Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Choices: Real and Artificial

Whenever discussion on placement comes up, IRMAns talk about increasingly expensive education and constraints on working in sectors where rural management professionals are required. Whenever I hear this, I think about extremes:

1) Student pay nothing. In return student work what you are asked to. Something like military training. We will end up making another bureaucracy.
2) Tied agriculture labour. You take a loan from landlord (to have freedom of doing what you want) and pledge your labour in return.
3) Complete liberal education. Student dont pay anything the State bears all expenses and student is free to do what he/she wants at the end.

In the scenario we have three unconnected entities: loan giver who has their logics to operate; educational facilitation is done by someone else who claims of a mission; student who undergoes the course is left with artificial choices. The very fact that we are talking about 'freedom and choice' here (in the context of liberation) and not mechanically choosing from the given options, sky is the limit. I am reminded of the famous saying by Bernard Shaw: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. Unreasonable man peristantly attempts to change the world. Therefore all progress depends on unreasonable man!".


Kamal Rangan said...
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Ankush said...

I believe many constraints are artificially created as reasons not to work in a particular sector. This view can be tested by giving students an option of choosing between a) Working in Development sector and not paying any fee to IRMA at all; or b) Paying a little higher fee, but getting the opportunity to be placed in well-paying corporate sector. Most people, I feel, would go with the latter option. That’s because, most of us are forced to believe in certain values, which include a decent salary and a stable career. Probably, sailing against the tide is not as comfortable as sailing with it!
-ankush khanna

Kamal Rangan said...

Many participants would agree to be in tied agriculture labour scenario to an extent, but they shy away from going ahead with the pledge because of various financial & other personal constraints. But a recent heartening example in IRMA was that of a Government organization working in the “sector” offering good professional & financial stability appealing to a lot and ultimately they managed to gather the maximum Generation - NEXT. What I could infer was that when given real choices to work with freedom, a sizeable number would grab it, if they are made COMFORTABLE in some of their constraints.
Kamal Rangan (32075)


The real problem lies in the fact that WE are no more our real self. The problem applies not only to the IRMANs but to a vast majority of the so called-'reasonables'. All through our life we are busy chasing other's dreams and in the process forget what we aspire to be. In terms of placements the short term incentives overpower the thought process and the Banking model of education comes into play. But of course silver linings amidst the dark clouds do exist-the unreasonable who take a vow to make change happen and this is what makes IRMA.
Prateek parimal(32029)

Arpit said...

The current constraints, as explained by the students are the result of the financial obligations of an individual. It restricts him to choose an option which might be more rational to him rather than the one he believes in. Ultimately the choice and the dilemma lies with the student, as the other two entities, loan giver and educational facility are unlikely to change. One of the ways to tackle this constraint is to broaden the coverage of development organizations in the placements. Some development organizations can offer more than others, along with providing meaningful work opportunities.

Arpit Bansal

abcd said...

As far as creating counterproductive results is concerned I don't think there is any institution which insulated from the phenomenon. It is never intentional on any institution's part but it is something which the individuals would resort to having some personal underlying causes and motivations. Naming a few in the process would be an anomaly in this case. For eg. the well known institutions we talk about were established for the welfare of certain section but in the course of time due to varied individual choices they became counterproductive to liberation.
Raja Panchal (32086)

Komal Makkad said...

I think it is the latter two extremes that working in the present scenario. To pledge labour or service or money in return limits one's freedom and exposes him to artificial choices, as i believe REAL choices come from within and are created.On the other hand, complete liberal education may make one vulnerable to digression from the path opted which implies the necessity of a constraint to make the 'reasonable' work!
But this years placement scenario if carefully observed has been successful in bringing up some REAL choices in IRMA's context ensuring returns to one's financial obligations.
Komal Makkad

Ajay vikram singh said...

The freedoms and choices (in the context of liberation) are an issue because there are constraints in the form of financial awards or on working with the stipulated, specified sectors. The former is justified due to the obligations with the loan giver but the latter isn’t because as they say ‘sky is the limit’ may that be any sector. Moreover, these constraints are no longer mutually exclusive and they can both be answered by working in the sectors where the rural professional managers are required.
Ajay Vikram Singh(32053)

Neelam said...

Educational facilitation gives a student “Liberation of thoughts” but monetary constraints restrict students “Liberation of actions”. Choices left are paradoxically none narrowing student’s scope of decision making. Adapting to the conditions is not by choice but by external factors which makes one modulate ones course of action with situation. We might argue that people overcoming these hurdles eventually are the ones who outshine & bring progress but such risk bearing potentials are gifted to rare individuals. People being able to liberalize their actions with their thoughts which education imparts are the ones contributing to the best of their potentials for progress.
Neelam (p32026)

Rohitash Jain said...

There is dichotomy here; institute expects to fulfil its mission for existence by sending more professionals to rural areas where as students want better placements which is not possible in the areas which concern for rural development. Should IRMA's placement policy be open to all sectors? It is most common question asked in IRMA. According to me, students should decide where they want to go rather than institute. Institute should just promote their mission to change minds of students for working in most deprived section of nation in these two years of time.
Rohitash 32088

BLOGupta ! said...

When you join IRMA you have to prepare yourself to live with a bit less than what your B-School friends would have. Moreover if you really work in development sector 20-22K is good enough to support you in a village. To be honest its all about being true to yourself and asking yourself, were you really in for a rural life when you chose Rural Management? Or Maybe you are like the HR Manager of one of the recruiters who did not consider us 'Rural Managers'.
Mayank Gupta(32022)

Arshia said...

At some point, most of us have had an instinct to be ‘unreasonable’ and IRMA gives us a chance to become so. This still stops most IRMAns from taking up such jobs as they are low-paying to attain the standard of living as most of the other B-school graduates do. Also, it is not immoral to be thinking about a secure and a comfortable future. I think both the parties need to strike a chord. A little more incentive from the sector and a little more willingness from the students could help create a sufficient ‘unreasonable’ lot for progress.

Arshia Gupta (32057)

Durga Satapathy said...

IRMANs in no way, are lesser than any other B-school graduates. And I guess that what then make us "unreasonable". When one has choices, aspirations develop, which might be completely independent of any sort of financial obligation.

Durga satapathy

Himanshu Bhardwaj said...
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Himanshu Bhardwaj said...

If we think about these extremes and relate us with them, then in present scenario where education has become costly we would find ourselves in a tied agriculture labour situation. Though we have a choice of doing what we want but in back of our mind the decision to exercise our choice would be directly influenced by the fact that we have taken loan and have to return it. So such constraints automatically forces most of us to not take up sectors where rural management professionals are required as these sectors are unable to fulfil our financial needs.
Himanshu Bhardwaj

Tanu Shree Shekhawat said...

The outcome of third extreme (complete liberal education) may result in underutilized potentialities by students. Also, it may be the case because “Free things are often taken for granted.” The idea of artificial choice comes in second extreme where your real choice was taking loan for an activity of your liking and then comes your artificial choice where you are tied with the landlord to work for him. In case of IRMAns, it would be interesting to know their views on “If management education in IRMA is provided free of cost, would you like to work in development sector after finishing your course.”
Tanu Shree Shekhawat

setu said...

I see a lot of people talking about 'monetary constraints' coming in way of the 'reasonable' decision making. Do the people whose hearts 'bleed for rural' and who 'weepingly' have to take non-rural jobs all come with family problems solvable only by 8 lakhs but not 5? I find it a bit difficult to digest. What am afraid of is not what these people speak to outside world, am afraid they have made a proxy true self that subscribes to these reasons.
In the same lines I will like to talk about the 'revered' people who take up rural sector jobs because tthey could not make it to the fancier ones. they are equally at wrong as the first class of people. According to me, what matters is not what choices you make but how honestly are u making it.


Parminder Singh said...

Yes, one can be forced to work in a particular sector as mentioned in the first extreme condition. But the real question is whether he or she will be able to serve the purpose or not. This is where the motivation factor comes into picture. If individual does not have the required motivation to work in a particular sector, then it will neither benefit the sector nor the individual.
Parminder Singh (32083)

Manas Mittal said...

Making choices whether real or artificial depends upon the students. Generally students gets bogged down by the insecurity which can clearly be seen during the placements, where students are traded as commidities rather than change agents.Getting the highest pay package remains the sole aim which can then be artificially bolstered among relatives and friends. Real choices have to be created by self if not provided and those people create history that is the thing which one needs to learn while there stay in IRMA.


The quote by Shaw has a dual meaning, like, do these unreasonable men really bring about a change or they create another problem to bring changes. Similarly, the loan giver really tries to ease the burden of the petty labor or turn him more burdensome or less liberal to carry out other activities. There are no financial constraints in liberal education, so students end up doing whatever they like. Lastly, institutions like IRMA where students are taken with a motive that they will contribute to the rural sector, rather end up contributing nothing and creating another problem to rural sector.
Khushboo Sinha(p32017)

aniket said...

I feel that our education system from the very beginning make us well trained and not well educated.It makes us shy away from taking the road less traveled.Our choices depends on the way our friends or the society wants to see us.I do agree that there are constraints and hardships but if the path to tread is chosen because of conviction and not due to compulsion it will lead to satisfaction and success.



Many of my mates have talked about being 'comfortable' of an unreasonable in some of his choices and then the unreasonable would work in the desired unreasonable manner as mentioned by Bernard. I think that if Unreasonability lies in the comforting of the soul of it, then the person cannot be termed as unreasonable itself. He would be going towards the bonded labour scenario where he is behaving according to what the society considers to be reasonable. We will have to think beyond the shackles of this moribund society to claim the certificate of being an 'unreasonable'.
Shubham Tomar

p32021 said...

In an ideal scenario a student associates with the mission of institute and decides to join it. Now after joining IRMA and then talking about changing the placement policy is not justified. As an MBA aspirant the student enjoys absolute freedom of choosing the institute. In this context we are talking about complete liberal education.Having made the choice it is unfair to put the policy and ideology of institute under question mark, when the same ideology was praised during the interview.

Mayank Gaur

p32021 said...
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salman haider said...

Speaking of extremes what i feel is that the thing we are talking about here is schooling and not education. for me education cant be under such constraints.
the current system is a compromise made to run a pre existing form of living. though there is some education happening here but that is not the main product but a by-product.

Abhishek Sharma said...

Talking about quotes in IGB course we learnt intelligence as the ability to adapt. Had our "reasonable" ancestors not adapted Human Race would not have come this far. We need to consider that
IRMA was founded in 1979 in a closed economy.Has IRMA changed its strategy in view of liberalization and the new found wealth?
Change is brought by people who are passionate about their work.So even if 5% IRMANs decide to stay in development sector it is in the search of this 5% that "I hope" the institution was founded.Law of Averages.
Abhishek Sharma

Rajeev said...
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Rajeev said...

Human being has this strange tendency to not to do what he/she is force to do. In childhood parents and teachers ask us to study, share, to exercise etc, we don’t initially, we resist, we question, then we experience, understand and in the end we conform. The more the external factor forces the more the resistance and slower the curative action from a human. A person gets more comfortable in taking an action only after she has internalized the thought behind the action in a conducive environment, i.e. when a person becomes reasonable with the decision on hand.
Rajeev (32034)

Darshit Shah said...

It needs certain type of grooming to get into an institute like IRMA. In most cases, people from middle class or upper middle class families make it here who have received a certain quality of upbringing that a certain financial backing can afford. Assuming that everyone in life wants to progress in terms not only of career but also money, then choosing to work for the “sector” seems to be “regressing” in life. The better option is like the old times when IRMA paid a stipend during the 2 years against bond to work for cooperatives.
Darshit Shah (32062)

Prerna said...

In the first two cases, due to lack of resources, many students make ‘artificial’ choices as they feel a binding force of responsibilities around them. In the third case, due to the ease of availability of resources and a freedom to make one’s own choice, some students neglect the peer pressure and their so called ‘social identity’ to follow their heart instead of their mind.
This reminds me of a few lines by Robert Frost: Two roads diverged in a wood…I could not travel both…I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference…

Prerna Gupta (32030)

varun said...
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varun said...

In all conditions like you work hard so that you are compensated enough to run a family; a student’s obligation to pay the debt (both situation of tied agriculture labour), but if, however, state bears your expenses, you still have all those choices, made artificially, to compel you to be ‘reasonable’ as in Shaw’s words to live within the societal norms. Many people at some point in time must have dreamt becoming unreasonable, pushing the social boundaries and do something meaningful. IRMA is an opportunity for those who want believe in that dream.
‘sky is the limit’

Priyanka said...

The vested interest of Loan Provider and the mission of IRMA create conflict. Above all participants come to IRMA with their own objectives and perspective which usually includes aspirations of being the part of corporate world. If given a choice(which is proved in this placement season, as some of the participants have shown a courage to leave the attractive offers), some of them would serve the mission of IRMA, but most of them still like to be evaluated in terms of salary drawn and by the designations and posts they hold.

Priyanka said...

The vested interest of Loan Provider and the mission of IRMA create conflict. Above all participants come to IRMA with their own objectives and perspective which usually includes aspirations of being the part of corporate world. If given a choice(which is proved in this placement season, as some of the participants have shown a courage to leave the attractive offers), some of them would serve the mission of IRMA, but most of them still like to be evaluated in terms of salary drawn and by the designations and posts they hold.

Antony said...

When faced with problems, be it social, economical or environmental- if we go on adapting to them, then we can very well predict where to we are heading. Addressing the root of the problem, may be a gigantic task. One may need to be passionate as Abhishek pointed out, to find oneself going against hegemonic power structures, or well-established systems. One needs to be crazy enough because it goes against the rationale of maximizing gains with minimum inputs. There is always the possibility of the efforts going vain. It is here where the social reformer or for that matter any change agent or entrepreneur is valued.

Gurpreet said...

Extreme 1: like in military training, a person is filled with sentiments of patriotism that's why it gets success. In IRMA's context, if IRMA is capable enough to fill someone with passion for rural development, only then student will study properly.
Extreme 3: In such a set-up, education will be taken for-granted by the student.
Extreme 2: Student will try to study properly, because only then he can get a good job out of those artificial choices and can return the loan.

Raj kamal goldi said...

I feel that the choices that IRMA graduates face, are real and not artificial. The choice that a graduate exercises depends on how much he/she values working in the development sector, and the value attached to working in the development sector will vary from individual to individual. If this value exceeds the higher pay foregone, one will work in the development sector and will somehow manage the constraints like loans taken for study. Students choose depending upon their preferences but they cannot say that the choices that they are not going for are not real.
Raj kamal goldi

Deepak Sharma said...

If you are subsidizing the education then you can put a condition that if the student doesn't work in the rural sector then, the student have to payback the amount of subsidy spent on him. Then it will be his decision where to work.

Deepak Sharma

Abhinav Deep Sinha said...

The state provides funding for students' education but at the end of it the students are free to do as they wish.I don’t think the state should lay down conditions with regard to its assistance.It can push through its agenda through by official policies favouring particular sectors of the economy and people eventually would end up working there. However, to expressly lay down rules relating to state assistance would not serve the purpose. Nothing that is fed forcibly is ever digested properly. People will somehow find a way to get around it.

komal said...

In context of IRMA ‘unreasonable’ are those students who go to development sector in spite of the high paying jobs available in other sectors. But out of the total students coming to IRMA, only less than 5% are actually ‘unreasonable’ by nature. As an institute, IRMA’s success depends on its ability to change a fraction of ‘reasonables’ to ‘unreasonables’. For this purpose it has institutionalized the field work segment, so as to sensitize the students towards the problem of the villagers and the rural lifestyle, but its success is questionable.

-Komal Didwania (32076)

Rahul said...

The mission of irma is to produce managers for rural sector but when the placement comes up student ended up in corporates reason because they weigh not only the amount that would be left after EMI ,Personal expenses but also their willingness to work in field in scorching sun. Hence in order to make this sector a viable option we have to incentivise (in terms of salary) those who are at least willing to join it. So that the unreasonable beings “who have passion for rural sector” can join it.
Rahul 32032

kajal kumari said...

Freedom is a very contextual word. A student who has a choice of doing whatever he likes but doesn't have the competence of doing the work that he wants to, what kind of freedom would that be. Similarly a labor who has pledged his labor may have done this because he did not have any choice at all.Truly the options available in the 3 cases are artificial choices from among the options available. I would not consider that freedom in true sense.But yes it is better than having no options at all.
kajal kumari.

shashank- EXPLORING MYSELF said...

Choices are real or artificial also depends on a participant’s point of view .It also depends on how aspirants perceive IRMA, when they aspire to come here weather they just wanted to be a in B-school out of no or inferior choices or are they really willing to work in the development sector. I think IRMA should reconsider its positioning and reflect on whether it wants to be perceived as a typical b-school or of an institute that creates change agents

Sameera Mushini said...

Reason as the oxford dictionary defines is intellectual faculty by which conclusions are drawn; sanity; sense In the present world, reason is something which is acceptable to the society at large. Thinking out of the box need not always be socially accepted at the inception but might led to applauds later. To do something which is not appreciated by the larger masses needs guts, and less ties (social, family or economic). Taking admission in IRMA is one step to such “madness”, keeping the spirit tell graduating is a another… keeping the flame burning tell the end!!?? Miracle!

Sameera Mushini

Sameera Mushini said...
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Parneet Kaur said...

The choice seems real; all managers are constrained with certain conditions and seek out a trade-off between the apparently conflicting objectives.So, one can try to balance out his/her interest to work in a desired sector and the monetary constraints hindering that. The condition here is not as extreme as it sounds, i.e it isn't like working in the rural sector will lead to a life of very limited means and working in a non-rural sector will be a prosperous one.There exists a middle path and probably that is what IRMA has been doing in terms of placements.
Parneet Kaur(32028)