S.Korea to begin ‘living with Covid-19’ scheme in Nov

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Seoul, Oct 25 | South Korea will gradually phase out coronavirus restrictions starting next month to embrace a new scheme of returning to normal life backed by the rising rate of vaccinations, health authorities said on Monday.

A government-led committee announced a draft roadmap meant to get people’s lives back to normal on a gradual basis, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The move came as 70.1 per cent of 52 million South Koreans were fully vaccinated in eight months after the country kicked off its nationwide inoculation campaign.

The government will relax most of its restrictions, such as night-time curfews on cafes, restaurants and other multi-use facilities under the “living with Covid-19” scheme to be carried out in three phases starting on November 1.

Currently, cafes and restaurants in the greater Seoul area, home to about half of the country’s population of 52 million, are allowed to operate until 10 p.m., while in the other parts of the country are allowed until midnight.

Operation hours of such facilities will be completely free starting on November 1, according to the authorities.

Business of entertainment facilities, including clubs and other kinds of night-time facilities, in the greater Seoul area, have been banned since June while in other parts of the country have been allowed until 10 p.m.

Under the first phase of the scheme, business hours of such facilities will be allowed until midnight.

The authorities will introduce the “vaccine pass” system, which requires a vaccination certificate or a negative test result for entry into multi-use facilities, such as entertainment facilities and indoor gyms.

Those who are not subject for inoculation due to medical reason, or people aged 18 or younger, will be excluded from this system.

The second level of the scheme will be focused on allowing large-scale events such as concerts and is expected to kick off in mid-December, according to the authorities.

Large-scale K-pop concerts or street rallies will be allowed by adopting such vaccine pass system, according to the plan.

Night-time curfews on entertainment facilities will be completely lifted under the second step of the scheme.

The first case of such vaccine pass is sports events that have been played with few spectators in attendance.

Starting earlier this month, professional sports teams in Seoul and surrounding cities are permitted to accept fans at a maximum of 30 per cent of stadium capacity, provided that they are fully vaccinated.

For indoor venues, such as basketball and volleyball arenas, the size of the crowd is capped at 20 per cent.

The ceiling is expected to increase up to 75 per cent during the second level, according to the authorities.

The final stage of the scheme is expected to kick off in late January 2022, which will focus on completely lifting restrictions on private gatherings.

Currently, the ceiling on private gatherings has been raised to allow up to eight people to meet in Seoul and its surrounding areas, provided that four of them are fully vaccinated.

A maximum of 10 people, including six fully vaccinated, are allowed to gather in other regions.

Private gatherings of up to 10 people, regardless of vaccination, will be allowed until the second level and the ceiling will be completely gone by the third level.

However, the government will maintain mandatory masks both inside and outdoor until the last phase of the scheme.

The committee comprises a total of 30 private sector experts and eight government officials to discuss ways to carry out the envisioned transition in the economic, education, security, coronavirus control and quarantine sectors.

The committee is scheduled to hold its second meeting on Wednesday and announce its final roadmap on Friday.

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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