Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Resource Report: RebelMouse: A Fresh Personal Brand Experience « Reach Personal Branding – William Arruda
Resource Report: RebelMouse: A Fresh Personal Brand ExperienceResource Report
By Maria Elena Duron
Reviewing resources to help exude and engage your brand!
RebelMouse: A Fresh Personal Brand Experience
Let me introduce you to RebelMouse! RebelMouse was designed by former Huffington Post chief tech officer, Paul Berry. When Paul and I talked about it, this last spring I couldn’t wait to show everyone! Why? Because I love time saving, fresh, valuable and practical tools and RebelMouse is all of that. (Disclaimer: I do not sell RebelMouse! I’m simply a raving fan and I hope you become one too!
Your own updated and fresh home page
RebelMouse provides you with a homepage that collects all of your social media accounts into one place. The page is constantly refreshed – without you having to do anything! It gathers your fresh social media content automatically, and then allows you to rearrange your posts to highlight those that you feel deserve it (and demote those that don’t).
RebelMouse also provides you with a platform where you can create new posts and content. You can invite people to contribute to and follow your page, both of which foster the sense of community found with other social media sites. Analytics are provided to help you understand the demographics of your traffic.
The possible uses are nearly endless ranging from basic attempts to aggregate social media to advanced social marketing. RebelMouse’s features and format make it a great option for blogging and disseminating information about specific topics. For example, a page on categories of products or even famous personalities could group posts and tweets about a particular topic and give you a vast amount of information from a variety of sources. This rich complexity of information seems to be the internet at its finest.
It’s a great place for a snapshot of what your connections are interested in and talking about across all social networks. The site is also a repository of information for what interests you and what you are focused on.
A combination of the best
RebelMouse combines the greatest aspects of other social media sites into one easily digestible feed. The simplicity of Twitter is still present; you can read status updates on RebelMouse. But an additional layer of complexity is added when those Tweets are juxtaposed with other comments, news stories, and pictures that logically belong next to them.
It’s visual aspects also allow for fluid movement between pictures and text, all the while in a way that allows you to absorb information unintentionally. This format, similar to Pinterest, adds another informative layer. It provides an ease of transition between text and images that is hard to find elsewhere.
One of the reasons why this site is so useful is that we find updating our Twitter or Facebook feeds very easy, but when it comes to keeping our homepage up to date, we struggle. RebelMouse does away with that problem and takes all of the difficulty out of having an updated homepage.
Maria Elena Duron is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy.
Friday, 22 February 2013
BANGALORE: Azim Premji, chairman of the Azim Premji Foundation, announced on Friday that he has transferred 295.5 million equity shares representing 12% of the total shares of Wipro Ltd, held by certain entities controlled by him, to an irrevocable trust. With this transfer (valued at about Rs 12,300 crore based on current market price), the trust's shareholding in Wipro will go up to about 19.93%.
This trust will utilize the endowment to fund social, not-for-profit initiatives of the foundation, which are expected to scale significantly over the next few years.
The "Giving Pledge" campaign had recently announced that Premji was amongst the billionaires around the world to commit half their wealth to philanthropy. The campaign, led by billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others, is a commitment by the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
Azim Premji Foundation is a not-for-profit organization set up in 2001 with the goal to create and sustain initiatives to contribute to a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The foundation has worked largely in rural India, often in close partnership with various state governments, to help contribute to the improvement of quality and equity of school education.
Currently the foundation's work is spread across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
The foundation's strategy focuses on creating and scaling up a network of institutions at various levels to contribute to improvement in the school education system and allied areas. As part of this strategy, over the last two years, the foundation has set up the Azim Premji University at Bangalore, state level institutes in three states, district level institutes in seven districts and six demonstration schools associated with the district institutes. Seven more district level institutes are in various stages of formation.
The University has been established with the social purpose of developing outstanding professionals in the domains of education and development for the entire country. The University does this through offering various kinds of degree programmes, continuing education programmes and creation of knowledge in education and allied development areas. Currently, the university offers MA Education and MA Development programmes. It offers specializations in school leadership & management and curriculum & pedagogy under MA in education, and livelihood, public policy, health & nutrition and law & governance under MA in Development.
As part of scaling up of the institutional strategy, over the next 4 to 5 years, the number of district level institutions will expand to 50-60, state level institutions to 6-8 and the university will expand to have 3,500 students with 350 faculty members across multiple programs. The foundation will also have 50-100 demonstration schools associated with district level institutions. During this period, the team size is expected to grow from the current 800 people to about 4,000 people.
Ministry-wise PIB releases
- Address by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee to Parliament
- PM's statement to the media at Parliament House on the start of the Budget session
- ! PM condemns the bomb blasts in Hyderabad, appeals for calm
- Current Dispensation on Cotton to Continue
- Global crude oil price of Indian Basket declines marginally to US$ 113.50/bbl on 20.02.2013
- Department of Telecommunications: Separate Auction will be Held for the Balance of Spectrum in 1800 MHZ Band
- TRAI Releases Pre-Consultation Paper on 'Full Mobile Number Portability'
- Payment of statutory dues, salary and wages in sick/loss making CPSEs under the Department of Heavy Industry
- Rationalisation of pay and allowance to licensed category of employees of Air India in line with Industry practice and standard over and above the DPE guidelines
- Hindi Advisory Committee of the Ministry of the New & Renwable Energy meets.
- Allotment of MIG Flat to the family of victim of sexual violence in Delhi in December 2012
- Allotment of MIG! Flat to the family of victim of sexual violence in Delhi in December 2012
- At the Forefront in Executing its Mission with Honour and Pride IAF Displays its Fire Power at IRON FIST2013
- Facts at A Glance- Meghalaya
- More Than 262 Lakh Tonne Rice Procured
- National Consumer Helpline Records 13,018 Calls in January, 2013
- Extension in the tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) up to 31st March 2016
- Students with Disabilities to be Trained under 'Hunar Se Rojgar Scheme' NHFDC & ITDC signs an MoU
- Merger of Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Limited with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
- Merger of Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Limited with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
- Allotment of MIG Flat to the family of victim of sexual violence in Delhi in December 2012
- Extension in the tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) up to 31st March 2016
- Rationalisation of pay and allowance to licensed category of employees of Air India in line with Industry practice and standard over and above the DPE guidelines
- Payment of statutory dues, salary and wages in sick/loss making CPSEs under the Department of Heavy Industry
Thursday, 21 February 2013
When I was reading 11 Tips to Succeed as a Nomadic Entrepreneur, I found myself identifying with a lot of the issues. While I wasn’t a full time nomadic entrepreneur, I was doing a decent bit of traveling, and had to manage my time as a freelancer and COO. In fact, many of us probably identify with issues of time management, organizational flow and controlling budgets on the move.
Since I wanted to become a full time nomadic entrepreneur in the near future, I sat down and tackled the biggest issues that would cross my path while I was on the road. It seemed obvious that one of the biggest factors for success in a nomadic business was being able to go mobile. I then started a list for the apps that would help professionals on the go. Hence, I bring you, 11 apps to succeed as a nomadic entrepreneur.
Scaling a business is difficult, especially before you start traveling. As a nomadic professional, sometimes the simplest course of action is the best. Keep all of your information, presentations, payroll sheets, and vital items safe and accessible simply by using Dropbox. Access your info from your phone, your tablet, or your laptop.
If you’re a traveling business professional, you have to admit that just the name of this app makes you happy. Its functions will make you even happier. When you have a tight schedule to make sure your adventures don’t interfere with work, creating events by voice alone saves time. Make lists, keep events safely separated, and use your time wisely and efficiently.
Income is a worry when you’re becoming nomadic. You need something that keeps you in touch with the funds you have. Mint does everything, from letting you know about your investments to keeping an eye on your spending habits.
4. Remember the Milk
As the name suggests, this app is a great for the details. It’s also essential for delegating from anywhere. Assign tasks no matter where you are. The ability to sync up via phones, tablets, and the web allows you to keep tabs on what your team is doing.
5. Documents to Go
If you need something a little more complex, try Documents to Go. It allows the creation and sharing of spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, which lets you keep up with your employees’ accomplishments. You can also go in, make notes or changes, and share your ideas with them.
6. YouMail Visual Voicemail
Avoid issues with logistics and time management by scanning calls, reading your voicemail, and offering personal greetings even when you can’t answer the phone. Make the most of your time without the worry of missing important calls or adventures.
7. Wikinvest Portfolio
When revenue is an issue, you need to create spending and saving plans. This app lets you know about your revenue options. Wikinvest keeps you aware of your financial situation with the help of a professional community. You’ll never get stuck without money and you’ll worry less about your finances.
In addition to delegating, it’s important to let your staff know where you are, where to reach you, and when you’re unavailable. Evernote lets you geotag, so while you’re keeping up with your coworkers, they’ll also know when it’s a bad time to bother you.
9. Wi-Fi Finder
As a nomadic entrepreneur, you also need practical apps. If you can’t find a Wi-Fi connection, for example, how can you connect with your team? With Wi-Fi finder, quickly find a wireless connection for your T-Mobile Nokia Luma 810, tablet, or laptop, and get on with your business.
While traveling, keep track of all the details about your trip. Just keep your travel schedules separate from your work notes. This app also helps you keep up with rental cars, rooms, layovers, and canceled flights.
And if you get to put something on the expense account, why not? This app will help you keep track of your spending habits, while making sure you don’t dine on the company dime too often. Scan all of your receipts to make sure you’re not going over your budget.
With these apps, you’ll never have to worry about what’s going on back at the office. Can you think of anything else you need to become a nomadic traveler?
Kelsey Libert is a speaker, entrepreneur, and Internet enthusiast. She’s a chief development officer for a diverse website portfolio, where she runs the content development strategy and execution for several websites, and counting.
Nation Building can be succinctly understood as the total progress and sustainable growth of the country. There has been uproar in the country on the dwindling economic growth, falling education quality, safety of its citizens, persistent state of the poor & the state stricken with poverty, food security vis-a-vis public distribution system. India witnesses co-existence of dearth of amenities and untapped resources which has pithy potential to accentuate nation building process.
Nation Building originates with its meaning in the present scenario as the building up of nation, reconstruction, peace building, state-building transpired due to a war, devastation led by man-impeded acts or natural calamities. However, In 1990s, United Nation, emphasized in its Human Development Report on the essential components like health and education in its development processes, along with the ruling aspect of economic development. And by 2012, these parameters became indispensable features of any development programs, government policy, national or local effort towards nation building. The appendage is not only a coerced process of modernization but a steadfast approach towards tuning nation towards sustainable growth by ensuring best provisions for its main co-player, the citizens, who form the foundation of the Nation building process. As illustrated by Benedict Anderson in his Imagined Communities, ”a nation is a community socially constructed, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group. He further said that Members of the community probably will never know each of the other members face to face; However, they may have similar interests or identify as part of the same nation.” sovereignty, solidarity and harmony in the Nation.
Nation, inexorably, stands as one in coherence and solidarity when it has channelized motivated mass intended towards its progress. Collective Consciousness, as popularized by French Sociologist Emile Durkheim, is efficaciously an irrefutable element towards Nation Building which is definitely not a modern concept but the approach to Nation Building has been tweaked in pro-modern ways.
For Nation Building-process to be operative, the key pillars identified in the state are Government, Civil Society and the Corporate. It will be appropriate to insinuate the key players of Nation Building as women- the progressives, children- the future, youth- the power, men- the supporters, media- the neutrals, education system- the educator, Health system- the insurers. Can we also give a brief attention to pestiferous subjects? Those are violence, illiteracy, unemployment, crime, epidemics, maternal & infant mortality, corruption, poverty, malnourishment and even insignificant subject like lack of awareness, participation, lack of three Cs- Commitment, collaboration & communication. And that is why many of the programs, initiatives fail- not because of the lack of strategy but due to successful implementation. Nation building calls for integration of all the pillars with its major players to deracinate the maladies from the society to make it surreal but a factual nation of prosperity.
Chronicle expositions elucidated that the process of Nation Building has always been a collective event, agnated by people & their kin, government & non-government entities, Art & Culture, Drama & Dance, scripture & writers, needy & the progressives. It will not be primitive to say that the demand for Corporates’ contribution and participation has emerged as inevitable & also, has the potential to play an instrumental role in Nation Building & its sustainability. Dr. APJ Abdulkalam spoke at CSR Summit 2012 organised by the ASSOCHAM with the theme “Empowering Sustainability-Promoting Responsibility” on 20 December 2012 in New Delhi and stated that “Sustainable development refers to a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for the generations to come.” Contribution towards Nation Building has come to be considered as an investment for the corporate and not expenditure.
One of the strong examples of such social investment is the corporate social responsibility arm of Usha Martin Limited, Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra (KGVK). Its mission is to facilitate integrated progress and prosperity in rural Jharkhand – one of India’s most impoverished states.
To bring the benefits of economic development to a community left behind. Under such a vast umbrella, KGVK minutely & innovatively ensures women-led Self-Help Groups and community-based organizations in Jharkhand. Women, who had never been inside a bank before, today maintain over Rs 35 lakh in savings. It has also strengthened local livelihood platforms by ensuring intervention in Agriculture and dairy enterprises, Forest-based livelihoods, Vocational training based on rural needs. KGVK’s program could not have been much progressively and comprehensive to have focused on education by offering quality primary education to first-time learners, including dropouts and young adults. KGVK has introduced Mouse on the Wheels program. It is a mobile computer lab mounted on a bus moves around the Ranchi Sadar and Namkum Block areas. Each four-month course teaching basic computer operations is free for needy and deserving children, especially girls.
In a state- Jharkhand- where only 11% of it’s population has access to institutional health care; infant mortality rate is at 69 per 1000 live births; only 36% of new mothers receive the three mandated antenatal care visits; only 30% of infants are fully immunized; almost 80% of children suffer from anaemia, 59% children below 3 years of age are underweight. KGVK rolled down mobile health vans in remote areas well equipped with a first aid kit, an X-ray machine and pathological support for blood collection. A doctor accompanies the mobile van from time to time.
Initiatives by corporates do not restrict here. Banking sector has shown tremendous commitment towards building its people and the society. ICICI Bank, through ICICI Foundation, fastens the process of financial inclusion and thereby, giving greater emphasize on inclusive growth. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company launched India’s first index-based insurance to protect farmers from weather-related risks. Through a transparent and easy to administer rainfall-index, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company reduced transaction costs, enabled quick payouts and made insurance and its benefits more accessible to small and marginal farmers. In alignment with the National delivery systems and endeavours like National Rural Livelihood Mission, ICICI shows efforts in skill development by installing low input cost and high returns, and are self-sustainable. Such courses include beautician training, mobile phone repairing, tailoring, cattle breeding and vermi composting. To ensure foreward linkages, it is attempting to facilitate job placements through industry linkages.
When basic needs become a necessity, clean and safe drinking water has relentlessly remained, and lately much talked about in every national and international forum, a mooted challenge for India. Cadbury extended cost-sharing under National Rural Drinking Water Program, NRDWP.
Cement Industry has been the forerunners with ACC Limited showing enduring commitment towards building community-state. Apart from continued support rendered in health & education, ACC‘s Gujarat Mason training was a remarkable initiative. Anticipating a scarcity of skilled masons, during rebuilding Gujarat out of the devastating earthquake in 2001, ACC trained supervisors for the reconstruction work – especially in Kutch, Rajkot and Surendranagar districts, the company evolved a scheme to provide construction related training to over 2500 unemployed persons (mostly youth) in earthquake affected villages. his was perhaps the country’s first formal training programme of this magnitude for masons and site supervisors, organised by ACC.
We have seen strong Corporate believers in Nation Building. Mr. Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said, “Education is quite rightly a key focus area for many of the corporate philanthropic initiatives. We, at Bharti Foundation, are running 236 primary schools catering to over 30,000 students. Many corporates are supporting skill development initiatives too. I personally believe, this is going to be a critical area of nation-building in the days to come. Today, 320 million of our population belongs to the 6-16 age group. Ten years down the line, this large section of the population is going to join the workforce. Our failure to engage this population productively could be disastrous. We already have seen signs of disturbance in the shape of the Maoist trouble” (The role of business in nation-building, December 2009, The Economic Times).
Role of women in Nation Building has been considered significant around the world that Phillippines has brought special ”Women in Development and Nation Building Act” 2012 for giving power and onus on to the women towards their remarkable commitment and notable role towards nation building.
The Companies Bill, 2011 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 18 December 2012, on its enactment will allow the country to have a modern legislation for growth and regulation of corporate sector in India. The existing statute for regulation of companies in the country, viz. the Companies Act, 1956 had been under consideration for quite long for comprehensive revision in view of the changing economic and commercial environment nationally as well as internationally. In view of various reformatory and contemporary provisions proposed in the Companies Bill, 2011, together with omission of existing unwanted and obsolete compliance requirements, the companies in the country will be able to comply with the requirements of the proposed Companies Act in a better and more effective manner. Amendment in Clause 135, sub-clause (5) illustrates, that Corporate Social Responsibility as mandatory for corporates and reads as-“The Board of every company referred to in sub-section (1), shall ensure that the company spends in every financial year, at least two per cent of the average net profits of the company made during the three immediately preceding financial years, in pursuance of its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.” (Ref: www.indiacsr.in)
Sachin Pilot, Minister, Corporate Affairs, said that “it has a suggestive list of 10 items in the bill on which companies can spend funds including vocational skills and environment sustainability. But, we have left it open for corporates to decide-what fits in with your philosophy, what’s your passion. The corporates’ association in Nation Building can be of utmost importance. Pilot added that India is perhaps going to be the first country in the world that will have corporate social responsibility in the statute. Only certain companies will qualify for CSR-those that have a turnover of over Rs 1,000 crore, value of Rs 500 crore and average net profit of Rs 5 crore in the preceding three years. These companies have to give 2% of their profits” (Economic Times, 20th Dec 2012, Corporate Social Responsibility a Leap of Faith for the Government)
Dr Sam Pitroda, advisor to the prime minister of India, spoke at IIMA alumni association on ‘Nation building in the 21st century and challenges faced’ & emphasized that Collaboration, cooperation and new ways of thinking are the new rules of nation building. He added that “human rights, environmental concerns, democracy and people’s participation are the key elements required towards nation building in today’s time” (DNA, 16TH Jan 2011: ‘Nation building is all about people building’). It is imperative to see Corporate playing to a crucial role in Nation Building. 21st Century has witnessed a shift in the accelerated participation of corporates. Though the nation building process is a collective action and people’s participation is inevitably the prime factor, it should not ebb in the erratic fashion of pluralism of the country. Rather the nation building process should invoke and supplement to the unity of the plural India.
Nation Building needs to gain momentum to counter the rising chasm, between rich and poor, women & men, cultural heritage v/s religious extremism, population & pollution, stimulus v/s sensitivity, and address it in an ameliorative way. Hon’ ble President of India quotes “ We are all equal children before our mother; and India asks each one of us, in whatsoever role we play in the complex drama of nation-building, to do our duty with integrity, commitment and unflinching loyalty to the values enshrined in our constitution”. The process needs to be an nrboken series of constant efforts, ensuring a possible continuum of possible values, integration and association to transmute and ensure uninterrupted & rising graph of progress. Nation Building is the confluence of intended & operational efforts & stimulus by various systems in the country & the citizens.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Ministry wise PIB releases
- Prime Minister of United Kingdom calls on President
- PM's remarks to media after the all-party meeting convened by the Speaker
- Meeting between Mr. Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, India and David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, United Kingdom
- Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Urges Member IOC to take up Exclusion of wrestling from Olympic Core Sports with IOC Executive Board Urgently
- Boost to Manufacturing Needed to Address the Job Creation Challenge: Anand Sharma
- Department of Commerce's Statement on import of gold jewellery from Thailand
- Global crude oil price of Indian Basket declines to US$ 113.65/bbl on 19.02.2013
- Ayush Scholarship Schemes for Foreign Students
- Government to have a Second Look at Procurement and Production Policies : Antony
- Ministry of Water Resources notifies the Final Award of CWDT
- The Government has always attached a very high priority to the Effective implementation of the PoA Act says Kumari Selja
- Madhav Lal Joins as Secretary MSME
- Scindia Condolence Malviya's demise
Civil Aviation Authority with Greater Financial and Operational Authority to Replace DGCA The Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Ajit Singh today said that Civil Aviation Authority, (CAA) will soon replace the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA). Addressing a press conference, the Minister said that the Bill for creation of the Authority is likely to be introduced in the second part of the Budget session of Parliament. The Civil Aviation Authority will be headed by a Chairperson who will be supported by Director-General and seven to nine members. Chairperson, DG and Members will be appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of a Selection Committee. In this backdrop, the CAA would take over the responsibilities of the DGCA in areas like air safety, airspace regulation, setting aviation standards, licensing of airlines, pilots, air traffic controllers and consumer protection.
It would have financial and operational autonomy to take expeditious decisions on matters relating to a range of activities. It will have power and authority to call for information including financial information and conduct investigations, power to issue directions, power of seizure, power to punish any person, operator, company or a Government Department, if they fail to comply with its orders or directions and the punishment will be in the form of fine as prescribed under the Rules.
The Authority shall have full financial autonomy and shall have a separate fund, the “Civil Aviation Authority of India Fund” which will be used for all expenses of the authority in connection with the discharge of its functions including salaries etc. The Authority will be a self-funding entity duly authorized by the Government and will have power to fix and collect fees and charges for all functions, duties and services required to be performed by the Authority. Authority may levy charges for safety oversight functions of the air navigation services, safety fee from the passengers for safety oversight functions and safety fee for surveillance inspection of air transport operators etc. with the prior permission of the Government. It is proposed to create this fund by collecting fee from air navigation service providers and passengers in additional to the budgetary support given by the Government.
The main functions and powers of the proposed CAA, which would replace the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will be to regulate civil aviation safety and provide for the better management of civil aviation through safety oversight of air transport operators, airport operators, air navigation service operators and providers of civil aviation services. It will also issue licenses, certificates, permits, approvals etc. required to be issued under the Aircraft Act, 1934 and Aircraft Rules. Besides, it will also provide environment regulations for airports, airlines and other civil aviation activities and protect interest of the consumers.
The minister said that the reasons for establishment of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are because of shortage of trained human resource, its inability to recruit and retain adequate manpower due to procedural and structural problems. The manpower has remained the same over the years though passenger traffic, cargo and aircraft movements have increased manifold. Therefore, DGCA is overloaded with increased work and under-staffed. It has limited delegation of financial powers and incapable to make adequate structural changes to meet the demands of a dynamic Civil Aviation sector.This necessitates replacement of DGCA with CAA which will have more administrative and financial power to deal with the fast changing domestic and global aviation scenario.
(Release ID :92338)
As companies embed corporate social responsibility into their businesses, the value of working with CSR consultants isn’t always clear.
In many cases, companies don’t need to hire outside consultants. For example, if you understand your company’s social purpose, your communications team should be able to get the message out. Or if you’ve made CSR a human resource priority, you shouldn’t need outside help to increase employee engagement or establish a volunteer program. If you have the right NGO partners, it’s best for your own people to improve relationships with these organizations.
But there are some exceptions. These include areas such as social audits of supply chains, environmental impact assessments, and measurement of social outcomes where third party verification/assurance is appropriate and necessary. Overall,the objective should be to build internal CSR capacity wherever possible.
As the demand for CSR consultants is diminishing, the supply is increasing. For example, a Google search for CSR consultants revealed more than 5,000 results in New York City, 4,100 in London, 1,600 in Mumbai, 1,000 in Johannesburg and 327 in Beijing. There’s now so much choice that corporations that are new to CSR or need to improve their programs have a hard time selecting the right CSR advisor.
I thought it would be helpful to create a checklist for corporations to use when they need to find a CSR consultant. Here are six criteria that I think are particularly important:
1. Breadth of Experience: Have they worked in different business categories? Have they worked for corporations and not-for-profit organizations? Have they worked for small and large businesses? There is valuable cross-learning that comes from applying CSR in a wide range of situations.
2. Depth of Experience: There are many people who are passionate about CSR and have started consulting in this area. When selecting a CSR consultant, you need to balance enthusiasm with experience.
3. Diversity: Work with CSR consultants who reflect the internal and external audiences you need to reach and influence. This means the consultant should have access to a wide range of different opinions and to people of different ages, genders and ethnicities.
4. Building Capacity: The best CSR consultants place a high priority on putting themselves out of work. As described above, most aspects of CSR should be handled internally. Avoid consultants who are excessive self-promoters.
5. Experience with Social Change: It’s not enough to have academic credentials and practical experience in business. CSR is about bridging the gap between profit and purpose. This means that your advisors need to understand how social change works.
6. Inspiration: You should find a CSR consultant who inspires you to be provocative in a positive and appropriate way. Some of the best CSR advisors I know are also artists or musicians. (Another common trait seems to be a passion for bicycling!)
This list isn’t intended to cover specific aspects of CSR advisory services such as environmental sustainability or legal advice on climate change and emissions, areas where decisions are made almost solely based on professional and technical expertise.
I’m often asked about who I think is doing remarkable work in this area. There are thousands of individuals and organizations who are working in CSR and it’s impossible to keep up with who’s doing what. However, here are three US-based organizations that are doing great work:
BSR: BSR has a global network that works with businesses to create a just and sustainable world. The organization offers consulting services in seven areas: strategy and integration, human rights, sustainable local benefits, stakeholder engagement, supply chain sustainability, reporting and communications, and climate change.
FSG: Mark Kramer and his colleagues at FSG “believe that solving the world’s most challenging societal problems requires new ways of thinking, acting, and partnering,” according to the company’s website. Kramer and FSG co-founder, Professor Michael Porter, are also the architects of shared value, “an approach to meeting business objectives that creates a competitive advantage for corporations through innovations that address society’s needs and challenges.”
Mission Measurement: Jason Saul and his team help their clients by measuring social impact and creating value through social innovation. They help corporations, public sector agencies, nonprofits and foundations create value through social change and empower them with data to solve social problems more efficiently.
Regardless of who you choose to work with, remember that CSR consultants are just a stopgap. The most meaningful effort happens inside your organization with your own people.
Having recently gone through an employment change at 55, I battled my own demons as I thought about the possibility that somebody would actually hire me, versus the options a potential employer has to fill their openings with someone younger and cheaper.
It wasn’t just about finding a job. It was about finding a job I wanted. It was about taking whatever steps necessary to “stand out” among the candidates being considered for the role I was interested in. Preparing myself to compete in a tight job market required me to take stock of the factors that were motivating me to action.
The first was reflecting on the question, “Why am I still looking to be gainfully employed at my age?” My dad retired at 59, and he’s enjoyed his retirement to this very day (he turns 84 this year). In the generation of my parents, with life expectancy a decade less than it is today, retiring between 60 and 65 years of age was the norm. Looking at my generation, many of us “Baby Boomers” lead healthier lives than our parents did. We eat better, exercise more, smoke less, and take better care of ourselves. We can expect to live longer. Given this, why not extend our professional careers at least a decade beyond that of our parents?
Another factor influencing people to remain employed longer is a financial one. Not being children of the Depression Era, our spending and saving habits were not as rigorous as our parents, and many of us extended ourselves, having taken on bigger mortgages, and paid to put our children through private high schools and college. Additionally, we may have gone overboard with the wedding plans for our children. The list of financial commitments made over the years is staggering.
Whether by choice or necessity, many of us who may have wanted to retire at the age our parents did could be facing another 10 years of employment, with retirement more likely closer to 70 years of age versus 60, particularly if we want to live comfortably in our “Golden Years”. There are many things you can do to strengthen your candidacy when you are faced with finding employment in your fifties or later. Here are four areas to focus on:
1) Research the market rates for the positions that you plan to apply for
You need to understand what the market is willing to pay for a person with your background and experience. Know that your most recent total compensation package may not represent what the market is willing to pay. This is particularly true if you were released from a company that employed you for many years, providing you with annual increases that brought your total income to a level that is no longer “marked to market”. This is important. While you may feel you deserve every dollar that you made, you need to understand that if your goal is to earn “not a penny less” in your next job, you may be searching for a job for a long time. Make an effort to understand what the market is willing to pay for a person with your experience, and prepare yourself to be willing to accept this level of compensation.
2) Maintain your professional networks
It may be overstating the obvious to remind you that who you know is more important than what you know. Don’t confuse this point, because what you know is in fact important, it’s just that who you know is more important first.
Today, the internet is an easy and effective way to identify employment opportunities (Monster, Dice, CareerBuilder, Indeed, etc). Research the companies offering the jobs by perusing their websites. Find out who is employed at those companies by scouring a source like LinkedIn and research what is being said about the quality of those firms as an employer (Glassdoor is a good site for gathering this intelligence.) Once you have done your research submit your resume and cover letter. Sounds easy, right? It is not.
If everybody is looking for a job in this manner, you need to differentiate yourself from everyone else. How can you do so? Use your social networks! Do you know anybody who is employed at the company where you are a candidate? Would they recommend you? Have you worked with them in the past? Have you kept up with them, so they would be comfortable recommending you? If you’re not great about keeping up with current and former work colleagues, professional acquaintances, fraternity or sorority brothers and sisters, etc., then make a renewed effort at this, as it will most likely pay off for you when you most need it.
3) Don’t become obsolete
As you age, you must embrace technology and its rapid daily evolvement. I know you have no idea what makes a “smart phone” smart, and for the life of you, you don’t understand why your daughter keeps insisting on installing something called a “router” in your house.
Here’s the best advice that I can give you: Don’t become your father. Remember how after they stopped making vinyl records, he stopped having an interest in music? Think about how every time he comes to your house, he pushes every button on your remote controls, to the point it takes you an hour to get everything back to normal. It’s safe to say that at some point, he made a decision to stop embracing technological change, and now he’s become an outlier when it comes to understanding how the advances in technology enable and empower the world in which we live and work. It is imperative you keep up with technological change and embrace it. Don’t allow yourself to become the equivalent of a “technology dinosaur.” Today’s companies embrace technology and use it to their advantage when competing for business. Don’t allow yourself to be eliminated from consideration for a job you desire because you have lost touch with technology.
4) Preparation, preparation, preparation!
The great basketball coach John Wooden said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. I couldn’t agree more, nor could I give better advice. Here are several key components to being prepared:
- Have your resume professionally done for you – There are dozens of companies willing to help you with this, many of whom will do it for free. Most employment companies have a “resume production” team or capability, and can work with you to create a resume that is germane to your experience and highlights your greatest competencies.
- Check your wardrobe – Have you been working in a “business casual” environment for years? Does your suit or blouse no longer fit the way it did when you purchased it? Is the style of your clothing representative of a different time? Spend a little money to make certain the first impression you make is a quality one.
- Have you researched the company you will be interviewing with – Do you know what their annual revenue is? Do you know what their primary product and service offerings are? Are they a public company? If so, what is their stock trading at? Do you know where their primary offices are? Do you know who their main competitors are? Have you read their website? Do you know who the members of the leadership team are? Take the time to learn this information, as it may distinguish you from your competitors during your interview.
- Interview your interviewer - This is a must! When the interviewer finally asks you if you have any questions, it is not ok to say, “No, not at this time.” Be prepared to ask your interviewer two or three questions. Asking questions expresses genuine interest on your part. Here are a few you can ask:
- “What are the strategic plans for growth for the company over the next three years?”
- “Who are your main competitors, and how do you go about beating them, in the markets where you compete with them directly?”
- “What is the company’s commitment to community service?”
- “Does your company have a Mission Statement or Core Values statement?”
- “How would you describe the culture of your organization?”
While the “Baby Boomer generation” is more inclined to seek permanent employment, the workplace has evolved to a point where most companies now employ a mix of consultants and contractors as a strategic component to their workforce. Many staffing companies work with their clients to place both permanent and temporary workers with them, and can be a terrific resource in helping you find that next great job. These tips are equally useful should you desire to pursue contract work instead of permanent employment. Hopefully I have given you enough information to encourage you to tackle the employment marketplace with confidence. Great luck and success in landing your next big role, even though you’ve moved well through your 50s and your 60s are fast approaching!
Author: Thomas Hart joined Eliassen Group as its Staffing Business Development Leader and CMO in October 2012. He also served as the senior executive for Fidelity’s HR Access Solutions in Paris, France, from 2004 through 2006.
The following career advice is what I believe to be the top eight things graduates should know before joining the workforce.
I am sure there are additional tips you can bring into the workforce but these are a great start to ensure you begin on the right foot.
1. Time Management
Time is finite. Once it is gone you cannot take it back. Once a deadline is missed there is no turning back. If you missed an assignment, you risk a lower grade. But in the working world it can mean losing a job project and the company having to incur financial losses. Learn time management skills and you end up being more productive, effective, and efficient.
2. Do More, Talk Less
It’s far too easy to be convinced by people who say you can talk to impress people. And I do not deny that, but eventually your work has to be the proof that you are a good worker and you are dependable. You need to decide if you will do more and talk less or do less and talk more.
3. Being Present
Being present means two things to me. Firstly, it means be on time every time. This ranges from a small internal meeting to meeting your deadlines. It means being there when you are needed. Golden opportunities present themselves when you are present. Secondly, being present means focusing on what is the work that needs to be completed. It also means being mindful and fully aware of your surroundings.
4. Give Your Work A Routine
Develop some form of routine and be disciplined to stick to that routine. This is related to time management but goes beyond the time management that you do in the office. Have a routine for your life. Give yourself time – block off time for yourself to read or even do the chores like laundry, etc. Start to be more organized than when you were in college. Stick to this career advice even though it does not relate to career building. You will soon see the wisdom of it.
5. Be Nice
Learn to be authentic and avoid politics. Of course, sometimes it is tough not to get involved at all. But you can learn to avoid it and be real. Be authentic to your values. These are your anchors that hold you when people change and agendas change. Be nice to people regardless of rank and designation. Smile often. Say your “please” and “thank you.”
6. Compete With Yourself
Compete with no one else. Of course, no matter what is said and done, you will always be peeping at the next guy to see how he is doing in his career.
But don’t be overly affected by competition that you forget to look at yourself. Be the best you can be in this long cross country marathon, it is filled with detours and stops. When you focus too much on your competitors you may get lost. It’s one of those graduate career advice you need to experience to know what this truly means.
7. Create, Not Just Discover
Life is as much about creating as it is discovering. I hear far too often fresh graduates saying, “I need to discover myself.” But is life all about discovering yourself? It is and it is also not. Life is as much as creating the you, you want to be as it is in discovering the you that you are.
The truth is somewhere in between. So, when you get a job that is less than satisfactory for you, use it as a pedagogue to discover yourself. More importantly, use it to give you hints at creating the self you want to be.
8. Fun Is In Learning
There is a lot of fun in learning. If you understand being present in my earlier advice, then you will know work life presents so much you can learn and be paid for it. Learn to love what you do and learn to love learning. Because the chance to do what you love maybe far and in between. When you find fun in learning then you will be constantly improving yourself. Learn to love books and all sorts of books. There is no need to stick to books in your own industry.
These are the eight things I consider solid career advice for any graduate. A new phase of life has just begun. It’s a long road of work from now on. There is no need to take the whole in one breadth. Take time and enjoy life while honing your skills as you move along.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
About Yun Siang LongYun Siang Long, or Long as he is popularly known, spent 16 years in three multinational ad agencies where he also trained people in areas of career management.
Monday, 18 February 2013
istance Learning 101What is distance learning? How do I know if a school is legitimate? Can I take all of my classes online? How long will it take to earn a degree? How can I pay for it? Get the answers to these and all of your distance learning concerns at our Distance Learning 101 page.Online learning helps many graduates prepare for a new career, meet like-minded colleagues, and change their lives. See what other virtual students have to say and share your own story.Online students share unique struggles. What do you see as the biggest challenge online students face?There many smart reasons to choose distance learning over traditional schooling. What's yours?Exceptional online classes tend to share some common traits. See what makes these courses so special.Online college isn't for everyone. Before enrolling, take a look at these ten reasons not to choose online learning. Knowing the potential disadvantages will help you better decide whether or not it's the right choice for you.If you’re considering enrolling in an online college, take the time to prepare. These 10 tasks can help you choose the right program, balance school with your other responsibilities, and have a successful experience.Why are high schools and colleges now requiring students to complete some of their course requirements online? Find out how online classes benefit both schools and students.How do you recognize a struggling online college? Stay on the lookout for these 10 warning signs.If you’re looking for ways to succeed in your virtual classes, need to find a distance learning program that fits your needs, or simply want to keep informed about the ever-changing world of online education, please subscribe to the free About Distance Learning Newsletter.Do you wear your pajamas to the midterm? Buy eye drops in bulk to sooth your tired eyes? Let the world know what serious or silly traits online learners have in common.Top 10 reasons why online education continues to grow in popularity.There are two ways to quit college: One way lets you leave with a clean transcript and the possibility of returning to school in the future. The other doesn't.If you forked over your tuition funds to a diploma mill without recognizing the difference between a reputable school and a shady business practice, you may still be able to recoup some of your money. From asking for a refund to filing a Better Business Bureau complaint, this article will show you what steps to take next.Online learning has made a major impact in the world of education. Recent studies show that online learning is an effective and reputable way to earn a college degree.Online colleges are experiencing a major problem: cheaters. Here's why online college students are choosing to cheat online and what schools are doing about it.Not every online college class goes smoothly. Just like traditional students, online college students have pet peeves about their courses, curriculum, tuition payments, and professors. What is your online college pet peeve? Share your answer and see what other online students have to say.If you’re new to the world of elearning, this article will walk you through the basics of online university programs.Quality online colleges don’t have to rely on gimmicks to get new enrollees. However, subpar online colleges often use recruitment tricks such as big promises or incentives to convince potential students to enroll. When you’re researching online colleges, be on the lookout for these 5 shady recruitment strategies.Online education is often preferred by professionals, parents, and students who need a flexible school schedule. This article will help you understand the basics of online education, recognize its benefits and drawbacks, and choose an online education program that fits your needs.Distance education programs are more popular than ever. College and high school students now have hundreds of legitimate distance education schools to choose from. If you’re new to the idea of learning through distance education, here’s what you’ll need to know.Online degree programs have grown in number and reputation. Today, you can choose from thousands of accredited online degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level.e-Learning, or electronic learning, is any type of educational instruction that occurs through the internet.After being accused of offering excessively easy coursework to college-level athletes, Brigham Young University closed their independent study program to these sports stars altogether.Successful online students have a few things in common. If you want to ace your assignments, thrive in classroom discussions, and overcome the challenges of virtual learning, give these ten tips a try.Brigham Young University’s popular independent study courses are offered to everyone – except for college athletes. Critics argue that excluding one group is unfair and that the practice of exclusion will spread to other online programs.Before you sign up to take online classes, check to see if you have the habits of highly successful distance learners.See the top 5 misconceptions about online learning dispelled.If you’re ever feeling discouraged with your distance learning courses, just consider the many ways earning an online degree can enrich your life.When the economy is in trouble, many professionals turn to online learning. Here are ten reasons why earning an online degree is a smart way to deal with a recession.The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2008 renews the Higher Education Act originally passed in 1965. It also includes several pieces of legislation that will affect online students.The first week in an online class can be a little disorienting. New students must learn to navigate a virtual "classroom," interact with their peers and professors without actually seeing them face-to-face, and balance their assignments with their everyday lives. These ten tips can help you succeed in your online class from the moment you begin.Applying to an online college can be particularly nerve-wracking. It can be difficult to know what your chosen program expects, especially if you don’t know anyone who has “attended” the virtual school. Here’s what many online colleges are looking for in their ideal applicant.Since most online schools do not require in-person interviews, admissions officials pay particular attention to the college recommendation letter. Your college recommendation letter will be used to evaluate your strengths and determine whether or not you’re a good fit for the school. This article will show you how to choose an effective writer and submit a persuasive college recommendation letter.Since most online colleges do not require face-to-face interviews, the admissions essay is the primary way administrators get to know applicants. Here’s how to write an online college admissions essay that “wows” your audience.Stephen Gatlin, president of Gatlin Education Services, shares his tips for student success.The most important step in choosing a school is making sure it has the right accreditation.Navigating the distance learning world can be tricky. Online students must learn to dodge the shallow promises of disreputable schools, manage their work, and use their diplomas to their advantage. As you continue your journey through the maze of virtual learning, avoid these seven common mistakes of distance learners and save yourself some hassle.Before you start your distance learning program, you’ll probably need to turn in an application, complete with transcripts and test scores. The most common admissions tests are the SAT and the ACT. The scores for these tests are used to determine whether or not a student will be a good fit for a particular college.Do you have the silly traits of many distance learners? You know you’re an online student when…Have questions? We have answers. Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about distance learning.
The 12th Five-Year Plan points out crucial interventions to achieve 'sustainable and inclusive' infra targets.
The 12th Plan (2012-17) document, like all other Plans, is soaked in numbers. (These numbers were analysed in the "Infratalk" column last month.)
But an investment-led growth revival, driven by infrastructure, is not simply about projecting a set of numbers, and hoping and praying they will happen.
The mantra of the 12th Plan, "faster, sustainable, and more inclusive growth", requires crucial interventions towards creating the right ecosystem to achieve the Rs 56.32 lakh crore infra investment target.
Here is my pick of the top 15 "must-dos" from the 12th Plan document.
British Prime Minister David Cameron [ Images ] said on Monday he wanted his country's companies to help India [ Images ] develop new cities and districts along a 1,000 km (600 mile) corridor between Mumbai [ Images ] and Bangalore, generating investment projects worth up to $25 billion (approx. Rs 135,550 crore).
Kicking off a three-day visit to India with the largest trade delegation taken abroad by a British prime minister, Cameron said he wanted British firms to work with the Indian and British governments to develop nine districts to link Mumbai, India's financial capital, with Bangalore, its tech hub.
"With me I've got architects, planners and finance experts who can work out the complete solution," he told an audience of business people and workers at Hindustan Unilever Limited.
"It would unleash India's potential along the 1,000 km from Mumbai to Bangalore, transforming lives and putting British businesses in prime position to secure valuable commercial deals."
India should open up its markets to allow foreign direct investment in hitherto closed sectors, he added.
His office said forecasts showed 5.8 percent of India's population growth would be in the corridor, contributing 11.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product growth by 2020.
The first phase of the project would involve investment in physical infrastructure, such as transport networks, telecommunications and power generation. Later construction would concentrate on social infrastructure such as welfare and education.
India has pushed the building of giant development "corridors" to accelerate the growth of its manufacturing base, which has lagged behind its IT and services industry.
The government has also planned to build 24 new industrial cities along a 1,483 km (920 mile) railway line between New Delhi [ Images ] and Mumbai with Japanese funding, but the project has progressed slowly.
Cameron's office said British and Indian officials had been working with business representatives from the two countries on the Mumbai-Bangalore project since last year and had produced an initial assessment of its scale and potential.
The British government would be willing to co-fund a feasibility study, on a match funding basis, with the Indian government costing up to 1 million pounds.
By 2030, if realised, the project could generate close to half a million jobs, while indirect jobs could bring the total in the region to two million, Cameron's office said.
"Our initial scoping work suggests that accommodating the 3-4 million people attracted to each of the new cities would require close to 1 million new homes, up to 120 schools, 10 colleges and hospitals," the office said.
Cameron also said Britain planned to change the visa system to allow Indian business people to get a visa in one day.
What an Idea Sir Jee !
|by Rob Holmes|
Colonel (retd) Anil Athale
Shivaji did not strive for ‘Marathi raj’ but fought for ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ or self rule by Hindustanis. He was one of the great personalities of not just Indian but world history, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale.
February 19 is the 384th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji, one of the great sons of India [ Images ]. Unfortunately no historical figure has been so disfigured by his so called followers and admirers as Shivaji. He has been thoroughly ‘regionalised’ by Marathi politicians and reduced to a Marathi icon rather than a pan Indian personality that he was.
Shivaji did not strive for ‘Marathi raj’ but fought for ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ or self rule by Hindustanis. Of late in a further debasement, some caste leaders have even sought to make his a leader of ‘Maratha’ caste. His uninformed critics on the other hand paint his as a ‘Hindu’ fanatic.
On his birth anniversary this is an attempt to restore him to his genuine position as one of the great personalities of not just Indian but world history.
Islam came to India in the eighth century but was confined to the Sindh province. In the 13th century, tribes from present day Afghanistan attacked and captured most of the northern plains. The period of Sultanates in Delhi [ Images ] ended when a Seljuk Turk Baber established a kingdom at Delhi in 1556 AD. Popularly called the Mughal Empire, this was to last nearly 150 years. It is often said that the Muslims ruled India for over 1,000 years. The truth is that only the northern part of India came fully under Muslim domination.
A significant part of the Assam, and most of the south, maintained a tenuous independence. Even when the invaders from Asia Minor were expanding in the north, in the South, the powerful kingdom of Chola was colonising much of South East Asia. The last of the major kingdoms in the South was that of Vijaynagar that lasted till 1588.
Shivaji, who was born in 1630, carried on the fight to preserve Indian independence. The British visualised the potential of the threat posed by the ideal of Hindavi Swarajya pursued by Shivaji. It was in British interests to play down the Marathas. In a candid comment Lord Macaulay in his Historical Essays wrote:
“The highlands which borders on the western coast of India poured forth a yet more formidable race, a race that was long a terror of every native power and which after many desperate struggles, yielded only to the fortitude and genius of England [ Images ]. Soon after Aurangzeb’s death, every corner of his wide empire learnt to tremble at the name of the mighty Marathas.”
Shivaji revolutionised the art of warfare in India. His policies, strategies and tactics mark a clear break from the past. His approach to the use of violence was radically different from that followed in the preceding 1,000 years. The basic Indian concept of war is ‘Dharma Yudha’ (war for the righteous cause). Unfortunately, over the years, wars were ritualised and were reduced to a contest for individual glory.
Indian history before Shivaji’s advent reads like a chronicle of military disasters. Shivaji changed that. For him, victory was the only morality in war. His wars of movement have often been described as running away from battle. Achievement of victory through surprise has also been condemned as ‘treachery’.
Shivaji’s greatest success was that while he fought the misrule of the Muslim sultans and emperors, he managed to win over sizeable numbers of Muslims to his side. His chief of artillery was Gul Khan and Daulat Khan was joint chief of his navy. Against the fanatic Aurangzeb, he stitched an alliance with the Bahamani Kingdom of Golconda. In this sense Shivaji can be rightly called the founder of the modern secular state of India.
He ensured that in his domain Muslim shrines and people were well protected and treated equally. Kafi Khan, the Mughal court historian, rejoiced when Shivaji died -- ‘the Kafir has gone to hell,’ he wrote. But even he admits that Shivaji treated the Quran Sharif with respect and never touched mosques. Aurangzeb had re-started the hated jizya a tax that had to be paid by Hindus.
Writing to him in a regretful tone, Shivaji wrote: “In this land Muslims, Hindus, Christians and other people have stayed together without any problem. Your own great grandfather Akbar was well known for his tolerance and fairness to all faiths. Your imposing of this tax will lead to terrible hardship for poor people and your empire will not survive. The Quran is God’s revelation and it does not make distinction between God’s children. In the mosque the Muslims give ‘Azzan’ while the Hindus ring bells in temples -- what is the difference?”
Shivaji believed in the doctrine of ‘total war’ and never shirked from achieving annihilation of the enemy. If he had to make compromises and truces, these were clearly due to the exigencies of the situation and not as matter of choice. Shivaji was also the first Indian ruler to discard war elephants. His strategic doctrine relied on swift movement and mobile defence.
He believed in battles of annihilation by placing his army in an advantageous position. Above all, he believed in relentless offensive action and never permitted the enemy time to re-group.
Shivaji did not place any value on the mere possession of the battlefield; rather, he made the enemy army his target. Thus, on finding himself in a disadvantageous position, he had no hesitation whatsoever in abandoning the battle and the battlefield. He placed great value on forts. Yet his defensive strategy was not based on any kind of static defence. Forts for him were secure firm bases from which to launch counter-offensives.
In March 1665 when a powerful Mughal army under Jaisingh of Jaipur [ Images ] descended on Maharashtra [ Images ], Shivaji had no hesitation in giving up most of his forts as well as territory and on June 13, 1665 he signed a treaty with the Mughals. But in less than five months he ensured the defeat of the Mughal army in its battles against the Bijapur Sultan.
In 1666 after his successful escape from Agra [ Images ], in less than two years, Shivaji recaptured the entire territory lost to the Mughals by the earlier treaty. Portuguese chronicles of the period show amazement at the ease with which Shivaji recaptured 26 forts. The Portuguese viceroy, writing to his king on January 28, 1666 compared him to Alexander and Caesar.
Writing in December 1666, the Portuguese historian Cosme De Guarda mentions that when the news of Shivaji’s successful escape from Agra was received, the entire population in Maharashtra rejoiced. He opines that the main reason for Shivaji’s popularity was that he was just to all.
Shivaji was one of a handful of Indian rulers to realise the importance of sea power. In November 1664, he laid the foundations of the fort at Sindhudurg. This was to be the headquarters of the Maratha navy. He took an active interest in ship-building and by February 1665 decided to test the preparedness of his fledgling navy. With 88 ships, including three large ones, he embarked with 4,000 infantry and raided the seaport of Basrur. (Most interestingly that is just about the capability of the Indian Navy in the 21st century in terms of amphibian operations.)
Shivaji’s strategic doctrine can be summed up thus:
- War is a means to achieve political ends,
- The only morality in war is victory and everything is fair in war,
- The main target in conflict is the enemy’s armed force and not the battlefield,
- Surprise can win battles even with inferior strength,
- There can be no compromise on security and a sound intelligence-gathering agency is essential for a ruler,
- The importance of morale to own troops and the need to demoralise the enemy through rumour, fear and stratagem
- Control of the sea is vital for the defence of coastal areas.
“The English are no ordinary traders and money-lenders, behind them stands the power of a mighty state. They are also so clever that they will steal from right under your nose without you knowing it. Be very cautious while dealing with them,” Shivaji wrote to one of his officers.
Interestingly the last battle fought by Shivaji was against the English. He occupied and fortified the island of Kahnderi, 16 kms south of Mumbai [ Images ] in order to keep the British under check. He was amongst the few Indians who understood the long-term threat posed by the British.
In the global context, the tide of Islam, which rose in the first millennium, had swept everything before it. In Europe it was Charles Martel of France [ Images ] who checked it, while in Asia the Muslim armies conquests swept aside the ancient civilisation of Persia and the Zorastrian faith. A handful of Zorastrians found refuge in India and the faith survived. Buddhist Afghanistan and most of north India also fell prey to these invasions.
While many Muslim rulers were quite content to let the ancient Indian faith survive, some like Aurangzeb, made a determined bid to Islamise India. India escaped the fate of Persia due to the resistance offered by the Marathas to the Mughals from 1682 to 1707. Shivaji was already dead but his example and ideals survived and were the main source for inspiration for the Marathas in their desperate struggle with the mighty Mughal empire.
Colonel Anil Athale (retd) studied Maratha history as the First General Palit Military History Fellow of the IDSA and is the author of Maratha Struggle for Empire.
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