Dr. S “Panch” Panchanathan
Dr. S Panchanathan, a devotee of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Adjunct Faculty, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science, SSSIHL has been nominated as the next President of The National Science Foundation (NSF), USA by President Trump.
Dr. S Panchanathan (or “Panch”) currently serves as the Executive Vice President and the Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University (ASU).
The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defence…” It has a directive to fund (with a budget of approximately US$ 8 Billion) almost a quarter of all federally supported basic research conducted by the United States’ colleges and universities in fields such as Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, and the Social Sciences.
“For five years, Panchanathan has been a bold, energizing presence on the National Science Board and he was a leader in every sense of the word in the research community prior to that,” said NSF Director France Córdova in a statement. “Panch has the character and knowledge that make him an ideal fit for the job.”
“He is the best kind of disruptor, one who understands that the best way to predict the future is to invent it,” said Diane Souvaine, chair of the National Science Board in Alexandria, Virginia, in a statement.
A unique aspect of the SSSIHL MBA programme is to determine how the management concepts learnt in the classroom can be applied to help alleviate some of the problems that the villagers of India face in their daily lives.
On 18 December 2019, the I MBA students (Prasanthi Nilayam Campus) visited villages in the Anekal Taluk of Karnataka adopted by Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the TVS Group.
The TVS Group has partnered with the Bosch India Foundation to enable the transformation of 5000 rural communities and urban slums by empowering people to achieve sustainable development. To this end, it has committed (at least) 2% of its yearly net profits.
Students were privy to several programmes during their visit. Some of these included the Dress Craft and embroidery design programme (which helps village folks sell their products with decent margins in the marketplace), the Self-Employment Training Programme (a three-month course for women aimed to give them financial independence by becoming entrepreneurs) and the ‘Balwadi’ programme, designed for the upkeep, education and engagement of children.
They experienced firsthand how these villages are growing in stature, the standard of living and confidence. It made them realize how we can make such a big difference in the lives of so many when we believe and take it upon ourselves to serve and give back to society.
Students also visited GE Healthcare, Times of India and TVS Motors in Bangalore, Karnataka & Hosur, Tamil Nadu, 17-18 Sep 2019.
Increasingly, in the current state-of-play, it is difficult for values-based leadership to thrive. In these challenging times, it is therefore crucial that we practise the fundamental principles of leadership.
On 17 August 2019, Mr. Gopal Rao, Managing Director (India) and Operations Manager, Landmark Education, and an alumnus of SSSIHL, conducted a one-day workshop at the Dept. of Management & Commerce, to address this.
His first observation was that whatever others throw at us, it has no impact on us unless we make it impactful. In all undertakings, more than keeping an eye on the content, it is essential to see the context, since context is the background that colours situations.
He then spoke about the importance of relationships and the human connection as a measure of the quality of one’s life. He stressed on the importance of listening as a paramount component of communication. Sadly, he said, we engage with the speaker who talks to us through agreeing or disagreeing, only to confirm our own point of view. This hinders the achievement of meaningful communication.
The most noteworthy issue that Mr. Gopal Rao touched upon was integrity. He described integrity as the state of being whole, complete and unimpaired, which is created in us when we honour our word given to ourselves and others. He said we must be willing to see that an incomplete task — even if it was left unfinished for a good excuse — is still a task not done and we must be willing to take ownership for it being so.
Finally, he encouraged students to follow three fundamental principles:
- First, if they wish to play the game (i.e., make the best of their studies here), they must decide to accept and align with every rule of the Institute.
- Secondly, they must live up to the values that define them as students of SSSIHL and identify themselves with them. They must be willing to be responsible for them.
- Thirdly, students must keep the promises that they make to themselves and others. They need to be true to themselves. “Your word is you” he quipped, “not anything else. So keep it!”
“Mastery” he added, “is being above what is occurring automatically.”
A unique aspect of the SSSIHL M.B.A. programme is to determine how the management concepts learnt in the classroom can be applied to help alleviate some of the problems that the villagers of India face in their daily lives.
Similar to the trip that the M.B.A. men students made, the I M.B.A. women students visited Anekal, Karnataka and Bangalore, 15-16 Dec 2019. The organizations visited included the Sai Vishram Business Hotel and Srinivasan Services Trust (SST). The trip included villages adopted by SST for inclusive development.
On 29 December, 2019, students also visited the Rural development and self-employment Training Institute (RUDSETI), Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.
Increasingly, spirituality and ethics play an important role in organizations worldwide. Responsible business ethics, employee job satisfaction and a wholesome approach to individual and organizational behaviour are not just presentations in classrooms and research papers, but are being actively sought by mindful organizations.
In November, the Dept. of Management & Commerce conducted a one-day Management Development Program, Excellence @ Workplace – The Indian Ethos Way, to address some of these issues.
Led by Dr. N Sivakumar (Head of the Department) and Dr. G S Srirangarajan (Associate Professor), the programme took the participants on an introspective journey though reflection, exercises, talks and discussions on the profound messages from the ancient Indian texts and scriptures that are most relevant to current business practices and how they can be disseminated to the corporate world in a suitable manner.
From Karma Yoga to Dharma, executives from leading organizations discussed how to bring about greater engagement and satisfaction at the workplace in the process of achieving business goals.
Executives included directors, consultants and managers from Hexagon Wealth Advisors, SimplyFISoftTech India, Siemens Technology and Services, Point Analytics & Business Consulting, Future Generali India Insurance, GE Health Care, Tata Consultancy Services, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Mentor Graphics, Al Shaya India Ltd., Capital One India, SimplyFISofTech India and Titan Company.
#SSSIHL #SSSIHLIntegralEducation #SSSIHLManagementCommerce#values
National Nutrition Week Celebrations – The Health Happy Week
1-7 Sep 2019
“Take in only simple, pure, clean food – what is called sattvic food by the sages – that is to say, food that will not arouse the impulses and emotions, sharpen the passions, upset the equanimity, or hamper health. Food offered to God is free from the evil vibrations that injure the individual in subtle ways. Food offered to the hungry and then also eaten has the same beneficial quality. Since food has a subtle impact on the feelings and thoughts of man, you have to be ever vigilant.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The National Nutrition Week, an initiative by The Ministry of Health, Govt. of India, is aimed to address several major health issues in India, such as malnutrition, awareness of a proper diet and nutrition and their positive benefits on people’s well-being.
The Dept. of Food & Nutritional Sciences, SSSIHL celebrated this week by designing a nine-code initiative, The Health Happy Week. The nine codes included daily walking, pranayama and yogasanas/exercises, bhajans/meditation/relaxation with music, care of plants, laughter session, avoiding caffeine (tea/coffee) and sugar, and consuming a bowl of salt and vegetables.
The Doctoral Research Scholars spread the awareness of this with posters and information sessions. The sessions also included presentations on how to incorporate the five human values in nutrition: The truth about food, Dharmic perspectives from farm to fork, Cultivating peace through food, Love in action through food banking, and the value of vegetarianism and a plant-based diet.
The #periodictable of elements – the backbone of Chemistry – turns 150! Back then, a Russian Chemist and inventor, Dmitri Mendeleev, formulated the Periodic Law, and his farsighted version brought us the Periodic Table. Most of us have fond (or in many cases, not so fond) memories of trying to memorize this table when we were in school.
As part of this celebration, the Department of Chemistry, SSSIHL arranged a talk by Prof. V Chandrasekhar, Centre Director, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad, on 8 August 2019. He spoke on the topic, Periodic Table @150: Some Stories.
He started with historical anecdotes of Mendeleev and his contributions to the development of the periodic table. He elaborated on why we need a periodic table and why (at all) do we need to establish a relationship between the elements? The answer lies in the fact that we use many — if not all the elements — as part of our daily lives.
Pluto stated that all matter is made of elements (earth, fire, air, water and space), and thus began the journey of science. Chemistry, on the other hand, began with the alchemist’s search for the philosopher’s stone to convert base metals into gold. In this regard, there were many alchemists, such as Henning Brand (who discovered Phosphorus – flask glowing in the dark), Robert Boyle (who gave the gas laws) and Lavoisier (who quantified science by coming up with the law of mass conservation).
In time, there were many elements and a growing number of attempts on finding a relationship between the elements, starting with Dobereiner triads, Newland’s octave and finally Mendeleev. Against all the odds, he completed his education and went on to develop a periodic table that was first arranged, based on the atomic mass of elements. He not only arranged the elements into a table but also predicted the possibility of the discovery of new elements by proposing gaps between the existing elements. Then, Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay discovered the noble gases and Chadwick discovered the isotopes.
The final piece of the puzzle in the periodic table, as we know of today, was solved by Henry Moseley, who arranged the periodic table by atomic number and then several gaps were filled later by the discovery of more elements of the periodic table by scientists such as Seaborg. The talk looked at the development of the periodic table from the layman’s perspective, offering a fusion of science and history. It was delightful, insightful and invigorating.
The most complex of all macroeconomic processes becomes even more complicated when you apply it to a developing country like India. Supply constraints, underdeveloped financial markets and resource gaps are just some of the challenges involved.
To deliberate on this, the Dept. of Economics held a one-day lecture series, Recent Developments in India’s Monetary Policy on 27 July 2019. The four lectures included:
Dr. G Raghavender Raju, Head, Dept. of Economics, SSSIHL, spoke about the objectives of monetary policy and gave an overview of the evolution of India’s monetary policy.
Mr. Jinu Jose, Senior Vice President and National Account Manager, UTI Mutual Fund, Bangalore, gave a lecture on Understanding Liquidity, Inflation and the Interest rates. He spoke on the theoretical relationships between them and correlated this relationship with current data of the Indian Economy.
Prof. V L Rao, Former Professor in Gitam University, Visakhapatnam, talked about the Emerging Trends in India’s Monetary Policy. He expanded on the monetary policy of India during and after the global financial crisis of 2008.
Ms. Vibhuti Koul, Senior Vice President and National Account Manager, UTI Mutual Fund, Mumbai, spoke on the Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) crisis and discussed the causes, implications and lessons to be learnt from it.
Dr. (Miss) Dibba Bhargavi, Asst. Professor and Ms. Prasanti Prabha, Doctoral Research Scholar from the Department of English Language and Literature, SSSIHL, presented a paper each at the niche and prestigious Iris Murdoch Centenary Conference at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, UK, 13-15 July 2019.
The conference was organised by The Iris Murdoch Research Centre in association with the University of Oxford.
The Iris Murdoch Society, based at the University of Chichester, is run by the Research Centre of the University to promote the philosophical and artistic vision of Iris Murdoch, a post-modern British novelist and philosopher. Professors, researchers, critics and general readers of Murdoch attend the conferences that the Society conducts (once every two years) in order to enhance, promote and archive the research on Murdoch.
Scholars from across 19 countries enthusiastically participated in the panel discussions, round-table conferences and symposiums dealing with a wide range of topics like ethics, intertextuality, politics, mind, perception, sociability, poetics, philosophy, aesthetics, realism, løgstrup, film, music, art, form, and moral life reflected in Murdoch’s writing.
Since Murdoch was influenced by Indian philosophy, the papers presented focussed on tracing the subtle references to Indian philosophical concepts in her novels. Titled, “Who is the Master?: An Understanding of The Message to the Planet in the Indian Context” and “Meandering Through the Web of Illusion: Bruno’s Dream from an Indian Perspective”, both papers analysed Iris Murdoch’s work using narratology. They also highlighted the latent Vedantic undertones in some of her novels.
The presentations were appreciated for the novelty of the idea and interpretation.
As participants, the team visited and explored the exhibition (on Murdoch’s Oxford life) at Somerville College & Kingston Museum. Other interesting and educating activities that were a part of the Centenary Conference included:
- A first-ever summer school organised by the Iris Murdoch Society that included lectures, seminars, optional supervision, literary tours and excursions with professional guides.
- A book launch programme by well-known critics and authors like Anne Rowe, Lucy Boulton and Peter J Conradi.
- A launch of new editions to Murdoch’s most popular novels.
- A series of round table lectures by eminent professors and critics such as Peter Garrard, Gary Browning, Lucy Bolton, Justin Broackes, Niklas Forsberg, Miles Leeson, and Anne Rowe.
- An on-screen and stage performance on Murdoch by the University of Chichester.
Honing the art of Analytical and Presentations Skills via the Union Budget.
On 13 July 2019, the teachers of the Dept. of Management & Commerce held an intensive 3-hour workshop on Analytical and Presentations Skills. They did this by dissecting the critical focus areas of the 2019/20 Union Budget (or the country’s Annual Financial Statement if you like).
These included vital parameters like cess and import duties, the interchangeable use of Aadhaar and PAN card, the allocation of funds for various sectors from defence to agriculture, the dream of a $5 trillion Indian economy, Encouragement of start-ups by the quick sanction of loans and tax deduction, etc.
Students presented the key highlights and facts via role play. They were further discussed and analyzed in a panel discussion, which comprised of students from various departments. Students then participated (with enthusiastic zeal) in a quiz, adding to the liveliness of the workshop.
The budding economists of SSSIHL learnt the nuances of micro-level budgeting, personal finance and personal budget and how to analyze these concepts in a balanced manner and also present the facts in an impactful fashion.