The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: The Samajwadi Party needs to decide on whom it's fighting – the BJP or itself

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: SP for split

A month before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party remains a rapidly shifting landscape. In the latest development, Mulayam Singh Yadav has declared he is still the party chief, just days after he appeared to relent to his son, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The convention at which Akhilesh Yadav was anointed party president by a large section of the Samajwadi Party leadership has been dismissed as illegal. Netaji’s new assertion came a day before the warring factions of the party were to meet the Election Commission to stake their claim to the cycle, the symbol associated with the Samajwadi Party. The party seems to devote more energy to fighting itself than an election where the odds are stacked against it.

For many observers, this election belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state during the Lok Sabha polls of 2014, winning 81% of the seats – the last time it fared so well in Uttar Pradesh was 1977, when the Janata Party scored a landslide victory after the Emergency. With these polls being touted as a mid-term referendum for the Central government and a harbinger of the 2019 parliamentary elections, the party will put up a hard fight. For the BJP to lose, a substantial chunk of the electorate would have to switch loyalties to another party. So far, the Samajwadi Party has not given voters a reason to do so. The party has traditionally relied on its Muslim-Yadav votebank to win elections. But even this coalition of interests could be in danger, with the Bahujan Samaj Party competing for Muslim votes.

Given the current pressures, the Samajwadi Party will need to marshal all its forces. It will need to cash in on Akhilesh Yadav’s popularity and his image as a dynamic, progressive politician who can deliver on developmental promises, it will need the political capital of Netaji, who forged close bonds with voters and built the party’s vote base, and it will need the added sliver of support that an alliance with the Congress could bring. As of now, however, the party seems more willing to disintegrate than to consolidate.

The Big Scroll: Scroll.in on the day’s big story

  • Dhirendra K Jha speculates whether Mulayam Singh Yadav has finally given in to son Akhilesh.
  • Praveen Chakravarty, in this article for IndiaSpend, argues that BJP loss would be the only surprising outcome of the UP elections.
  • Sruthisagar Yamunan finds parallels to the Mulayam-Akhilesh fight in the southern states.

Political pickings

  1. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says the period of pain from demonetisation is drawing to an end.
  2. The Central Information Commission has asked the Delhi University to allow an inquiry into its 1978 records, including those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  3. Jehovah’s Witnesses will challenge the Supreme Court order making it mandatory for audiences to stand up for the national anthem in cinema halls.

Punditry

  1. In the Indian Express, Sandeep Dwivevdi argues that the Lodha committee coud break the hold of cricketing dynasties over the game’s administration.
  2. In the Economic Times, Pranab Dhal Samanta on how the new chief justice f India coud explore a new middle ground between the executive and the judiciary.
  3. In the Telegraph, Mukul Kesavan on the business of predicting political and economic futures.

Giggles

Don’t Miss...

Raksha Kumar on why Chhattisgarh must prosecute the policemen charged with rape:

“With the help of the activists, four women from Pedagellur in Basaguda block of Bijapur on November 1, 2015, filed a First Information Report against a team of security personnel. This was the first time an FIR had been filed against security personnel since the rape laws were amended in 2013 after the brutal rape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.

The FIR claimed that the armed men had raided several villages in the district between October 19-24, looting homes, molesting and raping three women, including a teenager. One girl said she was grazing cattle when she was blindfolded by security forces and raped by at least three men. Another woman, in the fourth month of her pregnancy, was dragged into a lake by security forces and raped in the water.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Harvard Business School’s HBX brings the future of business education to India with online programs

HBX is not only offering courses online, but also connecting students to the power of its network.

The classic design of the physical Harvard Business School (HBS) classroom was once a big innovation – precisely designed teaching amphitheaters laid out for every student to participate from his or her seat with a “pit” in the center of the room from which professors orchestrate discussions analyzing business cases like a symphony lead. When it came to designing the online experience of HBX—the school’s digital learning initiative—HBS faculty worked tirelessly to blend these tenets of the HBS classroom pedagogy with the power of new technology. With real-world problem solving, active learning, and social learning as its foundation, HBX offers immersive and challenging self-paced learning experiences through its interactive online learning platform.

Reimagining digital education, breaking the virtual learning mold

Typically, online courses follow a one-way broadcast mode – lectures are video recorded and reading material is shared – and students learn alone and are individually tested. Moving away from the passive learning model, HBX has developed an online platform that leverages the HBS ‘case-based pedagogy’ and audio-visual and interaction tools to make learning engaging.

HBX courses are rarely taught through theory. Instead, students learn through real-world problem-solving. Students start by grappling with a business problem – with real world data and the complexity in which a business leader would have to make a decision – and learn the theory inductively. Thus even as mathematical theories are applied to business situations, students come away with a greater sense of clarity and perspective, whether it is reading a financial report, understanding why a brand’s approach to a random sample population study may or may not work, or how pricing works.

HBX Platform | Courses offered in the HBX CORe program
HBX Platform | Courses offered in the HBX CORe program

“Learning about concepts through real-life cases was my favorite part of the program. The cases really helped transform abstract concepts into observable situations one could learn from. Furthermore, it really helped me understand how to identify situations in which I could use the tools that HBX equipped me with,” says Anindita Ravikumar, a past HBX participant. India’s premier B-school IIM-Ahmedabad has borrowed the very same pedagogy from Harvard. Learning in this manner is far more engaging, relatable, and memorable.

Most lessons start with a short 2-3 minute video of a manager talking about the business problem at hand. Students are then asked to respond on how they would handle the issue. Questions can be in the form of either a poll or reflections. Everyone’s answers are then visible to the ‘classroom’. In the words of Professor Bharat Anand, Faculty Chair, HBX, “This turns out to be a really important distinction. The answers are being updated in real-time. You can see the distribution of answers, but you can also see what any other individual has answered, which means that you’re not anonymous.” Students have real profiles and get to know their ‘classmates’ and learn from each other.

HBX Interface | Students can view profiles of other students in their cohort
HBX Interface | Students can view profiles of other students in their cohort

Professor Anand also says, “We have what we call the three-minute rule. Roughly every three minutes, you are doing something different on the platform. Everyone is on the edge of their seats. Anyone could be called on to participate at any time. It’s a very lean forward mode of learning”. Students get ‘cold-called’ – a concept borrowed from the classroom – where every now and then individuals will be unexpectedly prompted to answer a question on the platform and their response will be shared with other members of the cohort. It keeps students engaged and encourages preparedness. While HBX courses are self-paced, participants are encouraged to get through a certain amount of content each week, which helps keep the cohort together and enables the social elements of the learning experience.

More than digital learning

The HBS campus experience is valued by alumni not just for the academic experience but also for the diverse network of peers they meet. HBX programs similarly encourage student interactions and opportunities for in-person networking. All HBXers who successfully complete their programs and are awarded a credential or certificate from HBX and Harvard Business School are invited to the annual on-campus HBX ConneXt event to meet peers from around the world, hear from faculty and business executives, and also experience the HBS campus near Cambridge.

HBXers at ConneXt, with Prof. Bharat Anand
HBXers at ConneXt, with Prof. Bharat Anand

Programs offered today

HBX offers a range of programs that appeal to different audiences.

To help college students and recent graduates prepare for the business world, HBX CORe (Credential of Readiness) integrates business essentials such as analytics, economics, and financial accounting. HBX CORe is also great for those interested in an MBA looking to strengthen their application and brush up their skills to be prepared for day one. For working professionals, HBX CORe and additional courses like Disruptive Strategy, Leading with Finance, and Negotiation Mastery, can help deepen understanding of essential business concepts in order to add value to their organizations and advance their careers.

Course durations range from 6 to 17 weeks depending on the program. All interested candidates must submit a free, 10-15 minute application that is reviewed by the HBX admissions team by the deadlines noted on the HBX website.

For more information, please review the HBX website.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of HBX and not by the Scroll editorial team.