CPEC achieves major progress despite Covid-19: Pak official

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    Islamabad, Dec 22 | The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects have achieved major progress despite grave economic and health challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Chairman of the CPEC Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa said.

    “After successful completion of the first phase, CPEC is expanding into its second phase as per schedule despite a very serious setback of Covid-19 around the world, ensuring economic stability and well-being of the people of Pakistan,” Xinhua news agency quoted Bajwa as saying while addressing an award ceremony on Monday for outstanding Pakistani staff of CPEC projects.

    During the ceremony organised by the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, a total of 18 staff members working at various energy and infrastructure projects under the CPEC, including hydropower projects, Orange Line Metro Train and Gwadar port, were awarded for their distinguished performance.

    The timely implementation of the projects was one of the manifestations of time-tested friendship between the two countries that even the pandemic could not affect the progress of CPEC, Bajwa said, adding that the project is a game changer as it has brought employment, prosperity and socio-economic development to the country.

    “The biggest dividends people of Pakistan are going to witness due to CPEC in the coming days are creation of massive local jobs, transformation of technology, particularly in the newer areas of science and technology, industrialization and agriculture,” he said.

    Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said CPEC has achieved great success and made a tremendous contribution to the development of Pakistan and regional connectivity under the joint efforts of the governments, enterprises and all walks of life from both countries.

    “Both sides have overcome the difficulties of Covid-19, and made new headway of cooperation in a coordinated way. In the on-going year, there was no stop of the construction, no job cut, and no withdrawal of workforce of the CPEC projects.

    “In the next stage, we will focus more on areas of industrial cooperation, agriculture and socio-economic development to promote CPEC into a demonstration project for high quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative,” he added.

    The CPEC is a flagship $62 billion project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative that aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a vast network of highways, rail lines and sea lanes.

    The multi-billion dollar corridor connects the Chinese city of Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.

    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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