Article on Student Counseling published in TripuraInfo

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TRIPURAINFO

Read an article published in Tripurainfo, one of the leading news portal of Tripura, India. The article can be read from the JPEG format, or can be downloaded from the PDF format or can even be read from the original source, by clicking on the links below. Alternatively, you can also go through the original manuscript pasted below.

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http://www.tripurainfo.com/pgDetailSpecialAricle.aspx?WhatId=2796

The original manuscript is pasted below-

 Career Counseling and its Importance after Class 10th and Class 12th

Dr. Mani Shankar Chakraborty

Senior Teaching and Learning Expert based in the Middle-East

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Career Counseling, A important Cog in the Career Wheel

Career counseling professional, career mentors and counselors play an important role for the career aspirants. The emergence of innumerable career options have led to career aspirants opting for their future career path, solely on the basis of hearsay or blindly imitate the bandwagon. This may not look dangerous initially, however, over a period of time one starts to realize the negative ramification. Adds, Suzane Cox, an established career mentor in Singapore, “Career counseling by experts acts as the ideal precursor for the right career choice”.

 

Who can do be a Career Mentor and a Counselor?

Can anyone be a career mentor or a career counselor? The answer is an emphatic No! Career mentoring or career counseling is more than selling a service to a prospect. It calls for a solid analysis that is done by the experts who are mainly into the teaching-learning domain, with the requisite expertise. Opines, Uma Bhattacharya, Secretary of Kingston Educational Group, Kolkata, “We always ensure the students are adequately mentored and counseled before opting for a career choice, as education is a way of life”. The importance of education is not limited by time frame nor it is shortlived and therefore, it is even more imperative for all concerned stakeholders, viz, students, parents, teachers, cousnelors, mentors to understand the importance of career counseling and career mentoring and opt for the right professional.

What happens in a career mentoring or career counseling session?

Career counseling and career mentoring session takes a career aspirant through a wide range of information and also allows the candidates to undergo a range of tests. These enables the aspirant to know about his or her personality and take the right decision pertaining to the career choices available. He or she should also look into the options and compare the services and value added attributes available, as career is not only joining an institution and pursuing an academic program anymore. It relates to the enhancement of the overall personality of the candidate, in order to make him the right citizen for the country and also a right employee for the right employer at the right time and the right place.

Is it worth paying money for  Career Counseling sessions?

Career related investments especially that would allow to gather information and realize one’s personality from a career perspective is indeed a long term investment. Not spending on these aspects related to career and rather wasting money on other non-important cost heads, looks like a silly proposition in the long run. The serious career aspirants always goes the extra mile to register and attend career counseling and mentoring programs, both virtually and in the real life.

What can Career Counseling do to a Career Aspirant?

Career counseling or Career mentoring can open a pandora’s box for a career aspirant. Quite often it is seen that career related dilemmas remains unsolved and one just tries to opt for a career option blindly, by following the career bandwagon. This can be reduced to a very large extent if career aspirants attend these programs. This will enable them to have a realsitic picture of themselves, vis-à-vis the range of options available for them.

Who should attend a career counseling session?

Career counseling sessions should necessarily be attended by the career aspirants, their parents, teachers and even career guides. The reason for this is to have an all rounded understanding of a career decision and it’s impact on each and every of the aforementioned stakeholders. The career aspirant whle taking a decision may not realize it would have a cascding impact on various other stakeholders, directly and indirectly related to him or her. Maitryee decided to opt for fashion designing as a career, and her father decided to sponsor her education through a bank loan. It was later realized that the institution did not have accreditation from the concerned bodies, as a result of which her degree was considered invalid when it came to knocking the doors of the prospective employers. Many of Maitryee’s juniors also joined the fray, as they considered her a role model and landed up in the same soup. The teachers felt bad as some of their brillant pupils took a wrong decision and they could not do much at the outset, as they lacked information and means to influence the decision of the students and their parents. It is here career counseling and mentoring play an important role for one and all, and therefore, it is important to cash upon such opportunities.

How should the Career Aspirant behave in a Career Counseling or Mentoring Session

A career enthusiast should be proactive and reactive while attending a career counseling session. Proactiveness would come only if substantial homework is done on the part of the career aspirants. The homework includes information search from various sources, pertaining to various career options, analysing ones interests and trying to relate those with various career options. More are the questions posed during a career counseling or mentoring session, maximum would be the dividends derived by the candidate. Listening to experts during career related lecture and workshops also enables in opening the mental set-up of the candidate. One such career based program is being held in the Agartala Press Club on the 27th of March 2017, which will bring together some national and international career mentors. Details can be sought by emailing kingedureg@gmail.com or calling at 8336911928.

 

Other knowledge resources from the same blogger-
BLOGS http://www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com
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YOUTUBE LECTURE VIDEOS http://www.youtube.com/user/drmanishankar12/videos
TEACHING AND LEARNING RELATED PRESENTATIONShttps://www.slideshare.net/DrManishankar
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Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Manishankar_Chakraborty
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Article on The Hitavada, Leading English Daily in Central India, dated, 14th February 2017, titled, Teaching by Choice or by Chance?

hitavada-14th-february-2017-published-article

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The article is present in the link below-

http://www.ehitavada.com/pdfepaper.aspx?lang=6&NB=2017-02-14&spage=Mpage&SB=#Mpage_7

The PDF can downloaded by clicking on the link below-

hitavada-14th-february-2017-published-article

The original manuscript is as follows-

Teaching by Chance or by Choice?

 Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty

Senior Teaching and Learning Expert based in the Middle-East

Blogs- www.manishankarscribbles.wordpress.com

www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com

Micro-blog- www.twitter.com/manitwitts

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 Sample the following instances, Oindrila lost her job owing to the company restructuring her employer was undergoing, so as to face the turbulent economic environment. She was working as a HR specialist and therefore, wanted to get a job in the same domain. Since, she wasn’t getting a suitable opening matching her function, location and company, she took up teaching as a stop gap career option. Malliya on the other hand left her plum posting as a learning and development specialist in a reputed company, only to pursue her teaching passion as a career. Both of them took a severe beating in their emoluments and career growth (albeit in the short run for the latter), owing to the changes made in their respective career landscapes. However, the career graph subsequently, changed solely on the basis of the causative agent that brought in the change. Oindrila did not get a HR related job for the next three years and therefore, languished in her career only to earn his livelihood, devoid of drive, motivation and zeal. Malliya on the other hand got a special stimulation and enthusiasm within herself that enabled her to take rapid strides in her new found career option, only to rise up the ladder pretty fast. She moved northwards in terms of pay packet, experience, job profile and was also being frequently tempted and poached by her rival to join them with a premium from her existing pay packet and profile. She however declined all the offers, as she believed in a holistic career move, only after deriving maximum leverage from her existing assignment. Both of them continued their careers in teaching owing to situational dynamics, however, while one kept on gaining accolades, the other kept on cursing herself for choosing such an option.  Reasons for this difference is not difficult to fathom, one joined the profession by chance and the other by choice. Opines Seemanti Ray, an accomplished teacher in a renowned convent school of Kolkata and an alumni in International Relations from Saint Xaviers, Kolkata, “Teaching for me is the first love, everything else comes second. The mere thought of changing my profession, only for a few more thousands gives me sleepless nights, as the love, affection, satisfaction and learning, I derive from the profession are second to none”.  A teacher by choice would dedicate his or life for the sake of career, as the individual concerned gets complete solace from his or her endeavor. When the government is giving a special thrust to skill India, it is important to understand the catalyst who would revolutionize the change. It’s definitely going to be the teachers, trainers or the facilitators, and if this lot is not the one who have opted for the profession out of choice and have instead joined it as a bandwagon by chance, they would not be able to envision the dream of the Prime Minister of making India, the global power house of Quality Human Capital.

Teaching as a career option cannot be driven on the basis of monetary drivers alone, nor can it run on the basis of degrees like Bachelor in Education and so forth, the real champions of this industry are those, who have the flair to bring in that metamorphosis by teaching, learning, writing and knowledge sharing. Money would be the last thing in their priority list, as their professional appetite needs other stimulators to quench the thirst of professional growth. Adds, Uma Bhattacharya, Secretary of a diversified Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education Behemoth of Bengal, “I look for teaching and learning professionals, who wear their professional pursuit and excellence up their sleeves and have a pride in presenting their profession, through their deeds, rather than on the basis of mere lip-service”. Teachers being the societal agent of change, it is indeed a shocker for a country like India to have a mass joining this sector, more by chance than  by choice. The reasons although are manifold, and one should also blame the regulatory bodies for not amending the rules in a way that can facilitate pool in resources from the private sector, without commercializing the industry (primary, secondary and tertiary education) to the extent, where only money can fetch education. Meritocracy should have an upper hand undoubtedly, and it would be apt to customize the western model of private and public universities and institutions of education, even in India.

Teachers who are part of the journey called change, realize that the career is highly fulfilling not only for him or her, but for his surrounding as well, as he is able to influence and also get influenced by the environment, and all the stakeholders therein. Dr. Lalit Khullar, Director of Tirpude Institute of Management Education, Nagpur, firms it up when he says, “Teaching as a career is the only profession, wherein one can change lives, and as a change agent is fortunate enough to witness the result of the efforts blossoming into careers and citizens. Teaching therefore, is not a career to earn money, it ensures you earn a life out of it”. It is indeed apt for yours truly, to admit the fact that, it was this teacher from his post graduation alma-mater, who had shown in the seeds of teaching, and when the decision to make this radical shift to move from Industry to Teaching was made, there were lot of creased foreheads, as nobody was certain about the rationale, especially when the career in the corporate was up and flying. It was only the inner belief, the passion and the conviction to be a teacher by choice, and not by chance that drove the spirits to earn satisfaction from the life at its fullest. Looking back, there is no regrets, as one can safely say, Teacher has acquaintances everywhere, as his pupils are spread all over the geography encompassing all sectors and walks of life. It’s just the question of reaching out to them with that introduction, of being the agent for what they are today and rest as they say is indeed history. Being a teacher by choice is need of the hour, the decision to see the bigger picture or to get embroiled in the myopic one of instant financial benefit and momentary luxuries rests completely with you!

Other knowledge resources from the same blogger-
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TEACHING AND LEARNING RELATED PRESENTATIONShttps://www.slideshare.net/DrManishankar
BEHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING ACTIVITIEShttps://www.behance.net/Manishankar ACADEMIA.EDU
https://hot-trends.academia.edu/DrManishankarChakraborty
Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Manishankar_Chakraborty
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Article on Nurturing Entrepreneurship in Tripura, published in TripuraInfo

TRIPURAINFO

Nurturing Entrepreneurship in Tripura

Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty

Senior Teaching and Learning Expert based in the Middle-East

Blogs- http://www.manishankarscribbles.wordpress.com

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Skilling is the buzzword, but entrepreneurial touch is missing

Skilling is the buzzword across the country, and it resonates in every nook and corner of India, including Tripura. New departments are being set-up, officials are being hired, and retired bureaucrats are being called back with plum positions to man such departments, which were never given such a thrust as an independent brand. The moot question, however, remains, how many programs floated around are able to actually place their graduate students successfully from a sustainable perspective, where the aspirants can not only take care of his or her livelihood, but also get a career roadmap, that is enticing and stimulating for growth. The emphasis of such programs being employment oriented, little does they realize that the need of the hour calls for more of job providers, rather than job seekers. Opines, Sushanta, an employee of the state central university having a small family business, “Business for us was always a second option and an earning buffer as we felt job provides a more assured income”. His statement is indeed shocking to say the least when he hails from a community known for established business and that too, after having a MSME! It is these mental blockade this is acting as a major barrier in making the state realize its latent entrepreneurial abilities.The existing employment opportunities are inadequate for a burgeoning youth population of the country and even the state of Tripura in particular. It is therefore imperative for the skilling programs to develop a sense of entrepreneurial mindset, amongst the trainees, rather than churning out skilled graduates only with a myopic employment focused attitude.

Entrepreneurship is more of a culture

It is indeed a challenge for the state to metamorphose into a hub of entrepreneurship, overnight, as there are many issues plaguing for a long time that needs to be addressed. Some of these issues, although seems to be insurmountable, they are still manageable, while the rest has more of making the necessary alterations in the mindset of the citizens of the state. The geographical disadvantage for inviting investors to come and start their businesses is understandable, however, with the train connectivity coming to the state, in addition to the Bangladesh route and the proposed South East Asia corridor, things are looking quite bright in the future. The mental overhaul that needs to be done in fact looks a bigger challenge, as Tripuraites have often been service holders, whereby, the parents limit their wards dreams and aspirations for a plush job in the public sector or one having mouthwatering remunerations in the private sector. Seldom do the parents emphasize on business as a career option right from the childhood, till the completion of higher education, unless of course they belong to a certain family, community or having chain of businesses with no heir apparent. Even a random survey would reveal that the service holder’s mindset prevails more in Tripura, rather than an entrepreneurial one. Reasons are not difficult to find with limited business opportunities available to a first generation entrepreneur, in addition to the uncertainty attached to career, which at times also impacts match making negatively. The teaching too does not provide the required momentum, so as to think out of the box that would culminate in starting novel businesses in the state, which could not have been dreamt about elsewhere. Radical changes are essential to bring in an entrepreneurial mindset resulting in Tripura becoming a hub of entrepreneurship. The questions to be answered is how (mentioned below), when (now) and who would bell the cat (all the stakeholders in a concerted manner)?

Proposed steps for encouraging Entrepreneurship in Tripura

It is indeed a challenge for the state to metamorphose into a hub of entrepreneurship, overnight, as there are many issues plaguing for a long time that needs to be addressed. Some of these issues, although seems to be insurmountable, they are still manageable, while the rest has more of making the necessary alterations in the mindset of the citizens of the state. The geographical disadvantage for inviting investors to come and start their businesses is understandable, however, with the train connectivity coming to the state, in addition to the Bangladesh route and the proposed South East Asia corridor, things are looking quite bright in the future. The mental overhaul that needs to be done in fact looks a bigger challenge, as Tripuraites have often been service holders, whereby, the parents limit their wards dreams and aspirations for a plush job in the public sector or one having mouthwatering remunerations in the private sector. Seldom do the parents emphasize on business as a career option right from the childhood, till the completion of higher education, unless of course they belong to a certain family, community or having chain of businesses with no heir apparent. Even a random survey would reveal that the service holder’s mindset prevails more in Tripura, rather than an entrepreneurial one. Reasons are not difficult to find with limited business opportunities available to a first generation entrepreneur, in addition to the uncertainty attached to career, which at times also impacts match making negatively. The teaching too does not provide the required momentum, so as to think out of the box that would culminate in starting novel businesses in the state, which could not have been dreamt about elsewhere. Radical changes are essential to bring in an entrepreneurial mindset resulting in Tripura becoming a hub of entrepreneurship. The questions to be answered is how (mentioned below), when (now) and who would bell the cat (all the stakeholders in a concerted manner)?

Proposed steps for encouraging Entrepreneurship in Tripura

There is a need for a coordinated effort on the part of various stakeholders, if Tripura is willing to make the much needed difference in the entrepreneurial landscape of the country and few of the proposed steps are listed below-

(1)Government should initiate incubators that would ensure setting up of organizations right from the ideation stage. There is also a need for a state body that is less on paper and more on action with tangible results on entrepreneurship.

(2)Primary, secondary and tertiary level of education should have a phase-wise, integrated curriculum of entrepreneurship, and this should be included in all the discipline of study, so that entrepreneurship is not seen from a commerce standpoint. It would also bring to the fore entrepreneurs from different domains like Science, Engineering, Doctors, Arts graduates, etc.

(3)Leading business families should be invited to inculcate the business sense and culture existing within their families, to the state at large. Although, this would sound impractical, as they would not be willing to divulge their business philosophies and secrets to potential competitors, those business czars and tycoons of the state should be made to understand the overall benefit for all, if the state develops into an entrepreneurship hub.

(4)Self-help groups, cooperatives should be given focused result oriented training to implement viable business plans.

(5)MSME sector of the state should be provided with result oriented skilling cum entrepreneurship training programs, so that they change their mindsets from being job seekers to job providers.

(6)Collaborating with Pan Indian bodies responsible for grooming entrepreneurs should be done by the state government, private bodies and academic institutions. The best practices should then be customized for the state before being implemented to get more hands on entrepreneurs.

(7)Defined and time bound accountabilities should be given to all skilling, training and developmental heads of private and public institutions to groom successful entrepreneurs on an annual basis. Their past and present profile and positions should not be a certificate for manning these new positions.

(8)Business being the last or the lost option as a career choice should be removed from the resident’s mindset by rigorous career counseling programs, whereby, successful entrepreneurs of global and national fame lend credence to this thought.

(9)The state should strongly leverage the national and global Non Residential Tripuraites network, who are directly and indirectly related with entrepreneurship so asto provide various support.

Source- http://www.tripurainfo.com/tinfo/pgDetailSpecialAricle.aspx?WhatId=2789

Posted comments
Posted On Name e-mail Comments
05/02/2017 01:30:04 BIRJIT SINGHA birjitsingha@yahoo.com The way you described “Proposed steps for encouraging Entrepreneurship in Tripura” – is gonna really helpful for those who are seeking for this kind of business in future. Thanks for this wonderful article sir.
06/02/2017 10:04:55 Mitan Saha sahamitan10@gmail.com great article sir….
06/02/2017 14:43:10 Kripanu sinha kripanu@gmail.com Thanks for your valuable thoughts…
09/02/2017 13:22:59 Rakesh Roy roy.rakesh092@gmail.com #Very Valuable Thoughts Sir… #Keep Writing… #Thank You…
10/02/2017 12:04:08 Henry psd9_roy@yahoo.com “MSME sector of the state should be provided with result oriented skilling cum entrepreneurship training programs, so that they change their mindsets from being job seekers to job providers”- to add up “the government should take necessary actions and create opportunities to these sectors, so that they can participate and get benefited by government schemes simultaneously to benefit others.
10/02/2017 12:34:05 Aniruddha Das ruddh27@gmail.com ITS GREAT…
10/02/2017 12:53:48 animesh dev barma animeshdevbarma@gmail.com Its a good initiative thought, has to be implement with full focus for the benefit of every caste n creed without any corruption nature….a long way to go, to convert dream into reality…
13/02/2017 04:49:09 Micowber Debbarma debbarmamicowber@gmail.com To develop a commercial hub in Tripura This initiative is a good thought, Thank you sir……

Other knowledge resources from the same blogger-
BLOGS http://www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com
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FACE BOOK PAGES ON KNOWLEDGE SHARING, TEACHING ANDLEARNING  https://www.facebook.com/manitheblogger/
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YOUTUBE LECTURE VIDEOS http://www.youtube.com/user/drmanishankar12/videos
TEACHING AND LEARNING RELATED PRESENTATIONShttps://www.slideshare.net/DrManishankar
BEHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING ACTIVITIEShttps://www.behance.net/Manishankar ACADEMIA.EDU
https://hot-trends.academia.edu/DrManishankarChakraborty
Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Manishankar_Chakraborty
LINKEDIN http://om.linkedin.com/in/manishankarthetrainer
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrManishankarChakraborty12/posts

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Article on Demonetisation and its after-effect on the Indian Banking Industry published in TripuraInfo

 

 

Source of the article below- http://tripurainfo.com/tinfo/pgDetailSpecialAricle.aspx?WhatId=2783

 

TRIPURAINFO

Friday, January 20, 2017

Can Demonetization be an Excuse for Poor Customer Service by the Banking Sector?

Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty

 

The real motive of demonetization

The reason for the government to opt for demonetization was definitely a strategic one. Even though there were lot of strain on the banks, businesses and individuals to comply with the alterations within a short notice, it was definitely not meant to be an excuse for any wrong doing on the part of anybody. Sample the following case study with a leading Indian bank, whereby the personnel tries to ride piggy on demonetization for their poor customer service. In hindsight it appears they are immune from the top management for any harsh actions owing to poor customer services rendered, under the pretext of excess workload owing to demonetization. The million dollar question to be asked is whether demonetization is an excuse that can be cited for a very long time, unlike other smaller ones, which in fact exposes a bank’s miserable plight while handling the customers.

Case Study depicting how Demonetization is used as garb for poor customer service

A customer was having an account with a pan India bank which was an NRE account in one part of India. He wanted to open a savings account jointly with his family member so that the new account can facilitate in taking care of all the family related operational expenses. The account was opened in the same bank at a different branch, located in a different state. The bank officials were cordial prima facie, while opening the account even though there was a perceptible change in the working environment of the branches, probably because of the different working culture and working environment prevailing in both the branches, based in different states, which was indeed surprising. That ideally should not be the case especially when a pan Indian bank ought to have standardization in everything and especially in the working culture and attitude of the employees, while serving the customers or while carrying out their daily chores. What was witnessed by the customer in the aforementioned case was indeed surprising as the NRE account as usual being in a developed state of the country, was always having prompt services being delivered, and if not a mere reminder would have done the job without much fuss and delay. On the other hand the new account opened in the other branch had flaws in customer service, one after the other. The new account was opened and the customer provided with his NRE account as is the norm being an account holder in the same bank, albeit in different branch, located in a different place. He also submitted all necessary documents and testimonials. The account was opened and the customer was promised to get the internet banking kit within a week’s time that too was emphasizedto be the maximum time frame for getting the internet banking kit. There was no follow up on the part of the bank, in the interim, to collect the envelope, and it was the customer who had tried to log in with the details presented through an SMS and the information received from the bank, only to see the message “invalid user name”. An email was sent to the manager and it went unanswered. The next day the customer went to the bank and met the manager in person so as to explain him the situation. The manager then put the customer over to a young executive who was well versed with Information Technology, as the manager confessed himself to be an IT illiterate! It was then discovered that the bank had goofed up the internet banking envelope, as it was mistakenly given to another customer who had changed the user name and password to her name.This was the reason for the invalid username and password. This glaring mistake was noticed only because the customer was proactive, or else it would not have been discovered by the bank official, owing to their carefree approach. There was no apology by the manager though and the concerned executive responsible for the fiasco apologized to the customer mildly, saying it happened owing to rush, to which, the customer politely said, that is okay, and sometimes it might happen, as to err is human. Little did the customer realize then it was a practice and routine and was not an aberration in that branch. Then the IT bank executive resolved the issue by changing the password, even though the user name was the same resembling that of the wrong customer, to whom the envelope was handed over in the first place. The executive though assured it would not have any safety and security related issue as the password was already changed. The customer came back with an assurance from the manager that the new account ATM card and cheque book would reach the residential address within 7 working days from their corporate/zonal office by post. More than 10 days passed, nothing was received and therefore, the customer sent an email to both the branches where the new account was opened and to the branch where the old NRE account was present. The latter was sent owing to some problems with the NRE account. While the NRE account related issue was resolved promptly within a day through ISD telephone calls and emails by the bank executive, the new account related issues remained unresolved and continuous email from the customer like routine went unanswered, nor did the sender get a telephonic call. This compelled the customer to escalate the issue and write to the Chairman and Managing Director, as well as to all the AGM’s so as to share how different branches of the same bank, in different cities had different working culture as well as varied attitude and sincerity towards the customer, and more so how the customer service of different branches varied like that of chalk and cheese. Even though there were no emailed acknowledgement of the mail sent by the customer, a day before, customer’s family member got calls from the branches as an after-effect to the email sent to the top echelons of the bank. Initially the branch officials were saying the cheque book and ATM card has been collected by the customer, on denying the same and by citing the complaints made through emails, subsequently they confessed yet again there was a mistake of the customer’s cheque book and ATM card going to another customer as was the case with internet banking envelope earlier! On the top of it the officials who had called up was citing demonetization as a reason for the mistake, when the incident happened in the second week of January 2017, a time by which demonetization was mellowed down and that too in a small branch in a small town of India. Furthermore, the account was also opened on the last week of December 2016, a time when demonetization related rush and pressure of the employees had reduced, especially in a small city, where the branch was located, unlike some bigger metros, where there might have been a continued extended spell of work pressure and customer rush due to serpentine queue. A dejected customer after hearing the lame excuse of demonetization for repeated customer negligence and awful customer service replied to the top management of the bank, and asked whether this is what a market leader should do with their most important stakeholder, viz. the customer? He also asked what for the bank was giving the employees attracting compensation and benefits, when they were completely ignorant and careless about daily issues related to the customer. He also informed that he would approach the chief architect of demonetization, Honorable Prime Minister of the Republic of India asking him, whether demonetization can be an excuse for banks doling out such useless and shabby services to their customers!


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Article on the Education Directorate of Tripura, published in Tripura Times

Read from the links/attachment/text below-

published-article-on-education-directorate-1

http://www.tripuratimes.com/Default2.aspx

published-article-on-education-directorate

The need for a changed mindset within the education directorate of Tripura

Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty

My recent visit to my birthplace and interactions with various stakeholders related to the education fraternity made me realize the need to have qualitative and quantitative institutions that can offer Diploma, Bachelors and Masters Programs in Education. Reasons are not difficult to fathom. On one hand there has been a mushrooming of institutions than what it was during our times, and on the other, there is a dearth of trained teachers, as a result of which, many of the pupils aren’t getting what they deserve, especially after doling out huge sums as fees, both to the institution as well as to the private tutors. Random interactions with the students and parents waiting for the school bus, while I was coming back from my workouts revealed that, the branding of the school, where the pupils were admitted were more on hearsay, rather than on any concrete facts and figures. On asking pointed questions to the pupils about the teaching-learning processes, by leveraging the experience of yours truly, it was evident that most of the professional teachers joined this illustrious career as a chance and not by choice! Opined Sravani Talukdar, a guardian who was a trained teacher herself, “most of the schools in the state lack quality teachers as training is a major challenge owing to the absence of institutions offering educational programs”. She reiterated the point by saying most of the training conducted by government schools are more of picnics as there are no concrete takeaways and nor are they related to one’s performance appraisal.

The state government is trying to rope in private players from different states under a PPP model so as to run institutions all across the state. The government in right in thinking to cash upon the physical infrastructure of the government, hitherto lying idle in different parts of the state. But the laidback and time taking mechanism coupled with red tapes are causing major hindrances in making the things happen at break neck speed. From the chairman and secretary of a renowned Kolkata based institution willing to start the programs in the state, it was evident that the chief minister and the education minister are more than willing to make it happen at the earliest, however, the speed at which the files are moving at the education directorate in spite of repeated personal follow-ups, makes the group leaders wonder, whether the plan will see the light of the day, this academic year. The slow pace at which the files moves from one office to another within the education department, makes the investor wonder about the planned timelines estimated by the administrators.  Add to it the intra and inter departmental transfer of that file and one can imagine the time delay, the whole process takes. The state and the central government have done tremendous progress over the years, especially in the higher education sector, by bringing in universities and starting Higher Educational Institutes (HEI), which was considered a pipe dream not so long ago. But, the absence of the same thrust in the education sector, especially when primary, secondary and tertiary education has a close relationship, may not be good in the long run, as the quality of the output from those HEI and Universities would be questionable from the employment and entrepreneurial standpoint. The foundation during the schooling decides the subsequent education a student can withstand and use it for his or her personal career growth and therefore, it is imperative to bring in that connect between all the three spheres of education.

In addition to offering formal education like D.Ed., B.Ed. and M.Ed. the state government can do well by roping in trainers and training and educational institutions having credibility nationally and globally, to supplement the shortage of training facilities in the state. Adds, Dr. Ravi Aher, founder, coach and teacher trainer of EQC, Nagpur and a close acquaintance and peer of yours truly, “a state like Tripura where education and healthcare forms the backbone of human spending, there is an urgent need to groom teachers and doctors, both qualitatively and quantitatively”. The absence of a structured training ground and facilities for all existing and prospective teachers is culminating into a situation, where educated illiterates are churned out from schools, colleges and universities, having degrees, sans any relevance in the job market.

Tripura being a the leading state in terms of literacy should take the decisive step of improving the quality of the teachers within the primary, secondary and tertiary educational realm by taking fast decisions, that would be considered as a benchmark of sorts nationally. It is not difficult to pursue, only thing that needs to be altered is the mindset of the education department officials in line with the vision of the state leaders, ministries, students, all teaching fraternity representatives, and guardians. It’s high time to take that call, as it’s now or never!

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Article on “Private Tuition Industry of Tripura” published in TripuraInfoway

Image result for tripura infoway logo

 

Please read the article from the links below or from the original manuscript pasted underneath the links.

http://www.tripurainfoway.com/column-details/314/a-facelift-for-tripura-rsquo-s-private-tuition-industry-is-need-of-the-hour.html

 

https://shar.es/18UxP6

 

The original manuscript is as follows-

A Facelift for Tripura’s Private Tuition Industry is the Need of the Hour

Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty
International Management Trainer, Consultant and Faculty

 

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Education and healthcare forms the core of Tripuraites spending, and is right there at the top of their priority list of spending, although the reasons are diverse. The masses of this landlocked state, understands the meaning of education,  evident from the literary rates of this minute state, vis-à-vis other more established peers, which in spite of being fortunate in terms of geography and even resources, are dismal when it comes to literacy rates. Reasons for Tripura to be in this situation are not difficult to find, it is education that has created a mark for Tripuraites, nationally and globally, and coupled with their tenacity, makes the human capital from the state a formidable combination for employers, regulators, civil societies and even governments. In other words, Tripuraties owing to their personality blended with education makes them a cynosure of all eyes (wish Government of Tripura and/India had some statistics on these lines) to prove the same.

Tripuraites are omnipresent, nationally and internationally, across domains and industries. Of late, there has been a major thrust in the secondary and tertiary education sector of the state, with almost all the disciplines being offered by state, central or private institutions of learning and higher learning respectively. This is indeed praiseworthy and for once, let’s congratulate all the stakeholders in making this a reality, which was a distant pipedream not so long ago!

However, there is one industry within this realm of education and higher education that has contributed tremendously to the educational landscape of the state, but has never been optimized in terms of their abilities and contributions to the state’s overall development. Furthermore, they have been playing a role behind the scenes that needs to come out to the fore. Adds Partha Sarathi Paul, a police inspector and a proud father of a son who got attractive offers from Blue Chip companies like Thermax and Infosys, and is currently pursuing final year in NIT Agartala, “Private Tuition Industry fills the gap between the education offered by institutions and the ones needed to get top rank either in board exams or to crack competitive exams”. This makes it very clear that the private tuition industry is playing a significant role in the students shining at the state, national and even at the international level. Does that mean, a yawning gap developing between the delivery of education in the institution and the one offered by private tuition industry varies to a very large extent? More importantly, is this gap intentional or it is a mere coincidence, where students have developed a culture, along with their parents to have extra attention through private tuition. Whatever, might be the rationale, it is time when this industry ought to be given a facelift and metamorphosed into an organized sector, from the unorganized setup prevailing now.
The private tuition industry of the state, which albeit an unorganized one, is not only a major revenue spinner for a cross section of the society, but is also rendering yeoman services to the growth of the intellectual capital in the state, which unfortunately is getting lost, owing to brain drain. The question to dwell in this article, is to find out a mechanism to make this industry more organized, where clear cut accountabilities is being laid down to the front-runners in terms of their roles, responsibilities and contribution towards the growth and development of the state, directly and indirectly, as a knowledge provider/contributor. Furthermore, a model need to evolve that would groom quality teachers, even if they are not attached with any institution or is not present in the teaching profession in the first place.
Quite often the trend among career aspirants is to follow the bandwagon emanating from the toppers of state and central board exams, both class tenth and twelfth included, followed by various entrance examinations, for higher education and employment. Add to it the modern day marketing blitzkrieg by various tutorial homes, coaching centers, citing testimonials from the toppers and the guardian-student duo lands up in a ctch-22 situation. To complicate matters, sometimes it is also perceived that if one is not seeking tuition from teachers of the same institution, it might have an impact on the internal marking, although there are no studies available to prove the same. On a different note, some private tutors like doctors have developed a brand name in the market, resulting in students flocking their residences, only to realize that it resembles a mini school, where the so called personalized attention is missing! A mere thought that if a teacher attached with an institution offers private tuition to their own students, their contribution in the institution is bound to be questioned, as far as their service level commitment in the institution and that of the private one is concerned. A sensible stakeholder would ask what is impossible to be offered in the institution that would be delivered in a private set-up. Such queries would definitely ruffle feathers of many private tutors who are attached to some institutions, but, it is important for the regulators to understand these situations, in the overall benefit of the students, teachers, parents and institution.

The same holds true for doctors serving in hospitals and running parallel practices. Some private tutors who are able to create a niche for themselves and has developed as an independent brand, devoid of any association with specific institution have been able to understand the market pulse better. They have proved themselves irrespective of any affiliation of any institution. This lot is skillful enough to understand the requirement of the student and parents and are successfully in grooming performers. In such a scenario how can this haphazard situation be converted into a WIN-WIN proposition for all the concerned stakeholders, viz. tutors, students, institutions, parents, society, government and the state at large?
Here are some recommendations, which can be brainstormed by all concerned, before actually customizing it in the overall benefit of the state and its talent.
(1) The department of education and higher education should have an offshoot managing all private tutors at the primary, secondary and the tertiary level.
(2) The offshoot, or a regulatory body should register all the tutors along with their personal details, viz.  Education, experience, affiliation etc.
(3) There should be a continuous evaluation of student and parent satisfaction of these private tutors on the basis of their performance in private as well as in the institution they are attached with. Grading has to be done on this basis and higher grades would be provided where the tutor gets an equal grading on both the spheres.
(4) The private tutors should be subjected to a periodical test, annually or bi-annually to check for their knowledge, attitude and skill enhancement and this would contribute towards their annual grading and offering of a license to pursue private tuition as a career.
(5) Licensing can be terminated by the regulatory body on the basis of poor and unethical performance by the tutor, which might have impacted the stakeholders of the industry, in a negative manner.
(6) The assessment of a tutor should also compare the performance of the students being guided and the commensurate results over a period of time, say for the last two years to five years respectively.
(7) The evaluation should be a comprehensive one whereby, all factors are taken into consideration that can directly and indirectly impact all the stakeholders of the private tuition industry.
(8) There would be an allotted quota provided by the regulatory body to offer free tuition services to the needy, but brilliant minds, vis-à-vis the number of students tutored and also the ranking in the popularity charts, for each and every tutor.
(9) The tuition fees would be prescribed by the regulatory body commensurate with the level of education, the profile of the tutor, his past performance, his experience and his contribution towards the society and other major stakeholder, the student.
(10) All information should be available centrally in a portal, where stakeholders can have perennial access so as to make informed decision about the selection of private tutors.
(11) The tutors would also be providing with career counseling services through this portal to one and all on a periodical and rotational basis, so that the students gets access to all services pertaining to education, under the same roof. It would also enable a tutor to widen his scope of professional readiness.
(12) The senior pros in the tuition industry should mentor the younger generation and this contribution should also be a part of their overall grade of a tutor.
(13) Teachers attached with an institution would be allowed to don the role of a tutor till he is attached with that institution and on superannuation, if his name dips in the popularity index chart, he should be offered a mentoring and advisory role in the tuition governing body, so as to cash on his rich experience and also offering him an opportunity to earn and learn.
(14) There should be training and development programs with a dedicated annual training cum workshop plan for all tutors, new and old and their participation as participants and facilitators would contribute towards their personal grading as a tutor.
(15) There would be an annual conference of all the stakeholders of the education and higher education industry, with contributions from all concerned, so as to analyze the past and strategize for the future, with an objective of overall growth of the industry.
(16) Tutors forming the service provider list should not only have professional academicians, but also include people with a passion to teach or having rich experience that can enable them to be tutors. Their grading would be done on a comparable manner, so that they are not deprived from their peers, just because they haven’t had professional teaching stints. This in a way would make the industry richer in terms of knowledge, abilities and intellectual base.
(17) There should be annual awards by the state government on various basis, to the best three tutors, viz. best performance of students, excellent community services, tremendous contribution towards the growth of the human capital of the state, best academic counselor, best tutoring mentor and so forth.
(18) The department of education and higher education can contemplate having a separate department to manage this offshoot, which in turn would also provide employment opportunities to many, not to mention the benefits arising out of an organized private tutoring industry.

All these might sound insurmountable in theory, however, they are practically feasible with some serious efforts by all the concerned stakeholders. More than that, it is the question of changing the mindset and whether one is prepared to do something for the state and the society with increased and specified accountabilities. This however, does not debar them from earning extra cash, in a level playing field with clear cut policies and procedures. Being a teacher myself, yours truly always felt, the clan has responsibility towards the masses and not the classes, and therefore, leveraging the core competencies of a teacher can only catapult Tripura in the leagues of the developed states of the country. As they say, “competition is the mother of invention”, so let there be a competition in a level playing field for all, and let there be a survival of the fittest mechanism, devoid of ridding piggy on institutional affiliations, contacts with the bigwigs and personal branding of a handful!  Are the stakeholders listening?

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Article titled, Modi and Dhoni-A Comparison of Leadership Styles, published in Tripura Times, dated,25th of November 2016

An interesting read, comment as well, how did you feel it?

Click on any of the links below or read the abstract at the bottom of this blog-

It can be read from Tripura Times portal by clicking on the link below-

http://www.tripuratimes.com/Default2.aspx

The PDF version can be downloaded from the link below-

modi-and-dhoni-article-intripura-times

The original manuscript is as follows-

Modi and Dhoni-Personality Comparison from Leadership Perspective 

Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty

Narendra Modi like Mahendra Singh Dhoni has this uncanny ability of pulling out a rabbit from a hat! Both of them are prime examples of the fact that leaders are not born, they are made. Dhoni had a humble beginning and found his way into the cricketing folklore on the basis of sheer determination, perseverance and hard work. The same can be said of Modi, who had a very normal middle-class upstart to his political career only to reach the crescendo on the basis of grit, fearless attitude and patience. Both are true opportunists, as they know how to smell out the same to differentiate as a leader, from the so called challenges or difficulties referred by a common man. The true character of a leader who would like to make it large, is to keep the audience guessing about the next move and both Modi and Dhoni fits the bill in that regard. Adds, Mohanlal Jangir, an investment and insurance consultant in Nagpur, “Modi and Dhoni resembles like siblings, with regards to their moves, although, even identical or fraternal twins does not make the same move, despite looking alike”. It is their genetic trait to measure up situations and read the opponent precisely even before others are undergoing the process of due-diligence.

The test to the courageous decisions taken by both of them could be the ICCT20 World Cup in South Africa, where, Dhoni gave the last over to a new bowler against Pakistan in a final, thereby trusting his gut feel to the core. Similarly, he came down to lead his team to win the World Cup in Mumbai in a position which was not his, and everyone was expecting Yuvraj to come into bat. Modi too has shown such uncertainties, however, whether his moves had a positive bearing on the overall situation, can only be realized at a later point in time, as it is still a work in progress. One was his surprise visit to greet Pakistani Prime Minister during the latter’s birthday, while on the way back from Afghanistan, and the second decision was the demonetization move, which happens to be the modern day talking point for all Indians, wherever they are. Even his invitation sent to all SAARC neighbors during the swearing in ceremony was an unexpected gesture.

Modi and Dhoni commands respect from their team members solely on the basis of their never say die spirit and the ability to get the best from even average individuals. The period of transition when they move over to the helm of affairs, they are often not seen to be in the same page as that of their senior colleagues, mainly due to their invigorated mindset. Examples could be L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, or even Sourav Ganguly and Virendra Sehwag, who had fallen out of Modi’s and Dhoni’s favor at one point in time. On the top of that both of them have excellent work ethics, which enables them to show others the way of doing things, in a perfect manner.  They are willing to walk the extra mile to sharpen their professional axe and are always in the lookout to enhance their professional repertoire. They are never hesitant in speaking out their mind in issues related to the welfare of their team or the cause they are trying to champion. They are at times referred to as arrogant displaying “my way or highway” kind of behavior, however, it is their self-belief that makes them take such steps, even when the world around thinks otherwise. Both of them have an impeccable ability to give attention even to the minutest details, while finalizing processes, and this is one of the reason why they rely strongly on their gut feelings. They do have a habit of playing to the galleries at times, making them popular and also having a strong base of followers, however, they play in that fashion only when they are certain of accomplishing their goals. Till the time they are not confident whether they would be reaching their target, they would grind with ferocious determination. Modi and Dhoni take utmost care of their physical and mental health as they realize they need solid companionship of both these aspects, not only as a leader, but also as part of that elite team. In spite of being workaholic to the core, Modi and Dhoni knows very well, when to switch on and switch off, and that allow them to keep their mental and physical state afresh, always. Their body language is deceptive, as they hardly show emotions in the manner one who would expect, especially during crests and troughs. This makes their rival’s job even difficult to study their prospective strategies, which are forthcoming. Their assertive behavior at times is reflected in a negative manner to the audience, as they pick and choose when to react and when not to react to public mood. They are the ones who are least bothered by media comments and they never deviate on the basis of such analysis and comments. They are the ones who take a decision and stick to it, even during the hardships or trying times. They are not the ones to roll back or get into a blame game, when their own strategies that has been implemented, encounters a failure. They are well prepared in advance while taking a gamble that they stand chance to earn bouquets or brickbats. Their willingness to bring in radical changes or results never experienced before, makes them resemble like an autocrat as it calls for doing things differently, hitherto unseen. They never carry mental baggage with them as a result of which they are always fresh for any challenges. They have their feet firmly entrenched to the ground in equal measure, during wins and losses and therefore, either of them does not make much of an impact for them. They come to the scene all of a sudden from nowhere, and make their exit in a similar fashion, implanting their solid trademark in whatever they do. They may not have a very good succession plan, however, their strong personality makes many imitators who are willing to grow by following their footsteps as role models. After all cricket and politics are two sides of the same coin for Indians!

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