News

Skills Development Seminar – New Delhi

April 1 in Events, News by manish.singh No Comments

As part of a series of seminars conducted for the Handicrafts and Carpets Sector Skills Council, PROGILENCE MD S Manish Singh, presented his views on Skills Development in the sector to a gathering of exporters, manufacturers and Handicrafts Professionals in New Delhi. Handicrafts and Carpets Sector are not only feeling the shortage of available skilled manpower, but are also finding themselves no longer a favored employment sector among youth. There is a great need to recast the image of the sector and careers within it for people employed and the prospective workforce. Also the current workforce need to upgrade their skills in order to improve quality and productivity to meet and outdo competition in the global markets.

Manish encouraged employers to lead the skills development activities within the sector and make it a priority and not rely on merely the government and the education system to take care of this problem for their own sustainability and growth. The Skills Development Seminar – New Delhi also had inputs from Indian Institute of Packaging on the growing importance of packaging in the handicrafts exports and new developments in the space. Further inputs were provided by GS1 on an international system of standardization of bar codes on products. Each of these areas also highlighted the need to keep up with new developments and continuous skills upgradation at all levels within the sector. For more on the same click the following link Skills Seminar Delhi.

 

 

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Skills Development Seminar Jodhpur

March 22 in Events, News by manish.singh No Comments

A Skills Development Session was held as part of a Seminar for the Handicrafts and Carpets Sector in Jodhpur on 09th Jan 2015. This was part of the Paschami Rajasthan Udyog Hastshilp Utsav 2015. Managing Director, PROGILENCE Mr. Manish Singh delivered the session to a gathering that included Mr. Bharat Dinesh, Secretary Jodhpur Handicrafts Exporter’s Association, Mr. Y.S. Dubey, Joint Director and GM DIC Jodhpur, Mr. Hement Ghosh, Regional President ABVP, Mr. Sudhindra Dugar, Ex-president, Laghu Udyog Bharati, Mr. Asharam Dhoot, Ex-president Jodhpur Industries Association and a number of industry representatives, training and education institutions and interested individuals.

The Skills Development session was focused on the importance of Skills Development for the Handicrafts and Carpets Sector, current developments in the space, reasons and avenues for participation in skills development for various categories of stakeholders in the sector. For more click the link below

Skills Seminar Jodhpur

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The biggest women Social Enterprise network

January 6 in News by manish.singh No Comments

Entrepreneurship and Skills Development are ever more in focus, and Kerala seems to be pioneering a number of new approaches in attempt to equip their citizens with the necessary wherewithal to improve their economic condition. We keenly await the result of this initiative. It seems similar to creating a multi-level marketing network with a retailing opportunity for solution providers, to stock and sell through this network.

Read reports at the following links

Report ; Another report;

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Collaborative Digital Textbooks for Kerala School Education

December 30 in News by manish.singh No Comments

Collaborative digital e-textbooks are making their debut in the State Education System in Kerala. The school ecosystem will now include tablets, e-learning centres and these digital textbooks. While this is expected to generate excitement and engagement with learners, we await to see the impact on learning thereafter. Wishing the best to new initiatives. For a news report on the same click here

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Top LinkedIn Skills in the US and new employment

December 30 in News by manish.singh No Comments

It is interesting to note that with an addition of 2.65 million jobs 2014 was the best year for new employment in the US since 1999. In addition the top skills in demand largely are dominated by technology skills, with Marketing campaign management, Economics and Electrical and Electronic engineering filling up the gaps. It will be interesting to explore the drivers of change for this, and why higher order human skills do not figure in there. To read more click here

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President concerned about mediocrity of Higher Education in India

June 6 in News by manish.singh No Comments

President Pranab Mukherjee while delivering the Sir Asutosh Mookerjee Memorial Lecture to mark his 150th birth anniversary celebrations organised by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Asutosh Mookerjee Memorial Institute rued India lagging behind countries such as China and USA on patents filing. He called for transformative ideas to pull us out of this mediocrity of higher education in India. It is not surprising that this comes at a time when there are reports of poor performing Engineering colleges in India which are not only failing to fill seats but are unable to secure placements for their graduates.

The president stated that Indian colleges were not providing the requisite atmosphere for scholars to be able to do their best work, quoting examples of Amartya Sen and Hargovind Khurana.

We believe our higher education institutions do not focus on market relevant research and are not competing in the market to create value for wider stakeholders. This undermines the passion and engagement they need from students and faculty to perform. Also there are no overall narratives, which engage people’s passion. Most narratives remain around passing grades and subsequent jobs, rather than forming learning objectives around solving key issues and problems in society. Teaching methodologies remain mired in early 20th century practices. The failure starts not just at the higher education level but at school level where we fail to emphasize the development of a value framework that supports meaningful pursuits for finding solutions to problems. The underlying principle being that real unsolved problems usually require us to work at the forefront of capabilities development requiring innovation, critical thinking, etc.

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Tenders for Vocational Teacher Deployment in Karnataka Schools through RMSA

June 6 in News by manish.singh No Comments

The Government of Karnataka has issued tenders for vocational teacher deployment in Karanataka schools through RMSA. This is for National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC)/Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) affiliated training providers for deploying teachers in schools to deliver vocational training in line with the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). The tenders are calling for providers in the following sectors: Retail, Healthcare, IT/ITeS, Beauty and Wellness and the Automotive Sector. The tenders value from 33 Lakhs to 2.25 Crs. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA) is leading the project implementation and aims to cover upto 250 schools in the academic session 2014-15, in a phase wise manner.

Our failure to provide good quality overall education and practical transferable skills has led us down this path where we will be trying to impart job ready skills for certain sectors to make candidates more employable. It will be interesting to see the consequences of this in longitudinal studies. The benefits of these courses could be greater appeal to parents to let their children stay in school and another that there will be greater interaction with the outer world, which is desirable.

You can download the links to the tenders below.

Sl. No.

Sector

Value of the Tender (Rs.)

Last date & time

Link to download the tender

1 Retail 33,00,000.00 10/06/2014 17:30:00 https://eproc.karnataka.gov.in/eprocurement/secure/FileViewer?uuid=4b8fa6e8-afda-4cda-9823-1e701c818a3d&workspace=departments&repositoryType=SECONDARY
2 Beauty & Wellness 63,00,000.00 10/06/2014 17:30:00 https://eproc.karnataka.gov.in/eprocurement/secure/FileViewer?uuid=5a3c5190-fbc9-4df2-a922-32a201f40865&workspace=departments&repositoryType=SECONDARY
3 Healthcare 1,08,00,000.00 10/06/2014 17:30:00 https://eproc.karnataka.gov.in/eprocurement/secure/FileViewer?uuid=73467812-792c-4f58-a39b-5c39384d15d4&workspace=departments&repositoryType=SECONDARY
4 IT/ITES 2,25,00,000.00 10/06/2014 17:30:00 https://eproc.karnataka.gov.in/eprocurement/secure/FileViewer?uuid=1f43a5f8-2255-4849-8b0b-cb3160835c7e&workspace=departments&repositoryType=SECONDARY
5 Automotive sector 1,71,00,000.00 10/06/2014 17:30:00 https://eproc.karnataka.gov.in/eprocurement/secure/FileViewer?uuid=8e5464e5-444f-4413-9b53-5c364299885b&workspace=departments&repositoryType=SECONDARY

 

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Neighbourhood factor getting weightage in nursery admissions in Delhi 2014-15

December 22 in News by manish.singh No Comments

School management are not happy with new uniform guidelines being issued regarding nursery admissions for Delhi schools. A 70 percent weightage to a 6 km vicinity criterion and removal of management quota for admissions are key points of discussion and dissatisfaction. The question is whether certain sections of society are disadvantaged due to their locality of residence not having good schools within the 6 km radius. Also with the Right To Education (RTE) guidelines having a different set of standards and definitions for neighbourhood creates a lot of confusion for schools and their administration.

Read related reports below

Report, Report 1Report 2,

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Compulsory rural service for doctors

December 22 in News by manish.singh No Comments

An amendment to the Medical Council of India the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 will now mean new doctors will have to spend a year in a rural primary health care center in India as a measure to provide high quality service to rural populations. This is a welcome move though it will need to be seen that these doctors not only do comply with this guideline but at the same time hope MCI can find a way to depute experienced doctors in these centers at different times in their careers if possible. To read a related Times of India report click here

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Learning initiative for education bureaucrats

October 28 in News by manish.singh No Comments

A team led by CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi, attended the ninth Global Education Learners Programme (GELP) in New Delhi last week. Largely attended by senior bureaucrats and CBSE affiliated consultants this edition saw talk on ‘Learner Agency’, ‘New Players’ and ‘New Metrics’. This is particularly music to our ears as this expands peurview of education and potentially encourages the government to think of broadbasing participation of newer and smaller players in education and thin out of the box. In fact our recent article on this talks of newer models for education that allows us to broadbase education and its participants. We also spoke of extended choice which is a theme reflecting in global discussions on next wave of education.

Read our article on the future of schools here.

A related report from Times of India on the GELP is here.

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Calling for higher quality in higher education

October 28 in News by manish.singh No Comments

The President of India appeals for improvement in Higher Education standards expressing grief over no Indian University figuring in the top 200 universities in the world and further expounding on the woes of vacant seats in the universities. As one of the nation’s top most leaders one wonder’s if the incumbent should actually be talking about the steps in motion to address the issue, rather than a hapless appeal to improve things. If the president has no plan or is not aware of such plans it surely is a sadder concern.

Read a Times of India report on the speech here

 

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Higher Education Reforms in India: Capacity expansion and then…?

October 13 in News by manish.singh No Comments

It is undoubtedly important for a hugely populated country like India to ramp us their educational capacity, to accommodate increasing number of youth who hopefully will finish with schooling and opt to educate themselves further. It not only benefits in providing access but also will potentially dent the malpractices of capitation fees and seat auctioning to a some extent. Though all this wouldn’t matter at all if the quality of institutions is not any better than what already exists. Hopefully some point in the near future we talk about higher education reforms in India or any other form of education we will see more than just numbers being talked about. When will quality become more important to always take center-stage? To read about promised increase in higher education capacities read a Times of India report here.

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British Universities join MOOCs bandwagon, US professor off-boards

September 18 in News by manish.singh No Comments

26 top British Colleges have started offering free online courses from today. This is testimonial to the growing popularity of the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) despite the ongoing debates over high drop-outs, lack of personalisation and limited scope of assessments. Apologists of the new offerings are evolving better and better methods to counter those criticisms and so far it seems technology is in the ascendancy.  Read a related Times of India report here.

On the contrary a US professor who advocated MOOCs earlier has now decided to pull his course off Coursera. The popularity of MOOCs also has now resulted in fear among some that this will result in state cutting funding for Universities and this US professor seems to certainly think so. Now while cutting costs is something one hopes MOOCs will help achieve, will the State press for that with unrealistic targets in terms of quantum and time? Will Universities prune their offerings based on maintaining the justification for continued funding at the same rates? We believe it is difficult to stop an idea whose time has come, and universities will continue to offer these courses. We do also believe that universities will be forced to think of new ways of creating value for sustaining funding from the state, and we believe that is progress. Read a related TIME report here.

Also read a report on how Coursera has shown that money can be made from MOOCs through verified certification. Read an InTheCapital report by Molly Greenberg here.

 

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Relegation in Rankings inspires move for accreditation of IITs

September 18 in News by manish.singh No Comments

Recent reports have highlighted the relegation of IITs further in global rankings. In a move to stem the slide an opportune move by the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resources) has resulted in the agreement from the IIT council to subject themselves to Accreditation by the National Board of Accreditation. This also will help in India becoming part of the Washington Accord, upgrading from it’s current provisional status. Read a related report from Times of India here

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Defiance, Information Glut and Transparency in Schools

September 18 in News by manish.singh No Comments

CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) the leading school board in India, is facing defiance from schools reluctant to share information about various aspects of their services and operations. Despite clear guidelines and directions the reluctance on behalf of schools is clearly the indication that schools have been operating by obfuscating and holding back key information that is relevant to parents and other stakeholders. A key reason for lack of real information and transparency across various aspects of education and other administrative areas is lack of will and focus from the authorities to validate and enforce such guidelines. We hope that with greater consumer awareness and initiative those who do not comply whether in absolute terms or in spirit are highlighted, and accountability will be demanded both from schools and the administrators responsible for ensuring such compliance. We are ushering in a new consumer driven culture where the consumers will bear pressure through their observations, actions and use of media to bring in greater accountability. Hopefully one day this will amplify and intensify to hold to account the ‘high and mighty’ in this country and around the world. Read the related Times of India report here

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Higher education – factor for deciding the world’s most educated country?

September 14 in News by manish.singh No Comments

Based on an OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) study, a compilation of top 10 countries with highest proportion of college educated residents was prepared by the Wall St. A report on the same is provided through the link below through Time, titled “And the world’s most educated country is…”. It is an interesting debate to be had as a compilation like this pays no heed to quality. Examples around the world are rife where students come away from college with questionable qualifications and degrees, providing no real skills, knowledge or citizenship and social-moral values. It is also interesting to note that this is not limited to developing and poor countries alone, but even the most developed ones. Post recession with wide spread failure in the developed economy, even the value of qualifications such as the erstwhile MBA degree is under scrutiny.

Read a related report on the further relegation of leading Indian Technology Institutes (IITs) in global rankings. Now where is the point in increasing throughput to achieve higher ratings on the world’s most educated country list.

Read a Times of India report here

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New models required to up capacity for medical education

September 13 in News by manish.singh 1 Comment

For education seats to be auctioned blatantly and then blaming it on the educational institutes being “not-for-profit” has to be a new low. Capitation fee and underhanded dealing were rife, but sitting in formal auditoriums and auctioning medical education seats a’la IPL that’s a new one. We need to up capacity of educational institutions and make it attractive for talented people to teach in these institutions. Medical institutes require an upfront sizable investment for it to be suitable to deliver the requisite quality of education, in addition ongoing operational costs are also high. Any private sector entity will require a return on investment that will make sense for making that kind of investment. To get that return one will require margins one will push for higher volumes and higher price points, thereby making education un-affordable for large number of people. This model does not give hope for it to work. New models of delivery are required to up capacity, this may include government supported institutes in Private Public Partnership models, or students coming through a scholarship scheme that is transparent and supported by various bodies, or philanthropic and development agencies supporting building of such capacity. I can’t see that day far off where the government will levy a cess for creating higher education institutes in critical disciplines such as healthcare. Read the Times of India report on seat auctions here 

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The contradictions of quality and scale

September 13 in News by manish.singh No Comments

Top universities around the world have declined the opportunity opened up by the UGC (Establishment & Operation of Campuses of of Foreign Educational Institutions) rules, to set-up campuses in India. Can the quality of an institution be replicated and scaled up by opening new campuses, that is a question we need to think about very deeply. While we pay regard to the curriculum, underlying methodologies and processes and expertise of incumbents by assuming this is possible, do we not disregard the availability of expertise, the relationships in their environment, the nature of the surrounding ecosystem in doing so. Good quality education requires a great deal of contextual factors to work together and generally is an outcome of time and committed effort. Ofcourse it also requires an economically conducive ecosystem as much as it requires other supportive mechanisms, which provide opportunities for it to take root and thrive. How long will we continue to look westwards and hope for improved outcomes, for others to come and teach us; maybe we need to become students ourselves, learn and evolve to be at the pushing edge of best and next practices. Read a related Times of India report here

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CBSE moving full STEAM ahead…

April 26 in News by manish.singh No Comments

A number of people interested in education have moved to support the view that instead of focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to reinvigorate sagging economies and provide meaningful skills to young people we need to consider STEAM with the addition of Arts. They believe Arts add value by structuring innovative and creative thinking and helps people develop 21st century skills better. CBSE, India’s leading school board has in the spirit of the idea introduced Theatre Studies at in Class XI, with a 70% theory and 30% case study and viva voce assessment system, the course is expected to cover theatre as an art form, different dramatic forms and styles, etc. Access a news report on the same from Times of India at the following link

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Is Secondary Education on Track in India

March 15 in News by devil1991 No Comments

The Confederation of Indian Industry on 26th February, 2013 organised their annual conference on education, an event at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi titled ‘School Education: Is Secondary Education in India on track?’. The keynote address was delivered by Shri Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resources Development, who made a quick exit rushing to the parliament soon thereafter. He defended the government saying that good work has been done but acknowledged the need for huge improvements that are still required at a large scale.  At the same time he reminded finger pointing members of the private sector that their record is not much different, as the larger number of private schools with profit motives and huge sums charged as fees end up cheating poor people who sacrifice a great deal to save money only to get worse education than in the government sector, thereby making the government the lesser of the two evils.

While private sector members shared some examples of good efforts being made the general despondency and the inability of educators in attendance to be able to find effective answers to large scale problems was quite evident.

The event of course comprised four sessions during the course of the day focusing on a) Need for NGOs in the education sector, b) Towards preparation of Teacher Educators, c) Embedding ethics and values and d) Relevance of vocational education in schools.

Each of the sessions gave an impression of an unending wish list that has almost been unchanged over the past half century if not more. The narrative only changes slightly as we use more recent anecdotes and examples to draw home the ghastly impact of the lack of  quality education is having in our society and on our children. We still seem to never have close to the number of teachers we need, the quality of teachers and teaching in the larger part of the country  is even more dismal, infrastructure remains fractured and hopelessly inadequate, all this while we hide behind euphemisms, erroneous and facile statistics, and the small section of urban schools that represent the view of education the elite seem to hold, which is justified more by the ambiance and facilities they offer than what is reflected in the behaviour of the mass of students who attend these. Yes there are examples of good practice, thoughtfulness, innovation and achievement but it remains obscured by the vastness of vacuousness that fills our daily view.

Between the profiteers and the egotists, there are a few honest faces who seem to be realising the magnitude of the problem and the need to address this in earnest. But their efforts and experiences make them aware of the challenges, the nature of a principled long term commitments this requires and the amount of learning and perspective this demands from even the reform seekers.

We hope to bring you new thoughts and detailed insights into issues related to education going forward and hope that somewhere these views would help people who want to bring about genuine change for the better and not be hijacked into the slogan activism used by those with vested interests.

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International Work Study programmes

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

International work study programmes are becoming increasingly popular, not only does it provide on-the-job experience to learners but at the same time provides a great view of cultural relations which is being increasingly valued by employers. Here is a piece from The New York Times which talks about the growing popularity of such programmes.

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Cheating at Harvard…Is it the best education we cannot afford?

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

125 students may face suspension in a cheating scandal in one of the most sought after and revered educational institutions in the world. Begs the question of the educational quality or stamp that we aspire for? A report from ‘The New York Times’ is provided in the link below

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Bharti Airtel offers mobile education suite

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

Bharti Airtel offers mobile educations Services including offers for English, Office Vocabulary, Exam Preparation for competitive exams and Mock tests.  While many still question the feasibility and impact of mobile education services there are other who are completely convinced that mobile instruments and services are a key milestone in the evolution of education media and is where the future of education lies. Ofcourse we believe it will require many layers of refinement and deeper grasp of issues involved before we really accept the power it unleashes in educational outcomes attainment. A news report from The Hindu Business Line is provided below.

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Which are better occupations, pop stars and footballers or lawyers, doctors and government ministers?!! According to the UK Prime Minister

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

According to a ‘The Guardian report’ the UK PM was recently caught in Liberia somewhat generalising and denigrating the ambitions of British Children and celebrity careers in Sport and Music. While on one hand it is deemed politically incorrect on the other hand it reflects a certain view point and is an interesting point on reflect on. A view in the ‘The Guardian’ by Barbara Ellen is provided in the link below.

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Partnerships in education

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

An interesting news report in Times of India about parents pitching in with teachers to provide education in schools was published today. Ofcourse quality assurance personnel might question whether it is the right way to go, but necessity is the mother of invention and this model might be worth looking at in schools that are unable to fill teaching slots. Ofcourse this also beckons the question, would the schools deprive themselves of a compelling case to get the teachers on rolls as they are making do as in this case?

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Indian Express reports an Inspirational piece of Human Kindness

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

We are only limited by our lack of vision, commitment and drive. Overcoming limitations, everyday there are humans who achieve miraculous results, and maybe it is not even about results. Sometimes just the endeavour is inspiring enough and serves its purpose.

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UGC aims to provides impetus to research

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

In order to provide impetus to research and innovation UGC announces plans to fund ‘A’ grade universities to engage in research and innovative projects. Such news is generally always taken with a pinch of salt as the general perception is that the rigour with which such proposals need to be implemented and monitored are always questionable and hence the resultant impact is seldom as desired. An Indian Express report on the same appeared online today.

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CBSE counselling helpline number 1800118004 disappoints many

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

Central Board of Secondary Education in India (CBSE) has instituted the number 1800118004 as an exams counselling helpline. According to a Times of India report it has had a very patchy start with a number of students unable to connect due to the lines being busy. We wait to hear of the quality of counselling.

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Stanford University offers course in Innovation in Bangalore

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

Stanford Ignite programme in Bangalore offers a 9 week certification programme in Innovation. Applications can be made online at http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/ignite/bangalore.

Source: Times of India

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Poor employment outcomes of MBA schools in India

February 11 in News by devil1991 No Comments

An ASSOCHAM study of MBA schools that reveals a mere 10% of MBA graduates find suitable employment in India. Commenting on the poor quality of education in these institutions and dismal performance of these Business Schools the study claims 180 business schools have shut down in 2012.

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Talent crunch to impale recruitment drive

February 10 in News by devil1991 No Comments

According to employer survey conducted by naukri.com in January 2013, employers across a range of sectors are bullish on employment, yet faced with a talent crunch. Uncertain economic conditions have reduced the rates of attrition from previous years, but recruiters in certain sectors are finding it difficult to spot talent.

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