” Bhagvad-Gita – the Treasure Trove of Information and Wisdom in Life ” – September 25, 2019.

          I see Bhagvad-Gita, the song of the Lord, as the highest vehicle of ancient wisdom transferring the ways to ease tension and enjoy a happy life.

        Anyone full of faith, conviction, traditions, devotion, truthfulness, and desire to do good in life will derive peace and pleasure from reading this scripture that holds its relevance at all times – ancient and modern.

       One has just to keep a Bhagvad-Gita book at home, office, workplace, or wherever one spends a major portion of his/her time. You may not read it, and yet you’ll feel safe and secure ;  the place full of positive energy ;  and the environment sacred and auspicious.

       That Bhagvad-Gita has rich following among the westerners as much as that across our country is borne out by the following :

       1.   Seton Hall University in New Jersey (USA) has made the study of Bhagvad-Gita mandatory for every student joining the course titled : ” Journey of Transformation “.

       2.   J Robert Oppenheimer ( Father of the Atomic Bomb, American Scientist ) said :  “Access to Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over-all previous centuries “.  He also found the Gita quite marvelous and was really taken by its charm and general wisdom. In 1963 when the Christian Magazine asked him to list his 10 most influential books, he chose the “Bhagvad-Gita”  as one of them  He always gave the Gita as a present to his friends and kept a copy on the shelf closest to his desk.

       3.  Albert Einstein :  “Student of Bhagvad-Gita;  When I read the Bhagvad-Gita, I ask myself how God created the Universe ; everything else appears to be superfluous “.

       4.   Ralph Waldo Emerson :  “It was the first of books,  it was as if an Empire spoke to us,  nothing small or unworthy,  but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old Intelligence which is another age and climate had pondered the same questions which exercise us “.

       5.   Johenn Wolfgang Von Goethe :  ” The book which in a whole lifetime has given me the greatest enlightenment “.

       6.   Arthur Schopenhauer :  ” It is the most informative and sublime book in the world “.

       7.   “Those who worship the Demi gods will take birth among Demi gods ;  those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such things ;  those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors ;  and those who worship me will live with me.”  Chapter  9 :  25. The verse I liked most in this chapter.

       Let me end this short piece, mostly compiled,  with the following :

       I  am at peace ;  I have overcome serious health struggles ;  I can relate its teachings in everyday life ;  I can take decently good decisions on any issue ;  I can devotionally submit to truth at ease  –  all because I keep Bhagvad-Gita at home and read.

         Anyone wishing to have a journey through the path of knowledge ;  path of action ;  and path of devotion must learn the lessons from Bhagvad-Gita.

 

   “Dieu avec nous “

   Wednesday,  September 25, 2019 –  12.19 p.m.  (IST)

   Tidbit  :  ” You came empty handed, and you’ll leave empty handed “.  -. Bhagvad-Gita.

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” PSU Bank Merger : Leadership and Inspiration of Workforce Critical for Success ” – September 20, 2019.

 

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister.

        The four mega mergers of the public sector banks and the challenges ahead will present a welcome debate and discussion in the portals of management institutions in the country for sometime at least.

          Government unveiled a plan to merge 10 public sector banks (PSBs) into four, announcing the initiative on 30th August 2019. The state owned banks has come down to 12 from 18 with this announcement. In 2017 there were 27 state owned banks in the country.

          (a)   Reason  :  Creation of ” new generation”  institutions. New entities to have strong balance sheet(s) plus bigger risk appetite.

          (b)   Mergers  :  1.  Punjab National Bank with Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India. This will become the 2nd largest PSB  after SBI with 18.2 lakh crore business.  2.  Canara Bank with Syndicate Bank. This will now be the 4th largest PSB with 15.2 lakh crore business.   3.  Union Bank of India with Andhra  Bank and Corporation Bank . This will now be the 5th largest PSB with 14.6 lakh crore business.   4.   Indian Bank with Allahabad Bank. This will now be the 7th largest PSB with 8.08 lakh crore business.

          (c)  Key Rationalisation  :  The merged banks display a similarity in culture operating on a similar Core Banking Solution.

          (d)   Immediate Impact  :  (a)  Cost cutting and branch rationalisation will be “the model” based on priority from now on.  (b)  The government has assured that there will not be any job loss.

          (e)   Expected Benefits :  Broadly, banks’  ability to serve people, and to deploy technology faster will improve with these mergers. Specifically, it will enable, (a)  Enhanced capacity to give credit (better lending) ;  (b)   Be able to compete Globally effectively ;  and (c) Be able to increase operational efficiency by reducing cost of lending.

          (f)   Concurrent with the announcement of the mergers, smaller reforms to the boards of management were also envisaged to increase efficiency and improve accountability by the Board.  1.  Non-official directors to be engaged in activities and programs.  2.  Constitution of a Board Committee for appraisal of the performance of Officers of rank, General Managers and above to make the management more accountable to the Board,  and  3.  Appointment of Chief Risk Officer(s) from market at market linked compensation to attract the best talent available.

          (g)  Mergers effectively make the banks bigger, a complaint and criticism marked with the failure of banks during the 2007-2008 financial crisis globally. “Big is not great”,  and  “Small is significant”  was the lesson learnt from that crisis. The present mergers mark the move to make banks  Big  even while consolidating. With the banking industry still seized with frauds ;  NPAs ;  Weak Capital formation (govt’s efforts to recapitalize with 55000 crore rupees notwithstanding) ;  with shortage of private investments –  the government of the day faces a challenging task with this bold decision. Any major, unforseen disturbance or disorder in functioning will seriously reflect upon the economy and growth. Government, nevertheless,  is optimistic.

          Uptil this day there has been some public discussion liberally sprinkled with apprehensions on the following :  1.  The impact on jobs ;  2.  Seniority and promotions ;  and  (3)  the mergers’  accretive or dilutive effect on stock/shareholder value.

          What is really important at this juncture, however, should be related to Leadership role at different levels in the new environment after the merger. Some of these could lie in  (a)  the groundswell of aspirations and apprehensions of personnel post the mergers ;  (b)  challenges to communication and roles at managerial positions ;  (c)  aligning strategy with the changes noticed ;  (d)  bias in employee assessments that are likely to arise ; and  (e)  resources for any fresh activities like training, infrastructure (physical, technological) commensurate with fresh requirements. These can be termed ‘gating’ factors, the uncertainties looming large at present.

          Here again, it occurs to my mind that considering the above factors more as  ‘key’  challenges – a general and spontaneous reaction to such mergers – will not just be the right approach, but focusing in addition more on  “altering the responses of management/leaders at different levels to these challenges”  will definitely be.

          What is imperative to the top management of the merged entities is to recognize these factors, but not be driven by these  ‘gating’  factors alone. Instead, the focus should be on  “moving forward”  inspite of them.

          Uncertainties associated with the merger may well cloud the lending abilities or make the managers feel lackadaisical, and this trend may well persist for 6 months to a year until merger stability is achieved. While a certain level of writ regarding what each team is expected to do should obviously come from the top management, they should also inspire employees to do their best by modeling what it takes to succeed. This is a difficult exercise, but one that can guarantee success.

          Human Relations, under the circumstances, has the critical role to play in the success or otherwise of these mergers.

          A possible solution, specially to the HR department, is to assign special task forces and frame options for them to create/formulate the process for such special needs.

          Management departments and institutions are best equipped to engage in studies to take this challenge effectively.

 

   “Dieu avec nous”

   Friday,  September  20, 2019 –  6.29 p.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” Merger Stabilisation or Credit Growth first ? We’ll have to wait to see “.

 

 

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” An Ode to Our P.M. ” September 17, 2019.

1.  ” His brilliance in Governance ;

Dazzles people.

His programs for the Common man ;

Touches People’s hearts.

His tireless work ;

Inspires People. “

2.  ” His Vision for the Nation’s future ;

Brings governance to a new paradigm.

His mission to starve Corruption ;

Enhances power and potency of rule.

His goal to feed all citizens ;

Drives productiveness of his rule. “

3.   ” Shaking up status quo with ideas/style ;

His recipe for successful Leadership.

Clear and concise about national values;

His recipe for bridging perception gaps.

Intrinsic motivation,not coercion of team;

His recipe for transformational change.”

4.   ” His boost to Entrepreneurship ;

Building a pipeline of skilled individuals.

His boost to general business landscape;

Building a new and agile economy.

His boost to Colleges and Universities ;

Building Creativity/Innovation Education.”

5. ” Transparency at work, right role to people;

Is how he leads people.

Courage as biggest virtue and quality ;

Is how people welfare decision is made.

Ethics, initiatives, planning, service and culture promotion ;

Is how he tries to build a great nation with a  great group of soldiers.”

 

   ” Dieu avec nous “

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – 8.49 p.m. (IST)

Tidbit : ”  Birth  is  the  best  Universal Experience”. 

 

 

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” Honor Teachers and Faculty ” – September 5, 2019.

” The well-known author James A Michener, who had been invited to the White House, wrote this elegant regret to Dwight D. Eisenhower : ‘Dear Mr President, I received your invitation three days after I had agreed to speak a few words at a dinner honoring the wonderful high school teacher who taught me to write. I know you will not miss me at your dinner, but she might at hers ‘ “

          The President’s gracious reply here : ” In a lifetime a man/woman can live under 15 or 16 Presidents, but a really  ‘fine teacher’  comes into his/her life but rarely “.

          James A. Michener made the  “right choice”  and President Dwight D. Eisenhower made the  ” right response ”  to Michener’s regret. A lesson in making a choice and a response for everyone of us today.

          This is the kind of  “social recognition”  that every good faculty/teacher and in fact every ‘good citizen’  who teaches the community he lives in – visibly or invisibly,  directly or indirectly,  silently or vociferously –  must be showered with. Not money, not ostentatious celebrations and postings at home, but true, frank and open expression to the truly deserving. It will be the kind of  “social recognition”  that can out beat any national/international awards, howsoever, celebratory they can be.

          In this new age, we have great expectations from students and youth ( more than the aspirations that they hold )  and these are the simple guidelines that they should be well aware of and practise in their life to gain success. It is not just hard work, it is not just perseverance, but a hugely positive mind set that every individual should likely inculcate in their grey cells. Always remember,  “Abraham Lincoln’s  journey from a  ‘ log cabin to the White House’  and the great obstacles he overcame in life. An ideal and motivating read.

          Let me turn to the prescriptions :

          1.  Set your priorities ;

          2.  Concentrate on your goal ;

          3.  Organize your study ;

          4.  Make study notes ;

          5.  Read and prepare well ; 

          6.  Make short summaries of each topic ;

          7.  Seek different opinions/ perspectives ;

          8.  Take one aspect of study at a time ;

          9.  Execute and implement your actions.

          The above are just some elements of the framework for everybody to act on in any Social and Economic endeavor.

          Conclusion :  Never hesitate to honor your teacher/faculty – the  ‘universal people’  in the world.  In a world of confusing options and propagandas it is imperative that everyone understands the  ‘significance’  of the idea of a Universal Human being,  THE  TEACHER.

 

  ” Dieu avec nous “

   Thursday,  September 5, 2019 –  7.29 a.m. (IST).

   Tidbit :  ”  No human being can be defeated;  he/she can only be destroyed. ”  –  Hemingway’s  ‘Old man and Sea’.

 

 

 

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