May 24, 2017

Five Secrets of a Top Grade faculty

Higher education in India has experienced mushroom growth in past two decades. It has entered the consolidation phase already. Although most of the expansion has come from privately run institutes but considerable growth has taken place in public sector also. Few corporate have also entered education domain but largely for the CSR reasons than motivated by the mission to create a world class institutions. You could judge the priority & importance the governments in India lay on the education sector by the very fact that the MHRD don’t have put up 2017 data on its website as on May 24, 2017. The website mentions “As of 2014, there are 677 universities, 37,204 colleges and 11443 stand-alone institutions in India”.

It’s universally accepted that the quality of faculty is the most critical factor for imparting top grade education. Curriculum, Infrastructure, network and technology comes after the basic need good quality faculty. Those who have the opportunity to study from high quality faculty possess expert level skills to contribute to the profession they undertake. Anyone can be a great faculty if she/he could acquire the expertise in the following 5 factors and demonstrate it frequently.

Subject Grasp: Everyone thinks her/his grasp over the subject/s is absolutely fine till s/he put it to test. Therefore it’s recommended that the faculty must test own domain knowledge at least once every three years by solving the examination paper given to the students. The institute and the government could also make it mandatory for teachers to take a test periodically.

Domain Knowledge: Education is multidisciplinary and each subject shares concepts, tools and principles with wide variety of other subjects. Therefore it’s imperative that the faculty must be encouraged to develop expertise in a gamut of subjects required for effective teaching. Many subjects particularly from science and professional arena can’t be understood properly if a faculty lacks the field experience. A doctor without practice in a hospital would make a lousy faculty of medicine. Similarly engineering and management also put same demands on the faculty.

Communication skill: Most often it’s recommended that a faculty must have excellent communications skills. Well it’s desired that the faculty must be able to speak fluently the language understandable by the students but more critical communication skill for a faculty are reading and writing than the speech. World class faculty should be able to read and understand complex papers, journals and also write in concise clear manner.

Empathy: Good faculty must empathies with students and be able to behave like the students in the classroom.  Knowledge can be transferred easily if the learner trusts the teacher. Moreover a faculty good or bad leave an impression on the audience and also influence the personality of students. Faculty could strive to understand the psyche and group behavior of the class one intends to handle. The faculty needs to win confidence of students for positive learning outcomes.

Grasp of Edutech: No faculty can claim to plough the lone furrow in internet dominated world of education. Therefore a great teacher must work hard continuously to catch up with the technical expertise of the students. I would recommend that every faculty must be a step ahead of the students on handling edutech so as to inspire the students.

April 26, 2017

Dichotomy of Performance versus Promise: Political Marketing in India

If you intend to find out which political party or leader are responsible for win loss in Delhi MCD elections then you could be disappointed to read this piece. But if you are interested in discovering the marketing insights underlying the recent political marketing events in India then you would have enough food for thought. Let’s hit the ground running, first things first. Why did RSS/BJP lost Bihar Punjab etc but won in UP & Delhi MC elections?

Anti incumbency isn’t always a burden in India or other places on earth due to voter fatigue and low trust in the political players. Many states in India have CMs who are returned back into power for multiple times.  Recently SAD-RSS alliance government lost Punjab despite a huge publicity campaign to showcase its achievements. How could Narendra-Amit duo lose Bihar but manage a thumping win in UP while contesting against the incumbent parties represented by similar caste combinations? There is no ambiguity in understanding why Narendra Modi don’t seems to be affected by the anti incumbency pains despite lack luster performance and deteriorating internal and external environment of India? Narendra seem to glide on promises than performance.

Political marketing in India have not yet to come of age. Most political parties continue to follow the trend than seek professional help despite recognizing the enormous critical influence of the communications strategy on the elections outcome. How could a market leader hire services of an agency which was employed by the challenger to dislodge it from the prime position? Ironically it is congress party which is credited with bringing in marketing professionals into the political communications.  Indians may have markedly different consumption habits but they don’t behave much differently than their counterparts worldwide. Indians living a difficult life in the developing economic conditions consume hopeful promises more eagerly than political claims of how much a politician contributed to their lives.

How could one miss the delphic scene at the residence of Delhi CM? Any shutterbug would find it amusing to note the absence of luxury vehicles at the residence of the CM of India’s richest state.  Well if you have missed it try going to Arvind Kejriwal residence and then following it up with a visit to the official accommodation of the PM of India. Did you notice how many luxury vehicles were parked at both the places? Delhi being richest state in India is home to the high-end luxury autos and moreover such products are meant to flaunt social class of the owner than acquired for the utility.  Point is why the rich guys who badly need the support of state machinery could maintain distance from a CM? 

The privately held media in India have come under attack from various sides including the government at the centre which bestowed the titles of ‘bazaroo’ & ‘presstitues’ on some sections despite the fact that it lacks professional ethics of being the watchdog of the citizens against the excesses of governments. Media continues to blatantly hide the failures of the central government.  The recent attacks on Delhi AAP government by the media expose the helplessness of it due to dependency on huge advertising budget of the centre.  Had AAP focused more on poor performance of BJP in MCD rather than comparing it with its own work the results of elections would have been different. Indian citizens don’t vote on positive performance therefore it could be counterproductive to attempting to win elections on performance of the incumbent player. ABV failed to win in 2004 with help of  India-Shining campaign and TRS also was voted out despite transforming Andhra Pradesh into a premier destination. 

QED: It pays to promise moon than deliver LED lights to illuminate the night in India

March 4, 2017

Narendra D. Modi or its just modi Modi modi

This happens only in India. Although pandits may spun numerous twisted tales trying to prove that modi success story is a unique phenomenon never noticed in India. But its not true. Modi has achieved success by copying the classic Indian political strategy of divide & rule used by many like Bal Thakrey, Indira Gandhi etc in the post 1947 era. You couldn't fault a politician for using weapons of mass destruction to obtain success, its the nature of beast. In my opinion the modi story has reached its ultimate point of diminishing marginal utility.

The modi story can be explained in three distinct chapters titled modi Modi modi. It began as a rank outsider whom Advani foisted in Gujarat CM chair without being a sitting MLA. But it didn't take him long to emerge from shadows of his mentor when in 2002 he break ranks from the competition for the prized title Hindu Hero in 2002 post Godhra train burning & riots. But Narendra isn't the first politician to brandish the Hindu Hero trishul. Likes of Bal Thakrey & Indira Gandhi wielded it earlier very successfully. Hindu supremacist RSS eulogized Indira as the Durga of Hindus, praised Thakrey as a iconic anti muslim crusader then and unabashedly flaunt Narendra as their current avatar. Therefore the strategy to win Hindu vote bank in not new but it works in post 47 India.

Second chapter in modi success story of 2014 was woven by two major strands of Hindu hero worship mixed with issues of rampant corruption. Majority of political scholars agree that the dominant factor in 2014 victory of modi was mainly due to his worship by hindus as their hero. Modi could not have won in 2014 unless the then UPA govt led by an incorruptible scholar Dr Manmohan Singh would have been discredited in the eyes of Indians. The dirty job was done using media which indulged in open mud slinging on the UPA govt. Majority media firms from the north half of India are owned by Hindus who back RSS hindu rashtar line unabashedly in a secular born India of 1947. Despite the defeat of Modi phenomena in Delhi, Bihar and decline of it in several other places the hindu media continue to back modi blindly. Media's bhakti of modi is so dark that they have abandoned the professional ethical role of being guardian of public opinion. in 2017 modi has began the third chapter of his hindu conquest of India.

Indian politics revolves around the hindu vote bank and RSS operates like a holding firm of majority such organizations tasked with the job of appropriating resources and political power for enjoyment of high caste Hindus. Minorities stand no chance against the might of hindu hegemony if hindus continue to worship hindu hero and ignore their own pains of poverty and insecurity. Therefore if hindus continue to sacrifice the economic & social security of India at the altar of Hinduism then modi story could well last many more years. Question is do hindus value goal of economic prosperity more than their religion? Its difficult to hazard a guess. People are essentially social animals hence given the choice they would not mind trading beliefs for material gains. In my opinion majority people would vote for food on the table than promise of a rainbow of religious achievement. Hence the 2017 UP elections may become the ultimate chapter of the story of modi.

Narendra modi story may soon become just like that of Ram temple at Ayodhya. A story which helped RSS immensely for sometime but can't be pushed too far without endangering the future of India. 

Five Secrets of a Top Grade faculty

Higher education in India has experienced mushroom growth in past two decades. It has entered the consolidation phase already. Although mo...