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Small government, good government March 10, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, politics.

….yeah, just like a small family is a happy family.

My friend and littlerocker batchmate writes to Gurcharan Das, former Vice-president and Managing Director of Procter and Gamble worldwide.

Respected Sir,

Greetings. I recently read your book “India Unbound” and must say am very much enlightened about economic history of India. I have a relevant experience my life, that I would like to share with you, which has similar context as mentioned in the your book

I am an MBA aspirant working in United States. I decided to apply to top Indian b-schools via the Overseas/NRI quota. I hope its fine to mention the names of those colleges. Particularly I would like to explain my experiences with 2 such colleges – XLRI Jamshedpur and Shailesh J Mehta School of Mgmt IIT Bombay. (IIT-SOM)

IIT-SOM shares its name with the elite parent education body-IIT Bombay. Being one the finest in the world, it is still a state run organization. Recently the list of candidates who made it to the Group Discussion this year was published. Since I am not applying thru the general category, my name was not listed on the website. I had to call the admissions cell to find out my results. Here is what happens

Day 1) Anxious to know the results and not realizing its evening in India, I call up the admissions cell at 6:30 pm IST. Someone picks up the phone and tells me to call during office hours – 10 am to 5:30 pm IST
Day 2) I stay awake late in the night and call up the admissions cell again. Its 1:00 pm IST – lunch time. I am asked to call back at 3:00
Day 3) I call early today, at about 11:00 am IST. A lady picked up the phone and told me that the admissions officer is out of station and will return on Monday. (I was calling on a Thursday.) I told her my situation. She said the servers are down and she is not able to verify my results. She asked me to call back in a day or two.

4) I call again at 11:00 am IST. The same lady from the previous day answers the phone and she tells me that she does not see my name in the list. However she tells me that the admissions officer may have another list with him. He would be back on Monday and I am to contact him then.

Day 5) Monday – I call up the admissions office again. Luckily I am able to reach the right person. Mr. Admissions Officer tells me that I am not short listed. He gives me a briefing about their selection procedure. I thank him and hang up.

It took me almost a week to find out that I was not short listed. And I thought bad news traveled fast.

Now here is another college – XLRI. It has set up nation wide toll free numbers and hotline numbers in 26 cities in India. Aspirants can call up these numbers for any admissions related query. This service is available Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 10:30 pm IST!!! I was so delighted that XLRI is providing customer service like the American companies. I make an international call to the hotline number in Bangalore. Since mine was a special case (NRI/Overseas Candidate), the representative did not have sufficient information. He directed me to the Admissions office in Jamshedpur. I made a call to Jamshedpur immediately. The admissions officer told me that I am short listed for an interview round!!! Good news traveled so fast.

At one side, is the State run elite institute and on the other is a high ranking private college. Is India really Unbound?

Thanks and Regards,

Reply from Gurcharan Das :


You are right–India is unbound, but the government is not unbound. It will be a slow process, and they will be kicked and dragged into doing it.


We in India know that the pathetic quality of government services vis-a-vis private is a rule, not an exception. My colleague and a native of Srilanka, Sanjika is quick to remind me that the opposite holds for his country. I am quick(er) to remind him that worldwide, Srilanka might be an exception rather than the rule. He is not sure – our debates go on 🙂 .

By the way, Mr. Das’s India Unbound is a nice read.



1. Supreeth - March 29, 2007

man, why did you not send me a link to this post

2. raosharath - March 29, 2007

oh sorry man ..i meant to but forgot… 😦

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