Thursday, May 20, 2010

Love for the human resource

From The Hindustan Times.

Its alumni list reads like a virtual who’s who roll call — Ajay Kaul, CEO Domino’s Pizza, Aquil Bursai, executive director, IBM, K Pandiarajan, founder and CEO of Ma Foi etc. And what seems to unite the old timers with the current batch is Bishu da, the man who rolls up the canteen shutters at 11 pm and leaves at 4 am when most XLers go to bed. “He’s the lifeline of our campus,” says Diwakar Kaushik, PMIR class, secretary, external linkages, XLRI.

XLRI or Xavier Labour Relations Institute is located on a 50 acre picturesque campus in Jamshedpur. Its focus is on creating future managers and its core programmes include a two-year business management (BM) and personnel management and industrial relations (PM&IR). The latter is the institute’s oldest course and the most prestigious. In response to the demand of the corporate and the public sector, a one year general management programme for working executives was launched in 1997. To mark its 50th year, it started a three-year executive postgraduate Programme in 2000. In 2007, it started a six-month general management programme for defence officers.

The institute’s entrance exam is known as XAT which generally takes place in January and interviews happen in March. The course begins on June 15. The intake this year has been increased to 120 students each for the two core courses.

It’s the focus on labour laws that differentiates the institute from other management schools around the country. Besides, unlike other schools the faculty student ratio is very high — almost 100 teachers for over 200 students, which makes for a healthy interaction between the two. And much of the learning happens outside the classroom.

Exchange programmes: The institute also sends its students for exchange programmes. These are two-week international cross-cultural projects that expose participants to international perspectives of business and are conducted to ensure that students take on challenges anywhere in the globalised world. Last year, students from Germany had come on a visit and this year 50 students have been chosen for the exchange programme. “I myself will be traveling to Geneva for the programme,” says Diwakar.

The institute made its international foray in 2001 by opening a centre in Dubai. It started another centre in Singapore in 2006. It has an exchange programme with universities in Sweden, the US, Manila, Melbourne, Belgium, Chicago, Poland and Germany.

Fees is around Rs 10 lakh for the two-year programme and includes tuition fees and expenses for lodging. There are about 10 scholarships offered by different associations; selection is based on academics.

Programmes: There are two flagship programme PM& IR, a two-year personnel management and industrial relations course and MB, a two-year business management course.

Extra-curricular: Students enjoy sporting facilities such as football field, tennis court, basketball court. The SC Sarkar gymnasium has an indoor badminton and workouts facility. Ensemble is the annual festival.

Infrastructure: The institute has a 50 acre campus. It is equipped with GIGABIT fibre network. Every student is equipped with a laptop. It also has video conferencing facilities.

FactfileXLRI was founded by Quinn Enright, a Jesuit priest, in 1949. Tata Steel officials had approached Father Enright to open an institute to train the local trade union leaders to help them bargain better with the management on behalf of the workers

I wish we had a locational advantage like other B-schools in major cities across the country. Though XLRI, irrespective of a relatively remote geography, has been able to continuously maintain very high standards in business education, it would have been better if we had more access to industry and academia stalwarts.
- Diwakar Kaushik, PMIR

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