few years ago, India could do no wrong. Commentators talked of “Chindia,” elevating India's performance to that of its northern neighbor. Today, India can do no right.
India does have serious problems. Annual GDP growth slowed significantly in the last quarter, to 4.4%, consumer price inflation is high, and the current-account and budget deficits last year were too large. Every commentator today highlights India's poor infrastructure, excessive regulation, small manufacturing sector, and a workforce that lacks adequate education and skills.
These are indeed deficiencies, and they must be addressed if India is to grow strongly and stably. But the same deficiencies existed when India was growing rapidly. To appreciate what needs to be done in the short run, we must understand what dampened the Indian success story.
In part, India's slowdown paradoxically reflects the substantial fiscal and monetary stimulus that its policymakers, like those in all major emerging markets, injected into its economy in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The resulting growth spurt led to inflation, especially because the world did not slide into a second Great Depression, as was originally feared. So monetary policy has since remained tight, with high interest rates contributing to slowing investment and consumption.
Moreover, India's institutions for allocating natural resources, granting clearances, and acquiring land were overwhelmed during the period of strong growth. India's investigative agencies, judiciary, and press began examining allegations of large-scale corruption. As bureaucratic decision-making became more risk-averse, many large projects ground to a halt.
Only now, as the government creates new institutions to accelerate decision-making and implement transparent processes, are these projects being cleared to proceed. Once restarted, it will take time for these projects to be completed, at which point output will increase significantly.
Finally, export growth slowed, not primarily because Indian goods suddenly became uncompetitive, but because growth in the country's traditional export markets decelerated.
The consequences have been high internal and external deficits. The post-crisis fiscal-stimulus packages sent the government budget deficit soaring from what had been a very responsible level in 2007-2008. Similarly, as large mining projects stalled, India had to resort to higher imports of coal and scrap iron, while its exports of iron ore dwindled.
An increase in gold imports placed further pressure on the current-account balance. Newly rich consumers in rural areas increasingly put their savings into gold, a familiar store of value, while wealthy urban consumers, worried about inflation, also turned to buying gold. Ironically, had they bought Apple shares, rather than a commodity (no matter how fungible, liquid, and investible it is), their purchases would have been treated as a foreign investment rather than as imports that add to the external deficit.
For the most part, India's current growth slowdown and its fiscal and current-account deficits are not structural problems. They can all be fixed by means of modest reforms. This is not to say that ambitious reform is not good, or is not warranted to sustain growth for the next decade. But India does not need to become a manufacturing giant overnight to fix its current problems.
The immediate tasks are more mundane, but they are also more feasible: clearing projects, reducing poorly targeted subsidies, and finding more ways to narrow the current-account deficit and ease its financing. Over the last year, the government has been pursuing this agenda, which is already showing some early results. For example, the external deficit is narrowing sharply on the back of higher exports and lower imports.
Every small step helps, and the combination of small steps adds up to large strides. But, while the government certainly should have acted faster and earlier, the public mood is turning to depression amid a cacophony of criticism and self-doubt that has obscured the forward movement.
Indeed, despite its shortcomings, India's GDP will probably grow by 5-5.5% this year – not great, but certainly not bad for what is likely to be a low point in economic performance. The monsoon has been good and will spur consumption, especially in rural areas, which are already growing strongly, owing to improvements in road transport and communications connectivity.
The banking sector has undoubtedly experienced an increase in bad loans; but this has often resulted from delays in investment projects that are otherwise viable. As these projects come onstream, they will generate the revenue needed to repay loans. In the meantime, India's banks have enough capital to absorb losses.
Likewise, India's public finances are stronger than they are in most emerging-market countries, let alone emerging-market countries in crisis. India's overall public debt/GDP ratio has been on a declining trend, from 73.2% in 2006-07 to 66% in 2012-13 (and the central government's debt/GDP ratio is only 46%). Moreover, the debt is denominated in rupees and has an average maturity of more than nine years.
India's external debt burden is even more favorable, at only 21.2% of GDP (much of it owed by the private sector), while short-term external debt is only 5.2% of GDP. India's foreign-exchange reserves stand at $278 billion (about 15% of GDP), enough to finance the entire current-account deficit for several years.
That said, India can do better – much better. The path to a more open, competitive, efficient, and humane economy will surely be bumpy in the years to come. But, in the short term, there is much low-hanging fruit to be plucked. Stripping out both the euphoria and the despair from what is said about India – and from what we Indians say about ourselves – will probably bring us closer to the truth.

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