New upskilling initiative focuses on Covid widows, survivors


By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi, June 28 (IANSlife) In a bid to help women from families that have lost their breadwinners to Covid-19 in the recent surge in India, the IC3 Institute, a U.S. non-profit, will enable them with training and employment opportunities. These women will be trained as career counselors and connected with full-time employment opportunities within IC3’s global network of high schools, says the Institute.

“The battle against Covid-19 is far from over as communities grapple with the socio-economic aftermath of the diseases such as hunger, poverty, and unemployment. One such challenge is the loss of the breadwinner in many families. The recent mortality analysis of Covid-19 deaths indicate a higher number of male deaths than females. This results in the possibility of death of a male member in the family, who in the case of traditional Indian families, is often the breadwinner. Women have lost their husbands, daughters have lost their fathers and parents have lost their sons- perhaps the sole earner of the family. We came across countless stories of such women and their unimaginable suffering because of the pandemic in India. After losing loved ones, they now stand at the brink of imminent poverty, a cycle it will take them a couple of generations to come out of.

“The roles and responsibilities of many of the women from these families have changed overnight. With no breadwinner in the family, these women need to find employment and provide for their families or else the family will be pushed into poverty. Interim relief measures provided by the government and community organizations can provide temporary comfort, but is nowhere close to being a sustainable and long-term solution. Without any employable skill/training or a livelihood opportunity, how will these women provide for their families in the long run,” the Institute told IANSlife.

According to Ganesh Kohli, Founder, IC3 Movement and Chair, Board of Trustees, IC3 Institute, through the initiative, women from distressed families will be provided financial aid and welfare, training and education to become career counselors, upskilling to prepare them to join the modern workforce, and socio-emotional counseling and life skills training, and will be linked to schools in their region to ensure sustainable employment opportunities.

“As the second wave raged through the country, naturally, the focus for most funders and SPOs (Social Purpose Organizations) was directed towards providing relief. But, dialogues and a changing narrative on how to provide sustenance and ensure sustainable livelihood to the affected families must begin,” he says.

“The training will be provided in a blended learning format, with a mixture of online and in-person learning. The cost of their travel, accommodation, and food for the week of in-person training will be covered by the IC3 Institute. As the training proceeds, we will connect them to schools in their region to ensure sustainable employment opportunities,” says Kohli.

The IC3 Institute is currently raising funds to mobilize this initiative. The goal is to enable and empower 500 such women from underserved backgrounds that have lost their family earners to Covid-19.

“We plan to achieve this number over a period of 2 years. We have already identified 50 such women with the help of our Advocacy Partner Covid Widows (#RiseAgain). We are starting the training program from September 2021 with the first batch of 150 women. Parallelly, we are also speaking to school stakeholders to create and offer full time employment opportunities in their schools for these women,” says the non-profit.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at

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  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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