Friday, January 30, 2015

A Review of NIFT Delhi

National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi is one of the most renowned fashion colleges in the country. It is considered as a leading institute in providing benchmark performance in the Fashion industry. A lot of the now famous Fashion fraternity owes their allegiance to this revered institute, as an alma mater. This institute that marked a turning point in the history of the Fashion world was established way back in 1986, and was well recognized by the Government of India, Ministry of Textile with the collaboration of FIT, New York. Did you know that NIFT was empowered by the Government of India in 2006 for granting its own degrees and other distinctions? Pretty cool, huh?

The institute provides a common platform for Fashion education, research as well as training. Most of the common people just associate Fashion with good clothes. But it is way deeper than that. Going by the number of Departments NIFT has, goes on to show how much knowledge and detail is first needed before creating anything fashionable. If you are planning to study at NIFT, you might deal with some or all of departments like Accessory Design, Textile Design, Fashion, Leather, Apparel etc. You can find more about the courses offered at NIFT at Collegedunia. And if that makes you think about a lot of study and heard work, be rest assured because NIFT is fully equipped with the latest collection of famous Designers’ books, visual resources, and design community. It is also, undoubtedly, the best place for getting all information possible about Indian Contemporary and International Fashion.

Do you know that NIFT is the originator member of “Founder of the World” fashion school which has 34 fashion houses in all over the world? Can you imagine the kind of exposure its students would get in exchange programs? It already boasts of collaboration with biggies like De Montfort University, UK, Mod Art International, France, Royal Academy of Arts, London and the likes. No wonder it has received the status of most desirable and fashionable institute by none other than the Parliament of India. Some of their world renowned alumni include designers Prabal Gurung, Rahesh Pratap, Manish Arora, Ritu Beri, Ashish Soni and J.J.Valaya

NIFT has many a fabulous achievements under its very fashionable belt. Studying at NIFT would be a dream for all you budding fashionistas out there, right? In that case, another good news is that NIFT also gives you scholarship if you do not have the means to pay the entire fees. (Check out the feestructure of NIFT)

So why wait? Get out those scissors and fabrics and don your creative hats and prepare yourself for a fashionable entry in the industry where, who knows, you would be dressing up the superstars of tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

FMS Delhi- a note on placements!

FMS, Faculty of management Studies, one of the pioneering Business Schools of India was established in 1954. Since then, FMS has shown immense growth and commitment to the development of management professionals providing exchange programs and collaborative arrangements with industrial and business houses, management institutions and professional associations in India and abroad. It is also one of the oldest business schools in India to offer a full time MBA program.

FMS Delhi has a huge network of more than 10,000 alumni which gives its students unparalleled access to information, mentors and careers. A few of their noteworthy alumni include Girish Sharma, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Income Tax Department, Salil Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, Dish TV India Ltd., and Shivani Hegde, General Manager-Foods, Nestle India Ltd. Their other noteworthy achievements include representing India in KPMG in International Case competition in the International Finals, being the National winners of Pepsi’s become Indra’s Advisors contest and Bloomberg Ambassador of the month International winners. That is quite a formidable list, no?

 Now which company wouldn’t want managers from such a college whose credentials have such have weight names? And the statistics of FMS Delhi placements year on year prove just that, both in terms of the diversity of profiles as well as in the compensation offered to the students. You can gauge the credibility of the above statement from the fact that, this year, a total of 212 offers were made by companies for a batch where 205 students participated in the placement process. If that is not 100% placement, then what is?

Almost a 107 companies participated in the whole process, and 38 offers were made even before the placement process started. And if you are itching to know the numbers (read salary), then here is the deal. The average salary of the total offers made is INR 16.18 LPA.  And if that still doesn’t impress you, take this: The average salary of the top 50% offers is INR 19 LPA. Impressed much?

Almost all the big names in the market like Tata, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd., Amway, India Today, Godrej, CSC, Dabur, Whirlpool, Heinz, Kellogg’s, Maruti, P&G were a part of the 107 companies.
Makes you think it is all about serious study? FMS also carries out its annual festivals and events like Fiesta (Annual Management Festival) and Annual Leadership Summit. It also offers features like Library, computer centre, hostels and a dedicated research centre.

All MBA aspirants in the house, looking forward to more details on FMS ? Do log on to Collegedunia and let us know if any of your questions still goes unanswered.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Collegedunia raises a Crore!

Remember I told you about this website Collegedunia, which is almost like the Wikipedia of education. Remember now? No? Well, you can refresh your memory here.

The latest news is that the company has raised Rs.1 crore ($162,787) in angel funding from MIH-acquired automobile site’s CEO Umang Kumar, along with a bunch of undisclosed investors. So, what's in it for me, you'd ask. Well, the founder Sahil Chalna informs us, that this money is going to be used for enhancing their technology, operations and marketing. And so, the good part is that for this enhacement, they are planning to add on another 40 employees across their technology, content, call centre and sales departments to the already existing count of 30. This will be happening in the next 6 months. So, there is your chance. Keep a lookout on their website for the updates.

Just over 7 months old, this website is already making its presence felt in the online world. The stats tell us that it is already attracting almost a lakh visitors per month. The company hopes to increase this number to a million. Well, that's not just going to happen overnight. With their increasing competence, they are planning to add coaching institutes, polytechnic institutes and entrance exams details as well to their already overflowing basket list of details like admission criteria and fee structure, faculty details to hostel fee of over 20000+ colleges across the country. Imagine if you are a college aspirant, and you subscribe to his website with your details like the subjects you are studying and it, in turn, sends you notifications about upcoming exams, emails you sample papers, tips, and counselling advice. Can you even imagine how cool that would be? Collegedunia is definitely going to be your good Samaritan this year.

Well, well, we can't help but agree with Mr. Chalana's statement "Collegedunia is a search engine for exams, colleges and courses. But what it plans to become is the Zomato of the education industry". Truer words haven't been heard :-)

And yes, since I am so gung-ho about the good work these guys are doing, I will also be following up on this with a couple of more posts. So be a darling and stay tuned. Until then, you can also stalk these guys at iamwire and Vccircle.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Comedy of Errors!

I have never been one to make New Year resolutions. Oh may be I have, in the past. But I think I have realized I am only so good at keeping them. So now I don't even think abut setting one or more. What's the point, really? And so, today, I wanted to do this post that I had promised to write last year. So let's get the pending thing out of the way and then move on to the new year :)

This post is about all the (mis)adventures that happened with me when I was trying to plan my travel to Germany. And would you believe it, this post got delayed so much because when I wrote it the first time around, it accidentally got deleted without a backup! Talk about the (mis)adventure continuing!

When the husband was in Germany last year, the responsibility of getting the little one's passport made fall on me. Till this point, H and I, the so-responsible people that we were, hadn't registered out marriage yet. Neither had we got the spouse name added in either of our passports. To get a minor's passport done, one of the parents must have the spouse name included. So this meant, I had to get my passport reissued first with the husband's name and only then could I apply for little S's passport. So I applied for passport re-issue under Tatkal scheme to get it done fast.Only to be sent away from the Passport Seva Kendra. Not once, but twice over. Since my passport was made when I was unmarried, it had my parents' house address. They wanted me to update the address to the address my husband's passport had. Which again was his parents', and not of the actual place where we live. Since he was not even in India, he couldn't do anything about it. And so I went to the bank and got a joint bank account (without him being in India, all thanks to jugaad) and that served as an address proof for my new passport. Phew! Also, when he was in India for a short while between trips, we decided to get our Marriage Certificate made. The agent got wind of the urgency under which this was being done. Husband travelling, wife alone with infant. He charged an exorbitant 11K for the damn paper!

Anyway, so on my third trip to the Passport Seva Kendra, they finally accepted my papers. It took exactly 3 days for my passport to arrive. Now I had to apply for little S's passport. The passport website said that for a minor's passport, they needed the minor's birth certificate. Unlike our Marriage certificate, we had made S's birth certificate earlier. But due to some discrepancy, H got his full name written on her birth certificate while his passport had only his first and middle name. Again, the passport guys wouldn't take that as a proof. I went to the MCD office to get it corrected. As is the case with Indian government offices, they asked me to leave my application and certificate and come back after 15 days. No amount of pleading (tatkal passport booking, husband not in India blah blah) worked. Finally, one of the guys came forward to help. He said the guy needed bribe. Of course you can judge me because pay the bribe I did. I did not have 15 days for a minor name change even as I had all the documents. I paid a 1000 Rs. and within the next half an hour, I got 6 brand new original birth certificates of S :) Proudly I went home thinking our troubles were over.

The Passport website said they also needed both the parents' original passports. Since H was not in India, he needed to send an NOC from the Indian Embassy in Germany duly signed by him and stamped by the embassy. For this, he traveled from Dusseldorf to Frankfurt, got the NOC signed and stamped and sent it to me by normal mail. The form was 25 euros and the post stamp another 8. I received the form in almost 15 days. And can you believe what went wrong here? H, in his excitement of getting things done fast, had filled his dear daughter's birth date wrong. The horror of horrors. Of course you can imagine the blame game that would have followed. Of course, we could not submit an NOC form and a birth certificate which had different birth dates. So this process had to be done again.

Again, the travel to Frankfurt was made. A new form and sent again. We had already lost so much time due to paper work. We couldn't wait another 15 days for the form to arrive. This time he sent it by courier. Form - 25 euros, Courier - 70 euros. You do the math. We spent nearly 11K again, for a damn piece of paper :)

The little one's passport was applied for, under Tatkal scheme. The passport reached us within 3 days. Phew! Half a battle won.

Next I had to apply for a tourist visa, for both of us. Now when the husband had left, his visa was valid for 3 months. By the time we got our passports, 2.5 months had already passed. At this point, he got to know that he needed to stay for another 3 months. So this was good news for us. But. For us to apply a tourist visa, I had to show my husband's visa, which at that point was only applicable for another 15 days. Again, a lot of drama followed. The visa guy suggested that if the company could give it in written that he needed to stay for another 3 months and that his visa interview would be scheduled soon, in that case our visa would be considered too. After much cajoling, his company agreed to issue the letter. Again, the letter needed to be sent to India. The fight was 15 days vs 70 euros. Thankfully, one of his colleagues was travelling to Bangalore at that time. So the letter came from Dusseldorf to Bangalore in a day. And then via courier from Bangalore in another 2 days. In the meantime, I completed the rest of the paper work and as soon as I received this letter, I submitted them with the visa office.

Finally almost after 3 months, I sat  back relaxed thinking nothing could go wrong now, except the fact that the visa officers wouldn't grant us visa for 3 months. Remember that our passports now had address of my in-laws? And so, the visa office sent our stamped visas to their address. As the bad luck be, only the husband's grandmother was home that day and the courier guy refused to handover our stamped passports to her. I got a call in the evening saying the passports and visa had come and taken back. You can well imagine my state. All this for nothing?

We had no information of who the courier company was. The courier guy didn't leave any number. We were in a fix. It was already past 6 on a Friday evening. The Visa helpline number said they would be in office on Monday morning. We decided to check for any details on the consulate website. The latest update said "Your passport(s) have been dispatched" with no tracking number. Great!

That weekend was the longest I have ever spent. Monday morning I immediately called up the consulate to inquire about my passport. The lady at the other end checked passport number and said "Ma'm, your passport has already been delivered". I almost fainted at this point. I was like, who did you deliver my passport to? But just in time, I got a call from the in-laws that the courier guy had turned up on Monday morning to deliver the Passport.

Finally that evening I reached home to collect my stamped visa. And would you believe it?? Based on the company's letter, the consulate had actually granted us a 3 months visa.

Fianlly. Finally.
No, the adventure wasn't over at this point. The Husband asked his office agent to book our tickets to avoid any more adventure. So he sent him a detailed email with our travel dates and the flight schedule and our passport copies to make the booking. Imagine the horror when I received the final e-ticket after booking only to see that the agent had spelled my daughter's name wrong. That is, after having sent him the scanned passport copy with the correct name. A lot of frantic calls were made to the airline, only to be told that
a) this could not be corrected
b) this was not a major issue. But I was too skeptical by now to take any chances.
c) to cancel this ticket and book another ticket (which meant another 10K loss)

Finally, a truce was reached. I was able to convince the airline customer care guy to put in a comment on the ticket that the correct name as per the passport was so and so...and not the one mentioned on the ticket. Just to be sure that I would not be sent away from the airport this time.

You can well imagine my euphoria when I finally reached Dusseldorf after a pretty non adventurous flight. And thank God for that! This whole sequence of events seems so unbelievable to me at times. Even when it was happening, it made me wonder how could such mistakes happen, one after the other. It was like a Domino effect. One tick and the whole thing comes crumbling down. But now that this ordeal is over, it makes for very interesting memories. Isn't it?