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How IIM Calcutta Fared in Thought Leadership in 2009-10

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How IIM Calcutta Fared in Thought Leadership in 2009-10
Convocation Speech by Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIM Calcutta


The increasing demand for internet connectivity has resulted in access points sprouting up everywhere: in parks, shopping malls, restaurants, etc. Efficient algorithms are needed to connect wireless nodes such as a Laptop or a Mobile Phone evenly to the many Access Points available.

Prof Uttam Sarkar of the MIS Group along with his co-author proposed a new algorithm to do this using the emerging 802.21 standard and their paper, Balancing Load of APs by Concurrent Association of Every Wireless Node with Many APs, was presented at the 5th International Conference on Networking and Services in Valencia, Spain in April, 2009.

Prof. Asim Pal and others devised a new algorithm for improving the co-ordination mechanisms in e-market Supply Chains and presented their paper, Cooperative Game for Multi-Agent Collaborative Planning, at the International Conference on Operations Research at Hong Kong in March 2010.

To round off the rich work in our MIS Group, Prof. Asim Pal, used game-theoretic concepts in another problem area, that of detecting so-called 'sybils', pseudonymous entities, that launch malicious attacks on computer networks and his paper, A Discriminatory Rewarding Mechanism for Sybil Detection with Applications to Tor, was accepted at the ICCCIS 2010 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March, 2010.

We have all watched in amazement as international commodity prices doubled between 2005 and 2008 and then in a six month period halved to a level that wiped out all the increases. How did this violent fluctuation affect the lives of the 400 plus million people in the Asia Pacific region whose lives are dependant on agriculture. Did the price increase benefit them as producers and since they are also commodity consumers, did it hurt them? Prof. Parthprathim Pal of the Economics Group studied this issue and drew some policy implication for developing countries for the ongoing WTO negotiations. His paper, Commodity Price Movements and Their Impact on Human Development: Evidence from Asia and Policy Options, was presented at the 9th International Working Group on Gender and Macroeconomics conference, at Bard College, New York in July 2009.

Neo-classical economic theory postulates that growth rates between countries should ultimately converge because technology, capital and other supply side factors can, in today's world, freely move around from country to country, but putting this theory to test has posed formidable methodological problems. Prof. Manisha Chakrabarty of our Economics Group and her co-authors presented a paper proposing some methodological solutions to this at the Tenth Islamic Countries Conference on Statistical Sciences at American University of Cairo, Egypt in December 2009.

Basing promotion and compensation decision on a rational and formal Performance Appraisal system is seen as a hallmark of professional and modern companies and is generally believed to be free of political and power and control issues. How does it fare in the Indian corporate situation which is believed to be relatively more paternalistic and relationship oriented than in other cultures? Prof. Amit Diman of our Human Resources Group devised an instrument for measuring the appraises perception of Performance Appraisal Politics and his paper, Performance Appraisal Politics from Appraisee's perspective: Exploration in Indian Context was presented at the Academy of Management conference held at Chicago in Ausust, 2009.

Industrial Relations theory has largely been a creation of the Anglo-Saxon industrial experience. How does it fit the new paradigm in India in which an old formal economy of heavy industry and public sector enterprises, co-exists today with the new formal economy of IT and Financial Services and the massive informal economy of casual labour and petty trade which forms the majority of Indian employment?

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Contributed By-
Aloke Guin,
IIM, Calcutta.

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