How innovative, sustainable tech can empower rural women in India

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New Delhi, Oct 2 | There are roughly 350 million women in rural India and as men from the villages move to the cities in search of jobs, women are left behind to fend for themselves and their families. Now, a team of social scientists have penned a paper on how these women can generate income for their families with the help of innovative and sustainable technologies.

Social scientists Chocko Valliappa and Dr Nirmalesh K Sampath Kumar have written a paper titled ‘Appropriate Technologies for Value Addition in Rural Indian Villages,’ published by Springer Nature Switzerland AG in a 511-page volume on ‘Smart Villages-Bridging the Global Urban-Rural Divide’.

According to the researchers, once the problems in rural communities have been identified, innovative science and technology (S&T) methods can be applied to them, helping rural women to generate income by staying within their own communities.

The authors pointed out that the gainfully employed women workforce has dropped by 10 per cent since the 1990s, with only 20 per cent women gainfully employed today.

“These women have the potential to contribute to the economy, besides generating an income for themselves and their families in a sustainable way,” said Valliappa.

The authors have proposed the adoption of latest technologies, under a smart village model, to improve the economic prospects of villages and meet their aspirations.

A beginning has already been made by the Sona College of Technology at the Women’s Technology Park (WTP), Salem in Tamil Nadu, where it is running five projects, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, training nearly 800 women and successfully turning them into entrepreneurs through sustainable schemes.

Among a host of innovations is a solar power dryer, which helps dehydrate vegetables like tomatoes, lemon rinds, spinach, bananas and drumsticks etc, all within a couple of hours.

“The idea is to help rural women to set up cottage industries close to farms to help process vegetables and fruits and prevent them from rotting. There is further value addition up the food chain, creating candies from dried products or simply powder for use in soups,” Valliappa said.

There is a tile-making unit, for fashioning concrete slabs for use in pavements. Tiles in different hues and in various geometric designs are fabricated by mixing concrete with steel slag (collected from a local steel plant) and poured into moulds.

“Science and technology interventions have the potential to empower women and create economic growth and it is important that we use it to create impact at all possible levels,” said Dr Kumar, Director, Knowledge Transfer and Valourization at Sona College.

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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