Saturday, 20 September 2014

Whistle Podu!

The Beginning

With T20 gaining popularity, the loud cheering and whistling too is now mainstream - so mainstream that there is actually requirement for Whistling officers, Whistling executives and Chief Whistle Officers. The demand is so much that Chennai Super Kings with the slogan "whistle podu' alone requires more than 100 whistling officers.

The Whistle Curriculum

Govt of Tamil Nadu has taken note of this surge in whistling interest that it decided to introduce "Whistling" as a Subject in the University Curriculum. A think tank was formed at the very top level to frame a curriculum with CSK as their advisers. The whistle curriculum committee came up with the following core topics to teach whistling as a subject in colleges:

1. Defintion of Whistle / whistling
2. Who invented Whistle /whistling
3. In which year whistle was invented
4. Main types of whistles 

The committee also recommended the following as the answers that need to be further elaborated through power point presentations:

1. Whistle is the sound made by humans and animals especially birds when they are happy and extremely excited
2. Whistle was invented by Capt. Vizlosky of Serbia during the cold war
3. It was invented in the year 1642
4. There are more than 100 types of whistles, but the main 5 types are:
a. Silent Whistle b. Violent Whistle c. Screaming Whistle  d. Soft Whistle  and e. Melody Whistle.

Students Feedback

The brand new curriculum has been approved in record time and now there are full time students specializing in Whistling. According to reliable sources, the students found the subject interesting and the practical’s which involves measuring and recording the dimensions of different types of whistles and drawing a picture of the whistle -very stimulating. In the 1st semester, students have scored 100% in whistle subject. Recently, a student Vizilmani has submitted a thesis for his P.hd on the topic "Comparative study of whistling behaviour of CSK & RCB fans"

The Interview

On the insistence of CSK, a campus recruitment was organized for the sole purpose of recruiting various levels of whistling trainees, officers and executives. On D day or shall we say W day, the students in their interview attire lined up. Vizilmani was the first to be interviewed. He entered the room with confidence, shook hands and sat down with great expectations.

Thanks for coming for the interview. Please can you whistle for me?

Vizilmani: Sir? What sir?

Interviewer: Whistle? thambi, whistle podu! Please whistle loudly!!

Vizilmani: (wiping sweat from his brow) Sorry sir..OUT OF SYLLABUS!!


I narrated this "Whistle" Story at a recent seminar for College students. I gave them a short “lecture’ on Whistle and also asked them to write down answers to the 3 questions. 90% of the students had written verbatim what I just spoke to them. Then I called a boy and a girl who had scored “100%” in the exam on stage. Everyone applauded on their ‘achievement”. I gave the mike to them and said, “Please whistle for me” They remained silent. The dean and vice principal sitting in the front rows, nodded knowingly. Some students applauded and even whistled (from the back benches of course) to show their understanding.  

I was shocked and surprised when at the end of the seminar, one student walked up to me to ask. Sir, you told about the CSK job offer. Can you tell me when is the interview? 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Mr. MBA, Data Entry operator. Mr. B.Tech Office Assistant


Last week, we had advertised for "Data Entry Operator" the minimum qualification required was +2 or fresh graduates. Salary range starting from Rs. 6000/- p.m.

Not surprisingly we received over 40 responses. Surprisingly, over 35 of the candidates are B.E /B.Tech / MBA / M.Com / M.Phil. We did not get any PhD (saving grace !) More than the degree, the applying candidates should be well versed in English typing and should be able to enter data within a given time without error.

I will not be writing about it if it were an isolated incident, this is now become a regular feature. When we had earlier advertised for student counselors, we were flooded with B.E /B.Tech applicants. A recent article shared by my friend in Economic Times: MBA Degree losing its sheen?  highlights this scenario - which we are witnessing almost on a daily basis. We also get hundreds of CVs applying with the subject line "I want Job" and invariably all of them are either Engineering graduates or MBA graduates.

This brings us back to the original question, Why are these graduates not able to get employment? The writing quite literally is on the wall. All you have to do is ask any of these 'so called' MBA or B.Tech graduates to write 4 lines of complete sentences in English. You will be surprised at the errors that creep in almost each word, each sentence and each line.

One can go on and on about the various reasons, but the bottom line is, young people blindly follow what their peers or parents ask them to do. After they enroll they struggle and study various theoretical subjects which has no relevance to the job market. Pathetically, students who score 90% and above fail miserably when they were asked to solve simple mathematical problems or write a meaningful sentence. I had seen MCA graduates not able to create a separate folder and save email attachments!

Unless, the colleges give impetus to developing skills in basic communication, IT skills, analytic skills and English -spoken and written, the students face a grim future. Without any employable skills, their degree is not even worth the paper it is printed on.

With these kind of fancy qualifications, they live in a fantasy world till reality strikes them.
Then they start applying for "data entry job'. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Skill Development of youth - a viable CSR option

In recent times, I made a whirlwind tour of Colleges - both Arts& Science and Professional Colleges in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

The idea is to interact with the final year students and gauge how prepared they are for the life ahead in the Corporate sector. After a short presentation on "Employability and Job Skills" I introduced them to sample aptitude test - basic questions covering English, Logical Reasoning and Numerical Ability.

The results are startling and very disturbing. Sample this: A student of final year B.Sc Maths could not find the "average" for a simple sum. A final year B.A. English student could not write 100 words in English without making a mistake. Across the board, the situation was the same. The students in the city or so called Elite pvt. colleges also did not score more than 14 out of 20 in the test.

The saddest part is, the students do not even realize this. They have a false sense of entitlement and refuse to accept their weakness. They believe that they are entitled to a high paying job - simply because they had completed a B.E, or MBA or just a degree. These kids live in a fools paradise and wait for the elusive pot of gold!

On one hand, I have employers - leading Banks /Insurance companies asking for 100 - 200 candidates per month! on the other hand, I could hardly screen and present 5 - 10 students in say 3 months.

We have a gigantic task ahead in training these kids and bringing them up to the level where they could be even considered for an entry level job. We in our small way are doing our bit to help them understand their areas of improvement and suggest ways to improve through our EZ Spark Program

I know many progressive companies, especially in the IT sector in India have launched Campus To Corporate events and many training institutes like Learn N Shine have initiated "Finishing Schools" but still we have a long way to go in improving the attitude, skills and knowledge of our young people.

In the new Financial year, when Corporates are planning their CSR projects, a Skill Development Initiative should receive top priority.