Shreya Bhattacharjee


Presently I am a student preparing for various exams of life. At this phase there is this one quote that I have been hearing from a very young age which I am sure even a lot many of my readers must have heard and that is “Discipline leads to success”.

Now this sometimes makes me wonder as to what discipline in itself means. According to my observation majority of the people tend to confuse discipline with good habits. In an attempt to be more elaborate, it is often considered that if a child greets his elders and respects them, then the child must be well disciplined. People need to realize that though there is a very thin line of difference between the two words “discipline” and “good habits” but the difference needs to be considered.

By the word “discipline” all I mean is a very high form of self awareness to realize what is good for me and what is not. This self awareness obviously comes from maturity and experience. Being disciplined is not being exactly spiritual but is much closer to it. Spirituality in this context can be associated as having attained a state of absolute inner peace which is not always attained in case of discipline. One needs to understand that getting up early in the morning is a good habit, but the motivation which pushes you out of your bed despite of your intense desire to fall asleep again is what is known as being disciplined. This might not always lead to a sense of inner peace (momentarily) as mentioned above. Becoming disciplined is a state of mind which can only be achieved by gradually training of our mind.

To be disciplined is being harsh on oneself which is a primary reason as to why it gets even tougher to maintain this decision as time passes by. But please do not consider the fact that discipline leads to depression. Initially the act of self control might be a bit depressing but as soon as you start watching yourself getting more successful than your previous lifestyle used to provide you automatically you start accepting discipline in a positive way.

One of the major motivations among the people to be disciplined is the thirst to achieve a complete state of perfection. People want to look equally good, equally beautiful, be equally well mannered and equally rich and successful. Perfection in itself is a state which requires infinitesimal improvements providing which is impossible for human beings. Nothing in this universe is absolutely perfect and nor are we. Expecting oneself to become absolutely perfect often leaves a person with dissatisfaction, confusion and grudges. With the help of discipline we can try to achieve a state a bit closer to perfection.

According to me one of the most basic and the sole reason behind indiscipline is lack of interest. Usually when we are assigned a task which we are not interested in but due to some reason we are forced to do it, we have a tendency to get distracted by the pettiest of the things around us. In such cases we get attracted to the highly luring, distractive bad habits which promise us with temporary, momentary pleasures instead of focusing on our long term, permanent pleasures.

I do personally feel that creating interest in a distasteful matter. It is rather difficult compared to being disciplined and using self control as your weapon against all distractions and boredoms. So here I have laid down a few effective points of everyday use which can help to get more disciplined.


This goes with the famous old saying “out of sight, out of mind”. For example if you are on a quest to achieve fitness, then keeping a bar of chocolate in your room would make life really, really difficult for you to achieve your fitness goals. Hence, the best ways to achieve your goals and continue with your act of self control is to keep your distractions as much as possible out of our sight.


By what is written above, I mean to highlight on a very common habit of people to procrastinate. People often have a tendency to give excuses like “I’m not ready to overtake this challenge now” or “this is not the right moment”. Sarcastically speaking I don’t think that for a student to get motivated and start working hard for his/ her upcoming exams, he/ she needs to wait for some astronomically predicted auspicious moment. I just want to make my readers get one thing clear that you are just one small decision away from a totally different life, a life that you dream of always and that decision is to act now. Be disciplined, have high self control, remove all your distractions and start working right now.


The act of self control and being disciplined overtime becomes too much punishing and also demoralizing. So to keep yourself motivated plan out an award for yourself. For example if you are on a fitness challenge and are maintaining a strict diet chart then you can give yourself your favorite ice cream treats on Sundays. This would not only keep you motivated but also give you the energy to work hard. It will help you to look forward to your next award. But I would also like to mention that you should keep a proper balance between your award and your working schedules. Your award however luring it may be, must not interfere under any circumstances with your working schedule.


Instituting a new way of thinking will not always go according to your plan. You will have ups and downs, fabulous success and flat out failures. The key is to keep moving forward. When you have a setback, acknowledge what caused it and move on. It is easy to get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustrations but these emotions will not help you build self discipline. Instead, use the hiccups in your plans as learning experience for the future. Forgive yourself, and get back in the saddle. The longer you are off your game, the harder it is to keep going in a positive direction.

Being disciplined is difficult but believe me this is one sole habit which has given birth to all the successful legends known to your knowledge. The equation is simple, more disciplined you are more successful you become.


Indo-Pakistan: Conflict, Root Cause and Resolution

By: P. Lahiri

To correctly understand the nature of India-Pakistan conflict one has to look back to the 8th century when a petty Arab warlord and mercenary briefly conquered parts of Sindh and Multan. Thereafter, over thirteen centuries Mohammedan conquests of the Sub-continent through Afghanistan probably left a trail of the bloodiest saga of atrocities in world history,

The Two Nation Theory: The demise of the Islamic political order in the sub-continent in the 17th century upon consolidation of British rule, made its Muslim population remain communally surcharged. Some educated Muslim thinkers, not ideologically homogenous, tried to assume leadership of the community to revive the lost Islamic glory. Some of them sought to push Muslims back into medieval era of rule by Sharia (Islamic canonical law). Others like Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan and Sir Mohammad Iqbal (popularly known as Allama Iqbal) who were modernist reformers, stressed on modern education among the Muslims as a means to regain their political domination over Hindus. Sir Sayed founded the Aligarh Muslim University where the first idea of Pakistan germinated. Allama Iqbal, initially a great exponent of Indian nationalism advocating a strong united India, later narrowed his viewpoint to a communal interpretation of Muslim nationalism so much so that he first articulated the “Two Nation Theory” in his presidential address to Allahabad session of the Muslim League in 1930 sowing the seeds of Muslim separatism. Thus Iqbal became the political ideologue for Pakistan movement though it was one Mr. Rahmat Ali who coined the word ‘Pak-i-stan’, (Pak meaning purity and Stan meaning place) to propose a south-Asian federation for Muslims consisting of Punjab, NWFP, Sindh, Balochistan and Kashmir and raised the slogan “Now or Never” in 1933 to force the issue. Finally, it was left to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the English educated, scotch drinking, bright lawyer to take the movement forward. Allama Iqbal explained in a letter to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state. In Jinnah the Muslims found an elite face to match Nehru of the Indian National Congress. Iqbal the ideologue died in 1938 but after successfully converting Jinnah the politician from an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity to a communal Muslim leader. In justifying the two nation theory Jinnah emphasised that Muslims and Hindus were two different nations from every definition. They owned different religious philosophies, literatures and social customs, not ready to either intermarry or inter-dine together. Their civilisations are different deriving their inspiration from different sources of history, epics, heroes and episodes. For Jinnah, the Congress became “Gandhi Hindu Congress.” He accused Congress Ministries formed in different provinces after the elections under the 1935 Government of India Act, of interference with Muslim religious rites, undermining the economy of the Muslims and promoting Hindi at the expense of Urdu. Constructing an impossibility of coexistence of the Hindus and Muslims under a Congress regime, he warned such an eventuality would mean degradation of the dignity of the Muslims. This communal propaganda created a fear complex in Muslim minds about Hindu domination in British India and times thereafter, making them search for a vent for their political frustrations. This was the period when freedom movement under Indian National Congress (INC) was getting momentum. With the British engaged in the Second World War India pushed hard for independence with INC spearheading the Quit India movement and the Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose launching the military campaign from East Asia.

But then, unnoticed by most, the entire sub-continent was pushed by a silent communal hate campaign onto a bed of gunpowder of communal violence making it a recipe for an impending disaster. Hindu-Muslim acrimony reached a flashpoint. On the fateful day of August 16th, 1946 labelled by Muslims as the “Direct Action Day,” a protest rally pre-planned by the Muslim League to exhibit the intensity of Muslim feelings, both to the British and the Congress, was turned into a communal conflagration claiming the lives of 4000 Hindus and Sikhs on the streets of Calcutta city (also known as ‘Great Calcutta Killings’). This was followed by a series of gruesome mass murders, rapes, abductions and forced conversions of Hindus to Muslim, looting and arson of Hindu properties, perpetrated by the Muslim community in October 1946, lasting over a week, in the district of Noakhali in the then Bengal province. The Bengali Hindus forcefully converted into Islam were compelled to write statements that they did so of their own volition. This method of ethnic cleansing resulted in mass migration of Hindus from districts of Muslim majority East Bengal (later christened East Pakistan) to West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. This was when Gandhi’s peace mission failed and Congress Party leadership and the British Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten had been compelled to acquiesce to the Partition of India into two dominions India and Pakistan.

Indo Pakistan Conflict:

  1. The fundamental basis of the India-Pakistan conflict lies in the Islamic doctrine which divides all of Humanity into two nations that transcend all man-made boundaries of countries. The doctrine says that all Muslims in the world are deemed to be part of one single nation calleddar-ul-islam (Nation of Islam), a nation where they can practise Islam as ruling sect. Contrarily, all non-Muslims belong to dar-ul-harb (Nation-of-War) which may also include Muslim majority lands where Muslims cannot rule as per Islamic laws based on Quranic principles. Hence is the need for strife or war to bring them to be ruled under Islamic laws. It is incumbent upon Pakistan to fight God’s holy war against India (dar-ul-harb).
  2. The India-Pakistan relation is a victim of an identity crisis for Pakistan. Educated Pakistanis are still trying to figure out where its history started. If assumed that it started in August 1947 there is very little to fall back upon for this geographical area that is Pakistan today. The ancient history of the region prior to this was largely of a Hindu-Buddhist civilisation that Pakistan must deny while constructing its different identity. This crisis of identity drives most Pakistanis to believe that history began from 712 AD when Mohammad bin Qasim, a petty Arab general of the Ummayad dynasty of Syria conquered Sindh. To construct an Arab lineage, an ordinary Pakistani had to endure the indoctrination that this Arab conqueror was the true founder of Pakistan conveniently ignoring the historical fact that the Ummayad Dynasty, that Bin Qasim belonged to, was the same dynasty which had in it the sworn enemy and murderer of ImamHussain the descendent of Mohammad (founder of Islam). Writings of most Nationalist Pakistani historians deliberately focussed on their glorious Mughal and Arab ancestry besides the two-nation theory. This explains why the character of Bin Qasim remained in oblivion during the medieval period only to be revived after twelve centuries as a national icon in response to communalism which emerged in 1924. Pakistan recognised Muhammad Bin Qasim as a conqueror hero because he converted Sindh to Islam. However, Charles Napier, the British Army commander who also invaded Sindh in 1843 and modernised it without converting it to Christianity has no other identity than that of an invader. Interestingly, the favourite fiction among all sub-continental Muslims more particularly those of Pakistan is to trace their lineage to a great general or a saint of Arab origin. Despite most Pakistanis being the progeny of the converts they loved to believe that their ancestors had arrived in Sindh with the army under Mohammad bin Qasim. Sadly enough though, their ancestors had converted to a faith professing human equality the Arabs in reality discriminated against the converts as “Hindis.”
  3. Pakistan refuses to accept the irrelevance proved twice of the two nation theory which said – Muslims of the subcontinent being a different nation could not be part of pluralistic India where they could live in harmony with Hindus. First time it was proved irrelevant, was when a numerically vast Muslim population decided to stay back in partitioned India. Later East Pakistan, the majority province that supported the creation of Pakistan based on the two-nation theory, separated itself in 1971, proving that the theory was less potent than the language spoken by the populace. The apologists of the theory, however, try to save face saying Bangladesh decided to remain an Islamic country after secession though the overriding reason for secession was persecution of the local population on the basis of their language and culture.
  4. Finally Pakistan calls the Kashmir dispute with India as the core unsolved issue. It fought three wars with India in 1948, 1965 and in 1999 to annex Kashmir from Indian control. Both India and Pakistan laid claim to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, then under a Hindu Ruler Hari Singh who remained indecisive about the future of the state. Pakistan pushed Pashtun tribal fighters backed by its regular forces in October 1947 into Kashmir and almost overran the Dogra forces of the Kashmiri Ruler, coming within miles of capturing the capital Srinagar. This is when the ruler turned for help from India which demanded accession to India as pre-condition for help. The ruler signed the Instrument of Accession and Indian Army managed to push back the invading Pakistan backed tribal forces. The lingering conflict made Prime Minister Nehru approach the United Nations which brokered a cease-fire leaving Pakistan in control of 37% of the erstwhile princely state. The UN resolution asks for holding a plebiscite in the state after Pakistan vacates its occupation for final resolution of the territorial dispute. Pakistan refuses to vacate its occupation and India lays claim to the entire state by virtue of the accession treaty. Pakistan lost both the wars it started in 1965 and 1999 to wrest Kashmir from India though its propaganda machinery misinforms its population that it won these wars.
  5. Both India and Pakistan became nuclear powers in May, 1998. India which holds overwhelming superiority in conventional military capability over Pakistan now faces nuclear bluff from Pakistan which blackmails India by refusing to declare a no-first-use doctrine, making South Asia the most dangerous nuclear flashpoint in the world.
  6. Since realising that it cannot wrest Kashmir from Indian control by military means Pakistan has embarked on a covert insurgency campaign since 1988 using Jihadi terrorist outfits nurtured in its own backyard. It has vowed to inflict a thousand cuts on India through a proxy war by relentlessly sending indoctrinated terrorist suicide attackers striking all over India resulting in civilian casualties to terrorise the population of India. The terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and the daring attack at several places in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 are major acts of terrorism.

Root cause: Kashmir dispute is only the symptom and not the root cause of the conflict that exists between India and Pakistan. The root cause is the conflict between religious exclusivism and pluralism. Ever since the advent of Islam in the subcontinent in the 8th century, India has been the victim of this brand of religious exclusivism. The kind of exclusivism that exists in Islamic societies the world over irrespective of whether or not the followers of Islam are in majority or minority has kept the social strife alive. The exclusivism that exists in Islamic societies even today is similar to the one that existed in the European Christian societies of the 16th century, prior to the Protestant Reformation. In the past thirteen centuries that the Muslims have lived in India they have been in many ways thoroughly assimilated into the diversity of India. But the concept of dar-ul-harb has kept the conflict and war still existent. The two nation theory, the type of ethnic cleansing witnessed in Noakhali in 1947 and in Kashmir valley in 1990 are instances of this doctrine of Islam at play. So even if the Kashmir dispute is by any remote possibility settled, there is nothing to believe that India-Pakistan conflict will cease. If only Islam takes a leaf out the West’s experience of Christian Reformation movement, people of both the nations can think of coming out of this discord.






Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Blog Management & Panel Members..

Methods of Motivating for Sales Staffs

By: Anamitra Roy

B.Com. (Hons.) [C.U.], Certified Financial Accountant (CMC), DFA (CMC), PGDBF (HSIS India), Certified Financial Accountant (GLOBSYN Skills & NSDC), GPBL (TASMAC & University of Wales), Associate Member – NIPM.

Motivating the sales department staffs remains one of the most difficult and crucial jobs in any business. It is the sales department who will acquire the business and make the organization run by ensuring a smooth flow of money. In the absence of a motivated sales department there will be shortage of business, leading to a shortage of funds. That is bound to hamper the smooth operations in relation to the day to day activities as well as the future long term plans of the organization. So they (the employees in the sales department) will have to be motivated properly. It is very often said in modern day human resource management that motivated people run faster than jets. When you have a bunch of motivated sales staffs, they not only help you to earn business volumes, but it also has to be remembered that motivated people are happy people. Thus, motivated sales staffs are a very important and effective source of advertisement.

Generally speaking, methods of motivation may vary from man to man. But still there are some generalized methods followed by talent development departments around the world. A discussion on some of these methods is as follows:

  • Proper Recognition:

Recognition is a very important tool for motivation. In the absence of recognition employees become sluggish performers and develop frustration against the management of the organization. During recognition of the contributions of sales staffs in the organization, they are told/ reminded about their importance in the organization. Recognition sort of highlights/ prominent the job role played by sales staffs.

  • A Proper Plan of Incentives:

Incentives are a great source of motivation. However, it also has to be mentioned here that there are arguments against motivating sales staffs or for that matter any staff through financial rewards. But there are lots of organizations in favor of it. NIIT, one of the Indian IT training giants has financial reward schemes for the employees of its franchisee departments. In NIIT when an employee successfully opens a franchisee training centre, 17% of the franchisee registration fees is paid to the employee as a financial reward. Psychologists and human resource development experts are mostly against usage of financial rewards as tolls of motivation because that creates severe completion, sometimes unhealthy completion and jealousy among employees which instead of motivating them, may ruin the work environment in the organization.

  • Suggestions from the Sales Staffs:

The staffs from the sales department usually interact most with the prospective as well as the existing consumers and customers. So they know the market demands better than anybody else (read: staffs from other departments in the organization). Hence, while devising new products, their opinion about the market demands will have to be given utmost importance. If the R & D department makes the new products according to the suggestions given to them by the staffs of the sales department then the sales department staffs will have products that have the demand in markets. Thus they will be able to sell these newly launched products in a much easier way. This method of motivating of sales staffs has been developed from an old school of marketing management thinkers. These thinkers think that in order to ensure sales of products one should not try to match the demands with the existing products. Instead products will have to be developed according to the needs of customers and consumers.

  • The Philosophy of Education:

Education in India is viewed as God … as a means of attaining the greater heights of life and achieving purity. In this country Goddess Saraswati is worshipped as the Goddess of education. Sales as a career and profession offer one of the most exciting and enriching fields. Sales experience can be one of the greatest educators.

In order to avoid monotony of work, sales staffs can be told about the great experience that they are gathering, about the usefulness of this experience and price of this experience. In order to keep the sales staffs motivated, they may be told about the great education that they are receiving about human characters, markets, economic systems, consumer behavior, psychology etc. when they are interacting with customers, traveling from one place to another and trying to convince the hardest of the customers.

  • Counseling:

In a sales job there is always a pressure of target that is usually measurable in terms of money. At times such a target can be extremely steep. Chasing such targets can be stressful. It is believed by many counselors that stress is one of the commonest factors that force many people to come out of a sales job. On not achieving the targets the staffs of the sales departments may get frustrated and slowdown in their pace of achieving the targets. This can be avoided by periodical counseling of the sales departmental staffs through trained counselors and stress management experts.

Thus above have been stated some ways by which the staffs of the sales department can be kept motivated. However, in this context it will have to be remembered that these methods may not be equally responsible for motivating the staffs of the sales departments always.

Ultimately what is needed to motivate the staffs of the sales department is a harmonious blend of all the motivation methods written above. The degree and the intensity may vary from time to time and from circumstances to circumstances.


Merit or Seniority – better criterion for promotion

By: P. Lahiri

One of the most disconcerting decisions that human resource managers have been facing in deciding who to promote from within an organisation for bestowing higher responsibilities; whether they are serving senior and experienced employees of the organisation or those bright individuals who have proved their worth by their performance. Unarguably therefore, the most difficult part of the promotion policy that can be implemented by any organisation, is to select the criteria for conferring higher responsibilities to an existing employee, namely seniority or ability. There is no clear cut answer to this riddle as there are some seemingly strong arguments on both sides of this conundrum. Viewed simply, an effective promotion policy focuses on advancing employees based on their skills and performance, while shunning favouritism. It is important to determine the minimum criteria for advancement and make employees well aware of the standards they must meet to earn promotions. Skill and performance of employees can only be evaluated over a minimum time span which each employee is required to spend in the organisation. So the promotion policy should make it clear to employees about the definite time every employee need to spend in an organisation before he/ she can be considered for promotion. Having spoken about the importance of skill and performance of an employee and the minimum period over which these attributes are to be evaluated, the focus now shifts to another equally important benchmark for advancement which is on-the-job experience earned. More time spent within the organisation gives an insight to any employee about the nature of job and the best way to perform it. An experienced employee is an asset for any organisation, as much time and resources have already been invested in such individual. Many human resource professionals also believe, seniority adds value to an employee in terms of competence due to greater exposure. Accordingly, it adds relevance to provide the senior people in an organisation with opportunities for career advancement along with rewards or benefits that come with higher age.

 Need for a clear promotion policy:

The need to lay down a clear and unambiguous promotion policy is of immense importance. An unclear promotion policy can lead to conflicts and high turnover rates among employees who do not understand why some co-workers received precedence in promotion over them. Additionally, vague promotion procedures may also appear discriminatory. To avoid these ambiguities, the need for employers to adopt a transparent promotion policy and to apply the policy’s standards to all the employees seeking advancement, cannot be overstated.

 Seniority vs. Performance as criteria for promotion:

Before proceeding to decide on the desirability of adopting one criterion over the other it is vital to rightly interpret the terms, “Seniority” and “Performance.”

Seniority means the tenure of an employee in an organization. Seniority is something which comes with experience in some kind of work or in a particular position in the company. Such experience may also sometimes mean cumulative experience in various kinds/ levels of jobs in the company. It also signifies loyalty to the company and is measured by the seniority clock that runs from the moment the employee reports to work until the employee quits or is fired.

Performance is a distinction that is measurable. It reflects in the working behaviour of the employee. It is measured in terms of an employee’s involvement in the development of the company. It distinguishes hard work, quantum of work and also the quality of work delivered by an employee who contributes to the company’s growth in the best possible manner.

The proponents of seniority and those of performance as basis for advancement of employees, have very strong arguments in favour of their propositions. Objectively speaking, there are benefits/ advantages and detriments/ disadvantages in both the systems. Following lines enumerate advantages and disadvantages of both the systems:

Advantages of “Seniority” based promotions:

  1. Senior employees of an organization have better understanding of the organisational culture, vision and goals.
  2. Senior employees have on their side the advantage of more experience which is an invaluable asset for assuming higher responsibilities.
  3. Experienced employees make better team leaders for executing jobs where collective effort is needed.
  4. The measurement of seniority is simple, exact and also objective leaving no room for favouritism, nepotism, discrimination and retaliation.
  5. It protects and boosts an employee’s morale which in turn helps to increase productivity of the employee.
  6. It recognises and rewards loyalty to the organisation.
  7. It reduces labour turnover.
  8. It promotes industrial peace by making the workplace more harmonious especially in more unionised organisations.
  9. Seniority based promotions may help in attaining high levels of competence due to longer work exposure.

Disadvantages of “Seniority” based promotions:

  1. A more senior employee does not necessarily mean a more productive employee.
  2. Senior employees with long years at their back tend to be less enthusiastic and sometimes work listlessly which may prove detrimental to reaching goals of the company.
  3. Senior employees tend to display inertia to adapt to changes and prefer to stick to long-standing procedures.
  4. Promotion driven by seniority is a reward system that is based on entitlement rather than self improvement through acquisition of newer skills and training.
  5. Seniority based advancements are less likely to promote excellence within an organisation as employees may feel that promotions are guaranteed after completion of a certain period of time within the company. Such practice may promote a culture of mediocrity in the organisation.
  6. Holding onto senior employees rewarding them with higher positions with enhanced pay may prove costlier as talented younger employees can be obtained by offering a lesser compensation package.
  7. Seniority driven advancement may stifle motivation and fuel resentment among talented individuals with lesser experience.

Advantages of “Merit” based promotions:

  1. Merit based promotions by recognising high-performers nurtures a culture of healthy competition and productivity.
  2. Since actual performance, efficiency and talents are rewarded, this system of promotion encourages the employees to enhance their knowledge in maintaining a high level of productivity.
  3. It is very effective in putting the most productive, competent and talented person for specialised nature of jobs.
  4. Talent based promotion incentivises even new employees to improve their performance since promotion is made on the basis of competence, capability and efficiency.
  5. Performance driven promotion policy is effective in creating a sense of accountability among employees.
  6. It helps a HR manager to face the challenge of retention of talent, as high performers, driven by their urge to accelerate the professional goals, are always inclined to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
  7. It helps an employee to plan his own career trajectory within the organisation.


Disadvantages of “Merit” based promotions:

  1. The inevitable criticism of merit based promotions is that it may result in favouritism, nepotism, discrimination and victimisation by the management.
  2. The unsatisfied senior employees if superseded may resort to agitations and other activities emanating from resentments, impairing industrial peace and harmony.
  3. An essential pre-requisite of performance based promotions is a proper method of performance appraisal or merit rating which is not easy to make it foolproof.
  4. Lack of much experience may not make an employee effective when promoted into a position of leadership. Such shortcomings may affect performance of the group he/ she leads.


Neither seniority nor merit can be accepted as a sole basis for promotion. Based only on seniority, a promotion system will offer less incentive to learn and improve. The employees will only bide their time to wait for their turn to secure promotion. And summarily ignoring seniority in deciding on promotion will not recognise the inherent importance of experience of tenured employees. A well formulated promotion policy should be the one that can be executed properly whenever any vacancy arises. A promotion system based on merit needs to be fully structured to avoid the element of conjecture in it.  Various jobs within the organisation should be well defined and rated and employees should be made aware of ratings. A sound promotion policy should be made on the combined basis of merit and seniority. Both seniority and merit should be given due weightage in a robust promotion policy. When ability is substantially equal, seniority should be taken into account. In specialised posts, talent, skill and ability should get precedence over seniority. For other posts a two track promotion system may be formulated whereby in the normal track, some posts may be filled on the basis of seniority only, provided the senior employee meets a minimum benchmark of performance set by the company. On the other hand, in the other track of elevation which can be named a fast track, an employee who has put in a minimum qualifying period of service can be evaluated with a slightly more demanding yardstick of performance to secure promotion. A promotion policy should not be static and needs to be reviewed at definite intervals so that it fulfils the growth of an organisation as well as offers its employees scope for their professional advancement.


  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.in/pallavi-jha/merit-vs-seniority-picking-the-right-employees-to-promote/
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140919230923-59817714-does-seniority-matter-in-employment-should-promotion-be-based-on-merit-or-seniority
  3. http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/employee-management/priority-of-seniority-and-merit-in-promotion-policy-with-diagram/25982/
  4. http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/employee-management/promotion-policy-its-definition-advantages-and-disadvantages/27915/
  5. http://accountlearning.com/basis-of-promotion-merit-vs-seniority-sound-promotion-policy/


A study of educational interest of Xth Class Students in relation to gender and location

By: Gagandeep Tiwana

Assistant Professor Pine Grove College Of Education, Bassi Pathanan, Punjab, India.


The purpose of present study is to look into educational interest patterns of xth class students across gender and locale. For this purpose t-test was applied to find out significance of mean difference in different interest areas namely (agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science, humanities, science, technology) for male and females, rural and urban groups.


Education is a continuous process in which the teacher guides the progress of each pupil at every stage after ascertaining the rate, direction & extent of previous development. Having accepted the educational principle that maximum growth of each pupil is to be secured according to his individual needs and capacities; Periodic measures of each child’s abilities, previous attainments and speed become necessary. Only when his progress and potential is known and he can be guided in advancing along the road to desired educational objectives. New ideas and new ways of life are sought through education without education the individual would be un-qualified for group life by (Goeting). Concept of education is still in a process of evolution and this process never come to be static. It is rightly said that education deals with ever growing in man in an ever growing society. The function of education is conceived to be the adjustment of man to his environment which contemplates mans adaptation to and the reconstruction of his environment to the end  (Nelson). ‘An interest may be defined as a tendency to make consistent choices in a certain direction without external pressure and in the face of alternatives, i.e. it represents a tendency to select certain activities or things in preference to certain others’.

           “Interest is that excitement of feeling which gives rise to attention.” This mental excitement may be intellectual or sympathetic and emotional, or merely personal, as an interest in philosophical research, in human suffering in money getting.

         It is an expression of likes and dislikes, our attractions and aversions. A phenomenon of acceptance or rejection is involved in the issue of likes and dislikes. An individual chooses the most acceptable alternative out of the many, going after preferred objectives of activities and consequently derives satisfaction, success and happiness out of the activities selected. The identification and assessment of interests in the case of an individual serves a purpose which can be served by no other means.

Kinds of Interest

Interests are natural, acquired, intrinsic or extrinsic.

       Natural interests are interests arising from natural tendencies like instincts and emotions.Acquired interests are due to acquired dispositions like sentiments, habits, character, ideals and tastes. Intrinsic interest is the deep-rooted interest. Extrinsic interest is motivated by some external forces.

Conflicting Interests

          Interests at a particular time vary. There are immediate interests and permanent interests. There are interests of opposite nature that some time conflict with each other. Even the young pupil may face dilemma of conflicting interests when he is in completing in home-task and is also invited by his playmates to play. A child may have some selected interests, but some children have a number of varied interests and what is needed here is maintaining a proper balance of interests. Immediate interest may be followed but not to the detriment of permanent interests. Therefore, educational guidance should be provided to the child from the very early stage when the child enters school and continues even after a stable choice has been made.

           Interest means to make a difference. “It describes why the organisms tend to favour some situation and thus comes to react to them in a very selective manner.’ Interests and attention are very closely related. Interests are one of the key factors among the non-intellectual factors. Therefore the identification and measurement of interests, is very essential for the educational and vocational guidance. The educational interest play very significant role in educational guidance. Educational guidance is the process of helping a student to develop, to accept, to integrate adequate picture of himself and a clear undertaking of his problems and of his role in the world of education (School and college), with satisfaction to himself and benefit to school and society. Therefore ‘educational-guidance’ is needed at all stages of education (from nursery to college).


  • To study the educational interest of Secondary School students in relation to gender.
  • To study the educational interest of Secondary School students in relation to location.


  • There is no significant difference in educational interest among boys and girls.
  • There is no significant difference in educational interest among rural and urban students.
  • There is no significant difference in educational interest of male students belonging to rural and urban areas.
  • There is no significant difference in educational interest of female students belonging to rural and urban areas.


For the present study the investigator adopted the descriptive method for collection of data because this method was considered to be more suitable for the present problem. A sample of 200 students, both boys (rural 50 and Urban 50) and girls (rural 50 and urban 50) of Xth class was drawn from eight schools, situated in Fatehgarh Sahib District.The tool used were Educational Interest Record (EIR) prepared by Dr. S.P. Kulsherstha (2005) was used to conduct the present study

       EIR was first developed in the year 1965 which was thoroughly revised in 1970, 1975 and 1978 by the author. This record has been consistently in use in various research studies, research projects and also proved easy and beneficial for the testing students

       This record has been successfully used for more than a decade and found suitable at delta and higher secondary level. Many research workers later found it also very important and useful for college students and young adults out of schools and colleges.

 Areas of Educational Interest Record (EIR)

The present record contains 98 educational subjects/activities belonging to seven different educational interest areas. They are-

  • Agriculture (AG)
  • Commerce (Co)
  • Fine Arts (FA)
  • Home Science (HS)
  • Humanities (HU)
  • Science (SC)
  • Technology (TE)

Thus, each of these educational areas (based on school faculties system) has fourteen subjects on the record, seven on horizontal and seven on vertical side.

Statistical Techniques

In order to accomplish the objective of the present study, Mean, Standard deviation, t-test was used.

Results and Discussion

The results have been discussed under the following headings:

  1. Gender Differences in different Educational Interest Areas.
  2. Rural and Urban Differenes in different Eduational Interest areas.
  3. Gender differences in Educational Interest of rural and urban

Gender Differences in Different Educational Interest Areas

The means and SD’s of male and female Xth class students in different educational interest areas are given in table 1.  The t-values, testing significance of mean differences are also shown in table 1.

TABLE 1  Mean’s and SD’s of Secondary School Students across Gender Groups along with t-value

  Male (N = 100) Female (N = 100) t-value
Mean SD Mean SD
Agriculture 5.56 3.16 3.84 2.59 3.01**
Commerce 5.88 2.55 3.86 2.04 4.39**
Fine Arts 4.90 2.23 7.68 3.92 4.41**
Home Science 5.00 2.33 8.80 3.63 6.33**
Humanities 6.64 2.39 6.24 2.12 0.90
Science 4.98 2.84 4.60 2.60 0.70
Technology 6.56 2.75 4.14 2.42 4.74**

** p < .01.

The table 1 shows that Xth class males have a mean score of 5.56, 5.88, 4.90, 5.00 and 6.56 in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology respectively. The respective mean score’s for Xth class Girl’s students came out to be 3.84, 3.86, 7.68, 8.80 and 4.14.

The t-values testing the significance of mean difference in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology came out to be 3.01, 4.39, 4.41, 6.33 and 4.74. All the t-values are significant.

In case of interest areas of humanities and science the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between male’s and female turned out to be 0.90 and 0.70 respectively and are not significant even at .05 level. Hence the hypothesis “there is no difference in educational interest of secondary school male and female students” is rejected. It may be concluded that:

  • Xth class male students have significantly higher level of educational interest in agriculture, commerce and technology as compared to  Xth  class female students.
  • The Xth class female students have significantly higher level of educational interest in fine arts, home science as compared to Xth  class male students.

Rural and Urban differences in educational interest AREAS:

The means and SD’s of rural and urban students in different educational areas along with t-values are given in table 2.

TABLE 2  Mean’s and SD’s of Secondary School Students across Urban and Rural Groups along with t-value

  Urban (N = 100) Rural (N = 100) t-value
Mean SD Mean SD
Agriculture 6.30 3.01 3.10 2.73 5.63**
Commerce 6.32 1.93 3.42 2.67 6.30**
Fine Arts 6.58 4.2 6.00 1.84 0.87
Home Science 6.70 3.64 7.10 2.32 0.65
Humanities 6.56 2.02 6.32 2.49 0.53
Science 5.70 2.59 3.88 2.86 3.37**
Technology 6.04 2.16 4.66 3.01 2.65**

** p <** p < .01.

The table 2 shows that Xth class urban students have a mean score of 6.30, 6.32, 5.70, and 6.04 in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, science, and technology respectively.

The respective mean score’s for Xth class rural students came out to be 3.10, 3.42, 3.88 and 4.66. The t-value’s testing the significance of mean difference in interest areas of agriculture, commerce, science, and technology came out to be 5.63, 6.30, 3.37 and 2.65. All the t-values are significant.

In case of interest areas of fine arts, home science and humanities, the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between urban and rural students turned out to be 0.87, 0.65 and 0.53 respectively and these are not significant even at .05 level. Hence the hypothesis “there is no significant difference in educational interest of rural and urban senior secondary students is rejected”. It may be concluded that Xth class urban students have significantly higher level of educational interest in agriculture, commerce, science and technology as compared to  Xth class students of rural groups.

The findings are in contrary to the findings of Saraswat (1988) that male and females, rural-urban students, science art students significantly differed in their academic achievement, occupational aspiration and achievement–motivation.

Gender Difference in Educational Interest of Rural and Urban students

Urban Group

The means and SDs of male and female students in urban group in different educational areas along with t-values are given in table 3.


Mean’s and SD’s of Urban and Rural students in Gender Differences in Different Educational Areas along with t-values













Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Agriculture 6.8 3.46 5.80 2.57 1.64 4.32 2.86 1.88 2.61 4.44**
Commerce 7.24 2.00 5.40 1.86 4.72** 4.52 3.11 2.32 2.23 4.24**
Fine Arts 5.48 2.65 7.68 5.99 2.36* 4.32 1.82 7.68 1.86 9.08*
Home Science 4.92 2.49 8.48 4.80 4.68* 5.08 2.18 9.12 2.47 8.78**
Humanities 7.04 2.27 6.08 1.78 2.34* 6.24 2.52 6.40 2.46 0.33
Science 6.20 2.75 5.2 2.43 1.96 3.76 2.94 4.00 2.78 0.42
Technology 7.24 2.15 4.84 2.18 5.58** 5.88 3.36 3.44 2.66 6.10**

* p < .05      ** p <.01

       The table 3 show’s that in urban and rural students, urban students (male and female) male students have a mean score of 7.24, 5.48, 4.92, 7.04 and 7.24 in the interest areas of commerce, fine arts, home science, humanities and technology respectively.The respective mean scores for Xth class female students came out to be 5.40, 7.68, 8.48, 6.08 and 4.84.
The t-values testing the significance of mean difference in the interest areas of commerce, fine arts, home science, humanities and technology came out to be 4.72, 2.36, 4.68, 2.34 and 5.58.  As may be seen from table 3 that, (i) Male students of urban group have significantly higher level of educational interest in commerce, humanities and technology as compared to Female students of urban group; and (ii) female students of urban group have significantly higher level of educational interest in fine arts and home science as compared to male students of Urban Group.

In case of interest areas of agriculture and science, the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between male and female students of urban group students turned out to be 1.64 and 1.94 respectively and these are not significant even at .05 level.

Rural Group

  The table 3 shows that in urban and rural students, rural students (male and female) male students have a mean score of 4.32, 4.52, 4.32, 5.08 and 5.88 in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology respectively. The respective mean scores for female students came out to be 1.88, 2.32, 7.68, 9.12 and 3.44.

The t-values testing the significance of mean difference in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology came out to be 4.44, 4.24, 9.08, 8.78 and 6.10. It may be observed that: (i) Male students of rural group have significantly higher level of educational interest in agriculture, commerce and technology as compared to female students of rural groups; and (ii) female students of rural group have significantly higher level of educational interest in fine arts and home science as compared to male students of rural group.

In case of interest areas of humanities and science the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between male and female students of rural group students turned out to 0.33 and 0.42 respectively and this are not significant even at 0.5 level.

Hence the hypothesis “there is no significant difference in educational interest of male and female students belonging to rural and urban groups” is rejected. It may be concluded that:

  • Male students of urban and rural students group have significantly higher level of educational interest in commerce, technology as compared to female students of urban and rural group.
  • Male students of urban group have significantly higher level of educational interest in humanities as compared to female students of urban group.
  • Female students of rural and urban groups have significantly higher level of educational interest in fine arts and home science as compared to male students of rural and urban groups.

The similar trend is observed in the study of Gautam (1988) that (1) A significant correlation was noted in the preference orders of urban and rural students of class VIII in both educational and vocational interest areas, which means that their interest preferences were similar (ii) significant differences in most of the interest areas were found between the scores of rural and urban males. While in case of female’s significant differences could be noticed only in few interest areas.

 Major Findings

  • The Xth class male students have significantly higher level of educational interest in agriculture, commerce and technology as compared to Xth class female students.
  • The Xth class female students have significantly higher level of educational interest in fine arts, home science as compared to Xth class male students.
  • The Xth class urban students have significantly higher level of educational interest in agriculture, commerce, science and technology as compared to Xth class rural students.
  • Male students of urban and rural groups have significantly higher level of educational interest in commerce and technology as compared to female students of urban and rural group.
  • Male students of urban group have significantly higher level of educational interest in humanities as compared to female students of urban group.
  • Female student of rural and urban groups have significantly higher level of educational interest in arts and home science as compared to male students of rural and urban group.


Modern education requires that each student must be given the opportunity to advance as fast as he could or as slowly as he must. it is also mentioned earlier that to produce on aware citizenry, the process of imparting educational interest  needs attention at all levels but at school level it needs much more emphasis because students of today are the citizens of tomorrow and hence would be playing a critical role in the development of the nation. Proper guidance should be given to the child, so that they can choose Educational subjects according to their abilities, interest, capacities, potentials etc.


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Devis, K. (1939). Human society. New York: The McMillan Company, 86.

Gaikwad, K.S. (1989). A descriptive and an experimental study of educational and vocational choices of the students after passing standard  Xth, and of the efficacy of guidance services at different levels (Ph.D. thesis in Education). University of Pune.

Gaur, J.S., Thukral, C.M., & Jain, V.K. (1988). Psychological basis of educational and vocational development of scheduled castes students: Independent study. New Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training.

Gautam, V. (1988). An investigation into the educational and vocational interests of students at the delta stages and its implication for their future curricula (Ph.D. Thesis in Education). University of Lucknow.

Goeting M.L. “Teaching in Secondary Schools” p. 95

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Kilpatrick (1954). Philosophy of education. New York: The McMillan and Co., 56.

Kulshrestha, S.P. (2005). Manual for Educational Interest Record. Agra: National Psychological Corporation.

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Nelson. “Progressive Method of teaching in Secondary Schools.

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Saraswat, A. (1988). A differential study of achievement motivation, occupational aspiration and academic achievement of adolescents in different types of school climate in Aligarh district (Ph.D. Thesis in Education). Agra University, Agra.

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Stephen’s, J.H. (1958). Educational psychology, the study of educational growth (Revised edition). York Henry Halt and Co., 209-216.

Sungoh, S.M. (1988). A survey of educational and vocational aspirations of Doordarshan viewing pre-university students in Shillong (M.Phil. dissertation in Education).

Buddhism and Jainism


By: Dr. Deepali Singla

Principal Pine grove College Of Education, Bassi Pathanan 

E-mail dip_single@yahoo.co.in


When we compare the vast amount of similarities between the Buddha and Mahavira and Buddhism and Jainism, it is possible that the differences were even less in early Buddhism. A more drastic change may have occurred when Buddhism placed less emphasis on ahimsa as can be seen in Buddhist writings that tend to justify and allow meat eating, for example. It is possible that the early Buddhists were more insistent on vegetarianism as additionally evidenced by King Ashoka who wanted to gradually phase out the killing of animals for food. King Ashoka ruled and lived before the Pali Canon was put to writing.  There are marked differences in the definitions of kamma and nibbana (karma and nirvana) and the Buddha was practicing asceticism prior to enlightenment. In light of these facts it is possible that both Mahavira and Buddha were practicing some form of Jainism/Shramana/asceticism and the Buddha got it right (and was the actual new enlightened one to teach the masses, not Mahavira) in regard to nibbana and kamma but both were insistent on ahimsa and many other teachings.


Buddhism is centered upon the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha, whereas Jainism is centered on the life and teachings of Mahavira. Buddhism is a polytheistic religion and it’s main goal is to gain enlightenment. Jainism is also a polytheistic religion and it’s goals are based on non-violence and liberation the soul. Mahāvīra and Buddha were contemporaries, there are no mentions of the two teachers meeting, but there are mentions of Mahavira’s disciples questioning Buddha in various Suttas. The Buddhists have always maintained that by the time Buddha and Mahavira were alive, Jainism was already an entrenched faith and culture in the region. Buddhist scriptures record philosophical dialogues between the wandering seeker Siddarttha Gotama (Buddha) and Udaka Ramaputta, and the first of several teachers that young Siddattha Gotama studied with before his enlightenment.

Buddhist scriptures attest that some of the first Buddhists were in fact Jains (Nirgranthas as they were then called, meaning “the unbonded ones”) who “converted”, but were encouraged by Buddha to maintain their Jain identity and practices such as giving alms to Jain monks and nuns. Buddhists recorded that Mahavira preached the “fourfold restraint” of the Nirgrantha tradition, a clear reference to the teachings of Mahavira’s predecessor Lord Parshva (877-777 BCE), traditionally the 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism; who propounded the four vows of Ahinsa (Ahimsa), Satya (truth), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness), and Asteya (non-stealing), which may have been the template for the Five Precepts of Buddhism. Additionally, the Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya scripture quotes the independent philosopher Purana Kashyapa (the sixth century BCE founder of a now extinct order) as listing the Nirgranthas as one of the six major classifications of humanity.

Similarities and differences

The common terms in Buddhism and Jainism:

  • Shramana
  • Nibbana (Sanskrit: Nirvana): (the definition is different in the two traditions)
  • Arahant: the term is used somewhat similarly.
  • Dhamma (Sanskrit: Dharma)
  • Jina
  • Acharya (chief of the orders)
  • Sutta (Sanskrit: Sutra) (scriptures)
  • Indra/Shamkra (chief of the gods)

The terms that are used with different meanings:

  • Pudgala
  • Siddha

Common symbols:

  • Pratima, foot prints
  • Stupa
  • The dharma-chakra
  • The swastika
  • The trirathna
  • The ashta-mangalas
  • Minor devas


Vegetarianism is required for both monks and laity in Jainism. In Buddhism, the monks in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam are vegetarian; however strict vegetarianism is not required. By monastic tradition, a monk should eat whatever is placed in his bowl when begging food. The exceptions to not eat given meat were if the monk knew an animal was killed especially for him or he heard the animal being killed. See: Threefold rule

But for lay people it is not so clear and many lay Buddhists have chosen vegetarianism to better practice the Dhamma and keep the precepts. In general, the precept against killing living beings in Buddhism centers around intent, whereas, the Jains take it further and avoid all possible killing. Some Jains wear masks around the mouth, thinking it will prevent the killing of microorganisms. They also refrain from eating animal products and root vegetables, thereby not even killing the plant, as they trim the greens off the root plant. Seen in this way, the Buddhists who practice vegetarianism (animal products, such as eggs, honey, dairy, root vegetables acceptable to eat) are not that extreme, when compared to the Jain diet.

A further look at the similarities

Much has been made of the similarities between Buddha and Jesus in their lives and teachings, although there are some marked differences. The similarities between Buddhism and Jainism and Buddha and Mahavira are much more pronounced.

No creator god

  • There is no creator god in Jainism.
  • There is no creator god in Buddhism.

No creation myth

  • There is no creation myth in Jainism, a first beginning is not knowable.
  • There is no creation myth in Buddhism, a first beginning is not knowable.

Previous founders

  • Mahavira was not the founder, but rather the re-discoverer of the truth according to Jainism.
  • Buddha was not the founder, but rather the re-discoverer of the truth according to Buddhism.

24 prior teachers

  • According to Jainism there are 24 known tirthankaras who discovered the truth after a time when the teachings were lost.
  • According to Buddhism (Buddhavamsa) there were 24 previous Buddhas who discovered the truth (plus 3 in prehistoric times and Gotama-Buddha for a total of 28.

Warrior caste

  • Mahavira was born into the ksatriya caste (warrior caste).
  • Buddha was born into the ksatriya caste (warrior caste).


  • Mahavira was born to a ksatriyan chief named Siddhatha.
  • Buddha was to a ksatriyan chief and Buddha’s birth name was Siddhatha.


  • Mahavira married a woman named Yasoda.
  • Buddha married a woman named Yasoda.

One child

  • Mahavira had one child (a daughter).
  • Buddha had one child (a son).

Height of 6 feet

  • It is reported that Mahavira was 6 feet tall (1.83m)
  • It is reported that Buddha was 6 feet tall (1.83m)

Enlightenment under a tree

  • Mahavira renounced the world at age 20 attained enlightenment under a tree at 28 and lived to 72 years.
  • Buddha renounced the world at age 29 attained enlightenment under a tree at 35 and lived to 80 years.


  • Mahavira practiced asceticism toward enlightenment.
  • Buddha practiced asceticism toward / prior to enlightenment.

Dharma Shramana

  • Jainism is in the Dharma category of religions that practice Shramana, which includes forms of renunciation and mental purification.
  • Buddhism is in the Dharma category of religions that practice Shramana, which includes forms of renunciation and mental purification.


  • The color yellow is associated with Mahavira
  • The color yellow is associated with Buddha (he wore yellow robes) and yellow is a common color in Buddhist temples

Rejection of caste

  • Jainism rejects caste distinctions based on birth.
  • Buddhism rejects caste distinctions based on birth.

5 precepts

  • There are 5 great vows or precepts in Jainism.
  • There are 5 primary precepts in Buddhism.

First Precept of Ahimsa

  • The first precept in Jainism is Ahimsa (non-violence), which extends to all living beings.
  • The first precept in Buddhism is to not kill, which extends to all living beings.

Second precept

  • A second precept in Jainism is Satya (truthfulness).
  • A second precept in Buddhism is truthfulness.

Third precept

  • A third precept in Jainism is Asteya (not stealing).
  • A third precept in Buddhism is not stealing.

Fourth precept

  • A fourth precept in Jainism is Brahmacharya (celibacy for monks and nuns no sexual misconduct for lay people).
  • A fourth precept in Buddhism is to refrain from sexual misconduct (celibacy for monks and nuns).

Fifth precept

  • A fifth precept in Jainism in is Aparigraha non-materialism, non-attachment to material things.
  • A fifth precept in Buddhism is refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness. (The only precept of the 5 which is somewhat different, but not completely different since the Buddhist version is also calling for no attachment.)

Fourfold assembly

  • Mahavira instituted a fourfold assembly of monks, nuns, lay men, and lay women.
  • Buddha instituted a fourfold assembly of monks, nuns, lay men, and lay women.

Nirvana (Nibbana)

  • Jainism teaches that one must undergo pure conduct, practice meditation and attain enlightenment, release from rebirth.
  • Buddhism teaches that one must undergo pure conduct, practice meditation and attain enlightenment, release from rebirth.

The other shore

  • In Jainism the tirthankaras are known as ford-makers, who have crossed the river of samsara and rebirth.
  • In Buddhism the simile of crossing the ocean to the other shore is frequently used to describe enlightenment, nibbana.

Middle Way

The Buddha is of course famous for his Middle Way, breaking away from the ascetics by bathing and taking some food prior to enlightenment. But how much of a break-away from asceticism was it? By today’s standards the practice of the Buddha would most certainly be still considered asceticism. As he sat for enlightenment the Buddha remarked:

Though my skin, my nerves and my bones shall waste away and my life blood go dry, I will not leave this seat until I have attained the highest wisdom, called supreme enlightenment, that leads to everlasting happiness.” (Majjhima Nikaya 70)

Such was the Buddha’s persistence and determination to attain enlightenment. The Buddha took food for nourishment and strength from Sujata and then according to some traditions or legends sat in meditation for several days before attaining enlightenment. Although not in the Suttas, in the Commentaries there is the report that the Buddha ate this meal and did not eat for 49 days (J.i.68f.; DhA.i.71), which would be considered asceticism at least by today’s standards if not by the ascetic standard of ancient India. Even if it was a large meal, this 49 days is still a considerable amount of time to fast between the meal and enlightenment.

Buddhist teachings list 13 ascetic practices conducive for jhanas as well as other teachings praising certain ascetic practices.

I do not say householder, that all asceticism should be practiced; nor do I say of all asceticism that it should not be practiced” (Anguttara Nikaya 10.94).

The person who wears a robe made of rags, who is lean, with veins showing all over the body, and who meditates alone in the forest him do I call a holy man” (Dhammapada 395).


In Jainism plants are considered to have life force and spirit. In later Buddhist teachings a clear line was drawn where the Buddhist cosmology included humans, animals, devas and other celestial beings, but not plants. However, there is some indication that this may have been a later development and that the early Buddhists regarded plants as somewhat a borderline case between sentient and insentient. The Buddhist Vinaya prohibits monks and nuns from doing any kind of violence against plants (Pac.10, 11). According to both Jainism and Buddhism, plants are one-facultied (kaayindriya, jiivitindriya); a form of rudimentary life. There is scientific research that is showing some possible evidence of neurobiology and possible sentience in plants.

Which came first?

Jainism is clearly older than Buddhism if we just go by the archeological and historical records. Both religions claim that their founders, Mahavira and Buddha rediscovered the teachings after they had died out from a previous era. The Buddhist scriptures clearly refer to Jainism as if it is an already entrenched religion. And there is reference made to a previous Jain teacher born at least a couple of centuries before Buddha. Both religions maintained an oral tradition and did not have their teachings put to writing for hundreds of years. The Buddhist Tipitaka was put to writing around 100 BCE. However, the Jain sutras did not get put to writing until the 6th century CE (Mahesh Jain, 2004) which is about 600 years after the Buddhist scriptures. The scriptures also have numerous parallels, including some of the same stories and same formats. There is even a numerical section of the Jain sutras similar to the numerical lists found in the Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya. Considering this, it can be argued that the Jain writers copied some material or at least the format off the Buddhist scriptures.


In the Buddhist scriptures there are references to the Buddha or one of his disciples meeting and debating with Jains. In virtually every instance the Buddha or one of his disciples wins the debate and the Jain converts to Buddhism. A less than favorable light is also portrayed to the founder of Jainism, Mahavira. When we compare the vast amount of similarities between the Buddha and Mahavira and Buddhism and Jainism, it is possible that the differences were even less in early Buddhism. A more drastic change may have occurred when Buddhism placed less emphasis on ahimsa as can be seen in Buddhist writings that tend to justify and allow meat eating, for example. It is possible that the early Buddhists were more insistent on vegetarianism as additionally evidenced by King Ashoka who wanted to gradually phase out the killing of animals for food. King Ashoka ruled and lived before the Pali Canon was put to writing. There are marked differences in the definitions of kamma and nibbana (karma and nirvana) and the Buddha was practicing asceticism prior to enlightenment. In light of these facts it is possible that both Mahavira and Buddha were practicing some form of Jainism/Shramana/asceticism and the Buddha got it right (and was the actual new enlightened one to teach the masses, not Mahavira) in regard to nibbana and kamma but both were insistent on ahimsa and many other teachings.




Secrecy of Banking information

By: Prapanna Lahiri

The concept: When a person opens an account with a bank he/ she is entitled to a reasonable degree of assurance from the banker that information regarding the account remains a matter of knowledge only between the banker and the account holder. This is one of the conditions of the relationship between the banker and the customer whereby the customer’s dealings and financial affairs are held confidential by the banker. This duty and obligation of a banker to maintain complete secrecy continue even after the relationship ceases upon closure of the account. This confidentiality, however, does not prohibit sharing of credit information among lending institutions. Certain other national and international laws such as anti-terrorist and anti drug-trade legislations along with tax treaties between nations make it obligatory for banks to divulge specific information in the interest of prevention of tax evasion and money laundering.

History of banking secrecy in Switzerland: No discussion about secrecy of banking information is complete without a mention of the reputation of Swiss bankers for the practice of total banking secrecy for hundreds of years. At the end of Renaissance, Banking in Switzerland began flourishing. Profits of Swiss banking houses started growing quickly in the backdrop of stability and secrecy offered to the wealthy who looked to safeguard their assets in an otherwise unstable continent. Thus finance became one of the recognisable aspects of Swiss identity along with its world renowned chocolates, watches and professed political neutrality. The origin of the concept of secrecy of Swiss banks can be traced back to the 18th century, when a group called ‘The Great Council of Geneva’ passed a law in 1713, preventing banks from sharing information about their clients. This law lured wealthy individuals, aristocrats and royalties to stash their cash in Swiss banking vaults. Some historians suggest that this culture of total secrecy was prompted by the French royalty seeking to park the royal funds with Swiss financial institutions without the knowledge of the public and its rivals. Louis XIV was one of the first kings who used loans from these institutions to help finance wars and build the Palace of Versailles. The modern Swiss banking system started in 1934 during the depression era when France and Germany, trying to prevent capital flight, pressed Switzerland to divulge depositor information. Switzerland, in trying to maintain sovereignty, passed a law making disclosure of account information a crime. Later in 1984, 73% of Swiss citizens voted to retain bank secrecy.

Modern day Swiss bankers reject the popular belief that corrupt politicians worldwide hide vast sums of money, drug lords launder ill gotten gains or filthy rich American citizens stash money to avoid paying taxes. They argue that it is no easy job to open Swiss bank accounts as the banks would verify depositors’ identities and not accept any business that they think was illegal. They say a sizable number of applications are turned down every year suspecting possible fraud.

Tax Havens and secrecy about financial transactions: Switzerland is not the only country where the financial services industry practises this kind of financial secrecy that facilitates shady financial transactions. These countries have been known as the secret offshore tax havens. A tax haven offers foreign individuals and businesses a minimal tax liability in a politically and economically stable environment with near complete immunity from sharing of financial information with foreign tax authorities. This is a win-win for the host country as well as the companies and individuals maintaining accounts there. Tax haven countries benefit by attracting capital to their banks and financial institutions, thus forming the foundation of a thriving financial sector in these countries. Individuals and corporations parking substantial quantum of funds benefit through tax savings resulting from low tax rates ranging from zero to single digits as against relatively high tax rates in their countries of citizenship or domicile. Thus, these tax havens make it easiest to hide money and avoid paying taxes. Large US corporations including Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Cisco and Oracle maintain billions of dollars in bank accounts in tax havens with low single digit tax rates.

Popular belief is that tax havens are mostly little known tiny and small countries such as Bahrain, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Bahamas, Panama, Luxembourg, Mauritius and few others spread across various continents. However, the irony is that some of the world’s most important providers of financial secrecy harbouring looted assets from around the globe are not just small, palm-fringed islands but some of the world’s biggest and wealthiest countries like USA, Germany and Japan besides Switzerland. This is indeed serious since a tiny country with a small number of shady financial transactions is hardly as much of an overall problem as is a large country with millions of secret foreign transactions per day.        

The nature of secrecy of Bank Accounts: As outlined in the introduction above, banks are mandated to maintain confidentiality about information relating to bank accounts. The confidentiality is not just confined to account transactions – it extends to all information that the bank holds about the customer. However, it is to be understood that the banker’s duty and obligation of confidentiality is not absolute. This obligation of confidentiality is qualified in so far as some circumstances make it incumbent upon the banker to make necessary disclosure of details about a customer’s account with the bank. Historically, the 1924 English case of Tournier Vs National Provincial and Union Bank of England laid down four broad principles whereby a bank can legally disclose information about a customer’s account and its transactions. These principles which hold good to this day are:

  • Where the bank is compelled by law to disclose information
  • Where the bank has a public duty to make disclosure of information
  • Where the bank’s own interests requires disclosure
  • Where the customer has agreed to or has mandated disclosure of information

Liability: If the bank discloses information about a customer’s account in breach of principles described above the bank, normally, is to be held liable for having acted wrongfully. The banker, then, becomes liable to compensate the customer.

The Indian Context: It is well-known that banking is governed as much by laws as it is by practices or usages. Accordingly in India, banking customs as well as statutes stipulate and follow standardised, recognised obligation of secrecy. Relevant sections of banking related acts like the SBI Act, 1955, Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1980, Credit Information Companies Act, 2005 and the Public Financial Institutions Act, 1983 mention obligations as to fidelity and secrecy relating to the affairs of constituents of banks except in circumstances in which it can divulge information —

  1. Exceptions in accordance with the law or practice/ usage customary among bankers: These exceptions are disclosures of information under sections of Income Tax Act 1961, Companies Act 1956, Bankers’ Books Evidence Act, 1891, Reserve Bank of India Act, 1937, Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1973 and Gift Tax Act, 1958.
  2. Exceptions where a higher duty (in cases of danger to the State) supersedes private duty (of the agent to the principal)
  3. Exceptions where disclosures are made under express or implied consent of the customerg. to a guarantor.
  4. Exceptions where information is disclosed as an act of common courtesy among bankers as per practices/ usages in the banking system e.g. about proposed sureties.
  5. Exceptions when information is disclosed by banker to a guarantor/ solicitor to protect its own interest in case of loan default by customer.

The Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 imposes privacy obligations on those who manage online payment and settlement systems such as RTGS/NEFT etc. The Act enjoins upon the “system provider” not to disclose the existence or contents of any document or any part information given to it by a system participant with similar exceptions mentioned above.

Banks are also governed by the provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000 as amended in 2008. Some amended provisions urge banks to adopt reasonable security practices with respect to their databases. Customers of banks can, under the IT Act, claim compensatory relief for losses arising out of data leakages as well as unauthorised disclosure of information by the banks for gain.

As discussed above Banking is one of the most risky sectors as far as privacy is concerned due to the highly sensitive and personal nature of information which is often exchanged, recorded and retained. Commensurate with the secrecy obligation of banks, their constituents must also trust banks with their personal identifying information, their financial records, their credit history and also allow the bank access to their accounts for a two way confidential relationship.

In today’s globalised context in pursuit of measures to check flight of black money to tax havens, India had forcefully articulated its views at the sixth session of the Conference of the State Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption in St. Petersburg, urging all state parties to ensure cooperation in dissemination of information to the requesting country without any impediment of bank secrecy laws.












Collective Bargaining

Dr. Rajesh Konnur


The conflict between management and the employee is inherent in an industrial, educational & health sector of society. One argues for more investment and profits while the other argues for better standard of living. These two conflicting interests can be adjusted temporarily through the principle of “give and take’’ phenomena.


The phrase “collective bargaining” was coined by British labor reformers Sidney & Beatrice Webb of Great Britain in the 1890s.

The idea of collective bargaining emerged as a result of industrial conflict & growth of trade union movement & was first given currency in the United States by Samuel Crompers.

In India the first collective bargaining agreement was conducted in 1920 at the instance of Mahatma Gandhi to regulate labor agreement relation between a group of employers and their workers in the textile industry in Ahmadabad., Gujarat.


Collective bargaining is the process of negotiating the terms of employment between an employer and a group of workers. The terms of employment are likely to include items such as conditions of employment, working conditions and other workplace rules, base pay, overtime pay, work hours, shift length, work holidays, sick leave, vacation time, retirement benefits and health care benefits.

Collective bargaining takes place between labor unions and the management of the company that employs that union’s workers. It occurs at individual level also. The result of collective bargaining is called a collective bargaining agreement, & it establishes rules of employment for a set number of years. The cost of this employee representation is paid by union members in the form of dues. This process may involve antagonistic labor strikes or employee lockouts if the two sides are having trouble reaching an agreement.

The right of workers to bargain freely with employers is an essential element in freedom of association. Collective bargaining is a voluntary process through which employers & workers discuss & negotiate their relations, in particular terms and conditions of work. It can involve employers directly or as represented through their organizations; & trade unions or, in their absence representatives freely nominated by the workers.

Collective bargaining can only function effectively if it is conducted freely & in good faith by all parties. This implies:

  • Making efforts to reach an agreement.
  • Carrying out genuine and constructive negotiations.
  • Avoiding unjustified delays.
  • Respecting the agreements concluded and applying them in good faith.
  • Giving sufficient time for the parties to discuss & settle collective disputes.

Bargaining in good faith aims at reaching mutually acceptable collective agreements, where, agreement is not reached, dispute settlement procedures ranging from conciliation through mediation to arbitration may be used.

The collective bargaining process also covers the phase before actual negotiations, information sharing, consultation, job assessments, as well as the implementation of collective agreements.

Legal Boundaries of Collective Bargaining:

A discussion on some legal boundaries of collective bargaining is as follows:

  1. No ratification of ILO convention: C- 87 & C- 98.
  2. Limited scope & coverage of collective bargaining within legal boundaries of Trade Union Act & Industrial Dispute Act.
  3. Trade Union Act & Industrial Dispute Act are silent on recognition of trade unions.
  4. Right to strike is not a fundamental right but a legal right governed by Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.
  5. Section 10K can be imposed to prohibit strikes or lock outs.
  6. Section 22 says that in public utility services there must be a notice of at least 6 weeks before strike.
  7. Section 23 speaks on the prohibition of strikes during the pendency of conciliation, arbitration and court proceedings.

Trade Union activities are granted immunity from the applicability of CRPC but not in case of illegal strikes.

New Trends in collective Bargaining:

  • Decentralized & Individualized Bargaining:

Still, in India, collective bargaining is mostly decentralized, i.e., company or unit level bargaining rather than industry level bargaining is prevalent in India. But in few sectors (mainly government sector) the industry level bargaining is dominant. However, privatization of public sector changed the industry level bargaining to company level bargaining. On the other hand, due to severe “informalization” of workforce & downsizing in the industries, the strength and power of the trade unions have been heavily reduced. The trade unions mainly represented the interests of formal workers. Increasing number of informal workers in the companies soon changed the structure of the workforce in such a way that the formal workers became a minority. As a result of various reasons informal workers could not form their own trade unions & on the other hand they are not represented by the trade unions of the formal workers. These situations resulted in spurt of individualized bargaining.

Advancing of “informalisation” of workforce combined with the individualized bargaining in fact changed the character of the trade unions also. In related sectors & industrial regions, it converted many trade unions into legal consultants rather than collective bargaining agents.

  • Declining Wage Share:

Declining strengths of collective bargaining is also reflected in sharply increasing share of profit & considerably declining the wage share, resulting in depressing purchasing power.

  • Collective Bargaining and Nursing:

Nurses render services in various health care settings including community services. They require a safe environment and adequate protection. Frustrating situation & issues cause disturbances in personal & professional life. They present & approach their problems through nursing association & organizations like TNAI, INC etc.



Compiled by: Aamarpali Puri

Inventory is a detailed list of those movable items which are necessary to manufacture a product and to maintain the equipment and machinery in good working order. The quantity and the value of every item is also mentioned in the list. Inventory is actually ‘money’ kept in the store room in the shape of a high speed steel bit, a mild steel rod, milling cutters or welding electrodes.


Inventory control is concerned with achieving an optimum balance between two competing objectives. The objectives are:

  • to minimize investment in inventory,
  • to maximize the service levels to the firm’s customers and its own operating departments.
  • Inventory control may be defined as the scientific method of finding out how much stock should be maintained in order to meet the production demands and be able to provide right type of material at right time in the right quantities and at competitive prices.

Inventory may be classified as follows

Raw inventories. They include raw material and semi finished products supplied by another firm and which are raw items for the present industry.

In process inventories. They are semi-finished goods at various stages of manufacturing cycle.

Finished inventories. They are the finished goods lying in stock rooms and waiting dispatch.

Indirect inventories. They include lubricants and other items (like spare parts) needed for proper operation, repair and maintenance during manufacturing cycle.


 To manage these various kinds of inventories two alternative control procedures can be used

(1) Order point system

This has been the traditional approach to inventory control. In this system, the items are restocked when the inventory levels become low.

Lot size and reorder point calculations are the more spectacular aspect of inventory management. Once the calculations are complete, the routing commences for checking deliveries and physical count of the amount on hand.

(2) Materials Requirements Planning (MRP)

MRP is sometimes thought of as an inventory control procedure.

MRP is the technique used to plan and control manufacturing inventories.

MRP is a computational technique that converts the master schedule for end products into a detailed schedule for the raw material and components used in the end products.

The detailed schedule identifies the quantities ofeach raw material and component item. It also tells when each item must be ordered and delivered so as to meet the master schedule for the final products.

It is important that the proper control procedure be applied to each of the four types of inventory as explained earlier.


Inventory control aims at keeping track of inventories. In other words, inventories of required quality and in desired quantities should be made available to different departments as and when they need. This is achieved by,

  • Purchasing material at an economical price, at proper time and in sufficient quantities so as not to run short of them at any instant.
  • Providing a suitable and secure storage location.
  • Providing enough storage space.
  • A definite inventory identification system.
  • Adequate and responsible store room staff.
  • Suitable requisition procedure.
  • Up-to-date and accurate record keeping.
  • Periodic inventory check up.
  • Division of inventory under A, B and C items, exercising the control accordingly and removing obsolete inventory.

A good control over the inventories offers the following Advantages

  • One does not face shortage of materials.
  • Materials of good quality and procured in time minimises defects in finished goods.
  • Delays in production schedules are avoided.
  • Production targets are achieved.
  • Accurate delivery dates can be ascertained and the industry builds up reputation and better relations with customers.



  1. Separate different operations from one another and make them independent, so that each operation (starting from raw material to finished product) can be performed economically. For example, ordering of raw material can be carried out independently of the finished goods distribution and both of these operations can be made low cost operations say by ordering raw material and distributing finished goods in one big lot, than in small batch sizes. Besides economy, the men and machinery also can be better utilized if the operations are separated and carried out in various departments than if coupled and tied at one place.
  2. Maintain smooth and efficient production flow.
  3. Purchase in desired quantities and thus nullify the effects of changes in prices or supply.
  4. Keeps a process continually operating.
  5. Create motivational effect. A person may be tempted to purchase more if inventories are displayed in bulk.