Vol : 2 Edtion : 1 August 2009

What got you here will not get you there!!! When I first looked at a captivating phrase like this, it caught my attention, but a deeper analysis sensitized me to several interpretations of the assertion. Mentioned by Marshall Goldsmith, a great leadership coach, it stands out as a priceless expression relevant to every walk of life. It applies to all of us who want to take it to the next level and get even better. What’s more important in life is to determine what you can improve constantly – a core characteristic of high performance oriented individuals. The momentary success that we enjoy in life might blind us to those important subtle nuances that can make a difference. Living amidst a knowledge society fuelled by a rapid knowledge explosion rendering us obsolete every two years, it is imperative that we need to be ready for change always. History bears testimony to the fact that individuals, organizations and countries at large that have made astute choices to improve and adapt in the past have emerged stronger. At the same time, choices that worked under different conditions must be re-evaluated and tailored to address current challenges faced. Let’s take quick look at the economic development of Japan, world’s second largest economy. Japan started its modernization effort in the mid-nineteenth century when it was technologically and organizationally behind western nations. Its first priority was to first accumulate capabilities as in, acquisition of technology, industrial restructuring and economic development. The country was flexible enough to acquire unfamiliar technologies while displaying enormous absorptive capacity. Backed by latecomer advantages and active government policies, it started importing scientific and technical knowledge and resources from the other advanced nations. Japanese were quick enough to realize the pervasiveness of change in the upgrading process and readily adapted themselves. Willingness to learn, entrepreneurship, research at universities, financial incentives and demand helped resurrect a strong economy. 1920 witnessed Japanese economy plunging and in 1930’s the economy experienced a prolonged recession. Country experienced airdrop of two atomic bombs with millions dying and long stretches of land going barren. Nonetheless, Japan resurged into global market with a strong nationalistic enthusiasm coupled with scientific curiosity and pursued technological catchup with fervor. In less than twenty years from then it was able to gain by far the largest share of worldwide camera and optical goods market, driving other dominant international market players to the sidelines. The progress continued….A rise of great economy beating the odds is what the world observed, but the current challenges of economic recession demand more focused strategies to tide over the currents of downturn. An economy built through innovation, adaptation, improvisation, sustenance and stabilization seeks innovative strategies to face the existing downward spiral emphasizing the phrase we talked about in the first half of this article.

While Eurozone is already experiencing recession touched off by the implosion of the global credit markets, America too has witnessed a job rate falling down badly, compared to what it was in the year 1983 and 2001. Despite the massive fiscal stimulus and comprehensive policy measures to tilt the risk downwards, US still suffers from the de-stocking effect, which triggered economic turbulence across the globe because of global linkage of stock prices and fluctuations in foreign exchange. Other countries like Germany, UK are not far behind in experiencing the downturn and are already grappling with the crisis.

In times like these, India perhaps has to build its workforce promoting creativity and innovation using the recession as a crucible for the much needed transformational experience. India accounts for a mere 6% of world’s economic output, compared to China’s 13%, its time for us to forge ahead with operational excellence and strengthen our economic status. As written by Rudyard Kipling, “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.” Such words have never been more relevant than today’s business world. At an organizational level, companies will have to aim at cost management, customer acquisition and retention, looking for opportunistic acquisitions and mergers whilst embracing global operating model. Organizations should also focus on tapping the emerging markets, investing in innovation, upgrading human capital and going green. At a personal level, an amazing desire to learn and striving for intellectual expansion are traits that need to be nurtured along with other vital interpersonal skills. Taking constant feedback from others as we work on improvement and precise goal setting, with out clinging to the past will help us become able, humble, confident and self aware. It’s very important to bear in mind that, today organizations require learning professionals and not learned professionals. Padmaja Naraharisetty Principal Mentor Soft Skills

A Group of First Year Students at MSIT JNTU (H)

Not just on 26 / 01 or 15 / 08 Recently when I was passing by one of the army regiments in the outskirts of the city, several thoughts flooded my mind. One of them being, I always wished to join the defense services and serve my country by holding a gun and safeguarding it. I am sure every child would want to do this for his country. The military personnel there seemed to be the best people alive on earth at that point of time to me, the reason being they have given priority to something else more than their own life. They are willing to die for their country, India. Today the defense services as was to f the army regiments in the outskirts of the city, , undoubtedly one of the best ways to show one’s patriotism towards his/her country is to be a member of the defense services, but can four hundred million(barring aside the sick, the old and the children) in a population of over one billion join the army? It is impossible logically, analytically, sentimentally, so on and so forth. Then, how can one exhibit his patriotism in this modern world? Patriotism was something else 62 years ago. In India, the land of martyrs, the only motive of our grandfathers and great grandfathers was to get India free from the clutches of the British. Every drop of their blood shed for the country wanted Swarajya (self rule). The only country which shook the whole world during that era, to achieve freedom by non-violence is India. Pools of blood were shed in massacres of freedom fighters, the greatest and the most notorious being the Jalianwala bagh where more than fifteen hundred casualties were reported after the brutal firing which lasted for more than ten minutes. Even after such ghastly incidents, Indians did not stop the struggle for freedom. In fact, it is this sovereignty that was left to us as a legacy to treasure and cherish. If I may clarify here, I am neither a freedom fighter nor defense personnel. Yet the question then arises as to how does a normal civilian like me, show his love towards his country? There is no doubt about it that every one of us loves our country, so where and how are we showing it? Is Patriotism a feeling which we get during an India-Pakistan cricket match? Is it a feeling which we get when we watch a well-directed movie or read an article on the internet about the wars India had to fight? Pinning the plastic or paper imitation of the national flag to our dress for two hours on two days out of three hundred and sixty five days and signing the national anthem which lasts for 52 seconds with all due respect to it twice a year is not enough to show our concern for the country. Well, I think the definition of Patriotism has changed for the modern times. One might think what a normal person can do, when all the major decisions are taken by our politicians and senior officials in government organizations. I felt really helpless when I realized that I can’t even get the over-flowing sewers and open man holes repaired in spite of a number of complaints to the concerned officials where I reside, needless to mention that there are similar situations elsewhere. I am not expecting one to be a hero, like the one in our movies, who fights against the government for the interests of people like eradicating corruption, child labor etc. I bet one would have heard the following suggestions a million times. Though you might have heard these a million times, I would say these make the modern definition of Patriotism: - Save water – No water, no life cycle

- Maintain good health, have good food and exercise regularly so that you can contribute something to the nation - Save electricity – It is expected that in the next thirty years India would run out of coal. So, if you leave a fan or air-conditioner ON in a room when you are not in that room, then you are burning some extra kilos of coal emitting carbon content thereby contributing to global warming. Thank you in advance, please switch off your monitors when you leave your desk. - Keep the surroundings clean by not throwing the polythene bags which have a great quality of not deteriorating even in a million years. They block the growth of new trees and block the flow of water especially in small rivers and sewers, which result in overflow. Use paper bags wherever possible – not maherever possible - not ivers sock the growth of new trees and block the flow of water especially in small rivers snd sewers tondatory if polythene bags are disposed properly. - Reduce your carbon print by using vehicles not to travel to the next street – instead walk to meet your friend in the next street. - Please offer to share your knowledge when you come across someone who seems to have less amount of it only if they are interested. The rural population in many parts of our country is being cheated just because they are ignorant and illiterate. - The most difficult part – The implementation of the above chores. Finally, I realized that there are some things which I can still do to show some patriotism towards my country even though I am not a freedom fighter, a defense personnel or a politician. Dilip Murupala, Second year, MSIT(IIIT). Importance of effective project management in the success of a project Having completed several IT projects in MSIT, I have developed a strong interest in the concept of project management. Undoubtedly for the success of a project, the most critical element is effective project management. In theory, right approach for a good project management is to identify goals, eliminate risks, define deliverables and plan the schedule. But it is never so easy. The first step of identifying the requirements correctly is in itself a very complex task. I am sure we all are aware of how big and complicated is a public sector construction project. Konkan Rail is one fine example of this. This project benefits 3 states and cuts the travel time between Mangalore and Mumbai to 15 hours with the rail line. The entire stretch is for 760 kilometres. To build it, land had to be acquired from 40,000 land owners and hundreds of contractors had contributed to it. In spite of such great complexity, it was completed in 7 years. E. Sreedharan as first Chairman and Managing Director of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) took charge of the project. In India where delays are a part of every project, E Sreedharan proved proper project management skills and commitment can move mountains. In 1990, September 15, Roha the foundation was laid.

Lack of data for the entire stretch in Maharashtra which involved half the line distance was a big problem. 2,000 bridges and 91 tunnels had to be built for the line containing many rivers. It has been one of the most difficult Indian railway undertaking projects. Just like any other civil public sector project even this project involved land acquisitions. But KRCL completed land acquisitions within a year by effective communication and persuasions with the land owners. This was achieved by explaining to them the importance of the project. The faith that KCRL induced in people was amazing. They proved it again and again that good project management skills with passion and right understanding of the problem can solve lot of issues. Flash floods, landslides and tunnel collapses were hindrances in the project. To overcome these innovative practices were adopted. The line area was thickly forested and workers were visited by wild animals. For first time the technique of incremental launching of bridge spans was used. Despite all these challenges Sreedharan successfully managed to complete the project work without any halt. He divided the work in 7 sections - Mahad, Ratnagiri north, Ratnagiri south, Kudal, Panaji, Karwar and Udupi . Each section was of approximately 100 km. Work commenced simultaneously in 7 sections. Indeed the task was formidable. Serious concerns were raised in Goa backed by church and political parties questioning adverse effect on the ecology and environment by the project. But Bombay High court rejected their plaint considering the positive effect it would bring to the lives of people at the cost of negligible loss. Despite awe-inspiring progress one major challenge they faced was the lack of fund because of the Harshad Mehta Scam. They came up with an idea to fund the project through public funds. In India Top 100 tax defaulters owe Rs1.41 lakhs crores. With political motives, regional authority conflicts and corruption it is very difficult to raise funds for a public sector project not benefiting any personal motive. Finally, the project was completed in 7 years. E. Sreedharan introduced new effective methodologies of operations which have been appreciated immensely. His project management skills are excellent. His positive attitude helped to bring trust in the ministry that the project can be accomplished. He analysed the requirements and estimated the material, number of bridges, tunnels, manpower required. He used innovation by using new technologies, public funds. His team co-ordination skills and planning skills are excellent which led to the function of 7 sections simultaneously. He also performed risk management which inturn ensured the uninterrupted execution of the project in spite of unexpected issues like landslides, accidents. He proved that proper planning, preparation, risk management, positive attitude and persistent persuasion is the key to good project management. Sreedharan interacted with several ministers and made them extend their services to the project with his valid reasoning. Most of the times promises and hopes are made but are not converted into plans and implementations. This leads to project failure. Such was Sreedharan’s reputation for excellence that our beloved neighbours in Pakistan were far more eager to tap into Sreedharan’s expertise, and invited him to inspect the viability of the Lahore metro. He is an answer to the Question “Civil servants, are they passionate, efficient and responsible about their work ?”. One tip is to spend a great deal of time researching every detail that might be related to the project and identify risks. Prepare thoroughly and when time is

right be ready to surge ahead with persistence. As a student I hope we take inspiration from this project and apply some of these learnings/success factors in our own projects. Archana Singh Vinod Kumar Nama MSIT II Year IIIT - H

Master of Science in Information Techonology MSIT helps students become Masters of the IT world. Unlike many other courses in India which fail to embed practical elements into their courses, MSIT is the champion of hands-on methodology. The students perform better than their competition in the IT industry because they learnt the art better. In the end its about who plays the best in this competitive market we live today. What are the unique features in MSIT which help the students transform from the mediocre into the masters, from programmers into problem solvers? I think the answer lies in the fact that MSIT students usually come with a bachelors degree, and have already seen the futile nature of generic education. The students come into the course with a malleable mindset and this helps them absorb the practical elements quite fast. Unlike IITs/IIITs and B’tech courses where its the first attempt of a student to conquer the world with a degree, MSIT is an attempt at making a mark in the IT world. MSIT helps students to apply their acquired knowledge into creating useful real world applications, to being practical and productive. Doesn’t this happen in all Masters courses? “NO” . Only students in MSIT have the advantage to play the game properly. The rules are simple, “try to finish the tasks by yourself”, and “take mentors help in case you are stuck in the process of problem solving”. Mentoring in MSIT is understandably productive as it stays far off from spoon feeding. I am not sure if students today opt for mentoring as an extension of their course, but it is apt for research oriented students. IIIT and MSIT 2005 The current day MSIT program in IIIT has successfully differentiated itself from the regular MS programs. The MSIT batch of 2005 had some additional advantages compared to say JNTU as we were in the same class rooms as fellow IIIT students. Playing games in inter-house activities helped us become part of IIIT, and then inter-batch sports meet invokes feirce rivalries. I was the Sports Minister in the newly formed Parliament which helped us learn admistrative aspects at an entirely different level. From writing programs to enter the MATRIX, to unravelling problems in Bio-Informatics, the journey was more about appplication of our skills rather than learning anything new. By the time we passed out of the course, we felt we could solve any problems offered by the corporates.

Grow at your own Pace Another interesting facet of life in MSIT is that allows students to grow at their own pace. I remember SoftSkills and the credit system being flexible enough to chart our own path. Plan courses according to your own strengths and interests, and come out on top acquiring the right skillset. Instead of being job oriented, become the best at what you are good at, and the world pays handsome tributes to the experts in all fields. Game to Learn Playing games was a big chunk of my personal agenda. As the problem solving aspects would sap out the energy from me, I found rejuvenated when ever I played games. I believe I have learnt more via playing games than any text books, Age of Empires teached me more than any Management course and of course the ever popular Counter Strike helps more in team building than even the most drilling routines of professionals coming to corporates. Today I am an evangelist for computer games and the art of gaming. My daily work involves creating solutions to real life problems using games, to harness the true power of Web 2.0 and help communities become the masters of these virtual worlds. After all how many people can claim to make a career out of their hobbies. Thanks MSIT for helping me stay on course to go after my dreams. Ravi Kiran Polimera MSIT Alumni First Year Students at IIIT -H During Soft Skills Sessions