CCMB lab releases guidelines for Covid testing in zoo animals

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Hyderabad, June 21 | With Covid-19 cases reported in zoo animals in India last month, the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) of the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, has released guidelines for Covid-19 investigation in captive animals.

LaCONES is one of the four designated centres for testing animal samples for possible coronavirus infection. With support from the Central Zoo Authority and Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, it has released guidelines for zoo frontline workers on Covid-19 investigation in captive animals.

“The guidelines provide detailed protocols that include pictorials and frequently asked questions for an easier understanding of those collecting samples for Covid testing in wildlife,” CSIR-CCMB Director, Dr. Vinay K. Nandicoori, said.

LaCONES started testing animal samples for possible SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection in August 2020. The scientists found the first positive samples from Asiatic lions in Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad in April 2021.

LaCONES team has tried testing for coronavirus using different kinds of samples –nasal, oropharyngeal, rectal and fecal — from the animals. It regularly tests wildlife samples using DNA-based molecular biology tools to solve wildlife cases. These tests are very similar to the ones being used for coronavirus testing.

“We hope that our recommendations help the zoo staff in collecting and packing the samples appropriately before they send out to animal testing centres will smoothen the process for the zoos as well as testing centres. Given how difficult it is to get samples from animals, it is all the more important that we make most of the samples we get,” Scientist-in-charge, LaCONES, Dr Karthikeyan Vasudevan, said.

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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