Anuk Arudpragasam’s ‘A Passage North’ shortlisted for Booker Prize 2021

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New Delhi, Sep 15 | Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam’s novel “A Passage North” (Penguin India) that transports the reader from Colombo to the war-torn Northern Province and lays bare the imprints of an islands past and the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek, has moved to the shortlist for The Booker Prize 2021.

It’s a searing novel of longing, loss and the legacy of war, from the author of “The Story of a Brief Marriage”.

“A Passage North” begins with a message from out of the blue: a telephone call informing the protagonist, Krishan, that his grandmother’s caretaker, Rani, has died under unexpected circumstances – found at the bottom of a well in her village in the north, her neck broken by the fall.

The news arrives on the heels of an email from Anjum, an impassioned yet aloof activist Krishnan fell in love with years before while living in Delhi, stirring old memories and desires from a world he left behind.

As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the devastated Northern Province for Rani’s funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country.

At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, as well as an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war, this procession to a pyre “at the end of the earth” lays bare the imprints of an island’s past and the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.

Written with precision and grace, the masterful novel is an attempt to come to terms with life in the wake of devastation, and a poignant memorial for those lost and those still alive.

Anuk Arudpragasam was born in Colombo and moved to the United States at the age of 18, where he attended Stanford and Columbia Universities. His first novel, “The Story of a Brief Marriage”, was translated into six languages, won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. He currently divides his time between Sri Lanka and India.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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