Page 1

Bahrain BD 1.50 Kuwait KD 1.50 Oman OR 1.50, Saudi Arabia SR 12.00 UAE DH 10.00 UK ÂŁ 3.00, US $ 3.00

Rs. 50

VOLUME 13 ISSUE 5 MAY 2014

Private universities and deemed universities. No one expects these self-financing institutions to be selfless. But are some of them becoming too self-assured, too self-serving? Such self-styled institutions may be on the path of self-destruction. But there are notable exceptions too in this sector.


EDITORIAL

MAGAZINE

Seasonal www.seasonalmagazine.com

be sentimental…for a change…

Managing Editor Jason D Pavoratti Editor John Antony Director (Finance) Ceena Senior Editorial Coordinator Jacob Deva Senior Correspondent Bina Menon Creative Visualizer Bijohns Varghese Photographer Anish Aloysious Correspondents Bombay: Rashmi Prakash Hyderabad: Iqbal Siddiqui Delhi: Anurag Dixit Director (Technical) John Antony Publisher Jason D

Sentiment. The 9 letter word that evokes feelings of high-school crushes rather than about mountain-moving forces. Yet, it moves mountains often. It moves even mountains that are guarded ferociously by some of the most cut-throat men in this world. No not high-school boys but adult men. Men with not a tinge of emotion before they divert attention and go in for the kill. Noted entrepreneur and author James Altucher says that such men a.k.a. hard-core investors would slit your throat in a dark alley before letting you make a dime of profit off them. A lethargic mountain called Indian stock markets recently decided to move. After six long years of weary struggle to surpass its 2008 highs, it finally started its decisive climb for all-time highs, in February.

Editorial & Business Office Cochin: 36/1924 E, Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road, Near IGNOU, Kaloor, Cochin-17. Ph:0484- 2345876, 2534377, 2340080 Mob. 09947141362, 09947258505 Mumbai: 202, Woodland Heights Building, St. Martins Road, Bandra West, Mumbai -400 050 Mob: 919947141362

All those reasons are true. But they are not the full picture. If they were the full picture, it is high time that Sensex and Nifty corrected massively. Because NASDAQ has been recovering lately and Rupee has been falling lately. Enter our favourite 9 letter word. Sentiment. Men who guard the stock markets are overjoyed. They have been smelling change since February. They still don’t know whether it is for better or worse. But they will market it as for the better. Of course, it is the more believable version. At least for the typical retail market investors. Falling into the middleclass to upperclass rungs, they are not very enthused about government helping people one or two rungs down.

Bangalore: House No: 493, Block 3 3rd Main, HBR Layout, Bangalore-4209731984836, Email:skmagazine@gmail.com www.seasonalmagazine.com

10 long years of welfare politics is going to end. Change is coming. Change that will usher in growth. High single-digit growth may be. Some even dream of double-digit again.

UK Office: “CRONAN”, Boundaries Road Feltham, Middlesex, UK TW13 5DR Ph: 020 8890 0045, Mob: 00447947181950 Email: petecarlsons@gmail.com

It is the perfect setting for a stock market rally. Bulls are back. Or rather, bears have donned their bull masks now. Because, there are no real bulls or bears on Dalal Street. Just masks that they wear according to the sentiment.

Reg No: KERENG/2002/6803

Dr. Daniel Kahneman

Printed & Published by Jaison D on behalf of PeteCarlson Solutions Pvt. Ltd. at Cochin. Printed at Rathna Offset Printers, Chennai-14. All Rights Reserved by PeteCarlson Solutions Pvt. Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, including electronic, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

All India Distributor: India Book House, Mumbai UAE Distributor: Malik News Agency & Distributors Dubai All health related articles are for first information purposes only. Always consult your doctor before taking any decison affecting your health.

The reasons attributed are many. You will hear that it is about NASDAQ Composite dipping since February and money flowing to emerging markets like India. You will hear that it is about INR strengthening dramatically since February.

MEMBER

Subscriptions Available on iPhone/iPad & Android

David Dreman


That sentiment or mob psychology is the real market mover, is not anything new. Noted investors like David Dreman have made whole careers, businesses, or fortunes based on this discovery. It is also a robust academic domain, covered under Behavioural Finance in all major universities. Researchers like Dr. Malcolm P Baker of Harvard Business School has created award-winning theories like the ’Dumb Investor Effect’ which explains why abnormally low returns and high liquidity co-exist. Nor is sentiment confined to finance. In fact, Behavioural Finance can be thought of as a subset of the larger Behavioural Economics. Researchers like Dr. Daniel Kahneman of Stanford has even won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his studies on the intersection of behavioural economics and psychology. We needn’t go far. Our own RBI Governors, past and present, often speak about inflationary expectations and price/wage spiral. The theory of inflationary expectations says that inflation happens now simply because of subjective views about what may happen in the future. The price/wage spiral denotes workers’ anticipation that prices would go up and so they need higher wages, and their struggles for the same. It also denotes employers’ struggle to offset the wage hike by charging higher prices for their products, thereby making it an ongoing vicious cycle of inflation. Dr. Malcolm P Baker

But in stock-market, sentiment is a double-edged sword. There are only two outcomes. One is that the expected change in governance won’t happen. Brace for one of the biggest market crashes then. The second is that the expected change in governance happens. Brace for an equally damning correction then too. Because, sentiment is a leading indicator and not a lagging indicator. In other words, whatever is happening now is happening as though a new growth regime has come. So, what will happen when a growth regime indeed comes? It will be time for a correction to start. Still unbelievable? Check on the bourses whether some of the largest domestic institutional investors have been net buying or net selling? Including, the largest one, LIC of India, almost all DIIs have been selling furiously. Taking advantage of sentiment. Your and mine. If we were truly wise, what would we be doing? We would be playing the sentiment like the pros. John Antony


CONTENTS

SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

The Self-Made and the Self-Styled Private universities and deemed universities. No one expects these self-financing institutions to be selfless. But are some of them becoming too self-assured, too self-serving? Such self-styled institutions may be on the path of eventual self-destruction. But there are notable exceptions too in this sector. Seasonal Magazine investigates in this cover story.

Why to Choose Alliance University Bangalore based Alliance University is undoubtedly one of the better institutions in the private university space. Industry body ASSOCHAM has selected it..

Is VIT Really a Top-10 Engineering College?

No, you read the caption right. Despite being a Deemed-to-be University for some years now, VIT University is more famous for its graduate engineering program, and still competes fiercely in..

Why and How SRM Works Hard If TR Pachamuthu was to teach at SRM University, students would have gained much. In fact, they would have gained too much, in subjects like business..

Why JSS University is a Worthy Alternative Mysore based JSS University is one among a handful of selffinancing medical universities in the country. Though there is..

Can Christ University Shift to a Higher Gear?

How Galgotias Delivers Productive Education

Due to their rapid proliferation, and consequent hit on quality standards, self-financing nonaffiliating universities don’t command too much respect in..

The slot that self-financing higher education sector occupies in the country may be lucrative, but not attractive for its promoters. On one hand, lies the..

What Can Take SASTRA to a Higher Orbit?

Can Symbiosis Become a Centre of Excellence?

Growth has been so far so good at SASTRA. If you want a typical engineering college that turned into a university overnight, look no further than Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology, &...

Can self-financing universities ever become Centres of Excellence? Only a handful of them can even aspire for it. If a few among those aspirants can eventually become Centres of..

Assam Don Bosco University Nirma University

Walking the Talk

Nirma University believes that higher education is all about students and faculty, more than anything else. In fact, its students and faculty are outdoing each other in innovation, entrepreneurship.. Seasonal Magazine

A University for the Future

If you are a historian, the setting is one of India’s most backward regions. But if you are a futurist, this is one of the most promising regions for sheer growth prospects in the coming.. years. The Japanese seems to

Unknown Amity

Everyone knows Amity’s size. One thousand acres of campuses across 5 cities is not easy to miss. Everyone knows Amity’s class. If 600 Mbps WiFi broadband connectivity, and amphitheatre style, airconditioned classrooms, are not..

Can Lovely Maintain the Lead? Lovely Professional University is a self-financing university. But that is not preventing Chancellor Ashok K Mittal from dreaming big. It has already helped the Mittal-family promoted Lovely..


CONTENTS How to Get a Job at Google

Ace journalist, long-time New York Times columnist, and threetime Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman recently visited Google to find out the answer to a million-dollar question many youngsters and their parents are..

What Makes Him the Most Lovable Pope Ever

If He Hasn’t Called, He Must be Dead

We’re in an age where nothing sends chills down the spine like "The number you've dialled is currently switched off." I remember how as a child of about six, late evenings were a stressful affair for me...

5 Accessories that Lets You Drive Easy

Popes have often been respected, but never ever before has a Pope been so swiftly embraced by the world community. Even some of the..

The best thing about the best car accessories is that they let us focus on what is really needed that is drive nicely. So, here are some must-have accessories..

Beware, Here is the Most Dangerous Time of Your Day, and Why

Why Your Company Too Can Do An Apple, But Only If You Really Want

It has been known for some time that heart attacks and strokes are most common at 6.30 am. Now, scientists have uncovered why it is so. It is all down to the body..

Can it Remain a Secret For Long? “We had a tree house, which was nice - monkeys on the deck in the morning to start the day well,” notes foreign traveller Elizabeth Marshall in her Google Review on a resort in God’s Own Country. Once upon a time, ‘it...

Seasonal Magazine

Whether you love or hate iPhones, one thing is sure. If you are an entrepreneur, you are already helplessly admiring Apple..

Why and How Indian Universities Should Work on Reputation

No Indian higher education institute was featured in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014, the second consecutive year. Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher...

Coming Soon! Free Wi-Fi for Everyone on the Globe You might think you have to pay through the nose at the moment to access the Internet. But one ambitious not-for-profit organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age

10 Unique Features of the New HTC One M8

With its all metal-and-glass body, it’s likely to be the most beautiful Android phone of the year. But the New One veers in some directions that LG and Samsung..

Satya Nadella Following Bill Gates' Strategy of Embrace and Extinguish?

The new Microsoft CEO's strategic advisor is Bill Gates, and it is already showing. In an effort to fight the dominance of Google's Android in mobile...

A Caffeine and Gold Compound Can Fight Cancer

Ayurveda has long touted the health benefits of gold. But modern medicine has been extremely cautious about gold as..

Innovation vs. Execution: Which is More Important for Success?

Google Beats Facebook to Buy Drone-maker Titan Aerospace

Contemporary business wisdom suggests that innovation and not execution is the prime trait for success. And the best cited example for this theory is Apple's..

Google Inc has acquired solarpowered drone maker Titan Aerospace as the Web search giant ramps up plans to deliver wireless Internet access to..

World's 10 Greatest Investors and Their Strategies

Kitchen Pollution is as Serious as Smoking

I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the best investors with their strategy in modern times. These are all individuals who made significant amounts of money by sticking to..

Quitting smoking may not be enough to improve your lung function if your cooking fuel is not clean and ventilation in the kitchen is not proper, research says. Because, pollution from kitchen is the leading cause of..


CONTENTS Why Tech Gadgets Should Be Banned for Children

Apple and Google Starts the Big Fight for Car Dashboards

Cris Rowan, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Biologist, Speaker, and Author, is calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years.

As smartphones are getting saturated in almost all developed markets, iOS and Android are taking the big fight to predictive services by trying to wriggle into car dashboards. Who will win this round? Apple CarPlay or Google..

Khushwant’s Eight Clues

IIT Develops Nutritional Paste in a Tube for Kids

Author, scholar and journalist, Khushwant Singh, known for his irreverent, wicked sense of humour, died less than a year before he would have been 100 years old. To friends and fellow journalists, the lasting image of Khushwant Singh will be of him..

Sit Long to Die Early

We know sitting too much is bad, and most of us intuitively feel a little guilty after long work hours at the desk or a long TV binge. But what exactly goes wrong in our bodies when we park ourselves for nearly eight hours per day, the average for a..

India's Polio Success is, World's Greatest Health Achievement

The eradication of polio is a triumph for India’s people and government, says world’s biggest charity donor. The size of the..

A paste to fight malnutrition! Yes, that's precisely what a team of researchers at IIT-Kharagpur has developed. It is food in a tube, rich in micronutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and all dietary..

Better the Nutrition, Earlier the Death?

A few earlier studies have shown that more the food quantity, shorter is one's lifespan. But now a new study claims that not just quantity but the quality also kills. In other words, eating more..

Why Never to Ignore a Crying Baby

Emotional bonding with parents is the key to future success of the child. The researchers found that 40 percent children lacked strong emotional bonds or secure..

Facebook-Whatsapp Deal Signals Dotcom Bubble Ver 2.0? Mark Zuckerberg clearly doesn’t seem to recall the dot-com bubble of 2000. Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Instagram looks rather small compared to the $19 billion paid to acquire WhatsApp.

How MIOT is Always Moving Up Chennai based MIOT International is not the typical corporate hospital. It is not multilocation like most of its competitors, and it is still familyowned and family-managed.

Is Honey a Better Antibiotic?

Honey seems to be not only an antibiotic, but an antibiotic with a difference - unlike conventional antibiotics, honey can make it more difficult for bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. Our grandmothers have extolled the medicinal virtues of honey, for..

Indian Boy Develops Tech Device That Stuns the World

A finger ring that 23-year old Keralite youth Rohildev has invented can replace the mouse, keypad, and even the entire range of touch inputs. Around 1600 people from around the world has already made tiny investments in Rohildev’s firm.

Who Pays More? SBI or ICICI? State Bank of India (SBI) has raised salaries by 47% from fiscal 2011 to December quarter FY14. In fact, SBI’s average salary per employee at Rs 10 lakh is 67% more than Rs 6 lakh paid..

18 Ways to Unleash Your Creativity Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and.. context.

5 Life Changing Questions to Ask Yourself Often

Susie Moore, a New York based Life Coach asks us to ask ourselves five big questions, instead of the hundreds of small..

Apeejay Stya University - Pros and Cons During This Admission Season College admissions are just round the corner, and each university and college is trying to attract students for Seasonal Magazine


Seasonal Magazine


GADGET

10 Unique Features of the New HTC One M8 With its all metal-and-glass body, it’s likely to be the most beautiful Android phone of the year. But the New One veers in some directions that LG and Samsung phones don’t, even beyond the body design. Last year’s HTC One won the best smartphone of the year award at Mobile World Congress. Will HTC be able to make it two in a row? If it does, these 10 features will be why.

Metal Body

Duo Camera

The HTC One (M8) is the smartphone least likely to wear a case. This year, HTC increased the percentage of metal in the body to 90 percent and went for a smooth, brushed-metal feel on the back with tough Gorilla Glass 3 on the front. It looks far more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy S5, and arguably even more so than the iPhone.

The small second camera above the HTC One’s main camera captures depth information. This lets you pull off a bunch of cool photo tricks, including focusing your photos after the fact and cutting-and-pasting people from one photo into another.

Boomsound Front-facing speakers are such a simple idea, you wonder why more mobile phone companies don’t install them. HTC's front-facing Boomsound speakers offer the clearest speakerphone experience of any smartphone on the market, for one very simple reason: they actually aim the sound at your face, not away.

Killer Bass HTC doesn’t have an association with Beats anymore, but the bass-heavy Beats sound lives on. The powerful headphone amp in the HTC One (M8) delivers tons of bass when paired with the right headphones. HTC’s included earbuds aren’t bad, but they’re only the beginning here.

Extreme Power Saving Mode When your battery runs low, Extreme Power Saving Mode kicks in, restricting the phone's features to calls, texts, mail, calendar and calculator. That gives you 30 hours of standby on your last 10 percent of battery. Seasonal Magazine

5-Megapixel Selfies The HTC One has the best front-facing camera out there right now, a 5megapixel unit devoted to self shots. The camera is wider-angle than most other front-facing cameras, too, so you can fit more people into your crowd.

Gallery Highlights HTC’s Gallery app collects your photos by time and place, and even creates automatic, custom highlight videos from your photo collection. It’s a great

way to show off the pictures you’ve taken without worrying about how to put them together.

Shared Zoes If several people in a room have HTC Ones, they can collaborate on a video about the event they’re at, all contributing stills and short videos to an automatically generated, group highlight reel.

Better Blinkfeed Blinkfeed, HTC’s Flipboard replacement, was made much more usable this year. It doesn’t have to be your default home screen, and you can create custom feeds by searching for specific keywords you’re interested in. It’s a better way of skimming the news.

Dot View Case The most stylish mobile-phone case we’ve seen yet, HTC’s Dot View Case has a sensor which switches the phone into a mode that shows bold, colored graphics through the holes in the case. That way, you can receive calls and see alerts without ever opening the case. SM


KERENG/2002/ 6803


AUTO TECH

Apple and Google Starts the Big Fight for

Car Dashboards

As smartphones are getting saturated in almost all developed markets, iOS and Android are taking the big fight to predictive services by trying to wriggle into car dashboards. Who will win this round? Apple CarPlay or Google Now? ne of the great boons that Google had long-reserved specifically for Android users was access to Google Now, the popular artificial intelligence platform that anticipates a person's actions based on contextual information like location or personal data such as e-mails or appointment reminders. There is, of course, now a watered-down

Seasonal Magazine

version of Google Now for iOS users. And there are some bifurcated iOS apps that try to replicate the experience, but so far, nothing officially from Apple. Until now. And it doesn't come on a handset. At the Geneva International Motor Show on Monday, Apple unveiled CarPlay, an integration that ties Apple's mobile operating system into automobiles, allowing for voice-enabled and touch-screen control

of things like maps, driving directions, and music. Previously dubbed "iOS in the Car," the service supports third party music apps like Spotify and iHeartRadio, and will be available in cars from manufacturers like Ferrari, Mercedes, and Volvo. But perhaps the most interesting bit of the announcement was a few innocuous details about CarPlay's artificial intelligence capabilities. The software will be able to scan through a user's data, such as his or her calendar or e-mails, to try to pull up relevant destinations and driving directions. And with that, Apple has made its biggest push into predictive services. The company, of course, already has had its personal assistant Siri since the release of the iPhone 4S, but thus far, the service hasn't had an emphasis on technology based on the user's context. The announcement obviously wasn't billed as a Google Now competitor - CarPlay's predictive functionality certainly isn't as robust - but it's a clear step in that direction. Maynard Um, an analyst with Wells Fargo, wrote that the artificial intelligence aspect of CarPlay is a "potential future key" in making the product stand out. Noting that other apps already do predictive services and do them well, Gartner analyst Thilo Koslowski said Apple's decision to introduce the technology on car dashboards rather than the iPhone was rooted in giving the technology a specific use. "This type of intelligence and proactiveness helps to address one of the key


safety aspects: minimizing distracted driving," said Koslowski, who covers automotive technology.

approached by three major auto manufacturers for car integrations since the company launched last year.

The technology also adds another element to Apple Maps, which had a difficult start, mired with bugs and spotty navigation. If the service is so quick to offer up directions that a user thinks, "well, it's already on my screen, I might as well use it," then Apple wins goodwill from a user, and more importantly, a trove of driving data from another customer. That data also goes into making the Maps product better.

Of course, when we talk about predictive technology in automobiles, there must be mention of the moon shot of an end goal: driverless cars, which obviously takes the idea of predictive road navigation to the next level. But even before the company gets to that point, Google has already begun to make software inroads with automakers. The company announced the Open Automotive Alliance in January, a partnership with carmakers General Motors, Audi, Honda, and Hyundai, as well

"My calendar knows where I am all the time. But when I get into my car, I still have to input a location into my GPS," said Thierry Donneau-Golencer, cofounder of Tempo, a personal assistant app focused specifically on the calendar. He said he thinks Apple's race to put predictive technology into automobiles is just one part of the puzzle in the company trying to make iOS prevalent at all times. Donneau-Golencer said Tempo, for its part, also has been

Apple CarPlay is supported by Ferrari, Mercedes, & Volvo, while Google's dashboard push is helped by Audi, GM, Honda, & Hyundai.

as with chipmaker Nvidia, to bring Android to car dashboards in 2014. Anytime a company is sifting through your data, there is always concern regarding security and privacy. The unique challenge here, Koslowski said, is in the way people think about their cars. He argues that unlike a phone, which is as personal a device as ever but is still impersonal enough to be subsidized by a cellular carrier, the car is still much more private. "It's like your cocoon," he said. "You close your door and turn up the music," he said, adding that people would be more outraged than normal to have their privacy invaded regarding their driving habits. Still, getting a customer hooked on the technology in the car means that the company can eventually expand on it out of the vehicle, especially in the arenas of wearables and home appliances. Google beat Apple to the punch with Google Now, a stellar predictive product. "But the car is a good place to start," said Donneau-Golencer. Seasonal Magazine


STRATEGY

SATYA NADELLA FOLLOWING BILL GATES' STRATEGY OF EMBRACE AND EXTINGUISH?

The new Microsoft CEO's strategic advisor is Bill Gates, and it is already showing. In an effort to fight the dominance of Google's Android in mobile phones and tablets, Microsoft has switched to Gates' infamous 'embrace and extinguish' strategy. While Nokia has already brought out three low-cost Android phones that pushes Microsoft services and a Windows Phone like interface, the software major is now encouraging phone manufacturers ranging from HTC to Karbonn to deliver Windows Phone OS too in their Android devices as a dual-boot option. But it can bite both ways... Microsoft recently revealed India-based Karbonn Mobiles will start shipping Windows Phones soon, and the company says it plans to create handsets that support both Android and Windows Phone. Karbonn recently signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft and plans to

Seasonal Magazine

release handsets with dual-boot Android and Windows Phone in around six months time. It's not clear what benefit dualbooting two separate operating systems brings, but the devices will reportedly target professionals and tech-savvy consumers first. Karbonn’s first Windows Phone handsets are expected to arrive ahead of

the dual-boot versions. "Microsoft has eased the regulations and is opening up its platform for other players. We signed the agreement two days ago and will launch a range of Windows Phones in about three months," says Karbonn chairman Sudhir Hasija. Karbonn’s announcement follows rumors that Microsoft had asked HTC to install Windows Phone as a “separate option” on its Android handsets, with plans to reduce or cut license fees as an incentive. Microsoft is currently finalizing its Windows Phone 8.1 update, which includes dual-SIM and on-screen buttons support. The update will also allow phone makers to produce phones with just 4GB of storage, a change designed to increase the volume of Windows Phone handsets. Microsoft is expected to release a developer preview version of Windows Phone 8.1 at the company’s Build conference in early April. Hoowever, the dual-boot strategy is not without its risks for Microsoft. For instance, PC makers are increasingly pushing laptops and netbooks that dual-boot Android and Windows, and it can seriously threaten the Windows and Office franchise in PCs. SM


HEALTHCARE

HOW MIOT IS ALWAYS MOVING UP Chennai based MIOT International is not the typical corporate hospital. It is not multi-location like most of its competitors, and it is still family-owned and family-managed. But none of that has prevented MIOT from attracting and retaining the finest in medical talents, not to speak of an international patient base that comes from 129 different countries. Founder & Managing Director Dr. PVA Mohandas, Chairperson Mallika Mohandas, and Joint Managing Director Dr. Prithvi Mohandas all take up complex but clearly demarcated roles to make this super-speciality hospital a dynamic entity that is constantly moving up in the healthcare sector. MIOT doesn’t manage with what it has, but builds whatever the world of international patients demand, even if it is capabilities like for organ transplants. The recently launched HPB Surgery & Transplant Centre is the latest example. hospital is a hospital is a hospital. Or is it? Are all hospitals created equal? If all hospitals were created equal, we could have gone to any superspeciality hospital for our treatments.

countries already. How do they do it?

What makes any particular hospital stand out from the rest of the crowd? Earlier, it used to be the presence of certain doctors in certain departments. But as super-speciality hospitals get larger and more complex, a lot more is needed to differentiate a hospital.

While each of these 46 specialities are formidable in their capabilities, MIOT Founder Dr. PVA Mohandas has, over the years, systematically promoted the finest among them as standalone super-speciality hospitals.

Only a few hospitals in India has mastered this capability. MIOT International is present only in Chennai, but has attracted patients from 129 Seasonal Magazine

Though they are only in Chennai at a single large campus, their old name MIOT Hospitals - gives a clue to how they have achieved this. MIOT is not just a large super-speciality hospital with 46 specialities, but it is a group of specialist hospitals.

MIOT calls them its Centres of Excellence. Over the years, the number of such Centres have been slowly but steadily going up. The first was, of course, MIOT Joint for Life, reflecting

Dr. Mohandas’ personal expertise and passion in hip and joint replacement. Then came MIOT Centre for Thoracic and Cardiac Care, headed by Dr. VV Bashi who is one of India’s finest cardiac surgeons. Other Centres of Excellence include MIOT Keyhole Surgeries, MIOT Pinhole Surgery, MIOT Institute of Nephrology, MIOT Institute of Cancer Cure, and MIOT Heart Revive Center. Recently, MIOT created yet another Centre of Excellence, in a unique way. In a first of its kind in the country, MIOT brought together three of its mature specialities to create Department of Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary (HPB) Surgery & Transplants. The rationale for the same is very compelling. As Dr. Prithvi Mohandas, Joint Managing Director at MIOT International, explained it beautifully on the occasion, “Liver, Gall Bladder, and Pancreas are the three silent musketeers of the body that perform more than 3,600 functions. They would continue to function even when in bad shape. That is why people present very late with these diseases.” Precisely due to this reason the new HPB Surgery & Transplant Centre also focuses on early diagnosis and early interventions whenever possible. Dr. R. Surendran, noted surgical gastroenterologist, who is heading the HPB Centre, shed further light on the absolute necessity for such a centre. “The treatment of these organs require a truly multi specialty facility with doctors from several specialties available 24x7,” he said.


Dr. PVA Mohandas, Mallika Mohandas & Dr. Prithvi Mohandas Seasonal Magazine


That is the secret behind MIOT’s success. MIOT doesn’t work with what it has, but it creates what is really needed in today’s world. It is a far cry from hospitals that manage only with what they have already, like a hospital with only angioplasty facilities trying to treat a patient with that, even when it is clear that he would be better served with a cardiac surgery. That capability enables MIOT to take on cases that even other equally famous super-speciality hospitals turn down. Take the case of Sivaprakasan who fell seriously ill, more than four months back. His family suspected a cardiac ailment, but a scan, revealed a large mass in his liver. Then, a round of hospitals and consultations began. “Everyone told us surgery was not possible, nor was chemotherapy. Meanwhile, my father got sicker,” said Sivaprakasan’s son. Finally, the family arrived at MIOT International. What every other hospital said was true - surgery or chemotherapy was not very feasible. But MIOT had other weapons in its armoury. MIOT told Sivaprakasan and family that a liver transplant was very much possible. Everything, including the risks, was explained to them, a liver came through fortunately, and Sivaprakasan

Seasonal Magazine

MIOT’S

Centres of Excellence include MIOT Joint for Life, MIOT Centre for Thoracic and Cardiac Care, MIOT Keyhole Surgeries, MIOT Pinhole Surgery, MIOT Institute of Nephrology, MIOT Institute of Cancer Cure, and MIOT Heart Revive Center.

Seychelles vice-president Danny Faure (right) and P.V.A. Mohandas, founder and managing director, MIOT Hospitals, at the hospital’s 15th anniversary celebrations. Hospital chairman Mallika Mohandas is also seen.

was operated upon. Now, more than 75 days post surgery, his son says he is more or less completely all right. “He is speaking, reading like he used to, and finally, he’s comfortable,” he said. Whereas once MIOT was preferred when surgery was the better or only option, today, MIOT is preferred when even surgery is not an option. All thanks due to Dr. PVA Mohandas’ diligent pursuit to acquire capabilities in organ transplants. Organ transplants and even complex surgeries like which MIOT regularly takes up are not cheap options, but

Dr. VV Bashi


they save lives when there are no other options. But, when looked upon by an international audience, they are relatively much cheaper than when these transplants and complex surgeries are done in the West.

Dr. R. Surendran with Dr. Prithvi Mohandas

The MIOT leaders go to extremes to ensure that they recreate the world’s most admirable best practices. For instance, while creating their MIOT Institute of Cancer Cure, Chairperson Mallika Mohandas made it a point to travel worldwide and personally visit some of the best cancer care facilities in the world. That is why it has been possible for MIOT

International to attract international patients from 129 countries within a short span of 15 years. Some such countries are taking this relationship with MIOT to a new level. Seychelles for example. Danny Faure’s mother was successfully treated at MIOT International some time back, like many other Seychelles citizens. But when Danny Faure became Vice President of Seychelles he became instrumental in signing a landmark MoU between Seychelles and MIOT International.

Recently,

MIOT created yet another Centre of Excellence, in a unique way. In a first of its kind in the country, MIOT brought together three of its mature specialities to create Department of Hepato-PancreaticoBiliary (HPB) Surgery & Transplants. He was personally here at MIOT for participating in the hospital’s 15th anniversary celebrations. The MoU provides for training of doctors, consultants and specialists from that country at MIOT. But it can go further too. Danny Faure said on the occasion that the government of Seychelles expects the hospital to partner with them to establish the island’s first medical university. SM Seasonal Magazine


INVENTION

INDIAN BOY DEVELOPS TECH DEVICE THAT STUNS THE WORLD A finger ring that 23-year old Keralite youth Rohildev has invented can replace the mouse, keypad, and even the entire range of touch inputs. Around 1600 people from around the world has already made tiny investments in Rohildev’s firm. wearable device developed by a 23-yearold Indian based in Kerala has just concluded an overwhelmingly successful campaign on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Fin, a tiny hardware product that you can wear on your thumb as a ring and which converts your whole palm into a gesture interface, has raised about $200,000 from some 1,600 people around the world who have pre-ordered the product. Fin's initial target was to raise $100,000, but in mid-February, when it found its target getting accomplished faster than it anticipated, it extended the campaign's deadline to March 9, resulting in a doubling of its collections. This is the second Indian hardware-cumsoftware startup to have had a great innings on a crowdfunding platform in recent times. Late last year, Gecko, a coin-sized electronic device with a multitude of uses and developed and marketed by a Bangalore startup, raised orders worth $135,485, more than double the initially targeted $50,000. Seasonal Magazine

Rohildev

Fin has been developed by Rohildev N, who grew up in Malappuram in Kerala and who graduated from Kathir College of Engineering in Coimbatore in 2012. Eight months ago he established RHL Vision Technologies at the Startup Village in Kochi to work on touchless technologies, a project he started during his final year of engineering. RHL Vision was among 50 startups shortlisted from around the world to pitch and showcase their ideas at


Pioneers Festival, one of Europe's largest startup events, held in Vienna last year. It was one of the top 15 companies (from 11 countries) at the TechCrunch CES Hardware Battlefield in Las Vegas this year, a competition for hardware startups. And Rohildev would have been the youngest speaker at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, but for a mixup that led to his visa application being rejected. Fin, worn as a ring on your thumb, has sensors in them that can uniquely recognize each segment (phalange) of the fingers. It also has Bluetooth that can be used to link Fin to other devices like your smartphone, TV or another wearable device. So you can assign different functions to each finger segment, and you can perform a function by just making your thumb touch the relevant segment. The possibilities this creates are phenomenal. The simple touch of your thumb on a finger segment can send an emergency alert, silence your phone, move to the next track on your playlist, pick up a call - all without taking the phone out of your pocket or bag. Your fingers can be your numeric keypad. You can switch on or off or change the channel on your TV just using your palm.

The possibilities this creates are phenomenal. The simple touch of your thumb on a finger segment can send an emergency alert, silence your phone, move to the next track on your playlist, pick up a call - all without taking the phone out of your pocket or bag.

If you have home automation devices, your palm can operate those.

to perform functions similar to those that Fin can, but it involves gestures.

For the visually impaired, Fin's promises are amazing - simple taps on their fingers can help them dial a number, navigate using a map, open and read out an SMS, control their wheelchair.

Fin will be priced at $120 each, but that cost could come down with mass manufacturing. The first shipments are expected in September. "The Indiegogo campaign helped us identify some good manufacturers and distributors too. Many want to fund us now. We expect to finalize a $1 million funding in another month," Rohildev says. The moneys raised will be used to complete the product development and for marketing.

"There's no effort, no stress. Unlike other touchless technologies, you don't have to raise your hand, wave your arms, nothing that tires you," says Rohildev. For instance, Ring, from California-based Logbar, can be used

SM

Seasonal Magazine


HEALTH RISK

BEWARE, HERE IS THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME OF YOUR DAY, AND WHY

It has been known for some time that heart attacks and strokes are most common at 6.30 am. Now, scientists have uncovered why it is so. It is all down to the body clock. The most common time to have a heart attack or a stroke is 6.30 am. Now scientists think they have found out why this is. Researchers discovered that levels of a protein in people’s blood that slows the breakdown of clots peaks at 6.30 am. The team, from Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, and Oregon Health and Science University, looked into why the number of heart attacks and strokes peak in the morning.

found a strict rhythm in body’s level of PAI1 with a peak at about 6.30 am. This protein slows the breakdown of blood clots meaning strokes and heart attacks are more likely. Study author Dr Frank Scheer, director of the Medical Chronobiology Programme at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said: ‘Our findings suggest that the circadian system, or the internal body clock, contributes to the

increased risk for cardiovascular events in the morning.’ His colleague and co-author, Dr Steven Shea, director of the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, added: ‘Our findings indicate that the human circadian system causes a morning peak in circulating levels of PAI-1, independent of any behavioural or environmental influences.’ ‘Indeed, the circadian system determined to a large extent the PAI-1 rhythm observed during a regular sleep/wake cycle. This morning peak in PAI-1 could help explain adverse cardiovascular events in vulnerable individuals.’ The researchers added that these studies established the circadian control of PAI-1 in healthy individuals and that future research is required to test whether this rhythm is amplified, blunted or shifted in vulnerable individuals, such as those with obesity, SM diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.

They studied the protein levels in the bodies of 12 healthy adult volunteers for two weeks. The participants were assessed while their daily routines were desynchronised from their natural body clocks. The aim of this was to establish whether it is the natural body clock or the person’s activities that causes protein levels to fluctuate. Researchers specifically studied changes in the body’s level of the protein Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which inhibits the breakdown of blood clots. These are a major contributor to heart attack and some strokes. The research, published in the journal Blood,

They studied the protein levels in the bodies of 12 healthy adult volunteers for two weeks. The participants were assessed while their daily routines were desynchronised from their natural body clocks. Seasonal Magazine


Page25


STRANGE

Better the Nutrition, Earlier the Death? A few earlier studies have shown that more the food quantity, shorter is one's lifespan. But now a new study claims that not just quantity but the quality also kills. In other words, eating more nutrient-rich foods might be a recipe to die young. And in converse, eating a diet very low in nutrients can extend lifespan! How is that for irony? new evolutionary theory in BioEssays claims that consuming a diet very low in nutrients can extend lifespan in laboratory animals, a finding which could hold clues to promoting healthier ageing in humans. Scientists have known for decades that severely restricted food intake reduces the incidence of diseases of old age, such as cancer, and increases lifespan. "This effect has been demonstrated in laboratories around the world, in species ranging from yeast to flies to mice. There is also some evidence that it occurs in primates," says lead author, Dr Margo Adler, an evolutionary biologist at UNSW Australia. The most widely accepted theory is that this effect evolved to improve survival during times of famine. "But we think that lifespan extension from dietary restriction is more likely to be a laboratory artefact," says Dr Adler. Seasonal Magazine

Lifespan extension is unlikely to occur in the wild, because dietary restriction compromises the immune system's ability to fight off disease and reduces the muscle strength necessary to flee a predator.

"This effect has been demonstrated in laboratories around the world, in species ranging from yeast to flies to mice. There is also some evidence that it occurs in primates." "Unlike in the benign conditions of the lab, most animals in the wild are killed young by parasites or predators," says Dr Adler. "Since dietary restriction appears to extend lifespan in the lab by reducing oldage diseases, it is unlikely to have the same effect on wild animals, which generally don't live long enough to be

affected by cancer and other late-life pathologies." Dietary restriction, however, also leads to increased rates of cellular recycling and repair mechanisms in the body. The UNSW researchers' new theory is that this effect evolved to help animals continue to reproduce when food is scarce; they require less food to survive because stored nutrients in the cells can be recycled and reused. It is this effect that could account for the increased lifespan of laboratory animals on very low-nutrient diets, because increased cellular recycling reduces deterioration and the risk of cancer. "This is the most intriguing aspect, from a human health stand point. Although extended lifespan may simply be a side effect of dietary restriction, a better understanding of these cellular recycling mechanisms that drive the effect may hold the promise of longer, healthier lives for humans," she says. SM


PERSONAL FINANCE

THE UNTOLD SECRET TO CREATING WEALTH Can only ttop-no op-no ofessionals lik e op-nottch pr pro like doc s, la wyer s, and engineer e ors, law ers, engineerss mak make docttor big mone ephen K ey. He sayys, St Stephen Ke moneyy. No sa is an in uthor er and invven enttor or,, a author uthor,, speak speaker ounder o tRight, LL C, an co-f o-founder off In Invven entRight, LLC Americ an ccompany ompany tha at es American thatt educ educa en tr epr eneur w tto o bring idea entr trepr epreneur eneurss on ho how ideass to mark et. Her e he eexplains xplains one o marke Here off the most o ed a spec ovverlook erlooked aspec spectts o off w ealth cr ea tion - the multiplier crea eation effec t? ect? ow much money do you want to make every year? If you haven’t seriously asked yourself that, you should. Why wouldn’t you? It’s a very easy question to answer. And until you’ve really thought about it, it’s impossible to determine how you’re going to get there.

My father told me the only way to create wealth was to find a business opportunity that had a multiplying effect and that didn’t require my presence. It took me some time to figure out what that meant. The latter part was easy enough. He explained, “A doctor can only help so many people in a day and in a year. A

When I was in my early twenties, my father sat me down and asked me that same question, point blank. The advice he gave me after fundamentally changed the way I thought about work and led me to my current career.

When I was in my early twenties, my father sat me down and asked me that same question, point blank. The advice he gave me after fundamentally changed the way I thought about work and led me to my current career.

I told him I wanted to make $100,000 a year. At the time, I thought that was a lot of money. You’ll work for about another 30 years, he told me. So how much money would I make in my lifetime? I did the math: $3 million. He asked, was I happy with that amount? If I wasn’t, what was I going to do about it? My father was a smart man. Three million didn’t seem like a lot of money over 30 years, given taxes and living expenses. The math didn’t add up: Life is short, and it didn’t seem like enough for a lifetime of work. When I looked at the last paycheck I had received, I wasn’t happy.

lawyer can only try so many cases.” To create great wealth, I needed to find something that didn’t require my hands or my presence. Fair enough. The second was trickier: What did having a multiplying effect mean? He told me that I needed to piggyback on or create something that would be used over and over again that people never stopped needing. In other words, he explained to

me the idea of collecting a royalty. That made sense to me. And it’s what spurred me to start licensing my ideas. Today, there are many examples of businesses that share these qualities. App developers, for one. Franchises are another. And of course, there are countless examples of more traditional methods, like the stock market, bonds and real estate. For me, the concept of the multiplying effect was tremendously attractive. Some people derive pleasure and contentment from being masters of their craft, from working day in and day out with their hands. That’s not me. I wanted to make money and I wanted to be able to do new things, to constantly challenge myself in new ways. How much money do you want to make? How are you going to make it? Finding my multiplying effect writing a book, offering a course and licensing my ideas has allowed me to live where I want, have people working for me elsewhere and be my own boss. It is incredibly freeing. It works for me. I’m not saying it’s for everyone. But I want you to critically ask yourself how much you want to make. And do the math. S M Seasonal Magazine


TAKEOVER

Google Beats Facebook to Buy Drone-maker Titan Aerospace

Seasonal Magazine


G

oogle Inc ha quir ed solarhass ac acquir quired po wer ed dr one mak er TTit it an pow ered drone maker itan Aer ospac ea eb sear ch erospac ospace ass the W Web search amps up plans tto o gian giantt rramps deliv er wir ele deliver wirele elesss In Intterne ernett ac cess tto orld. o rremo emo acc emotte par partts o off the w world.

remo egions o orld. LLa ast emotte rregions off the w world. year Google la unched a small launched ne signed tto o nettwork o off balloons de designed deliv er In cess o deliver Intterne ernett ac acc ovver the Southern Hemispher e, dubbed a Hemisphere ass Pr ojec oon. Projec ojectt LLoon.

Tit an Chie eV ern R aburn itan Chieff E Exxecutiv ecutive Vern Raburn declined tto o pr ovide in tion on pro infforma ormation the pric eo price off the deal, which he said closed on Monda Mondayy morning.

"A tmospheric sa es ccould ould help "Atmospheric sattellit ellite bring in cess tto o millions o intterne ernett ac acc off people eo ther people,, and help solv solve other pr oblems, including disa st er rrelie elie problems, disast ster elieff and en vir onmen e envir vironmen onmenttal damage lik like de est ation," Google said in an deffor ore sta emailed st atemen on firming the sta ementt ccon onfirming Tit an ac quisition. itan acquisition.

The 20-per son ccompany ompany will rremain emain 20-person eseeable in Ne w Me xic o ffor or the ffor or ore New Mexic xico futur e, R aburn said, with all future Raburn emplo employyee eess joining Google Google.. The deal ccould ould fur ther Google's further o deliv er In effor cess tto o ernett ac ortts tto deliver Intterne acc

it an ccome ome Google's ac quisition o acquisition off TTit itan omess se al w eek al FFac ac ebook sevver eral week eekss a affter riv rival acebook Inc announc ed plans tto o build solarannounced

po wer ed dr one es pow ered drone oness and sa sattellit ellite off beaming In Intterne ernett capable o ac cess tto o under de acc partts o off underde devveloped par ew w eek e the w orld. A ffe world. week eekss be beffor ore Fac ebook's announc emen t, pr ess acebook's announcemen ement, pre repor ac ebook w as in eportts said tha thatt FFac acebook wa discus sions tto o ac quir e TTit it an. discussions acquir quire itan. Tit an is de arie itan devveloping a vvarie arietty o off wer ed "a tmospheric solar-pow ered "atmospheric solar-po sa es," ac cor ding tto o the sattellit ellite acc ording eb sit e, with initial company's w web ebsit site commer cial oper ations sla or ommercial opera slatted ffor 20 15. TThe he dr one s, which fly a 2015. drone ones, att an altitude o ee an off 65,000 ffee eett and ccan remain alo or up tto o fiv e yyear ear alofft ffor five earss and ha oo havve a 165-f 165-foo oott (50-me (50-metter) wingspan, slightly shor shortter than SM tha thatt o off a Boeing 777. Seasonal Magazine


AUTO

5 ACCESSORIES THAT LETS YOU DRIVE EASY The best thing about the best car accessories is that they let us focus on what is really needed - that is drive nicely. So, here are some must-have accessories that manage the confusions due to mobiles, stress, dirt, bags, and chargers, and lets you focus on the drive.

perfume is what you need to keep the ambience of your motor fresh. Car vacuum cleaners are especially designed to clean wet dust and allows you to clean the darkest corners of the car. The perfume adds freshness with its mesmerizing fragrance.

Hold Y our Mobile Your Gone are the days of paper maps. But not all cars are equipped with state-ofthe-art GPS. But our mobile phones are more than enough to guide us on the road. However, sometimes we keep misplacing our phones in the cars. We forget them in the pocket, may be on the car seat or many a times it just slips of the pocket and lolls on the carpet of the car. Thus, if you do not want to miss a turn get a mobile holder for your car and place your darling gadget at a proper place. Try a car mobile holder that has 360 degree turn around and is easy to use. Such holders will keep your mobile safe from jerks and getting misplaced. It also works fine if you want to talk handsfree but your audio system doesn’t support Bluetooth coupling.

Ge Gett Sea Seatt Hook Hookss

car seat neck cushion pillow is best for your neck, if you are going on a long voyage in a car. It has an elastic band for easy installation on car seats, reduces whiplash injury and is a good support.

Is your car flooded with bags and food packets with limited space left for you to sit? Now, you can enjoy a lot more space by placing a car seat headrest hook hanger that conveniently holds bags, purses, umbrellas, grocery bags etc. If you have too many things to keep, you can use more of such holders for efficient space utilization.

Com our Neck omffor ortt Y Your A long journey in a car often takes its toll on your poor neck that gets strained sitting in an uncomfortable posture for hours. It is therefore necessary to sit in a relaxing position with a head rest that provides support and comfort. A designer

Clean the Dir Dirtt During a long journey, your car becomes a mini home. It is your sleeping and dining area during travel. Pamper your vehicle like your baby and bring home a vacuum cleaner and an air purifier for your automobile to remove those tits and bits of wrappers, eatables etc. Car vacuum cleaner with a poppy car Seasonal Magazine

Char ge Y our Gadge Charge Your Gadgetts What is worse than going on a long drive and discovering that your smartphone is running out of power? What if you also don’t have a charger attachment? Carry along with you a 2600mAh power bank mobile battery charger that is highly efficient in energy saving, is portable, and has long life cycle. It is perfect for charging smartphones and SM tablets while travelling.


Seasonal Magazine


HEALTH

Is Honey a Better

Antibiotic? Honey seems to be not only an antibiotic, but an antibiotic with a difference - unlike conven-tional antibiotics, honey can make it more difficult for bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance.

O

ur grandmothers have extolled the medicinal virtues of honey, for everything from cold and sore throats to colitis. Now add combating bacterial resistance to the list. That's the finding of a study conducted as part of the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. "The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance," the study's leader Susan M. Meschwitz of the Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, was quoted as saying in a statement. According to her, honey uses a combination of weapons, including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols all of which actively kill bacterial cells. For instance, the osmotic effect, which is the result of the high sugar concentration in honey, draws water from the bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them. Several earlier studies have shown that honey inhibits the formation of biofilms or disease-causing bacteria. According to Meschwitz, "honey may Seasonal Magazine

also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics".

building up resistance to the drugs.

Quorum sensing is the way bacteria communicate with one another and may be involved in the formation of biofilms.

These include the phenolic acids, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and ellagic acid as well as many flavonoids.

What's more, unlike conventional antibiotics, honey doesn't target the essential growth processes of bacteria. The problem with this type of targeting, which is the basis of conventional antibiotics, is that it results in the bacteria

A large number of laboratory and limited clinical studies have confirmed the broad-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of honey.

Honey is effective because it is filled with healthful polyphenols, or antioxidants, she said.

"Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between the non-peroxide antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of honey and the presence of honey phenolics," Meschwitz added. A large number of laboratory and limited clinical studies have confirmed the broad-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of honey, she said. Her team too found that honey has antioxidant properties and is an effective antibacterial. SM


SELF-HELP

5

LIFE CHANGING QUESTIONS

to Ask Yourself Often

Susie Moor e, a Ne wY ork ba sed Lif eC oach a sk oa sk Moore New York based Life Coach ask skss us tto ask our selv es fiv e big que stions, inst ead o eds o ourselv selve five questions, instead off the hundr hundreds off small que stions tha sk our selv es eevver questions thatt all o off us a ask ourselv selve eryyda dayy. ife is full of small questions: What will I wear to my meeting? What’s for lunch? Subway or cab? Small questions are important as they facilitate the day to day running of our lives. The problem is, most people do not pause to ask themselves the big questions. The real questions. The questions that will change our lives for the better. Often we do not take a moment and think about what really matters to us and what our contribution to the world is. Our wise old friend Socrates said "an unexamined life is not worth living." Here are five questions I ask my coaching clients to help them examine their lives. Take a few minutes, a quiet spot and ask these of yourself (warning: the answers might surprise you!): How happy am I overall, 1. How1.happy am I overall, today,today, out of out 10?of 10? Take into account all areas of your life when you do this. Whatever your number is, be honest about it with yourself. Then you can get real about what you can do to increase it. 2. What type life do I want to lead? 2. What type of lifeofdo I want to lead? Think about your life 10 years from now. Are you satisfied with your life if it is to continue exactly as it currently is? Are you content with your relationships, work, health? Picture the ideal life you could be living. How is it different? Visualizing helps us understand what it is that we can be doing differently now. 3. What does success look like me? 3. What does success looktolike to me? For some people it is becoming an expert in their industry. For others it is taking one year off in every five to seven to travel. For some it is raising a healthy and tight-knit family. Be clear on what it looks like to you and don't be swayed by others visions for themselves. Your life is your path to honor and actualize.

4. Wha t bringsme mejoy? jo What joyy? 4. What brings Is it writing, teaching, singing, volunteering, dancing? Whatever it is, make time for it! 5. What can nexttwo two weeks to bring 5. What canI Ido doin in the the next weeks to bring more passion and purpose my life? more joy, joy, passion and purpose to mytolife? This is the killer part right here. All of the above is important but it won't impact your life unless you take action. Start small. Write one blog. Take one dance class. Perhaps speak to a friend overseas about a potential meet over the next few months. You know what it is that will generate excitement and happiness in your life. Don't put it off! The answers are within us. We have everything we need to create the lives we want. Getting clear is the starting point. An old proverb says, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now." Get busy now sowing the seeds of the life you want to flourish over the SM coming years Seasonal Magazine


CAREER

HOW TO GET A JOB AT Google Ac e journalist, long-time Ne w YYork ork TTime ime olumnist, and New imess ccolumnist, thr ee-time Pulitz er Priz homa riedman Prizee winner TThoma homass FFriedman three-time Pulitzer rec en tly visit ed Google ttoo find out the ans wer ttoo a ecen ently visited answ million-dollar que stion many yyoungst oungst er en oungster erss and their par paren entt s question ar sking the se da w ttoo Ge ?" aree aasking these dayys - "Ho "How Gett a Job aatt Google Google?" ast June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer.

together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.” The second, he added, “is leadership in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club? Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem

Don’t get him wrong, Bock begins, “Good grades certainly don’t hurt.” Many jobs at Google require math, computing and coding skills, so if your good grades truly reflect skills in those areas that you can apply, it would be an advantage. But Google has its eyes on much more. “There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” explained Bock. “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull Seasonal Magazine

Thomas Friedman

and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.” What else? Humility and ownership. “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in,” he said, to try to solve any problem and the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problemsolve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.” And it is not just humility in creating space for others to contribute, says Bock, it’s “intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.” It is why research shows that many graduates from hotshot business schools plateau. “Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure,” said Bock. “They, instead, commit the fundamental attribution error, which is if something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad happens, it’s because someone’s an idiot or I didn’t get the resources or the market moved. ... What we’ve seen is that the people who are the most successful here, who we want to hire, will have a fierce position. They’ll argue like hell. They’ll be zealots about their point of view. But then you say, ‘here’s a new fact,’ and they’ll go, ‘Oh, well, that changes things; you’re right.’ ” You need a big ego and small ego in the same person at the same time.


The least important attribute they look for is “expertise.” Said Bock: “If you take somebody who has high cognitive ability, is innately curious, willing to learn and has emergent leadership skills, and you hire them as an H.R. person or finance person, and they have no content knowledge, and you compare them with someone who’s been doing just one thing and is a world expert, the expert will go: ‘I’ve seen this 100 times before; here’s what you do.’ ” Most of the time the nonexpert will come up with the same answer, added Bock, “because most of the time it’s not that hard.” Sure, once in a while they will mess it up, he said, but once in a while they’ll also come up with an answer that is totally new. And there is huge value in that. To sum up Bock’s approach to hiring: Talent can come in so many different forms and be built in so many

“intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.” It is why research shows that many graduates from hotshot business schools plateau. “Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure,”

nontraditional ways today, hiring officers have to be alive to every one besides brand-name colleges. Because “when you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people.” Too many colleges, he

added, “don’t deliver on what they promise. You generate a ton of debt, you don’t learn the most useful things for your life. It’s an extended adolescence.” Google attracts so much talent it can afford to look beyond traditional metrics, like G.P.A. For most young people, though, going to college and doing well is still the best way to master the tools needed for many careers. But Bock is saying something important to them, too: Beware. Your degree is not a proxy for your ability to do any job. The world only cares about and pays off on what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it). And in an age when innovation is increasingly a group endeavor, it also cares about a lot of soft skills leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn. This will be true no matter where you go to work. SM (Credit: The New York Times) Seasonal Magazine


INTERVIEW

Why and How Indian Universities Should Work on Reputation Interview with Editor, Times Higher Education Rankings o Indian higher education institute was featured in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014, the second consecutive year. Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings, says this is being seen as a concern in the global academic arena. In an interview with Vinay Umarji, Baty stresses the need for a few Indian institutes that can compete globally. Edited excerpts:

How have Indian higher education institutes fared this year compared to the last? India is the only one of the so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nationslarge, exciting and developing economic powers-that does not have a university in the global top-100 list. Mainland China has two (both in the top 50) and Russia and Brazil have one each. So, this should be a cause for concern for India. While officially, we only rank the world's top 100 institutions, I can reveal India is some way off the mark. Its most prestigious institution, based on the results of our expert global opinion poll, is the Indian Institute of Science. But it ranks about 200th and has fallen further since last year.

higher education. Perhaps the quality has suffered after years of dramatic expansion of higher education institutes. More concentrated research funding should help the top institutions thrive. Times Higher Education is delighted to be working with the Indian government to use our tough, international performance indicators to help India monitor progress and share best practices.

What parameters worked against Indian institutes? This is a subjective, opinion-based ranking, which isolates the 'reputation' indicator used in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. So, we can only speculate as to what would have worked for or against Indian institutions and caused fewer academics to nominate these. The survey is carried out by Ipsos MediaCT for Thomson Reuters, data supplier to the Times Higher Education rankings. The 2014 World Reputation Rankings are based on 10,536 responses from 133 countries during March-May 2013.

For a country with as great an intellectual history and as huge economic potential as India, this will be seen as a concern. Strong universities that can compete on a world stage are essential to India's success.

The survey is available in 10 languages and is distributed based on United Nations' data to ensure it accurately reflects the global distribution of scholars. Times Higher Education does not allow volunteers to take part in the survey and, importantly, accepts no nominations from institutions or any third party. The poll asks academics to nominate no more than 15 of the best institutions in their narrow field of expertise, based on their experience and knowledge, making it a rigorous global measure of academic prestige.

However, it is encouraging that the 12th Plan is dedicated to raising quality in

How cooperative are Indian Institutes when it comes to sharing data?

The Indian Institutes of TechnologyBombay, Delhi and Kanpur-are also at the top of Indian rankings. But these, too, fall below the 200th rank globally and are slipping.

Seasonal Magazine

This question is not relevant to this ranking, as no cooperation is needed. All data for the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings are collected independently of the universities, as we ask expert academics from across the globe to independently nominate the institutions they consider the best in their field. However, in general, we have seen a very dramatic increase in engagement and cooperation from Indian institutions as they recognise the value of benchmarking their progress through the trusted and rigorous standards established in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

In the past, Indian institutes have said education rankings do not impact them much. Have you seen this change, as many institutes have begun work on improving themselves in areas such as research?


Global university rankings have their limitations, but are very powerful and highly influential. The Times Higher Education World Reputation Ranking reveals the world's top 100 prestigious institutions, based on a worldwide survey of expert academic opinion. It denotes a university's global standing when it comes to academic reputation. Research has shown reputation is central in attracting top academic talent and leading students, and it can also be highly influential in attracting new partnerships and investment. So, these rankings reveal something very important about global higher education; they really do matter. Through the last few years, we have seen senior representatives of the Indian government come to fully accept global rankings are important. A country of India's great size, growing wealth and rich intellectual history needs to have at least

some institutions that can compete on a global stage. This is one reason why we are seeing a new focus on investing in research in India to allow the top universities to compete against the very best in the world. Institutes from which region are be the biggest threat to the growth of Indian institutes? What steps should Indian institutes take to tackle this? India's reforms and plans to invest in developing university research are very encouraging. But when it comes to Resear ch ha wn search hass sho shown reput ation is ccen en tr al in eputa entr tral attr ac ting ttop op ac ademic ttalen alen trac acting academic alentt and leading studen studentts, and it can also be highly in fluen tial in influen fluential attr ac ting ne w par tner ships trac acting new partner tnerships t. and in stment. invvestmen

countries of a similar size and economic power, there is strong competition. Of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations, Russia has one university just outside the world top 50, Brazil has an institution in the top 100, and China has two universities in the top 50. So, India lags its BRIC competitors. It is important for India not to be left behind, as strong and globally competitive universities could be the key to India's economic growth.

In which areas have Indian institutes fared better, and in which have they lagged? This ranking is based on nothing more than subjective opinion, but it is the subjective opinion of experienced scholars from across the world and it is opinion that really matters. But because this is a prestige ranking, based on reputation, it does not provide detailed evidence of strengths and weaknesses in India's universities. It simply tells us when it comes to global academic prestige, not enough scholars around the world are naming Indian institutions as being among the very best. While this list only names the world's top 100 - a tiny fraction of the world's higher education institutions, and a very specific US-dominated elite, it is a concern not enough scholars around the world consider India's institutions among the best. This could impede opportunities.

How do you see Indian institutes placed in the global rankings in the next five years? There are some encouraging signs for the future. The human resources ministry has been promising to increase research funding and, crucially, is considering ways to target that funding more effectively, perhaps through a more competitive process to allow top institutions to gain more funding and thrive in their areas of strength. Also, there is cause for optimism in that the ministry has been discussing plans to work more closely with Times Higher Education to ensure universities in India are able to compare themselves with the best in the world, using our trusted standards and global benchmarks. From Business Standard Seasonal Magazine


SCHOOLING

A FATHER’S OPEN LETTER TO A TEACHER

Rahul Verma, founder of the non-profit Uday Foundation, focused on children's rights, recently wrote an open letter to his daughter's teachers. Though not awe-inspiring as Abraham Lincoln's similar letter, this may find resonance with many parents who are disturbed by the attitude of some highhanded teachers. But all sincere, kind, and hardworking teachers, please excuse‌

My Dear Teachers,

Seasonal Magazine

During the last PTA, you had a complaint that my child is always interested in taking part in the school's extracurricular activities and annual day functions. To the best of my knowledge, students should always be advised to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, debates and discussions, because these activities would help in all-round personality development. I am also surprised that in this 21st century you still follow the age-old formula as they say in Hindi:

she is happy, I taught her to laugh when she is sad, I taught her to laugh when things do not happen as she wanted and I taught her to laugh at herself every time she made a mistake.

It appears you had difficulty understanding my daughter, and being her responsible father, who may clearly see her flaws and weaknesses, I am trying to reply to some of the direct and You made a strange discovery that my indirect questions you posed to my little girl is having giraffe legs. As she is daughter during the last one year. Before growing so fast, I sometimes wonder I begin, I would like to remind you that where my little girl is. I taught her that maybe my child is having some problems she should stand tall and be confident related to carelessness and she may be and proud and never feel any fear; she less focused compared with your still has to walk a million miles to achieve favourite children, but each child is all her dreams and goals. You told her unique and has their own that the entire staffroom aptitude to bring to the You had a problem knows that she would walk world. Our duty is to help the up to the Principal if you why my daughter child bring out those talents scold her. A fact you must and encourage them to laughs a lot. Please know is that with God's love develop their own in her heart and parents' permit me to individuality. All the time we courage in her soul, and mention here that don't have to agree with your school's Principal as now her them but making them her ideal, she feels understand the same with a unfortunate father comfortable to open her little care and support may is searching for her mind. In fact, I see her as give them more confidence one of millions of kids who lost smile for the to explore ideas on their own. will build a strong and last few months. happy India. Today we need You had a problem why my our young people to speak daughter laughs a lot. Please their mind, not just listen to the leaders, permit me to mention here that now her but ask questions, tough questions, so unfortunate father is searching for her tomorrow they become a source of lost smile for the last few months. I am courage and happiness to others. sorry for the inconvenience (which you may have considered trouble), if any, you had because of my daughter, but it should be understood how much she means to me. I taught her to laugh when

I may agree with you here but cracking jokes about her and asking her best friend how she could tolerate my little child is unbecoming of you as a te a c h e r a n d s u c h b e h av i o u r i s unwarranted and uncalled for.

Its seems you always find her a happygo-lucky girl student with a bad handwriting who also keeps her bag and books carelessly in the classroom.

Rahul V erma Verma "Kheloge kudoge hoge kharab". Just a few days ago, during her final exams, you asked the classroom whether anyone had any query regarding the question paper and when my daughter raised her hand, it appears you told her that she herself is a problem thus belittling her in the class and giving the classroom a chance to laugh at her cost, and this was not the first time she faced this humiliation. I am deeply sad to say your unwarranted behaviour shattered her confidence and now she hesitates to ask even basic questions. I am still wondering if the school authorities have bestowed upon you any right to belittle my child in front of her class. All children are God's gift and as a teacher you should have the patience to treat them all alike and to


instil in them loads and loads of confidence, but not to shatter it. The mental abuse of a child is as bad and dangerous as physical punishment. Because it could put a comma, maybe even a full stop, to her mental growth and develop ment. Don't you understand that by your unkind and unreasonable behaviour you are stalling the mental development of a child through your misunder standing of a corrigible deficiency in a child? I hope you agree that making fun of a student repeatedly in front of her classmates is as bad as mental torture. Such behaviour on the part of a teacher is deplorable and such a person does not deserve to be called a teacher. By such behaviour, you are in fact stalling their growth instead of allowing them to blossom. Perhaps the school and the society can do better without such teachers if they do not mend their ways.

All children are God's gift and as a teacher you should have the patience to treat them all alike and to instil in them loads and loads ofconfidence, but not to shatter it.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the teacher instead of insulting and rebuking children in front of their class (and thereby stalling their mental growth) should work for the development of the children. Instead of belittling them, help them understand about the wonderful gift of human life, build strong roots in them about the social, ethical and moral values of life, about their positive participation in the inclusive growth of school life, family, society and the nation. Teachers who cannot participate in building the life of the students have no place in society. The society is in need of teachers who treat their student with an equal eye, love, compassion, understanding and consideration, and not teachers who belittle them in front of their class and thereby destroy their confidence and future. A teacher has to be full of love and compassion towards his/her students and treat them as his/her own children and work for their all round personality development. For your relief, I would like to inform you that I am withdrawing my daughter from your school and for my little happiness, my daughter, is responding well to the counsellor and now she has agreed to leave this school with the condition that she will visit all her friends once a month. I am sad to say your sarcasm won once again and another poor child lost, but hopefully after reading this letter you may consider putting a full stop, and not a comma, to SM incidents like this. Seasonal Magazine


EDUCATION

INDIAN UNIVERSITIES ARE NOT ACADEMICALLY REPUTED, SAYS STUDY IIT e in the la ime duc ation IITss & IISc do no nott figur figure lattest TTime imess Higher E Educ duca World R eput ation R ankings Reput eputa Rankings better world ranking is not the only aspect the leading higher education institutes in the country - Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) - need to work on. It appears, they need to up their international reputation, too. In the latest World Reputation Rankings 2014 by Times Higher Education (THE) magazine for the top 100 prestigious universities, India is the only BRIC nation absent from the list. It needs to be mentioned that unlike global university rankings, THE's World Reputation Rankings 2014 takes into account an institute's global repute in the academic arena. "A university's reputation for academic excellence is absolutely vital to its success: it drives student and faculty recruitment, international research

partnerships, and helps to attract philanthropy and industrial investment. And while reputation is based on subjective opinion, in this case it is the informed, expert opinion of those in the know: experienced scholars from around the world," said Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings. The Times Higher Education's World Reputation Rankings 2014 saw Harvard University taking the first place, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford being ranked second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively. In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia loses ground with now five top 100 representatives in 2014, down from six in 2013. The rankings come at a time when a committee set up by the Ministry of

WHERE INDIAN INSTITUTES STAND WORLD REPUTATION RANKINGS 2013 (TOP 5) Harvard University, US Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US University of Cambridge, UK University of Oxford, UK University of California, Berkeley WORLD REPUTATION RANKINGS 2014 (TOP 5) Harvard University, US Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US Stanford University, US University of Cambridge, UK University of Oxford, UK Seasonal Magazine

Human Resource Development (MHRD) to look into the international positioning of the IITs is in the process of submitting its report. The IITs had earlier acknowledged it was the lack of visibility at the right global forums that kept them out of international rankings. While Times Higher Education Rankings does not rank institutions below 100, it has revealed that the Indian Institute of Science continues to be the most highly rated university in India, though it has seen its position drop from around 130th place to just below 200 in the world. IIT Bombay has also dropped to the 210220 group, while IIT, Delhi and IIT, Kanpur both now feature just below 250th


position in the world. Among the BRIC nations, while India is the only one which does not have a university in the world top 100, mainland China has two, both in the top 50, followed by Russia and Brazil with one each. The IITs admitted they were only looking at building on their global perception now. "Our strength as IITs is engineering and we are fundamentally technology institutes. Hence, comparison with universities such as Stanford is not right. However, in terms of perception, it will take a while to build global reputation. We will be looking at improving our perception for the first time but our ranking will improve in near future," said a director of one of the older IITs. Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner and head of education practice at KPMG explained that the bad performance of Indian institutes in international reputation rankings could be attributed to lack of interest and willingness to share data. "Institutes which appear in these rankings have shown a keen interest in giving correct and relevant data for the same. This may not be true of Indian educational institutions," he said. Ramaswamy explained it would be wrong to assume that institutes like the

WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS -2113 ( Indian Institutes)* 226-250 Panjab University 351-400 IIT Delhi 351-400 IIT Kanpur 351-400 IIT Khragpur 351-400 IIT Roorkee

IITs and IISc do not have international reputation. "Students from these institutes are spread across the globe. Hence, it would not be fair to say that they are not known globally," he added. The director of another IIT explained that IIT alumni work for several Fortune 500 companies across the globe. Admitting that institutes like the IITs and IISc need to work on building their international presence by collaborations and publicising their courses abroad, he said it would not be difficult to catch-up on

these rankings in the next 3-5 years. In 2013, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) had taken the number one position in a new ranking of the top 10 Indian higher education institutions based on their global academic prestige. Specialist institutes occupied the top five places in the Times Higher Education India Reputation Rankings, published for the first time in 2013 alongside the full Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier said too many of our higher education institutions are simply not up to the mark. "Too many of them have simply not kept abreast with changes that have taken place in the world around us...(and are) still producing graduates in subjects that the job market no longer requires..." Several Indian educational institutions, including the IITs in Mumbai, Delhi, Madras, Kanpur and Kharagpur, apart from Indian Institute of Science and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) featured in the recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). While Indian institutes fared well in the engineering subjects, they lagged behind in arts and languages stream. SM

Seasonal Magazine


FITNESS

SIT LONG to

DIE EARLY

We know sitting too much is bad, and most of us intuitively feel a little guilty after long work hours at the desk or a long TV binge. But what exactly goes wrong in our bodies when we park ourselves for nearly eight hours per day, the average for a white-collar adult? Many things, say four experts, who detailed a chain of problems from head to toe. But before that a quick look at the greatest danger...

MOR TALIT Y OF SIT TING MORT ALITY SITTING People who watched the most TV (or other sitting activities) in an 8.5-year study had a 61 percent greater risk of dying than those who watched less than one hour per day! Now to the chain of problems from head to toe:

SORE SHOULDERS AND B ACK BA The neck doesn't slouch alone. Slumping forward overextends the shoulder and back muscles as well, particularly the trapezius, which connects the neck and shoulders.

FOGG Y BR AIN OGGY BRAIN

HE AR T DISE ASE HEAR ART DISEA

Moving muscles pump fresh blood and oxygen through the brain and trigger the release of all sorts of brain- and mood-enhancing chemicals. When we are sedentary for a long time, everything slows, including brain function.

Muscles burn less fat and blood flows more sluggishly during a long sit, allowing fatty acids to more easily clog the heart. Prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, and people with the most sedentary time are more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease than those with the least.

STR AINED NE CK TRAINED NECK If most of your sitting occurs at a desk at work, craning your neck forward toward a keyboard or tilting your head to cradle a phone while typing can strain the cervical vertebrae and lead to permanent imbalances. Seasonal Magazine

OVERPRODUC TIVE VERPRODUCTIVE PANCRE AS ANCREA The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that carries glucose to cells for


energy. But cells in idle muscles don't respond as readily to insulin, so the pancreas produces more and more, which can lead to diabetes and other diseases. A 2011 study found a decline in insulin response after just one day of prolonged sitting.

COL ON CANCER OLON Studies have linked sitting to a greater risk for colon, breast and endometrial cancers. The reason is unclear, but one theory is that excess insulin encourages cell growth. Another is that regular movement boosts natural antioxidants that kill cell-damaging and potentially cancer-causing free radicals.

MU SH Y ABS MUSH SHY When you stand, move or even sit up straight, abdominal muscles keep you upright. But when you slump in a chair, they go unused. Tight back muscles and wimpy abs form a posturewrecking alliance that can exaggerate the spine's natural arch, a condition called hyperlordosis, or swayback.

INFLE XIBLE SPINE INFLEXIBLE When we move around, soft discs between vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. But when we sit for a long time, discs are squashed unevenly. Collagen hardens around supporting tendons and ligaments.

DISK DAMA GE AMAGE People who sit more are at greater risk for herniated lumbar disks. A muscle called the psoas travels through the abdominal cavity and, when it tightens, pulls the upper lumbar spine forward. Upper-body weight rests entirely on the ischial tuberosity (sitting bones) instead of being distributed along the arch of the spine.

TIGHT HIPS Flexible hips help keep you balanced, but chronic sitters so rarely extend the hip flexor muscles in front that they become short and tight, limiting range of motion and stride length. Studies have found that decreased hip mobility is a main reason elderly people tend to fall.

LIMP GL UTE S GLUTE UTES Sitting requires your glutes to do absolutely nothing, and they get used to it. Soft glutes hurt your stability, your ability to push off and your ability to maintain a powerful stride.

POOR CIRCUL ATION IN CIRCULA LE GS LEG Sitting for long periods of time slows blood circulation, which causes fluid to pool in the legs. Problems range from swollen ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood clots called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

SOFT BONE S ONES Weight-bearing activities such as walking and running stimulate hip and lower-body bones to grow thicker, denser and stronger. Scientists partially attribute the recent surge in cases of osteoporosis to lack of activity.

THE RIGHT WAY TO SIT If you have to sit often, try to do it correctly. As Mom always said, "Sit up straight." • Not leaning forward • Shoulders relaxed • Arms close to sides • Elbows bent 90° • Lower back may be supported • Feet flat on floor ANTIDOTES TO SITTING TOO MUCH SIT TING ON S OME THING W OBBL Y SITTING SOME OMETHING WOBBL OBBLY such as an exercise ball or even a backless stool to force your core muscles to work. Sit up straight and keep your feet flat on the floor in front of you so they support about a quarter of your weight. STRE TCHING THE HIP FLE XORS for TRET FLEX three minutes per side once a day. WALKING DURING C OMMERCIAL S COMMERCIAL OMMERCIALS when you're watching TV. Even a snail-like pace of 1 mph would burn twice the calories of sitting, and more vigorous exercise would be even better. AL TERNA TING BE TWEEN SIT TING ALTERNA TERNATING BET SITTING TANDING at your work ST AND S station. If you can't do that, stand up every half hour or so and walk. OG A PO SE S like the cow TRYING YOG OGA POSE SES TR YING Y pose and the cat pose to improve extension and flexion in your back.

(By Bonnie Berkowitz and Patterson Clark for The Washington Post. Expert scientists interviewed for this report are James A. Levine, inventor of the treadmill desk and director of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University; Charles E. Matthews, National Cancer Institute investigator and author of several studies on sedentary behavior; Jay Dicharry, director of the REP Biomechanics Lab in Bend, Ore., and author of "Anatomy for Runners" amd Tal Amasay, biomechanist at Barry University's Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences.) Seasonal Magazine


STRATEGY

WHY YOUR COMPANY TOO CAN DO AN APPLE,

BUT ONL Y IF YOU ONLY RE ALL Y WANT REALL ALLY hether you love or hate iPhones, one thing is sure. If you are an entrepreneur, you are already helplessly admiring Apple. And you most probably think that Steve Jobs was the greatest creative genius in business, ever. But a recent bestselling book on Jonathan Ive, Apple's Design Head, by long-term Apple watcher and senior journalist Leander Kahney busts some of creativity claims as mere myths. Titled, 'Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products', the book is obviously designed to perpetuate the creative myth, but ends up being a myth-buster due to its honest nature. However, the book has become a bestseller due to the fact that it offers all entrepreneurs the real secret behind Apple's, Steve Jobs', and Jony Ive's claimed superior creativity. Brace yourself as one of big business' greatest secrets is out to be busted. It turns out that the key to Apple’s creativity, speed, and adaptability is, on its surface, the exact opposite of the kind of free-wheeling creativity one might expect. It’s a checklist. A really long one. Seasonal Magazine

It’s known as the Apple New Product Process (ANPP), and while its existence has been known about for some time, it was n ’ t u nt i l Le a n d e r Ka h n ey ’ s recently published book on Apple design chief Jony Ive that the world got a detailed look at how the ANPP works. From the book: “In the world according to Steve Jobs, the ANPP would rapidly evolve into a well-defined process for bringing new products to market by laying out in extreme detail every stage of product development. “Embodied in a program that runs on the company’s internal network, the ANPP resembled a giant checklist. It detailed exactly what everyone was to do at every stage for every product, with instructions for every department


ranging from hardware to software, and on to operations, finance, marketing, even the support teams that troubleshoot and repair the product after it goes to market. It’s everything from the supply chain to the stores, said one former executive. It’s hooked into all the suppliers and the suppliers’ suppliers. Hundreds of companies. Everything from the paint and the screws to the chips.” Lots of companies have internal processes, but few document them with this level of obsessive detail. The ANPP is reminiscent of Steve Jobs’s obsession with perfecting every detail of how a product was made. It’s that fixation which is inarguably one key to the industrial design and build quality of Apple hardware. Whereas Apple relies on detailed,

Jony Iv e Ive

internally documented processes, many other tech companies rely on “tribal knowledge” haphazardly passed from one employee to another. Kahney continues in the book: “Sally Grisedale, former manager of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, said: It was a very rude awakening for me to go a different company like Excite or Yahoo because they had none of that! Nothing written down. Like, Process? Are you kidding? Just ship it and get it out there!” The utility of checklists for accomplishing complex tasks has long been known. They were championed and refined by the US Air Force and are used by surgeons to cut fatalities by one-third, according to Dr. Atul Gawande’s bestseller 'The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right'. One of the central tenets of The Checklist Manifesto is that even when tasks are simple — and Apple’s ANPP definitely is not — it’s human nature to

Lots of companies have internal processes, but few document them with this level of obsessive detail. The ANPP is reminiscent of Steve Jobs’s obsession with perfecting every detail of how a product was made.

forget critical steps. In design, perhaps the right people weren’t consulted in the correct order, or a critical supplier was left out of the decision-making process, leading to delays and compromise later. Here’s how Robin Marantz Henig summed up the utility of a checklist in her review of Gawande’s book: “What a powerful insight this is: In an age of unremitting technological complexity, where the most basic steps are too easy to overlook and where overlooking even one step can have irremediable consequences, something as primitive as writing down a to-do list to ‘get the stupid stuff right’ can make a profound difference.” While Gawande’s checklists for presurgical prep are relatively simple, what the ANPP illustrates is an additional kind of value the checklist can add for large organizations: As a living document, it becomes a public store of all that is known about how to best accomplish the main business of an organization. At Apple, that’s making hardware. Every business is different, but, as Kahney argues throughout in his book on Apple, selectively imposing seemingly rigid structures on even the most creative enterprise frees employees from having to worry about whether they’re getting all those little steps right, so that they can concentrate on being creative with the parts of their work that are different from all the other times they’ve done it before. Seasonal Magazine


CRICKET

By Carl Jaison:

IPL - THE 8 PLAYERS WHO CAN UPSET ALL CALCULATIONS When it comes to IPL, a week's time and around 9 games might not be enough to judge whether the perceived top-talents are indeed in form. The IPL has this queer habit of producing heroes overnight and this edition will be no exception. While some players have lived up to their billing, others have gone on to prove their worth beyond expectations. Considered the ‘X-factor’, these players have delivered for their respective teams when it mattered the most and thus are certain to hog the limelight this time around. Their presence has certainly added much productiveness to the tournament but at the end of the day who among them will emerge as the first among equals? Here is a look at the possible difference-makers from each team: VIRAT KOHLI Royal Challengers Bangalore: The RCB skipper comes into the tournament riding on the back of a phenomenal cricketing season that saw him aggregate runs on all wickets and being termed as a ‘consistent runmachine’. Kohli has already proved his class by leading RCB to consecutive victories thereby throwing light on his possible take-over from Dhoni once the latter calls it a day. He relishes his role as the batting mainstay of this lineup and has learnt to pace his innings admirably. With all the cricketing shots under his belt, Kohli will certainly be the man to beat once he gets going. GLENN MAXWELL Kings XI Punjab: From being a regular member of the Aussie ODI squad to being the most expensive buy in last edition’s auction, Maxwell has seen a steady rise in his cricketing career. Although underutilized by his former team Mumbai Indians, Maxwell has already played some stellar knocks to emerge as the leading run-scorer so far. His batting exploits against CSK won him accolades considering the pressurefilled stage in which he came in to bat. A brilliant exponent of the reverseSeasonal Magazine

sweep and switch-hit, Maxwell may soon emerge as the poster-boy of T20 batting. SUNIL NARINE Kolkata Knight Riders: The mystery spinner is always on the money when it comes to bowling at crucial junctures of the match. Narine, who has been with KKR for quite some time now, loves to unsettle the batsmen with his wily off-breaks and unreadable carom-ball. Though he needs to work on his stamina, Narine has seldom disappointed the captain when asked to get the job done. Currently, he is the leading wicket-taker having achieved this within an enviable economy rate. MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI Chennai Super Kings: Considered one of the best finishers of the game, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is always there when the team needs him. Unorthodox in his techniques and possessing limited strokeplay, one might come across the Indian skipper as a misfit in this team. However, known to be an introvert, Dhoni prefers to let his bat do the talking. As long as he is there in the middle, CSK have always fancied their chances. One of


world why he is still the best fastbowler around. Having been retained by his outfit, Malinga has reposed faith in them by ripping through the top-order whenever the ball has been given to him. With an unusual action and demeanor, he is often utilized at the start and death overs when he bowls at his venomous best. Malinga has turned out to be crucial for Mumbai Indians and his performance usually determines the difference between victory and defeat.

the most unique and trade-mark shot of his is the spectacular ‘helicoptershot’. DALE STEYN Sunrisers Hyderabad: In a team that boasts of few superstars, Steyn has taken it upon himself to bail the team out of precarious situations. The fiery pacer has won a lot of matches for his team singlehandedly maintaining a tight line and length even at the death overs. Batsmen often opine on how difficult it is to play Steyn given the pace and bounce he generates in each delivery. Whether a high or low target, Steyn has accomplished himself as the wrecker-in-chief and the source of innumerable batting collapses. LASITH MALINGA Mumbai Indians: After leading his country to their maiden T20 title, Malinga showed the

JP DUMINY Delhi Daredevils: Duminy was touted to be the next big thing in cricket after his sudden burst into the international scene with a series of outstanding batting performances against the Aussies in his debut tour. However, there has been a decline in his form but his unmistakably sound utility makes him a worthwhile all-rounder. Snatching a win from the jaws of defeat against KKR, Duminy is the best bet in the middle-order following KP’s absence. His useful offspin comes in handy for a team like DD that has struggled to record victories. SANJU SAMSON Rajasthan Royals: Arguably the most promising cricketer in the IPL, Samson has played with immense maturity and temperament to stake his claim as one of the few players to watch out for. This wicketkeeper-batsman, who is an equally agile fielder, lends the right balance to the RR outfit. Though short in stature, Samson hasn’t allowed that to limit his strokeplay. Having a wide array of shots, RR had no reason but to retain him and the young lad is living up to his name. His pull-shots have been likened to that of Vivian Richards and that’s something to take note of. SM Seasonal Magazine


HEALTHCARE

" India's Polio Success is, World's Greatest Health Achievement" Bill Gates

"

he eradication of polio is a triumph for India’s people and government, says world’s biggest charity donor. The size of the country, its extreme climate range, including monsoon seasons which render remote villages inaccessible, made the task even harder.

monitoring, accurate data-collection, and strict management by local officials in one of the most effective governmentled initiatives in India’s history.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the world’s biggest charitable donor, has hailed the Indian government’s eradication of polio as the greatest health achievement he has seen in the world.

“India’s success in eradicating polio is the greatest global health achievement I have ever witnessed,” he said in a recent article.

India became polio-free last month on January 13th, three years after its last victim, four-year-old Rukhsar Khatun, was diagnosed with the disease in West Bengal. A labour-intensive and coodinated campaign led by the Indian government, Rotary, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Polio Initiative deployed two million staff to vaccinate 170 million children throughout the country on two dates to help finally wipe out the disease. It involved sophisticated Seasonal Magazine

On Wednesday Bill Gates paid tribute to the government’s role and lauded the scale of its achievement. Barely three decades ago more than 150,000 polio cases were diagnosed in one year alone.

Its success had surprised experts, many of whom regarded India as the most difficult place in the world for the disease to be cleared. The mission would have failed if India had not vaccinated every single child in the country. “India may be the hardest planet to vaccinate every child. The country has some of the most densely

India’s success in eradicating polio is the greatest global health achievement I have ever witnessed.

populated urban areas in the world making it a challenge to track children that polio workers have immunised,” he said. The size of the country, its extreme climate range, including monsoon seasons which render remote villages inaccessible, made the task even harder. “India was up to the challenge with more than two million vaccinators reaching more than 170 million children with the vaccine,” he said. The disease now survives only in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan with reports of some unexplained cases in Syria. Pakistan remains the only country where the number of cases are increasing amid a Taliban opposition to immunisation – it regards the medical campaign as a front to spy on militants and has murdered 30 immunisers and their guards since 2012. India however has shown the governments in the last three polio countries what they need to do. “There is a plan to finish the job and eradicate the disease completely by 2018. It can be done, but that will require commitment. India showed what that commitment looks like,” he said. SM


INNOVATION

IIT Develops Nutritional Paste in a Tube for Kids A paste to fight malnutrition! Yes, that's precisely what a team of researchers at IIT-Kharagpur has developed. It is food in a tube, rich in micronutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and all dietary needs, in the form of paste, which, the researchers feel, will be an effective tool to fight severe acute malnutrition between kids of six months to six years.

It

can also be an occasional snack, or breakfast, but don't use the product as a full meal just yet, the team warns healthy adults. Further research is set to broaden the scope of the product. "In rural India, 55% children in that age bracket are severely malnourished, while it is 45% in the urban population. This problem is not only India but an alarming scene in many developing and developed countries. According to a joint UN report, 15% of these afflicted children require medical attention. The remaining 85% can be treated with diet therapy. It was in this context that

we developed this product that will provide nutrition to these children to fight the disease," said Dr HN Mishra, professor at IIT-Kharagpur's agricultural and food engineering department.

"

100gm of this paste can provide 500-550 kcalorie. The dosage will vary from child-to-child. Regular children can also have it but not as a proper meal. The next step is to broaden the scope of this product, which we'll take up after the pilot project of 100kg/day automated production unit is final by June.

"

"The system of these children is weak and they can't take regular food like normal children. It had to be palatable, easily digestible for the children and hygienic. The research proposal was floated by the central government's department of biotechnology in 2011. What was unique in this proposal was that they wanted industry participation to ensure final research is translated into a real product. Many research ideas were submitted, evaluated by a committee. Our proposal was cleared. IIT-Kharagpur was involved in research and development, processing, packaging, storage, quality evaluation and also establishing a pilot scale unit to demarcate the product and technology development," he explained. The paste needs to be put in the child's mouth and needs no dilution. There's no need to remove the product from the flexi pouch either. There have been five formulations on three foodstuff - peanuts, potato and Bengal gram. Mishra added: "100gm of this paste can provide 500-550 kcalorie. The dosage will vary from child-to-child. Regular children can also have it but not as a proper meal. The next step is to broaden the scope of this product, which we'll take up after the pilot project of 100kg/ day automated production unit is final by June." Danie Shajie, an IIT-Kharagpur senior research fellow who was part of the team along with Rakesh Kumar Raigar, research associate, said: "The children with severe acute malnutrition are outpatients, and this product can maintain their nutrition level. It will also aid AIDS patients whose immunity has been compromised. Since the product is for low income groups, the pricing is low, Rs 50-60 per kg, with a shelf-life of two years." It's entirely organic with no additives or artificial preservatives, he added. SM Seasonal Magazine


WEALTH CREATION

WORLD'S 10 GREATEST INVESTORS AND THEIR STRATEGIES By Nilesh Soman, Keynotes Financial

I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the best investors with their strategy in modern times. These are all individuals who made significant amounts of money by sticking to solid investment philosophies. If you look at their strategies as well, they aren’t very difficult or complex; they stick to basic financials of a company and look for value. If they believe there is value they invest and make profits. Here, I am trying to throw some light on those strategies. Following are some of the important strategies adopted by some greatest investors of all times.

Seasonal Magazine


1. WARREN BUFFET Investment style: Long-term growth Best investment: Coca Cola, 1988

Buffett is a phenomenon. In 1986, he was briefly the richest man in the world, with a net worth of $16bn, thanks entirely to his stock picking skills and fee income from investment management. He is now worth over $20bn. Yet he started out in 1954 with just $100 to invest. After training as a broker with Benjamin Graham, he founded an investment partnership, with himself as manager.

2. SIR JOHN TEMPLETON Investment style: Global contrarian Best investment: Japan, 1962

Templeton’s career began shortly before World War II when he borrowed $10,000 and turned it into $40,000 in four years. Famous for his Templeton Growth Fund, he built his fortune spotting opportunities internationally before others did. Templeton advises investing for real returns, keeping an open mind, and going against the crowd.

4. Philip Fisher Investment style: Long-term buy and hold Best investment: Motorola, 1955 After training as an analyst in a San Francisco bank, Phil Fisher started his own investment advisory business in 1931. He has always specialized in the type of firm for which California is best known: innovative technology companies driven by research and development. But he began almost 40 years before the name Silicon Valley was even thought of.

3. Peter Lynch

Investment style: Growth and recovery Best investment: King World Productions.

He started as an analyst in 1969, was promoted to director of research in 1974, and took over the Fidelity Magellan fund in 1977. By 1990, when he decided to take early retirement in order to spend more time with his family, its value had swollen to $14bn. No manager in history has ever run so large a fund, so successfully, for so long. Seasonal Magazine


5. George Soros

Investment style: Short term speculation Best investment: Shorting the British Pound, 1992 Specializing in bonds and currencies, Soros turns broad economic trends into highly leveraged plays. He instructs investors to focus not on the amount of winners and losers but on the amount of money made or lost respectively. His Quantum fund has posted some of the all-time biggest profits, including a $2 billion dollar gain by shorting the British Pound and nearly breaking the Bank of England.

7. David Dreman Investment Style: Contrarian Best investment: Healthcare After losing 75% of his net worth by following the crowd, Dreman became fascinated with the role psychology plays in investing, a role he considers the most important yet least understood. His portfolio includes a high percentage of financial and health care stocks. Dreman advises exercising strict discipline, and buying battered stocks with low P/E ratios and higher than average yields.

6.Benjamin Graham

Investment style: Value Best investment: Teacher and mentor to Warren Buffet

A pioneer in value investing, Benjamin Graham initiated the use of fundamental analysis and value investing principles used by fund managers today. Graham recommends buying stocks trading below their historical P/E ratio and below their book value. Because they pose less risk, Graham prefers large companies with strong sales. Seasonal Magazine


8. John Neff Investment Style: Value Best Investment: Ford Motor Company, 1984 While managing the Vanguard Windsor fund, Neff implemented a simple investment strategy focusing on companies with low P/E ratios and solid dividends. He avoided companies with exposure to cyclical downturns, preferring solid companies in growing fields with a strong fundamental case for investment. Neff instructs investors to sell when investment fundamentals deteriorate or the price meets expectations.

10. Ralph Wanger

Investment Style: Medium to long-term small growth Best Investment: International Game Technology, 1988

After a brief period in insurance, Wanger joined Harris Associates in 1960 as an analyst. Later he became a portfolio manager. In 1970, he was put in charge of the Acorn Fund. He has since turned this into one of the top-performing growth funds of the last 30 years.

9. T. Rowe Price Investment style: Value and steady growth Best Investment: Merck, 1940 Cyclical investor in long-term growth companies, buying at the bottom of the business cycle and selling at the top. In later life, Price switched to a more value-driven style, investing in steady-growth, oil and gold stocks. Price was very much an entrepreneur rather than a manager. He liked to start a fund, establish it and then move on to launch another one. Some of his most famous funds are still running today: T Rowe Price Growth Stock, New Horizons and New Era.

Seasonal Magazine


SPORTS

David Moyes

Why Sacking Moyes Won't Solve ManU's Problems By Pete Jaison: ince David Moyes is no longer with ManU, and its stock is soaring on sentiment, it is time for the owners, investors, players, and fans to introspect whether the Scotsman was indeed the only problem with the club. The hasty, unprofessional, and market-dictated way in which Moyes was dismissed however conveniently disguises the other fundamental issues with the club and its players, not to speak of the 150 million pounds it would take to revive ManU's fortunes under a new manager. Making Moyes the only scapegoat and fixing the entire blame on his 10-month stint may be convenient for many but is not going to help Manchester United. The Chosen One a.k.a David Moyes who Seasonal Magazine

was preferred over many highly decorated managers by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson to lead Manchester United had raised many eyebrows. Ferguson however had stood his ground saying that Moyes is a class act and that he will continue the glory days of Manchester United. This, coming from an extremely experienced and shrewd manager was enough to convince the fans and the investors that David Moyes is truly the right man for the job.

Manchester United is a team filled with talent, but also egos. None bigger than that of Wayne Rooney.

Thus began a new era for United when Moyes took the reins of arguably the greatest football club of all time. Even in his wildest of dreams Moyes would never have pictured such a failure in his career. In less than a season with the club the so-called ‘right man’ has been sacked. There was no doubt that David Moyes was standing on thin ice but no one thought that he’ll fall right through in. Not this soon anyway. United didn’t slip or stumble this season. This wasn’t a season of growing pains. It was a complete and utter breakdown of the greatest soccer team in England and it took only 10 months for it to happen. A few former Manchester United players claim that Moyes wasn’t the best person to have been entrusted the job


of leading such a high profile club. Moyes as a manager never tasted success on a large scale. True, he transformed his former club Everton into a potential title winner but the fact is that Everton is thriving more than ever since a new manager took over from Moyes. Also, many failures which United haven’t been facing in the last few decades have cropped up.

on. But the reasons are numerous.

United is out of every cup contention this season and they are now heading into their worst finish since 1990. It is not the fact that United haven’t been winning games this season, the usual cut-throat attacking style of United is missing, many star players are only a shadow of themselves, the midfield play has never looked this pathetic and so

Ryan Giggs, a veteran player for the club has been appointed the interim manager till a new one is appointed. Giggs who has played around 600 games for United needs to start putting the pieces right away. The firing of David Moyes is a new chapter in the books of the club that has long preached continuity and stability.

What Moyes did was he made the impossible task of leading United all the more impossible. At the end of the day one thing is crystal clear - United needs a complete revolution. Right away.

However, the collapse of this great club wasn’t exactly Moyes’ fault. Not all of it anyway. Moyes was left to man a team which has been run the same way for 27 years under Ferguson. It’s a team filled with talent, but also egos. None bigger than that of Wayne Rooney. Rooney left Everton as a teenager under prickly circumstances. When Moyes was hired by United, Rooney made it clear that he wanted to leave the club. However Moyes signed Rooney to a long term deal but the striker hasn’t been in tremendous form all season. What Moyes did was he made the impossible task of leading United all the more impossible. At the end of the day one thing is crystal clear - United needs a complete revolution. Right away. SM

Seasonal Magazine


IN-FOCUS

CAN IT REMAIN A SECRET FOR LONG? “We had a tree house, which was nice - monkeys on the deck in the morning to start the day well,” notes foreign traveller Elizabeth Marshall in her Google Review on a resort in God’s Own Country. Once upon a time, ‘it was nature’s best kept secret‘. But in this age of smartphones, Google Reviews, and TripAdvisor, can it remain so? Of course, NK Mohamed and his team at Vythiri Village, still calls it as ‘nature’s best kept secret’. The reasons are obvious. Despite being very successful - room occupancy is 100% during many weekends - and despite having favourable reviews by real travellers from as far as USA & Europe, to India’s metro cities, a lot many discerning travellers are yet to know about this secret, let alone visit it. Seasonal Magazine

ungle resorts like Vythiri Village often retain their secrecy due to their remoteness. Many of those who have already come, have hopelessly fallen in love. Writes Shenin Hassan from UAE in TripAdvisor, “A picturesque location, with naturally gifted lush green surroundings, chirping cuckoos and sound of flowing water makes this resort more homely and a relaxing haven. Above all, one of the best crews - hats off guys for treating our elders with so much care. High five to your restaurant and the food department for customizing couple of dishes to delight our taste buds. One of the most recommended spots to spend your time and money.” There are others who prefer the outdoor breakfast more. The various dining options like Continental Plan (CP), Modified American Plan (MAP), and American Plan (AP) all feature this outdoor buffet.


Notes Trisha K from UK, “Breakfast, however, was excellent, served in the open air, under a net to deter the monkeys. The staff were kept very busy chasing them off whenever they found a weak spot in the defences; it was all very entertaining. I was pleased to see that when one of them did make it all the way to the pastries, that whole area of the buffet was cleared (then quickly replenished), as a matter of good hygiene. The choice was wide, with delicious porridge, cereals, honey, fruits, eggs cooked to order, and smiling service.” Vythiri Village has also made the best use of its location in Kerala to offer one of the state’s most precious features authentic ayurveda. Many international travellers are finding more worth in this than any other feature at this jungle resort. Notes Arif from Singapore, “Recently been to the place. It doesn’t boast a 5star look but certainly a different atmosphere altogether. Striking

picturesque locale, The services are too good. Especially the spa and Ayurveda treatment.” Arif has also fallen in love with the food. “Awesome Kerala food and of course the staff are very friendly and attentive. Certainly worth each penny in your pocket. The management were very prompt and room services were excellent.” But it is not only foreign travellers who are raving about Vythiri Village in their web reviews. The destination is a hit with domestic tourists - both from Kerala and outside the state. A family which goes by the nick ‘Travelling Menons’, writes from the neighbouring city of Kozhikode: “We had booked this place for a weekend getaway. Good value for the money. It’s conveniently located and has a very good atmosphere. The zip-line, an adventure activity you can opt to do, was awesome which all of us including my 4-year old deciding to try! The buffet style dinner and breakfast had a good spread.”

The Menons even leave a room tip for those who are planning to visit Vythiri Village: “Choose a room with a view of the suspension bridge & the man-made waterfalls. The bridge is lighted after dark, and the artificial waterfall is turned on after dusk.” But not all agree. Writes a domestic tourist from Chennai, “The rooms should not matter in a place like this. All the rooms are good enough. You should be outdoors most of the time at Vythiri.” The resort is also perfect for large groups whether they are a big extended family or a corporate group. Vineeth CM from Bangalore shares such an experience. “We were a group of 60+ people who stayed at Vythiri village for 3D-2N in March 2014. The place is well maintained and the facilities are great. The bridge, artificial waterfall and the zip-line adventure ride were the highlight of our stay. The resort guys also arranged a trek to the nearby Seasonal Magazine


plantation,” notes Vineeth.

any day upstage any beauty of Kerala right from Munnar to Kumarakom. Yet more tourists thronged to see these popular beauties rather than the hidden charms of Vythiri, due to the superior traveller facilities there.

But even bigger groups find the resort very attractive. As a large group from Chennai notes down in their review: We recently hosted a large event for over 180 friends of a mixed age group. Needed an exotic location. Someone mentioned Vythiri and so a few of us visited the place and saw a number of properties there. We homed in on Vythiri Village as it had the facilities, but more important, it had the management committed to ensuring we had a good time. If there were treks to be planned, senior members of the staff showed us around. The food was really good, and a discussion with the Chef displayed his understanding and quite confidence. To name two of the staff who went well out of the way to ensure we had one of the best weekends a large group could have: Cris Thomas the General Manager and Rahul Venugopal the Executive Chef.” But can Vythiri Village host mega events, like international conferences or celebrity weddings? Sure it can, as adjacent to the resort is Vythiri Village

Promoter of Vythiri Village, NK Mohamed is the man behind ‘The Kadavu’, the 5-star riverside resort in Kozhikode that redefined the segment in the state.

Convention Centre, a state-of-the-art facility having 1500 seats and dining facilities for 2000 guests. This convention centre is second to none in India, with features including the country’s largest LED wall. No wonder, it has become a preferred destination for celebrity weddings and conferences. Vythiri Village also owes its success to its district and locale. Wayanad is the quintessential paradox in destination Kerala. Awesomely beautiful, but remote than you imagine. Exotic and dusky Vythiri in Wayanad can

If any one thought tha alling a rre esor anyone thatt ccalling sortt a ass ‘a village’ is epar ed tto o tr ek all the 20 vir gin acr es. TThe he overkill, be pr epared trek virgin acre prepar solut e delight, in the lap o land is an ab solute off mist-laden absolut ea turing Wayanad hills, 2600 fftt abo sea-levvel, and ffea eaturing abovve sea-le a soo thing str eam right thr ough. Cr os soothing stream through. Cros osss the str stream, eam, alk acr os wading thr ough clean w ater osss on the through wa er,, or w walk acros inspiring hanging bridge on a nost algic trip nostalgic trip..

Seasonal Magazine

Vythiri Village has benefited from the growing expertise of Mohamed and his core team, as this is their fourth and latest project, after The Kadavu, Greeshmam Resort, and Oriental College of Hotel Management. Expect nothing less than fine treatment when you land at Vythiri Village. Starting from the traditional welcome and welcome drink, one will unmistakably feel that special touch - staff who are perfectly helpful without being obtrusive. If anyone thought that calling a resort as ‘a village’ is overkill, be prepared to trek all the 20 virgin acres. The land is an absolute delight, in the lap of mistladen Wayanad hills, 2600 ft above sea-


Adjac en o the rre esor djacen entt tto sortt illage is V Vyythiri V Village Con tion C en tr e, a onvven ention Cen entr tre ate-o f-the-ar acilit st f-the-artt ffacilit acilityy sta e-of-the-ar ha ving 1500 sea having seatts and dining ffacilitie acilitie or 2000 acilitiess ffor gue st s. TThis on tion guest sts. onvven ention his ccon o none cen tr e is sec ond tto entr tre second in India, with ffea ea tur es eatur ture including the ccoun oun tr y’s ountr try’s lar ge st LED w all. large gest wall. level, and featuring a soothing stream right through.

three. And the pleasant surprise is that Vythiri Village doesn’t cost a bomb.

Cross the stream, wading through clean water, or walk across on the inspiring hanging bridge on a nostalgic trip. Tranquil views of Chembra Peak and Karanchi Stream is for you to enjoy. Your days will begin with birdsongs and your nights will end with spicy aromas, and the best part is that nothing is engineered for you here, everything comes natural.

Rooms feature 32" LCD TV, Mini refrigerator, Tea /coffee maker, Safe locker, and an Ergonomic work area. Resort facilities include Multi cuisine restaurant, Doctor on call, Laundry facility, Ozone treated swimming pool, a world class spa, Gymnasium, Health club, Game room, Playstation, Souvenir shop, Business centre, Cycling facilities, Outdoor and indoor game facilities, Conference hall, Board room, and Travel Desk.

There are ample options for accommodation ranging from Deluxe Rooms , to Suites, to Cottages. Accompanying dining options are also ample, from Continental Plan (CP) that includes complimentary breakfast with the accommodation, to Modified American Plan (MAP) that includes breakfast and one of lunch/dinner, and American Plan (AP) that includes all

The highlights of the resort are Nawa Spa and the diverse Ayurvedic treatment and rejuvenation facilities available. Outdoor activities are courteously assisted by staff and include hiking, trekking, cycling, and sight-seeing. Some of Wayanad’s finest destinations are very accessible from Vythiri Village, and these include Pookode Lake, Chain

Tree, View Point, Banasura Sagar Dam, Soochipara Falls, Kanthanpara Water Falls, Edakkal Caves, Kuruva Island, Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary, Chembra Peak, Pakshipathalam, Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, Karapuzha Dam, and Thirunelli Temple. A half-week or week spent at Vythiri Village is destined to earn anyone and their family a renewed zest for life. But don’t blame Vythiri Village if you leave a bit nostalgic. As Elizabeth Marshall notes in her review: “Our party stayed at this resort for one night only, and wish we had a little longer to do some of the walks. Unfortunately it rained almost all the time we were there, but we nevertheless enjoyed everything that was offered. The staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed games after dinner. If I visit again, I will stay longer.” SM

Seasonal Magazine


RESTRUCTURING

HOW JAYPEE IS CUTTING FLAB AND BUILDING MUSCLE

Nobody who knows Jaypee up-close is overly worried over Jaypee’s sell-off spree as the conglomerate has more than enough businesses and monetisable assets still. Jaypee still has a mega empire spanning sectors like Engineering & Construction, Power, Cement, Real Estate, Hospitality, Expressways, IT, Sports & Education. Two Jaypee projects that require special mention are Buddh International Circuit for Formula 1 in Greater Noida, and the Yamuna Expressway connecting NOIDA to Agra. With less flab, and more muscle, and with proven and unparalleled capabilities in completing projects like Karcham-Wangtoo, there is every chance that the new Jaypee Group that Manoj Gaur is re-inventing will be better than the existing Jaypee. Manoj Gaur is not waiting for a new government. Unlike many in India Inc who feel that a new government will magically switch on economic recovery, the young Chairman of Jaypee Group realizes that even the high interest rates are here to stay for long. That is why he has been the frontrunner in corporate India when it comes to flab-cutting exercises. Gaur did not wait for the bankers to breath down his neck like in Kingfisher, nor did he wait for the situation to deteriorate so much to warrant a CDR like in Suzlon. Instead, he voluntarily set the ball rolling on one of the largest fat burning programs India Inc has ever seen. Of course, it hasn’t been easy or painless. Gaur has been stoic about it, but none has any doubt that selling projects like the Karcham-Wangtoo didn’t elicit at least invisible tears. The 1000 MW project is not only the largest hydropower project in the private sector, but perched on the majestic Seasonal Magazine

Himalayas, thus making it perhaps the most challenging civil project ever undertaken by a firm in India. Requiring 15,000 workers and 5 years, it goes to Jaypee Group’s credit that they could complete it three months ahead of schedule. Often, workers had to be airlifted to the site! Still, the project had to be sold off within three years of its commissioning. So, the debt-reduction exercise has been undoubtedly painful for the Gaurs. Even worse has been the position taken by some analysts who didn’t give their thumbs-up to the deal. Jaypee should have got better valuations for Karcham-Wangtoo and the 300 MW Baspa-II project, they argue. But only Manoj Gaur knows the difficulty with which he stitched together the deal. It was not an easy deal with the principal buyer, Abu Dhabi’s TAQA, going for a consortium which included such far-flung investors like Canadian pension fund PSP Investments and India’s own IDFC

Buddh International Circuit Alternatives. Because, not only is the deal size Rs. 10,500 crore, but the buyers are likely to be scrutinized much by the Central and Himachal Governments. But at the end of the day, all those who appreciate the big picture more, were commending Manoj Gaur for pulling off what is also India’s largest ever FDI into the power sector. It was clearly not a fire-sale. Earlier,


Yamuna Expressway

Jaypee had raised Rs. 3,800 crore by selling its Gujarat cement plants to Ultratech and Rs. 1,600 crore by selling a Greater Noida land parcel to Gaursons. The most recent deal has been the paring of a 74% stake in Bokaro Jaypee Cement Ltd (which is a JV with the PSU SAIL) to Dalmia Cement for raising around Rs. 690 crore. But nobody who knows Jaypee

At the end o off the da dayy, all those who appr ecia apprecia eciatte the big pic tur e mor e, pictur ture more wer e ccommending ommending ere Manoj Ga ur ffor Gaur or pulling off wha whatt is also India’s lar ge st eevver FDI in large gest intto the po wer sec pow secttor or..

Manoj Gaur, Chairman

up-close is overly worried over the selloff spree as the conglomerate has more than enough businesses and monetisable assets still. In fact, what is remaining with Jaypee is more of muscle and less of fat. Jaypee still has a mega empire spanning sectors like Engineering & Construction, Power, Cement, Real Estate, Hospitality, Expressways, IT, Sports & Education. Two Jaypee projects that require special mention are Buddh International Circuit for Formula 1 in Greater Noida, and the Yamuna Expressway connecting NOIDA to Agra. The eight-lane expressway also has mega land parcels on either side that Jaypee is free to develop and sale. The Group has been regularly and successfully monetising these land banks. With less flab, and more muscle, and with proven and unparalleled capabilities in completing projects like Karcham-Wangtoo, there is every chance that the new Jaypee Group that Manoj Gaur is re-inventing will be better than the existing Jaypee. On the final tally what matters is investor appreciation and the group’s main two listed firms Jaiprakash Associates and Jaypee Infratech have rallied by 40% and 30% respectively on the bourses during the last six months. Even the smaller firm Jaiprakash Power Ventures has been picking up steam during the last two weeks by SM rising up nearly 20%. Seasonal Magazine


DEMISE

KHUSHWANT’S EIGHT CLUES

Author, scholar and journalist, Khushwant Singh, known for his irreverent, wicked sense of humour, died less than a year before he would have been 100 years old. To friends and fellow journalists, the lasting image of Khushwant Singh will be of him holding court with a glass of Scotch in one hand and a pen in the other. A prolific writer with over 80 books to his credit, he remained till the end a brilliant editor. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called him “a gifted author, candid commentator and a dear friend”. “He lived a truly creative life,” he tweeted. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, too, took note of his passing. “My condolences on passing away of noted author & journalist Khushwant Singh. May his soul rest in peace,” Modi said. The author did not believe in “rebirth or in reincarnation, in the day of judgement or in heaven or hell”. “I accept the finality of death.” VR Ravikumar, Secretary to CMD, United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Chennai, reminds us of Khushwant Singh’s practical wit by reproducing one of his classic short essays: While pa ying tribut e tto o this gr ea paying tribute grea eatt writ er o s, it is w or th writer off our time times, wor orth rec alling the eight ccommandmen ommandmen ecalling ommandmentts o off an t Singh tha t he se t s on Khushw ant that set Khushwan each one o o rre etain happine off us tto happinesss in our liv es. TThe he rra ationale applied bbyy live him tto o each ccommandmen ommandmen ommandmentts is ab solut ely thought pr ovoking. LLe et us absolut solutely pro ha havve a look a att his musings a ass no notted do wn in “EIGHT CL UE S TTO O down CLUE UES HAPPINE SS”: HAPPINES Ha ving liv ed a rrea ea sonably ccon on Having lived easonably ontten entted lif e, I w as musing o son life wa ovver wha whatt a per person should striv e ffor or tto o achie strive achievve happine happinesss. I dr ew up a list o ew eesssen tials dre off a ffe sentials which I put ffor or war d ffor or the rreader eader s’ orw ard eaders’ appr aisal. appraisal.

recr ea tion, lik e ea ting out, going tto o ecrea eation, like eating the pic tur es, tr aveling or going on pictur ture tra holida holidayys on the hills or bbyy the sea. Shor an be only Shorttage o off mone moneyy ccan demor alizing. Living on cr edit or demoralizing. credit borr owing is demeaning and lo wer borro low erss one in one’s o wn eeyyes. own 3. A HOME OF Y WN Ren entted YOUR OWN WN.. R en OUR O emise an ne e yyou ou the premise emisess ccan nevver giv give pr snug ffeeling eeling o st which is yyour our off a ne nest ourss eeps tha ovide s: if it for kkeeps thatt a home pr pro vides: ha den spac e, all the be hass a gar garden space bettter er.. Plan our o wn tr ee wer s, see Plantt yyour own tree eess and flo flow ers, them gr ow and blos som, cultiv ate a gro blossom, cultiva sense o off kinship with them.

st and ffor or emost is GOOD 1. FFir ir irst oremost AL TH ou do no HEAL ALTH TH.. If yyou nott enjo enjoyy good HE health yyou ou ccan an ne nevver be happ happyy. Any ailmen t, ho wever trivial, will deduc ailment, how deductt fr om yyour our happine from happinesss.

TANDING C 4. AN UNDERS UNDERST COMOMPANION our spouse or a ANION,, be it yyour friend. If ther e ar e ttoo oo many there are misunder st andings, the ob yyou ou misunderst standings, theyy will rrob of yyour our peac eo o peace off mind. It is be bettter tto or ced than tto o bick er all the divor orc bicker be div time time..

2. A HE AL TH YB ANK B AL ANCE HEAL ALTH THY BANK BAL ALANCE ANCE.. It need no nott run in intto millions but should be enough tto o pr ovide ffor or cr ea tur e pro crea eatur ture com thing tto o spar e ffor or omffor ortts and some something spare

5. LACK OF ENV Y tto owar ds those ENVY ards ou in who ha havve done be bettter than yyou lif e; risen higher e mone life; higher,, made mor more moneyy, or earned mor e ffame ame an be more ame.. En Envvy ccan

Seasonal Magazine

orr oding; a omparing ver orroding; avvoid ccomparing eryy ccorr self with o ther s. thers. ourself other your 6. T ALL OW O THER PE OPLE 6... DO NO NOT ALLO OTHER PEOPLE TO DE SCEND ON Y OU FFOR OR GO SSIP DES YOU GOS SIP.. By the time yyou ou ge ou gett rid o off them, yyou will ffeel eel eexha xha ust ed and poisoned bbyy xhaust usted their gos sip-mongering. gossip-mongering. 7. TIV ATE S OME HOBBIE S which 7... CUL CULTIV TIVA SOME HOBBIES can bring yyou ou a sense o t, off fulfillmen fulfillment, dening, rreading, eading, writing, such a ass gar gardening, pain ting, pla ying or list ening tto o music painting, playing listening music.. 8. devvote 8... E Evver eryy morning and eevvening, de 15 minut es tto o INTRO SPE CTION minute INTROSPE SPEC TION.. In the morning, 10 minut es should be spen minute spentt on stilling the mind and then fiv e in five listing things yyou ou ha o do tha havve tto thatt da dayy. In the eevvening, fiv e minut es tto o still the five minute mind again, and tten en tto o go o ovver wha whatt you had under en tto o do underttak aken do.. RICHNE SS is no e, nott E RICHNES Earning More arning Mor e Or Sa ving Mor e, but More Saving More Spending Mor ...”RICHNE SS IS WHEN Y OU NEED NO ...”RICHNES YOU MORE” st Khushw an att his be best Khushwan antt Singh is a indeed her e. here SM


HAZARD

KITCHEN POLLUTION IS AS SERIOUS AS SMOKING Quit ting smoking ma o Quitting mayy no nott be enough tto our lung func tion if yyour our impr ove yyour impro function cooking fuel is no t clean and v en tila tion not ven entila tilation in the kit chen is no oper esear ch kitchen nott pr proper oper,, rre search om kit chen is sa ause sayys. Bec Beca use,, pollution fr from kitchen the leading cca ause o off indoor air pollution, and it is a kno wn f ac known fac actt tha thatt indoor air pollution ttoo oo kills. lobally, indoor air pollution led to 4.3 million deaths, of which 34 percent were caused by strokes, 26 percent heart diseases and 12 percent respiratory disease in children in 2012, according to the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report. In India, around 1.3 million people died of indoor air pollution in 2010 whereas death because of outdoor air pollution was around 6.2 lakh, according to a global report. “Substituting biogas for

biomass fuel for cooking and improving kitchen ventilation could lead to a reduction of the global burden of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that makes breathing difficult), especially in non-industrialised nations,” said the study led by Pixin Ran from the Guanzhou Medical University, China. The researchers followed 996 villagers from southern China for nine years to examine the effects of cleaner fuels and better kitchen ventilation on lung function and disease.

“Substituting biogas for biomass fuel for cooking and improving kitchen ventilation could lead to a reduction of the global burden of COPD, especially in nonindustrialised nations.”

For this study, the researchers offered nearly 1,000 participants from 12 villages access to biogas – a combustible clean fuel made by composting biomass at room temperature in a biogas digester – and improved kitchen ventilation, and people adopted these interventions according to their preferences.

The participants provided details about their lifestyle and had their lung function measured both at the outset of the study and at its end nine years later, and some were also interviewed and examined three and six years into the study. The researchers found that people who adopted both improvements performed even better in lung function tests, and they were also less likely to develop COPD. S M

The rreesear cher searcher cherss follo wed 996 ollow villager om villagerss fr from southern China for nine yyear ear earss ttoo examine the effec ectts ooff cleaner fuels and be bettter kit chen vven en tila tion kitchen entila tilation on lung func tion function and disea se disease se..

Seasonal Magazine


INVENTION

A Caffeine and Gold Compound Can Fight Cancer

Ayurveda has long touted the health benefits of gold. But modern medicine has been extremely cautious about gold as a medicine due to its toxicity. But it seems now that gold may have a role in fighting cancer. new study has found a healthy connection between gold and caffeine. If combined, these two can become a potential tool for fighting cancer. Researchers put the two together into certain configurations to see whether the new caffeine-based gold compounds could selectively stop cancer cells from growing without hurting other cells. "Caffeine and certain caffeinebased compounds have recently been in the spotlight as possible

If combined, these two can become a potential tool for fighting cancer. Researchers put the two together into certain configurations to see whether the new caffeinebased gold compounds could selectively stop cancer cells from growing without hurting other cells.

anticancer treatments. Gold also can wipe out cancer cells, but, like caffeine, it can harm healthy cells," said researcher Angela Casini from University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The team made a series of seven new compounds, called caffeinebased gold (I) N-heterocyclic carbenes in the laboratory and studied them. The scientists found that at certain concentrations, one of the compounds of the series selectively killed human ovarian cancer cells without harming healthy cells. In addition, the compound targeted a type of DNA architecture, called 'G-quadruplex' that is associated with cancer. Researchers, in a report in the ACS journal Inorganic Chemistry, said that combining a caffeine-based compound with a small amount of gold could someday be used as an anticancer agent. SM

Seasonal Magazine


PARENTING

Why Never to Ignore a Crying Baby Emotional bonding with parents is the key to future success of the child. The researchers found that 40 percent children lacked strong emotional bonds or secure attachment with their parents. Bonding starts from simple acts like always picking up and soothing a crying baby.

If

you want your baby to be successful later in life, pick him/ her up with care every time he/ she cries in distress and respond to their needs, a study suggested. Children under three-year age who do not form strong bonds with their parents are more likely to be aggressive, defiant and hyperactive as adults. These bonds, or secure attachments, are formed through early parental care, such as picking up a child when he or she cries or holding and reassuring a child, the research added. "When caregivers are overwhelmed because of their own difficulties, infants are more likely to learn that the world is not a safe place, leading them to become needy, frustrated, withdrawn or disorganised," said Susan Campbell, a professor of psychology at University of Pittsburgh, the US. Those who lack secure attachments are more likely to have poorer language and behaviour before entering school, the study found. This effect continues throughout the children's lives, and such children are more likely to leave school without further education, employment or training, the researchers said. The researchers used data collected for the study by the 'Early Childhood

Children under three-year age who do not form strong bonds with their parents are more likely to be aggressive, defiant and hyperactive as adults.

Longitudinal Study', a nationally representative US study of 14,000 children born in 2001 and reviewed more than 100 academic studies. The researchers found that 40 percent children lacked strong emotional bonds or secure attachment with their parents. Strong emotional bonds with parents support children's social and emotional development, which in turn, strengthens their cognitive development, the researchers said.

SM

Seasonal Magazine


IPO

HOW UNIQUE ARE WONDERLA AND ITS IPO? Seasonal Magazine interviews Wonderla Holidays's Co-founder and Managing Director Arun Chittilappilly on his plans to take the amusement park company public through its upcoming IPO: t has been an year of eerie silence in India's primary markets after the highly successful Justdial IPO of last fiscal. The financial year passed on without any major IPOs. Was the jinx due to more regulatory tightening or lower promoter enthusiasm? The reason is more likely to be both. To be more precise, it must have been lower promoter enthusiasm due to more regulatory tightening! But the Chittilappillys were unfazed. They kept on knocking at SEBI’s doors, complying with whatever a newly cautious regulator asked them to furnish. The result is the upcoming Rs. 190 crore Wonderla IPO, the first major IPO to get regulatory approval after Justdial and to thus become the first public offer in this new fiscal. Chittilappillys’ home state of Kerala is infamous for entrepreneurship, but family head Kochouseph Chittilappilly is the man who changed all that perception. He is the founder of VGuard Industries and co-founder of Wonderla Holidays. One of the largest income tax payers since his early days, Kochouseph has built up his businesses with a rare mix of accountability and growth appetite. Seasonal Magazine

V-Guard went in for its IPO in 2008 and has been a 7X multibagger within the next six years. Can Wonderla better that track-record? Whereas in V-Guard’s case, institutional enthusiasm had been low during the IPO time, the reverse should be expected in Wonderla’s case. Because, not only is the group now well-known in India’s capital markets due to VGuard’s stock performance, but the market is likely to appreciate Wonderla’s much better profitability and Return on Equity. Wonderla’s profitability after tax is 41% and its RoE is 27.57%, which are not ordinary figures. In fact, Wonderla’s Net Profit Margin is more than double that of Justdial, the last highly successful IPO. And while Justdial IPO demanded a hefty P/E valuation of 52-60 times, Wonderla IPO is coming at a reasonable P/E of 13-15 times. The only drawback is the capital intensive nature of the amusement parks business, but here too Wonderla fares better than competing parks with its unique cost-effective model, thanks to its capability in developing rides inhouse, as against costly procurement from abroad.

Kochouseph Chittilappilly


Wonderla’s growth strategies too come across as contrarian, as they follow a multi-city / multi-park model for growth rather than the single-location / large-park model followed by almost all their competitors. The unique advantage from this approach is that apart from the steady growth in footfalls at existing parks, Wonderla can jumpstart growth to a much higher orbit whenever they commission a new park in a new city. CRISIL has rated the Wonderla IPO at 4/5 indicating above average fundamentals. The IPO proceeds are for constructing their third park at Hyderabad which follows their first two parks at Kochi and Bangalore. The Wonderla Holidays IPO is open between April 21st to 23rd, and comes

at a price band of Rs. 115 to Rs. 125.

Seasonal Magazine interviews Cofounder and Managing Director Arun Chittilappilly in-depth regarding the upcoming Wonderla Holidays IPO: Why did yyou ou choose the IPO rout e inst ead o ate equit oute instead off priv priva equityy? We could have gone the PE route any day, and we could have obtained better valuations too from PE funds. But then, such funds too would ask for an eventual exit route, and then we would be required to go for an IPO under such pressure. So, we thought that it would be better to go for an IPO now itself. Public Offer does have its advantages, like a wider shareholder base, better transparency, better visibility etc. which offsets the relatively lower valuations.

Wha ook W onderla so long in Whatt ttook Wonderla ge o it our initial gettting tto itss IPO da datte? Y Your paper er e filed ar ound 1 yyear ear paperss w wer ere around back… It was not only an issue with Wonderla IPO, as after the Justdial IPO last May, no major public issues have come out. I think the regulatory framework has been much more demanding than it was earlier. I can say this because I can compare it with the time V-Guard went in for its IPO. But I am of the view that the current framework is better for the investors and better for transparent companies like Wonderla. Speaking about V-Guar d IPO V-Guard IPO,, it was aided mor e bbyy rre etail in or more invvest stor orss or s. Do than institutional in ors. invvest stor you ffor or esee such is sue or ore issue suess ffor Wonderla IPO ? IPO? Not at all. That time we had to rely more on retail investors who knew about V-Guard, because being our first IPO, institutions didn’t know much about our background. But since then, institutional investors have tremendously warmed up to V-Guard, and the company has also performed well fundamentally as well as in the bourses. So, today, when Wonderla is going for its IPO, we are expecting just the reverse, and it has prompted us to reserve 50% of the issue for Qualified Institutional Buyers. The response from our recent road-shows and meetings in Mumbai also signal institutional enthusiasm. Wha ould be the TTTM TM EPS o Whatt w would off Wonderla and TTTM TM P/E o off the offer ? er? For the last financial year, i.e. ended March 13, Wonderla’s EPS was Rs. 7.97. This year, for the first three quarters, i.e. for the period ended December 31st, our EPS has been Rs. 7.38. We may close this full fiscal upwards of Rs. 8.5. Taking the EPS at the lower end of the guidance itself, the pre-issue P/E works out to only 14 to 15 times, at the top end of the IPO price band which is Rs. 125. Wha ould be the one-y ear Whatt w would one-year for war d P/E orw ard P/E? ?

Arun Chittilappilly

We plan to grow our bottomline at least at this fiscal’s YoY rate, or even better Seasonal Magazine


if possible. This is not an official guidance, but may be we can touch Rs. 9.4 or beyond, next fiscal. So the one-year forward pre-issue P/E now may be around 13 times only. Wha alua tion Whatt ha hass been the vvalua aluation crit eria yyou ou cconsider onsider ed? W as the criteria onsidered? Wa comparison with the hospit alit hospitalit alityy sec secttor or with the en entter erttainmen ainmentt sec e the multiple secttor lik like multiplexxes? It may be the first time an amusement park business of our size is going for its IPO in India. Though we have a small hospitality business, comparison with that industry is not correct as there are too many differences like, their fixed inventory. Comparisons with multiplexes may be slightly better, but also not correct. Reality is that Wonderla doesn’t have any comparable peers in the listed space. We have noted it in our DRHP. When will the Hy der abad park Hyder derabad ommis sioned? gett ccommis ommissioned? ge Our plan is to complete it by the next 20 to 22 months. Which means by the Q4 for FY’15-16, it should be operational. Ar e ther e any unique Are there or the specialitiess being planned ffor specialitie Hy der abad park? Hyder derabad Being our latest park, the Hyderabad facility will have the next generation

Seasonal Magazine

of rides. This will be the case, in both the rides we design and build ourselves, as well as in the rides we procure or import. Speaking about yyour our in-house apabilit e devvelopmen elopmentt ccapabilit apabilityy, wher where ride de doe and no w? doess it st stand now It has come a long way. At the beginning, we were doing only the simple rides like the large merry-gorounds. But my dad’s decision to implement such an in-house strategy from the very beginning has helped us tremendously. Because, our capabilities in ride development has improved over the years, and today we can design

“Our first difference is that we have been extremely costconscious in every stage right from land purchase to inhouse ride design to efficient but cost-effective management. That is one reason why Wonderla is worthy of investments. Our net profitability is above 41%. Our Return on Equity is still at an industry-leading 27.57%.”

and build 3D and 4D rides of international standards. Do yyou ou ha apabilit o do havve the ccapabilit apabilityy tto augmen ealit e ugmentted rrealit ealityy ride ridess in-house in-house,, lik like the one ou see in some Middle E ast oness yyou Ea malls and park parkss? Yes, definitely we can do rides incorporating augmented reality. Ar e yyou ou ccon on fiden Are onfiden fidentt o off main mainttaining owth in ffoo oo tf alls, rre evenue gro ootf tfalls, enue,, and the gr pr ofit, eevven if the Hy der abad P ark pro Hyder derabad Park tak es mor e time than an ticipa ake more anticipa ticipatted? As you know, growth for an amusement park company is two-fold. One is from commissioning of new parks and the other is from more footfalls and better profitability. Ever since our first park was commissioned at Kochi in 2000, we have grown the footfalls, revenue, and profits there. And ever since our second park was opened in Bangalore in 2005, that too has witnessed steady growth. In fact, due to the greater potential of Bangalore compared with Kochi, Wonderla Bangalore has been outpacing Kochi in growth rate, and this year it will surpass Wonderla Kochi in footfalls for the first time. So, even if there are no new parks, or even in the eventuality of a new park getting delayed, there is a steady growth in footfalls, revenue, and profitability. Which brings us tto o the ob vious obvious que stion - wha ould be the se question whatt w would these


gr owth rra ates without ne w park gro new parkss? Well, footfall growth would be around 5-7%. Revenue growth can be bigger as the non-ticket revenue too can be improved. Profit growth can, in fact, be double i.e. around 14-15% as we can grow the ticket rates too at 5-7% per annum.

earlier. But over the last few years, we have systematically beefed up nonticket revenue, and it can get much better from here. Because, there are a lot of value-added services that we have started offering like fast-track, ride photography, resort rooms, merchandising etc.

Wha ould be the tick et and Whatt w would ticke et ccomponen omponen evenue enue,, non-ticke omponentts o off rre non-tick and ho w ccan an it be impr oved? how impro

C an yyou ou eexplain xplain ffa ast-tr ack and Can st-track aphy ? phottogr ography aphy? ride pho

Currently, our parks are registering 80% as ticket revenue and the remaining 20% as non-ticket income. The ratio was even more skewed

Ride photography is a very promising area in this age of Facebook, Instagram, and social networking. Youngsters and families not only want to participate in hair-raising rides but to have their photographs on these rides instantly. So, we have tied up with Kodak and they are doing some sophisticated ride photography for our visitors. We even have underwater photography. The other one you asked about, Fast-track, is a facility by which, for a premium fee, you can have access to the park and rides without going through queues. In other words, you get preferential treatment like a VIP. C omparing the land siz es o our Comparing size off yyour oming parkss and the upc upcoming earlier park Hy der abad park, why is the land Hyder derabad siz e signific an tly smaller ? size significan antly smaller? There are two reasons, mainly. One is that though we have a larger land bank at Bangalore, we have not utilized more than 50% of it for the rides or facilities even after 9 years of commissioning and subsequent expansions. So, an excellent park can be built at half the

land that we had acquired for Wonderla Bangalore. Secondly comes the land cost. There is no comparison between then and now. Whereas the Bangalore property cost us around Rs. 5 crore to acquire, the current land cost including land development and civil works is around Rs. 82 crore in Hyderabad. So, it doesn’t make sense to have as large a land in Hyderabad for a new park in 2014. Ar e yyou ou planning tto o eexpand xpand on Are your ho ooms busine hottel rrooms businesss? We have resort rooms only in the Bangalore park. We are not planning to have any rooms in the beginning at the Hyderabad park. Rooms will work only in mature parks. So, we will see as we go forward in Hyderabad. Regarding Kochi, there is subdued demand for resort rooms as it is more nearer to the city and because there are already a couple of reasonable hotels there. Expansion in Bangalore rooms will be taken up as per the emerging demand. Currently we have 84 rooms, which are of 3-Star class, and it is more or less optimum for the current footfalls at Wonderla Bangalore. Expansion will be taken up judiciously as we incur around Rs. 50 lakh per resort room. Wher ew ould be the ne Where would nexxt Wonderla park and the appr oxima appro ximatte time-fr ame ? time-frame ame? Our next plan is for Chennai and we are planning towards completing parks Seasonal Magazine


within a shorter time-frame like 2 years. Is W o ge Wonderla gett in intto onderla planning tto ther en other entter erttainmen ainmentt busine businesss any o lik e, sa like sayy, multiple multiplexxes? No, we will be focusing on developing amusement parks alone, on a pan-India basis. But having said that, one area of interest that may emerge is, when our parks gradually get into city limits due to cities expanding. We may look at any possibilities like multiplexes or malls then. Will the pr omo promo omotter erss eevver ha havve an en side o entter erttainmen ainmentt park out outside off the list ed W onderla? listed Wonderla? No, there won’t be any such hankypanky from this promoter family. Ha ou bee Havve yyou beeffed up the sa saffety spec our park securityy a aspec spectts o off yyour parkss and securit in rrec en ear ec ecen entt yyear earss? Yes, those two are areas that we constantly work on. Regarding safety, the best thing that we have done is adopting the annual audit by TUV of Germany. They give us recommendations every year that we implement for bettering the safety standards. But even otherwise, the fact that we didn’t have any serious safety mishap in either of our parks, over these 14 years, speaks something about our diligence in ensuring safety. Whatever incidents we had so far were with regard to medical conditions like epilepsy, heart disease etc. Coming to

Seasonal Magazine

“Second difference is our growth appetite. Whereas the single park model can grow its footfalls and profitability only steadily, we can jumpstart all-round growth by opening new parks at new locations every 2-3 years. The Wonderla model has been proved very viable, and now the strategy is to replicate it at many locations, at a faster pace.”

security, we have done studies on this often, and what we find is that since amusement parks are far away from Central Business Districts, the potential for terrorism like activities is pretty low. But on that front too, we have been most diligent. Why ha ou adop havve yyou adoptted this multicit cityy multi-park model a ass against the world st andar do ge standar andard off doing one lar large amusemen yland, e sa amusementt park lik like sayy Disne Disneyland, or Imagic a her e in India? Imagica here Disneyland works because Americans

and international tourists who visit it can afford the hefty ticket rates. The same is not true for India. If you do only one park like Imagica here in India, you tend to do it large, and that inevitably raises the ticket rates beyond affordability. Finally, everything boils down to footfalls. You may be able to build the best park at one remote location, but if the footfalls don’t grow, how will it all work out? But having said that, parks like Imagica are good for the amusement parks industry. In our case, Wonderla’s combined footfalls can challenge something like Universal Studios, and it has been possible largely due to three reasons quality of rides and service, multi location and affordability. That will continue. A w ffar ar is Ass a busine businesss, ho how en om the Wonderla dif difffer eren entt fr from compe tition? ompetition? There are two major differences. Firstly, once upon a time, it was said that amusement park business has high entry barrier. It was mainly due to the expertise required. But today it is not fully true. If you are ready to invest, and procure from abroad, the Americans can come and fix the entire park and rides for you. But that would be at a high cost. Wonderla has not been set up that way. We have been extremely cost-conscious in every stage right from land purchase to inhouse ride design to efficient but costeffective management. That is one reason why Wonderla is worthy of investments. Our net profitability is above 41%. Our Return on Equity is still at an industry-leading 27.57%. When the Hyderabad park too is completed, we will be having three world-class parks within this company with an equity base of less than Rs. 50 crore. That is what makes this a high-quality business. Second difference is our growth appetite. Whereas the single park model can grow its footfalls and profitability only steadily, we can jumpstart all-round growth by opening new parks at new locations every 2-3 years. The Wonderla model has been proved very viable, and now the strategy is to replicate it at many locations, at a faster pace. SM


BANKING

Study Says Indian Private Banks May Lose Customers Conducted by research firm IDC, on behalf of tech major IBM, the study titled 'Unders tanding the Indian Retail Banking Customer' says push marketing is fast becoming obsolete and the thrust should be on creating brand advocates. Private sector banks in India are at a greater risk of losing their customers on account of non-satisfactory services as compared to public sector banks, says a study by technology giant IBM. Conducted by research firm IDC, the study titled 'Understanding the Indian Retail Banking Customer' says push marketing is fast becoming obsolete and the thrust should be on creating brand advocates. “An interesting finding describes that while multi-banking is picking up - reflecting customers’ desire to diversify deposits and associated risks - private sector banks are at a higher risk of losing their

customers to others as compared to PSU banks due to non-satisfactory customer services,” it said. Ensuring quality experience is critical for customer acquisition and retention, it added. The study is based on replies from over 5,000 customers spanning across 10 banks (5 public and 5 private) in the country. Fifty percent of the respondents said they acquire information about banks through word-of-mouth and 2.4 percent churn is expected among primary bank customers within one year, it said. Technology can help provide continuous enhancement and support for front-end process automation tools through analytics solutions and intuitive digital channels. This will help in providing quality service through ease of use, speedy transactions, better accessibility and personalisation for customer acquisition and retention.

The study further said that 41 percent of private banks customers transact with more than one bank, versus 24 percent of PSU bank customers. Also, 86 percent of the 41 percent customers of private banks possess accounts at PSU banks as well, it added. “Banks are increasingly realising the need to give their customers a more holistic, seamless experience throughout the value chain. The need of the hour is to understand individual consumer’s transactions and nuances of their unique investment behaviour,” IBM ISA Leader and VP (BFSI) Venkatramani Subramanian

said. Integrated and consolidated solutions by IT partners become imperative as technology will drive business priorities of banks in the future, he added. “The survey reveals that wordof-mouth is a source for more than half of customers which shows that the days of push marketing are over and creating brand advocates is a priority,” Subramanian added. Eighty-seven percent of the customers covered in the survey said they have only one account with their primary bank and only 58 percent of their investments lie with them.

Who Pays More? SBI or ICICI? State Bank of India (SBI) has raised salaries by 47% from fiscal 2011 to December quarter FY14. In fact, SBI’s average salary per employee at Rs 10 lakh is 67% more than Rs 6 lakh paid by ICICI Bank. In a report, IDFC Institutional Securities said SBI’s average employee salary has risen 47% over FY11 (after the impact of pay hikes), while its better performing private sector peer ICICI Bank’s average salary has declined 22% over the same period. The report added that most of the sharp increase in employee costs for PSU banks has come after a hike in

compensation levels in FY11 and also because part of employee compensation for PSU banks is directly linked to inflation indices. For the three months ended December 31, 2013, SBI’s total payment to employees at Rs 4,512 crore was up 25.05% from R3,608 crore in the same period last year. SBI had reported net profit of Rs 2,234.34 crore for the quarter ended December 31, down 34% from a year ago, on higher bad loans and increased provisioning. The bank saw provisions worth Rs 3,429 crore for nonperforming assets (NPAs) during the quarter, up 24%

from a year ago. “While ICICI has clearly been tightening its belt, SBI’s salaries are to some extent indirectly linked to inflation in the domestic economy, preserving the employee’s purchasing power over the longer term,” the

report said. A part of SBI’s salaries are in the form of long-term retiral benefits and, therefore, are not a part of take-home salaries. Retiral benefits were close to 22% of SBI’s employee costs in AprilJanuary period of fiscal 2014. Seasonal Magazine


COVER STORY

SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

THE SELF-MADE & THE SELF-STYLED Private universities and deemed universities. No one expects these selffinancing institutions to be selfless. But are some of them becoming too self-assured, too self-serving? Such self-styled institutions may be on the path of eventual self-destruction. But there are notable exceptions too in this sector. Seasonal Magazine investigates in this cover story. entral University, State University, Affiliating University, Non-Affiliating University, Deemed University, Autonomous University, Private University‌the list is almost endless in India. So is the resultant confusion in the minds of students and parents. The broadest classification possible among them is as government-funded universities and self-financed universities. India’s 43 Central Universities, 16 IITs, 13 IIMs, 27 NITs, Seasonal Magazine

some Deemed Universities like IISc, IIITs etc, and 311 State Universities as well as their thousands of affiliated colleges all come under the former category. They tend to be older institutions, and are the first choice of the most meritorious students due to obvious advantages like state-subsidised education, high reputation, long history, high academic standards, industry acceptability etc. But merit has always been a relative thing. For long, merit for a course was decided by the availability of seats. But

a country like India, known for its burgeoning youth population soon ran out of options in the government-funded sector. Lot many students had merit for particular courses than there were seats. Thus entered the self-financing model in higher education. The trend started with self-financing colleges and progressed to first autonomous colleges and then to self-financing universities. They came in two broad categories Deemed Universities that are sanctioned by UGC / Central Government, and Private Universities that are sanctioned by the respective State Governments. The opening up of this sector was, however, not done very judiciously, like say, the award of new banking licences. The result was that in the two decades since the first private university was approved, around 173 private


the coming years! The reasons are many. As of now, the private universities of MP are concentrated in its biggest cities, and can teach only 35,000 students. Aspiring students elsewhere in the large state either opt for courses they don’t like or even opt out of college education, making the state’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) to suffer. Secondly, existing private universities in the state have started addressing quality concerns. One instance in this regard was all of them agreeing to use Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) score for admission to engineering courses. And in Kerala, none other than the Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) has recently recommended the setting up of private universities in the state. The reason is obvious. Despite leading the country in primary and secondary education standards, Kerala’s GER for higher education stands at just 19%. The state’s Planning Commission has realized that the state doesn’t stand a chance to compete with others - in economic development - if the GER is not grown to at least 30% by 2020.

universities have cropped up across the nation. And the total tally of deemed universities now stand at 130. The initial resistance to these selffinancing universities had been formidable. Nobody campaigned against them, since their time had finally come, but everyone from their regulator UGC, to the parents of the brightest students, looked upon them as a necessary evil. Not for them, but maybe for the less smart students, so went their thought-process. But times are changing fast. From early adopters like Madhya Pradesh to adamant resistors to the concept like Kerala, all are changing. Despite already having a dozen private universities including noted names like Amity, Jaypee, & ITM, India’s largest state by area has decided that it needs at least 12 more private universities in

But like all state governments, the small southern state suffers from a paucity of funds. Kerala now expects at least 50% of the required funds to come in from the private sector. With a huge NRI population it is not really an issue for the state, but the resistance from the student wings of the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) is expected to be huge. But as a political outfit that initially opposed both farm mechanization and computerization, but later became converts to both sensing the need for change, KSHEC is advocating educating the LDF student wings on this vexing issue. If and when Kerala opens its doors, expect every private university major of the country to set shop there. The cases of MP and Kerala are just two extremes, but all other states fall somewhere between them. The largest and most ambitious of the self-financing universities realize that it is only a matter of years, if not months, now, before the Central Government throws open the doors to international

universities to set shop here. And what we will be admitting in won’t be just brands like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, or Cambridge, but revolutionary educational paradigms that can turn the whole educational system upside down by democratisation of educational content delivery. Take for instance the approach of Harvard or MIT that have already made available their entire course materials freely accessible to any student anywhere using a computer or tablet through the web. Such Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are not just revolutionising distance education, but conventional education too. For instance, it gives highest quality educational content to any aspiring private university. Then comes the even more strange concepts like Flipped Classrooms, where students learn at home through video lectures and demonstrations, and come to conventional classes for doing only ’homework’. Strange as it may sound, Flipped Classrooms have already proven to improve student success rates across the board! But even without such groundbreaking ideas, private higher education has proved to be the game changer for countries like Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, which all have private universities that rank among the world’s top-200, whereas India has none. One reason why many self-financing universities lag behind in academic quality is their operating philosophy. Every quality issue is rationalised on the grounds that they are self-made institutions. While that is true, can such self-financing universities afford to be too self-assured, too self-serving, and not a bit self-critical? They can’t because then they become self-styled setups travelling along a trajectory of eventual self-destruction. But there have been many notable exceptions in this sector. Institutions that take quality issues seriously. Institutions that are equally self-made but not self-styled. Seasonal Magazine takes a detailed look at self-financing universities across India to determine what kind of quality they offer. Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

IS VIT REALLY A TOP-10 ENGINEERING COLLEGE?

As VIT University gets ready to announce its undergraduate engineering entrance results by April 28th with counselling scheduled between May 19th to 22nd, the focus of the self-financing education world is once again on this South India based deemed university, especially since it enjoys the claim of being a top-10 engineering college, despite not being of the same stature as of IITs and NITs that conventionally occupy such lists.

ll the current engineering seats are at VIT’s Vellore and Chennai campuses. Its Bangalore campus is still under construction and will take one more year to be operational. According to VIT’s claim an estimated 1.93 lakh students had registered to write this year’s test. They will be competing for just 4197 seats, but counselling will be there for ranks up to 20,000. One nagging doubt among VIT watchers is whether this self-financing setup is really a top-10 engineering college. Despite being a Deemed-to-be University for some years now, VIT University is more famous for its graduate engineering program, and still competes fiercely in Top-10 lists of Seasonal Magazine

engineering colleges. In fact, it is inclusion into such prestigious lists that gave Vellore Institute of Technology the real fame.

problem. The rankings that gave VIT plum positions were not by any respected academic alliance. It was by mainstream media houses.

But mind you, fame only. VIT was already successful, thanks to the vision of its founder G Viswanathan, a former Tamilnadu politician.

It is nothing like Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), QS World University Rankings, or Times Higher Education World University Rankings. One can argue that the Times’ one is by a media house, but that is a specialist educational media, backed by Thomson Reuters which provides research citation database information on all universities.

But inclusion into such lists proved handy, as competition was hotting up. Some State Governments were awarding ‘Private University’ status to whichever engineering college was asking for it (and probably paying for it too), and Central Government on its part was giving ‘Deemed’ status to many more bigger setups. So, despite its early-mover advantage, VIT had to move up in the race, and that is where such rankings came in pretty handy. But there was one

It is a far cry from ranking attempts by a couple of mainstream Indian media houses. For example, take the most famous of these surveys by a leading English magazine. How should we regard their list of ‘India’s Best Engineering Colleges 2013’, that doesn’t include IIT-Bombay among its Top-25?


No thing suc an char ge aass Nothing succceeds lik likee suc succcess. If VIT ccan charge an er sit high aass it w ersit wan antts - thank thankss ttoo the deemed univ univer sityy st staatus - and still ge gett enough studen studentts, wha whatt else is suc c e s s ? Don’t t ak e this poin t lightly succ tak ake point lightly,, aass it is onsidering the aast st ounding achievvemen ementt cconsidering stounding indeed an achie gr ear-a ear aatt VIT inttak akee yyear-a ear-affter-y er-year groowth ooff studen studentt in VIT.. Seasonal Magazine


Mind you, not its Top-10 where VIT is featured, but not even in its Top-25 that includes the likes of SRM and Thapar, both self-financing universities. Incidentally, IIT-Bombay is ranked overall #233 globally and No. 39 among Asian institutes in the highly-respected QS World University Rankings for 2013, which is a list where many in the ‘Indian Top-25’ would find it difficult to even get a mention. Interestingly, other rankings by other Indian mainstream media houses, have featured IIT-Bombay ahead of all other IITs, but have conveniently left out some other IITs or NITs. Maybe they felt a bit embarrassed to leave out India’s second-oldest Indian Institute of Technology that produced multi-faceted achievers like Nandan Nilekani, Arun Netravali, Victor Menezes, Nitin Nohria, Jairam Ramesh, Manohar Paririkar, and Kanwal Rekhi, to name just a few. But if they wanted, they could have always used a logic of rapid fall in standards at IIT-Bombay during the last few years, that prevents it from being featured as a Top-25 engineering college. That logic too would have got a few hundred believers, like any other idiocy. But can anyone really fault VIT University for marketing its seats based on its No.8 position in ‘India’s Best Engineering Colleges 2013’, and other such lists compiled by Indian media houses? Not really.

Seasonal Magazine

Though it may appear incredulous for many to see VIT ahead of engineering heavyweights like IIT-Guwahati, NITTrichy, NIT-Surathkal, NIT-Calicut, NITWarangal, IIIT-Hyderabad, and BITSMesra, VIT can’t really be faulted because they used what was available to them. How can they use something international, which they don’t have access to? VIT is also one of the best engineering colleges on many counts. Superior infrastructure is one count. Who can compete with VIT’s famed library? Placement success is another, with the likes of TCS taking in many from VIT each year. If you can get to study with good facilities and even hope to land a reasonable job, isn’t that a successful institute? And finally, nothing succeeds like success. If VIT can charge as high as it wants - thanks to the deemed university status - and still get enough students, what else is success? Don’t take this last point lightly, as it is indeed an achievement considering the astounding growth of student intake year-after-year at VIT. Universities like VIT have a nifty strategy too to even convince you about their quality. Though there is a sizeable management quota, there is a public entrance test through which rest of the candidates are chosen. The test is a huge hit among tens of thousands of students, with VIT attracting multi-times


Critics might cite the easy nature of VIT’s test vis-à-vis IIT-JEE, but then the huge number of applications still make it difficult for students with absolutely no aptitude for engineering to get an easy seat at VIT. So, theoretically they get to take the best students (from those who have applied), and there is the quality issue solved for you! But only if life were that simple.

applications compared with their admission intake. Critics might cite the easy nature of VIT’s test vis-à-vis IIT-JEE, but then the huge number of applications still make it difficult for students with absolutely no aptitude for engineering to get an easy seat at VIT. So, theoretically they get to take the best students, and there is the quality issue solved for you. But only if life were that simple. Academic quality is intimately tied with, firstly, exclusivity and then academic rigour. That is how at least - forget Top10 or Top-25 - but the world’s Top-1000 institutes ensure excellence. Exclusivity is ensured by keeping admissions to each course very limited, and for that limited seats, the cream-

of-the-cream among students, measured by way of their aptitude for that course, are carefully selected by way of a transparent international or national test, and subsequent interviews. Then comes the step of academic rigour, which is facilitated by some of the finest teachers teaching these students who have proven competitive aptitude for the course. That is how all legends from Ivy League to IITs function. Incidentally, the global ARWU ranking is backed by Chinese Government as a means to know how Chinese universities have been improving against their best global peers. That is what is called pursuit of real quality. But to VIT’s credit, Chancellor G

Viswanathan is one of the world’s most accomplished edupreneurs, and VIT is one of the world’s most successful educational enterprises. Maybe they are also hoping that they can break into the real IIT league one day, by following this unconventional strategy. Or maybe they are content with VIT remaining an enterprise. Meanwhile, they have the 8th rank in ‘India’s Best Engineering Colleges 2013’ to rely on. Will that make any student who plans to enter any of the IITs or NITs, opt for VIT? Nope. But will that make any student who can’t get into any reputed government-backed institute, consider VIT ahead of some of its private peers? Maybe, and that is what the rankings game is all about. SM

Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

WALKING THE TALK Nirma University believes that higher education is all about students and faculty, more than anything else. In fact, its students and faculty are outdoing each other in innovation, entrepreneurship, and social engagement. The vision of legendary entrepreneur and Nirma University FounderPresident Dr. Karsanbhai Patel is fully playing out here. This oldest private university of Gujarat is innovating by appointing Professors of Eminence and conducting world-class conferences in varied fields, spurring its faculty and students to achieve higher. Gujarat Government is likely to elevate NU’s Institute of Technology to a Centre of Excellence, thereby adding to the autonomy and stature. Seasonal Magazine interviews Dr. Anup K Singh, Director-General and Chairman of Academic Council, at Nirma University.

the highest achievement of a university can be measured by the success of its students and faculty in engaging effectively with the society, Gujarat based Nirma University deserves a closer look. Such has been the social momentum from the students and faculty of this Ahmedabad based private university, that has outpaced even many older public universities in this regard. Recently, in a shocking case that attracted national attention, Allahabad High Court had ordered Uttar Pradesh Government to reply on the circumstances of the death of Chameli Devi, a 75-year old landless Dalit woman who is reported to have died of starvation. The court also ordered a review of UP’s Public Distribution System (PDS) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) norms. The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Seasonal Magazine

in this regard was filed by four law students, one of them being Pranav Singh Rathore of Nirma University. Rohit Moonka is an Assistant Professor at Nirma University’s Institute of Law. A Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Prof. Moonka recently grabbed not just national eyeballs, but international attention. The reply to Prof. Moonka’s RTI from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) exposed that 177 Indians prisoners are languishing in foreign jails even after completion of their prison sentence! Prof. Moonka is teaching a course on RTI at Nirma University, and this is his walking-the-talk, but don’t think it ends there. He has already written to External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and President of India to intervene urgently in this matter, failing which he has made it clear to them that he will move the Supreme Court. The case grabbed

international attention as some of the large culprits were so-called friendly nations of India like Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. And it is not just in the Law Department. If Instagram has taken the mobile world by storm, forcing Facebook to buy it, a start-up by students at Nirma University is taking ‘Instagrammed’ photographs to a new level. Printajoy is the name of this start-up venture and it is already making waves. Printajoy prints Instagrammed photos on fine-quality matte paper, hand crafts it further, and delivers at your doorstep. The start-up recently attracted admiration at Ahmedabad’s National Institute of Design’s Makerfest 2014 that also had a keynote address by Sam Pitroda. Nirma University students have also went on from this campus, to pursue even more groundbreaking innovations. Abhijit Karnik is perhaps the best example. Now a final year doctoral student at University of Bristol, UK, his work on mobile computing is widely


recognised. Abhijit has achieved several awards for his exemplary work, and this Nirma University alumni was in news recently for inventing a shape-changing mobile phone. Nirma University by itself is taking innovations to the next level. It is inviting path-breaking innovators to teach and mentor its students. Mansukhbhai Patel, a grassroots level innovator, recently delivered a lecture at Nirma University on innovation. His invention of a cottonstripping machine dramatically changed cotton cultivation in Gujarat and elsewhere. Nirma students were full of questions, and this rags-to-riches entrepreneur patiently explained why it is so difficult but so important to innovate. Nirma’s efforts are not going unnoticed. Gujarat Government is all set to elevate five universities and institutes in the state to ‘Centres of Excellence’ status. Nirma University’s Institute of Technology is likely to be awarded this status which will give greater prestige

and autonomy to the institute. NU’s efforts in conducting prestigious conferences in various fields are also bearing rich fruits. Each such conference had something from the attending luminaries for the public to know. In the recently concluded Nirma International Conference on Management (NICOM) 2014, Dr. Dilip Nachane - Member, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council & Professor Emeritus, IGIDR, had something shocking to reveal regarding why inflation can’t be tamed by RBI alone. Both public and private banks control only 55% of the credit flow in this country, according to Dr. Nachane, and if black-money too is included in this picture the ratio will be even lower, he explained. This was the root problem to be corrected, if RBI was to fully control the financial system. Another shocker for the public, this time from the pharma sector, was also revealed at a recent international conference hosted by Nirma University’s Institute of Pharmacy. Delivering the

keynote address, Prof. YK Gupta, Head of Department of Pharmacology at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), New Delhi, explained that due to extreme safety concerns regarding clinical trials and excessive regulations, India had completely lost out on new drug discoveries. While in 2008, India was emerging as the leader in this industry, by 2013, our new drug discoveries had fallen by eleven fold. Such initiatives are inspiring Nirma students to push all frontiers. Take the case of Parth Shah, aged 21 years, from Vasna. Despite studying in a Gujarati Medium school, Shah cracked this year’s CAT with 99.32% percentile in his first attempt, and now has a call from none other than IIM Ahmedabad. CAT has a strong verbal or English language requirement too that initially left Shah petrified, but this final year engineering student from Nirma University finally achieved his dream. Nirma University is the oldest private university in Gujarat. However, NU is not

Dr. Karsanbhai K Patel Seasonal Magazine


just a powerhouse in its oldest faculty of Engineering & Technology - but in almost all its departments like Business Management, Science, Pharmacy, & Law. The secret is, of course, in the name itself. Nirma University is the brainchild of Padma Shri Dr. Karsanbhai K Patel, one of India’s most super-achieving firstgeneration entrepreneurs, who literally built the multi-billion dollar Nirma Ltd from scratch, beating mammoth multinational corporations like Unilever and P&G. Such world-beating ambition and planning to build a great university is also evident in his educational venture. While Dr. Patel is the Founder and President of Nirma University, and Ambubhai Patel is the Vice-President and Managing Trustee of Nirma Education & Research Foundation which runs Nirma University, they have also created one of the most formidable professional Board of Governors and Academic Councils among all private universities. Dr. Anup K Singh, Director-General and Chairman of Academic Council as well as Finance Committee, is a prime example of this professional culture. Dr. Singh has been trained at University of Allahabad, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Harvard University, and has taught at leading BSchools, and done corporate training for several leading corporates and organizations including ONGC, IOC, Bharti, L&T, New Holland, Nirma, British Council, Cadila etc.

revamping the policies. It also facilitates the process of industry-academia interaction. You ha ec en tly st ogr am havve rrec ecen ently star artted a pr progr ogram ar orss a ass adjunc adjunctt innovvator to add inno pr ofessor omp pro sorss a att Nirma. Wha Whatt pr promp omptted you ffor or this change ? change? University is committed to systematic quality improvement in teaching, research and extension activities through which we try to contribute to the society in different ways. It is believed that the teacher and only the teacher can bring constructive change

"The University has robust ICT infrastructure. We have initiated to use ICT by having virtual class room under a tie-up with IIT Mumbai."

Seasonal Magazine interviews Dr. Anup K Singh, Director General, to bring you the latest news from Nirma University: w do yyou ou a Ho How assse sesss the main ec en tly come om the rrec outc omess fr from ecen ently out concluded NIC OM 20 14, which w NICOM 2014, wa as well a atttended bbyy managemen managementt exper om vvarious arious fields ? xpertts fr from fields? Nirma International Conference on Management (NICOM) is one of the oldest management conferences in the country. Every year it focuses on a contemporary theme and invites scholars, researchers and practitioners to deliberate on it. At the end of the conference, we publish the proceeding which is a valuable document and circulated to different stakeholders and the same is expected to be useful in Seasonal Magazine

Dr. Anup K Singh

in the different fields of the society at large and therefore University has approved a scheme of appointing Professor of Eminence who has very rich academic experience and knowledge and who can help in strengthening innovation particularly in teaching and research through different modules. The Professor of Eminence helps the University in three folds, viz: Promoting the environment of research in different institutions; Training faculties and strengthen that wing in teaching and learning process; and Moulding young faculties towards research. Ho w ffar ar ha ou adv anc ed in yyour our How havve yyou advanc anced anc e/hybrid deliv er eryy models o off distanc ance/hybrid deliver dist educ ation? Ar e yyou ou making use o educa Are off dist anc e learning models lik e Ma e distanc ance like Masssiv sive Open Online C our se Cour ourse sess (MOOC) and Flipped Cla ooms ? Classsr srooms ooms? ICT is changing education in a big way. Nirma University has embraced recent technologies in the ICT in the delivery of instruction. The University has robust ICT infrastructure. We have initiated to use ICT by having virtual class room under a tie-up with IIT Mumbai. However, we are in the initial phase of MOOC and


flipped classroom. We are open to innovations in educational technology. Ha ou made a br eak thr ough in Havve yyou break eakthr through cr ea ting industr y/philan thr op crea eating industry/philan y/philanthr throp opyy funded endo wmen or scholar ships ? endowmen wmentts ffor scholarships ships? The University has various scholarship schemes for meritorious and needy students in different institutions. The scholarships are categorized in two category namely, (i) some scholarships are given only on merit and under this category scholarships are provided of different amount towards fees which ranges from Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 1.00 Lakh. (ii) Second category is merit-cummeans scholarships under that depending upon the annual income of the parents the scholarships are awarded of different amount ranges from Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 1.00 Lakh. In addition to these we have also a scheme of giving interest on the loan obtained from the bank again on the basis of merit-cum-means ranges from 100% to 50% interest. We have also a Needy Student Fund from where we give financial assistance of different amount to the needy students. We have also a

"We ensure that meritorious but financially needy students are not deprived of education if he gets admission under Nirma University." provision of Book Bank from where every year we give free books to the students throughout his study based on certain criteria. In short we ensure that meritorious students are not deprived of education if he gets admission under Nirma University. Wha ou ar e planning Whatt is the thrust yyou are for in 20 14 ffor or a ugmen ting yyour our 2014 augmen ugmenting resear ch ac tivitie search activitie tivitiess? Research is integral to a higher education institution. The University has emphasised research from the very

beginning of its existence. All the institutes of the University have vibrant doctoral programmes. A large number of students are enrolled in various doctoral programmes. Further, the University closely works with leading institutions, like Space Research Centre, Physical Research Laboratory and Institute of Plasma Research and R&D of some prominent industries in the different areas of research. The University has received funding from bodies like Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, GUJCOST, GSBTM among others for its several research projects. The University also provides grants for minor research projects to its faculty so that they can test their ideas and initiate work for major research projects. The University has also established Idea Labs for students where students can work on any idea which is generated in his mind irrespective of the fact whether it is covered under the syllabus or not. Nirma University is a learning organisation and it invests continuously SM in research and innovation. Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

CAN LOVELY MAINTAIN THE LEAD? It is the largest single-campus model. But competitors of Lovely are increasingly going multi-campus. Chancellor Ashok K Mittal is however following the American model of a large single-campus that ensures uniform quality. Competition at Jalandhar is set to increase with the entry of a third university. And LPU has bet heavily on engineering education, where oversupply concerns are evident. But Lovely is battling it by a highly proactive placement cell that reaches out to the industry like no other. Can Lovely Professional University maintain its lead? As of now, LPU is going ahead, blazing all guns, recruiting faculty from IITs and with even a Pool Campus initiative where it is welcoming all universities around, in association with the software major Cognizant. ovely Professional University has been hogging the limelight recently for more reasons than one. The private university based in Phagwara, near Jalandhar in India’s Punjab State, became one of the largest recruiters of talent from India’s various IITs. LPU was recruiting graduates, post-graduates, and doctoral level researchers, as faculty, from India’s premier tech institutes. 3 or 4 years back, this would have been an impossibility. Private universities like LPU wouldn’t have looked at IITs, and IIT graduates and post-graduates wouldn’t have looked at LPU. The reason, of course, was that IITians have historically been India’s costliest candidates, next only to may be IIM graduates. But times have changed. Lovely Seasonal Magazine

competed directly this year with traditional recruiters at IITs like TCS, Cognizant, Wipro etc by offering to pay as much or a little more than them. It is another matter that the offered salaries are just at par with India’s UGC scale for public universities. Though LPU has not been the only private university to recruit from IITs this year, they have been clearly the leaders or trendsetters, and it deserves appreciation. LPU is arguably India’s largest single-campus private university by way of number of students. Finally, it seems that private universities are taking quality concerns seriously. Earlier such universities were infamous for high faculty attrition. Lovely now has a claim that around 500 or 25% of its faculty are from IITs, which is impressive. But is it the full picture? IITians going

to teach at Lovely, may be a progressive step for Lovely, but the flipside is whether it is a regression for IITs? Of course, choosing a teaching career at Lovely as against a coding career at a software firm is not a regression for a candidate, but it speaks much about the fall in demand at IITs. The current academic year had produced the first shocker from IITs, when they reported that hundreds of BTech seats were lying vacant even after the first round of admissions were over. Mind you, these are the finest institutes in state-sponsored education, and delivered to students in a heavily subsidised fee format. Isn’t it an irony that IITs find difficult to fill seats whereas private universities like LPU which are relatively expensive find ready takers? And LPU is heavily sourcing talent from IITs for faculty needs! The irony is compounded by the fact that LPU’s main offering is engineering, which means a high percentage of the 25000 LPU seats (counting all four years) are BTech seats, which are precisely the kind that IITs found difficult to fill this year. The major attractions for students in opting for an institution like LPU visà-vis IITs include access to the engineering stream they prefer, as well as absence of any tough entrance exam like the IIT JEE. Whether this will ultimately result in lack of quality, oversupply, and underpaid offerings during campus placements, only time will tell. If IITians have started facing heat in placements, it is difficult to believe that


The private university based in Phagwara, near Jalandhar in India’s Punjab State, became one of the largest recruiters of talent from India’s various IITs. LPU was recruiting graduates, postgraduates, and doctoral level researchers, as faculty, from India’s premier tech institutes. Seasonal Magazine


the trend won’t be there in private universities like LPU too. It is already observed that placements provided by private universities, though ample in quantity and in quality of companies, are still inferior in offered salaries when compared to premium institutes like IITs as well as Tier-II public institutions like NITs.

LPU has been on overdrive recently with regard to placements. This year it is pioneering a Pool Campus Drive with tech major CTS where LPU is inviting all universities and colleges of four states / UTs for placements, which shows their current confidence.

As of now, LPU has one of the better records for placements, among private universities, with more than 300 Global and Indian Superbrands continuing to place its students in diverse industries. And LPU has been on overdrive recently with regard to placements. This year it is pioneering a Pool Campus Drive with tech major CTS where LPU is inviting all universities and colleges of four states / UTs for placements, which shows their current confidence. Lovely Professional University is designed as more than a University. It is a township of learning and supporting infrastructure. The vision of Founder and Chancellor Ashok K Mittal is truly unique. The Mittal family has not been educationalists traditionally, but in the foods business. LPU is a technology driven campus, spread over 600+ acres of lush green area on NH-1 at the entry of Jalandhar city. LPU strives to provide a professional learning environment that acts as a catalyst for the exponential

The latest overseas institution to ink a partnership with LPU is Canada’s University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).

Seasonal Magazine

growth of students’ academic as well as extracurricular abilities.

multi-cultural environment which accommodates all kinds of differences.

But it remains to be seen how effective will be LPU’s large single-campus model against competing models like that of Amity University which thrives on smaller multiple campuses in many metro cities. As of now, both models have shown equal promise in scaling up, with single-campus obviously having an edge in ensuring quality.

But this has its flip side too. There have been frictions between Indian and MENA (Middle East & North Africa) students, which even resulted in violent attacks during 2011.

It is especially a critical question for LPU as competition at Jalandhar is heating up. After Punjab Technical University and LPU, the city is now all set to welcome in Sant Baba Bhag Singh University, which recently got clearance from state government.

LPU has state-of-the-art infrastructure with fully Wi-Fi campus and seamless networking architecture in hostels, classes, canteens, common rooms and sports areas. A platform for excellence in teaching, learning and administration, state-of-the-art information technology is extensively used in LPU, contributing to the development of well-trained graduates, post graduates and doctoral holders.

Students as well as faculty at LPU are coming from varied backgrounds from across 28 different states of India and 26 different countries to learn in a

Partnerships and tie-ups across the globe with other world class universities and institutions in the areas of both academics and non-


academics help to keep in sync with latest educational trends and standards adopted by leading international universities worldwide. Bilateral ties have been established with 35+ Universities and Institutes of USA, Australia, Canada, UK, Singapore, Brazil, Poland and Ghana including San Francisco State University, USA, to provide students exchange opportunities as well as option to complete the degree at the foreign university. The latest overseas institution to ink a partnership with LPU is Canada’s University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). However, LPU can be an expensive place to study. Though it became India’s largest single-campus university within a short span of 3 years, its funding model is not very clear. A relatively small promoter group which

has not attracted any kind of venture capital has achieved this feat, but which also means that all the posh facilities are basically student-funded. Though every private university claims to provide scholarships to needy or academically bright students, only a few institutions provide actual numbers in either categories. Lovely

too is no exception. But they alone can’t be blamed for the situation. In developed countries like USA, which is the Mecca of private universities, industry or philanthropy driven endowments have been the real game changers in attracting talented students. Industry and philanthropy in India has a long way to go in this regard. Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

Unknown Amity E

veryone knows Amity’s size. One thousand acres of campuses across 5 cities is not easy to miss. Everyone knows Amity’s class. If 600 Mbps WiFi broadband connectivity, and amphitheatre style, air-conditioned classrooms, are not classy, what is class? Many know Amity’s infrastructure. 4.5 million sq. ft. of built up area, that too purpose-built in a state-of-the-art style is not easy to surpass. Many know Amity’s placements. They are near 100% in most disciplines. But are these the traits that made Amity University the leader among private universities? They have surely helped, but there is more to Amity that really sets it apart from the rest. Founder President Dr. Ashok K Chauhan and Chancellor & President Atul Chauhan have spearheaded this hard work that sets Amity apart. Here is a look at this rather unknown Amity, its unique traits that sets apart India’s largest private university.

Atul Chauhan Chancellor & President

Admis sion Qualit dmission Qualityy

Private Universities being self-financed usually won’t attract the top-ranked students who prefer the subsidized IIT/NIT type facilities. Private Universities also tend to have a huge number of seats that may accommodate even the lowest rung of students. And when it comes to size, Amity is huge. Across its 5 university campuses and several more B-School campuses, Amity has 1 lakh students on its rolls. Still, Amity manages to attract the best quality students who prefer self-financing education. The proof for this lies in a little stat. Taking the average duration of a course as 3.3 years, Amity’s annual admission intake should be around 30,000 seats. But for this 30k seats, Amity receives around 1,50,000 applications each year, allowing the university to be pretty choosy on who all to admit. Only 1 in 5 applicants make it. Amity even has a member from the corporate sector in the interview board to assess the candidates. So, even while Amity is still far from attracting IIT/IIM class students, this private university is the leader in its sector when it comes to admission quality.

Seasonal Magazine

Aseem Chauhan Chancellor & Additional President


Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan Founder President

Seasonal Magazine


Plac emen Placemen ementt Qualit Qualityy Everyone claims not only placements, but 100% placements these days! So, what difference can a placements claim from Amity make? In fact, there are many differences. Who else can claim that they have placed 30,000 students in MNCs, over the years, through oncampus placements? Not many. Today, you can find Amitians at leading corporates like Accenture, Adobe, American Express, HP, Holiday Inn Worldwide, Baan, Honda, Reliance Industries, HSBC, Hughes Software, IBM, Samsung, British Airways, Infosys, Sony, Citibank, Standard Chartered, TCS, Morgan Stanley, Nestle, Mercedes Benz, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Hewitt, McKinsey, DSP Merrill Lynch, Ogilvy & Mather, and many more. This

The unique MentorMentee structure that has been deployed at Amity University deserves special mention. All Amitians have dual mentors, one from the faculty and one from the industry.

Seasonal Magazine

Maj. Gen. K. Jai Singh Group Vice Chancellor year’s tally stands at over 4000 placements so far, with a record 1309 students placed by Accenture on a single day. But apart from the quantity and the blue-chip names, what matters is the assured nature of placements. For instance, in technical courses, nearly all students are placed one year before the completion of the course. The secret is simple. Apart from the reasonable admissions quality and excellent grooming, Amity has industry specific Career Advisory Boards consisting of leading members of the corporate world, as well as a 60-member Corporate Resource Centre that liaisons with leading companies.

Dr. B Shukla Acting Vice Chancellor

Dual Men Menttor orss For many students, placements are the ultimate goal. But Amity knows better. Placements alone are no guarantee for continuing success in a career. That is why corporate networking and ideas like LinkedIn are huge draws. The unique Mentor-Mentee structure that has been deployed at Amity deserves special mention. All Amitians have dual mentors, one from the faculty and one from the industry. Every 5-6 students are assigned to a caring teacher as the faculty mentor who guides them constantly on academic, professional, and personal concerns. Small groups of


Dr. VP Sandlas students are also assigned to a corporate professional depending upon their area of specialization and interest. Such mentors from the industry provides Amitians with the insights and strategies necessary to face corporate realities. Such pro mentors may also be Amity alumni, thereby enabling more fruitful mentor-mentee relationships. Amity also conducts unique CEO Dinner Series, CEO Forums, Seminars etc, and over 1500 CEOs have so far interacted with Amitians. The university has also brought 50 leading management gurus including Tom Peters, Kenichi Ohmae, Robert Kaplan, and Ricardo Semler, to the campus.

Prof. (Dr.) BK Srivasthava

Dr. RP Singh patents. The management wing has developed over 400 case studies in various domains including marketing, finance, strategy, and economics.

Compr ehensiv e omprehensiv ehensive Scholar ships Scholarships

Prof. (Dr.) Ajit Varma

Facult acultyy & Resear ch Qualit search Qualityy Amity has done the most hard work on these fronts. The faculty selection and grooming is done by a top team at Amity that includes 11 former Vice Chancellors, a former UGC Chairman, and a former Vice-Chairman of AICTE. There are several outstanding senior teacher-researchers at Amity like Dr. RP Singh (Nanotechnology), Dr. VP Sandlas (Space Science), Dr. Ajit Varma (Microbial Studies), and Prof. BK Srivastava (Management), who are world renowned inventors, scientists or practitioners in their fields. Amity’s focus on research too has been very productive. Amitians have produced over 5000 research publications and over 500 books in science. The university is home to over 250 ongoing research projects, and has filed for over 150

Like placements, almost all private universities are claiming great scholarship programs. But here too, Amity excels by way of their track record. Which other private university can claim that they have disbursed over Rs. 60 crore as scholarships in 2013 alone? The reason is simple enough. Amity Scholarship Scheme, as they call it, is pretty comprehensive and transparent. If you have got real merit, Amity will help you study at their wonderfully equipped campuses. For undergraduate programs, 100% scholarships are offered to those securing 93% aggregate and above in CBSE or ICSE 10+2 Board Exams. 50% scholarships are offered to those scoring 88% and above. For postgraduate programs, 100% scholarships are offered to those having 80% in graduation and 93% at 10+2 level, while 50% scholarships are offered to those securing 75% in graduation and 88% at plus-two. For degree courses, scholarships also enable Fast Track Admission which means that students doesn’t have to go through a lengthy selection process. However, scholarship seats are limited and eligible candidates have to rush in their applications. SM Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

A University for the Future you are a historian, the setting is one of India’s most backward regions. But if you are a futurist, this is one of the most promising regions for sheer growth prospects in the coming years. The Japanese seems to be futurists. Otherwise why would Shinzo Abe want to invest massively here, rather than anywhere else in the country? Abe must have heard from his grandpa or papa about how hospitable where the people here when the Japanese ‘invaded’ British India together with Netaji’s INA. It was almost like an expedition as the people here knew that Netaji was here to liberate them from the British. It was unfortunate that Netaji failed. But an expedition of another kind preceded the Japanese by more than 20 years. The missionary expedition led by Fr. Louis Mathias, who set out from Turin in 1921 and landed here in 1922. Fr. Mathias belonged to a Catholic Congregation that was then 77 years old and growing fast worldwide through their self-sacrificing work among the poor youth of different nations. Just like its Founder - one of the most venerated Catholic Saints - taught them to do. His contribution to modern Western education is second to none. But today - 92 more years later - we find this Congregation beyond any projections that would have been there when Fr. Mathias landed for the first time. They are now the second-largest men’s Catholic Congregation in the world, and the very largest, if you count their nuns’ wing too. They run 15 Universities worldwide, but none in the English speaking world. For their 16th University and the first in the English world, they chose a place close to Fr. Mathias’ heart. When he landed, the Seven Sisters were not yet born. Everything was Assam. Fr. Mathias SDB (Salesians of Don Bosco) Seasonal Magazine

had landed at Shillong, its then capital. And ever since then, Salesians of North East have grown with the Seven Sisters as they emerged one by one - Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram - and even when the eighth and youngest sister, Sikkim arrived. Today, it is doubtful whether any other NGO or social organization knows more about the problems and potential of India’s North East than the Salesians of Don Bosco. When they decided to set up a Don Bosco University for the North East, it affirms


Fr. (Dr.) Stephen Mavely, Vice Chancellor & Rector

beyond any doubt that this is an idea whose time had come! Today, that dream stands fulfilled in the form of Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) having three campuses at Azara, Kharguli, and the picturesque 500acres campus on the undulating hills, the Tapesia Gardens. Still,doubtful about North East’s prospects? Wait till you read about how pivotal is North East to India’s strategic ‘Look East Policy’ that was started in 1991. Can you dream about a highway that will enable road travel from Europe to Japan? It is called the Asian Highway I project, that has been proposed at a cost of $18 billion dollars. The first phase of this is a highway linking India, Myanmar, & Thailand due for completion in 2016! Needless to say, this goes through India’s North East. Want to know who is backing India in this effort? None other than US and Japan - as part of a tripartite arrangement -

Seasonal Magazine


both of them wanting to break the stranglehold of the Chinese in these regions. The future prospects of North East being such, Seasonal Magazine spoke to an educationalist who has made North East his home and playground for the last 50 years, Fr. (Dr.) Stephen Mavely, who has been spearheading Assam’s first State university in the private sector. Fr. Stephen’s interests include psychology, communication, literature, media, management etc apart from theology and pastoral work. He is qualified and experienced in teaching four to five subjects at college level. While he was Principal of St. Anthony’s College, Shillong, the institution was awarded the highest Five Star status by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India (NAAC). It was also the first accreditation by NAAC in North East. Later while Fr. Stephen was working as Principal of Don Bosco College, Guwahati, this idea of a Salesian University for North East came up, and he was entrusted with leading it. This role has been challenging as it involved formulating strategies, scouting for resources, working with a close-knit team and addressing their needs, and forging ahead with passion. Prof. AN Rai

Seasonal Magazine

Seasonal Magazine in conversation with Fr. (Dr.) Stephen Mavely, Vice Chancellor & President, Assam Don Bosco University:

You ha havve been with ADBU right fr om the cconc onc ep tualiza tion st age in from oncep eptualiza tualization stage 2006. Ar e yyou ou sa tis fied with the Are satis tisfied pr ogr ess the univ er sit progr ogre univer ersit sityy ha hass made fr om 2008 tto o 20 14? from 2014? Yes, that is true, I have been with Assam Don Bosco University from the time the idea was born. Progress?I would say that I am satisfied with the progress so far – a variety of courses, a vibrant thrust on research, an abundance of extension activities, around 2000 students on campus and another 6000 pursuing our online courses. But the growth could have been quicker, especially in recent years, if we could have obtained the sanction for the new campus earlier. That took some time, and threw a spanner into our plans; but now since wehave the necessary permissions, you will see us going forward much more rapidly. ‘Pr efer en tial Op tion ffor or the P oor’ ha ‘Pre eren ential Option Poor’ hass been a Sale sian guiding principle in Salesian est ablishing educ ational institutions. stablishing educa Ho w ffar ar is it rre eflec How flectted in ADBU? Yes, it has always been a Salesian guiding principle, and I would say that ADBU reflects itin its own characteristic way. Don Bosco University is not a commercial venture – profit is not our motive. Usually what happens in the private university model is that eventually all costs are borne by the students – capital costs, maintenance and running costs, planned expansions. But in our case, our capital costs are

largely met by the Salesian fraternity, both in the state, from across India, and abroad. The approval, the backing and the blessings of this international religious order has, no doubt, made the task of finding resources for getting the infrastructure in place easier. Because of this, we are able to keep the fees at affordable rates, mainly for meeting the running and maintenance costs. This is what is helping us to make higher education accessible, affordable to students from every nook and corner of the country. Wha come o Whatt is the in inttended out outc off your in emen er sit invvolv olvemen ementt in univ univer ersit sityy educ ation? educa The Salesian objective in higher education, which is followed fully at Assam Don Bosco University, is to make all our graduates dependable human beings who, while engaged in fashioning a future for themselves, are alive to and responsive to the society around them, helping thereby to impact and transform the lives they touch. Two other principles undergird the choice of courses that we introduce in the university: (a) the employability of our graduates in a knowledge based economy and a globalized world, and, (b) the formation of our graduates to become life-long learners capable of adapting to the changing demands of the world of work. In the highly competitive world of today, it is talent and adaptability that matter, not one’s background. Being a univ er sit ocused on the univer ersit sityy ffocused Nor th E ast, ho w dif en North Ea how difffer eren entt is ADBU


fr om a priv ate univ er sit wher e from priva univer ersit sityy else elsewher where oun tr ountr tryy? in the ccoun Well, as you are aware, the North Eastern region of India is among the least developed in the country. Hence, return on investment cannot be the principal motive for any university here for years to come. Being located at Guwahati - the gateway to North East India, we are acutely conscious of the mosaic of tribes, cultures, languages, religions that make up this society. Catering to the educational needs of this ethnically diverse and culturally rich corner of India calls for a deep understanding of these factors and a mind-setthat can appreciate and celebrate this variety.The challenge is to provide quality education at an affordable rate for these peoplewhen it is a daily struggle to recruit and retain talented personnel in this part of India. You men tioned the backing o mentioned off the global Sale sian or ganiza tion. Apar Apartt Salesian organiza ganization. fr om funding suppor t, wha from support, whatt kind o off suppor as eexxtended? supportt w wa Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), a Roman Catholic Religious Congregation, traces its origins to 1845 when St. John Bosco started his first night school for boys in Turin, Italy. So the Salesian history is 169 years old, and it has been primarily a history of providing education to needy students. We are present in 132 countries, and are the second-largest men’s religious order in the world. If we count Salesian Sisters too, we are the largest such Congregation in the world. Salesians also run 16 universities worldwide. So, the global reach and educational expertise of the organization is obvious. Coming to India, we have been in India since 1922, and interestingly, our first presence in India has been in the North East, at Shillong. In India too, Salesians have made their mark in education. So, as an organization, the Salesian congregation has a rich heritage to draw from. This vast network has enabled our university to go in for several meaningful international tie ups with Salesian and non-Salesian Universities worldwide. Frequent exchanges between ‘Salesian Institutions of Higher Education (IUS)’ has also helped in the adoption of best practices from all around the world.

Is ADBU the six th and la sixtteen eenth lattest univ er sit sians ? univer ersit sityy bbyy Sale Salesians sians? Yes, we are the 16th and the latest, but we also have the distinction of being the first Don Bosco University in theEnglish speaking world. All our other universities are in the Spanish or Portuguese speaking countries, especially in South America. You st ar our star artted o offf with yyour engineering wing, the ADBU School of Engineering & TTechnology echnology echnology.. Wha Whatt sc ale ha ou achie e? scale havve yyou achievved o ovver her here Yes, and this has been our largestdivision so far, with around half of ouron-campus students studying here. We have all the popular branches of engineering at the graduate level, three MTech programs, and MCA too. Placements have been good with around 80% of students getting placed.We also have over 20 doctoral candidates in Engineering. Immediate plans call for the introduction of some more engineering courses in Tea Technology, Biotechnology, Food Processing Technology etc.

Wha Whatt is the specialit specialityy o off ADBU’s School o off Managemen Managementt & Commer ce? ommerc The main program being offered here is a 2-year full-time MBA program that is AICTE approved. One of the distinguishing characteristic of our School of Management & Commerce is that it is perfectly in sync with ourgovernment’s changed perspective in ‘looking east’. This change in stance initiated in 1991 by then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao has paid rich dividends to India enabling the country to forge strategic ties and establish commercial opportunities with countries like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand etc. This has been a strategic shift away from our conventional focus on the West, Russia and the Middle East, and Seasonal Magazine


acts as a counterbalance to such earlier ties. Additionally, we also offer a variety of management programmes online with various specializations, such as, general management, logistics and supply chain management, retail management etc. Wha e the unique idea Whatt ar are ideass a att off Humanitie Humanitiess & ADBU’s School o Social Scienc es? Science Currently, we have five postgraduate programs over here:Masters in Social Work, in Psychological Counselling, in Human Rights (with emphasis on Child Rights), in Educational Leadership, and in Convergent Media. Among them, two programmes – Psychological Counselling and Educational Leadership - require special mention as the demand for professionals in such fieldsis very great.Professional Counsellors are asine-qua-non in every educational institution today. Traditional B. Ed/ M. Ed courses of study do not adequately meet the growing demand for professional management of educational institutions. Our courses are designed to plug the gap in the supply of professionals to manage the critical fields of education, social development and social work. Any ne w inno e ccour our se new innovvativ tive ourse sess tha thatt you ar e planning tto oo are offfer soon? There are many in the works, but two that I would highlight are Philosophy and Media. While usual philosophy courses are just about philosophers and their philosophies, we are offering a course which is about philosophizing or doing philosophy. In simpler terms, it is about how philosophy can be used to explain the community around us, its problems, and how philosophy canhelp one to cope up with the challenges of life. It is a very innovative course. In the media space, we are coming up with a program on Convergent Media and Technologies. Increasingly, there is a seamless convergence of media where print, radio, television, journalism and internet are no more separate areas entities. Today’s media personnel are expected to be savvy in every facet of the media world. Our course is designed to help develop such multifaceted professionals. Seasonal Magazine

Ho w do yyou ou rre espec omo How spectt and pr promo omotte merit a sion le att the admis admission levvel? Here at Don Bosco University, admissions are based solelyon merit. Not only that, ADBU ensures that the whole process of admission is 100% transparent. We have no management quotas, no capitation fees, and no agents to canvass admissions for us. We follow the nationally recognized entrance tests, as well as state level tests, and our own entrance exams.

would be the distinct Salesian touch at the university level.

Can yyou ou ttell ell us some thing about something your unique back gr ound in div er se backgr ground diver erse fields ? fields? I have been in the field of higher education for the major part of the 40 yearsof my life that I have spent in the education of young men and women in North-East India. I believe that says a lot.

Ho w ffar ar ha ou adv anc ed in yyour our How havve yyou advanc anced dist anc e/hybrid deliv er distanc ance/hybrid deliver eryy models o off educ ation? educa We are well set in this respect, and you will be surprised to know that our online or distance education activity is larger in student strength than our on-campus division. We call it our Centre for Online and Distance Education or DBU Global in short (www.dbuglobal.com). The Courses are delivered through Online Virtual Classroom, with an abundance of e-learning resouces made available for various platforms includingtablets and smartphones, as well as through conventional printed material. We have students from across the world studying at DBU Global – roughly 60% of our student strength are from abroad.

The distinc tiv e idea sian distinctiv tive ideass o off Sale Salesian ation ssyyst em ffor or school-le educa stem school-levvel is educ well-kno wn, including the Sale ell-known, Salesian sian e any such Pr even tiv e S em. Is ther Pre entiv tive Syyst stem. there distinc sian ttouch ouch in ccollege ollege or distinctt Sale Salesian univ er sit univer ersit sityy educ educa ation? If I may attempt a response to this question, I would think of the difference as the unique setting that higher education provides to be there where the leaders of society are being formed. Here at the university, we, as followers of Don Bosco, are acutely aware of the need to help form a new breed of leaders for society who combine scholarship and professionalism with an equally strong commitment to the society that provides them with their livelihood. Consequently, we place a great emphasis on social commitment, outreach programmes and extension works to inculcate in our graduates a socially responsive outlook on life. This

Wha ou ar e planning Whatt is the thrust yyou are for a ugmen ting yyour our rre esear ch augmen ugmenting search ac tivitie activitie tivitiess? Recently, the UGC Visiting Team commented the University on having a full-time Director of Research underlining the importance given to research activity in the university. Over 120 research scholars are currently pursuing their doctoral studies in the university in about 20 odd fields. Research climate is actively promoted in the University. Involvement in research and publications form an important part of the appraisal of our staff. Speaking of appraisal, we have also a full-time Director of HR (again, another innovation in a university setting that was lauded by the UGC Team), who takes care of every aspect of human resource management: job descriptions, recruitment, induction, staff development and performance appraisal. SM


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

APEEJAY STYA UNIVERSITY PROS AND CONS DURING THIS ADMISSION SEASON College admissions are just round the corner, and each university and college is trying to attract students for their varied courses. Of course, government universities and aided colleges don't have to do anything to attract students, but private universities have to battle it out among themselves, claiming their own advantages. Seasonal Magazine looks at one such private university - Apeejay Stya University, located near Sohna: ith 43 Central Universities, 16 IITs, 13 IIMs, 27 NITs, 130 Deemed Universities, and 311 State Universities as well as their thousands of affiliated colleges, already being in full-fledged operation for years, many newfound private universities found the initial going tough. It was difficult to attract students away from the obvious advantages provided by established universities, institutes, and reputed colleges, like the high academic standards, industry acceptability, and of course statesubsidised education. Adding to the competition was the fact that private universities were multiplying faster than rabbits. Within the two decades since the first private university was approved, around 173 private universities have cropped up across the nation. Apeejay Stya University based at Sohna is also one such private university. Most of the private universities were self-financing colleges magically getting transformed to private universities. With no scope for affiliating colleges, what was the logic behind allowing the transformational strategy no one knows, except that private universities enjoy more leeway in charging as they please.

Sushma Berlia

Aditya Berlia

Today, it is accepted that private universities are competing more among themselves and with selffinancing colleges that are still unfortunate to remain so, rather than with IITs, IIMs, Central Universities, or State Universities.

and more authentically to differentiate themselves and answer that difficult question from students - why we should choose your university?

As in any business, some among them like Amity, Lovely Professional, SRM etc have pulled far ahead of the rest of the pack due to better entrepreneurship, better marketing, better strategy, better money/muscle power, better political patronage, or better quality. The rest of them have to work harder

Apeejay Stya University (ASU) has tried to answer that question very differently and innovatively than from all others. ASU wants you to choose it because it is ‘India’s 1st Liberal Arts & Meta University focused on Research & Technology’. Sounds confusing? Well, it should be, as on a first read even the UGC Chairman would find it confusing. To make things simpler, let us remove that ’focused on Research & Seasonal Magazine


Technology’ part. No student is going to believe that a newfound private university is already making great strides in research or technology. But the rest of the USP is quite interesting, though neither ‘Liberal Arts’ nor ‘Meta University’ are understandable to the majority of students or parents, except perhaps those with an American exposure. The ‘Liberal Arts’ approach signifies that even when one studies a professional degree, he or she is free to add some broad humanities or arts subjects as they wish, into the degree. It is a welcome move, something that broadens horizons, and makes candidates more appealing to some companies, especially in the West. The ’Meta University’ concept is also attractive. In a nutshell it means that a student’s degree course can span more than one university, through a system of credit transfers. But are these two projected USPs real game changers in the Indian context? Not likely at all. So, why should one really choose ASU? There are many reasons including the Apeejay Group’s strong standing in education, reasonably good infrastructure, excellent management,

Seasonal Magazine

reasonable academic leadership etc. And of course, all the stock reasons for choosing a private university equally applies for ASU too, like getting to study an in-demand branch in engineering despite poor ranks in a national entrance, and location advantages. To explain, if you are residing in Sohna or Sohna-Palwal Road in NCR, and it is a private university you are looking for due to the above reasons, ASU is a preferred choice. This is certainly not a private university with poor infrastructure or by a flyby-night operator. SM


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

CAN SYMBIOSIS BECOME A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE? Can self-financing univ er sitie ome C en tr es o e? Only a univer ersitie sitiess eevver bec become Cen entr tre off E Exxcellenc ellence handful o an eevven a spir e ffor or it. If a ffe ew among those a spir an an aspir spire aspir spiran antts ccan off them ccan e, tha ac e will be led even tually bec ome C en tr off E Exxcellenc ellence thatt rrac ace entually become Cen entr tre es o tional Univ er sit undoub ymbiosis In undoubttedly bbyy S Symbiosis Intterna ernational Univer ersit sityy (SIU).

une headquartered Symbiosis won’t become a Centre of Excellence (CoEx) just because, it is one of the oldest and largest self-financing higher education setups in the country. Ironically, if it ever becomes a CoEx, it will be despite these two achievements - age and size. Because, tracing its roots back to 1971, this is perhaps the oldest group of selffinancing institutes that turned into a deemed university. Most other selffinancing private universities or deemed universities (or their previous avatars) can’t be more than 43 years old. SIU is mind-boggling in its size too - with 9 campuses, 7 faculties, 43 institutes, and 107 programmes, no other selffinancing university even comes close. Now to the crux of the argument why Symbiosis is likely to lead the race to be the first CoEx among self-financing universities. Despite the early mover advantage, and despite the breadth as well as reach, Symbiosis has resisted the urge to grow student strength in geometric progression, which was the strategy employed by relatively newer selffinancing universities like Lovely Professional University, & VIT University. Even with all the impressive departments and infrastructure, and even with their more than four decades of experience, the student strength at Symbiosis International University is Seasonal Magazine

surprisingly small - just 13,501 students. What that means is very obvious. Education has not been an all-out business venture for Symbiosis Society that runs the university. They also had an eye on maintaining quality. For instance, out of their 486 professors, associate professors, and assistant professors, around 136 have PhD qualification. How can it be otherwise, as Symbiosis was founded and led by an academician, Dr. SB Mujumdar (MSc, PhD), who was formerly Head of Department of Botany, Fergusson College, Pune, for 20 years.

He has been bestowed with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan titles by India Government. A hands-on leader, Dr. Mujumdar who is 79 years old now, has already groomed the next-generation leader in Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, who is not just his beloved daughter, but a rare multitalented personality who is a postgraduate doctor of medicine, a law graduate, as well as a doctorate holder in education. Dr. Vidya is currently Principal Director of Symbiosis Society. Despite thus being family-led, Symbiosis is a thoroughly professional university,


managed by Dr. Rajani Gupte as Vice Chancellor, Col. Ajit Palekar (Retd.) as Registrar, and Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Dr. Bhama Venkataramani, Dr. R. Raman, Dr. Rajiv Yeravdekar, Mr. Chandan Chatterjee, Dr. TP Singh, and Dr. Jyoti Chandiramani as members of the Academic Council. Though newer private universities like Amity, LPU, & SRM might have overtaken Symbiosis in student strength, let no one be under the impression that SIU is not viable for sustenance as well as expansion. In fact, when it comes to the matter of longterm financial viability, SIU is likely to lead almost every other self-financing university, both private and deemed, thanks to their industry-leading fee structure. For instance, a 2-year MBA at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune (SIBM-P) will cost around Rs. 8,90,000 in tuition fees alone. A 5-year BA LLB at Symbiosis Law School Pune (SLS-P) will cost around Rs. 7,05,000. When it comes to engineering, a 4-year BTech at Symbiosis will cost Rs. 7,80,000. So, the long-term viability and expansion potential of Symbiosis is not something to be doubted, and it also proves that Dr. Mujumdar and Dr. Vidya are not just educationalists but excellent business leaders too. However, needless to say, Symbiosis is not for the economically disadvantaged students, or even the middle-class community. It is for those who feel proud that they are self-financing their education without burdening the government, and of course for those who can afford the luxury to think so. But for SIU, avoiding the economically disadvantaged or middleclass students is not a problem at all, as the university gets multi-times applications compared with its annual intake for almost all courses. However, this kind of high demand at Symbiosis is not without its pitfalls. Recently two men were booked by police for allegedly duping a father off Rs. 10.5 lakh by promising an MBA seat for his son at Symbiosis. In an even more serious incident, Symbiosis recently sacked a Director of one of its institutes for allegedly

Dr. SB Mujumdar collecting huge sums from around 10 students by promising them international placements. There is also another reason why catering only to the well-off in the society makes sense to Symbiosis. From the ground up, from the very seed of thought, Dr. Mujumdar has designed Symbiosis to care mainly for the overseas students. And it is a given that those who can afford to come to India for their higher studies - whether they are foreigners or NRIs - can afford to pay more than resident Indians. Today, thanks also to Symbiosis, around 60% of overseas students studying in India are studying in Pune. SIU has students from 75 different countries, which is not an easy feat, if you ask any self-financing university or even any international school.

Despite the early mover advantage, and despite the breadth as well as reach, Symbiosis has resisted the urge to grow student strength in geometric progression, which was the strategy employed by relatively newer selffinancing universities.

Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar In fact, SIU has one of the most a d va n ce d i nte r n at i o n a l s t u d e nt assistance cells with tailor-made solutions for different categories like NRI Candidates, PIO Candidates, Foreign Candidates, and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). Symbiosis also excels in domestic penetration, with students from all Indian states studying here. SIU is not just financially successful, but a success on the quality front as evidenced by their NAAC accreditation of ’A’ Grade. But so are many other larger selffinancing universities. So, to move up from the ’Very Good’ NAAC status that SIU shares with many others, and to move to being a Centre of Excellence would take many years of re-strategizing and sacrifices. A good start would be strategic steps like rationalizing the fee structure, making the university more inclusive and not elitist, attracting real student talents (with top scores in national-level public entrance tests) with scholarships and incentives, improving corporate governance to avoid fraudulent activity, and improving faculty standards from being just good to being the best. Otherwise, Symbiosis runs the risk of being only one among the best selffinancing universities for the rich and relatively less meritorious. Seasonal Magazine


Seasonal Magazine in conversation with Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, Principal Director, Symbiosis Society. Despite being one of the oldest self-financing universities, Symbiosis has resisted the urge to grow its student strength exponentially. What is your philosophy in this regard? The foundations of Symbiosis are unique in itself, it was basically formed to promote international understanding through quality education. On one hand our mission is to provide wider access to higher education, the values that we cherish pertain to quality of education and subsequently quality of life. We focus on research, innovations and academic values, so that when the students leave the portals of Symbiosis they become better global citizens. We have to do a delicate balance of providing wider access without comprising on the quality. Personally you have a unique academic and professional background that kept on widening-from medicine to law to education. What guides and drives you in these pursuits? My father Dr. SB Mujumdar established Symbiosis to promote International understanding between foreign and Indian students. It has been a part of my growing up, I have seen international students visit my father with all kinds of problems, later during my Profession as a Medical Doctor and serving the Health Ministry in Oman I dealt with different problems. However these experiences and the values

instilled by my father are the driving force behind this. My professional background that kept widening was for the needs of my career. It is well known fact that Dr. Mujumdar had been inspired to start Symbiosis by seeing the hardships faced by international students in India, though it is a valid inspiration for starting a business venture do you feel it is something that can be defended in a country where the gross enrolment ratios are still pathetic due to unaffordability? Firstly let me make a small correction. Symbiosis was not started as a business venture, it is a Charitable Trust.

We have 30,000 students out of which only 3000 are international students. Symbiosis initially was started for international students, however today we have opened our doors and we have programs catering to students from all states of India. We have School for Nursing, and Medical Technology programs with very minimal affordable fees delivering job relevant skills. We have schools for children of police personnel, Post Graduate Institutes for the defence personnel etc. Though a self-financed University, we have reservations for the less previleged so that they can get access to higher education and the best educational facilities. The Symbiosis Society Foundation gives scholarships to deserving students from economically backward classes. We also have Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial and Museum where we have a library and reading hall dedicated to under privileged students who have no access to such facilities. We have community colleges in the neighbouring villages that imparts skill based education to generate employability. Do you have a significant and productive policy to attract at least a section of the best students to Students who would naturally go to IIT’IIM’s,NIT’s? Symbiosis Management and Law schools have always been ranked among the top in India. We believe in all round development of the student


We have School for Nursing, and Medical Technology programs with very minimal affordable fees “ delivering job relevant skills. We have schools for children of police personnel, Post Graduate Institutes

for the defence personnel etc. Though a self-financed University, we have reservations for the less previleged so that they can get access to higher education and the best educational facilities. The Symbiosis Society Foundation gives scholarships to deserving students from economically backward classes.

and they are encouraged to take up courses which are interdisciplinary in nature. We have excellent infrastructure, invite the best international faculty, have an internationalized curricula, we inculcate the habit of research from the under graduate level by having a Research and Innovation Cell where we provide part funding to encourage the students. I think all these facilities are at par with any of the leading Institutes in India. What would you prescribe for making higher education more

affordable for the middle class lower middle class, and economically disadvantaged? Being self-financed university where fees from the students is the only form of revenue to fund the infrastructure and academic resources, we have our limitations. However as I mentioned earlier we are doing our best to include all stratas of our society to benefit by availing education at Symbiosis. But there are a lot of Government policies that need to be changed. If we are expected to provide wider access we should be given certain leverages, benefits that State and Central Universities get. In the long history of Symbiosis, could Dr. Mujumdar or you make a breakthrough in promoting third party (from industry to philanthropy) endowments for delivering scholarships as in the case with most well known universities? It is rather unfortunate that top notch business families in India believe in giving endowments in millions of dollars to Universities from the West which really do not need this looking at their

�

fee structures. Why can’t they create scholarships, Chairs through endowments to Indian Universities. A long pending suggestion to reform the higher education scenario is to force the students from well off families to self finance their education even if they are meritorious and can land a subsidized seat. Do you support such a move? Yes, it is possible. At Symbiosis, the Scholarships are given to the needy. How do you foresee the future of SIU? Will it remain one of the best self financing Universities or move to more mainstream to better serve social justice? Unless Government policies change substantially we see it remaining as one the best self financing universities, with the present wide range of programs. I believe we are serving the needs of the country, but in a country with such huge expanse of youngsters what ever is being done will always seem little. However I believe as I have said before we are serving the needs of the Country and will always be committed to serve social justice. SM


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

WHY JSS UNIVERSI IS A WORTHY ALTER Mysore based JSS University is one among a handful of self-financing medical universities in the country. Though there is no dearth for self-financing medical, dental, and pharmacy colleges in India, self-financing healthcare universities are rarer. JSS University is promoted by JSS Mahavidyapeetha, arguably one of the largest educational groups in the nation.

JSS Mahavidyapeetha is an initiative of Sri Veerasimhasana Math at Srikshetra Suttur, near Mysore, and its 24 th pontiff His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji. With more than 300 educational institutions under its fold, ranging from nurseries, schools and polytechnics to colleges offering Graduate, Post Graduate, and Post Doctoral courses in Arts, Commerce, Science, Law, Engineering, Medical Sciences and other Faculties, JSS Mahavidyapeetha has an enrolment of 50,000 students and employs 10,000 staff, making it also one of Mysore region’s largest

His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji Chancellor, JSS University Seasonal Magazine

employers. JSS Mahavidyapeetha counts among its visiting faculty, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, which is a rare honour. JSS University, being an exclusive medical university, is the height of achievement for JSS Mahavidyapeetha. Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji takes personal care in the well-being of JSS University and is also its Chancellor. BN Betkerur IAS (Retd.), Executive Secretary of the entire JSS Mahavidyapeetha empire is also the Pro Chancellor of JSS University. While these two leaders are from the sponsoring society, JSS University in itself has an array of professional leaders including Dr. B Suresh as ViceChancellor, Dr. B Manjunatha as Registrar, Dr. H. Basavana Gowdappa as Dean & Principal of JSS Medical College, and Dr. B. Nandlal as Dean &


TY NATIVE B.N. Betkerur, Executive Secretary, JSS University Principal of JSS Dental College. Apart from the medical and dental colleges in Mysore, JSS University has two more constituent colleges, which are both pharmacy colleges, one in Mysore itself and the other in Ooty. Normally, aspiring students for MBBS and BDS looks for self-financing medical colleges after they have fully ruled out opportunities in any government-funded colleges. While this still remains largely true, JSS University does offer some advantages for all categories of students. One is that despite being a full-fledged and autonomous medical university, the fee structure of JSS University is as affordable as many self-financing medical colleges, and in fact, cheaper than many of them. Secondly, JSS University runs the associated JSS

Dr. B. Suresh, Vice Chancellor, JSS University

Hospital too at Mysore, in a unique manner. With 1200 beds and over 800 daily outpatient visits, the JSS Hospital is not a money-making venture at all, and is one of the cheapest healthcare delivery models in the entire South India in the private sector, serving the poorest of the poor. Graduates from JSS University gets to intern at this hospital, and it would be an added advantage for all service-minded young doctors. Yet another advantage is that JSS University has a proven strength in pursuing research activities in medicine, pharmacy, and clinical research, with tie-ups with government-funded national agencies, as SM well as overseas medical universities.

Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

CAN CHRIST UNIVERSITY SHIFT TO A HIGHER GEAR? Due to their rapid proliferation, and consequent hit on quality standards, self-financing non-affiliating universities don’t command too much respect in this country. Because, every critic can point out more than a few rotten apples in the hamper. It is a legacy of transforming too many private engineering colleges into private universities, overnight, by various state governments. On the other hand, really healthy shining apples have been a rarity in this basket. This is where a deemed-to-be-university like Bangalore’s Christ University stands out. There is no doubt that when we consider this self-financing basket - of 173 state universities, around 100 private deemed universities, and thousands of self-financing colleges - Christ University comes among the top institutions. But whether the same holds true when we enlarge the basket to include all central universities, state universities, and their top-ranking affiliated colleges, is open for debate. hrist University’s topranking position certainly doesn’t hold true if we include the IITs, IIMs, and NITs. Still, Christ University is one of the bestpositioned self-financing universities to eventually grow into a respected centre of excellence. The reasons are many. Christ University, as the name implies, is not by the typical edupreneurs like family-owned businesses or politiciansturned-educationalists. CU is by an arm of the Roman Catholic Church, arguably one of the largest educational promoters in the world as well as in India. The specific Catholic arm that runs Christ University is Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), which has unique strengths as far as India and education are concerned. Tracing its roots back to 1830s and the Kerala State, CMI is an indigenous congregation in India, unlike most other popular Catholic congregations in education like Jesuits and Salesians. In fact, this Syro-Malabar Rite entity is the first native congregation in India, and was founded by Blessed Chavara Kuriakose Elias, who is revered like a Saint among Kerala Catholics. Moreover, Seasonal Magazine

during the last two decades, CMI has been given a mandate by Vatican to focus on higher education in India due to their proven capabilities in the field and other reasons including their native origin. Next to the promoting group’s strength in education, comes Christ University’s unique background as a reputed college for long. It was started in 1969 as Christ College, and this 45-year old history makes them even older than old setups

like Symbiosis of Pune.

This long history had also allowed it to evolve naturally as a mature educational institution fit enough to be accorded the autonomous status first and then as a deemed-to-be university in 2008. There is also another refreshing change to Christ University when compared with most other private universities. In contrast to their huge or sole focus on engineering, Christ University excels as a well-rounded institution with more focus on highly relevant humanities like sociology and with even more relevant business education programs since long. Today, six years since it was transformed into a non-affiliating university, CU retains this edge with full-fledged departments including management, law, engineering, commerce, science, humanities, and education. Christ University today offers practically any subject under the sun, with 53 degree programs, 38 postgraduate degree programs, 16 MPhil programs, and 22 PhD programs. Apart from its long-standing 25-acre campus at Hosur Road, CU’s newer


campus at Kengeri is a 75-acre affair housing its engineering and management faculties. The biggest criticism that Christ University faces today is that it is more like a school, when it comes to discipline. While much of this criticism is true - with many parents seeking admission for their children getting jolted by the thoroughly rude security men in the campus - Christ University has surpassed many criticisms regarding aspects like modest dressing, fearful respect towards

While placements at Christ University can’t be compared with those at IIM Bangalore, the fact that this self-financing university does hard work to get a majority of its students reasonably placed should be a matter of appreciation towards Dr (Fr) Thomas C Mathew, Vice Chancellor, and his team of teachers and administrators. teachers etc by delivering on the placements front. Placements, of course, is not just a function of student merit but reflects the proactive nature of the management as well as the nature of the city they are in. While placements at CU can’t be compared with those at IIM Bangalore, the fact that this self-financing university does hard work to get a majority of its students reasonably placed should be a matter of appreciation towards Dr (Fr) Thomas C Mathew, Vice Chancellor, and

his team of teachers and administrators. Obviously, for those who think that a disciplined environment and a prospect for placement are the ultimate goals in education, Christ University more than fits the bill. But for those students who want to study and compete with India’s best students in that subject, CU won’t be a first choice. The self-financing nature of Christ University can also be a burden, even when CU’s fees is reasonable compared with some other private universities. Also, though Christ University has a welldefined scholarship scheme for the needy students who are meritorious, it is not a game-changer in its impact, either for the student or the university. In the long run, if Christ University truly wants to emerge as a Centre of Excellence, it has to attract top-notch student talents aggressively by means of generous enabling scholarships. It is a fact that once such students are attracted, the infrastructure at CU is not likely to disappoint them, as it is second to none with features like ERP/SAP facility for even the students.

Dr (Fr) Thomas C Mathew, Vice Chancellor Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

WHAT CAN TAKE SASTRA TO A HIGHER ORBIT? Growth has been so far so good at SASTRA. If you want a typical engineering college that turned into a university overnight, look no further than Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology, & Research Academy (SASTRA) University that started its life simply as Shanmugha College of Engineering in 1984. But so has been the majority of self-financing universities in this country, almost all of them starting their life as self-financing engineering colleges. But there has been certain differences too for SASTRA compared with the typical private universities. or one, it is technically not a private university but a deemed-to-be university, which is a slightly elevated standing in some regards, as the status is accorded by the Central Government rather than any state government. But so has been state-level competitors like VIT University and SRM University, and this status is really a side-effect of Tamilnadu State not allowing private universities on its own. However, it goes to the credit of SASTRA University that they have taken this elevated status seriously. SASTRA has always tried to be a quality institution, even though the framework for a selffinancing university - whether it is private or deemed - doesn’t foster a singular focus on quality.

Seasonal Magazine

How far has it succeeded in its quality pursuit may be open for debate. But certain quality aspects stand out. Firstly, unlike peers VIT, SRM or Lovely, this Thanjavur based university has not grown its admission intake mindlessly. Even now, SASTRA is home to only around 10,000 students indicating that it is not a money-making enterprise alone. The staff ratio is also appreciable at 700 staff, in comparison with the prevailing ratio at many private universities. The infrastructure is also commendable at 30 lakh sq ft of built-up space. Another aspect that should require special mention is SASTRA’s unique focus as well as achievements in the field of research. SASTRA has been recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO) by the Department of Scientific and Industrial

Research, Govt. of India, enabling SASTRA to undertake research for various agencies like AYUSH, CMRI, CSIR, DBT, DRDL, DRDO, DST, ICMR, ISRO, etc. But it is another matter that among academic research rankings based on citations, SASTRA is yet to achieve a landmark ranking, which some SASTRA scholars are attributing to a flawed metric. The University’s patronage for the mathematical genius Ramanujan through various awards, conferences, and institutions that further research in mathematics is noted even abroad. SASTRA also follows one of the most transparent and fair admission procedures among all self-financing universities. For instance, in their core BTech course, around 70% seats are filled on the basis of JEE-Main rankings. Which is, fair enough and transparent enough. But it is barely enough for a singular pursuit of quality. One area where it can be improved is that, while currently SASTRA also takes into account plustwo marks together with the JEE-Main and while the process remains largely transparent, it can be bettered by sticking exclusively to either of these two criteria rather than a proprietary mix of the two. Industry too is taking SASTRA seriously,


SASTR A Univ er sit ic e Chanc ellor TRA Univer ersit sityy, led bbyy it itss V Vic ice Chancellor ays tried tto o be a qualit Pr of. R Se thur aman, ha alwa qualityy Pro Sethur thuraman, hass alw institution, eevven though the fr ame work ffor or a selfframe amew financing univ er sit ther it is priv ate or deemed univer ersit sityy - whe whether priva - doe sn’t ffost ost er a singular ffocus ocus on qualit w ffar ar doesn’t oster qualityy. Ho How ha ceeded in it suit ma hass it suc succ itss qualit qualityy pur pursuit mayy be open er spec and out. for deba erttain qualit qualityy a aspec spectts st stand debatte. But ccer could they ask for? Even if they can’t get to study computer science at an IIT, NIT, or even a government engineering college, they can study CS at SASTRA and even land a job with an IT major. Prof. R. Sethuraman, Vice-Chancellor

with one example being the recently established Microsoft Technical Services Lab inside the SASTRA campus by the software major. On the placements front, SASTRA is a reasonable success, with the likes of TCS favouring the institution’s candidates year after year. That completes the circle for many students and parents, as what more

Undoubtedly SASTRA fulfils that value proposition that is the basic USP of a self-financed university. But to grow from this current stature as an engineer/executive factory to being a respected world-class university would be challenging for SASTRA. And that is not the management’s fault alone. World’s as well as India’s finest universities thrive on charity and philanthropy, with either state aid or endowments by third-

parties like business houses and wealthy individuals / alumni. While the former option is closed for SASTRA, if it wants to come up to a respected status, it should actively pursue the latter route of third-party endowments. Otherwise, at Rs. 45,000 per semester fee for a BTech, it will always be viewed as a business venture by the student/ parent community. Only industry endowments can enable SASTRA to attract at least NIT-class student talents through scholarships, thus elevating it to a serious contender for the real quality badge. SM

Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

WHY AND HOW SRM WORKS HARD If TR Pachamuthu was to teach at SRM University, students would have gained much. In fact, they would have gained too much, in subjects like business, law, and politics. Unfortunately, this AMIE engineer and former tuition teacher is not directly teaching at SRM. But nothing prevents students from learning from their Chancellor. Because he is a role model in diverse fields, especially business and politics, and of course, that heady mix of these two. hich other university’s Chancellor is fighting the ongoing Lok Sabha polls? His political outfit, Indhiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK) used to be tiny, but not any more. Just weeks back, IJK became a member of the new NDA in Tamilnadu - a 6-party rainbow coalition stitched together at the last minute to capitalize on the ‘Modi wave‘, in case it is real. Rubbing shoulders with SRM Group Founder TR Pachamuthu were heavyweights of TN Politics like DMDK chief Vijayakant, PMK leader Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, MDMK supremo Vaiko, KMDK leader ER Easwaran, and believe it or not, BJP’s namesake chief Rajnath Singh himself! But for IJK’s Pachamuthu, it is no big deal, because as SRM University Chancellor, he had brought in Narendra Modi himself to distribute degrees to Seasonal Magazine

his students. At the 9th convocation, Modi had urged SRM students to create “Google, Microsoft, & Apple in India.”

2009 elections, none of these six heavyweights had won a single seat in TN, except Vaiko’s MDMK, but which was in a coalition with Jayalalithaa back then. Why IJK’s lone seat was not contested by any partners might appear simple. IJK is the smallest and the newest political party in the coalition, and their ambition too was likewise tiny - just Perambalur. That was how it was approved by one and all in NDA.

So, no eyebrows were raised when the Perambalur Lok Sabha constituency was allocated to IJK and TR Pachamuthu became the official NDA candidate or Modi’s man in this landlocked district of the state, bounded by Salem, Trichy, Cuddalore, and Ariyalur.

Or is it? There might be more complex reasons to IJK’s sudden flight to political limelight. IJK might be the smallest in TN NDA, but its founder Pachamuthu is arguably its richest coalition partner in the state. Because unlike others, he is not a career politician, but one of the most successful businessmen in the entire country.

IJK and Pachamuthu landing their lone seat smoothly was quite unlike the protracted battles that almost all others waged between themselves during the seat allocation talks or rather seat allocation fights.

At over 33,000 students, his SRM University is one of the largest selffinancing private universities in the country, ahead of even single-campus wonder Lovely, and next only to multicampus phenomenon Amity.

Though the new coalition is a big win for all in the new Tamilnadu NDA, including BJP and Pachamuthu’s IJK, to extrapolate the same and conjure up that it is a big loss for the state’s real heavyweights like AIADMK and DMK, would be really foolish. Because, in the

And SRM is not known for low or reasonable fees. But SRM students don’t mind a damn, as they hail from 48 different countries, and they very well know that their parents can afford SRM. And what you get in return for the high


TR Pachamuthu Seasonal Magazine


fees compensates the pain, if any.

masterpiece design.

If money can create a great educational enterprise out of nothing, it is SRM. Its main Kattankulathur Campus in Kancheepuram near Chennai is a 250 acres affair. A Central Library with vast resources, air-conditioned auditorium that can accommodate over 4,000 people, IT and Knowledge Management system supporting over 5,000 computer systems and IT applications of the University, 32 megabytes per second Internet Connection, modern Lecture Halls & “Smart Classrooms”, wireless-enabled lab and campus, language lab - specializing in English, German, Japanese, French & Chinese, are only some of the academic facilities.

Though the other campuses at Ramapuram & Vadapalani (both at Chennai), and at NCR are relatively smaller, they too are not behind in offering state-of-the-art amenities.

Support facilities including around 40 Buses - AC & non-AC - that ply regularly between the college and the city, 15 Canteens - from fast-food to full-fledged cafeterias spread throughout the campus, retail outlets - Higginbothams book store, Airtel phone booths, Reynolds teller machines, Super Markets, Reliance Webworld with Java Cafe - all within the campus, a 3-Star SRM Hotel, and prayer halls for all major religions, are only some of the outstanding features of this 42-block

Seasonal Magazine

SRM also has extensive and modern hostel facilities, complete with not only South Indian and North Indian cuisine,

IJK might be the smallest in Tamilnadu NDA, but its founder Pachamuthu is arguably its richest coalition partner in the state. Because unlike others, he is not a career politician, but one of the most successful businessmen in the entire country. At over 33,000 students, his SRM University is one of the largest selffinancing private universities in the country, ahead of even single-campus wonder Lovely, and next only to multi-campus phenomenon Amity.

but with Chinese, Thai, & Continental cuisines for catering to the tastes of its international students. One can practically study any subject of one’s choice - everything from humanities to medicine and everything in between. Placements too are available for the hardworking students. Of course, it is another matter whether money can create a great university. Chancellor TR Pachamuthu has gone that extra mile to attract top-talented students to his institution, through various scholarship schemes, but the very fact that such an artificial step has to be adopted for attracting quality, means that the quality-strategy at SRM is not holistic. Also, no one expects SRM, or any private university for that matter, to do anything beyond namesake charity. The only way out from this quality jinx is industry or philanthropy founded endowments, but that would again naturally flow towards the nation’s premier institutes due to their sole focus on merit, public nature, as well as higher transparency. No business house or donor wants to help a for-profit institute even if it is called a university.


But don’t expect Pachamuthu to give up this next uphill move without a fight. He is an extraordinary entrepreneur who even tied up with ISRO to make his students launch a nano-satellite into space aboard PSLV-C18 in 2011. Named SRMSAT, it has completed 12,000 orbits around the Earth, and is tracked by students from a ground station on the SRM campus. But at a recent event at SRM campus, when the ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan again appreciated the students for the achievement, Pachamuthu had a different take. “Yes, we launched it. Yes, we have received praise for it. But, how long can we keep talking about it? We need to keep doing something new in the field of research. So, I ask you to consider placing greater interest in this area,” he told the thousands of SRM students gathered for the event. How is that for a leader? In fact, NDA,

If money can create a great educational enterprise out of nothing, it is SRM. Its main Kattankulathur Campus in Kancheepuram near Chennai is a 250 acres affair. A Central Library with vast resources, air-conditioned auditorium that can accommodate over 4,000 people, IT and Knowledge Management system supporting over 5,000 computer systems and IT applications of the University, 32 megabytes per second Internet Connection, modern Lecture Halls & “Smart Classrooms”, wireless-enabled lab and campus, language lab - specializing in English, German, Japanese, French & Chinese, are only some of the academic facilities. BJP, and its other allies in Tamilnadu would stand to gain much if the IJK founder is handed over the control of raising finances for the NDA campaign as well as for conducting its PR. The new NDA may not gain much in Tamilnadu in the upcoming election, and may end up only splitting the opposition vote further, thus enabling Jayalalithaa to make a clean sweep this time. But Pachamuthu will ensure that he will give a spirited fight in Perambalur, a traditional stronghold of DMK, which elected 2G-fame A Raja thrice as its MP. The SRM Chancellor has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, as it will be a sweet revenge for last year’s infamous IT raids at 45 SRM offices and the CBI investigation against the group for fee related irregularities. Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

WHY TO CHOOSE ALLIANCE UNIVERSITY Bangalore based Alliance University is undoubtedly one of the better institutions in the private university space. Industry body ASSOCHAM has selected it as the best private university for this year. But why should a student choose Alliance University? Are there any special reasons to choose Alliance, apart from the usual reasons why students choose a private university? India’s private universities are clearly filling a gap. A gap that used to be filled earlier by self-financing colleges. But a gap that is increasing year after year, due to the burgeoning middleclass aspirations. It is the gap caused by too many aspirants and too little seats in the state-funded or subsidized sector. Before self-financing higher education became a significant reality in this country, what constituted aptitude for a course? Obviously, it was not just the merit of the student in that subject, but

Seasonal Magazine

whether there was a seat available for him to pursue that desire. Self-financing education changed all that, and private universities stand at the very top of that new curve in education. Not that the sector is not without its bad apples. There are too many selffinancing colleges and private universities where merit is compromised during admissions. Of course, by the very definition of a self-financing institution, merit is likely to be compromised somewhat. But sadly, there are too many

institutions that take it to an extreme, in a way, bringing back the capitation raj of the 80s and 90s.

This is where the value of a thoroughly professional institution like Alliance University comes in. Alliance Founder and Chancellor Dr. Madhukar G Angur is a thoroughbred academician with an engineering degree from NIT, an MBA from IIM-A, and a PhD in Business Administration from University of Texas, to boot. His decades long academic career in USA culminated in a Lifetime Achievement Award of David M French Distinguished Professorship at University of Michigan‘s Flint School of Management. Widely regarded for his works in the field of Business Analytics and Strategy, Dr. Angur has consulted to major corporations worldwide. Also a noted entrepreneur, one of the businesses he


founded in USA is now part of the publicly traded ALLSEC Technologies. In fact, there are few private universities in India that can boast of as accomplished a Founder and Chancellor. This is clearly one reason to choose Alliance. Secondly, Alliance comes off with flying colours when it comes to another criteria that students look for in private universities viz. infrastructure. The infrastructure is world-class, one example being the Alliance University Central Library spanning 50,000 sq ft with a seating capacity for 1000, and having one of the largest collection of books and international journals. The breadth and depth of Alliance courses are also stunning. Horizontally, you can study almost anything here, right from engineering to management to law to education to arts. And vertically, also it is complete with everything from undergraduate programs to doctoral research programs. The Bangalore based institution also has a well-developed and proactive placement cell that can place any hardworking student pursuing a professional course. So, Alliance offers choice and compelling infrastructure as well as career placements which are the three most important criteria valued by students looking for a private university education.

Widely regarded for his works in the field of Business Analytics and Strategy, Dr. Madhukar Angur has consulted to major corporations worldwide. Also a noted entrepreneur, one of the businesses he founded in USA is now part of the publicly traded ALLSEC Technologies. In fact, there are few private universities in India that can boast of as accomplished a Founder and Chancellor. But so are the top rung of the private university space, in general. Are there any specific strengths for Alliance that can make students prefer it? One specialty at Alliance is that they have their own course content. Very few private or public institutions in India can claim the same. Alliance has invested heavily in developing their own curricula for all subjects. What this means is that the content that they teach is less likely to be outdated. In other words, Alliance doesn’t have to keep on teaching grossly outdated content just because a university or government hasn’t cared to update it, which is the sorry state with many private and government colleges. Alliance has hired some of the world’s

finest experts in each subject to develop content for the university. Another USP at Alliance is that it is one of the most internationally connected universities in India. In fact, in a nationwide study on this aspect, Alliance came up 6th among all institutions in India, with the study including all institutions like IIMs. Alliance has a significant number of overseas faculty, they have student exchange programs, they have university visits both inbound and outbound, and Alliance also has twinning programs. Alliance also offers many scholarships mostly partial scholarships - to differently abled, economically challenged, and sports achievers. But the most coveted scholarships are for the truly meritorious. For instance, for toppers in the GMAT, Alliance offers full scholarships. Currently, admissions are open for BTech, MBA, Executive MBA, BBM, BCom (Honours), MCom, BA LLB, BBA LLB, and several other postgraduate and doctoral programs. Courses generally commence in May, July, August, & September. Accolades are slowly but surely coming for this private university that is only four years old. The ASSOCHAM award may be one of the first among these, but Chancellor Dr. Angur’s dream and plans are to make Alliance University one of the world’s best universities by 2025. Seasonal Magazine


SELF-FINANCING UNIVERSITIES

HOW GALGOTIAS DE PRODUCTIVE EDUC The slot that self-financing higher education sector occupies in the country may be lucrative, but not attractive for its promoters. On one hand, lies the seemingly insurmountable quality-cum-subsidy challenge posed by the likes of IITs and NITs, and on the other side is the rapid proliferation of self-financing colleges as well as universities due to the relatively low entry barrier. Greater Noida based Galgotias University and Galgotias Educational Institutions have created a sound strategy to tackle these twin challenges and emerge as a winner delivering productive education for its students. Chancellor Suneel Galgotia and CEO Dhruv Galgotia have left no stones unturned in their pursuit to attract better quality of faculty and students and provide them with one of the best academic facilities in India. Their strategies include significant scholarship programs, co-designed degree/PG courses by IBM, KPMG etc; grooming programs by Toyota, Infosys etc; and exchange programs with international academic giants like Purdue, Goethe, Georgia Tech etc. No wonder then that placements have been 100% at GU. ndia’s professional higher education sector as well as the country’s white collar employers often speak in riddles. Sometimes you hear that the quantitative output of high-quality tier-1 institutions like IITs, NITs, IIMs, IIITs, and government colleges are not enough to feed the industry. But sometimes you hear that not even 25% of engineering and management graduates produced in this country are of employable quality.

the Galgotias have forged their own path in professional higher education, even when hundreds or even thousands of self-financing engineering colleges and management institutes bit the dust during the last 10 years.

Somewhere there is a mismatch. Or is it something else? The truth is likely to be this - the industry needs much more quantity, but only of a certain quality. Those who have realized this truth like

For any university or college, quality begins with student quality. In a country where the highest quality education comes practically free, like in IITs, NITs, and government colleges, what kind of

Seasonal Magazine

It is one thing to harp on about quality, and all self-financing colleges and universities are doing it passionately. But it is quite something else to pursue quality in this field, if you ask any promoting group in the self-financing sector.

quality students can self-financing setups hope to attract? Definitely, only second-grade. That is, if a self-financing institution has no specific strategy or energy to pursue this quality challenge. But that is not how Suneel Galgotia tackled this challenge. Within the restrictions of being a selffinancing institution, Chancellor Suneel has pursued one of the most pragmatic quality policies ever seen in this sector. It is a long drawn-out war for Suneel that he doesn’t expect to win overnight, but which has brought for him small victories from the very first years onward. Central to Galgotias’ quality policy is the fact that admissions are solely based on merit. Now, that is not a new or unique claim, and most private universities claim the same. But, many of them have a management quota or NRI quota which can run up to 30% of seats in ‘good’ institutes and even 50% or more in worst ones. Galgotias University has no such quota. 100% of the seats are filled up on merit from those who have applied. Galgotias favours students who have scored high in plus-two board exams and state or national level entrances like JEE and CAT, as well as GU‘s own GEEE. The result is that GU gets the best available quality. But again, it is only the best available quality. How to better the available quality? How to make more talented students to apply in such private universities? Galgotias’ strategy in this regard has been to offer a significant


LIVERS ATION

and transparent scholarship structure to attract the higher rung of students. Though there are different categories of scholarships on offer at GU, the most significant has been a 50% tuition fee waiver as scholarship for students securing up to the 4000th rank in the IIT/JEE Examination. This offer alone speaks volumes about the commitment to quality at Galgotias.

Holders of all the Boards/Universities. Then there is a 50% tuition fee waiver as scholarship for students securing up to the 100th rank in the UPSEE Examination. Also, there is a 20% tuition fee waiver as scholarship for students scoring at least 70 percentile in CAT or above 700 marks in MAT.

The next most significant scholarship on offer is a 25% tuition fee waiver as scholarship for students securing 93% aggregate/PCM and above in class 12 or 80% marks in graduation. It is clearly an offer that can enable many talented students to study at Galgotias.

To attract and enable sports and arts performers, GU has a special offer. There is a 50% tuition fee waiver as scholarship for students having secured gold medal or silver medal at the national level or state level in sports or have some exemplary achievements to their credit in the area of performing arts.

A few other scholarship programs also deserve a mention. There is a 100% tuition fee waiver to the 1st Rank

Besides all these, top performers in GU’s own GEEE entrance exam too are eligible for scholarships. GEEE rank

Apart from the quality of its faculty, students, and infrastructure, what facilitates full placements at Galgotias is how it grooms its students to be industry-ready. For instance, many of Galgotias courses itself have been co-designed and co-branded by the likes of IBM, KPMG etc. Suneel Galgotia, Chancellor and Dhruv Galgotia, CEO Seasonal Magazine


holders 1 to 50 get a 75% tuition fee waiver for all the four years. GEEE rank holders 51 to 100 get a 50% tuition fee waiver for all the four years. And GEEE rank holders 101 to 250 get a 25% tuition fee waiver for all the four years. Obviously, Galgotias has one of the most comprehensive and practical scholarship programs among all private universities in the country. While the 100% of merit-based admissions and the significant scholarships attract students with talent, to make them productive would require exceptional faculty and outstanding infrastructure and systems. In fact, Galgotias excels on both these fronts. Right from its beginning in 2011 as a university, Chancellor Suneel Galgotia and CEO Dhruv Galgotia have made it a point to have one of the most illustrious academic leaderships in the country. For this, they mined that neverending pool of top-notch academic talent - India born professors in the US. The results have been outstanding. Today, leaders like Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ashok Saxena, Pro Vice Chancellor Prof. Sham Tickoo, and Pro Vice Chancellor Admin Prof. (Dr.) Renu Luthra symbolizes the thoroughly professional leadership at GU. While Dr. Saxena and Prof. Tickoo are not just academicians but worldrenowned industry experts, inventors, and entrepreneurs who made their names in the US, Prof. Luthra too is not just an academician but a top-ranking HR consultant in India. The Academic Body at Galgotias is equally impressive. It is headed by three US based scientist-scholars Dr. Gajanan Sabnis, Dr. Sunil Saigal, & Dr. Pramod Vohra, as well as Singapore based scholar Prof. Seeram RamaKrishna. Today, thanks to such cutting-edge researchers and their inputs, Galgotias has one of the most evolved Vision Statements among peer institutions. To quote, GU wants “to be known globally for education, research, and innovation at the intersection of disciplines.� Globally, this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach differentiates Seasonal Magazine

Chancellor Suneel Galgotia and CEO Dhruv Galgotia have also worked hard to forge several MoUs and student/faculty exchange programs with some of the most renowned universities in North America, Europe, & Australia. These include Purdue University, Goethe University, University of North America, Anglia Ruskin University, Georgia Tech, Chifley Business School of Australia, Kent State University, University of Maryland - Smith School of Business, Northern Illinois University, and University of Arkansas.


the best universities from the rest. It is commendable that even at this young age of 3 years, GU has already arrived at the crux of the matter. And it is not just lip service. GU empowers its students to pursue this multidisciplinary approach from the undergraduate level onward. It is one of the few universities to have implemented the Flexible Credit System (FCS) for undergraduate programs of engineering. The 180 credits of an engineering program are divided among the courses of Engineering (66%), Science (20%), Humanities (8%) and Management (6%). Chancellor Suneel Galgotia and CEO Dhruv Galgotia have also worked hard to forge several MoUs and student/ faculty exchange programs with some of the most renowned universities in North America, Europe, & Australia. These include Purdue University, Goethe University, University of North America, Anglia Ruskin University, Georgia Tech, Chifley Business School of Australia, Kent State University, University of Maryland - Smith School of Business, Northern Illinois University, and University of Arkansas. GU also offers one of the broadest portfolio of academic programs. Dedicated GU Schools include those for Engineering & Technology, Business Administration, Finance & Commerce,

GEEE 2014 - Features The huge effort to build intellectual capital systems is bearing fruit, as admissions and cut-offs are rising steadily and entry is increasingly tough at Galgotias University which has launched its new all India entrance exam, the GEEE 2014 to serve as a catchment for excellent students. Test Cities for GEEE 20014 are Aligarh, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gorakhpur, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Lucknow, Kanpur, Delhi/NCR, Patna, Ranchi, & Varanasi. Eligibility is a pass in 10+2 (class XII ) or its equivalent securing an aggregate of 50% marks in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Those who appear for the above examinations in March / April 2014 and expect to secure minimum marks are eligible to apply.The pencil & paper based GEEE2014 will be held on June 8, 2014. The duration of the entrance examination will be 90 minutes. Questions will be of objective type with multiple choices. There will be three parts – Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics. All the questions will be mostly from the State Board of Higher Secondary Education and the CBSE syllabus only. Each part has 30 questions and each question carries one mark. No negative marks for wrong answers. The Question paper will be only in English. Last Date for Issue & Receipt of Application forms is Tuesday May 20, 2014. Declaration of Results (Tentative) will be on Monday June 16, 2014. Please refer for further details in www.galgotiasuniversity.edu.in or www.geee.in

Humanities & Social Sciences, Basic & Applied Sciences, Law & Legal Studies, Medical and Allied Sciences, Nursing, Hospitality & Tourism, Media & Communication Studies, Education, and Bank Recruitment Competition.

accredited by UP universities / AICTE. However, most common programs like BTech, MBA etc are offered by both GU as well as the older institutes collectively called as the Galgotias Educational Institutions (GEI).

The Galgotias campuses are sprawling and well-designed. While ‘Campus One’ houses GU offices and the three older institutes - Galgotias Institute of Management & Technology (GIMT), Galgotias College of Engineering and Technology (GCET), and Galgotias Business School (GBS) - the newer ‘Campus Two’ is a 52 acres state-of-theart affair designed by US and Canadian academic experts that houses the academic wings of Galgotias University.

While Campus One is in Knowledge Park-II beside the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, Campus Two is in Greater Noida near Buddh International Circuit on Yamuna Expressway.

The three older institutes are not technically part of GU and are affiliated/

Leaders like Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ashok Saxena, Pro Vice Chancellor Prof. Sham Tickoo, and Pro Vice Chancellor Admin Prof. (Dr.) Renu Luthra symbolizes the thoroughly professional leadership at GU. While Dr. Saxena and Prof. Tickoo are not just academicians but worldrenowned industry experts, inventors, and entrepreneurs who made their names in the US, Prof. Luthra too is not just an academician but a topranking HR consultant in India.

While GEI courses tend to be more affordable than similar courses at GU, it goes to the credit of Galgotias that they have a reasonable fee structure at GU compared with some other private universities, which is again a factor attracting talented students. Just like its older cousin GEI’s performance in campus placements, GU too has performed excellently with 100% placements for the first three academic years with the most recruitments for the last years being done by Infosys, Wipro etc. Apart from the quality of its faculty, students, and infrastructure, what facilitates full placements at Galgotias is how it grooms its students to be industry-ready. For instance, many of Galgotias courses itself have been codesigned and co-branded by the likes of IBM, KPMG etc. GU also hosts several courses co-promoted by Wipro, Infosys, Microsoft, TCS, Accenture, Capgemini, Toyota, Ericsson, L&T, Fiserv, Four Seasons’ MIHER etc. Seasonal Magazine


Seasonal Magazine in conversation with Galgotias University Chancellor, Suneel Galgotia: What percentage of your students go for career placements? Also, what would be the percentage of career placements through the on-campus route i.e. through the GU campus itself? Galgotias University has industryintegration at the heart of its processes – essentially the belief that every student must integrate with industry and society and make quality contributions across his / her working life. Thus industry is involved from syllabus development, to teaching pedagogies to interactions to internships and industrial exposure and projects. When industry is involved across a student’s entire education span, a student is extremely jobready and placement often happens before education is even complete. Campus placements are also a part of university life, and we have leading corporate visiting our campus. Galgotias University was recently awarded at the recent DQ ICT Awards, as being “Top Among Indian Institutions for Placements” ; in addition to being declared India’s Best Private University For Academics and International Linkages. GU has recently introduced courses in tieup with IBM and KPMG, where experts from these companies will take certain courses. How do you see it adding value to your program? These courses spring from the cornerstone of our thinking, namely industry integration. They have been developed in response to the huge market demand for relevant manpower in each of these domains. All five domains have been experiencing huge Seasonal Magazine

growth across the globe and are poised to shape different aspects of business practice. KPMG in India and IBM have been the natural industry partners of choice, given their dominant global positions in each of their respective fields. KPMG is assuming the syllabus, teaching and infrastructural responsibilities for our MBA and B.Com programs. IBM is providing the same support for the Cloud Computing & Virtualisation, Open Source Software & Open Standards, Business Analytics, Telecom Informatics and Mainframe Technology. Most of our programs involve industry experts and these programs follow the same principle. This is generically valuable because all stakeholders – students, academia and industry, benefit directly through all interaction across the programs.

among all types of institutions? At Galgotias University our vision is to be at the forefront of technical research. We believe in driving change and finding practical solutions to current national and international problems. Our focus areas are Business Innovation, Communication and Intelligent Systems, Sustainability and Environment Concerns, and Legal Research. How far have you advanced in your distance/hybrid delivery models of education? Are you making use of distance learning models like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and Flipped Classrooms? We are proposing to commence the distance / hybrid delivery models sometimes in the near future. How far are you recruiting through campus placements from top institutions like IITs/IIMs for your faculty expansion?

Galgotias has been a pioneer in the country for Flexible Credit System (FCS). Do you think students have started making use of this arrangement to a significant level?

We have been recruiting our faculty for the School of Engineering from IITs, Delhi, Roorkee, Varanasi, NIT Trichy, Jalandhar, Delhi Technical University and NSIT, Delhi, Kurukshetra and Allahabad.

The accepted positives of the Flexible Credit System are that students can pursue majors and minors to suit their careers choices as well as their interests. There is also a degree of flexibility when it comes to choices of classes and faculty. Students avail of this basket of benefits to different degrees and the system is positively perceived.

What is the thrust you are planning for augmenting your research activities?

As far as research is concerned, GU has an impressive presence among private universities in NCR. Are you pursuing any specific plan to acquire a nationally recognized leadership role in research,

Our plan for augmenting research is to become a major resource in a company’s innovation strategy. We at Galgotias University are keen to collaborate with the industry so that the new knowledge that is derived from our collaborations can contribute to a company’s performance. This may be in the area of new and more effective manufacturing processes and new software that enable greater logistical efficiencies or designs. SM


VENTURE

FORMER CHIEF OF FORTIS FORAYS INTO HOME HEALTHCARE SERVICES Medwell has also acquired Bangalore-based home healthcare services venture to kick-start operations.

Vishal Bali, former group CEO of Fortis

Healthcare, has joined hands with promoters of healthcare research firm Cytespace Research Pvt Ltd, to float a specialty home healthcare services venture under Medwell Ventures Pvt Ltd. The new venture has also acquired Bangalore-based Nightingales Homes Health Services for an undisclosed amount to kick-start its operations. At present, Nightingales provides 53,000 patient bedside nursing days per annum, 24,000 medical services per year and has more than 5,000 families subscribing to its annual care plans. Medwell plans to expand these services and increase its focus on segments like pulmonology, cardiology, metabolic diseases, neurological health, orthopaedics, geriatrics, rehabilitation and post-operative surgical site management. Medwell will invest around $15-20 million in the business in the next three-five years and plans to establish a network in 10 Indian metros which will serve over a million families in the coming year. The company will be supported by a cloudbased technology platform and protocoldriven services in specialised therapeutic areas.

Vishal Bali

Lalit Pai is CEO of this venture. Other promoter of the company is Ferzaan Engineer, chairman of Cytespace Research and co-chairman of Medwell. After leaving Fortis, Bali has his hands full as he is also joining TPG Growth, one of world’s largest private equity funds as Asia head for healthcare, according to a report by Business Standard. Bali confirmed his appointment in the report.

Further, the company will offer additional services which will include remote health monitoring, tele-health, diagnostics, rehabilitation and wellness therapeutics, which will be launched gradually.

While TPG Growth has assets under management of around $3.5 billion, the parent company TPG, has assets of around $55.3 billion. In the healthcare segment TPG has invested in companies like Sutures while in other segments it has invested in paper packaging

“An ageing population, shortage of hospital beds and the need for continuity of care pre/post-hospitalisation create a strong demand for professionally driven specialty home healthcare services. The future of patient-centric care will incorporate speciality home healthcare as a key element” said Vishal Bali, chairman of Medwell.

A management graduate from University of Mumbai, Bali started his career as a management trainee in Wockhardt Hospitals Group where he became chief executive as the company grew to be India’s third-largest hospital chain. In 2009, Bali moved to Fortis.

Co-founder of Cytespace and Medwell,

company Flexituff International, application software company ASG Transact and real estate development company Shriram Properties, among others. A management graduate from University of Mumbai, Bali started his career as a management trainee in Wockhardt Hospitals Group where he became chief executive as the company grew to be India’s third-largest hospital chain. In 2009, Bali moved to Fortis when Wockhardt was acquired by brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh. Bali grew in rank to become Group CEO of Fortis Healthcare Ltd where he led company’s international expansion. Last year, the group announced that Bali would leave the company in March this year to start his own venture. During his stint with Fortis, the group had made a major overseas move by acquiring stake in Singaporeheadquartered Parkway Holdings from TPG. Singh brothers later got into a takeover battle with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund over the control of Parkways and eventually bowed out of the firm. By Joby Puthuparampil Johnson for VCCircle Seasonal Magazine


LEADERSHIP

What Makes Him the Most Lovable Pope Ever Popes have often been respected, but never ever before has a Pope been so swiftly embraced by the world community. Even some of the most bitter critics of Catholic Church like homosexuals and atheists found rare value in Pope Francis. He quickly garnered 3.8 million followers on Twitter, with almost every world leader including Obama admiring Francis' fresh approach. Time Magazine named the Argentine as 'Person of the Year', while iconic culture and music magazine Rolling Stone featured him in their 2014 New Year cover. During his upcoming first visit as Pope to USA, he has an invitation from US Congress to address its joint session, which is an unprecedented move. What makes Francis tick, apart from his simple lifestyle that saw a Pope refusing to move in to the Papal Palace and preferring a small ordinary car rather than the Papal Mercedes? Here are 25 of his memorable quotes. "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?" "Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are nonbelievers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God." "We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion - one billion people who still suffer from hunger today. We cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist. The food available in the world is enough to feed everyone." "A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person. We must accompany him." "Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities." "Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say Seasonal Magazine

and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church's credibility." "I like it when someone tells me 'I don't agree.' This is a true collaborator. When they say 'Oh, how great, how great, how great,' that's not useful." "My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a selfcentred mindset bent on profit at any cost." "There are priests who don't baptize the children of single mothers because they weren't conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today's

hypocrites. Those who clericalize the church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation." "It makes me sad when I find sisters who aren't joyful. They might smile, but with just a smile they could be flight attendants!" "Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: 'Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?' If you don't ask those questions, your governance will not be good." "Politics is a noble activity. We should revalue it, practise it with vocation and a dedication that requires testimony, martyrdom, that is to die for the common good." "The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God." "If investments in banks fall, it is a tragedy, and people say, 'What are we going to do?' but if people die of hunger,


have nothing to eat or suffer from poor health, that's nothing." "I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time." "If one has the answers to all the questions - that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble."

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. The teaching of the church is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time." "To depict the pope as a sort of superman, a sort of star, seems offensive to me. The pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps tranquilly and has friends like everyone else, a normal person." "Today, the news is scandals; that is news, but the many children who don't have food - that's not news. This is grave. We can't rest easy while things are this way."

"Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God."

"The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God."

"I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner."

"Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities." "Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport." "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor." "There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders." "These days there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that's a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer." Seasonal Magazine


SELF-HELF

18 WA YS T O WAYS TO

Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context. Inspiration and ideas often arise seemingly out of nowhere and then fail to show up when we most need them, and creative thinking requires complex cognition yet it is completely distinct from the thinking process. Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. As scientists now understand it, creativity is far more Seasonal Magazine

complex than the right-left brain distinction would have us think (the theory being that left brain = rational and analytical, right brain = creative and emotional). In fact, creativity is thought to involve a number of cognitive processes, neural pathways and emotions, and we still don't have the full picture of how the imaginative mind works. And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they're complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it's not just a stereotype of

the "tortured artist" - artists really may be more complicated people. Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person. "It's actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the noncreative self," says Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity. "The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self. Imaginative people have messier


minds." While there's no "typical" creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here are 18 things they do differently. eam. The heyy da dayydr dream. Creative types know, despite what their thirdgrade teachers may have said, that daydreaming is anything but a waste of time. According to Kaufman and psychologist Rebecca L. McMillan, who co-authored a paper titled "Ode To Positive Constructive Daydreaming," mind-wandering can aid in the process of "creative incubation." And of course, many of us know from experience that our best ideas come seemingly out of the blue when our minds are elsewhere. Although daydreaming may seem mindless, a 2012 study suggested it could actually involve a highly engaged brain state - daydreaming can lead to sudden connections and insights because it's related to our ability to recall information in the face of distractions. Neuroscientists have also found that daydreaming involves the same brain processes associated with imagination and creativity. The ser heyy ob obser servve eevver eryything. The world is a creative person's oyster - they see possibilities everywhere and are constantly taking in information that becomes fodder for creative expression. As Henry James is widely quoted, a writer is someone on whom "nothing is lost." The writer Joan Didion kept a notebook with her at all times, and said that she wrote down observations about people and events as, ultimately, a way to better understand the complexities and contradictions of her own mind: "However dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable 'I,'" Didion wrote in her essay On Keeping A Notebook. "We are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its marker." The ork the hour ork ffor or them. heyy w work hourss tha thatt w work Many great artists have said that they do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night. Vladimir Nabokov started writing immediately after he woke up at 6 or 7 a.m., and Frank Lloyd Wright made a practice of waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and working for several hours before heading back to bed. No Seasonal Magazine


matter when it is, individuals with high creative output will often figure out what time it is that their minds start firing up, and structure their days accordingly. The ak e time ffor or solitude solitude.. heyy ttak ake "In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone," wrote the American existential psychologist Rollo May. Artists and creatives are often stereotyped as being loners, and while this may not actually be the case, solitude can be the key to producing their best work. For Kaufman, this links back to daydreaming - we need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander. "You need to get in touch with that inner monologue to be able to express it," he says. "It's hard to find that inner creative voice if you're ... not getting in touch with yourself and reflecting on yourself." The e's ob st acle ound. heyy turn lif life's obst stacle acless ar around. Many of the most iconic stories and songs of all time have been inspired by gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak and the silver lining of these challenges is that they may have been the catalyst to create great art. An emerging field of psychology called post-traumatic growth is suggesting that many people are able to use their hardships and

Seasonal Magazine

early-life trauma for substantial creative growth. Specifically, researchers have found that trauma can help people to grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and - most importantly for creativity - seeing new possibilities in life. "A lot of people are able to use that as the fuel they need to come up with a different perspective on reality," says Kaufman. "What's happened is that their view of the world as a safe place, or as a certain type of place, has been shattered at some point in their life, causing them to go on the periphery and see things in a new, fresh light, and that's very conducive to creativity." The w eexperienc xperienc es. heyy seek out ne new xperience Creative people love to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind - and this openness is a significant predictor of creative output. "Openness to experience is consistently the strongest predictor of creative achievement," says Kaufman. "This consists of lots of different facets, but they're all related to each other: Intellectual curiosity, thrill seeking, openness to your emotions, openness to fantasy. The thing that brings them all together is a drive for cognitive and behavioral exploration of the world, your inner world and your outer world."

The ail up ." heyy "f "fail up." Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success, says Kaufman. Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives - at least the successful ones - learn not to take failure so personally. "Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often," Forbes contributor Steven Kotler wrote in a piece on Einstein's creative genius. The sk the big que stions. heyy a ask questions. Creative people are insatiably curious they generally opt to live the examined life, and even as they get older, maintain a sense of curiosity about life. Whether through intense conversation or solitary mind-wandering, creatives look at the world around them and want to know why, and how, it is the way it is. The atch. heyy people-w people-wa Observant by nature and curious about the lives of others, creative types often love to people-watch - and they may generate some of their best ideas from it. "[Marcel] Proust spent almost his whole life people-watching, and he wrote down his observations, and it eventually came out in his books," says Kaufman. "For a lot of writers, peoplewatching is very important. They're keen observers of human nature."


The ak e risk s. heyy ttak ake risks. Part of doing creative work is taking risks, and many creative types thrive off on taking risks in various aspects of their lives. "There is a deep and meaningful connection between risk taking and creativity and it's one that's often overlooked," writes Steven Kotler. "Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent - these are all byproducts of creativity gone awry." The w all o ea heyy vie view off lif life ass an oppor tunit or opportunit tunityy ffor self-e xpr ession. self-expr xpre Nietzsche believed that one's life and the world should be viewed as a work of art. Creative types may be more likely to see the world this way, and to constantly seek opportunities for selfexpression in everyday life. "Creative expression is self-expression," says Kaufman. "Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires and uniqueness." The ollo w their true pa heyy ffollo ollow passsions. Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated - meaning that they're motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition. Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities, a sign of intrinsic motivation, and the research suggests that simply thinking of intrinsic reasons to perform an activity may be enough to boost creativity. "Eminent creators choose and become passionately involved in challenging, risky problems that provide a powerful sense of power from the ability to use their talents," write M.A. Collins and T.M. Amabile in The Handbook of Creativity. The heyy ge gett out o off their own heads. Kaufman argues that another purpose of daydreaming is to help us to get out of our own limited perspective and explore other ways of thinking, which can be an important asset to creative work. "Daydreaming has evolved to

"Creative expression is selfexpression," says Kaufman. "Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires and uniqueness." allow us to let go of the present," says Kaufman. "The same brain network associated with daydreaming is the brain network associated with theory of mind - I like calling it the 'imagination brain network' - it allows you to imagine your future self, but it also allows you to imagine what someone else is thinking." Research has also suggested that inducing "psychological distance" that is, taking another person's perspective or thinking about a question as if it was unreal or unfamiliar - can boost creative thinking. The ack o heyy lose tr track off the time time.. Creative types may find that when they're writing, dancing, painting or expressing themselves in another way, they get "in the zone," or what's known as a flow state, which can help them to create at their highest level. Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness. When someone is in this state, they're practically immune to any internal or external pressures and distractions that could hinder their performance. You get into the flow state when you're performing an activity you enjoy that you're good at, but that also challenges you - as any good creative project does. "Creative people have found the thing they love, but they've also built up the skill in it to be able to get into the flow state," says Kaufman. "The flow state requires a match between your skill set and the task or activity you're engaging in." The ound themselv es with heyy surr surround themselve ut beaut utyy. bea Creatives tend to have excellent taste, and as a result, they enjoy being

surrounded by beauty. A study recently published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts showed that musicians - including orchestra musicians, music teachers, and soloists - exhibit a high sensitivity and responsiveness to artistic beauty. The onnec heyy cconnec onnectt the do dotts. If there's one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it's the ability to see possibilities where others don't - or, in other words, vision. Many great artists and writers have said that creativity is simply the ability to connect the dots that others might never think to connect. In the words of Steve Jobs: "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things." The onst an tly shak e things up heyy cconst onstan antly shake up.. Diversity of experience, more than anything else, is critical to creativity, says Kaufman. Creatives like to shake things up, experience new things, and avoid anything that makes life more monotonous or mundane. "Creative people have more diversity of experiences, and habit is the killer of diversity of experience," says Kaufman. The e time ffor or mindfulne heyy mak make mindfulnesss. Creative types understand the value of a clear and focused mind - because their work depends on it. Many artists, entrepreneurs, writers and other creative workers, such as David Lynch, have turned to meditation as a tool for tapping into their most creative state of mind. And science backs up the idea that mindfulness really can boost your brain power in a number of ways. A 2012 Dutch study suggested that certain meditation techniques can promote creative thinking. And mindfulness practices have been linked with improved memory and focus, better emotional well-being, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved mental clarity - all of which can lead to better creative thought. (By Carolyn Gregoire for The Huffington Post) Seasonal Magazine


Luxury Nir av Modi la unche Nira launche unchess his flagship st or e in Delhi stor ore with a ffa ashion ffoo oo oott for war d. orw ard. NIRAV MODI, a brand known for its innovative and exquisite diamond creations that have been well appreciated at international auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, launched its first flagship boutique at D-33, Defence Colony, New Delhi amid much style and glamour. With the launch of this 6,000 sq.ft. boutique, the brand is now set to bring iconic NIRAV MODI jewels to the people of the capital and promises to take the way jewelry is experienced into new realms of luxury.

So theb y’s tto o sell TThe he Sotheb theby’s Hut ani necklac e Huttton-Mdiv on-Mdivani necklace made o tic Qing off 27 gigan gigantic jadeit e beads jadeite Sotheby’s has announced that it will present The Hutton-Mdivani Necklace, an important piece of jadeite jewellery, in its Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite on April 7, 2014. Estimated in excess of HK$100 million (US$12.8 million), this masterpiece of jewellery comprises 27 gigantic jadeite beads of a magnificent green and majestic proportions (diameters ranging from 19.20 mm to 15.40 mm). By repute, these beads belonged to a member of the Qing Imperial court in the 18th century. Created by Cartier, the brand’s archive records the jadeite beads being in their possession in 1933, when an innovative clasp was designed especially for the Hutton family.

Louis V uit Vuit uittton’s Summer 20 14 2014 ac cessorie acc soriess collec tion tto o be in ollection or es soon st ore stor Vacher on C onst an tin in acheron Const onstan antin tner ship with TTa asveer par partner tnership pr evie ws ‘India Song’ bbyy pre view Kar en aren Knorr Luxury watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin, in partnership with Tasveer, opened a new exhibition in Kolkata, India, showcasing 'Karen Knorr – India Song'. The preview was attended by members of Kolkata's art and cultural community who witnessed the unveiling of the complete collection of images from the award winning India Song series.

Seasonal Magazine

Louis Vuitton’s Summer 2014 collection is a confluence of pastels and sweet sorbet shades. Coolly sophisticated, this collection will stand out on the beach by day and by the pool for cocktails. For an afternoon by the sea, the season’s essential tote comes in natural linen and cotton canvas with pastel leather trim, or else in Damier Azur. Both versions are printed with the heritage Articles de Voyage signature, and the natural canvas tote is lined with Summer 2014’s tropical flower print. Sized up or down, in coral, pale yellow or both, this pattern also covers a cotton pareo, a silk square, a beach towel and the glamorous zip-front swimsuit or bandeau bikini.


Guc ci Museo pr esen Gucci pre sentts the Femminilit à R adic ale emminilità Radic adicale exhibition

Chandigarh, India, ge getts it itss fir st luxur first luxuryy night club - F Bar & LLounge ounge

This year, the Gucci Museo in Florence is concentrating its contemporary art space schedule on works by female artists, from the 1960s to today's emerging generation, with a range of works from the Pinault Collection. The "Femminilità Radicale" exhibition presents three artists who rarely exhibited in Italy and whose works are a powerful testimony to the way in which, at the turn of the 1960s-1970s, female artists used the female body – and their own bodies – as an instrument for criticism and subversion:

Fashion TV Hospitality has launched F Bar & Lounge in Chandigarh, India, to provide a one-stop hub for all food and party lovers of the city. Located on the 4th floor of City Emporium Mall, Industrial and Business Area, Phase 1, Chandigarh, F Bar and Lounge is spread over 5000 sq feet and is well-equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video systems. It serves the need for a highend dining and nightclub venue where one can experience lip smacking delicacies along with music with special lights and smoke effects to add an exhilarating feel.

lounge into a perfect nightlife destination. F Bar has a capacity of hosting over 400 people with its four VIP tables and two bars - specifically designed to suit the needs of customer, both indoor and outdoor.

Featuring contemporary interiors, the newly launched F Bar and Lounge connects to a wide, open and beautiful terrace with air conditioned cabanas overlooking an extraordinary city view. The plush décor in black, purple and gold with chic furniture transforms the bar &

Gr ac e Ba urk Grac ace Bayy Club Club,, TTurk urkss & os, announc es 20 14 aicos, announce 2014 Caic even entts Grace Bay Club in Turks & Caicos, a fivestar hotel divided into three separate sections for discerning travelers of all tastes – the adults-only Hotel, the familyfriendly Villas and the uber-luxe Estate, is all set to enthrall guests with multiple novelties this year.This spring, celebrity interior designer Thom Filicia will lend his aesthetic style to Grace Bay Resort’s properties, including Grace Bay Club and The Residences, a private residential micro-resort of ultra-luxury single-family beachfront homes.

Six Sense o open on the priv ate island o élicit é in Sensess tto priva off FFélicit élicité the Se Seyychelle chelless Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced their first resort in the Seychelles, called Six Senses Zil Pasyon, which is scheduled to open in 2015. The resort is located on the private island of Félicité which is approximately 55 kilometers, or 30 nautical miles northeast of Mahe, with access by helicopter from the International Airport or a short boat ride from neighbouring La Digue and Praslin islands. Félicité is a dramatically beautiful isle featuring massive granite boulders that fringe the shoreline and create an air of drama and mystery. Measuring 264 hectares (652 acres), the resort will create a personal destination that embraces nature while offering every creature comfort. The island features prolific indigenous and abundant flora and fauna – the ideal site for a Six Senses project and the sole resort on the island. Seasonal Magazine


Luxury Chanel bec ome become omess a major par tner o partner off the 29th In tional FFe estiv al o Intterna ernational stival off Fashion and Pho aphy Phottogr ography Chanel has become a major partner of the 29th International Festival of Fashion and Photography, to be held in Hyères, from the April 25-28, 2014, and is the principal sponsor of the permanent exhibition of Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, une vie de mécènes, at the Villa Noailles.

As part of this collaboration, Chanel will provide support for the festival’s fashion activities as the official partner of the makeup cabin for the festival’s fashion shows. In addition to this, the prizewinner of the Grand Prix of the Jury Première Vision will have the opportunity to undertake a project with Chanel’s Métiers d'art united under Paraffection that will finance the development of five silhouettes in their ateliers with the value of 15,000 euros. Chanel will also support the Photography Grand Prix of the Jury, where the prize-winner will receive a donation of 15,000 euros.

Embarking on it itss 110th year aj Mumbai ear,, the TTaj celebr ated in a tr essful elebra tre way! After 110 years of Service, a legend pauses to say “Thank You”. Celebrating a century in this industry is respectable, but when you add 10 to that, you can be sure that it will be extravagant. Blowing out the candles in style this year, Taj kick started the celebrations at their flagship hotel of the group - The Taj Mahal Palace, by pampering the stressed tresses. Hair treatments with MoroccanOil products, delectable drinks and personalised attention by hair care experts was the Taj way of doing things right.

Hide sign la unche ed Hidesign launche unchess limit limited edition, hand-pain hand-paintted collec tion ollection Fendi la unche he Blos som Je welr ollec tion ffor or launche unchess TThe Blossom Jew elryy C Collec ollection 14 Spring Summer 20 2014 Fendi has launched the new Fendi Blossom Jewelry collection, a combination of feminine elements of flowers with typical geometric shapes of the Roman Maison, for Spring Summer 2014. The collection takes it inspiration from the blooming spring flowers with an explosion of delicate colours. It has an ideal connection with the five Fendi sisters and the history of the brand considering that every flower in the collection has five petals.

Seasonal Magazine

Indian leather brand, Hidesign, has launched the St. Tropez collection of hand painted limited edition bags, in partnership with artist Amrita Nambiar. Depicting a woman enjoying St. Tropez to her fullest, this collection captures the majestic powers of the sea with its distinctive look. “St. Tropez is inspired by the Hidesign woman. With a strong, raging ocean, breaking into waves behind her, the Hidesign woman stands proudly with a loose scarf flowing behind her, mirroring the same strength and passion that she uses, to effortlessly blend her many lives together.

Seasonal Magazine May 2014 Issue  

Seasonal Magazine Latest Issue

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you