Thursday, June 28, 2007

An XL-ler in NY Times - O Canada !!

Canada's Policy on Immigrants Brings Backlog

Published: June 27, 2007

TORONTO, June 26 — With an advanced degree in business management from a university in India and impeccable English, Salman Kureishy is precisely the type of foreigner that Canada's merit-based immigration system was designed to attract.

Senate Takes Up a Revised Immigration Bill, but Obstacles Remain (June 27, 2007) Yet eight years went by from the time Mr. Kureishy passed his first Canadian immigration test until he moved from India to Canada. Then he had to endure nine months of bureaucratic delays
before landing a job in his field in March.

Mr. Kureishy's experience — and that of Canada's immigration system — offers a cautionary tale for the United States. Mr. Kureishy came to this country under a system Canada pioneered in the 1960s that favors highly skilled foreigners, by assigning points for education and work experience and accepting those who earn high scores.

A similar point system for the United States is proposed in the immigration bill that bounced back to life on Tuesday, when the Senate reversed a previous stand and brought the bill back to the floor. The vote did not guarantee passage of the bill, which calls for the biggest changes in immigration law in more than 20 years.

The point system has helped Canada compete with the United States and other Western powers for highly educated workers, the most coveted immigrants in high-tech and other cutting-edge industries. But in recent years, immigration lawyers and labor market analysts say, the Canadian system has become an immovable beast, with a backlog of more than 800,000 applications and waits of four years or more.

The system's bias toward the educated has left some industries crying out for skilled blue-collar workers, especially in western Canada where Alberta's busy oil fields have generated an economic boom. Studies by the Alberta government show the province could be short by as many as 100,000 workers over the next decade.

In response, some Canadian employers are sidestepping the point system and relying instead on a program initiated in 1998 that allows provincial governments to hand-pick some immigrant workers, and on temporary foreign-worker permits.

"The points system is so inflexible," said Herman Van Reekum, an immigration consultant in Calgary who helps Alberta employers find workers. "We need low-skill workers and trades workers here, and those people have no hope under the points system."

Canada accepts about 250,000 immigrants each year, more than doubling the per-capita rate of immigration in the United States, census figures from both countries show. Nearly two-thirds of
Canada's population growth comes from immigrants, according to the 2006 census, compared with the United States, where about 43 percent of the population growth comes from immigration. Approximately half of Canada's immigrants come through the point system.

Under Canada's system, 67 points on a 100-point test is a passing score. In addition to education and work experience, aspiring immigrants earn high points for their command of languages and for being between 21 and 49 years old. In the United States, the Senate bill would grant higher points for advanced education, English proficiency and skills in technology and other fields that are in demand. Lower points would be given for the family ties that have been the basic stepping stones of the American immigration system for four decades.

Part of the backlog in Canada can be traced to a provision in the Canadian system that allows highly skilled foreigners to apply to immigrate even if they do not have a job offer. Similarly, the
Senate bill would not require merit system applicants to have job offers in the United States, although it would grant additional points to those who do.

Without an employment requirement, Canada has been deluged with applications. In testimony in May before an immigration subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives, Howard Greenberg, an immigration lawyer in Toronto, compared the Canadian system to a
bathtub with an open faucet and a clogged drain. "It is not surprising that Canada's bathtub is overflowing," Mr. Greenberg said.

Since applications are not screened first by employers, the government bears the burden and cost of assessing them. The system is often slow to evaluate the foreign education credentials and work experience of new immigrants and to direct them toward employers who need their skills, said Jeffrey Reitz, professor of immigration studies at the University of Toronto.

The problem has been acute in regulated professions like medicine, where a professional organization, the Medical Council of Canada, reviews foreign credentials of new immigrants. The group has had difficulty assessing how a degree earned in China or India stacks up against a similar degree from a university in Canada or the United States. Frustrated by delays, some doctors and other highly trained immigrants take jobs outside their fields just to make ends meet.

The sheer size of the Canadian point system, the complexity of its rules and its backlogs make it slow to adjust to shifts in the labor market, like the oil boom in Alberta.

"I am a university professor, and I can barely figure out the points system," said Don J. DeVoretz, an economics professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia who studies immigration systems. "Lawyers have books that are three feet thick explaining the system."

The rush to develop the oil fields in northern Alberta has attracted oil companies from around the world, unleashing a surge of construction. Contractors say that often the only thing holding them back is a shortage of qualified workers.

Scott Burns, president of Burnco Rock Products in Calgary, a construction materials company with about 1,000 employees, said he had been able to meet his labor needs only by using temporary work permits. Mr. Burns hired 39 Filipinos for jobs in his concrete plants and plans to hire more. He said that many of the temporary workers had critically needed skills, but that they had no hope of immigrating permanently under the federal point system.

"The system is very much broken," Mr. Burns said.

Mr. Kureishy, the immigrant from India, said he was drawn to Canada late in his career by its open society and what appeared to be strong interest in his professional abilities. But even though he waited eight years to immigrate, the equivalent of a doctoral degree in human resources development that he earned from Xavier Labor Relations Institute in India was not evaluated in Canada until he arrived here. During his first six months, Canadian employers had no formal comparison of his credentials to guide them.

Eventually, Mr. Kureishy, 55, found full-time work in his field, as a program manager assisting foreign professionals at Ryerson University in Toronto. "It was a long process, but I look at myself as fairly resilient," Mr. Kureishy said.

He criticized Canada as providing little support to immigrants after they arrived.

"If you advertised for professors and one comes over and is driving a taxi," he said, "that's a problem."

Christopher Mason reported from Toronto, and Julia Preston from New York.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

July 21 for next XL Europe meet - London

Dear all,

Further to the open invitation sent earlier on the summer XL Europe meet, the organising team (ahem!) is pleased to confirm/ propose the following. This is based on the feedback received from some of you...

Confirmations: including family etc we have 30 people expected for the get together - we need more to sign up so please revert soon!

Date: 21st July (Saturday) seems to be ok with most.

Everybody wants a picnic. If it does not rain, we suggest Greenwich or Hyde Park. If it rains, we need a back-up venue. We are checking with Sandeep Kataria on his home front. The plan is to check the forecast a few days in advance and confirm venue.

Food & Drinks:
Option 1- Get food delivered by a caterer to someone's house & we take it to the park.
Option 2- Each one gets something. Would need some coordination to ensure we don't end up with only coke & chips :)

(we will take a decision once numbers are fixed)

Ganesh Iyer is working on some costings - we will revert with enough time for you to dig up those deep pockets!

Games at park
Of course especially if it is the park option! We will contact with those of you who volunteered.

Vijay Jamwal who was coordinating RSVPs is on leave till July 9 - so am I. So if you dont get a revert from us you will know why.

Thanks all and take care. As ever, please do revert with suggestions/ feedback/ grax..

on behalf of Sandeep, Vijay, Ganesh and Ambi

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Annual XL Canada Summer Picnic is Around the Corner !!! - 15 days to go

Our most consistent event at XL Canada the Annual Summer Picnic is now just 2 weeks away.
Just sending a reminder for the location (though this is mainly for newcomers to the XlCanada fold) which is the same as the past few years.
Munnawar has already kindly confirmed that he will be there by 11:00.
Looking forward to seeing you all there, just confirm if you are bringing any games, Fred if will be kind enough to bring your cricket set.....

Annual XL Picnic Saturday July 7th

Planning to have the 6th Annual XL Picnic on Sat July ..., 2007. RAIN or SHINE (2005 was a Rain Event.... 2006 Sun , and both were great so we will be there!!)

Where : "Sunnybrook Park",North York,Toronto

Time : From 11.30 am onwards

Location : Sunnybrook Park is on Leslie South of Eglington Avenue.

Directions: Take 401 and exist Leslie South
You will see the sign for Sunnybrook Park on your right just before Eglington.
Turn into Sunnybrook Park, and then turn left at the fork (Sign for Earnest Thompson Seton Park)
After you turn left, park on the right at the 2nd picnic area.
If any one needs a ride please do let me know and we arrange for it

Format : Xlers and their families

Pot Luch Lunch - Each family brings a dish/snack to share in a pot luck format

Please bring our own soft drinks, styrofoam plates / cups/ napkins/spoons/forks etc. Please bring lawn chairs, Duree/sheets.
If you have a Stove, pls bring that along to to heat up the food if required. If someone has a digital camera, please bring that along so that we can e-mail the pictures to XLRI at Jamshedpur for their hosting in their web. (will being mine but having more choice of pictures is always better!!)

Do check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. The picnic will be held rain or shine.

Those whose parents/in-laws are in Toronto, please bring them too and am sure they will have a good time. They are all invited as part of our families.

We could also have games for the kids and play some cricket - and Fred has a cricket set so we can play some tennis ball cricket. Those who have Frisbees/Balls, or any other sport items, please bring them along too.

Fred will be bringing a small stove and will make 'Chai' for all of us.

See you ALL! Let’s make this a resounding success.

PS: if you are aware of any new Xlers that have moved to Toronto, please circulate to them and also let me have their contact details so I can update the Contact List.

Siddharth & Bala

Resurrecting cricket

Dear cricketers/fans of XL,

It was evident to me at this year's XL alumni meet that it is hard indeed to suppress the sporting spirit in our young hearts. Few of us had a chat and we thought over the possibility of indulging in the game more often. Taking time off on alternate weekends didn't seem too tough to us. I am sure all of you will be as excited as we are. Let's hear how many are game for it?

Its a team of four already. Limited slots (abt 100) available, so rush in your entries..Am looking forward to a series of tournaments.

Jayadev Mishra
BM 04

Saturday, June 16, 2007

2 new books by XL faculty

Just to mention, the following two books, written by XL Faculty, were released this month:
Dr A K Pani (and Amit Agrahari) : "E-Procurement in Emerging Economies: Theory and Cases ", IDEA Book Publishing, USA
Dr P K Padhi : "Labour and Industrial Laws", Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi
ps: the image which comes to mind: now the new academic year is about to start, the warriors are sharpening their sword, and displaying new weapons to ambush the unwary arrivals :0)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Life@XL from the incoming 09batch

the super 'fachhas' of 09 batch have arrived in campus - the orientation prog starts today...
those interested in knowing XL through their eyes, can follow this thread

ps: Isome of their signature lines:)
To err is human To moo is bovine

there is nothing called impossible,
since the word itself says

If 7.5 men can drink 39 bottles in 23 minutes,
and a train travelling at 80 km/hr crashes into

little pappu's toy train which is running at 2
km/hr, then tell me

Thursday, June 14, 2007

XL Alumni Meet @ Basel June 16th

XL Alumni Meet- Basel- June 16, 2007
you're invited!

from Nita Rajesh (08PMIR)
Location: Noonh Bar (
Henric Petri Strasse 12, 4051 Basel
Find a Hotel
When: Saturday, June 16, 5:45pm
Phone: +41 79 255 3583

The Plan: Loads of fun, catching up & we move on to Centro am Barfi ( for dinner at 19:00 hours

Please RSVP at the earliest & feel free to reach me on my cell
After many unsuccessful uploading attempts, I have finally managed to do it in picasa. Here is the link -


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

XLRI Singapore - Inaugural Ceremony for the Second intake.


Dr Rajashree from Image International has invited all the XL Alumni for the XLRI Singapore - Inaugural Ceremony for the Second intake.

The details are as follows:

Date: 15 June 2007 (Friday)
Time: 4:45 to 5:45pm
Chief Guest(s): HE Dr. Jaishanker, Indian High Commissioner.
Fr. Casmir Raj, Director - XLRI
Networking & Tea: 5:45 – 7:00 PM.
Venue: The i-connect. Ground Floor. Surbana, [Old HDB Hub].
RSVP: Call Indira / Thanneer @ 62720785.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

XL History in 230+1 Pics

I have uploaded 230+1 photographs of XL across ages. The "+1" photo is this one - the laying of the foundation stone of the XL campus:

for more, please visit:
slideshow recommended
have fun and a great weekend

Friday, June 08, 2007

XL Kolkata Alumni Meet: Pics/ Memories of June 2nd

Hello folks!
That was a wonderful evening we had on 2nd... so just to thank the organising team - the high enthu "fucchas' from 08 batch, and the local alumni who really helped them, guided them, took ownership of the meet to make the event happen - thanks to you all... and hope to see XL Kolkata Chapter taking off beyond just the Summer meets
The benchmark for future meets, in any case, has gone up considerably....
and thanks also to all of you who could make it to the cruise. It was great to connect again and experience the "spirit"...
I have uploaded some Pics that I had taken that evening... and also those which Mr Kaustuv Bhadra (Group Business Director, Mudra) shared ...(the better resolution ones are his;). You can view them here:

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bangalore meet - Thanks


A big thanks to everyone who came for the party. We had a great time! Here's a quick note to thank everyone who made it a success. First our

Principal Sponsor:

Diamond Sponsors:
- Pantaloons
- 3i Infotech - ProMpt
- Naukri
- Dell
- Hewitt
- 5E serpraise

Holiday sponsor:
- Holiday IQ

Beverage Sponsors:
- Seagram
- SAB (Fosters and Castle Lager)
- Pepsi

The fearless and tireless Summer Trainees who put the show together: Pratik Bhartia, Ashutosh Ashish, Mansij Majumder, Dushyant Goyal, and Srivathsan J.

Committee members Apprameya Ravi (who was down with viral fever and coordinated the sound by remote control), Bijou Kurien, David D'Costa, George Ollapally, Nirmala (Nimmi) Menon, and John Idicula. Also thanks to Prashant and Nimmi's daughter, Krishna who single-handedly ran the registration.

Congrats to Maria Pinto and Tony Pinto for winning the HolidayIQ trip to Goa!


hey everyone,
the pictures of the alumni meet have been uploaded. can be accessed at

happy viewing :)


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