Monday, December 17, 2007

In the forest of night

"In the Forest of Night" just stumbled upon this blog somehow in the blogosphere.. okey not somehow .. but out of my knack for finding IIFM related blogs on web. So here is a blog not that regularly updated but written passionately about 'Forest'.. written by an IIFMight.

IIFMight, who is "happy in his work, happy enough in the knowledge of his friends moving on to much better paying jobs, yet expressing their wonder at his work and how meaningful it is, he is also happy enough to somehow fob off the jibes of those who attempt to show him at his lowly place as compared to others of his qualification and background."

A glimpse of what is there..

"Renaissance for nothing less would do to save the ecosystems people that we used to be – from the impending doom looming large over us.
Ecology shall be soon ingrained in the heart of the neighbourhood friendly person. Ecology would no longer remain a subject taught at premier institutes and researched upon to gain innumerable doctorates, nor would it relegated to a handful of professionals who find it difficult to disperse the idea of a sustainable ecology to the so called teeming millions. Ecology would be instead the basic understanding through which we understand and appreciate processes of the ecosystem we live in."

And before that I had stumbled acroos one more blog, that too, by an alumnus and all I can say that was somewhat not the kind of blog I would like to see as an IIFMight. Though the blog was self defeating and the post can describe more about the author than the things he seemed to describe.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Best Days of my life

OT Presentation is about to over. The number of Days in IIFM (Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal) now can be counted on fingers. Two Years. It is like a roller coaster ride. Staying away from West Bengal, experience of meeting up with some Good and Bad People, gaining 3 - 4 Kilos of weight, becoming Smart [ According to one of my Batchmates’( of PFM 08 Batch) statement], learning speaking “Hindi” and studying as well if can get some time from other activities... : Life at IIFM can be described in one phrase - ” Best Days of My Life”.

After getting the PPO from the OT -II Organization (Development Credit Bank, Mumbai) with competitive package and offering of Home State, Life has become very easy. That day Ranesh (One of Batchmates) was asking about how I am felling now. What to say : No tension of Placement Process, So want to enjoy remaining days to the fullest, Want to click everything in campus, Want to Hang out in the city specially in the Night.
Because I know these days will not return ever.
What you say?

by Soumik Ghanta (PFM08)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sreyamsa Bairiganjan

My quest for some regular contributors for this blog has yielded some result :) and now we have Sreyamsa Bairiganjan on board (No buddy you are not getting any money. Your are FoB. Free on Board ).

Sreyamsa is from PFM (06-08) batch and dreams to be an eco-preneur who will build Art Villages and make big in area of eco-tourism (Sadly, some people could not see this as a big opportunity  and failed to appreciate his business model properly and he was shown the door in third round in a popular channels budding entrepreneur competition. Do not worry dear, most people fail to understand 'the double bottom line'..)

He is also Student Coordinator for Alumni Affairs and the guy to be blamed or credited for Alumni Meet and for the new Alumni website.

OIS (Orkut Intelligence Serivce) informs that he is quite good at building a fan following wherever he goes and loves Eagles (his songs only), Bryan Adams, Kishor Kumar and Hemant Kumar.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Monks who lived in Mumbai

One month into our respective OTs and once again that feeling .... "Ek mahine kya kiya ....kahan gaya yeh mahina " :)

Again a hustle to gear up and start writing our reports before its too late.

Again the same question by one and all over the phone/chats/scraps..."Kitna hua? Report start kiya kya ?? "

Live here from Mumbai :)

Mumbai is beautiful....The people here are very nice...everybody gives you a patient listening on anything you have to say (whether the matter being discussed is of their interest or not doesn't really matter to them)

The huge red buses with people sticking out at all odd angles remind you of the fevicol ad.... initially hesitant i travelled in an auto for two days but their jet age meters sent me scurrying to catch a bus(who cares about the angle i stick out at now) A few bones crushed but i saved Rs 70 per day ;)

Twice i forgot the advice meted out to me by my someone special ;) ... Forgot to stand near the bus door close to my stop..... RESULT: I got down 2 stops later and took an auto back to my office :)

Enough of Buses,Now i decided that it was time to go for the locals :)

Locals are either fast or slow...slow meaning stopping at every damn station out there and fast meaning not stopping at your desired destination at all :D

There is an unwritten rule for the Mumbai local trains : You dont get in or get out of the locals..... all you have to do is place yourself strategically in front of the train door and the crowd will push you in or throw you out. Similar to the escalators that we see in malls :) in a bit cruder way i guess.

If you end up carrying a newspaper in the local, then God save you. People jostle for better places within the overcrowded compartment to read a bit from your paper. It might sound okay but it is scary when u see 3-4 people pushing and jostling with others to get to you. And when they finally get to you...its a 220 watt toothy grin that they flash at you before getting busy with your newspaper....sometimes even throwing angry looks at you if the article is not upto their mark :)

And now :) A Ravi Special :)

One fine Sunday, the three of us( Ravi/Shoumik n me) managed to roam around most of Mumbai.
Lunch time and we ended up in a fine restaurant "New Yorkers" :)
On entering we were offered a puzzle paper and pencil to play with..... Pandey and me got busy solving it with Shoumik giving us revolting looks :) when we succeeded in solving a few puzzles and looked up to see who else had done it.
We found kids aged less than 10 busy with their puzzle papers while their parents ate on. The grown ups were offered menus and magazines.... I wonder how did we end up with the puzzle papers :) Our interest in the solving the rest of the puzzle paper went down distinctly after this revelation.

We ordered a sizzler..... and Ravi discovered why is a sizzler named so. The first scoop that he picked was that of the boiling hot chocolate sauce (It was looking great...can't blame the poor fellow) and put it in his mouth. He went blank after that and Shoumik laughing at Ravi picked up another scoop ...only to spill it on his own hand and start yelling :)

Went out and had a few soda's after that with Pandeyji ordering the most colourful soda's. Shoumik clicked snaps of all the funny coloured and funny tasting soda's that he picked naming his snap as the colours of India :)

Mumbai is great...busy place but the people really do care in here :) And i'm in love with the local trains and the buses and so is Ravi :)

Pandey n Shoumik have been great pals as usual...never saying no to me...and moving around the city has been delightful with both of them.
Ravi is genuinely funny and Shoumik is the great lazy thinker :) Amazing pals :)

Now to all our batchmates.....Have a great OT you all. Remember at the end of it we are all budding managers (and expert report writers according to some of our faculty).
so manage yourselves/ Write a great report/ Get a PPO....most importantly manage your money well and send some of it to the three of us in here at Mumbai :) We'll have another sizzler at "New Yorkers" and no puzzle solving this time :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

IIFMightes in Development Sector

                                                -Prashant Mishra (PFM 2002-04)

Completing 4 years of my sojourn in the development sector almost six years after passing through the lofty IIFM gate (the water tank) for the first time, I am reflecting about how the journey has been so far and what lies ahead for me… or rather, for us.
Always keen to work for the development sector since my graduation days, I joined the 13th Batch of IIFM in June 2000. Experiencing the course in the next two years made me sure that I was meant for the grassroots and so did both my OTs with grassroots organizations – SRIJAN and PRADAN. In the same spirit, I joined PRADAN in 2002 just 15 days after passing out from IIFM.
I worked with some of the poorest people of the country in the Vidisha Project of PRADAN, in a small place called Sironj. It was a real eye opener for me – I had no idea how hollow all claims of development, cried hoarse by the media, were. I witnessed the abject poverty resulting from a total failure of the development system – lack of basic amenities (health, education facilities, safe drinking water and proper roads existing only on paper) and rampant corruption in government agencies. My studies in Forest management were left behind somewhere; there was no forest to manage and in face of such grave deficiencies, even talking about rejuvenating the barren forest land felt criminal to me.
For a little more than two years that I worked there before leaving the job on the face of serious health complications, every day approached me with a new learning, not just as a development professional, but as a human being. One of the many things I was unable to understand was how a human being could exploit another in such a blatant manner! How someone could rob a penniless peasant for providing a copy of land records to him? How a health worker could refuse to visit his villages in spite of knowing about a disease killing infants like an unrestrained banshee? I was humbled as a human being; I felt ashamed witnessing it as a mute spectator. I did whatever I could within my capacity as a development worker and as a human being, but soon realized that the problem was not just the providers of amenities and the services. It was the community as well.
Centuries of colonial rule of the British has made the once self-reliant Indian villages and its community totally dependent on the system (read Government). Once all the resources of the village used to belong to the community. But in the beginning of the 19th century the market, and the resource-hungry British Government, took over all of them – land, water, forests, everything – and made the community totally dependent on it. Due to a conflict in interest between the government and the community, a series of famines followed, in which more that 85 million Indians lost their lives – not to disease, not to invasion, but to the greed of a colonial power. Unfortunately, no one even talks about these unfortunate compatriots who lost their lives to hunger then. Today, famines may have stopped, but the dependency has not. In Kankerkhedi, my first village in PRADAN, which has a population of 150, 14 people including infants lost their lives in just one year due to water borne diseases, yet despite having sufficient funds I could not get a hand pump dug there for a full year, as the community simply refused to deposit Rs.2500 as part of their contribution, mandatory in the Project in which I was working. They demanded to know the reason they had to pay when the government provided everything free (at least in principle, with all bribes and everything!).
Now, this particular aspect of the process of development makes it a little difficult. It is comparatively easy to create infrastructure – roads, houses, schools, wells, dams, etc. – but changing the attitude of a community is an arduous task. It is a slow process and all the more difficult when you are trying to do it in an environment which is otherwise exploiting and corrupt – the poor being taken for a ride by traders and big landlords, politicians, government servants and the mushrooming fly-by-night NGOs in connivance with each other.

However, in the recent past we have seen the attitudes of Indian communities being changed in many instances. The same market forces that once ravaged Indian villages in the form of the British East India Company are today changing the scenario of urban and rural India. A few decades back no one had heard of Maggie Noodles, Pepsi or Coca Cola. Today, colas have penetrated deep inside the Indian hinterland. At times you may not find safe drinking water in some remote corners of the country, but the mighty cola is omnipresent (never mind the CSE revelations)! Thus, we have witnessed that the community attitude can be changed in relatively less time, but it needs specific factors like an environment promoting change, desire and motivation to change, a foolproof strategy and huge resources to bring about such a change. This does happen, where market forces decide to provide a particular service or product in rural areas – not for charity but for profits.
The biggest and most visible example today is that of the mobile phone services. I remember, during my schooldays in the late eighties and early nineties there used to be a long waiting list for getting a phone connection. One had to either approach a neta or pay bribes to get a phone connection. Hardly two years ago in Sironj mobile phone was unheard of. Today I frequently receive calls from the Sarpanch of one of the villages who, calling from his cell phone, asks me which new Yojana is being dispatched by the Sarkaar in Dilli! Not just he, but many in the villages where I used to work have got mobile phones now, which is not a luxury for them but a boon to their remote villages that are cut off from the rest of the country for many months every year during rains.
Unlike NGOs (which have limited resources, vision and motivation) and the government (with its red-tapism, attitudinal and human resource problems), the corporate sector has huge resources, man power, access to the latest knowhow and the biggest asset – an ability to think out-of-the-box to achieve their goal. The biggest challenge in this case is how to link the problems in rural India to the market forces. In other words, how a problem of rural India can be translated into a corporate revenue model, thus transforming the problem itself into a solution. Can the human resources of villages be tapped as in China? Can our agricultural productivity be raised as in Brazil? Can there exist local BPOs operating from rural India? Can there be a wind power park on the coast of Orissa? Can there be a thousand megawatt super solar power plant in vast, sunny spans of the Thar Desert? All these ideas may sound impractical and too dreamy, but we have to remember, before petroleum was discovered, the Middle East was just another desert! Here lies a great opportunity for IIFMites. With our exposure to rural India and its problems and our training in management, we can act as a bridge between the rural issues and the market forces. If some of us can come up with a feasible revenue model of linking one of these issues and converting it into an opportunity for the Indian corporate sector which is currently undergoing a boom, there is no dearth of capital for an off-track, yet feasible business model. The biggest example here is the foray of Reliance Industries and Bharti Group into the agribusiness sector with thousands of crores of capital. Another good example is the advances of ICICI Bank Ltd in rural banking and microfinance, which will literally capture the rural credit market in the years to come. To set an example as well as benchmarks within the IIFM fraternity, some IIFMites have already pioneered developing the linkage between the process of development and market forces. Vineet Rai (PFM 1996) with Aavishkaar, Mumbai; Sameer Singh (PFM 2001) with IFC, New Delhi; Deepak Mitra (PFM 2002) with Phillips India Ltd., Gurgaon – are a few among many in this growing genre of IIFMites, who are noted for having performed exceedingly well in this relatively less traveled path for IIFMites.
For the current IIFM batches, some more inputs from IIFM – in terms of some research in this aspect, more related courses of enhanced quality, distinguished visiting faculty from the industry – would go a long way in turning IIFM students into stalwarts of a new breed of industries: hybrids of corporate spirit and rural resources. At the same time, the students too have a major responsibility in bringing about this change. Rather than considering our course in IIFM as a ‘paid holiday’ (as one of my seniors told me on my first day at IIFM), we need to widen our horizons of knowledge working hard 24X7, keeping our eyes and ears open, reading and learning latest developments and looking for opportunities that would take us beyond the current trends in IIFM, lest the ‘paid holiday’ (sic) turns into a holiday that has to be paid for all through one’s life!
For those of us who have already passed out, probably the need of the hour is that the entrepreneurs among us come up with an idea out of their experiences in rural India and understanding of Indian economic scenario as of now. The pioneers in this venture are most likely going to leave a lasting impression on the Indian economy and society in the days to come. This is the ultimate opportunity to establish brand IIFM in Indian corporate and development sector with a paradigm shift in the perception of others for us, once and for all.


Prashant Mishra is an alumnus from PFM 02-04 batch. He worked for PRADAN and Orbis International and currently he is pursuing one year program at ISB Hyderabad.

This article was first published in Sampark. Reproduced here from his blog

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Remembering IIFM

                                                       -- Abhishek Kar (PFM 05-07)

In 2004 when I enrolled for Masters degree programme at Presidency College, Kolkata to specialize in Nuclear Physics, I had never heard of IIFM. But destiny had other plans for me. Ideological conflicts/considerations drew me towards rural energy issues and its importance. With utter dismay, I somehow strongly believed that energy management at village level would ensure energy security of India (a pretty naïve thought-I admit today!) So I started looking for getting training in sociological/managerial training with focus on rural areas to add on to my technical exposure in energy instruments. Googling brought up few options- notably IRMA and IIFM. And I was there at IIFM.

My imagination of IIFM as some obscure building deep inside some jungle did not match with reality. During my GD/PI, I had a quiet visit around the campus situated within Bhopal city. I was lost in the tranquility that envelopes the 200 acre campus with occasional poly-tonic chirping. The campus is frighteningly (for some, majestically) big. I can easily hide in that vastness!

When I joined the course, I found it was not what I would have ideally liked but nonetheless provide me with lot of exposure to rural issues and their inter-linkages. The academic atmosphere is not competing rather if I may use the word “cool”, albeit loosely. I always disliked unnecessary competition and was more than happy to find quite a few compatriots. I went about studying my own areas of interest related to renewable energy. IIFM curriculum does give a lot of time (I would refrain from commenting whether that is good or bad!) to pursue your own interests- be in extra-curricular, research, or just time-pass!

As I wanted to understand the rural energy scenario, literature review (writing to professors of UK and US as a student from a developing country generally helps to get access to high priced research papers) and attending conference (if IIFM attendance requirements hinder my plans, conference proceedings were always available!) was my academic life. Rest is fun, pure fun. Chatting till 3 am with topics ranging from HBR to Censored Stuff, watching movies, going out for dinners (though I have less complaints regarding IIFM mess than my friends in other premiere B-schools) was hallmark of life at IIFM. The grades mattered to some extent (for ease of scholarship during Ph. D-one of my career dreams!) so studies were important to some extent only! I spent time doing original research (in a remote tribal village sacrificing my Diwali vacation) to develop a case study on impact on renewables on rural life which was eventually published by Stockholme Environmental Institute in 2006. Here I must mention that IIFM professors were excellent guides supportive of new ideas and ready to extend help in every possible way, which I consider is more important than the teaching acumen. As someone had said, “What a teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.”

My first internship was a matter of fluke. My publication helped me get discounted conference participation fees in an International conference at Hyderabad. There I met director of West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency. He, by God’s Grace, liked my enthusiasm about renewables though he was polite and graceful enough not to trash my ideas (which were shamefully stupid as I realize today) upfront. So my first internship was a tour of Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove where WBREDA has installed solar power plants giving power to 4% of world’s population dependent on Renewables. I tried to examine technology’s influence on society and society’s influence on technical performance of the solar projects-in other words, interactions between society and technology. I prepared a report on how to involve community in local level energy management (though then I was oblivious to the much touted franchisee concept of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana) and prepared a socio-technical manual on how to improve the performance of renewables to provide for better quality and quantity of power. TERI, my present employer, is currently executing a government-sanctioned project in Sundarbans on the lines of that work.

Getting my second internship was smooth sailing as WBREDA officials recommended my name to TERI. I did a project with my batchie, Rahul on a World Bank project of documenting case studies and deriving lessons from success and failure stories of renewables projects across India. We also tried to work on a simplified version of advanced energy planning software called HOMER with suitable modifications for Indian conditions.

TERI offered me some sort of a Pre-placement Offer (albeit with formal 6 minute interview session) in December; now I am associated with TERI as a Research Associate. I am working as Project Leader for three out of the seven rural/renewable energy related projects that I am currently associated with. The projects vary from implementation activities to more academic oriented journal research based report writing.

To conclude, IIFM has given me the great platform to pursue my career objectives. More importantly, IIFM at the crossroads of student and professional life was truly a memorable and enjoyable experience.


Abhishek Kar is IIFM Alumnus from PFM 05-07 batch and is currently working as Research Associate with The Energy and Resource Institute.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Changes at IIFM

For quite some time we have been listening about introducing new courses and increasing batch strength at IIFM, but it has come into effect now. So the batch intake has gone from 45 to 60 and IIFM now offers three specialization (earlier we had electives to choose from) viz. Environment Management, Development Management and Forest Management.

The PGDFM (Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management) has been renamed as PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management). Though it would be like PGDM-EM (for Environment Management), PGDM-DM (for Development Management) and PGDM-FM (for Forest Management)

The other significant change is scrapping of M.Phil course and introduction of 4 year Fellow Program.

IIFM is now inviting application for both the programs, one can get more information and download the application form from the following links.

Application Form for 2 Years Post Graduate Program

Application Form for 4 years Fellow Program.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Love for Birds

You must care for Nature and your care for Nature should turn into Love for it. If you love Nature then you must love it's inevitable part that is "Animal". Among the animals, one of the most beautiful animals is "Bird". Doesn't their twittering make you happy? If so, then please check this .

It is a software created by our beloved CSR sir along with Pratap Singh and Vijay Cavale. This software has many details, including calls (sounds) of birds in Central India. You could download this application free of cost. It's really wonderful.

Post Contributed by Soumik Ghanta PFM 08

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Life at IIFM on YouTube

The web presence of IIFM is weak and this blog is catered to increase it. Now its an effort from PFM 08 batch to add into it. Now a days Youtube is one of most popular video sharing  websites. So we have uploaded a photostory about "Life at IIFM".

The link is
We would like to have your comments, criticisms, suggestions everything.
( Post contributed by Soumik, PFM08 )

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Passion, Not Pedigree..

I have been getting some emails and PMs on different forums from IIFM aspirants (thanks to this blog), all asking either how to get into, and if they have already made it, then how to get best of everything (read fat pay packages, though these questions have never been that straight, but you can easily derive the real meaning) from IIFM.

Though I do not have much credentials to talk about Do's and Don'ts at IIFM and How to Get What You Want as only few years back I was wondering about the same. But I can surely say that it is Passion and Pedigree, which matters. I have seen my seniors, batch mates (and colleagues ranging from Harvard to IIM A) and they made it big for the only reason that they were really Passionate about those things.

"Passion, not pedigree, will win in the end." Bon Jovi really gave the winning mantra when he uttered the above words. IIFM alumni list is full of those who believed strongly in something from day one and proved the above statement right.

I can vividly remember our placement session, the first question asked to me about any organization participating in the placement process was " what is the pay package?". People who had come to IIFM singing peans for development sector and activism for poor and downtrodden, did terpsichorean march towards jobs with fat pay packets and little social motive. But a few opted for, what they wanted from day one, and did everything to be there, even that came with very mediocre pay package. And I an only say that they are in far better position. (This para will make many people question and point finger towards the writer... but still...).

The best thing about being passionate about a particular cause, sector, job is that 'if you are really really passionate' the job does not become a job only but a pleasure. So you do not say 'Thanks God, Sunday' but 'Great! Today is Monday'. And when work is passion, growth and satisfaction are there for taking.

I strongly think 'Pedigree' is the word better applicable to 'Dogs' (when it comes to performance) than not to humans. So be passionate and be different........

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Good Bye IIFM..

(This is the valedictory speech given by Sudhanshu Bashkar** on Thanks Giving Dinner for placement)

" I will start my story from my interview. I was asked to tell something about myself. A tongue slip costed me dear there. I said " I have good humor". I was asked "How?". I said " I can predict your questions?"


"From Miss Universe to MBA interviews all questions are same!"

Interview panel laughed. I was waitlisted candidate.

Then I came here, classes started. We received assignment. I came to know about great importance of something called "Google"! You get readymade assignment in every file format.

I said "Its unethical"

I was told "Management is all how well you mobilize your resources". So I also started following the league.

Then there were exams, I scored well in those paper in which I didn't know well and I scored "Not so well" where I thought I had "Core Competence". Then, I, found a strong "Statistical Positive Correlation" between no of sheets and your score. Then I started a strategy which I won't disclose here.

Now, about my "Friends". People, whom I thought were my friends, were proven to be my toughest enemy. For 5% "Class Participation", they attacked me like starved lion. They tore my presentation apart. I could not differentiate between my friends and the cannibals on that day.

Then I started participation in sports. "Healthy Body Healthy Mind". I started going to play Tennis court in early morning. In two days, I realized that "Undulating Topography" has profound impact on the overall well being of human being with pulled muscle and thorns on my foot. I realized that it is better to develop your competence in tennis on "Computer".

Then I went to "OT". I went there without preparation. My Reporting Officer was also waiting without preparation. Both of us did not know what to do about it. So we both enjoyed time together.

Then ours "Juniors" CAME. I have one line to say: after my "OT/FW" presentation, I know that one should not say anything conclusive. Say open ended subjective statements, which can be defended later on.

So I will say about Juniors " A Balanced Batch"

Then I got my "Job" after three rounds of Written Test, One round of "Direct Interview" for 40 minutes and one round of "Telephonic Interview" on my roaming mobile. Then my salary was cut to half that is a separate story.

Now I am delivering my valedictory speech to all of you

"Dear Faculty Members, If respect is in your heart and has no connection with words you speak, then I do respect you a lot. There are few people sitting in front of me whom I have never conveyed my feelings personally, but I respect them a lot. If ever in my life, I could become 1/10 of them I would feel succeeded. I will keep respecting you a lot from deep within my heart. I also wish to thank my friends here, who helped and motivated me in every odd situation, with whom I spent some wonderful and cherishing moments of my life. I also want to thank some of my batch mates who were a constant source of inspiration to me.

I am not ashamed to say that I have learned a lot from my juniors as well. Some of them are real thorough gentlemen and gentlewoman as well.

I want to thank you a lot and I also want to apologize for any of my unintentional wrong doing. Please do not carry any bitter feelings with you. Sorry and Thank You.

[** Sudhanshu Bshakar is a student of PFM 05- 07 batch and he has been placed with Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB)]

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Good Bye Seniors

Well it had to happen one day..if we have the chance that suits us to say "NO"..the "NO" would have been emphatic and roaring.
But Alas!
So this is good bye to all our seniors.
We will miss you.
One way or another, You have had quite an impact on this place and on us.
And you will leave quite a gap here.
But we would not have shortage of memories.
We will remember you for being affectionate.
We will remember you for being caring.
We will remember you for being friendly.
We will remember you for being kind and warm.
We will remember you as elder brother and sister.
If we are honest, we will also remember you for your love...the love which can not be measured by any unit of the world.
Most of all, though, we will remember all for you for being a great person to have around.
What ever you do in life, please carry this bond which has grown over in this two year of life at IIFM.
IIFMight rocks.
[Post contributed by Soumik, PFM08]

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Monday, February 26, 2007

M Phil. Admission

Some prospective M Phil students sent me emails regarding M Phil courses and related information. I thought it would be better to get someone who knows this course inside out. So I asked Nitin Bassi  (M Phil 2006 batch) regarding this and he has kindly agreed to take some time out from his schedule and answer those queries. So those seeking help can contact him on his email id:

bassi43(at) gmail (dot) com

Please keep in mind that for all official enquiries send your emails at

admission (at)iifm (dot) ac (dot) in

Please click here to get to official webpage for M Phil admission.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Microfinance Jobs

Boom in rural banking and microfinance is evident everywhere (though now people have started doubting its future as well with mushrooming MFIs and dubious practices being adopted by them, yet Microfinance is surely one of the most popular tool to reach at the Bottom of Pyramid and address provide financial services poor people), ICICI and Centre for Microfinanace have come up with job site catering specifically to Microfinance sector.

"ICICI and Centre for Microfinance( recently set up a jobsite for microfinance positions called to make personnel available for careers in MFIs.
The micro finance job site is expected to recruit over 2,50,000 suitably qualified individuals for the 200 MFIs(ICICI plans to partner with)in partnership with CMF's MFI Strategy Unit (MSU) and provide them with all the necessary training. In addition to seeking applicants from the market, it proposes to tie up with a number of local business schools so that graduating MBA can find an opportunity to work in an MFI which is based in his or her neighborhood itself—this will ensure that these employees will pursue longer-term careers with the MFI and will come with, in addition to business skills, a strong facility with the local language of the region.
For any queries & information regarding"

This site is surely better designed and more userfriendly than other development sector job sites (, while the former has very poor navigation structure, is not free). This site has quite good info on micro-finance sector as well, and they have put some good section like Career Advice (though there is not much info at the moment specific on career advice, but since they site has been launched just recently surely they would be coming up with more.)


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Monday, February 19, 2007

Kalpataru 2007

The gala annual function of IIFM, Kalpataru 2007 was celebrated on 17th February evening on a grand scale. The entire IIFM fraternity, including students, faculty members, staff and their family members joined together to celebrate with traditional enthusiasm and cheers. This is uniqueness of IIFM's Kalpataru. No other institutions in India have this sort of celebration where faculty members and their children take part actively.

This year evening function likewise the previous years is the grand finale of the week long cultural and sports literary and adventure events. The programme lasted for three hours. The kalpataru 2007 is very very special because this is the Silver Jubilee year of IIFM. This was adequately reflected by the colourful and cheerful cultural gala presented by the students and children of IIFM family on this final day.

On 17th evening, while inaugurating the Kalpataru 2007, Shri Hari Mohan Gupta, resident editor, Dainik Jagaran and Pro-Vice Chairman of DPS, Bhopal- Indore expressed his happiness on the progress made by IIFM in the academic and management filed over these 25 years. He congratulated the outgoing students of IIFM, who have acquired appreciable campus placements, that are comparable to top management schools in the country. Prof. D.K. Bandyopadhaya, director IIFM welcomed the Chief Guest and other invites of function. Prof. Suprava Patnaik , Chairperson Of Students affairs briefed the guests about the significance of this grand annual event and hoe this tradition has become part parcel of IIFM community life.

Chosen students are facilitated with various awards. The list is as follows:

Best OT-one---- Ashish Mallik, Kumar Abhishek.

Best OT two----Kurjekar Kaustabh Balachandran.

Best Literary Person--- Sunil Rajagopal( PFM 08).

Best Cultural Person---Ravi Pandey(PFM 08)

Best sports man---Kallol Mandal(PFM08)& Tarvider Singh(PFM07)

Best sportswoman- Bigsna Gill(PFM07)

Matreyi Memorial Prize for best all-rounder—Kallol Mandal(PFM08)

(Post contributed by Soumik of PFM 2008 batch)


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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Paradise Lost

A couple of days ago, I visited Universal Book Shop here in Lucknow for my regular dose of books. Books all around, a pleasant and soothing site for a book junkie like me. Though I purchased some books, but some books I was looking I could not spot there (Was looking for Peter Singer's Practical Ethics and Thomos Samual Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) . Most of the stacks were full of popular fiction, gardening, religion and competitive books.

I started thinking about the IIFM days, how wonderful were those days! Just move into your library and the collection there is nothing really less than a heaven for a booklover. Though one may not find authors like Archer, Sheldon, King etc. in galore, but what one can find there, may not find at the most of the places. From the day one, when I got my library card (I still remember my card no. just two short of being Mr.Bond, it was P-005. Can anyone guess who was P-007?) i got my full quota of book issued. five of them. It was tough choice to select 5 of them. And no, I never went for what was given in the reference list for several course curricula.

In few weeks, I have savoured many and fortunately discovered that my dear roomie is generous enough to lend me his library card and Igot option for around ten books. Though academic pressure had a bit of affect on my book reading, but very soon we were able to evolve in exam-tension proof creatures, who came out of slumber just 3-4 days before the exams and manage take them head on (I am not advocating anything here, so please use your own discretion).

It was real pleasure to find some great books which I had never heard of. In my opinion, the IIFM library is the most memorable experience for most of the IIFMights (even for non-book lovers as well.. they enjoy library more than the book lovers... its calm soothing ambience.. oh so nice..).

I still remember one of faculty member saying " You will know the importance of this library once you are out of IIFM" . He was dead right ...Probably I would not be able to enjoy 'the Paradise' again for that long.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

IIFM Rocks

As in the last post Santosh  has said that  with boom in Indian Economy and banking sector focusing on rural finance, IIFMights are getting outmost important for the recruiters in this sector, this year placement scenario reflects the same. All the leading banks, marketing research organization have came to IIFM campus for this year (2007) placement.  Like previous year international organization Olam International came with highest package which is around 30 lakh per annum and it’s a foreign placement.Next highest package was offered by Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) for domestic placement and it was 7.25 lakh per annum. 4 students were placed in IMRB. Talking about the banking sector, ICICI-RMAG has   recruited 7 students with package of 6 lakh +, ICICI- Prudential has recruited  7 students with package of 6 lakh+, India Bulls Securities Ltd has recruited 8 students with package of 5 lakh+, HDFC bank has recruited 5 students with package of 4.75 lakh. In the Microfinance Sector, SKS microfinance has recruited 2 students with package of around 3.5 lakh per annum.
Now if I talk about the PPOs (pre placement offer) ,One
Student has done it in the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) with package of arond 5.75 lakh and one in TERI.
IIFMights are always demanding choice in Paper industry. This year Grasim Industry, part of Aditya Birla Group has recruited 5 students with average package of 3.5 lakh and J.k Paper has recruited I student with package of 3.85 lakh per annum.
Considering the all package , the average package will be around 6 lakh+ which is far better than last year package of 4.2 lakh+ and according to our seniors and professor it will be better in the coming years.
Santosh in his last post has already  given kudos to our placement
coordinator Ashish Mallik sir. I also thank Ashish sir and other seniors
who has set this high benchmark.  I also thank our favorite sir Prof.
Biswas sir for his continuous and meticulous efforts in the placement,
without him this was not possible.

Contributed by Soumik Ghanta (PFM 2008).. The figures quoted in the post are approximate..


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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Placements 2007 @ IIFM

Only one word to describe placements at IIFM this year.. "Fantastic". Placements at IIFM have never been a problem but this year placements can be said one of the best placements in IIFM history. On day one of placement week, all placed. Average Salary more than 6 lacs (wait for the detailed and official figures, will be posting soon here).

Since I have been witness to IIFM placements since Placements 2005 and probably that was the year when IIFM placements started getting better and better. Prof. Biswas as Placement Chairperson and then newly appointed Director Sir, did some really good work and it has started showing up now.

Though I have heard the stories of IIFM placements where guys have to be pushed to go into Pre Placement Talks as everyone was sure of getting more than one offer. But recently, everything is getting into a proper structure, the students are focused to set up new benchmarks.

With the boom in economy and banking majors going on hiring spree IIFM guys were all set to make merry but one day placement week was really something. Kudos to Placement Committee (Ashish & Co).

(Any one willing to take the responsibility of posting of details of Placement 2007.. PFM 2008..listening..??)

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