Sunday, October 18, 2009

The long and short of inflation data : {Planning Commission, DIPP} vs {RBI, Fin Min}

India currently publishes the inflation data weekly , and UAE wants to publish it monthly from the current frequency of annually. While one seems to be doing it too fast (provisional and actual data would be separated by weeks), the other in 2008 decided that a wiser move would be to publish it monthly.

Currently, the Indian government releases weekly inflation data with a two-week lag and then releases the final data with an eight-week lag.Current headline inflation data is widely considered to be non-representative due to the continued use of an old base year (1993-94) and an outdated basket of commodities.

The concerns here are that a lag in policy interventions in case data comes in slow(in case of UAE).RBI's view however is that "it would face problems in preparing weekly statistical supplements if inflation data isn’t available with the corresponding frequency."

This Thursday, Montek Singh Ahluwalia put forth an interesting perspective to this debate :"they (government) have been working on it. May be it will come out actually I mean from the professional point of view this will be done, and obviously timing of it is always a matter of some concern because people always think that you are making the change for motivated reason.

The jury is still out on this one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SIIB rocks in IIM-A Agri Biz Quiz

Here is somethin to cheer about!!!

SIIB has won the IIM- A Agri Biz Quiz, beating contenders from IIM- A and JBIMS. "Radio Aktive" team from SIIB won the first prize while Nickel team from IIT Madras bagged the second leaving UV-Rays team from IIM-A with the third prize.
Check out the screen shot below. Do check out in in Quizzes section!!

The funny part is, we dont know who Radioaktiv is??

Inviting the winner to occupy the hall of fame.. A grand bash is waiting 4 u!!!

Lets all cheer for this team from Agri Biz. Kudos folks!!

Lets rock folks...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Coming back to life

There was peace all around. The nimbus clouds were dreamily sailing over us. The cool wind continued its soft caress. The silence was weaving a mellifluous melody around us.

The concrete jungle was barely visible. There were some small huts in the near vicinity. Some cattle were grazing around. The other side of the mountain was a showcase of nature’s serene beauty. It was a flush green meadow with trees proudly showing off their green leaves. We were on top of Mount C2(we found these letters written somewhere on the rocks, smaller version of K2 I guess).

It all started while we were sitting on the banks of River Hinjewadi. ‘We’, that day consisted of Arun, Samarth, Vivek, me, OP, Bud, Sid, Hari, Nimesh, Anand (in the order of our PRN numbers).

- ‘Let’s go to that mountain’, said Bud.

- ‘Chalo’, says I. Jumping up, never expecting that he actually intended to climb all the way up that hill. The hill was barely visible from that rivulet.

The rest also sounded their approval with a resounding ‘Aaahuu’(Refer to movie 300). Nimesh was not at all enthused by the proceedings.

- ‘It’s too far yaar’, says he. He was in a philosophical mood. If someone would have given him a pen and paper, he would have started writing ‘Mahabharata Reloaded’ then and there.

He being the miniscule minority was easily overpowered and soon he was trudging along with the rest of us towards that Promised Land. Bud led us like Moses and we followed like the hapless Hebrews, trying to flee from the rigmarole of our daily life.

- ‘Let’s run for some time’, said Vivek.

Two more enthusiasts shared his emotions and before long we could hardly see Arun, Vivek and Hari(in the order of our PRN numbers), they were so far ahead.

We crossed the last visible sign of habitation another 18 mins later. Then came the visibly furious cow. She somehow had something against the section of humanity who tried to cross her and breach the part of the world behind her. Well in front of 10 determined humans a cow hardly posed to be a threat. We breached the final frontier and started advancing towards our green escape. It was a strange feeling. The feeling of freedom creeping into our soul, as we were breaking away from the shackles of MBA life. We could see the hill in front of us now towering into the sky.

I looked back and on the horizon I could see the concrete jungle. It was a awesome sight. Before us lay flush green meadows, trees, clouds flirting with the hills. Behind us was a stream of concrete high-risers lining the horizon.

We were breaking away. Breaking away from pressure, pollution, population, corruption and day to day competition.

On the side of the main hill was a small hillock. We breached that, and set on to conquer our final conquest for the day. Arun with his tall athletic frame was leading the pack. Samarth, me and Nimesh formed the left tail of our group’s normal distribution. Huffing and puffing we continued on our way up. Constant encouragements kept on coming down from the right tail of the normal distribution.

- ‘U can do it guys. Buck up. It’s beautiful up here.’

That it was. It was much more than beautiful. It was splendor placed before you on a golden crucible. It is so sad that we have distanced us so much from nature. Mother nature is so, so beautiful.

There was peace all around. The nimbus clouds were dreamily sailing over us. The cool wind continued its soft caress. The silence was weaving a mellifluous melody around us.

Our college building was visible. Yes, and that must be the D-Hostel. IIIT, Infy, CTS, all were visible. Yet we were so far away from all that.

Some leg-pulling, some relaxed banter, some photos being taken, it was time to head back to habitation.

- ‘Let’s go back guys, it’ll get dark soon’, somebody observed.

It was time to go back. Back to the reality called life. Back to the realization that life is a constant journey. A multi-variant, multi-colored canvas, with paintings of various experiences adding color to the canvas every second. Relaxing, and bantering below clouds is not life. Life is about passion, it’s about determined perseverance towards a certain goal. It’s about enjoying whatever you are doing. It’s about giving your best with grit and vigor and breaking away whenever one gets a chance with even greater vigor.

We started climbing down from the momentary high, down towards reality.

- ‘We’ll be back’, said Hari, looking back.

We would surely be back. We were rejuvenated and ready to take on the world head on. We found out yet again that Mother Nature is always there sitting there to comfort and sooth the prodigal son whenever we need. So it is very important to take care of nature as she takes cares about us.

Krishanu Mukherjee (09-11)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Muah muah,I am man of but few words :the PowerPoint remix version


The KISS ("Keep it Simple, Stupid" or the more genteel version:"Keep it Short and simple") should be mandatorily asked for as a gentleman's agreement or the lady's word before the start of any speech to the brethren, classmates or to one who lent his ear hoping it would not be pickled.

"I have fallen in love with my voice, help!!"
"Each person/group shall present for a period not exceeding 20 minutes":In retrospective , for each presentation where this rule is asked for , it is violated blatantly.Elsewhere,the Oscar night acceptance speech hence had to be, by writ of higher beings ; limited to 45 seconds.People , in moments of great glee speak a lot. And in times of distress too.That does not account for the fact that once Fidel Castro just went on and on in the United Nations for many hours.(V. K. Krishna Menon spoke for 8 hours on India's position on Kashmir in the UN Security Council, the transcripts run into 160 pages on the UN website)

The feature creep , as someone who comes from the software industry , is a nightmare one has lived with.The bells and whistles which the client asks for , or the developers feel should go out with that build has to be seen in the light of whether we can meet the deadlines with the new features asked for.Woe be the team member who brings 25 slides for his bit on the group presentation.

And so 52 slides in 20 minutes, is , well ;to politely put it "Asking for the moon at a discount ,and also asking for some freebies thrown in too".Yet , we do see the same in classrooms by beloved classmates who fall in love with the art form of slide after agonizing slide after "when will this end" slide.KISS friend, KISS.The synchronized yawn of 65 odd students is not an Olympic sporting event yet, but after the third group which "exceeds expectations" regards keeping the time limit , one should be prepared to witness.

I am not a big fan of PowerPoint , having read the works of the Yale Professor of Visualization ,Edward Tufte . PowerPoint forces you to think in bullets-framework.Compelling however Tufte's arguments are, it happens that corporate world has fallen in love with PowerPoint . In the book "Who says elephants can't dance", Louis Gerstner describes how in one of the early days after his taking over as the CEO of IBM , Gerstner on a fact-minding mission of where each department stood ; asked for the overhead slide projector to be switched off and asked the unit head to describe in words whatever needed to be presented. Wise man!

If one respected other's time as much she respected hers , the world would have been a better place: trains would run on time ,VIPs would reach the venues where they are the chief guest on time and so on.Yet we persist in exceeding the brief or time limit.So let's KISS and make up for whatever has gone wrong .

Friday, October 2, 2009

Money Life Essay Contest: Dates Extended!!!!

Moneylife Magazine in association with Reliance Mutual Fund has undertaken a unique initiative to identify outstanding talent through a high profile essay contest among the 70-odd management schools in the Mumbai-Pune region. The initial response is extremely encouraging and we request your support in taking this forward. The details of the contest and timelines for submission of the entries are as follows:

Event Title: Reliance Mutual Fund-Moneylife Big Idea Contest

Topic: Taking Financial Markets to the Masses

Word Length: 3000 Words

Last Date for submission: 15th October 2009

Mode of submission: The essays must be emailed to as an attachment, properly formatted and in double space. Submission must include name of the author, address, name of institution and roll number. The work must be accompanied by a standard declaration of originality as below:

“ I (Name) of (college name), declare that this essay is entirely my own work and has not been submitted in any form to any other publication. I also permit Moneylife to use, alter, edit, publish or display the essay it in print or electronic form with due attribution”.


1st Prize: Two return tickets to Dubai (courtesy Bahrain Air) + cash prize

2nd Prize: Holiday package for two (2N3D) to Goa from Mahindra Holidays + cash prize

3rd Prize: Blackberry phone from Media Training Worldwide

Finalists: Top 10 get a Moneylife subscription plus books; top 30 get participation certificate.


Winners will be selected by a very eminent jury headed by Dr Anil Khandelwal, former Chairman, Bank of Baroda. Jury members: Mr Jagan Mohan Rao, Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Mr Madhu Kela, Head, Equity Investments, Reliance Mutual Fund, Mr Joseph Massey, Managing Director, MCX-SX, Mr S G Kalia, Executive Director, Vijaya Bank, Mr Debashis Basu, Editor & Publisher, Moneylife Magazine.

Prize Distribution Event

The results of the contest will be declared by end October and the winners will be felicitated at a grand function to be held in the first week of December, immediately after the exams.

We hope you would find the event of great interest and look forward to your active participation through your students.


Debashis Basu

Editor & Publisher

The Mahatma and the ad-man

While many debate the relevance of Gandhian thought in contemporary times ,we shift our attention to the ads Gandhiji features in.The recent controversy featuring Mont Blanc pen ad featuring the Dandi March(nib shown above) made one remember the Rotomac ad done sometime back.

The copyright to all of Mahatma Gandhi's writings is with the Navjeevan Trust, which was established by Bapuji himself. His inheritance went to the Trust.Film footage of Gandhiji is owned by the Gandhi Film Foundation, the Government of India's Films Division and some international networks. The copyright for photographs is owned by Kanu Gandhi's descendants, the Vithalbhai Jhaveri Trust and others who took the pictures. Prasar Bharati, the Broadcasting Corporation of India, owns the audio tapes of his speeches. ( )

In 2002, Tushar Gandhi , great-grandson of Gandhiji signed an agreement with an American company :CMG Worldwide , with the mandate of marketing the image of Gandhiji.

The wittily done ad for Union Bank of India had the byline as "Joint account" with Kasturba Gandhi on the Rs.100 note.

As one ventured for the first bit of Googling today, one encountered the Google tribute , yes ;indeed one wonders what Gandhiji would have said , had he been around today on the hue and cry raised on ads bearing his image.