Satellite imagery indicates continued operation of North Korean N-reactor

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Seoul, Nov 25 | North Korea appears to be continuing the operation of a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor at its mainstay Yongbyon complex, a US monitoring website has said, citing the release of steam and water seen in recent satellite imagery.

38 North reported on Wednesday (local time) that recent commercial satellite imagery of the complex north of Pyongyang provided further evidence of activity at the 5-megawatt reactor, which can produce up to 6 kilograms of plutonium — a fissile material used for a nuclear bomb — a year.

“Steam is emanating from the reactor’s generator hall, indicating that at least one of the generators is running,” the website said. “Additionally, water continues to be discharged from the auxiliary pipe into the channel leading to the Kuryong river.”

The website said the new activity at the reactor is “notable,” as production of fissile materials is likely needed to accomplish North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s goal of strengthening nuclear capabilities announced during the country’s eighth party congress in January.

Construction of a new wing south of the experimental light water reactor seems to continue, although there are no signs of operations starting at the facility, it noted.

The suspicion is in line with the monitoring results by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which said the North appears to have continued operations at the Yongbyon nuclear reactor since it went into operation in August.

The UN nuclear watchdog also pointed out nuclear activities at the nation’s uranium enrichment and mine facility elsewhere, Yonhap news agency reported.

“There are ongoing indications of activities at the Kangson complex and the Pyongsan Mine and Concentration Plant,” IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said during a board of governors meeting on Wednesday.

The Kangson complex is North Korea’s second uranium-enrichment plant after its well-known facility in Yongbyon, and the Pyongsan facility is a major mill that turns uranium ore into yellowcake, a first step toward enriching uranium.

“We are closely monitoring related reports,” a unification ministry official said, declining to comment further.

Concerns are rising over signs of Pyongyang’s nuclear activities, especially when South Korea and the US have been in consultations for a declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War to resume stalled denuclearization talks with the reclusive state.

Nuclear negotiations between the US and the North have remained stalled since the 2019 Hanoi summit between the two nations ended without a deal.

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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