Monday, April 23, 2007

Union Leaders

Remember Mr Datta Samant of the 80's and early 90's? He was responsible for the closure of the textile(and many other!) industries in Bombay. I know it's bad to criticize the dead(this guy was shot dead somewhere around 1995), but we must face the reality that if Vapi, Baddi, Silvassa, Uttarachal etc have become industrial hubs today, a lot of the credit goes to our intrepid union leaders like him. Lets see how.

In the BEST strike in Mumbai recently, the city was paralyzed. People had to shell out large amounts of autos and taxis- which were in short supply that day. This strike was due to the issue of increasing the DA . Prima facie, this seems reasonable- who would deny inflation? The moot point is however that striking on an annual basis and thus holding the city to ransom is bad. After all, out of whose pockets will this DA hike come? The tax payers- who are only 3% of the population- will have to foot this one.

Besides, Mr Sharad Rao drives around in a AC luxury car-while pretending to espouse the cause of the workers. The fact remains that this man who has probably never worked a single day in his life had become a union leader merely on account of his rabble rousing ability. These leaders quote Gandhi to go on strike, but do not follow his other policy like satyagraha, simple living, dignity of labour etc.

Unions have become a stepping stone to political success- whether they be in colleges or factories. Consequentially, the main aim-collective bargaining- has been defeated. In this day of contract labour and temporary workers, the organized union component has been shrinking. I hope and pray that these unions go

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

NIIT- India's pride??

Most cities in India have atleast one NIIT centre. The organization has a good image- perhaps due to the huge media ad spends it makes. After all., which newspaper will dare to print anything against one of its major advertisers? But, there are some things you should know- which the sweet talking counsellor does not tell you during admission.
(1) We are chosen on our looks- not on qualifications alone
Is it merely accident that the NIIT counsellors are eye candy- but little of anything else?
(2) We may not be owned by NIIT
Most NIIT centres are franchisees and not own centres- that means the franchise pays big bucks to NIIT to use their name- but little else. Quality may be awful
(3) We will not refund fees
Suppose you pay even a token sum of Rs 500 and back out of the course before it starts, you won't get a pie back
(4) We do not adjust fees
If you change your inclination- say from MS Office course to Tally, NIIT is not bound to
even set off your fees. They may- but only if the price diffrential is in their favour
(5) We will use muscle power
Even seen the watchman with a register outside each NIIT office? Well, that watchman plays a dual role. One- to keep records of visitors. Two-To kick out troublesome visitors who pester for fee refunds/ protest against delays
(6) You mean the world to us- till money changes hands
Just compare the attitude at admission time to that after you join
(7) We guarantee jobs- at a very low salary, temporary ones only, and with us
Read the fine print in the job guarantee- where they guarantee "assistance' only
(8) Our testimonials are of other branches
If Mr XYZ from Dadar gets a job with Infosys due to his B.Tech, every NIIT branch will take credit for the same
(9) Our staff are not qualified
Only unemployed graduates(NIIT passouts??) join NIIT as a stop gap. C'mon, if they could get a job paying above Rs 8000/ month- that is what NIIT pays- would'nt they take it.

My aim is not to villify NIIT- others are not far better- but only that India's premier IT company should be more responsible