Premier Leagues in a Premier Institute!

You might step into any dorm TV room on a typical Sunday evening and think “I’ll bet there’s some engrossing discussion transpiring”. And, guess what? You’d be absolutely right! This is the time that the most logical, cogent, rational thinkers ruminate on why David Moyes has chosen to play Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck again when Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez are there for the taking. Or indeed, why Manuel Pellegrini has Edin Dzeko in the squad if he’s always going to be on the bench! Or what Arsenal’s latest hot catch Özil has lined up for our revelry.

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This is IIM Ahmedabad! And it might be surprising to hear off the bat, but the football fanaticism here is as high as maybe anywhere in the country. Each week, scores of WIMWI-ans fill up dozens of dorm TV rooms to see their favourite teams go head to head and to celebrate in their triumphs and mourn in their defeats. The club with maximum backing is (unsurprisingly!) the defending Champions and this author’s favourite club- The Red Devils of Manchester United. Not far behind, though, are the ardent (and often overtly vocal) supporters of Chelsea and the elegant, loyal, “we’ll win it next year” chaps of Arsenal. Manchester City, much like everywhere else, finds itself devoid of any true support- but ends up getting plenty from everyone who hates Manchester United!

And let’s not forget our beloved exponents of “The Beautiful Game”- the fans of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Heated debates about the relative prowess of Barca with Neymar and Real with Bale and Isco often ensue- and unsurprisingly end in a cross between “How many Champions Leagues have you won?” and “Who won the Liga BBVA last year?” The seemingly eternal quarrel between fans of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo re-surfaces time and again, and it’s almost always the Messi fans who walk away triumphant- 4 consecutive Ballon d’ors will do that!

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Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munchen have found ardent support in the wake of last season’s Champions League Final. Reus, Lewandowski, Gotze, Muller, Robben and Ribery are more household than segmentation, balance sheets or critical path methods. With Napoli spending big and Juventus going all out with signings like Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, Italian football enthusiasts are not to be left behind. Paris Saint Germain with Lucas Moura and Zlatan complement a fierce Falcao-spearheaded Monaco side that has created a very niche French football fan base too on campus. All of this makes for a rather delicious melee for Champions League football matches in dormitories.

Champions League games are the perfect antidote to the malaise that plagues the average WIMWIan in the middle of a week filled to the brim with case assignments, projects, placement preparation and all the rest of the joys that accompany the lives of first year students. For second years, well it’s another way to pass the time.

All I can say as a proud WIMWIan and Manchester United fan is more power to all of them! Football is THE game in IIM A and I am thrilled to be there to experience that atmosphere every week. It reminds me of the happier things in life, and God knows we need that sometimes!

Abhishek Raj is an ardent Manchester United fan and a member of the Media Cell at IIM Ahmedabad. When he is not busy attending classes and cheering for his favorite club, he finds time to write for the IIM Ahmedabad blog.

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Bringing Origami to IIMA

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Classrooms of IIMA saw an unusual amount of buzzing and hullaballoo on 19th of September – with coloured paper strewn all around while a group of students, professors and other members of the IIMA community sat silent, concentrating on delicate folds that lay before them. This was the Origami workshop organised by Finesse, the Fine Arts Club of IIMA. It was a hands-on workshop where participants themselves practiced Origami with the Finesse team led by Aravind Maddireddy.

Origami (derived from the Japanese words ‘ori’ meaning folding, and ‘kami’ meaning paper) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which was started in Japan in the 17th century. Since then, it has rapidly evolved into a very popular and dynamic modern art form. Broadly, Origami is the art of transforming a flat sheet of paper into a finished 3 dimensional sculpture by employing only folding techniques. Paper cutting and gluing techniques are typically considered to be outside the domain of Origami – they constitute what is called ‘Kirigami’, another Japanese paper-art form.

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The objective of the event was to not only introduce the participants on how to make beautiful Origami designs but even answer the Why. The event began with Robert Lang’s Ted video of ‘The Math and Magic of Origami’ where he explains the progress made by Origami over the years and its folding concepts now being successfully applied even in satellite design. Aravind then explained the geometrical basis of the Origami design he was teaching the participants. The design chosen was a heart shaped jewel box and involved some intricate geometry and quite a few difficult folds. In the beginning, everyone present found it to be rather difficult; but as the Finesse team guided them through the process, they began to pick it up and even started enjoying themselves. One could visibly see the initial frowns on people’s faces slowly turn into excited smiles during the course of the workshop.

For the kids visiting the workshop a separate section was setup to teach them a few simpler designs that they could easily follow. The kids were taught a number of intermediate level Origami designs such as a box, a crane and a dinosaur. It was a fun day for them as they sat through the full two hours of the workshop folding paper and even demanding that they be taught something more challenging!
For the two hours nearly all participants were lost in the magic of Origami. Needless to say, the event was a huge success, and even elicited very appreciative feedback by the participants, after the session.

Aravind is currently writing a series of tutorials on Origami on the Finesse website. Please visit the Finesse events page for more photos of the event and details of upcoming events by Finesse.

Clarification from the Media Cell

IIM Ahmedabad

This is in regards to the blog post published by the IIM Ahmedabad Media Cell on the changes to the Admission Policy for the batch of 2014-16 (see here). Some of the leading national dailies and online publishing agencies have published speculative and unsubstantiated articles, misrepresenting the spirit and intent of the original piece. As such, we would like to expressly clarify the following –
1. As explicitly and adequately stated in the blog post, the content of the piece is an attempt by the Media Cell (a student run media committee of IIM Ahmedabad) to evaluate and paraphrase some of the features of the new policy and not a comprehensive document that reflects the official policy of the institute. We would like to stress that for all official (including that for the information of the press) purposes, the original document (here) will be considered as the sole authentic source.

2. All views reflected in the blog post are the personal views of the author(s) who have compiled it for the Media Cell, and in no way represents the official opinion of the institute. The institute, the admissions committee and the Media Cell are in no way liable for any statements that are or may be misconstrued.

It has been observed that new media articles on the topic are increasingly quoting references from the initial set of inaccurate articles that is creating a cascading wave of falsified information amongst the public.

Please note that all official policy decisions as regards admissions will be communicated directly by the IIM Ahmedabad Admissions Committee via appropriate channels.

IIM Ahmedabad revises selection criteria for batch of 2014-16

IIM Ahmedabad

Note: The following post is based on the IIM A PGP 2014-16 admission criteria released by the IIM Ahmedabad Admission Office. The motivation behind this post is solely to paraphrase the salient features of the new policy and provide a convenient reference to applicants and other readers. While we have made every attempt to include all important aspects, Media Cell and the institute are in no way responsible for any omissions/errors that may have inadvertently crept into this article. For all official purposes, the policy document uploaded (see here) on the IIM Ahmedabad website will be considered authentic.

Based on the feedback given by the admissions committee, IIM Ahmedabad has changed the admission criteria significantly for the year 2014-16 compared to the previous couple of years. The following is an attempt to briefly analyze the major changes in the policy and their expected impact on the batch profile in the coming years.

According to the data available, 96% of students in the 2012-14 batch in IIM A come from an engineering background, and the numbers are expected to be similar for the 2013-15 batch.  The changes proposed in the admission criteria fall in line with IIM A’s desire to increase diversity among the incoming students with respect to their academic background.

There are two major changes proposed this year which will have a considerable influence on the composition of the batch-

  1. The formula for calculating the application rating has been changed
  2. A provision for direct shortlist to the WA-PI round for top performers in the five academic categories has been included

1. Changes in the Application Rating (AR) Calculation

For the current year 2013-15, the Application Rating (AR) was calculated according to the formula –

AR = (A*B*C) + D + E

The rating scores were assigned based on the Table below.  The maximum possible score is 33.

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Table 1– Application Rating Score for the year 2013-15
(Source:
http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/users/admission/files/Short%20listing%20Criteria%20for%20PGP%202013-15.pdf )

The new system applicable for CAT 2013 based admissions moves away from a composite of multiplicative and additive scores to a completely additive model.  The AR will now be calculated as –

AR = 0.5*A + 1.5*B + 2.5*C

The rating scores are assigned based on Table 2.  The maximum possible score is 45.

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Table 2 – Application Rating Score for the year 2014-16 (Source: http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/users/admission/files/IIMAProfile_13.pdf)

There were several complaints since the past two years that, due to the multiplicative calculation of AR scores, there was too much focus on marks obtained in 10th and 12th standard examination.  Under the old system, if the candidate had fared badly in any one of the exams but showed exceptional performance otherwise, it would have hampered his chances in getting shortlisted.  By giving more weightage to performance in the undergraduate degree and shifting to a completely additive model, the proposed system makes sure that recent performances are given adequate weightage as performances farther back.

Currently, freshers constitute around 27% of the batch.  As the new system does not give any points for work experience or for Master’s degree, the number of freshers who will be shortlisted for the WA-PI round is expected to increase.  Work Experience and postgraduate education will however be used as a criteria while evaluating candidates for final selection (i.e. in the calculation of the Aggregate Rating that would be used to determine the final list of selected candidates).

2. Direct shortlist into WA-PI round for top performers in the five academic categories

IIM Ahmedabad, for the first time, is considering direct shortlisting of candidates from each academic category (as provided in Table 3 of the Admissions Shortlisting Criteria document using information provided by the applicant at the time of filling the CAT 2013 application form) to WA-PI round, provided they clear the minimum percentile cut-offs as mentioned below-

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This is expected to bring in the much required diversity on campus and give a holistic perspective on different opportunities in each stream.  Long story short, the candidates will be categorized into five academic categories on the basis of the information they provide in the CAT Application form. For every such academic category, the top 1% or top 50 candidates (whichever is lower) will be directly shortlisted for the WA-PI round irrespective of their Application Rating (AR).

This policy is expected to have a significant impact on the overall profile spectrum of the candidates shortlisted for the WA-PI round. Our calculations indicate that the number of engineers can be expected to fall significantly. The conversion ratio from a WA-PI shortlist to a final admit has historically been 1 in 3 candidates (unofficial figures).  Assuming that top 50 students are shortlisted to WA-PI round directly from each category and the conversion ratio remains same, the number of students from non-engineering background is expected to increase.  Interestingly, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta both have higher percentage of non-engineers as part of their current batches as compared to IIM Ahmedabad.

Other Changes

Due to confusions regarding the calculation of percentage by the board/university, the admission criteria clearly states that “all subjects that appear in the mark-sheets of 10th and 12th standard exams will be considered irrespective of whether the Board/University considers them for calculating the percentage”.

Also, with respect to the undergraduate degree, if the university does not consider all subjects in the mark sheet for all the years while calculating the percentage, a letter certifying the details of the practice has to be produced at the time of WA-PI for the candidate to get the benefit of the provision.  This was included after it was noticed that some boards consider a few subjects as non-evaluative.  While the marks-card includes these subjects in the calculating the percentage, many boards/university do not.

For more details about the admission criteria for the 2014-16 PGP batch, please refer to: http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/users/admission/files/IIMAProfile_13.pdf

(Compiled by the Media Cell)

Deswa: IIM A Community gets a flavour of Bhojpuri Cinema

Saturday evening at IIMA was extra special with Public Policy and MAD Club organising a screening of Deswa. Deswa is a critically acclaimed Bhojpuri movie that has been screened across many film festivals in Asia. The movie is directed by Nitin Chandra – a young filmmaker who has been making films for social causes since 2008. Produced by his sister and popular actress, Neetu Chandra, the movie has found it hard to find the light of the day to have a mainstream release.

Set in Bihar, it is the story of two young men, whose lives are altered drastically by the circumstances they encounter in their life – dowry, caste-ism, bribery, corruption, extortion, Naxalism etc. Deswa highlights the problems that had plagued the region – rich in culture, traditions, languages – in the past. The movie provided an insight into how policy making affects people at the grass root levels. The movie was an engrossing watch and culminated in a standing ovation for the cast and the crew of the movie. Nallasivan, the co-ordinator of Public Policy said “The movie depicted a Bihar that was different from the commonly prevalent stereotype that has been showcased so far. The ending also captured how Bihar has started its journey to move away from the ‘Bimaru’ state that it was in the past”.

Deswa Crew

The Deswa Crew during the post-movie Discussion. From Left to Right: Nitin Chandra (Director), Neetu Chandra (Producer), Ashutosh Singh (Music Director) and Deepak Singh (Actor)

The screening saw the cast and crew of the movie – Director Nitin Chandra, Producer Neetu Chandra, Music Director Ashutosh Singh and one of the lead actors, Deepak Singh. The movie was followed by a discussion session where the crew recounted their experiences and difficulties while making the movie and the reasons for making a movie about one of the most neglected states in the past. In the words of Shrinivas, a member of Public Policy: “The discussion that followed was enlightening as they shared their continuing struggles in order to have a mainstream release for the movie. It was interesting to see what the director had in mind while scripting the movie.”

The moviemakers also reflected on how Bhojpuri movies were fast losing out to mainstream Hindi cinema and suggested policy changes that could help in promotion of independent regional cinema.

IIM-A students live up to Chanakya’s Challenge!

Public Policy SIG of IIMA and Equipoise, the Economics club of IIMA jointly conducted the inaugural edition of “Chanakya’s Challenge” on 10th August. This quizzing event – which focussed on testing the participants’ knowledge of politics, economic fundae and other interesting trivia about public policy and economics – piqued the interests of students across programmes.

Fuelled by a strong promotional campaign and prize money of INR 10000, the turnout on day of the event was very impressive. Around 50 teams turned up for the event. As the teams settled in comfortably at CR7, the quiz was kicked off. After a closely contested prelims which required a quick three question tie breaker round to decide the finalists, six teams entered the final fray. Though the quiz masters surprised the teams with a mixture of “googlies, bouncers and deceptively slow ones”, the teams competed hard and most teams were level after the first two rounds. The theme round, which came next, proved a tough nut to crack. Most teams managed to figure the “bubbles” theme only after all the clues were given out.

The final round, a long audio visual connect, turned out to be the icing on the cake. Pictures of various alternative economic indicators, which included uncollected dead corpses, baby rashes, mosquito bites and many others, were shown one after another. It was an amazing sight as participants kept scratching their heads wondering if there was any connect at all. The eventual winners, Achyuth Sanjay and Arjun Bharadwaj, were the only team which managed to come out with the correct answer. There was a huge round of applause for the LAVC round as the answer was explained in detail.

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Given the enthusiastic response, and high quality of quizzing, the organisers promised that “Chanakya’s Challenge” will be back soon!

War of the Dorms

Finesse – The Fine Arts Club of IIM Ahmedabad conducted a weeklong event called ‘War of the Dorms’. IIM Ahmedabad is well known for its amazing dorm bonding and in order to further this, the club announced a flag making competition among all dorms. The flag best depicting their dorm culture was to be adjudged as the best dorm flag.  The very aim of the competition was to explore the dorm level enthusiasm and to give the dorm mates an opportunity to come together and bring out their creative ideas to depict their dorm culture at its best. The event was launched last week on 23rd July 2012 and concluded on 31st July 2012 during which, the flags were made, submitted, displayed, judged by campus faculty and then put on Facebook to solicit likes from friends and alumni. The dorms came up with flags representing their cultures, names, logos, etc.  Finally, after a tough competition, Dorm 13 aka Dabang was declared the winner of this competition.

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232 units of blood collected at Blood Donation Camp in IIMA!

Panacea – Healthcare SIG of IIM Ahmedabad & Students Activity Office, IIM Ahmedabad jointly organised a Blood Donation Camp on 22nd July, 2012 in IIM-A campus. The camp was conducted by Indian Red Cross Society, Ahmedabad and the blood units collected from this camp were donated for the treatment of needy Cancer patients of Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad. State Bank of India, IIMA Branch (Branch Manager – Mrs. Kuhu Ganguly) sponsored mementos for every donor, a shining example of corporate social responsibility. Bon Temps Pvt. Ltd sponsored refreshments for all the donors and participants of the camp.

A total of 232 units of blood were collected in the camp, in spite of 41 donors being rejected for various reasons. The entire IIM Ahmedabad community – students from all the programmes (PGP, PGP-ABM, MDP, FPM and PGPX), faculty, Teaching Associates, Research Associates and IIMA staff all came forward for this noble cause. PGPX students along with their spouses actively participated setting an example for others. “Bon Temps” employees & SBI employees (including senior bank officials) also donated blood. The entire Panacea Team, Students Activity Office Team along with Bon Temps staff worked tirelessly to make this event a huge success.

In the last blood donation camp held on March 7 this year, 166 units of blood were donated. The highest ever collection in a BDC held in IIMA thus far had been 176 units during the blood donation camp held in 2010, and hence the collection of 232 units was unprecedented and set a new record, showing IIMA’s commitment to the social cause.

Panacea thanks everyone from the IIM Ahmedabad community, the sponsors and the Blood Bank team for making this event a huge success.

LSD ‘awesomizes’ with Section Friction!

LSD conducted “Section Friction” the first inter-section competition of the year to give the fachchas an idea of what section enthusiasm is all about!

In this war of wits, a Speaker and a Rebutter, from each section were assigned a superpower, and then had to go on and justify how that particular superpower would ‘awesomize’ WIMWI.  On one hand it was a chance to get the creative juices flowing and come up with wacky ideas on how their power could transform WIMWI, on the other hand it also provided the opportunity to throw some dirt at the other sections and establish supremacy.

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To call it a totally novel event the likes of which has never been seen before wouldn’t be stretching the truth in any sense! In fact the stretching (shape shifting), and the ability to not been seen (invisibility) were all restricted to the duration of the event where some of the participants who had these powers had to justify how theirs was truly the most awesome power.

Arjun Bharadwaj and Achyuth Sanjay made Section B proud by emerging victorious at the end of the keenly contested event.

GeneSys presents Cyber-X Gaming!

GeneSys – ‘The Systems Club of IIM Ahmedabad’ concluded the Inter-Dorm LAN gaming tournament on March 7, 2012. Counter Strike 1.6 was selected as the LAN game for this tournament. For the uninitiated, Counter Strike is a tactical first-person shooter video game and is one of the world’s most widely played multiplayer video game. It is usually played with a team size of 5 with two teams battling it out for glory.The tournament went on smoothly over a duration of 10 days and all matches were streamed live on the college’s local area network. The event had decent prize money for the winner and runner-up teams as well as for the best player of the tournament.

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The enthusiasm shown was evident from the fact that a total of 19 teams registered for the tournament. The tournament had a knockout format with only winners proceeding to the next round. Each match was played on single map with finals being the exception, which was a best of three map format. The finals saw two teams duel for glory and finally team ‘Brute’ representing Dorm 28 emerged as the winners and team ‘Chillgamers’ from Dorm 17 finished as the runners-up. Another thrilling match of the tournament was the semifinal match between the eventual tournament winners and team ‘Cloud9’ of Dorm 9.The match was evenly balanced to the very end with the winner being decided through a tie-breaker. This tournament was the first of its kind ever to be held at IIM-A.