S.Korea eases rules on private gatherings

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Seoul, Oct 18 | South Korea on Monday eased restrictions on private gatherings ahead of preparations for a gradual shift to the “living with Covid-19” scheme as the daily coronavirus cases dropped to the lowest level in more than three months.

The country reported 1,050 new cases on Monday, including 1,030 local infections, raising the total caseload to 343,445, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Monday’s tally is the lowest daily number since July 7, when the country reported 1,211 additional virus cases on the onset of the fourth wave of the pandemic, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The daily cases have since stayed in the quadruple digits, including the record high of 3,273 on September 25.

The country added eight more fatalities, bringing the death toll to 2,668.

The sharp decline in the daily cases came as the authorities eased restrictions for private gatherings and allowed longer business hours for cafes, diners and other multiuse facilities, ahead of the planned policy shift aimed at returning to normal life while treating Covid-19 like a seasonal infectious disease, such as influenza.

The eased restrictions on private gatherings raises the cap of the size of the gathering to up to eight people, up from the current cap of six, in the greater Seoul area after 6 p.m., if four of them are fully vaccinated.

A maximum of 10 people, including six fully vaccinated people, will be allowed in other regions.

“The overall scale of the epidemic is maintaining a stable decreasing trend. It’s becoming clear that the epidemic is not getting bigger but gradually diminishing,” Sohn Young-rae, a senior health official, said at a briefing.

Considering that the indicators on people’s movements or contact still remain high, the sluggish or decreasing spread of the virus suggests that the effect of preventing transmission appears to be kicking in on the back of the rising full vaccination rate, Sohn added.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said last week that the easing of private gathering rules will be “the last adjustment” in social distancing before implementing the scheme for a gradual return to normalcy, set to start in early November.

The steady rise in the national vaccination rate is expected to give a boost to the transition efforts.

As of Monday, 64.6 per cent of the 52 million population were fully vaccinated and 78.7 per cent had received their first shot.

Vaccinations for pregnant women and adolescents aged 16 and 17, which amount to about 899,000 people, also started this week.

Vaccine bookings for those aged between 12 and 15 are due to begin late Monday.

Health authorities also said adolescents aged 12 to 17 will be allowed to be inoculated with leftover Pfizer shots starting Monday.

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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