Tuesday, 10 December 2013

It's Complicated ! : Part II

I was really not surprised when I got to know that Google’s top searches for this year include two queries; and they are: “what is love?” and “how to love?” Let's get to know something more about this strongest and purest emotion of all.

I don’t dare say that no relationship is a happy ending in a typical Hindi movie style. The fact of the matter is that most of the relationships luckily or unluckily do not end happily. Today, some youngsters seem busy in ‘she/he loves me-she/he loves me not’ contest. Yes, sometimes it does seem like a bittersweet game. I was really not surprised when I got to know that Google’s top searches for this year include two queries; and they are: “what is love?” and “how to love?” I must confess that I am nobody to comment over this strongest emotion of all. No doubt, love is the strongest and purest emotion which could either make one or break one (in case of someone becoming Devdas). I know I am no ‘love guru’ [and trust me! I do not intend to be the one.] But when I see myself surrounded with youngsters quiet absorbed with this so called feeling of ‘Oh, I am in love” (or read; Oh, I’m in love again!) along with the violins in the background, I call upon heavenly wisdom for them so that they could know what true love really means!

We all have watched and enjoyed scores of meaningful movies with ‘love’ as their central idea. They do give us some clues on the topic of this powerful emotion. Philosophically speaking, love is what makes the world go round. It’s about finding someone you trust, someone you are attracted enough to want to spend the rest of your life with. It is when somebody becomes the center of your world and affects you the most. You are with someone whose companionship is most valuable to you. Love is where there is unconditional giving and selflessness. As they say love is equivalent to God. It’s one of the purest emotions in the universe. Undoubtedly, it’s rare for all these attributes to come together, but when they do; It’s true love. Remember, True love doesn't have a happy ending, because true love never ends. And when we talk about relationships, it’s right to say that good relationships don’t just happen. They are preserved every day. And good relationships happen when two people work together with no options of parting ways. A successful relationship requires falling in love over and over again always with the same person. 

As they say love is not an equation, it is not a contract, and it is not a happy ending always. Loving someone and having them love you back is the most precious thing in the world. True love is supposed to turn you into a better person-uplift you. In fact, true love is rare, so when you find it, don't let it go just because of a barrier you can't cross. True love is taking the risk that it won't be a happily-ever-after. It is joining hands with the one who loves you for who you are, and saying, ‘I'm not afraid to believe in you.’ When you think of him/ her, you can't help smiling, knowing that he/she has completed you somehow. When you fall in love, it's with a real person with flaws. Not with a perfect character from a fairy tale. The greatest love stories are not those in which love is only spoken, but those in which it is actually acted upon.

       In the Book of Wisdom, Osho explains the difference between love and relationship, particularly the relationship we know. He says that an ‘alive’ relationship is ever-changing. It has many climates, many moods, many surprises. A dead relationship is stagnant, repetitive, the same but no more a relationship. Then you are not two persons but two things together. Of course, two things never quarrel. The quarrel arises when two persons enter. Love is never a relationship, love is relating. It is always a river flowing, unending. Love knows no full stops. Lovers end, love continues. It is a continuum. It is a verb, not a noun. A life full of love is not static but vibrant. There’s a breeziness of freedom in love. Such love knows no bounds, no misery. It is all joy and bliss. 

Here this is advisable not to be what others want you to be. Be yourself and find someone who truly loves you for what and who you are. In fact, life doesn’t always introduce you to the people you want to meet. Sometimes life puts you in touch with the people you need to meet – to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, and to gradually strengthen you into a person you were meant to become. When the wrong people walk out of your life, that just makes room for the right ones to walk in. To paraphrase Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “I’m not experienced in the matters of love, but I can say that there are approximately seven billion people on this planet; 3.5 billion are men, out of them, some are old. You have 2.5 billion men to choose from, so don’t hold on to one rotten apple. You have a lot of choice.” Don't cry over the past, it's gone. Don't stress about the future, it hasn't arrived yet. Live in the present & make it beautiful. Bear in mind, life is just not a straight line. Life is not a cake-walk either. Sometimes some experiences are destined to recognize the ‘real you’, to meet the ‘real you’, to value the ‘real you.’ And remember You Matter. Don’t lose that. Ever! 
Stay Strong ...Live Life ...Life is Beautiful !
If you really liked this blog and wish to share your experiences/ remarks/ views with me, you are most welcome. Write to me @  pdpbygauravmisra@gmail.com - See more at: http://pdpbygauravmisra.blogspot.in/#sthash.qF19VqCo.dpuf

If you really liked this blog and wish to share your experiences/ remarks/ views with me, you are most welcome. Write to me @  pdpbygauravmisra@gmail.com

Friday, 18 October 2013

It's Complicated ! : Part I

It's Complicated! : Part I
Is it really compulsory to dig up old wounds that will only cause more pain? We need to constantly assure ourselves that one ugly experience is not a testimony of going everything wrong ahead. Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Read On...Stay Strong!

Sometimes you witness some chapters which could be the darkest of your life. You could feel a vacuum that cannot be filled. Your dreams could turn sour quite soon. In the beginning, you were quite confident and pretty sure; you were so prepared and ready to take on the world. You harbored the thoughts of a smooth ride ahead. You even faced resistance from your near and dear ones. In the meanwhile, a few question marks popped up in your head…but you preferred your mind to shut up and let your heart lose. And almost immediately you found yourself down in the dumps. You looked run down and exhausted. Some people exploited your emotions to meet their ends and your relationships went down different routes. You seemed robbed of your own ‘self’ in countless ways. You became shattered, you lost your smile and you suffered with pain unsung and unknown to the outside world. At the end of the day, it really set you thinking if ‘You Should Have Held Yourself Back’...

Well, it's certainly true that you can never delete those people out of your heart who were so close. And luckily or unluckily, there is no permanent remedy for this. Memories (read Sweet Memories) are to be treasured only if they don't make you feel gloomy. Better we remain close to those golden moments which we shared together. There is no point to have Super-Negative feelings either for ourselves or to anyone else. This is really understandable that sometimes 'Love Really Hurts'. But, one cannot stop living or stop surviving if unfortunately, he/ she lost his/ her love due to some reason. And many a times it happens that these hurts and wounds make our life hell to such an extent that any past feeling or memory becomes suicidal. We must understand and realize that there are also some other people who love us like nothing else. Our family and our friends (the true ones) would never like to see us dejected, depressed or disappointed and their unconditional love must be the reason for us to move forward and start living again. 

But the problem lies in the fact that we never allow ourselves to be free from the shackles of our dead past. We just go by the notion that our life is destined to be a tragedy. And at the same time we feel disappointed, indifferent and tired. We just wish to walk away from everything. The nasty truth is that we see ourselves standing all alone at the end of it all and question, “Why does it feel so good but hurt so bad?” Is it really compulsory to dig up old wounds that will only cause more pain? We need to constantly assure ourselves that one ugly experience is not a testimony of going everything wrong ahead. Here Marilyn Monroe is bang on when she states, “We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are….This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going… Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.”

And last but not the least, one must stop running always on a look out for Mr. Right or Miss Perfect. It’s not a very good idea to stir your heartstrings just at the drop of a hat. Better start developing the right attitude towards life and a perfect self esteem towards yourself. Do not blame yourself for any wrong episode. In doing so, you can dig quite a deep pit and tumble into it. On the contrary, you also cannot stick your head in sand and pretend that things are not shaky. Accept life the way it is, embrace it with both hands. They say when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. Your smile is contagious. Don’t let this world change your smile, let your smile change this world. So, you are in dire need of a good dose of self-love first. Yes, Love yourself and remain calm. Your life is so very special. Do not take it at its face value. Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Winston Churchill has aptly remarked, “If you are going through hell, just keep going...tough times are always there in everyone's life and if you continue to ride on it, you will surely come out of it.”

 [to be continued...]

If you really liked this blog and wish to share your experiences/ remarks/ views with me, you are most welcome. Write to me @  pdpbygauravmisra@gmail.com

Sunday, 1 September 2013

My Reflections [Leadership Series: Part III (B)]

 My Reflections [Leadership Series: Part III (B)]
 (Concept of Leadership & Role of Media)

“I haven’t consumed news since long and it has been a very good journey. A car crash or a bomb explosion somewhere is not relevant to me, it has no bearing on my life. I don’t need to know it. Such news causes stress. On Twitter, I have may be 1,300 followers and I follow zero people because I don’t want to know any news. News is to the mind what sugar is to body.”

                 ~ Swiss writer Rolf Dobelli known for his books ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’ & ‘What Do You Do For A Living?’ on his well-known aversion to news

          When public figures like Rolf make a conscious choice not to watch or listen to the news anymore, there must be no wonder why some of us have a ‘love-hate’ relationship with social or mass media. This single statement is sufficient to explain why something seen or read on social media is enough to change our mood, why a small motivational video on You Tube uplifts our spirits, why people prefer not hearing of tragedies or dramas happening to others, why people get excited with more and more ‘likes’ on their FB status, why people feel a sense of accomplishment to see more and more ‘shares’ on their posts, why people feel a little uneasy  to witness some hurtful comments on their ‘wall’, why people get enthusiastic while chatting on Skype. There are so many emotions and expressions it can throw at you. And without even realizing, you can feel a tsunami of moods in no time. And it’s quite interesting to know that it works like a virtuous or vicious cycle.  Sometimes you feel yourself surrounded with information and inspiration, simultaneously you feel fed up and bombarded by so much negativity. 

No doubt, social media is highly contagious. Have you ever observed yourself how you react or respond (smiling/ laughing/ feeling tickled/ enthused/ motivated/ upbeat or just the other way round) whenever encountered with social media and get emotionally captured (or tortured)? YES ! …that’s what many corporate houses, service providers and PR agencies are doing on social media. Didn’t you realize that on the basis of this emotional vulnerability of ours, they capitalize on our emotions and make the most of it. They build their brands, market their products, attract our attention, change our mind and get us hooked on to their ‘Emotional Contagion’. Because they do know that emotions spread like wildfire and they do transfer from one person to another. Like a ‘sponge’ effect, we borrow emotions from others even when we are not seeing them face to face specially in case of social media. 
No doubt, social media is highly contagious.
Here this trait of ‘Emotional Contagion’ (Positive as well as Negative) of Social Media has a great 'Leadership Lesson’ behind the curtains. In fact, this great lesson is the core of what makes a leader great. Believe it or not, leadership is more or less about the relationship between a leader and the people around him or her. And emotions play a huge role here. There are leaders with Positive Emotional Contagion and you share a connection with them. They are communicative, upfront and always accessible. And you feel excited in their presence. They make you feel amazing, powerful and euphoric about you and your work.  Their moving and positive words make your day and fire you into action. They bring some sort of strength to the workplace.  They seem to trigger your positive emotions every time you share a word with them. They are full of positive energy.  They exhibit a go-getter attitude. You sense an aura of authenticity, optimism and passion being around with them. You exude extreme confidence in their ability to lead. You feel super hyped and get ready to rock. Work seems fun and this really inspires you to give your best shot.

And There are also some other leaders who lead us to disaster. We seem to swept away by their Negative Emotional Contagion. We are never relaxed and are always ‘on our tense toes’. They really drive our moods and behaviors accordingly. We feel demoralized and disheartened. Their heavy interactions are enough to spoil our day. We sense being hopeless and empty. We always get fearful to even our well planned deeds. We seem to ride an emotional rollercoaster and it becomes hard to maintain our strength. 

Hence, sometimes you will have to really pull yourself together and find a way to see the brighter side. Again it’s more about leading yourself at the very first place than leading others. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

"There Is No-BUDDY Like A Sister."

Though the memories may fade away with passing time but the love we share will only grow.

"There Is No-BUDDY Like A Sister."
I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my god, but my god eluded me. I sought my sister and I found all three. 

There have been times in my life when I witnessed big fluctuations in my personal as well as professional life. These were the times when I found myself at my lowest. It seemed harder to bounce back. Disappointment, dissatisfaction and depression were perhaps at their peak. Life seemed suicidal with no silver lining being in sight. That was the time when I recognized the true colours of my 'so-called' best buddies. And in such difficult moments, my sister was one of those supporters who stood by my side and backed me up. She tried her best to get me back on track. She encouraged me, she motivated me, she made me realize my true worth and showed me the blessings around me. She gave me a brand new view of my life. Though it seemed a bit blurred yet it made me feel hopeful about my future. She did every possible thing in this world to bring some shine on my face and a smile on my lips. I started believing that life was not that darker and I could still fill some colours on my empty canvas. I started noticing the brighter side of everything and never looked back since then. 

Somebody has rightly said, "I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my god, but my god eluded me. I sought my sister and I found all three." As a matter of fact, you have almost always managed to come between me and worst of my life, and saved my day. And today is the perfect day to pay my heart-felt thanks to a gallant warrior, sometimes a strict teacher and a perfect superhero. Though the memories may fade away with passing time but the love we share will only grow. This Raksha Bandhan, I see you in a new light. Here is the 'labour of love' right from the core of my heart, a small creation dedicated to you Dear Priya Mishra,

"The day you were born, I still remember,
How glad I was to see that very special gift: a sister;
To have the first glance of your little fairy face,
I was just short of words and so speechless;
Being by your bedside, I was awestruck for many days,
And used to rush away from school just to have that cute gaze;
You used to sleep soundly in Dadi’s lap,
And looked like an angel in your sweet nap;
Little did I know you would be my ‘Best Buddy’,
and in every thick and thin, you will accompany me;
I played so many roles as a guard, as a driver J
‘Your wish-my command-the highness-wherever-whenever’;

Then days passed by and like a flash time flew,
From a splendid bud to a wonderful flower you grew;
You matured into the most beautiful human being,
Mumma’s delight, Brothers’ pride and Papa’s everything;
With all the girl-graciousness and lady-dignity,
You faced life with sheer strength and absolute ability;

Today is the day to say, “Bravo! Well Done Little Soldier!”
May all your dreams come true and wish you smiles forever;
Now a new journey is waiting ahead, a new path is to tread,
I’m sure you will win hearts with brand new colours you will add;
You will do your very best and will be wise,
Don’t you know, “You’re the shine of our eyes?!!” 

 A 'Labour of Love' right from the Core of my Heart

With Loads of love and ‘Bahut Sari’ blessings
Gaurav Bhai

Sunday, 11 August 2013

SOFT SKILLS: Do You Have It In You ?!!

SOFT SKILLS: Do You Have It In You ?!!
Do you know what makes a job applicant an ideal candidate. Of course, top candidates need to have the requisite qualification and relevant work experience, but it’s their soft skills that make them a perfect choice for the recruiters. If you don't believe it, this blog is exclusively for you. Read On !  

“The obsession with degrees has to stop. The lure of a degree at any cost - irrespective of whether its possession would lead to jobs and increase employability - needs to be replaced by the mindset of acquiring a set of skills that would enable the person to find jobs or be gainfully self employed.”

~ National Skill Development Corporation
Well Said NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) ! So I believe it would be pretty clear in our heads as of now, why I distanced myself from Mr. Minister’s remark on English (read my previous blog ENGLISH VINGLSIH, ENGLISH VINGLISH II). After going through all the data crunching along with hard core facts and figures on ‘English Is A Must’, It’s time to move ahead on our ‘Communication & Soft Skills’ path. Now one may wonder why I chose to use two different terms (i) Communication (ii) Soft Skills.  Yes, It’s true that communication is itself a soft skill i.e. language skill. OK. I make that clear. This is on purpose. This is with the point to put some extra emphasis on ‘communication’ part. While the other soft skills (e.g. Leadership and Team Building, Confidence, Attitude et al) do hold their own importance, but Communication tops them all. You don’t believe that?!! Fine, have a look at the Top Ten Qualities, a Recruiter/ Selector/ Employer/ Organisation/ HR manager looks for in each and every prospective candidate. Here it goes,
Do you notice where your technical knowledge stands in the list? 
 Typically this is what makes an ideal job candidate. Of course, top candidates need to have the requisite qualification and relevant work experience, but it’s their soft skills that make them perfect. In terms of the skills that differentiate candidates, employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2013 say they want good communicators who can make decisions and solve problems while working effectively as part of a team. As per Elizabeth Gajendran, principal of London School of Speech, “Some of these employees with degrees from IITs/IIMs come on their own volition to polish their English speaking skills. This is after they undergo the in-house soft skills programmes at their companies." Keeping the employability of Indian students in mind, Terry Endsor, Head HR, Asia Pacific City, asserts, “India is one of the few countries where many companies come to recruit due to education level, English-speaking ability, drive and motivation. I find that Indians are highly educated…. Where they need to improve is in some of the soft skills.
I find that Indians are highly educated…. Where they need to improve is in some of the soft skills.
While Nitin Paranjpe, CEO, HUL does opine almost the same when he says, “Focus on building yourself. Develop your deep skills, functional expertise and domain knowledge. You cannot be shallow in the space you work in and aspire to senior leadership. At all times, do what you are required to do to the best of your ability. Soft Skills are valuable. Don’t under-invest in building soft skills. People assume knowing theories or models, or having better analytical capabilities, are things to get ahead. These are important, but they’re not all. Soft skills, understanding how to work with people and empathy are all very important qualities to get ahead." And another corporate heavyweight Charles Champion, Executive Vice President (Engineering), Airbus; also accentuates the same concern, “I don’t know everything, you don’t know everything in our jobs, so how can we succeed and help deliver to the target is by working as a team, by understanding who can support me, who has the knowledge by putting together various angles, diversities, various methods and knowledge. With innovations, one of the biggest challenges today is working as a team in a diverse atmosphere. One must go beyond the idea and think how one can make that happen. We encourage students to learn how to communicate, sell, explain and convince people about a particular innovation. No doubt, team spirit and ability to express matter a lot.”
Soft Skills are valuable. Don’t under-invest in building soft skills.
Yes, I did my own share of research on the subject and this effort led me to discover an interesting piece of S.W.A.T. Analysis of our would-be-employed-Indian youth. Here is the same piece of jigsaw-puzzle I made with my research.    

STRENGTH: "In terms of statistics, I guess the people coming from tier 2 or tier 3 colleges are likely to stay longer. But certainly there would be some skill gaps. But I don't think it is so much that we cannot bridge it."

~ Ramesh Ranjan, VP - HR Operations, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC INDIA

WEAKNESS: "The challenge is how one develops one’s (students') soft skills, specially the communication part.  And I'm sure that even in other IT jobs too, communication is a key criterion. And you will find that for students coming from tier 2 and tier 3 cities communication is a huge challenge. Not every company can invest huge sums of money or time to train students in this aspect."

~ James Job, VP - Talent Acquisition, ADITYA BIRLA MINACS

Opportunity: "When we hire, say from the IIMs for our B-School Program, we have noticed that attrition rates are very high, because the aspirations these graduates have from an organisation, are totally different. These graduates are more focused on posh jobs and don't really want to get their hands dirty on the field."

~ Linda Ravindran, Head - Talent Acquisition, NOKIA

THREAT: "The biggest challenge for us is the knowledge versus the marks aspect. You go to campuses, you look at their marks, and it doesn't reflect in anyway what they know. Scores and knowledge are two different things. This is happening because students in India do not do enough stuff outside of attending class."

~ Aparna Ballakur, Chief People Officer, FLIPCART.COM

The challenge is how one develops one’s (students') soft skills, specially the communication part.
Even an answer by Pervin Malhotra to some career query clearly depicts the importance of soft skills, “Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of GE, once advised MIT grads, ‘Don’t just learn. Do network with as many people as possible.’ Indian B-schools and Technical Institutes have followed this advice by incorporating soft skills in their curriculum. In addition to business textbooks and case studies, the emphasis is now on enhancing the student’s communication skills, creativity, diplomacy, flexibility, leadership, team building and listening skills. This is also done through structured group activities. Most institutions offer compulsory courses like PDP, Career Skills, Organisational Behaviour, which cover a range of issues at the individual, interpersonal and organisational levels. At the same time, they also offer electives like managerial counselling, interpersonal skills, etc.”
“We are hired for our technical skills, but fired for the lack of soft skills.”
As a matter of fact, Soft Skills in today's world hold utmost importance. And finally, I would wind up this blog post on Soft Skills by quoting Shiv Khera, Founder of QUALIFIED LEARNING SYSTEMS INC. USA and a renowned motivational speaker,

“We are hired for our technical skills, but fired for the lack of soft skills.”

[...And yes, here also, we are talking about Communication and Soft Skills both; if any confusion or doubt, do read the blog again.]

Thursday, 8 August 2013


I dare say that no degree or diploma or any qualification in the world guarantees a good job or a good package until and unless one develops the right set of skills in oneself. And being unmindful of developing these skills, one remains eligible only but not necessarily employable.

Continuing the same theme I discussed in the last blog post ‘ENGLISH VINGLISH’, now it’s time for some more reality check. Yes, I do know that we are on track of ‘Communication and Soft Skills.’ But before I start, I would like to talk about two specific terms; ‘Eligibility’ and ‘Employability’. As per my own professional as well as personal experiences, I dare say that no degree or diploma or any qualification in the world guarantees a good job or a good package until and unless one develops the right set of skills in oneself. Even for the past few years, If you observe the marketing and promotional gimmicks of professional institutions in India a bit closely, you will notice that many of them who were at one point in time, were boasting of 100% ‘Placement Assurance’ to attract the attention of their prospective clients (read students and their investor parents), they too felt the heat soon and quietly replaced this term with 100% ‘Placement Assistance’. No wonder, now they were/ are not to blame for not being able to place their students in some good companies. But here, I would like to add on one more remark, that colleges must not be perceived as placement agencies. I believe an educational institution must project themselves as an abode of knowledge, a training-house of skills and a centre of attitude building. And the rest is up to the students.

Now Back to business! Yes, we were discussing ‘Eligibility’ and ‘Employability’ issue of our Indian youth. Looking at the current ‘Industry readiness’ of our students pursuing their professional courses, needless to say that most of them are not well equipped with those KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Attitude) which make them Job-Fit or Culture-Fit. Yes, they are lagging far behind and this is something of serious concern. In a paper titled ‘B-Schools and engineering colleges shut down — big business struggles’, the Associate Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has revealed that merely 10% of graduates from business schools [aside from the top 20 business schools like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)] manage to get hired by the corporate India on an average every year. In the last five years, the number of MBA seats annually in India has tripled from 4,500 to as many as 3.6 lakh but campus recruitments have gone down by 40% in the same period. The bad news continues with the study estimating that 180 schools had shut down in 2012 in major cities like Delhi and the NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata while another 160 struggled for survival. Only 10% of the students graduating from these colleges were found employable.

Now talking about engineering as a professional course in particular, statistics say that Engineering and Technology Graduates made up 7% of India's 5,090,799 - strong fresh talent pool in 2012. This stream is expected to grow at a compounded growth rate of 6% as against 4.1% in the case of medicine. A latest survey reports, "Just 3% Engineers are Job-Ready."  The highlights of the survey sums up, "(i) The percentage of ready-to-deploy engineers for IT jobs is dismally low at 2.68 per cent. Only 17.45 per cent of them are employable for the IT services sector. (ii) Concentrating on increasing quantity of engineers has impacted quality drastically. (iii) Potential of these skills – About 30 million job vacancies for skilled force is available at any point of time all round the year. As a recruiter myself, what I have observed during my tenure with IT industry is that candidates with English skills above the local average stand out from the crowd. Studies show that they garner 30-50 per cent higher salaries than similarly-qualified candidates without English skills. With English fluency being one of the key qualities, recruiters look for during the interview process. 

"Just 3% Engineers are Job-Ready."
A report based on a test conducted on 55,000 students from around 250 engineering colleges in India on the English learning levels of engineering graduates, Minds Computer Adaptive Test (AMCAT) finds some shocking results. (i) More than 25% engineers don’t possess English comprehension skills required to understand engineering school curriculum. (ii) Only 57% engineers can write grammatically correct sentences in English Less than 48% engineers understand moderately sophisticated words of English. (iii) More than half of all engineers (52%) would not be fluent in a majority of words that are used with regular frequency at the workplace. (iv) Around 50% engineers possess grammar skills that are not better than a Class VII student. (v) Further, it said 36 per cent of engineering graduates would be unable to read official reports and transcripts and derive information out of these, even when the information is explicitly stated. And the list goes on…
Candidates are technically good but many of them lack knowledge of English.
A remarkable research paper titled ‘Lost In Translation’ clearly brings into the open the eligibility vs. employability issue of an Indian IT professional. The paper explains, “English-speaking tech talent is limited. Today, the industry is rapidly expanding its employment base, and there is no option but to look at the available talent pool, where employability is the biggest issue. So, vast numbers of those joining the IT workforce now are from tier II and III towns, and though they are technically good, many of them lack knowledge of English, and they lack what’s called soft skills—etiquette, proper conduct in different settings. For an international business like IT, this is a huge challenge. If the employability was about 60% among urban applicants, it is a mere 10% among those who come from smaller towns around the country. These candidates have good academic records, possess sound technical knowledge but unluckily their English speaking skills are not good enough. Companies see clarity in communication as being critical at the workplace for individuals and teams to function seamlessly. Candidates may look great on paper, and that’s it. To deal with the issue, IT companies too have increased the time spent on training on soft skills and communication from 10% to 30%.”

For India, the difficulty level for 
organisations to fill up the jobs is 48%.
A 2011 paper published by three researchers with the World Bank and the Florida and Connecticut universities suggests that the ability to communicate in English is a must to be eligible for better pay packets. The research paper titled “The returns to English-language skills in India” says that hourly wages are on an average 34% higher for men who speak fluent English and 13% higher for men who speak a little English relative to men who do not speak English at all. Another report prepared by iValue Consulting for the British High Commission projects the market for English language training (ELT) to nearly double to $4.65 billion in 2015 from $2.75 billion in 2012. According to the report, the vocational training segment has the most potential, as the government works towards its goal of training 500 million people by 2022. Considering the seriousness of skill deficiency, skill development has become one of the priority agendas of the government for the Twelfth Five Year Plan. The government has doubled the allocation of funds for skill development under the National Skill Development Fund by Rs.10 billion in the Union Budget 2012-13. Ficci Ernst and Young published a paper on ‘Knowledge paper on skill development in India,’ which says, “For India, the difficulty level for organisations to fill up the jobs is 48%, which is above the global standard of 34% in 2012.”

English is Important at least for those who pursue professional
courses and aspire to achieve greater heights in their career.
After all is said and done, there is no doubt about the fact that English is Important at least for those who pursue professional courses and aspire to achieve greater heights in their career. And it all comes down to becoming proficient at ‘Communication and Soft Skills’. And being unmindful of developing these skills, one remains eligible only but not necessarily employable. It’s certainly a ‘make or break’ situation. As English author Chetan Bhagat had also said, "We need to change our thinking and our attitude to  English. We have to embrace English like never before. Not England, but English. …really taking it to the grassroot level. English and Hindi can co-exist. Hindi is the mother and English is the wife. It is possible to love them both. And we must not confuse patriotism with the skills one needs to compete in the real world. I can teach a villager geometry and physics in Hindi, but frankly when he goes to look for a job he is going to find that education useless. English will get him a job. There is massive demand for something that will improve people’s lives. I have no special soft spot for this language, but the fact is it works in the world of today. And if more English helps spread prosperity evenly across the country, trust me we will preserve our culture a lot better than a nation that can barely feed its people.

...and I hope Mr. Minister certainly gets his due reply. Right ?!!

[In my next blog post, get to know the role of 'Soft Skills' in one's professional life. Don't Miss It !]