ISBF Newsletter

ISBF Newsletter

ISBF Newsletter

Volume 3; Issue 3, September 2019

Editorial Board
Prof. Aryapriya Ganguly - Editor-in-Chief
Prof. Soumitra Mookherjee - Associate Editor 
Prof. Navni Kothari - Associate Editor 

Letter from the Editor

Closely following the US-China trade war had made some of us ask  fundamental questions.  After centuries of growth driven by international trade, is the world really de-globalising? 
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The USA China Trade War and its Implications

Conflict between USA and China has intensified with periodic imposition of tariffs by USA on Chinese products. USA President Donald Trump has unleashed a wave of tariffs over the past year..
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ISBF’s Power of WHY Challenge:

Stemming from the motto of the London School of Economics and Political Science- rerum cognoscere causas (to understand the causes of things) – ISBF’s The Power of Why – is an enquiry-based approach to teaching..
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Life at ISBF

Career Services Division

ISBF Faculty Updates

Distinguished Public Lecture Series by Eminent Academicians

Prof. Arun Kumar, Malcolm S. Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, Delhi
Prof. Paul Kelly, Dean, University of London International Programmes at the LSE
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ISBF-LSE Annual Mumbai Symposium with High School Teachers

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Educator Showcase

This section features write-ups about the career achievements of fellow educators, seeking to recognise the invaluable contributions they make. 
Dr. Kavita Aggarwal, Chairperson, MISA
Sandeepa Varma, Career counsellor at Oakridge International School, Hyderabad
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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight on ISBF's Shalaka who is working with IFMR Lead as a Research Associate.
Read more


Quiz on International Economics
Click here
Letter from the Editor
Closely following the US-China trade war had made some of us ask  fundamental questions.  After centuries of growth driven by international trade, is the world really de-globalising? Have we as nation sates outgrown the spirit of equitable global growth? While these continue to be strands of contemplation, our academic side forces us to critically evaluate these recent events – how will they impact the economies of the US and China? Are there new opportunities that India can avail of? Will the trade war nudge global flows in another direction?

In the light of everything that is happening around us, in this edition of the ISBF Newsletter, we bring to you a multidimensional analysis of the US-China trade war, a series of actions by two of the world’s most powerful countries that threatens the world order – it points towards increased global animosity, the consequences of which seem less than exciting.

With Donald Trump and Xi Jinping jumping the gun more often than seldom, and the war taking a slightly different course more than twice a week, uncertainty about the global economy is less than inevitable. Delegates from the two nations are due to meet in the middle of September. What these will lead to, only time will tell.

Additionally, in this edition, join us in welcoming the Undergraduate and Graduate Diploma batches for the 2019 academic session and in bidding adieu to the graduating batches, as they enter their professional and academic destinations. Along the way, we celebrate highlights from life at ISBF such as the newly launched ISBF Distinguished Public Lecture Series and the Power of WHY Challenge. Stay critical!

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The USA China Trade War and its Implications
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ISBF’s Power of WHY Challenge
Stemming from the motto of the London School of Economics and Political Science- rerum cognoscere causas (to understand the causes of things) – ISBF’s The Power of Why – is an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning that motivates students to challenge the status quo and question the fundamental assumptions about concepts, issues and phenomena that are typically taken for granted.

What is The Power of Why Challenge?

The Challenge takes participants on an exciting journey of exploration and analysis fueled by the power of why.
There are two challenges within The Power of Why

Challenge 1
This is about how questions bridge information asymmetry, increasing the likelihood of accurate decision-making. It constitutes two segments:
Bout 1 pushes you to choose the right questions to ask in order to reach accurate conclusions about a contemporary business problem.
Bout 2 nudges you to synthesize multi-dimensional information towards making strategic economic and managerial decisions.
Only those challengers who prove their mettle in Round 1 would move ahead to Round 2 of the Challenge.
Challenge 2
This challenge intends to showcase the might of a seemingly innocuous question and inspires each challenger to ask one.
Challengers who reach this round are expected to:
Ask one question from the world of economics/management/finance along with a rationale explaining the importance of asking that question.
Challengers should be ready to defend their question subsequently in a face-to-face discussion with ISBF faculty members.

Why should you take up The Power of Why Challenge?

A learning journey punctuated with fundamental questions, discarded assumptions and re-evaluated opinions on things that matter.
An attempt to unlock your potential to analyse critically and think creatively towards making your decisions sound and accurate.
3 scholarships on offer, to study the LSE curriculum at ISBF.

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Life at ISBF

Orientation Day for the UG Batch of 2019-2022 and the GD Batch of 2019-2020

ISBF organised its 13th Orientation Ceremony on August 05, 2019. Curious learners, excited to embark upon their college journey were exposed to the ISBF ethos of curiosity, a strand that ran through the Dean’s address, the Director’s address, and the announcement of the winners of the Power of Why Web Series (for undergraduate students) and the Power of Why Challenge (for postgraduate students). The Chief Guest. Dr. Rajat Kathuria, the Guest of Honour, Mr. Sameer Mittal, and the Guest Alumnus, Rohan Sharma shared their views on the link between education and the world of work in a group discussion moderated by Associate Professor Aryapriya Ganguly. The event, like all ISBF events, ended on a sweet note – the cake, of course!
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Graduation Ceremony 2019

Graduation day. A glorious sea of people. Dignitaries, students and their families. Graduate-black hats, degrees and certificates of recognition, excited nervousness.
Earlier today, ISBF held the Graduation Ceremony for the undergraduate batch of 2016-19 and the outgoing Graduate Diploma students. An exquisite lighting and camera setup, the sweat and tears of the Student Council, and our chief guest Dr. Paul Kelly’s magnificent presence were the highlight of the ceremony at India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi.
The dignitaries and faculty members arrived on the cue of celebratory music, blasting through the channels of the hall.
Enthusiasm? Check. Mr. Aryapriya Ganguly on the dias? Check. Happiness? Check. Check. Check.
Mr. Aryapriya Ganguly requested the pillars of our foundation, the very important UOL-ISBF-LSE trifecta to stage to light the lamp as our graduates took the next step in their lives. Dr. Jitin Chadha, the founder and director of ISBF, highlighted to us the importance and integrity of the stage we had culminated to, and how success is a circle that needs failure to complete itself. Our college dean, Dr. G.L. Tayal, a man of few words, delivered a speech so fulfilling, so thankful of all the staff, all the behind-the-scenes that went into a class graduating, that when he left the stage, a ward of students believed that they could do it.
Mr. Aryapriya Ganguly, our master of ceremonies, made awkward situations like absenteeism for award reception and extraordinary achievement like topping every single course (hello Aditya Deswal, congratulations brother) so second-nature and suave, that with that kind of perception he could make La La Land giving up an Oscar to Moonlight, seem like a scripted episode. He has it in him, we’ve all seen it. He announced awards with utmost diligence, as a tirelessly motivated Student Council, worked strenuously backstage and in the seating area, to smoothen everything out. Utsav Jain, kudos for excellent student flow from stage to seat. You are a study in organisation.
Throughout this award reception, the monotony was broken by cutely curated farewell videos, wishing luck and love to everyone graduating. It was such a happy space. The dias saw student stories, Diploma and Undergraduate; one almost explaining how thinking of coming to the city for the first time, was a really bold move and paid off in a 100 more ways than one. It drew exactly how college life cut from uncertainty to level headedness, from joblessness to paid employment, from missing friends and family back home, to understanding why.
I also enjoyed Associate President Apoorva Verma's mildly threatening but mostly hug-like humour and a well crafted vote of thanks by Mr. Chiraag Mehta, Associate Director of ISBF. I cringed when he acknowledged how parents would mockingly celebrate this occasion of graduation, and all the toil that makes this goodbye, a good time to say goodbye. I loved it.
Honest Graduation Ceremony? Congregations of students getting up on stage, adjusting themselves to keep dignitaries in the frame, and all the laughter that ensues in between. I honestly felt proud going up on the stage and getting the picture clicked. We quickly dispersed, the black hats felt the wind, on Instagram and in real life, conversations were continued and lunch was cherished.
And cut.

-Saurav Nirmal Jain, Communications Manager at the ISBF Media Hub
Saurav is a second year student of BSc. Economics and Finance at ISBF.
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Independence Day celebrations at ISBF

ISBF’s new batch of first year students put on a whirlwind kaleidoscopic sketch covering 100 years since 1919, as they ushered in India’s 73rd Independence Day. Highlighting events punctuating this timeline, they regaled all with their innovative take on events of national importance. This has historically been the first event first years organize without much hand holding, and like every year, they pulled the show off with elan!
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Career Services Division
We are proud to announce that ISBF achieved 100% placements this year for the undergraduate and post graduate students. Several recruiters from the FMCG, Banking and Financial Services, Management Consultancy sectors have hired our students and we are planning to forge meaningful strategic alliances with renowned corporates for providing more flavour to the placement drive. A special initiative taken up by the Careers Services Division (CSD) is to facilitate meetings between senior academicians of ISBF and the top management teams of recruiters. The objective behind this entire exercise is to ascertain the feedback from recruiters and gain insight regarding the performance standards of ISBF graduates in firms that they are associated with.

ISBF’S new placement module attempts to bridge industry-academia gap

The core faculty members of ISBF along with the employees of the Careers Services Division developed and created a "PLACEMENT MODULE" which includes preparing the students for facing the challenges of the corporate world. The Placement Module has been designed to cover several aspects starting from profile building, enhancing communication abilities, special sessions on Excel, financial modelling, and ending with industry or sector specific corporate guest lectures. This initiative of enhancing domain knowledge and soft skills of students would go a long way towards improving the career prospects of the student fraternity. Besides, faculty members gained adequate knowledge of specific job profiles, skill sets, domain knowledge abilities that recruiters scout for, which will allow them to customize their teaching practices for enhancing the employability of their students. Thus, addressing the re-skilling needs and adopting strategies for bridging the skill gaps in students seeking employment or internship opportunities has been a much awaited move in the right direction.
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ISBF Faculty Updates

LSE and ISBF Faculty Members in the News

ISBF’s Associate Director, Chiraag Mehta & Associate Academic Director, UoL Programmes at LSE and Assistant Professorial Lecturer, LSE, Dr. James Abdey - July 2019 - India Today Aspire
ISBF’s Associate Director, Chiraag Mehta- June 20, 2019 - Deccan Herald
Article co-authored by Associate Professor, Dr. Yavar Ehsan & Associate Academic Director, UoL Programmes at LSE and Assistant Professorial Lecturer, LSE, Dr. James Abdey - June 24, 2019 - Education Times
ISBF’s Associate Director, Chiraag Mehta - June 1, 2019 - Business World Education
ISBF’s Director, Dr. Jitin Chadha - June 18, 2019 - Mail Today
ISBF’s Director, Dr. Jitin Chadha - July 2, 2019 - The Statesman
ISBF’s Director, Dr. Jitin Chadha - July 10, 2019 - The Tribune
Associate Professor, Dr. Yavar Ehsan - May 27, 2019 - Education Times
Associate Professor, Soumitro Mookherjee - July 20, 2019 - The Hindu Business Line on Campus
Associate Professor, Soumitro Mookherjee - August 26, 2019 - The Statesman

ISBF Faculty Members trained in pedagogy, classroom management and expectations setting by LSE’s Teaching Learning Center’s Academic Developer

This year, Lee-Ann Sequeira, academic developer at LSE’s Teaching Leaning Center who works closely with Economics, Finance, and Management (EMF) academics visited ISBF from July 22, 2019 to July 24, 2019. She led three days of intensive discussion, which focused on two large themes – reflection and active learning. Additionally, there were multiple small group break-away sessions to facilitate discussions on teaching challenges, and conversations specific to the courses taught by individual faculty members.

Appointment of course leaders

ISBF continues to strive towards enhancing its students’ learning experience through academic innovations. This year, three course leaders have been appointed, with each course leader overseeing one of the three course areas- Economics& Data Science, Finance & Accounting, Management. The critical responsibilities include periodic interventions to ensure smooth delivery of the courses, bring about pedagogical improvements in faculty members, conduct co-curricular and extra-curricular activities at the ISBF campus, and take informal feedback from students about their academic progress. The course leaders have a pivotal role to play in micro management of issues, enriching the quality and standards of education, with special emphasis on adopting course corrective measures for preventing any dilution of the quality of teaching.
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Distinguished Public Lecture Series by Eminent Academicians
As part of our academic endeavour and journey we strongly perceive that students should have a comprehensive exposure to the ideas of eminent academicians and renowned industry professionals. The ultimate objective is to precipitate an opportunity where students need to realize that only domain knowledge, grasp of concepts is not sufficient for driving their career progression. The deeper their academic engagement, the stronger the institute-industry interface, the greater is the possibility of harnessing of skills among the student fraternity.
The Distinguished Public Lecture Series is an attempt to invite highly reputed academicians and industry mentors to the ISBF campus to deliver talks on contemporary issues related to management, finance and economics. These fora provide an ideal opportunity for the eminent speakers to interact with the faculty pool and students for sharing their knowledge, experience and views concerning emerging global business trends. These talks enable students to understand the challenges encountered in the modern era and the acumen, innovative business practices, skill sets required for overcoming these challenges. Faculty members, teachers, students from other colleges are also invited to attend such talks.
To kick start this initiative, the first lecture of this series was delivered by Dr. Prof Arun Kumar ( Malcolm S. Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, Delhi) on the topic Missing Dimension of Macro Policy Making in India: The Black Economy, on 26th of August, at the ISBF campus.
The second lecture in the series was by Prof. Paul Kelly, Dean, University of London International Programmes at the LSE, who spoke to a throng of DU students on the rife topic of Multiculturalism and Populism in the Current Global Scenario, on 30th of August at Miranda House.
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ISBF-LSE Annual Mumbai Symposium with High School Teachers
The Mumbai round of ISBF-LSE Annual Teachers’ and Counsellors’ Symposium saw high school teachers from across Maharashtra, and some international participants. The highlights of the day included Prof. Paul Kelly charting multiple pathways to LSE, including through ISBF as a South Asian economics, management and finance undergraduate study destination. In the Large Group Teaching workshop, all participating teachers, principals and counsellors donned the role of students in a Large Group Teaching environment, as they lived out classroom interventions and teaching techniques that guarantee active engagement of students. This immersive and metacognitive session resonated with the participants as they collaboratively brainstormed on key challenges and appropriate remedies to address these. We look forward to more such scintillating sessions at next year’s Symposia.
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Educator Showcase
Dr. Kavita Aggarwal
Chairperson, MISA 
Dr. Aggarwal has been in the field of education for the last 40 years. She has been the Principal of leading national and international schools. She has laid the foundation for multiple new schools affiliated to Cambridge International Examinations (CAIE), Cambridge, UK and CISCE curricula.

She has been closely associated with training and mentoring of teachers, including Vice-Principals/Principals and administrative staff. Currently she is associated with D.G.Khetan International School, Malad West as Director / Head Of School. She was also associated as a Chief Academic Advisor of JBCN Group of Schools, Mumbai.

She is the Chairperson of ‘Members of International Schools Association’ (MISA), a prestigious organization of 110 schools in the country affiliated to CAIE. MISA ( Members of International Schools association ) was initiated by her in 2007 with few likeminded people to empower teachers and help schools to overcome the Academic & administrative  hurdles of the challenging Cambridge curriculum.

The main objective of MISA is to empower the teachers and school leaders in managing the curriculum and resolve administrative issues effectively. So far MISA has trained over 2000-3000 teachers for various subjects and leadership skills. MISA empowers CIE teachers by organizing various cell meets, subject-specific trainings, trainings for leaders, coordinators and exam officers, etc. MISA also offers a platform to the students of CAIE schools to exhibit their talent and aptitude by participating in Misaesthetic, Synergy and Velocity.

Dr. Aggarwal was actively involved in conducting training programmes, workshops and counselling sessions for teachers and parents of learners with special needs.
She has always believed that all round development of the students means their development in  IQ, SQ, EQ & AQ along with Physical development. She has involved teachers and parents to help students with interventions such as workshops, seminars and experiential learning for their balanced development.
Sandeepa Varma
Career counsellor at Oakridge International School, Hyderabad
Sandeepa Varma, a college and career advisor at Oakridge International school, Bachupally campus, Hyderabad, strongly believes in the saying  “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work another day in your life” – Confucius. An Electronics and Computer Engineer by profession, a philanthropist by nature, sandeepa realized she is passionate about working with young energetic minds. After working for 12 years in the IT sector, she made a conscious decision to switch her career to counselling and mentoring students. She used her experience as head of the SAP training division (Telangana) to set up the career counseling department on campus. Sandeepa counsels and mentors students across grade 6 to 12 as she believes in equipping each child with relevant information so they make well informed decisions about their college and career based on their own skills and passion. Her strength lies in building strong relations with students, parents, corporates and universities in India and abroad.
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Alumni Spotlight
A bright and ambitious graduate from the batch of 2014, Shalaka has gone on to make us all proud! Currently a Programme Officer at Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities (CSH), New Delhi, Shalaka’s journey began with an undergraduate degree in Economics, after which she went on to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy Analysis from Paris School of Economics, during which she also worked briefly with IRD, Paris as a Research Associate. Shalaka returned to India and started working as a Research Associate at IFMR Lead. She then moved on to Charity Entrepreneurship, where she worked as a Programme Officer. Her trajectory has involved critical quantitative analysis, and data interpretation. 
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Quiz on International Economics
1. This town is a municipality in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 11,156 (2012) and is located on the Landwasser River, in the Swiss Alps. At 1,560 m (5,120 ft), it is the highest city in Europe. Every year this town comes into news for one particular event, familiar to most of you in the audience.Which town?
What annual event are we talking about?
2. This famous Indian business family’s name comes from their trade in a prosperous Asian city situated close to the Red Sea, which was once an important trade and commerce centre and a gateway to the Indian subcontinent, and recently served as the temporary capital in the aftermath of a coup d’etat.  
Which family that takes its name from this Asian city?
3. The opening episode of Season 22 of The Simpsons is named ‘Elementary School Musical.’On which Indian-born economist does Martin hedge his bets on winning the Nobel prize for economics in the show? As it turns out, he does win, but as does Krusty, the Nobel Peace Prize.
4. In Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, it is said that schooners were primarily used as blackbirders - ships used to carry slaves. After the abolition of slavery, most of these boats were put to patrolling the seas, mostly around Western Africa. However, the ships that were slower were put to another use altogether, a source of much income to the Brits.
5. Investopedia defines these companies as those that continue to operate even though they are insolvent or near bankruptcy. They often become casualties to the high costs associated with certain operations, such as research and development. Most analysts expect these companies to be unable to meet their financial obligations and despite being non-functional or dead in a sense, they eat up the resources of the public exchequer. What are these companies/enterprises called?
6. The French collective Georgette Sand — named after the French novelist was one of the first to point out the issue in the pricing at Monoprix supermarket chain and had run a petition that had attracted more than 40,000 signatures. Tesco was charging £1 for certain packs of five twin-blade razors but they cut the price by approximately half in January 2017. Boots, a UK pharmacy chain, revised the prices on some products after shoppers launched an online petition in February 2016. Give me the popular term that encapsulates phenomena such as these.
7. Gideon Gono in a tell-all interview in July 2014: “You would have read reports predicting that we would close shop, yet we were booming. It is these mind games which are responsible for our continued survival during those times, which demanded extraordinary interventions. It was after the then USA ambassador, James McGhee, caught wind of our financial engineering and gymnastics, that they hatched a sinister plan “to offer me a job as a senior vice president of the World Bank or any other international financial institution which they [the USA] controlled” in July 2008. I declined.” He won the IgNobel “for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers, from very small to very big”. What was he responsible for / What post did he hold most famously?
8. Following an announcement on October 29, 2016, frantic activity on the stock market resulted in shares of companies like Biostime, Mead Johnson and Danone getting a massive boost, while alternatively, Reckitt Benckiser shares fell by 1.2% and Okamoto Industries fell by 10%.What resulted in these ups and downs?  
9. This field, operated by Shell UK, was once one of the most productive parts of the UK’s assets but has reached the stage where it is no longer economically viable. Upon discovery of the field in 1971, Shell continued its naming of its UK oil fields after waterbirds in alphabetical order by discovery. The first was the Auk, and this was the second and hence named _______, referring to the goose. Subsequent fields were named Cormorant, Dunlin, Eider, Fulmar and so on. Fill in the blanks, which now serves as an international benchmark as a trading classification.  
10. The name X comes from the basic Roman measurement of weight. The abbreviation for pound is derived from X, and the £ symbol originally comes from an ornate first letter in X. Facebook has announced a digital currency called X that will roll out for use in 2020 and allow the platform’s billions of users across the globe to make financial transactions online. What is X?
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Answers to the quiz:
  1. Davos, World Economic Forum
  2. Adani from Aden
  3. Jagdish Bhagwati
  4. Opium Trade
  5. Zombie enterprises
  6. Pink Tax
  7. Central Bank Governor for Zimbabwe (or) Responsible for Zimbabwean Hyperinflation
  8. China relaxing the one-child policy.
    Shares of baby food manufacturers rose, while shares of condom manufacturers fell
  9. Brent, from which you get Brent Crude
  10. Libra
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