Friday, December 04, 2009

A walk in the Niligiri

Standing over the high ridge of the Nilgiri Tahr Mukurthi National Park, I realised that walking across an area of 5,520 sq km was not going to be easy. But in the light of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve representing a microcosm of the diverse forests of Southern India, it was worth the effort...Our plan was to estimate wild honey bee colonies in the region. Starting from the Rajiv Gandhi National Park in Karnataka, we moved downwards to cover the entire biosphere. In the process, we gathered interesting information on honey bee populations and gained a larger perspective about the state of the forests in the Reserve.

Our alum Kunal Sharma writes about his journey in the Nilgiris in Deccan Herald.. Click here to read the full article..

Friday, October 02, 2009

IIFM All India Alumni Meet on 1st November, 2009

Greetings from IIFM !!!

It's our pleasure to inform you that the IIFM All India Alumni meet'Reminiscence' will be held on the 1st of November 2009.It is one of those eagerly awaited moments when the whole IIFM family comes together under one roof to interact with faculty, catch up with old friends and bring old memories back to life. And to make this moment possible your presence is indispensable. So do grace the occasion by being there. We request you to kindly send in your confirmation to us to allow us to make the necessary arrangements.

We are trying to expand our Alumni database so that we can get in touch with the people who have worked in the industry and have helped in building the brand IIFM of which we are a part. The central database for all purposes is at www.iifmalumni.com. You are requested to upload your details here. It will be a great help if we can get contacts of your batch mates or other IIFMights you are in touch with. It will also help us to invite them for the meet.

Looking forward to your invaluable support. Help us spread the word.

Alumni Affairs Committee
Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal

Thursday, August 27, 2009

IIFMights in News

Outlook Business's special edition on Social Entrepreneurship covers two of our alumni working in social enterprise space. Mr. Vineet Rai, one of the most known names in socially responsible investing has been featured as an expert on social investing, while Mr. Vijay Pratap Singh of Ekgaon Technologies has been featured as on of the 50 social entrepreneurs who are changing the nation. Here is the link for online article:
http://business.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?261392

On the similar note, there have been some new additions to growing club of 'Social Entrepreneurs from IIFM'. Jaspal Shakya and Abhishek Chaudhury, both from PFM 06 batch have turned entrepreneurs. Abhishek Chaudhury has started a development consultancy firm 'Innovantage' and Jaspal aims to establish a fair-trade compliant carbon neutral supply chain of environment friendly handicrafts through 'EarthDreams'.
Watch for this space for more detailed info on these two ventures.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

IIFM Student Clubs in news

Nayi Duniya (a leading Hindi daily) has covered IIFM student clubs quite brilliantly :). Nice to see IIFM clubs getting much needed media space.

Here is the link for the article

Friday, June 12, 2009

5 Yrs of IIFMight :)

Next week this blog will be 5 years old and the guy writing this post will complete five years in IIFM family, 2 years as a student and 3 years as an alumnus. But those who abhor my narcissistic tendencies (yeah.. I have them in abundance.. I have a personal blog to brag about myself) should not worry as I am writing about the blog (to the extent possible) and not about myself.

The blog was result of the frustrations of a prsopective IIFM applicant who tried to search online about the institute and all he got was IIFM official website providing the 'official information' in very very 'official manner' (yes, those days the website used to be as moody as anything can be.. most often not working on weeekends and too slow on the weekdays). Somehow that prospective IIFM applicant made it to the final list of selected students and remembering his frustration of futile web-searches and very low web footprint of this wonderful institute created this blog. And IIFMight came into existence.

Those days (2004, when blogging was still in nascent phase in India) the posts on this blog ranged from occassional mail forwars to updates on campus activities, the later primarily done by the respective club coordinators. In between there were some sprinklings of campus life of some students (those who dared to write anything else than the mandatory assignements) and in no time the blog had a good starting point for someone looking for an un-official view of life on the hillock at Bhadbhada road. It started attracting decent web-traffick and the content on the blog started to find a place in faculties' discusssion with students, in replies of new students( to questions like "how did you come to know about IIFM?) and in other virtual forums/places.

By 2006, the blog started getting contributions from some alumni, new members of IIFM family and the posts started to come.. mostly in trickles with sudden spurts triggered by enthusiasm of members of new batches. It served as a platform for information sharing and experience sharing, as a PR tool, as a complaint board... and has chronicalized journey of IIFM and IIFMights to some extent since June 2004. Now in 2009, the blog is doing fine even though it craves for some regular contributors, it is serving its purpose. It is pinning its hope on new members (Welcome PFM 2009-2011) and yet again requests the old members (it knows that all of you have your own blogs..but still this blog deserves some attentions from you..) to come out and share the tidbits from life after IIFM, your work life ...........

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Seasons in the Sun

Alumni? Well aren't they just old college pass outs?? Why so much fuss about Alumni and Alumni Meets everyone in class thought... Ask me the same question today and I can swear on anyone they are more like parents and most of the times even more!! Internship time during an MBA course is all about organizational experience!! Work dynamics!! Group dynamics and pressure management!! All in a real time scenario!! I do agree but there are more facets to any work experience. Adjustment is the biggest factor to any kind of situation!! An internship is a clear check for everyone on how well they are prepared for work...Maybe even at weird hours stark conditions... Messy bosses!! Bad network and erratic internet.
Enough of introductions... I’ll move onto something more personal now!!
My choice of internship was in the environment sector in Bombay!! The hub of every kind of activity in this country! One can never leave Bombay out of anything.. Honestly I was dying to work here because I have stayed across India all these years for study and work and research and lived all of them explicitly.. Mumbai remained and here it was a golden opportunity!!
Can I survive Bombay? Can I learn from the relentless passion in the people to earn a living? Can I keep up with the pace Mumbaikars have to offer to me every morning? Can I count each second I gain/lose if I miss/catch a bus/train/rick... This is Bombay people!! Where people account for every nano-second in their lives and devise ways to optimize it!! I would still say I was lucky!! The moment I landed up in Dadar junction this quest of the unknown began. Iwas hesitant, submissive, and even a little jittery about these two months, whether it would be an ordeal or a pleasant surprise. And it turned out to be the latter. And in what splendid way really.  Right from switching 2 trains from day 1 to land up at Chembur and finally realizing my mentors house was closer to Kurla station till date when I’ve mastered the art of racing for the fast locals and getting off them at lightning speed in this city has been really a revelation!!
My directions in IIFM leaned towards the ENV sector and I, by nature, am a hard core business oriented person. I started looking for avenues to connect these two. I saw CDM as an option, I had read about it a lot for my GD/PIs and now it was time to cash in. Read some more.  Interacted with some environment sector seniors. Got more stuff in my data bank. Had some wonderful teachers teaching basics and conversations with them helped my understanding... Internet was extensively used. But what next I thought. Then comes internship time.  Best time to feel the heat. Get into this sector. Work and find out for myself if I wanna take the final plunge.  And so I ended up at a renowned consultancy in this city. My deliverable a project design document. The essence of the entire CDM process, it all begins with this doc all told me!!!
I had another friend who was out to check out/test the waters of CDM and didn't we have a ball!!
Will not discuss work, that will be done at a more official place that is the final PDD and report I make.. If I finally end up making onw... Guess i have to :) till now I’m not through with either... but this poar was meant to tell everyonw about the entire experience of my 2 months!!
Recounting my 1st day at work I remember Kallol Sir blatantly telling me… “Dude don’t faint looking at the crowd at Borivali station waiting for the 8:17 Slow!! My ticket was done and I was ready to hurl myself into the train… but I was warned... 1st day mate see, learn and then ape from tomorrow... watch us take the COMMANDO jump... from tomorrow u can do the practical...”
I wondered God if there are so many people only here how do people manage!! And there are such umpteen stations from where people fling themselves inside a coach to get an inch of footspace so that they can earn their daily bread. As predicted I was shoved around like a pack of shelved cards n once i got in I could barely set foot. I learnt it was 1st class, no this is no class divide.. Just an illusion and of course cushioned seats. I have seen people with 3 blackberries rubbing shoulders with someone like me.  A mere intern. I was amazed at the way the city functions. There is nothing called as a dia to this city.  It exists in straight lines and that is why it is so important to know your east and west here. A slight miscalculation in direction can cost you money and more importantly time.  Beat a Mumbaikar in time management and i will bow to you.  As I mentioned every second is set for an activity. Remember xulfi's song... mumbai jaha sab apni zindagi slow track se fast track karne me bitate hain!! True but thats the essence!! The urge, to keep going out there everyday fighting all odds!!! the tremendous tenacity of people here and I am not speaking this with regard to just one community or class... but my observation is about the inherent passion to not waste time and keep at it every day!! I think IIFM made me lazy i was taken aback and was in full admiration to this quality of Mumbai!!
The city never sleeps... never.. I’ve stayed in India in all metros, semi metros, there is no comparison to Mumbai..  You will find transport always!! At least in most of the places!! And there is no fleecing... so well said in the movie 99... Delhi taxis/autos have no meter!! Mumbai everything is regulated... I was amazed at the fact that everywhere everything happens in a proper queue!! Yes there is an occasional stir... but generally most of the things are mechanized!! This is a super safe city for women!! Beat that!!
As days flew by I started becoming IIFM sick. With similar cries from friends from all over internship locations I felt a deep craving to go back… But the thought of going back from Bombay didn’t feel nice... Was staying with a bunch of alumni who I think are absolute rockers!! I've never been pampered so much ever in my life i guess. Every need of mine/ours was taken care of, suggestions and advice always forthcoming.... this made our stay an amazing bliss!!! Met more of the IIFM brotherhood during our trips to various places... and also the Alumni Meet... One could never the warmth with which we were greeted and owned. Truly IIFM subconsciously binds us amazingly!!! Somehow one can never forget the feelings and the deep attachment towards the college... We felt these vibes... Be it 96 pass outs 02 pass outs or the most recent ones, this strong connection will never let us down I am so sure!!! During moments like this one feels what an amazing place we all have gathered to make the most of our two important years!!

With each passing day as i saw more of Mumbai i started feeling the resilience inside me!! True I haven been exposed to the darker shades but then every coin has two sides you choose which side you wanna call and hope that life throws that side of the coin to you!! Kaushik (my fellow intern) and i decided to have our own list of to-do things before we fled this city..
Getting on a double decker!!
Eating bhelpuri at chowpati
Visiting Siddhivinayak and Haji Ali
Buying stuff from 2nd hand market.. at mind boggling rates (courtesy Kallol sir)
Getting hold of Shantaram at Rs 100 reprint version
Visiting BandStand ... :D
EsselWorld.. 
..
..
..
Understanding if  I can end up doing CDM consultancy.. :)
Some done; some unfinished but I promise I will come back to complete all this... I need my second chance!! I will take it!!
I started with the word Alumni… Some of you might think I lost out on the origin of my blog... no I didn’t I was busy knitting my thoughts on Bombay and without these alumni I would not have been able to write this!!! They were great mentors, great guides, great hosts, and great seniors but above all they were great friends!! Thank u pfm08 house!!  Thank you Kallol Sir, Atul Sir, Prashant Sir, Gitesh Sir, Soumik Sir and all the rest who made these two months of mine an amazing experience in Mumbai!!!


------------
Indranil Roy (PFM 08-10)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Missing those lofty gates....

Right now, the batch of PFM 2010 is on their internship at every nook & corner of India. Right from Shimla to Madurai, in OWSA to Satpura Tiger Reserve, one can find them everywhere, working in scorching heat of this summer of Jaipur to enjoying the pristine beauty of Nainital. All hell bent on proving the mettle inside them...

Sitting in the office, I wonder how IIFM must be looking now. With the seniors gone & 2010 batch not present in the campus now, does IIFM may be having the same charm& exuberance which it exudes whenever you enter the magnificent gates of IIFM? Is it the students over there which gives energy to IIFM or is it the other way around? Does the peace in IIFM now giving out a feeling of serene calmness or of a mother waiting for her child? Well, this question is difficult to answer. But one thing can be said for sure, that whatever be the answer to this question, we IIFMIGHTs miss IIFM without having even words to express how much. And it’s the IIFM which gives identity to us & not vice versa.

All those midnight walks.... with the harmless banter & teasing with friends daily (barring few days when we had to submit some lengthy assignments next day), trying to go to Andheri Gali & shouting even with the sound of a leaf, the long rows of Roses in front of Administrative block, near hostel & mess, the sacred Canteen which fills the appetite of many during 10 minutes' break(because they wake up at 8:25 for the class of 8:30); rushing towards the canteen for the last cup of tea of the day at around 11:45 pm(since, it closes at 12), eating Maggi whenever you don’t find food in the mess matching to your palate, IP: the lifeline (source for instant spread of news), looking at life- size India Gate whenever one goes to mess, Indyarocks : to inform everybody about some urgent news, celebrating birthday outside the hostel with the birthday guy getting good amount of bumps & swearing not to eat cake for a couple of months, waiting for the last class to get over(since it is from 2-3 & after the lunch break), trying to complete the assignment before 5 0’ clock(manage to do so at 4:55 pm), eagerly waiting for Friday so that you can completely unleash the energy stored in you out on Saturday & Sunday, Group study in Computer Centre during Exams, trying to get as many chance to play carom, the baddy court, football ground, the tennis court, the volleyball Court , the sacrosanct ROOM NO. 119......

There are so many aspects of living in IIFM that one can’t capture it in words..... Here, when I am outside those holy gates, I am missing the safeness of it...I am missing my friends without whom life is incomplete at IIFM, I am missing rushing to the mess for breakfast...I am missing those long Dining tables where a single meal used to extend to 30-45 minutes, where life used to begin with looking ahead for new happenings....

..... Swati Agrawal.. PFM'10

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Price? No. Value? Who cares...!!!

I am an inherently lazy person. But today I finally bring myself to write something which has been bothering me all along in IIFM, right from the time I came here: all of us here are barking dogs who never bite!

We will talk of sustainable development and watershed management, but care tuppence about the water overflowing and draining away from the hostel tank twice a day every day, for more than half an hour each time. Or for that matter, leaving taps open and imagining sweet dreams while the water flows.
We will talk of equitable distribution but lazily refuse to take only ‘enough’ food in our plates and later unabashedly empty the ‘small’ leftovers in the mess bins.
We will talk of energy efficiency and conservation and even take up electives in Energy Management, but flagrantly refuse to follow the basic tenets of switching off lights, fans and other equipments when not in the room.
Why? Because we either don’t pay for these services, or pay paltry sums – that too without realizing it. We don’t pay for the water at all, and even for the electricity, we pay indirectly, if at all, in the form of Hostel Fees (which have only from the academic year 2009-11 been increased to Rs. 13000 for the two years combined). That translates to around Rs. 620 p.m. for the entire hostel fees (not merely electricity) for the new batch which would come to IIFM next year. Obviously, we pay much smaller amounts – I don’t have the admission brochure of our batch to validate the same.
So it is perfectly fine for me as a student of IIFM to use as much energy and resources as I want, or as I want to ignore, and still get away with it without me getting affected by it – monetarily or physically. And the wastage continues...
We learn in Strategic Management that top management buy-in of a concept is important for it to trickle-down across the organization system. Is that what is ailing us here? Is the lack of a monitoring mechanism by the Institute key to us being such irresponsible consumers of public goods? Well, we do see the Institute leading us in many aspects – professors leaving lights, fans and air-conditioners on in full swing in their rooms whilst they are out for long stretches of time; CFLs of much higher lumens replacing the old tubes and bulbs in classrooms in the ratio of 2:1 – leading to at least double the electricity consumption than what is required; cultural annotations of the Sunset Point being ignored while developing faculty residences on-campus; etc. The Institute has public money to spend, budgets to meet, and unnecessary opulence flows...
I believe similar things happen in the NGO sector. Though I have never worked in one, I have heard from several quarters (reliable ones, like the erstwhile State Co-ordinator of The Hunger Project) that NGOs spend money like anything on ‘field researchers’ whenever development targets by funding agencies are to be met, in order to ensure continuous supply of funds.
But here I go too far. From the individual, I have come to a system. I guess that’s too much to ask for – dynamic refurbishment of an entire system of functioning.
But the question remains – do I have the right to continue my wastrel ways of living at the cost of deprivation to another person living outside my field of vision? Well, the non-user value concept of environmental economics seems not to have caught up yet with us. So let’s just... waste on...!
----Siddharth Iyer PFM 09