ET Sessions - New
- by Manish Purang *
Enter a typical B-school class
and more often than not, you would find a lively discussion being carried out
over a case study. Over the years, case studies have become a popular mode of
imparting nuances of the business to the participants of the MBA courses.
Tracking the course of action
followed by a company or an industry at a particular time in certain key areas
helps students learn by example. However, learning by example is not just
restricted to case studies as I found out on being exposed to a new methodology
adopted in my class.
The new methodology is based on a
more innovative approach. Popularly known as the ET Sessions, this is a series
of special sessions designed and included within the pedagogy to help the
students apply the knowledge gained during the regular course lectures to the
current issues. These sessions were conceptualized by Dr. M. L. Shrikant, (Dean,
SPJIMR-Mumbai) and are conducted under the aegis of Prof. Jiban Mukkopadhay
(Former Economic Adviser, Tata Group) and Dr. Pallavi Mody (Consulting
Economist, K. R. Choksey Shares & Securities Pvt Ltd.).
The sessions consisting of all
the participants, a couple of professors and an industry expert are interactive
in nature. The participants are expected to browse over major headlines from
some of the leading financial dailies especially The Economic Times and The
Economist, for the preceding one week. They are then expected to deliberate on
those issues for some time before coming to the session, to attain an insight
into the subtleties of each issue, headline or news item.
The scope of such sessions is
then further increased by dividing the participants into groups. Each group is
entrusted with the responsibility of taking up a current issue or an event and
carrying out an in-depth research on the same. Some of the topics covered
recently included the Arcelor-Mittal deal, the Railways turn-around story, the
over-heating of the Chinese economy, etc.
Discussions and presentations are
then carried out in the classroom, over various factors surrounding the issues /
events and an attempt is made at applying, the concepts learned during the
course, to such events. The entire proceedings are moderated by the professors
who chip in with relevant insights wherever appropriate. The industry expert
provides his/her opinion on the way the industry is moving or shaping.
Such sessions are increasingly
finding favor with the student fraternity. The take-aways from these sessions
are huge. The participants are able to apply their knowledge practically on more
contemporary issues than those covered in the typical case studies.
They can form a predictive insight on the issues and see first-hand whether the
same insights actually get implemented in the real world as the event
progresses. Presentations in the form of discussions help the participants
improve upon the business communication at the same time. A learned audience, in
the form of qualified professors and industry experts, ensures that the quality
of the discussions is high and pertinent to the expectations of the participants
of the course.
This series of session initiated
for the one year P.G.D.M. students of the institute, concluded with a session on
"Public Policy" by none other than Mr. Rajrishi Singhal, Editor, The Economic
Times. In the backdrop of such pedagogic approaches, it is clear that the focus
of education is shifting towards more thought-provoking and participative
methodologies than the conventional classroom teaching.