Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The UK Bribery Act

UK has passed a Bribery Act which will be implemented from 1st July 2011. They had issued a detailed guidance in March. Some say that the legislation is draconian.

This Act will put additional pressure on some of the companies who are already grappling with corruption scandals. It will cover all Indian companies who do business in the UK. They will be exposed to potential criminal liability where bribes are paid by employees, agents and subsidiaries even if the relevant conduct happens in some other part of the world.

There are 4 new offences which will be introduced by this Act – offering, promising or giving of a bribe; requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting a bribe; either in the UK or abroad, in public as well as private sectors; bribery of a foreign public official in order to obtain or retain business; and, inability of companies to prevent a bribe being paid by those who perform services for or on behalf of the organisation. [ Source: Economic Times]. 

All MNCs with offices in UK, Indian companies listed on UK exchanges, and independent director sitting on boards of such companies will all be under the purview of this Act.

Companies like Tata, Essar and Vedanta have significant presence in the UK and so they will have to review and implement anti-bribery policies and procedures.

You can find the ‘necessary steps that need to be taken’ in this article. It's a very well written and detailed article. 

US also have a US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. India has Prevention of Corruption Act. Woohoo! Well, not quite. India’s Act is not implemented properly. No wait, it’s almost not implemented. There are very few, if any, arrests and convictions. They monetary penalties are very negligible as compared to the size of the crime. Hence, it’s almost as if we have no law regarding it.

India, tera kya hoga?

Maybe this:

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

This amazing marketing book is written by Al Ries and Jack Trout. It’s a pretty old book but it still holds its own in today’s world. It is not too long and hence not boring. The length assures that people who are interested after reading the title don’t let it go just because ‘It’ll take a lot of time to read it completely’.

It’s an easy to understand and easily implementable book. The laws are simple and to the point. The examples given are relevant. The predictions made in the book are now verifiable. Almost all of them have come true.

Their analysis of companies and their marketing strategies is immaculate. The writers have shown how complex marketing strategies make or break just because of one simple thing. Their analysis of companies like Coke, Pepsi, IBM, Xerox and Apple are very interesting.

If you believe in ‘learning from other people’s mistakes’ then this book is exactly that. It is almost compulsory to follow these rules if you about to start out with a new product. The laws can be easily followed. All you need to do is read them carefully and understand how to implement them in your case.

Enough from me, read the book for more.

You can buy it on Flipkart and on Amazon.

It is reasonably priced. Actually, that’s nothing compared to what it will help you save. Hell, good things don’t always come cheap.

To know more about the book, shoot questions through comments. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Employment Dilemma

India might be one of the very few countries which have the unique problem of coexistence of Unemployment and lack of man power, at the same time. It's ironic.

On one side we have a very large portion of our country's population which is looking for a job and on the other side we have companies and other institutions claiming that they are not able to get enough people to fill in their vacancies.

How can this happen?

Some people say that it is because the unemployed youth is not skilled and the demand is only for skilled people. Okay. I accept. But then why are there not many training institutes which can transform these unskilled but willing people to skilled, employable people?

NIIT has training institutes which are a huge success. They have contributed more to the Indian economy than a lot of established universities. They have created employable youth. There is no bigger service to society.

Although, my reason for writing this post is different. I recently read some stuff about jobs offered to students to National Law Schools. Students are made to believe that they have a higher chance of getting a job if they go to a certain university. I would like to change the statement, ' They have a higher chance of getting a better job if they go to a certain university'. I believe that students from all universities will get jobs. It's just a matter of persistence.

India is growing. Professionals are in demand and will be in demand for a long long time. We don't just need more lawyers. We need more professionals in general. We need efficient and more doctors, engineers, plumbers, carpenters, drivers etc. Everyone has a scope to get a job. 

Okay, this might seem a bit too optimistic but I am not bluffing. I have talked to a lot of HR managers in companies and they have all told me that there is always a demand for good professionals. They have to take under qualified or not so good professionals just because there are not many available. 

So don't choose a profession if you don't like it just because the job prospects are good. Job prospects will always be good. You just have to be efficient. 

You might have to relocate and you might not get the salary that 'you think you deserve' but I am pretty sure you'll get a job. 

All the unskilled people out there can become drivers, traffic policemen, courier guys, work for fast food chains and other such jobs. No offence to any of these professions. No job is small. Everyone has to learn dignity of labor. It's better to have a small job rather than be unemployed. 

So well, do what you want to but do it well. If you do your part then you will definitely find means to survive. Everyone who knows how to work, will find a job. The only people who don't get jobs are the ones who don't want one. Sometimes, all you need to do is keep trying. You'll get it.

P.S. - No offence to anyone. Just my view. Nothing personal. :) Also, I am a bit tired right now so this might not be my best work on this topic but yes, this is my view. If you disagree then post your view in the comments section. I will be happy to 'talk it out'. :) 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anna Hazare is like an Old Lady

Okay, before you go all hyper on me, read the entire post.

This is a story someone told me yesterday. It's relevant to the current fast-ing trend. I hope you find it interesting.

Once upon a time in a small village there was a wealthy merchant. His son. his only child, was to be married. He started looking for a bride. An old lady in the village heard about this. She devised a(n) (evil?) plan.

Next day she sat in front of the merchant's house and declared that she will not eat anything until and unless the merchant marries his young son to her. Everyone in the village was surprised. All of them knew she was being unreasonable. Most of them laughed her off. Almost no one took her seriously.

A few days passed but the old lady was adamant. She had become very weak. The people in the village started getting anxious. Now they were asking the merchant to marry his young son to the old lady just so that she would end her fast.

The merchant obviously did not want it to happen so he was very worried. He offered the old lady money but she refused it. He offered the old lady a house to live and a lot of luxuries but she refused. He tried everything but the old lady refused to budge. The villagers started supporting her just on humanitarian grounds. The merchant was under tremendous pressure.

One day, a man came to the merchant and said that he could make the old lady go away if the merchant wanted. The merchant was surprised. He told the man that he did not to force the old lady into anything neither did he want to beat her up or kidnap her or something. The man said that he had a plan and through it, the old lady would voluntarily go away. The merchant agreed.

Next morning, the old lady was gone. Everyone including the merchant was surprised. The merchant went to the man who had made this possible. He asked him how he managed to convince the old lady to leave. The man smiled.

He said he found a person who had leprosy. He asked that person to go to the old lady and tell her that if she did not marry him then he would not eat anything and hence go on a fast himself. The old lady understood that her plan had been foiled and so she left.

Moral of the story: [It depends on individual perception of the story. Find your own learnings.] :)

P.S. - If you can't relate this story to the fast done by Anna Hazare then you can take the heading of the post as an independent statement and blast your comments based on that.



Monday, June 6, 2011

A Love Letter

It was exactly a year ago. We met at around 7:30pm. I fell in love right when I saw you. There were a few like you around you but I knew you were different. You were mine. We went for a ride on that night. A long drive. I was very careful. I was not sure how to act. It was a feeling I had never had before. It’s a feeling no one can compare with anything else. I still remember that day very vividly. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.

It’s been a year since. It’s been an exciting journey. You’ve been with me through bumpy roads and smooth ones. Helping me, trusting me. We’ve been on long rides alone. Some early morning and some late night. You have given meaning to the sentence ‘The destination is sometimes not as important as the journey’. You’ve made the journey memorable. I wish we can stay together. Forever and always.

I know you cannot understand any of this and so I will not go on any further. I just wish you’ll be there for me when I want to run away from this world. I’ll always take care of you. I promise.

A very Happy first Birthday!

My bike. :)

P.S. - Gotcha! :P 

Friday, June 3, 2011

GNLU: A preview/ An Insider's account!

So you gave CLAT and got through to Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.
I am sure you'll have a hundred questions about the University. You might even be considering whether to choose GNLU over some other University. Well, I hope this post helps you in deciding.
I’ll try to summarise what all things you can expect from the place.
Gandhinagar is Gujarat’s capital. It’s a very green city. Amazing roads. No traffic. If you are someone who likes the hustle-bustle of Mumbai then you’ll find the place boring. Gujarat has prohibition, something I think all of us know about. There are no night clubs in Gandhinagar. There are very few good restaurants but that can be managed by going to Ahmedabad which is just 30 minutes away. If you are someone who likes peace and serenity then Gandhinagar is the place for you. Transport is relatively cheap. People of Gujarat are famous for their friendly behaviour and their helping attitude. Girls can roam around safely. We have a 9:30pm curfew time for the college hostel which is good enough because there is hardly anything open in Gandhinagar post 10pm.
The campus is still under construction. We stay in the old campus of NIFT. Students joining this year can expect to spend 4 years out of 5 in the new 45 acre campus. The new campus is sexy. It will be among the best in the country. Although, the current campus is not too bad either. We have arguably, the best hostels amongst law schools in the country. Almost all our requirements are easily met in this current campus. But then, as Seth Godin says, “Good is not great.” :)
Okay this is a toughie. I think I can safely say, like all NLUs and I think Universities in general, we have the excellent, the good and the ugly. A few teachers are amazing. They will literally make you want to attend class. Sometimes, when you have a free class and that faculty is teaching in some other class, you’d want to go and attend that other class. Yea, they are that good. Some of them are okay okay. We can’t call them good or bad. They are in-between. Personally I feel that faculties are only there to guide you where to go. Legal Education should mostly be self learning.
The best part about GNLU is the variety of students that we have. The year I joined I was told that GNLu has students from 26 states now. We are a diverse crowd. We have had it even before IDIA started working on it. :P Students are helping. There are 160 odd students per batch so there will be a lot of people you’ll get along with and learn from. The students are the elements which make a university. Shri Jairam Ramesh will be happy to see that even though right now GNLU is not the country’s best law school, the students are right up there. :) Seniors are very helpful. They will make you feel right at home from the very first day. There is almost no ragging. Everything done is in good humour and will be enjoyable for the new student as well. Nothing outward happens. GNLU students appreciate talent. People will look at you with respect if you can sing, dance, play a instrument, are a good orater, can play CS like you are invincible, can write notes even during boring classes, have a good sense of humour, are a foodie or just have a good collection of movies/sitcoms. :D
Yes, this is what everyone thinks is the most important way to judge a University. I disagree. Contrary to popular opinion, GNLU has a very good placement record. If we see Legally India statistics for this year’s placement then we can see that 73 GNLU students have been placed in reputed places. The batch had 145 odd students. So after 73 there are 145-73= 72 students left. GNLU is, according to me, one of the very few law schools in India which sends a lot of students to litigation. That’s what NLUs were set up to do, right? I can safely say that out of the 72 students left, 30 to 35 join litigation. So that leaves only 35 odd students. We have 20 students who are going to pursue further studies in prestigious institutions in India and abroad. That leaves only 15 students. Who knows, maybe some of these 15 have been placed somewhere after the latest LI update on the recruitment page. I am not sure. 10% of a batch not getting their desired placement is normal. The fact that GNLU has 150 plus students in a normal batch makes it even more difficult for the college to place all of them. Amarchand Mangaldas took 15 students this year still that would only be 10% of the batch. Imagine if GNLU had 80 odd students and Amarchand took 15. It would change the situation completely. So don’t just blindly follow statistics. Consider all the parameters. If you are a good student and you do decently in academics then you’ll get a job irrespective of which law school you join.
So this is a brief overview of GNLU. Please be sure that this is not everything about GNLU. It’s just a basic outline. Ask specific questions to know more.
I won’t tell you what I think is GNLU’s rank is in the country’s top law universities because frankly it doesn’t matter. No one gives a damn about the ranking yet people fight over it. I am personally against giving so much importance to Moots. MPL is a good way to judge a college’s mooting prowess but not enough to judge a college. So don’t read too much into it. Visit the college website for more details.
I am a fourth year student of GNLU. If you are someone who got through and wants more details then send me a message on my LI account or post your facebook account link in the comments, I’ll ping you.
Don’t ask me if you should GNLU over HNLU or NLU-J or NLU-Bhopal or NLU-D or any such thing. Every college has its positives and negatives. Choose wisely and then stick to it. Stop cribbing once you get into college, you got what you deserved.
P.S. – I’ll try answering all genuine queries that any one of you have in your mind. Post it in the comments.
Don’t judge a book by its cover or price, a person by his/her clothes/accent, a law student by his laptop/CGPA and a law school from its website/campus/MPL rank/India Today or Outlook rank.” – This is an original Napster quote. :P
All the best to everyone. I hope you have fun in law school because in the end, that's all that matters. :)
Jai Hind!
P.P.S. -This post first appeared on Legally India where I blog under the name of Napster. 
IndiBlogger - The Indian Blogger Community