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Advanc’edge MBA October 2012 3


Aditya Prakash IengarEditor

from the

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole and in part without written permission is prohibited. Printed and published by Kamlesh Sajnani, on behalf of, IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd., E Block, 6th Floor, NCL Bandra Premises, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400 051. Printed at Uchitha Graphic Printers Pvt. Ltd., 65, Ideal Ind. Est., Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai - 13 and published at Mumbai.


Kamlesh Sajnani


Aditya Prakash Iengar

Sr. Correspondent:Alolika Banerjee


Uma Shirke, Satish Yadav,Sylvester Moses

AdvErtising Shahid Malek / Rajashree MurthyTel: 022-6668 0005 / 6617 0000

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AddrEss for CorrEsPondEnCE

Advanc’edge MBA, IMS Publications,

A Division of IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd., E Block, 6th Floor,

NCL Bandra Premises,Bandra-Kurla Complex,

Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400 051.


Dr Suresh Srinivasan

WritE to thE Editor


One of the things that Canadian entrepreneur Brian Tracy talks about in his “4 Principles of Marketing” is “differentiation”. According to Tracy, the only way to success for a brand is to find a way to differentiate itself from its competitors. Only then will customers want to buy that brand.

I’m sure you draw the analogy here, right? Here you are, standing at the cusp of your MBA education, having already won the first round of taking the CAT. Now, all you have to focus on is cracking the next round — the group discussion, personal interview and, in many cases, the written ability test. Here, you are the brand, and the business schools are your customers. Basically, you have to market yourself, and show the business schools that you are indeed what they are looking for. To do that, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from all the others vying for a seat in those schools.

You may wonder what differentiates you from everyone else. Well, my friend, the answer is simple. You! As a person, you are unique, and there is no other person in this entire universe quite like you. THAT is what makes you unique — your personality. That is the differentiator, and your personality is what you have to sell to the B-schools. Our cover story in this issue deals with exactly that — how to convince the institutes that you are what they want.

In this issue, you will also find a detailed analysis of CAT 2014 for all the four slots. It will help you understand how the test has been received by test-takers, and give you an idea of where you stand and what score you might expect.

Finally, as always, I urge you to go through the Corporate World section of Advanc’edge MBA. Written by a faculty of Great Lakes Institute of Management, this section contains informational and analytical articles on the Indian and world economy, and right now, it is the most important segment for you. Now is the time you go through all your issues of Advanc’edge with renewed vigour, and read this section. If you do, you will be completely up to date on current events, and I assure you, the GD-PI-WAT round will be a walk in the park.

So tuck in with your previous issues of Advanc’edge, and make sure you read newspapers thoroughly every day. You’ll be more knowledgeable, and will be able to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd easily.

All the best.

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Disclaimer : The views expressed in the articles by contributors and others are not necessarily those of the Publishers, unless specifically stated therein. While no effort is spared in ensuring the accuracy of the information published herein, readers are advised to reconfirm the current facts before acting upon any such information. The Publishers regret their inability to accept responsibility for any inadvertent errors of commission or omission in this issue. Readers are recommended to make appropriate inquiries before incurring expenses or entering into commitments in relation to any advertisement appearing in this publication. The publishers do not vouch for any claims made by the advertisers of any products or services. The Publisher, Printers or Editor shall not be held liable for any consequences in the event of such claims not being honoured by the advertisers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without prior permission from the publisher.

Payment to be made by crossed Demand Draft/Cheque drawn in favor of “IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd.” For subscriptions and related enquiries write to: Advanc’edge MBA, IMS Publications, A division of IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd., E Block, 6th Floor, NCL Bandra Premises, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400 051.For more queries e-mail:

New Subscription RatesPeriod Issues New Rate1 Year 12 Rs. 480/-2 Years 24 Rs. 840/-3 Years 36 Rs. 1080/-



Word Dose: The melancholy







Director, Goa Institute of Management (GIM)

14 CORPORATE WORLDIndia and the current fiscal deficit predicament

Indian start-ups: Are they a bubble waiting to burst?

The sky’s the limit for India’s new aviation policy



COUNTDOWNTop 1o soft skills

for Managers


TEST ANALYSISExpert Analysis:NMAT 2016: Day 1 Slot 1

Expert Analysis:IIFT 2015: Day 1 Slot 1




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Entrance Round 2:GD-PI-WAT

The Advanc’edge Team

Today, B-schools are adding to the traditional methods of group discussions and personal interviews. The process is often augmented by a written ability test. Of course, the most

important is the PI. We give you a few tips for the best way to get through this round.

A re you the hare or the tortoise? Before you start

introspecting, you should know that I refer to the “new and improved” version of our naïve pal who, being very disappointed at losing the first race, did some introspection of his own and realised that he’d lost the race only because he had been arrogant, careless and laid back. He knew that if he hadn’t been so, there was no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race and this time, without taking any chances, ran without stopping from start to finish. As expected, he won by several miles.

The moral — slow and steady doesn’t cut it anymore! You need to be fast, accurate, thorough, confident, and prudent enough to

learn from others’ mistakes (yes, learning from your own mistakes is passé — a wise man learns from others’ mistakes, a fool from his own, especially in this glorious age of information sharing and social networking.)

Those of you who have even a glimmer of hope of clearing any written test that you have taken need to start your preparation for the next selection round as soon as you put down this article (read all of it first, though). You can’t afford to wait for that “shortlisted” status update. And you don’t need to. You will be able to enjoy the fruits of your initial labour with or without a B-school call.

We don’t even call it the GD-PI round anymore. GD-Case Study-Essay-Group task-Group Interview-Extempore-PI is more like it, for these are the various selection

tools that B-schools use these days. But do you know what the common denominator for all of these is? You! Your personality, which will get reflected in these tasks. And that is what you need to work on first. Not just because you might be facing a panel, but because it’s high time you figured yourself out.

Why do you want to do an MBA? What are your career goals?

What kind of person are you? What are your strengths and

weaknesses? What are your hobbies?

Do you possess leadership skills? What are your dreams and

aspirations? What is your definition of success?

What is common in all of these questions?You! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the answers to all these questions, but you would be surprised at the sheer number of students who cannot answer these questions with conviction in their interview. Why? Maybe they trivialised the significance of these questions, maybe they aped their friends’ answers, or maybe they thought they could pull the wool over the panel’s eyes and

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make them believe something they themselves didn’t… the reasons are not important. What is important is that you know better than to lose out on the best opportunity of your academic life because you are “lazy”. Yes, there is rarely another explanation.

You have information and expert help at your fingertips. The challenge lies in time and motivation management. If you bring these two to the table, you are as good as selected.

So pull up your socks and start expanding your • Knowledge of self (your

personality, skills, goals and hobbies),

• Knowledge of what is happening around you and how you feel about it (current affairs), and

• Knowledge of what you have done till now and what you have learnt from it (academics, work experience and extra-curricular activities)You may have taken much

in your life for granted. If there was ever a time to question why your life has turned out the way it has and where it is headed, it is now! Question your motivation and your past decisions and be bold enough to admit mistakes and take tough decisions. Better now than years later when you have a tonne of responsibilities.

Once you yourself are convinced of your life choices, it isn’t hard to convince another person. And this second selection round is exactly that — a game of conviction! Bottom line, either you convince the B-school that you are what they have been looking for, or they convince you that you aren’t as great as you think you are.

The B-schools are getting creative, and so should you. Nowadays, case driven discussions are becoming more common, probably because they are a better test of a candidate’s solution orientation, objectivity, rationality and ability to differentiate between idealism and pragmatism.

Most of the IIMs, IIFT, and SCMHRD have included a written ability test in their selection process. IIM Indore, in fact, asked students to summarise a passage too.

XIM-B surprised students by giving quite a few abstract topics or figures for the GD.

SPJIMR conducted a psychometric test, which had 30 questions that the candidates had

to answer in 10 minutes. Most students could not complete the test due to shortage of time. The institute then went on to conduct group interviews. A group discussion was included as a part of the first group interview. Post this, some candidates were rejected and the ones who were still in the running had to face another, more stressful and detailed, group interview.

FMS, standing by tradition, continued to conduct a GD and a PI with an extempore.

NMIMS had a case discussion and a PI, but the HRM applicants had to write a case analysis, participate in a case discussion on a new case, and finally appear for an interview.

SIBM asked the shortlisted candidates to write a Statement of Purpose (SOP) that required answering questions on their career plans, how an MBA from SIBM fits into them, and their extracurricular activities.

TISS also required candidates to fill a Detailed Application Form (DAF) before the interview.

As far as MICA is concerned, there is no limit to the creativity of the tasks. Students were asked to re-enact scenes from classics, after tailoring them to their current situation, design a social networking platform for 2025, create advertisements using props, design marketing strategies, etc.

You need to be aware of the personality traits that are under scrutiny during all the above mentioned exercises, so that you can start developing them. Clarity of thought: You need to think rationally and articulate well. What you speak must be relevant, well thought out, concise and precise. Some common fallacies in reasoning that you must avoid are:Making hasty generalisations: Be very cautious about using

terms such as “all”, “always”, “”never”, “everybody”, “nobody”, etc. Modify your language to make it more accurate.Giving false analogies: If, for example, the Vice Chancellor of Mumbai states that the university should be run like a multinational company, the statement can be rejected on the grounds that the similarities between the two are incidental and not essential.Confusing correlation with conclusion: Just because two events occur together doesn’t imply that one causes the other. I was wearing a new dress when I got a promotion does not mean that this is the reason for having got the promotion. This is not a valid statement. The



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assumption that the two events are related simply because they are related in time is invalid.Using non-sequitur (it does not follow) statements: In this type of statement the conclusion does not follow from the evidence presented. “A teacher who does not believe in corporal punishment is a good teacher” is not a valid statement, because the conclusion is drawn from evidence that has no bearing on the issue.

Listening skills: A widespread misconception is that the person who speaks the most in a discussion is the one who qualifies for the next round. One cardinal rule to keep in mind is that the performance of the whole group is important and thus, your being receptive to others’ ideas is critical. Without listening, knowledge does not flow. Those who cannot listen cannot think, and those who cannot think cannot write and speak. So, listening comes first, everything else follows.

Active listening is imperative. It means listening responsibly, not merely absorbing words passively, but actively trying to grasp the facts and feelings in what you are hearing. The importance of active listening gets underscored in a group activity as listening to a group is harder than listening to a speaker. One needs to follow not only what is said, but also how it relates to what else has been said so that one can keep track of the thread of ideas and conclusions. It may so happen that you are asked to summarise the entire discussion, and in order to do that effectively, you need to listen.

The major barrier to listening is that we get sidetracked; we lose concentration on what is being said. There are techniques that we can use to avoid falling into this trap. You can try the following process: (Source: “Are you listening?” by Ralph Nicols and Leonard Stevens.)

Think ahead of the talker: Try to anticipate what the oral discourse is leading to and what conclusions will be drawn from the words spoken at the moment.Weigh the evidence: Consider the justifications used by the speaker to support the points he is making. Ask the questions “Is this evidence valid?”, “Is it complete?”Review and summarise: Periodically review and summarize the points completed so far.Listen between the lines: Search for meaning that is not put into spoken words. Pay attention to the non-verbal communication (facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice) to see if it adds meaning to the spoken words.

Critical analysis: Whenever allotted a topic to speak on, judge its chief concern and align your recommendations to it. Examine the facts and situations from the perspective of the overall impact on various stakeholders involved in the scenario. Assess the facts and information in this light and accordingly suggest solutions. This is even more essential during a case discussion. You will be presented with a case and given some time (about 2-5 minutes) to collect your thoughts before the discussion begins. You should prioritise the

different recommendations you develop in the given period after reading the case thoroughly.

Communication skills: Fluent speech does not mean effective communication. Effective communication is the ability to put forward your ideas in a precise, convincing and concise manner. In a 15-20 minute GD, you will get very few opportunities to speak, so start practising putting across your ideas effectively whenever you get a chance to speak.

Work on your aggressiveness. You can be assertive but not aggressive. It is definitely desirable to have a manager who knows what he is talking about and does not get swayed by what others think, especially when his own thought process and conclusions are logical and carefully worked out. In the actual discussion, even though you may make a good point, someone else might make a better point. You need to be swift in realising it and tone down your aggressiveness, if felt, with adaptability and receptiveness to the other’s ideas.

Get rid of the habit of using slang/vernacular expressions in your colloquial speech. While practising a discussion, ensure that you don’t make personal remarks against any individual participant.

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Ability to interact within a group: Team building skills are another much-desired trait in a manager. During the two years at a B-school and later on, throughout your career, you will be working in teams. There have been numerous cases of individuals with potential becoming failures because of their inability to work in a team. For you to become a successful leader tom orrow, you have to be a good team member today.

A discussion is not just about getting a chance to speak. It is actually a group activity where all participants are required to be involved throughout the process. Even if you do not get too many chances to speak, it is important that you are involved in the discussion even when you are not the one doing the speaking. You can do this by actively listening to arguments being put forth by other participants. The act of listening and being mentally involved in the GD will also get reflected in your body language.

Whenever you speak, your contribution must be:Sufficient: A contribution should be long enough to make its point. Most contributions that fail to get through are too short, rather than too long. Obviously, a contribution is of little value if too little is said to make the point clear and related.Relevant: The contribution you make should be relevant to the topic being discussed. Sometimes the relevance may not be apparent at the outset of your contribution, and you may be checked by your listeners on that count. But if you are convinced about the relevance of your line of thinking to the topic, then upon being checked, you can ask your listeners to be patient with you, and assure them that you will

demonstrate the relevance of the topic if only they would hear you out.Related: Often a contribution is relevant, but is not related to the comments that have just preceded it or what is likely to follow. One good way to establish relatedness is to introduce your comment like this, “I’d like to go back to the point that X made and add some evidence.”Clear: You should never assume that just because you have spoken, you have communicated. In order to make certain that everyone in the group understands what you are saying, it may be useful to define what you mean by certain significant terms. For example, if you are discussing “the secular

nature of the Indian Constitution”, you may want to clarify that you understand secularism to be that “no one religion is to be given special preference in the country”, before talking about your opinions on secularism.Objective: Try as far as possible to be objective, rather than opinionated. Basing your opinions on facts instead of on beliefs or faith will lend an air of maturity and open-mindedness to your contribution.Open to evaluation: An effective contribution shows a willingness to have the contribution evaluated. For example, if a group is discussing the latest developments in the economy and one member offers

this contribution “the price of gold stock is rising on the international stock market. This shows that the economy is headed for trouble”, he has presented his evidence and the conclusion he has drawn from the same. But he has not shown the reasoning process by which he reached that conclusion, making it impossible for other members of the group to comment on the evidence and bring forth other points of views. If he had rephrased his contribution by including his reasoning process, which is this – “the rising price of gold stock indicates a lack of confidence in other stocks and is therefore a predictor that investors will pull back on their investments in other

businesses”, he would have left room for other participants to comment on this reasoning process and maybe point out other ways of looking at the issue. Evaluations of contributions are a must if the group is to reach worthwhile conclusions.Provocative: Contributions must provoke further thought. Contributions like “this is it” or “two plus two equals four and no more need be said” or “it’s

just as simple as that!” or “We’ve tried it before and it didn’t work” cut off controversy and dampen the desire to think further.

Start working on these skills and become aware of how many of the above criteria your spoken or written contribution fulfills. You will need a lot of practice for these to become a habit. And remember that style can never compensate for substance. You need to start increasing yourself and general awareness and then work out what your opinions on various issues are. That, coupled with the valuable tips given here, will ensure that you impress your evaluators and bag that coveted seat. A




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‘Students are more confident these days’

Q. Among all the various CAT aspirants, who will be the perfect fit for your institute?We look for students who are academically bright. That’s the first and most important criterion. Apart from that, we look for students who have a well-rounded personality, the right attitude and do not shirk hard work. The willingness to work hard is extremely important, no matter which field one belongs to. And hard working students who are willing to do the right thing can bring about a positive contribution to society.

At Goa Institute of Management, we stress on the overall development of students; naturally, we look for those who are involved in a variety of things beyond classroom, like inclination towards art, literature and drama or interest in different fields and subjects. For us, diversity in classrooms is very important, so we try and pick students from varied backgrounds.

Q. Will you give us a glimpse into the life at GIM?At GIM, academics matter a lot, and so we give considerable importance to it. Most of our investment goes into bringing in good quality faculty for our students. Currently, we have a full-time faculty size of 50. We try and bring in professors with extensive industry experience or people who have had global careers and worked in several parts of the world.

We have a variety of programmes at GIM, and they are designed to give a complete holistic learning

approach. Along with very tight classroom programmes, we feel that for a successful career in the corporate canvas, our students need to explore the world beyond classrooms as well. So we try and bring in as many co-curricular activities, projects, interactions and debates as possible. We stress on developing students’ versatility by introducing them to the world of art, literature, music, dancing and multiple types of sports. We also give them classes where they can learn international languages. We must be one of the only B-schools in the country to have a choir of our own! Our choir takes the London Trinity College of Music exam every year.

Everything that we do at GIM is aimed at readying full-fledged managers with well-rounded personalities, rather than functional specialists.

We have a beautiful campus. Our old campus is a 370-year old heritage property. Our new campus gets rated among the top 5 campuses of the country.

Q. Tell us about the institute’s industry connect.We offer summer internships and projects. We have noteworthy visiting faculty and guest speakers coming in for lectures. Our students attend industry conferences and thereby gain considerably good exposure.

Our alumni engagement programme also helps. This is our 23rd year of operation. Our alumni body is spread across the world and remains connected with us.

We also want our students to remain socially


Director of Goa Institute of

Management (GIM) feels.

Dr Parulekar, in conversation with

Alolika Banerjee, talks about the

need for hard work and perseverance,

and how these will help students

who increasingly want to become

entrepreneurs or join a start-up.

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sensitised, which is why we have a signature programme called Give Goa, through which we see what our students can give to the Goan society. Over a year the students engage with an NGO or a government body and work for the betterment of the society.

Q. Students today tend to go abroad for their management education. Being a veteran in this field, what would you say is the significant difference between management education in India and abroad?Demarcating institutes on the basis of being foreign or Indian is a very broad categorisation. It is the institute that matters, more than anything else these days. No matter where it is based, a good institute provides great quality of holistic education. Choosing an institute based on its foreign location is a paradigm that’s no longer valid in the Indian context. If an institute’s programmes fit in with the students’ career goals, why shouldn’t they opt for it? At that point, the location takes a backseat.

Having said that, there is something that students studying management in Indian institutes lack — global exposure. I feel increased participation in international exchange programmes can help sort out this problem.

Q. What are the problems ailing the management education scenario in India today? Management education facilities in India have come a long way, and their infrastructure has improved considerably. However, the challenge that Indian business schools are facing is faculty. We have a huge shortage of good faculty in the country. We don’t have good quality PhDs, people trained well in research methods. Different reports say the lack of faculty ranges anywhere between 10 and 20 thousand. And that’s a really large number.

The other challenge confronting Indian B-schools lately is the competition from global B-schools. The per capita income of people has gone up so much that globally mobile Indians are looking for options in management colleges in Europe as well. Moreover, the difference in the cost of education in Europe and India has gone down. America still remains extremely expensive and hence out of bounds for many.

Q. These days, start-ups are becoming very common, and more and more young people are either starting a company or joining a start-up. How do you think this change has come about?

I think this start-up culture is great news for us as a country. When I finished my undergraduate studies and MBA, no one used to think of starting their own business. Fresh graduates were only considering working for big brands. But now the start-ups are creating all the noise, today they are the big names in the industry.

Start-ups today have opened a completely new avenue for fresh college grads. They hear success stories of start-ups making it big and they realise that they too don’t need any kind of backing, favouring or funding to realise their dreams. The scenario is such that everything can be generated on its own. This is certainly awesome news for the Indian economy, since in this way, more and more wealth is being created and it can, to a large extent address our unemployment issue as well.

Q. Do you provide students facilities, incubator cells or some basic training to have a multi-faceted personality that can come in handy for entrepreneurship later in life?In order to help students come up with their own

ventures, we have a Centre for Creativity, Innovation and Design Thinking in our campus. This centre basically exposes students to how creative processes work in labs. Another centre is dedicated to this idea of entrepreneurship, called Centre for Entrepreneurship. Both of these centres help those students who are planning to start their own ventures. We also have a few home-grown entrepreneurs from our

alumni body who work like mentors for both of these centres.

Q. What, according to you, are three qualities required in students that will make them successful entrepreneurs in the future?Starting a company straight from scratch is not easy and requires hard work, perseverance and networking. So students who are extremely hard-working can put in the dedication to sustain a new venture.

The second quality is perseverance. Nobody can have a smooth sail when he or she opens a company. There are bound to be various ups and downs and bumpy rides. If you don’t persist, you are not meant to be in entrepreneurship.

The third is the ability to network. You can’t do everything on your own. You need the help of many other people to sustain your start-up, and so networking is extremely essential.

So, I would advise students who want to take




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up entrepreneurship to train themselves along these lines. There is no substitute for hard work and perseverance. Inculcate these qualities and go after your goal.

Q. In your extensive experience, have you noticed any change in trend in the students over the years?It’s a completely different world now from when I started. I feel that every 10 years, the world takes a massive leap. In the classrooms today, I see a very different set of people from those with I had dealt when I started teaching.

Students today are not expected to spend a long time in the library because they carry libraries along with them all the time. So they aren’t too bothered about the theory aspect of the subject, because there is so much more content available on the Internet these days. So it’s not content that they are looking for. We need to give them perspective, application, insight on topics — in short, things that will not come from content available on the Internet but from experience.

This lot of students is very bright, and they have an inbuilt ability to be technology-friendly. However, a result of this trend is that they know a lot of things but fail to develop an in-depth knowledge in one particular subject. There is more breadth these days and less depth. And that’s a natural outcome of this trend.

Q. So would you consider this as a negative thing?There is nothing broadly negative or positive about anything. The kind of knowledge the students of this generation have is useful to make small talk in

any and every given situation. The disadvantage is from a career point of view. They lack comprehensive depth in any one particular topic. So they find it hard to gain command over their specialised field.

But the advantage is that since the students are well-versed in anything and everything, even if in a limited way, they are a much more confident lot. There are many other factors as well in this specific change

in their personalities compared to students of the earlier generation – smaller families, higher disposable incomes, greater exposure. This is a generation that has travelled a lot more, and seen a lot more at a very young age. As a result they are a lot more confident, something that is really important for prospective managers.

Along with this, students of this generation have a higher risk-taking ability compared to those 20 years back. Today, you will find students who will not think twice before dropping a job to join a business school, or start their own venture, or even take a break for 6 months for something like soul searching. They come back later and take up another job. This is feasible now, unlike earlier when people would not quit a job until they had another one on hand. This is a terrific thing. This attitude and personality that they have are more suited for start-ups.

Q. Any word of advice to MBA aspirants on how they can make the most of the two years of their MBA programme? Choosing your MBA programme as per your ability and affinity is important. Show enough discretion in selecting one that’s best suited for you. It’s the time to make new friends, increase your social network and learn as extensively as possible. Remember there is no limit

to learning in these two years and it all varies from individual to individual as to how much knowledge and skills he or she can muster. So don’t get blinkered and accept everything with an open mind.

This is also an opportunity to learn new skills and indulge in interesting vocations that were not part of your world earlier. Remember, managers are supposed to be well-rounded individuals. So groom yourself accordingly. People with versatility are much more in demand in the industry than those who are narrow with a single area of specialisation. So have fun and I’m sure you will be just perfect for this corporate scenario. A



Goa Institute of Management

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www.advancedge.comdirector speak


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Vision“NIA to be a global institution of excellence in learning and Research in Insurance, Pension and allied areas.”

About usThis prestigious Academy which is popularly known as NIA was established in the year 1980 under the aegis of Ministry of Finance (Government of India), LIC, GIC of India and Public Sector Insurance Companies as its promoters.

The campus is located on a 32 acre sylvan campus at Pune on Mumbai Bangalore Highway. It has state of art facilities both for curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Post Graduate Diploma In Management @ NIAApart from conducting Management Development Programmes (MDPs) for Insurance Professionals, in 2004, “To create a stream of young talent for the Insurance, Pension and allied sectors”, NIA has launched a two-year full time residential programme in Management with specific focus on Insurance, Pension and allied areas.

Academic Advantages @ NIA} The PGDM Programme has

been approved by AICTE and is recognized as equivalent to MBA by Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

} Excellent track record of placement with packages ranging from `6 lacs to `9.44 lacs p.a. A few students have also been selected by Afro Asian Regions.

} Summer Internship of 8 weeks with few Public Sector General Insurance Companies and many Private Multi National Insurance companies, leading Brokers and reputed IT companies.

} Students of NIA on completion of PGDM have exemption in Associate ship examination conducted by Insurance Institute of India subject to a very few conditions.

} The curriculum has a unique blend of all Management Subjects along with insurance subjects under General Insurance, Life Insurance, Re-Insurance and Pension.

} The faculty comprises of academicians and practitioners who are on NIA campus on permanent basis, in addition to regular visiting faculty.

} The Alumini of NIA are working with many reputed Multi National Insurance companies and brokers and leading IT companies both in India and abroad.

Placement Highlights of 2014-16} On Day Zero, 79 out of 84

students were placed with offers ranging from `6 lacs to `9.44 lacs p.a.

} The other students have also got offers from many of the recruiters in the subsequent days.

The Academy equips the students with the skills to face the challenges of the outside world with courage and competency and it also provides them every facility to grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually in conditions conducive for the same.

A global institution of excellence

SBI Life & General, ICICI Pru, ICICI Lombard, Bajaj Allianz Life & General, Exide Life, Universal Sompo, Iffco-Tokio, JLT, Marsh, Beacon, Howden, Mahindra, Salasar, Majesco, Cognizant, Accenture, Syntel, IBM, RIL, BAI(Mauritius), Aetins(Malaysia), Nexus(Dubai), QIC(Qatar) and many more.

A few of our recruiters


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MAT 2016 (Slot 1 day 1) was similar to previous year’s

exam in terms of its structure. However, the Quantitative Skills and Logical Reasoning sections were slightly easier than that of the previous year’s exam. The Language skills section was however of similar level of difficulty to that of the previous year’s exam. Within the slot, some questions were common to all students while some questions were different.

Quantitative AnalysisOut of 48 questions in the Quantitative Analysis section, 22 questions were on Problem Solving, 20 questions were on Data Interpretation and remaining 6 questions were from Data Sufficiency. Most of the Problem Solving questions were easy to medium levels of difficulty and covered most of the different topics in Mathematics.

There were 5 sets on Data Interpretation with 4 questions each. The questions were somewhat less calculation intensive than the ones in the previous year’s DI sets. Like last year, some questions required usage of some concepts of Arithmetic such as Mixtures and Alligations. Questions on Data Sufficiency were somewhat tricky.

Table 1 provides a representative break-up of the Quantitative Analysis section (as per student feedback).


Academics Team, IMS

Expert Analysis:NMAT 2016: Day 1 Slot 1

Topic/Subtopic No of Qs DifficultyArithmetic 8 Easy to Medium

Time and Work 3 Easy to Medium

Simple and Compound Interest 2 Easy to Medium

Partnership 1 Easy

Time-Speed-Distance 1 Easy

Mixtures and Alligations* 1 Medium

Numbers 5 Easy to Medium

HCF-LCM 2 Easy

Divisibility 1 Medium

Number of Zeroes 1 Easy

Prime Numbers 1 Easy

Geometry 3 Easy to difficult

Mensuration 1 Easy

Quadrilaterals 1 Easy

Circles 1 Difficult

Modern Maths 3 Easy to difficult

Permutation and Combination 1 Easy

Probability 1 Medium

AP-GP 1 On difficult side

Algebra 2 Easy to Medium

Simple equations 1 Easy

Inequality 1 Medium

Data Sufficiency 6 Easy to Medium

Numbers 5 Easy to Medium

AP-GP 1 Medium

Data Interpretation 20 Easy to difficult

Tables 8 (2 sets of 4 Qs) Easy to Medium

Bar chart 4 (1 set of 4 Qs) Easy

Bar chart + Line graph 4 (1 set of 4 Qs) Medium to difficult

Line graph + Pie chart 4 (1 set of 4 Qs) Easy to medium

Miscellaneous 1 Easy

Calendars 1 Easy

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A few students reported that one particular question on Mixtures and Alligations was confusing.

A genuine attempt of about 36 to 38 questions with about 85% accuracy will be considered good.

Logical ReasoningOut of 40 questions in the Logical Reasoning section, 12 were on Verbal Reasoning while the remaining 28 were on Non-Verbal Reasoning. Most of the questions were of easy to medium level of difficulty.

Table 2 provides a representative break-up of the Logical Reasoning section (as per student feedback).

A genuine attempt of about 25 to 27 questions with about 85% accuracy will be considered good.

Language SkillsOut of 22 questions in the Language Skills section, there were two Reading Comprehension passages with four questions each. The passages had about 300-400 words.

The remaining question types were Mark the Error in a Sentence, Fill in the Blanks (double, cloze, prepositions-based), Jumbled Paragraphs, Analogies, Antonyms and Synonyms.

Again, considering the limited time, one should have left the RC passages till the end as at least one of them was moderately challenging. Furthermore, 3 out of 4 questions in RCs were summary type of questions which required students to be familiar with the entire passage.

Apart from the synonyms and antonyms (in which a few difficult and esoteric words were given), the other questions were on the easier side.

Table 3 provides a representative break-up of the Language Skills section (as per student feedback).

A genuine attempt of about 26 to 28 questions with about 85% accuracy will be considered good.

Topic/Subtopic No of Qs DifficultyNon-Verbal Reasoning

Sequential Output 4 Medium

Matrix Arrangement 4 Easy to medium

Linear Arrangement 4 Easy to medium

Coding 4 Easy to medium

Venn diagram 3 Easy to medium

Number grid 3 Medium

Mathematical operations involving letters

2 Easy

Family Tree 2 Medium

Alphanumeric Series 1 Easy

Symbol based logic 1 Medium

Verbal Reasoning

Course of Action 2 Easy to medium

Strong Arguments 2 Medium

Implicit Assumptions 2 Easy to medium

Inference based questions 2 Easy to medium

Strong/Weak Arguments 2 Easy

Decision Making 2 Easy

Table 2

Topic/Subtopic No of Qs DifficultyReading Comprehension

2 passages 8 One easy, the other medium

Verbal Reasoning

4 Para-Jumbled questions (2 with four statements and 2 with five statements)

4 Easy to medium

Fill in the Blanks 2 Easy

Analogies 2 Easy

Cloze Passage 4 Easy to medium

Select the word that fills in all the three blanks – 2 Questions

2 Easy to medium

Vocabulary & Usage

Synonyms 2 Medium

Antonyms 2 Medium


Fill in the blanks with 3 Prepositions

3 Medium

Part of the sentence has an error 3 Easy to Medium

Table 3

MiscellaneousStudents can choose the order in which to take the three sections. Students are advised to immediately

click ‘OK’ once a section timing is over and load the next section, as the timer does not stop till the time ‘OK’ button is clicked. A

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he overall structure of the IIFT entrance test underwent

some changes this year vis-a-vis the structure last year. In IIFT 2014, DI was clubbed with QA while in IIFT 2015, DI was clubbed with LR.

The overall difficulty level of the questions was significantly lower as compared to that of the previous year’s exam. Most questions were easy to medium levels of difficulty.

The overall cut-off is expected to be 45+ marks for a call for the next round of admissions from IIFT Delhi and IIFT Calcutta.

Generally, the section-wise cut-off for IIFT is low, while the overall cut-off is significantly higher than the sum of the cut-offs of individual sections. As a result, the strategy should be to ensure that you scored enough to clear all the section-wise cut-offs and maximise your attempts and score in the section of your strength.

Logical Reasoning & Data InterpretationThis section consisted of simple and straightforward LR questions and time-consuming DI questions.

Questions on Arrangements dominated the LR sub-section. Additionally, there were questions on Network diagrams, Grouping & Conditionalities and Verbal Reasoning. One question pertaining to Grouping & Conditionalities was ambiguous. Like previous years, DI sets included multiple diagrams and were time consuming.


Academics Team, IMS

Expert Analysis:IIFT 2015

Question type

Description No of Qs


Matrix Arrangement

One set involving six students, getting job posting in six different countries and in six different fields

5 Easy

Linear Arrangement

One set involving six siblings with different heights and different educational

4 Easy

Grouping and Conditionalities

Three countries to be selected subject to four conditions

3 Easy

Network Diagram

Seven cities connected with either a two-way or one way connection

3 Easy

Number Series Complete the series by filling in the missing intermediate number in the series

1 Easy

Family Tree Symbol based family tree question

1 Easy

Directions Question involving directions and distances

1 Easy

Critical Reasoning

Find the conclusion that follows from given statement

1 Medium

Syllogism Find the conclusion 1 Easy

Table 1 - Logical Reasoning

Question type

Description No of Qs


Set 1 A set containing two tables and definition of certain parameters

5 Difficult

Set 2 A set containing a table and a scatter diagram

5 Difficult

Set 3 Bar chart containing three bars and 8 parameters on x-axis

4 Medium

Set 4 A complex set containing a pie chart and two bar charts

4 Difficult

Table 2 - Data Interpretation

As shown in Tables 1 and 2, Logical Reasoning questions were significantly easier than the

LR questions in IIFT-2014. Data Interpretation questions had similar level of difficulty.

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For the smartest minds,Money should never bean Obstacle

The Most Practical Business School presents Scholarship Awards

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ITM - Global Leadership CentreITM - Institute of Financial Markets

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The result is a radically different MBA program, that's designed and delivered for the next generation manager.

ITM PGDM iConnect 2016-18

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Ideally one should have attempted 22-24 questions in about 40 minutes. Most of the questions in Logical Reasoning should have ideally been attempted. The expected cut-off for the section is around 9-10 marks.

Verbal Ability & Reading ComprehensionThe VA-RC section consisted of two subsections, with the 16 RC questions carrying 1 mark each, while the 20 VA questions carried 0.75 marks each. This section was mostly very easy, and provided ample opportunities to score.

The vast majority of the RC questions were direct, and even the inferential ones were straightforward. There were four passages with 4 questions each. Two of the passages were very simple, and should definitely have been attempted. While the RC passages were on the long side (1.5 pages long each), as is common in the IIFT, they were all fairly easy to understand. Only a couple of RC questions were somewhat tricky.

The VA questions were also similarly quite easy, though there were a small handful that you might have had trouble with, such as the questions that asked you to identify the oxymorons, or the ones that asked the meaning of French words used in English.

Out of the two Jumbled Paragraph questions, only one was somewhat tricky. The other question types – Correct meaning of idiom/phrase, inappropriate use of the word, fill in the blanks, analogies and antonyms were very easy and provided ample opportunities to score.

The VA questions should not have taken more than 15 minutes to attempt; two of the RC passages could easily have been solved in 15-20 minutes, or perhaps three

Question type

Description No of Qs


Jumbled Paragraphs

5 sentences with the first sentence being fixed

2 Medium

Vocabulary and Usage

Meaning of Idiom/phrase 2 1 easy, 1 medium

Vocabulary and Usage

Choose option in which the word has been used inappropriately

2 Easy

Fill in the Blanks 2 blanks 2 Easy

Meaning of French words

2 Easy

Fill in the Blanks 1 blank 2 Easy

Meaning of word 1 Easy

Fill in the Blanks 2 blanks 2 Easy

Identify the Oxymoron

2 1 medium, 1 easy

Sentence Completion

From the alternatives complete the sentence

1 Easy

Analogy Select pair with same relationship as the given pair

1 Medium

Antonym Antonym of given word 1 Easy

Table 4 - Verbal Ability

Question type

Description No of Qs


RC 1 Passage on global steel production

4 All easy

RC 2 Passage on Otlet’s vision of the internet

4 3 easy, 1 medium

RC 3 Passage on loans 4 All easy

RC 4 Passage on importance and theories regarding mass media’s political impact

4 All easy

Table 3 - Reading Comprehension

in 20-25 minutes. Considering the difference in marks between the two subsections, it would have made more sense to try to attempt

more RC questions rather than focusing too much on VA.

Tables 3 and 4 provide a break-up of questions in this section.

On the whole, if you devoted around 35 minutes to the Verbal Ability-Reading Comprehension section, you could have attempted around 10-15 VA questions and 8-12 RC questions.

The expected cut-off for this section is 8-10 marks.

General AwarenessThe GK section this year was eminently doable as compared to previous years. Of the 28 questions, 19 were static and 9 current events. Furthermore, 23 of the 28 questions were on world affairs. “Match the Column”

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Question type / Topic No of Qs DifficultyStatic GK 19 Medium

Current events 9 Medium

National 5 Medium

International 23 Medium

Business and Economics 7 Medium

Current events 9 Medium

Sports, Literature and Films 4 Easy

Politics 1 Easy

History and Geography 3 Medium

Science and Medicine 4 Medium to difficult

Table 5 - General Awareness

questions were easy because identifying only one correct pair would have given you the answer. However, the current events questions pertaining to national events were quite difficult – as it asked for answers in terms of numbers. Fortunately there were only two questions of this type. The questions were mostly on business, science (inventor), headquarters and appointments with a couple from Geography and History.

On the whole, if you devoted around 18-20 minutes to the GK section, you could have attempted around 18-20 questions. The cut-off for this section is expected to be around 3-4 marks, considering the fact that each question carries 0.5 marks.

Quantitative AbilityAs stated before, the other change in the structure of the IIFT occurs here, with the Quantitative Ability being segregated from Data Interpretation.

The questions in the Quantitative Ability section in IIFT 2015 were easier as compared to the questions in QA-DI section in IIFT-2014. Most of the questions were easy to medium level of difficulty. Some of the questions required somewhat lengthy calculations. A number of questions were amenable to option elimination.

A student whose strength was Maths should have attempted 17-19 questions in about 40 minutes. The expected cut-off for the section is around 6.5-7.5 marks. A

Topic/Subtopic No of Qs DifficultyModern Mathematics 8

Probability 2 Easy to medium

AP-GP 2 Easy to medium

Permutation & Combination 2 Easy to medium

Logarithms 1 Medium

Set Theory 1 Easy

Arithmetic 7

Percentages 3 Easy to medium

Time & Work 2 Easy to medium

Averages 1 Medium

Mixtures 1 Easy

Geometry 3

Circles 1 Easy

Mensuration 1 Medium

Triangles 1 Medium

Algebra 3

Equations 1 Easy

Inequations 1 Easy

Equation involving square roots 1 Easy

Numbers 1

Surds and Indices 1 Easy

Table 6 - Quantitative Ability


We shall publish our expert analysis of the following tests in our forthcoming issues:NMAT: Till December 18, 2015MAT: December 6 (paper), December 20 (computer)

SNAP: December 20, 2015XAT: January 3, 2016TISS: January 9, 2016CMAT: January 17, 2016

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Dr Suresh Srinivasan

India and the current fiscal deficit predicament

India is currently in danger of missing the fiscal deficit target that it had set for itself. Factors such as the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendation, the corporate tax rate,

slow growth in the US, etc might be to blame.

T he level of fiscal deficit is an established barometer for the health of any nation.

Broadly speaking, the fiscal deficit is the difference between the receipts and expenditure of the government — the lower the deficit, the better the health of the economy.

Fiscal deficit is generally denoted as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). India has set itself a target of fiscal deficit at 3% of its GDP by 2018. Last year, i.e., 2013-14, India recorded a fiscal deficit of 4%. During the current year, as things stand, we may reach 4.68%. This effectively means that the probability that we shall be able to consolidate our fiscal deficit within the targeted

limit is very low. This can also have a negative effect on the way rating agencies will perceive India.

Seventh Pay CommissionA salary increase of close to 24% for Central government employees has been recommended by the Seventh Pay Commission. India has close to 50 lakh Central government employees and an equal number of senior citizens drawing pensions. As a result of such a recommendation, the overall increase in salary bill is expected to be close to `1,000 lakh crore, much higher than earlier expected. This means that the ability of the government to control the fiscal deficit will be weak. So the catch 22 situation is this: If the

recommended higher salaries are not paid, the Central government employees will strike, but paying the same will drive up the fiscal deficit!

The increased salaries puts more money into the hands of the population, which means more cash chasing lesser goods, resulting in higher inflation. This will, in turn, exert significant pressure on the Reserve Bank of India to contain the country’s consumer price inflation within the target of 5% by early 2017 and 4% by early 2018.

In the month of October, consumer price-based inflation is still much lower than RBI’s 2016 target of 6%, which leaves more room for rate cuts that can spur investment and growth. The dampening factor will now be the increased salary outgo, which can potentially flare up inflation in the months to come.

Corporate rate cuts?Today, In India, the Corporate rates (a form of direct tax on corporates) are high. Over the next four years, the finance ministry has pledged to cut corporate taxes down from the current 30% to close to 25%. The objective behind this is to bring down India’s tax rates, in line with most of the comparable economies India has set itself a target of fiscal deficit of 3% of its GDP by 2018.

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Marriott buys Starwood HotelsThe two companies have agreed to merge, creating the largest hotel company in the world. The combined entity will now have 11 lakh rooms in more than 5,000 hotels. The merger can be described as a perfect fit — Starwood is reputed for its lifestyle brands with a good international spread, while Marriott’s core compe-

tence lie in the niche luxury segment. Marriott is also a solid player in the resort segment. The combination of the two companies gives the new entity a distinct advantage in terms of scale and

size, with presence in over 100 countries, as well as a diversified portfolio of relevant products.

Award of hydrocarbon blocksOil exploration and production has been one of the most critical areas with respect to foreign currency depen-dence. In spite of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) announced in 1997, exploration and production of oil has not been very successful and India is still dependent on imported crude for more than 70% of its re-quirements. Now, new guidelines are being proposed that will allow companies to apply for unified licences for oil and gas, shale reserves and coal-bed methane exploration and production. The model will move to revenue sharing rather than profit sharing and is expected to grow domestic exploration and production.

in the vicinity. This is important, because foreign investors will compare tax rates of various neighboring countries ahead of making their investment decisions. Hence, the tax rate is a key factor that will influence the returns on investment.

Corporate tax and investment flowNot only the tax rate, but the tax structure is also complicated. Investments in under developed areas, special economic zones, nascent industries, capital intensive industries, etc enjoy deduction in tax rates. A number of industries like information technology, infrastructure, and research and development-intensive industries like pharmaceuticals enjoy such benefits.

With the reduction in corporate tax rate to an effective 25%, all of these exemptions and tax deductions are likely to be phased out. Although these could help India gain an overall competitive advantage in the long run, in terms of receiving investments,

this could have a negative impact on investment flows in selected industries, especially at a time when the government is pushing for large scale investments.

Recent economic data shows that public and private investments are falling. On an average, factories are running at almost 30% below capacity. Lower investments means lower corporate income, which means lesser corporate profits, which eventually leads to lower corporate tax collected. This will widen the fiscal deficit gap, thereby exerting pressure on achieving the fiscal deficit targets.

Corporate tax and GSTTo complicate this further, the effective rate after considering the numerous indirect taxes is quite high. This can be addressed by the unified Goods and Services Tax (GST), which the government is currently struggling to pass in Parliament. A decreasing corporate tax rate will certainly help in the short run, but reduce the country’s income, as these constitute more than 70% of India’s total receipts.

This will consequentially result in a hike in the fiscal deficit of the country.

FDI looking up?Strong foreign direct investments (FDI) are, to a certain extent, a compensation for the loss of investments from the Indian companies. For the first six months of 2015, FDI into India reached around `13,000 crore, which is an increase of around 30% as compared to the previous year. With the

A large part of FDI inflow increase is being attributed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brand building exercise on his foreign trips.

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ICICI diluting Insurance assetsICICI Bank recently sold 6% in ICICI Prudential for around `2,000 crore jointly to the personal investment arm of Azim Premji and the investment

arm of the government of Singapore, Tamesek. After the sale, ICICI still holds a majority stake close to 70% in the life insurance business of ICICI Prudential. A few months ago, the bank had also sold 9% in ICICI Lombard, the casualty and property insurance company, to Fairfax Financial holdings for close to `1,500 crore.

Apple TV coming soonApple is already opening up its next chapter in innovation. The new Apple TV will have ac-cess to apps like the iPhone and will let you choose your favourite streaming services. It may not be limited to iTunes, but is speculated to include streaming videos from Amazon and Google Play. It is also expected to stream videos and content from YouTube. The high

definition TV, along with such streaming services, will be complemented by iCloud in terms of ease in content storage and seamless retrieval.

Opposition crying foul on the Prime Minister’s foreign trips, one can for sure attribute a large part of such increase in FDI inflows to his brand building exercise with key foreign investors.

Industrial production outlookThe index of industrial production (IIP), a barometer of the country’s manufacturing sector, has recorded a 3.6% growth for the latest quarter, much lower than the expected growth of around 4.5%. This is primarily being attributed to weak demand, poor exports, as well as weak demand from rural India. All these are pointers to the fact that the overall economic growth agenda of the government is yet to reach the grassroots level and is yet to show results on ground.

Non-performing assetsStressed assets of India’s banks are more or less hitting the peak. The latest quarterly report shows that the level of non-performing assets (NPA) of Indian banks has reached a 10-year high at close to 12%, including stressed assets that were restructured. Investments in

projects did commence, but were stalled due to various issues like land acquisition bottlenecks, economic clump, cost over runs, etc. The NPA situation is, therefore, likely to improve only when investments and an overall positive sentiment in the economy pick up. As explained in earlier issues of Advance’dge, a high level of NPA in the banking system is one of the biggest challenges that India is facing, as a weak banking system will not be of any help when it comes to pulling up the economy in times of crisis.

Slow US growthThe US economy is also not picking up as expected; it is taking time. The average yearly growth is failing to break the 2.5% mark, and this is a

concern. Economic growth for the third quarter has also fallen short of target. With the US Federal Reserve (Fed) seriously contemplating the timing of increasing interest rates, it may take some more time for the Fed to be fully convinced that the economy is growing, before the interest rates can be hiked. At a summit in Turkey, members of the G20 resolved to expand the collective gross domestic product (GDP) by 2% by the year 2018.

In the middle of these economic uncertainties across the globe, terrorist attacks in Paris have escalated global geopolitical uncertainties. The G20 has condemned the attack and pledged to address the terrorism threat by enhancing cooperation and sharing operational information.

On balance, India not only has its internal issues to manage, but also has to capably respond to external threats that could hurt growth. Fiscal consolidation in such uncertain economic situations can be very difficult to achieve, but that is why it is all the more important to work harder towards achieving this difficult target! A




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Dr Suresh Srinivasan

Indian start-ups: Are they a bubble waiting to burst?

The air is rife with excitement about the current wave of start-ups, especially since securing investment has become far easier than earlier. However, a closer look

reveals that the ground reality is actually far from rosy.

S tart-ups are currently hot topics, both in India as well as globally. Start-

ups are new ventures that are conceptualised by entrepreneurs using disruptive innovative ideas, new business models and propositions that serve certain unmet needs of customers.

The beginnings of a start-upThe unique aspect of a start-up is that although the promoters have conceptualised a new idea or product or service and are convinced that it will be accepted by the customers, there are a number of uncertainties which can make the new idea or concept unviable. Especially, the question as to whether the business model will provide adequate returns to the promoters.

Hence, the start-up business needs to be grown to a point so that it can be demonstrated that the customers value such an idea, and also show that the business model can bring profit to the promoter. However, the business needs to be funded in order for it to grow to that level, and the promoters may not be able to fund all the financial requirements, from their own sources, up to this stage.

Early stage fundingBecause of the reason mentioned above, the importance of “early stage” funding in start-ups gains paramount importance. In this process, promoters bring in third party investors to fund their start-up. These early stage investors are generally denoted as “angel investors” (very early stage, when the viability of the business model is yet to be established), “venture capitalists” (early stage, when the viability of the business model is reasonably established) or “private equity” investors (growth stage, when the viability has been established), depending on the stage of the start-up in which they make their investments.

Valuating the start-upsOn what terms do these investors enter the start-ups?

The value of the start-up

is based on its future growth potential, and the investors take a proportion of the equity based on the agreed valuation. Let’s consider an example. For an e-commerce company like Snapdeal, the value will be arrived at based on the assessment of profit drivers in the e-commerce business — India’s growing middle class income, exponential increase of mobile phone usage, the acceptance and satisfaction of shopping online, etc. The valuations will also be based on the strengths of Snapdeal — being one of the successful early entrants, brand creation and awareness, friendly internet platform, logistics and delivery capability.

The higher these “profit drivers”, the larger will be the value of the start-up. However, although these drivers can be reasonably established,

For example, Snapdel was valued at around `13,000 crore by the promoters 10 months ago. The same company is now valued at around `35,000 crore. Jabong’s promoters valued the company at close to `3,200 crore a year ago and wanted to sell the company. But the investors felt the valuations were too high and were not ready to go beyond `1,500 crore; hence, they did not go ahead with the investment. Notably, Flipkart is currently valued at `96,000 core.

Current valuation of notable start-ups

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they are extremely subjective and individual perceptions and sentiments play a large role in driving valuations. Industry uncertainties and future developments that can drastically increase or decrease the earlier assessed valuations of start-ups certainly cannot be ignored.

Start-up sectorsInvestors are currently keen on funding these start-ups and expect to exit with a profit (through initial public offering of shares, or IPO) in a short span of time. Visibly, around 120 to 150 deals of start-up funding are being struck every month in India for over the last 12 months.

M a j o r sectors in which start-ups are e m e r g i n g i n c l u d e online food ordering and delivery system, bus, taxi and auto aggregation, hyper-local grocery, budget hotels aggregation, domestic help aggregation, home stay and room rentals platform, small business financing, etc.

In addition to these, exotic ideas like alternative mobile monetisation platform, online reputation management platform, and online vehicle spare parts retail are just a few of the areas in which start-ups are fast emerging.

Support for start-upsNational bodies like Nasscom are pioneering an ambitious attempt

called “10,000 Start-ups” to scale up the start-up ecosystem in India. Through its initiative, Nasscom enables funding, acceleration and incubation support to start-ups over the next 10 years.

Many senior high net-worth individuals (HNIs) are pledging investments to nascent start-ups. Ratan Tata, for example, has invested in many start-ups including Ola, Snapdeal, Swasth India, Abra, Blue Stone, Urban Ladder, Ampere Vehicles, etc. Mohandas Pai has made investments in start-

ups like LetsVenture, Licious, Gingercrush, etc. Azim Premji has invested in Snapdeal, Myntra (later acquired by Flipkart), etc, while N.R. Narayana Murthy has investments in start-ups like Catamaran and Hector Beverages.

The veteran advantageNaturally, these well known

industry veterans bring in a lot of credibility to such start-ups, in addition to financing. This positions these companies superiorly in the perception of customers, investors and their products and services. These veterans also bring in value

additions in terms of improving governance in these start-ups, which are primarily spearheaded by young minds with enormous innovation and risk-taking capability, but who lack business, finance, people and customer management capabilities.

The industry experts can, to a certain extent, fill this gap, provide a reasonably good oversight to these start-ups and handhold them for sustainable growth.

The investor’s logicAvailability of easy money

(low interest rates in the US economy), h i g h liquidity and s p e c u l a t i o n can push valuations up. Investments are made at high v a l u a t i o n s , even with the k n o w l e d g e that neither the future of the industry

is rosy, nor the capability of the start-up is strong. These investments are made purely on speculative grounds, i.e., invest at high values and exit making profits, before the bubble bursts.

The bubble waiting to burstThe current valuations of all

Indian e-commerce start-ups are outrageous. Experts believe that these cannot be justified on any count, and consider them to be a bubble waiting to burst. Even Uber, the global taxi aggregator (with very little assets on its balance sheet), is valued at around `3 lakh crore, while American Airlines (with more

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Retail majors enter e-commerceAfter Aditya Birla group’s, the group’s e-commerce venture, Tata Group and Reliance are now entering the e-commerce space. Tata’s Tata Mall is reported to be aggressively recruiting key positions to commence the e-commerce operations.

Reliance Industries is also preparing to go “Omni channel” along with its Reliance Fresh brand and other brick and mortar formats. It has also been reported to have commenced the hiring process of domain specialists.

Large companies like Wipro backing start-upsLarge IT companies are setting up venture capital funds to finance and nurture start-ups. Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and Persistent Systems have set up venture capital arms.

This move makes a lot of sense, since well established large companies may not have the drive to innovate and come up with new ideas, as they are more concerned with mon-etising the assets they have invested in. Ideas of small start-up companies can be pursued

by larger players to scale and establish a viable business model.

than 500 aircraft) is valued only at around `1 lakh crore.

Ground realityMost of the start-ups are not

making any profits due to high level of discounts being doled out merely to grow the top line. Investments are flowing into these loss-making start-ups purely based on speculative future earnings. A few success stories like Alibaba and Amazon are driving the investors into an industry where most of the players are struggling. It can be strongly argued that most of these start-ups could fail in the short term, and such failures will be accelerated when the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates and cheap money starts becoming scarce.

Signs of such distress are already visible — TinyOwl, Zomato, FranklyMe and recently laid off a large number of their employees. Many

such start-ups were seen as large recruiters in business schools making phenomenal offers, but now, many of those same start-ups have confirmed that they will not be coming to campus this year, as they are freezing recruitments and reorganising their operations.

Investors are not exiting Over the last two years, in

spite of investors entering such start-ups, there aren’t many exits to be seen just yet. This means

that the valuations at which the investors came on board were high, and the investors are unable to secure a profit to exit. Over the last three years, the investors of only two start-ups seemed to have successfully exited through an IPO — Justdial and

In spite of the SEBI easing the norms for listing medium-sized companies, none of the Indian start-ups are choosing that route, as they believe that their valuations may not justify their listing and hence the investors are hesitant to take the IPO route. Shares of Coffee Day, for example, fell below the offer price of `316 to `328 per share to `270 as the stock was listed and traded on the stock exchange, emphasising the fact that the subscribers had, in fact, over-valued the company.

Given this present scenario, the future is highly uncertain for the Indian e-commerce start-ups! A




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Dr Suresh Srinivasan

The sky’s the limit for India’s new aviation policy

Although more a document of intent than anything else, the government’s draft aviation policy is a step in the right direction towards boosting the economy. Proposals such as

enhancing regional connectivity and capping airfares will enable the common man to fly.

he strength of any economy is judged by the aviation scenario in the country.

By facilitating the free flow of passengers and cargo, the aviation sector is a key enabler of economic growth and progress.

The Indian aviation sectorIndia’s aviation industry is comparatively a nascent one, with a lot of promise for growth on all counts. Only one-fourth of the Indian airports are open for commercial flight, and it is interesting to note that India’s population that is flying equals one sixth of China’s and one-fortieth of that of developed economies like the United States. With more than 1,000 aircrafts slated to be ordered over the next 15 years, the aviation policy in the country needs to be conducive enough to support such exponential growth.

National civil aviation policyWith this objective, the Government of India recently announced a draft national civil aviation policy to address the ailing aviation sector, create a vibrant airline and airport industry, and ultimately encourage the common

man to fly. The document is largely one of intent, and encourages public discussion to improve the aviation scenario in the country. Will the draft policy meet its objective? What are the shortcomings?

FDI over 50%The intent to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in the aviation sector is quite loud and clear. The document is proposing to increase FDI in airlines from the current 49% to above 50%. This means that foreign investors can gain management control in running Indian airlines, which the current 49% limit does not allow. This could encourage more foreign airlines to invest in the growing Indian airline market and also bring in cutting edge global management practices and technologies to the Indian airline sector. All in all, a big positive!

Fewer restrictions for foreign carriersThe government is also mulling over allowing national carriers of countries in the 5,000 km radius to fly in and out of India without any seat, or frequency, restrictions. This will, in all likelihood, include carriers like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, etc. There is also an increased emphasis on getting all SARC countries out of the bilateral treaties system and make flying an unrestricted “open sky” regime.

Currently, these international carriers are bound by bilateral restrictions and “seat caps”. Easing this will increase air travel into the country with a positive impact on travel and tourism. More importantly, allowing more foreign carriers to enter India in an unrestricted manner will help

the Indian economy grow both in terms of trade and development. Furthermore, the government is also proposing to dilute the current norms of minimum 20 aircrafts and a minimum of 5 years of operations for Indian carriers to fly abroad.


The new aviation policy plans to let in a lot of FDI

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The defence thrustIn line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” scheme, the policy is giving a solid push towards encouraging commercial aviation-related manufacturing, as well as the creation of an eco-system that will support such manufacturing. The policy also sees a number of synergies in linking this with defence manufacturing, where defence-related manufacturing can also add complementarities and synergies.

India as an MRO hubAnother area that will have a major impact from an FDI perspective is the proposal to develop India as a “maintenance repair and overhaul” (MRO) hub. Today,

most of the Indian carriers go to countries like

Singapore and UAE for

r e g u l a r m a i n t e n a n c e of their aircraft fleet; obviously, this entails an outflow of the country’s valuable foreign currency resources. India’s becoming a MRO hub will not only correct this situation, but will also attract national carriers of neighbouring countries to use our facility, thereby enhancing our foreign currency income potential. There is also a scope for FDI, wherein foreign MRO specialists might invest in India to co-create such facilities. A number of tax incentives have also been proposed to encourage such MRO investments in India.

Caps and regional connectivityThe draft policy is likely to have a profound impact on the Indian economy. One of the main objectives to strengthen the civil

aviation laws is to ensure that air fares are reasonable enough for the common man to fly. Towards this objective, the draft policy has stated that from 2016, emphasis will be placed on regional connectivity and instituting a cap on airfares above which airlines will not be allowed to charge.

For example, routes within one hour of flying will have a maximum fare of ̀ 2,500 per ticket, and this will be indexed to inflation, year over year. This is an extremely positive step that will weed out cartelisation, if any. It will also ensure competitive rivalry between airlines and tickets

are priced much lower. With regional connectivity gaining importance, the government expects 300 out of the 400 airports to be put to use for commercial aircraft flying.

Licences to boost regional connectivityA proposal has been put up to issue a new breed of airline licences, with which these carriers will fly only on regional routes. The entry requirements and the minimum capital required to start these regional airlines will be far lesser, and hence the government is expecting quite a number of players to enter this segment and strengthen India’s regional connectivity. Heli-hubs

for encouraging s c h e d u l e d h e l i c o p t e r

services and seaplanes to

additionally service coastal areas are also being


Regulations A number of initiatives have also been proposed to water down

regulations with respect

to “code share” agreements. This will improve the ability of airlines to leverage their surplus capacity and cross utilise the same across different airlines. It has also been indicated that, going forward, unprecedented emphasis will be placed on safety, security and accident prevention; defaulters are expected to be dealt with utmost seriousness. This is a welcome proposal and will largely improve flying sentiments.




Although a nascent one, India’s aviation sector shows a lot of promise for growth.

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Dr Suresh Srinivasan is a Chartered Accountant, has an MBA (Bradford UK) and a Doctorate in Strategy. He is a Professor of Strategy in Great Lakes Institute of Management and a management consultant.

Status: InfrastructureThe government is also proposing to offer “infrastructure” status for air cargo operations. This will be very important in terms of developing cargo hubs throughout the country. This could help the Make in India campaign, but also in moving perishable commodities from farms to front-end retail in the shortest possible time.

The ATF factorThe overall policy outlook is forward looking and will support the economic growth the country is looking to achieve. However, the government, in parallel, needs to move with the state governments to ensure that the pricing of aircraft turbine fuel (ATF) is rationalised. One of the major concerns to improve the health of airlines is the reduction in taxes that are applicable to ATF. This is as high as around 30% in many states.

Since fuel cost works out to close to half of the total operating costs of airlines in India, rationalisation of taxes on ATF to less than 10% can show a dramatic reduction in operating costs and a substantial improvement in operating profits of airline companies.

Everything said and done, we seem to be moving in the right direction, when it comes to the stand the policy has taken. However, these ideas need to be translated into reality through superior execution excellence. Only then can the aviation policy translate into economic growth! A

Flipkart back into logisticsSingapore-based Flipkart Ltd, the holding company of, has bought back

its logistics business from WS Retail. Analysts are speculating that Flipkart could be strengthening the logistics part of the value chain through this acquisition, while others argue that Flipkart might eventually close down its logistics business and focus on a more market-lace based platform, completely moving away from the inventory type mode.

All of these are being done ahead of its IPO, which is expected in the next couple of years.

IndiGo IPOIn one of the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in recent times, IndiGo garnered

a little more than `3,000 crores. The issue was oversubscribed by more than six times, showing the confidence of the investors in the superior management skills possessed by the airline. The supposedly only consistently profitable airline in the country, IndiGo has created a brand reputed for reliable departures, low fares and a seamless flying experience.

Blackberry teams up with TataBlackberry is currently in partnership

with Tata Power, and is proposing to develop an anti-espionage communication system. This system will be a secret communication system tailored for the Indian government.

Earlier, Blackberry and Boeing had partnered to develop Boeing’s super-secret Black smartphones for use in defence and security communities. There are no serviceable parts in the device, and any attempt to break open the product casing will trigger deletion and self-destruction of saved data and software, and render the gadget inoperable.

Hero Motor CorpHero has recently proudly announced that it has developed three new engines of 100cc, 110cc and 250cc, in-house. It is well known that Hero-Honda was one of the most successful joint ventures in Indian history. However, since the split, and Honda Motor

Company setting up its own shop in India and competing with Hero, it is widely being considered that Hero had lost out, as Honda walked away with the key technology component from the joint venture.

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Are you a Brainiac? In this section, we shall explore several different types of questions from the various areas of entrance exams like the CAT, CET, GMAT,

etc, and how to best solve them.

DIRECTIONS for questions 1: Choose the correct alternative.

Q1. A lecturer uses a microphone while teaching. The 4.8 m x 7.2 m classroom has speakers mounted at the four corners. Whenever the lecturer ventures within 3 m distance of the corners, there is a disturbance on the speakers. What is the maximum distance that he can walk in a single direction, parallel to the longer sides of the room, without any disturbance?

1] 6 m 2] 4.2 m 3] 3.6 m 4] 1.2 m

AP = AB = 2.4 m. OA = 3 m. So, OP2 = (3)2 – (2.4)2.

So, OP = 1.8 m. So the maximum distance he can walk in the same direction = OQ = 7.2 – 2 (OP) = 3.6 m.

Hence, [3].

7. Ankit and Arpit started a cycle race from A to reach B. Arpit cycled at th of Ankit’s speed. Ankit broke some rules of the race and as a penalty had to go back to A after covering half the distance and then resumed the race. How long did Arpit take to finish the race if he won by 10 minutes?

1] 20 minutes 2] 25 minutes 3] 45 minutes 4] 80 minutes

Let time taken by Ankit to travel from A to B be ‘t’ minutes. Since, he travelled twice the distance from A to B, he took ‘2t’ minutes. Since Arpit travels at times Ankit’s speed, he took t minutes to travel from A to B.

2t – t = 10 t = 15

t = 20 minutes.

Time taken by Arpit to finish the race = 20 minutes. Hence, [1].

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VerbalDIRECTIONS for questions 1 and 2: In the following questions, there are sentences that form a paragraph. Identify the sentence(s) or part(s) of sentence(s) that is/are correct in terms of grammar and usage (including spelling, punctuation and logical consistency). Then, choose the most appropriate option.

Q1. A. Having thus compared state and non-state dispute resolution systems with respect to civil justice, it is time to turn to criminal justice.

B. Here we immediately encounter two basic differences between the two: first, state criminal justice is concerned in punishing crimes against the state’s laws.

C. The purpose of state-administered punishment is to foster obedience to the state’s laws and maintaining peace within the state.

D. A prison sentence imposed upon the criminal by the state doesn’t, and isn’t intended to, compensate the victim for his injuries.

E. Second, as a result, state civil justice and criminal justice are separate systems, whereas these systems are not distinct in non-state societies.

(1) A&B (2) A, C & E (3) B, C & D (4) D & E Statement A suffers from a dangling modifier: the clause beginning with ‘having’ does not have any subject in the rest of the sentence, which reveals who is doing the comparing. ‘It is time to turn to’ should be changed to something like ‘we should now turn to’. There is a prepositional error in statement B: ‘concerned’ should be followed by ‘with’ not ‘in’ in this context. In statement C, there is a parallel construction error: the verbs ‘foster’ and ‘maintain’ are parallel, so they should be in the same form, i.e. the infinitive form. The remaining two statements, D and E, are grammatically correct. Hence, [4].

DIRECTIONS: In the following questions, there are sentences that form a paragraph. Identify the sentence(s) or part(s) of sentence(s) that is/are correct in terms of grammar and usage (including spelling, punctuation and logical consistency). Then, choose the most appropriate option.

Q2. A. Sunshine pierced the haze that had enveloped London.

B. It came down Fleet Street, turned to the right, stopped at the premises of the Mammoth Publishing Company, and,

C. entering through an upper window, beaming pleasantly upon Lord Tilbury, founder and proprietor of that vast factory of popular literature,

D. as he sat reading the batch of weekly papers which his secretary has placed on the desk for his inspection.

E. Among the secrets of this great man’s success was the fact that he kept a personal eye on all the firm’s products.

(1) A & D (2) A, B & C (3) A, B & E (4) C, D & E

There is a parallel construction error in statement C: the correct form of the verb should be ‘beamed’ not ‘beaming’, in order for it to be parallel to the verbs ‘came’, ‘turned’ and ‘stopped’ in the sequence (in statement B). There is a tense error in D: since the event described is in the past tense, the verb ‘place’ should be in the past perfect not present perfect, i.e. ‘had placed’ not ‘has placed’. Note that ‘to keep a personal eye on something’ in E is simply another way of saying ‘to keep a eye on something personally’. Statements A, B and E are correct. Hence, [3].

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The melancholy proprietorIt was a lovely morning and the air was fragrant with gentle summer scents. Yet in his lordship’s pale blue eyes there was a look of melancholy. His brow was furrowed, his mouth peevish. And this was all the more strange in that he was normally as happy as only a fluffy-minded man with excellent health and a large income can be. A writer, describing Blandings Castle in a magazine article, had once said: ‘Tiny mosses have grown in the cavities of the stones, until, viewed near at hand, the place seems shaggy with vegetation.’ It would not have been a bad description of

the proprietor. Fifty-odd years of serene and unruffled placidity had given Lord Emsworth a curiously moss-covered look. Very few things had the power to disturb him. Even his younger

son, the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, could only do it occasionally.

Yet now he was sad. And – not to make a mystery of it any longer – the reason of his sorrow was the fact that he had mislaid his glasses and without them was as blind, to use his own neat

simile, as a bat. He was keenly aware of the sunshine that poured down on his gardens, and was yearning to pop out and potter among the flowers he loved.

Excerpt from P.G. Wodehouse’s Leave It To PSmith

1. Fragrant – (frey-gre nt) (adj)

2. Pale – (peyl) (adj)

3. Melancholy – (mel-uh n-kol-ee) (n)

4. Furrowed – (fur-oh ed) (v)

5. Peevish – (pee-vish) (adj)

6. Fluffy – (fluhf-ee) (adj)

7. Mosses – (maws-es) (n)

8. Cavities – (kav-i-tee s) (n)

9. Shaggy – (shag-ee) (adj)

10. Vegetation – (vej-i-tey-shuh n) (n)

11. Proprietor – (pruh-prahy-i-ter) (n)

12. Serene – (si-reen) (adj)

13. Unruffled – (uhn-ruhf-uh ld) (adj)

14. Placidity – (plas-id-iti) (n)

15. Mislaid – (mis-ley d) (v)

16. Keenly – (keen-li) (adv)

17. Simile – (sim-uh-lee) (n)

18. Yearning – (yur-ning) (n)

19. Potter – (pot-er) (v)

a. A state where one is not easily upset or excited.

b. Having or showing an irritable disposition.

c. Intensely.d. A figure of speech involving

the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.

e. An empty space or a hole within a solid object.

f. Make a rut, groove, or trail in (the ground or the surface of something).

g. A feeling of intense longing for something.

h. (Of a person or their manner) not agitated or disturbed.

i. The owner of a business, or a holder of property.

j. Unkempt, untidy.k. Plants considered collectively,

especially those found in a particular area or habitat.

l. Having a pleasant or sweet smell.

m. A feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

n. Small flowerless green plants which lack true roots, growing

in low carpets or rocks or rounded cushions in damp habitats.

o. Occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant way.

p. Frivolous or silly; lacking depth or seriousness.

q. Calm, peaceful, and untroubled; tranquil.

r. Light in colour or shade; containing little colour or pigment.

s. Unintentionally put (an object) where it cannot readily be found. To misplace something temporarily.

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A quiz to boost your General Knowledge

1. An Indian celebrity has recently been selected to become represent India as the cultural ambassador for Seychelles. Name the person.

a. Shahrukh Khan b. Javed Akhtar c. Waheeda Rehman d. AR Rahman

2. Manorama, the actress who recently died, had appeared in more than 1,500 films, 1,000 stage performances and several television series. She holds a Guinness World record for acting in more than 1000 films. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002. Which Indian state is she from?

a. Tamil Nadu b. Karnataka c. Kerala d. Andhra Pradesh

3. Name the Indian state that has launched the ‘My Ganga, My Dolphin-2015’ campaign.

a. Uttar Pradesh b. Uttarakhand c. Bihar d. West Bengal

4. Who is the winner of Russian Grand Prix-2015?

a. Sebastian Vettel b. Lewis Hamilton c. Nico Roseberg d. Kimi Raikkonen

5. Name the largest leather producing state in India.

a. Manipur b. Chhattisgarh c. Tamil Nadu d. Andhra Pradesh

6. Going by the 2011 Census Report, name the state in India that has the lowest female literacy rate.

a. Himachal Pradesh b. Haryana c. Bihar d. Rajasthan

7. Name the first Indian state that has launched the auction of mines.

a. Gujarat b. Jharkhand c. Bihar d. Karnataka

8. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ranked by the Forbes magazine as one of world’s most powerful people. At which position has he been ranked?

a. 8th b. 9th c. 10th d. 11th

9. In the 56 kilogram category, an Indian boxer has been given the second ranking in the latest international rankings of boxing. This feat makes the sportsperson the highest-ranked Indian boxer. Name him.

a. Shiva Thapa b. Vijender Singh c. Jitender Kumar d. Dinesh Kumar

10. Name the country that topped in the 2015 Global Prosperity Index.

a. Switzerland b. Norway c. Denmark d. Sweden

11. Name the writer of the book Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations?

a. Sudha Murthy b. Nandan Nilekani c. Ratan Tata d. Vishal Sikka

12. Name the fastest Indian bowler who reached the 150-Test wicket landmark.

a. Ravichandran Ashwin b. Umesh Yadav c. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar d. Mohammed Shami

13. Name the city where National Institute of Nutrition is located.

a. Hyderabad b. Bengaluru c. Dehradun d. Coimbatore

14. What is the denomination in which gold coins are issued under the Indian Gold Coin 2015 scheme?

a. 10, 20 and 50 grams b. 20, 50 and 100 grams c. 5, 10 and 20 grams d. 5, 15 and 25 grams

15. Name Canada’s current Prime Minister.

a. Denis Lebel b. David Johnston c. Vivian Barbot d. Justin Trudeau

16. Name the Indian city where the first international film festival for persons with disabilities will be held from December 1st to 3rd this year. The film festival will be organised by the Department of Empowerment of Persons

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with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment along with National Films Development Corporation.

a. New Delhi b. Kolkata c. Mumbai d. Chennai

17. Name the power-packed lady who has got the top ranking in the Fortune India list of 50 most powerful businesswomen for 2015.

a. Shikha Sharma b. Nishi Vasudeva c. Arundhati Bhattacharya d. Chanda Kochhar

18. Name the satellite that will be launched by ISRO to study solar eclipses.

a. Satellite Aditya b. Satellite Agni c. Satellite Surya d. Satellite Bhaskara

19. The first World Humanitarian Summit will be held in early 2016. The summit is aimed at setting a forward-looking agenda for humanitarian action to collectively address future humanitarian challenges. Name the country where it will be held.

a. United States of America b. France c. Turkey d. Bulgaria

20. This place has earned the distinction of being called the City of Letters. Which place are we talking about?

a. Kottayam b. Trivandrum c. Kollam d. Palakkad

21. This Indian educational institute has been placed in world’s top 100 universities for engineering and technology. ‘Times Higher

Education (THE) Ranking for Engineering & Technology’ placed this institute at the 99th position. Name the institute.

a. IIT Kanpur b. IIT Kharagpur c. IISC Bangalore d. IIT Mumbai

22. This country along with UN Women has organised the first International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE) from November 12-14. Which is this country?

a. India b. Sri Lanka c. Myanmar d. China

23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled Basaveshwara’s statue in London. He was a 12th century Indian philosopher and poet. He spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanas. He was a famous poet in which language?

a. Malayalam b. Sanskrit c. Kannada d. Telugu

24. Name the country that has won the highest number of medals in the recent World Youth Chess Championship.

a. Japan b. India c. China d. Sri Lanka

25. The government of an Indian state is preparing to open a university particularly for gender related research-oriented studies. The university will come up as an autonomous institution under the state’s Social Justice Department. The South Asian Research Centre at the Gender Park will be developed into a full-fledged varsity by next year and

it will be the first such university in the country. In which Indian state is this varsity coming up?

a. Kerala b. West Bengal c. Assam d. Maharashtra

26. The United Nations International Day for Tolerance is observed annually in November to help people understand the importance of tolerance worldwide. On which date is it celebrated?

a. November 15 b. November 16 c. November 17 d. November 18

27. Madame Tussauds’, the world famous Wax Museum, will open its new venture in a city of India. Name the city.

a. New Delhi b. Kolkata c. Mumbai d. Chennai

28. This day in December is observed as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The annual observance was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations. The theme for this year is – ‘Inclusion matters: access and empowerment of people of all abilities’. What is the date?

a. December 1 b. December 2 c. December 3 d. December 4

29. ‘Kohvar’ and ‘Sohrai’ are two famous paintings practised by the women from a particular state in India. Kohvar is on marriage and Sohrai on the harvest theme. Which Indian state are we talking about?

a. Jharkhand b. Uttarakhand c. Madhya Pradesh d. Chhattisgarh

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54 How to PlayFill in the grid so that every horizontal row, every vertical column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1-9, without repeating the numbers in the same row, column or box. You can’t change the digits already given in the grid. Every puzzle has one solution.Hint: Don’t fill in numbers at random. While filling a particular square, write numbers 1-9 on a pad and start eliminating those numbers that already appear in the same row, column or 3x3 box.


For more similar puzzles,



1. d 2. a 3. a 4. b 5. c

6. d 7. a 8. b 9. a 10. b

11. b 12. a 13. a 14. c 15. d

16. a 17. c 18. a 19. c 20. a

21. c 22. a 23. c 24. b 25. a

26. b 27. a 28. c 29. a 30. d

31. d 32. a 33. c 34. b 35. c


30. What are the two diseases that have been reported to be the reasons for the highest number of deaths of children in India?

a. Measles, Chickenpox b. Rubela, Pneumonia c. Rubela, Whooping cough d. Pneumonia, Diarrhoea

31. Name the famous thinker, philosopher and theologian who has written Brahma Sutra, one of the fundamental texts of the Vedanta school of Hinduism.

a. Ramkrishna Paramhansha b. Swami Vivekananda c. Swami Dayanand Saraswati d. Adi Shankaracharya

32. Name the senior diplomat who has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, recently.

a. Manpreet Vohra b. RC Tyagi c. Amar Sinha d. Manish Sharma

33. Which is the world’s largest cotton producing nation?

a. India b. Brazil c. China d. Sri Lanka

34. This is India’s largest automobile company. It appointed Lionel Messi as the company’s global brand ambassador. Initially, the contract is for two years however it can be extended afterwards. Name the company.

a. Mahindra & Mahindra b. Tata Motors c. TVS Motors d. Bajaj Auto

35. Recently, the deadly tropical cyclone Chapala made landfall on this nation, causing widespread floods in coastal regions. Which country are we talking about?

a. Oman b. Sri Lanka

c. Yemen d. Malaysia

1. l 2. r 3. m 4. f 5. b 6. p 7. n 8. e 9. j 10. k 11. i 12. q 13. h 14. a 15. s 16. c 17. d 18. g 19. o

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