|QA->Which PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) has been conferred with the MOU Excellence Award to facilitate the PSU’s performance during 2008-09?....|
|QA->Direct Labour cost is Rs.20,000, Factory overheads expense is Rs.10,000, opening and closing work-in-progress are Rs.15,000 and Rs.18,000 respectively, then works cost will be…….....|
|QA->Three processes A, B, C have peak time demands of 3, 4, 6 resource units respectively of a particular type. What is the minimum number of resources to be provided to ensure that deadlock never occurs?....|
|QA->Who said ‘Climbing to the top demands strength; whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career’?....|
|QA->One of the conditions required for maintaining National Party Status is among three states a party should win at least:....|
|MCQ->Indian government may hold top executives responsible if state - run power companies fail to meet performance targets and punish them with fines and transfers. The strict performance parameters are aimed at ensuring that at least the reduced target for 62,000 MW of generation capacity addition is achieved before the end of the 11th Plan, said a power ministry official. Performance of chairman and managing directors of the power Public Sector Units (PSUs) in project implementation will be assessed as per the terms and conditions stipulated in the company’s memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the power ministry, he said, requesting anonymity. Performance parameters of executives had came under strict scrutiny due to a lack of progress in capacity addition program. While the target for the 11th five year plan has already been scaled down by the government from 78,500 MW, in the first three years of the plan yielded only 22, 302 MW of fresh capacity.If you were the chairman of one of these power PSU’s, which of the following statements (all of which are assumed to be true) could best be used in order to strengthen your case against the government holding top executives responsible?i. The labour unions, owing allegiance to ruling party at the Center, are not allowing work to progress with their demands for wage hikes that are untenable. ii. The actions of the mid - level management are not in line with the objectives laid down by the top management. iii. The delays have been due to difficulties in obtaining funds at reasonable interest rates on account of the recessionary conditions. iv. We are not to blame. The government is not doing enough to ensure availability of sufficient fuel to power the existing plants, let alone the new plants. v. The government had ignored the infrastructure availability like roads etc., and environmental clearances required for such projects and therefore set an unrealistic target to begin with, and the revised target is also unrealistic as well.....|
|MCQ-> Read carefully the four passages that follow and answer the questions given at the end of each passage:PASSAGE I The most important task is revitalizing the institution of independent directors. The independent directors of a company should be faithful fiduciaries protecting, the long-term interests of shareholders while ensuring fairness to employees, investor, customer, regulators, the government of the land and society. Unfortunately, very often, directors are chosen based of friendship and, sadly, pliability. Today, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, independence is only true on paper.The need of the hour is to strengthen the independence of the board. We have to put in place stringent standards for the independence of directors. The board should adopt global standards for director-independence, and should disclose how each independent director meets these standards. It is desirable to have a comprehensive report showing the names of the company employees of fellow board members who are related to each director on the board. This report should accompany the annual report of all listed companies. Another important step is to regularly assess the board members for performance. The assessment should focus on issues like competence, preparation, participation and contribution. Ideally, this evaluation should be performed by a third party. Underperforming directors should be allowed to leave at the end of their term in a gentle manner so that they do not lose face. Rather than being the rubber stamp of a company’s management policies, the board should become a true active partner of the management. For this, independent directors should be trained in their in their in roles and responsibilities. Independent directors should be trained on the business model and risk model of the company, on the governance practices, and the responsibilities of various committees of the board of the company. The board members should interact frequently with executives to understand operational issues. As part of the board meeting agenda, the independent directors should have a meeting among themselves without the management being present. The independent board members should periodically review the performance of the company’s CEO, the internal directors and the senior management. This has to be based on clearly defined objective criteria, and these criteria should be known to the CEO and other executive directors well before the start of the evolution period. Moreover, there should be a clearly laid down procedure for communicating the board’s review to the CEO and his/her team of executive directors. Managerial remuneration should be based on such reviews. Additionally, senior management compensation should be determined by the board in a manner that is fair to all stakeholders. We have to look at three important criteria in deciding managerial remuneration-fairness accountability and transparency. Fairness of compensation is determined by how employees and investors react to the compensation of the CEO. Accountability is enhanced by splitting the total compensation into a small fixed component and a large variable component. In other words, the CEO, other executive directors and the senior management should rise or fall with the fortunes of the company. The variable component should be linked to achieving the long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board consisting of only the independent directors. This should be approved by the shareholders. It is important that no member of the internal management has a say in the compensation of the CEO, the internal board members or the senior management. The SEBI regulations and the CII code of conduct have been very helpful in enhancing the level of accountability of independent directors. The independent directors should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should be appraised through a peer evaluation process. Ideally, the compensation committee should decide on the compensation of each independent director based on such a performance appraisal. Auditing is another major area that needs reforms for effective corporate governance. An audit is the Independent examination of financial transactions of any entity to provide assurance to shareholder and other stakeholders that the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Auditors are qualified professionals appointed by the shareholders to report on the reliability of financial statements prepared by the management. Financial markets look to the auditor’s report for an independent opinion on the financial and risk situation of a company. We have to separate such auditing form other services. For a truly independent opinion, the auditing firm should not provide services that are perceived to be materially in conflict with the role of the auditor. These include investigations, consulting advice, sub contraction of operational activities normally undertaken by the management, due diligence on potential acquisitions or investments, advice on deal structuring, designing/implementing IT systems, bookkeeping, valuations and executive recruitment. Any departure from this practice should be approved by the audit committee in advance. Further, information on any such exceptions must be disclosed in the company’s quarterly and annual reports. To ensure the integrity of the audit team, it is desirable to rotate auditor partners. The lead audit partner and the audit partner responsible for reviewing a company’s audit must be rotated at least once every three to five years. This eliminates the possibility of the lead auditor and the company management getting into the kind of close, cozy relationship that results in lower objectivity in audit opinions. Further, a registered auditor should not audit a chief accounting office was associated with the auditing firm. It is best that members of the audit teams are prohibited from taking up employment in the audited corporations for at least a year after they have stopped being members of the audit team.A competent audit committee is essential to effectively oversee the financial accounting and reporting process. Hence, each member of the audit committee must be ‘financially literate’, further, at least one member of the audit committee, preferably the chairman, should be a financial expert-a person who has an understanding of financial statements and accounting rules, and has experience in auditing. The audit committee should establish procedures for the treatment of complaints received through anonymous submission by employees and whistleblowers. These complaints may be regarding questionable accounting or auditing issues, any harassment to an employee or any unethical practice in the company. The whistleblowers must be protected. Any related-party transaction should require prior approval by the audit committee, the full board and the shareholders if it is material. Related parties are those that are able to control or exercise significant influence. These include; parent- subsidiary relationships; entities under common control; individuals who, through ownership, have significant influence over the enterprise and close members of their families; and dey management personnel.Accounting standards provide a framework for preparation and presentation of financial statements and assist auditors in forming an opinion on the financial statements. However, today, accounting standards are issued by bodies comprising primarily of accountants. Therefore, accounting standards do not always keep pace with changes in the business environment. Hence, the accounting standards-setting body should include members drawn from the industry, the profession and regulatory bodies. This body should be independently funded. Currently, an independent oversight of the accounting profession does not exist. Hence, an independent body should be constituted to oversee the functioning of auditors for Independence, the quality of audit and professional competence. This body should comprise a "majority of non- practicing accountants to ensure independent oversight. To avoid any bias, the chairman of this body should not have practiced as an accountant during the preceding five years. Auditors of all public companies must register with this body. It should enforce compliance with the laws by auditors and should mandate that auditors must maintain audit working papers for at least seven years.To ensure the materiality of information, the CEO and CFO of the company should certify annual and quarterly reports. They should certify that the information in the reports fairly presents the financial condition and results of operations of the company, and that all material facts have been disclosed. Further, CEOs and CFOs should certify that they have established internal controls to ensure that all information relating to the operations of the company is freely available to the auditors and the audit committee. They should also certify that they have evaluated the effectiveness of these controls within ninety days prior to the report. False certifications by the CEO and CFO should be subject to significant criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment, if willful and knowing). If a company is required to restate its reports due to material non-compliance with the laws, the CEO and CFO must face severe punishment including loss of job and forfeiting bonuses or equity-based compensation received during the twelve months following the filing.The problem with the independent directors has been that: I. Their selection has been based upon their compatibility with the company management II. There has been lack of proper training and development to improve their skill set III. Their independent views have often come in conflict with the views of company management. This has hindered the company’s decision-making process IV. Stringent standards for independent directors have been lacking....|
The current debate on intellectual property rights (IPRs) raises a number of important issues concerning the strategy and policies for building a more dynamic national agricultural research system, the relative roles of public and private sectors, and the role of agribusiness multinational corporations (MNCs). This debate has been stimulated by the international agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), negotiated as part of the Uruguay Round. TRIPs, for the first time, seeks to bring innovations in agricultural technology under a new worldwide IPR regime. The agribusiness MNCs (along with pharmaceutical companies) played a leading part in lobbying for such a regime during the Uruguay Round negotiations. The argument was that incentives are necessary to stimulate innovations, and that this calls for a system of patents which gives innovators the sole right to use (or sell/lease the right to use) their innovations for a specified period and protects them against unauthorised copying or use. With strong support of their national governments, they were influential in shaping the agreement on TRIPs, which eventually emerged from the Uruguay Round.
The current debate on TRIPs in India - as indeed elsewhere - echoes wider concerns about ‘privatisation’ of research and allowing a free field for MNCs in the sphere of biotechnology and agriculture. The agribusiness corporations, and those with unbounded faith in the power of science to overcome all likely problems, point to the vast potential that new technology holds for solving the problems of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the world. The exploitation of this potential should be encouraged and this is best done by the private sector for which patents are essential. Some, who do not necessarily accept this optimism, argue that fears of MNC domination are exaggerated and that farmers will accept their products only if they decisively outperform the available alternatives. Those who argue against agreeing to introduce an IPR regime in agriculture and encouraging private sector research are apprehensive that this will work to the disadvantage of farmers by making them more and more dependent on monopolistic MNCs. A different, though related apprehension is that extensive use of hybrids and genetically engineered new varieties might increase the vulnerability of agriculture to outbreaks of pests and diseases. The larger, longer-term consequences of reduced biodiversity that may follow from the use of specially bred varieties are also another cause for concern. Moreover, corporations, driven by the profit motive, will necessarily tend to underplay, if not ignore, potential adverse consequences, especially those which are unknown and which may manifest themselves only over a relatively long period. On the other hand, high-pressure advertising and aggressive sales campaigns by private companies can seduce farmers into accepting varieties without being aware of potential adverse effects and the possibility of disastrous consequences for their livelihood if these varieties happen to fail. There is no provision under the laws, as they now exist, for compensating users against such eventualities.
Excessive preoccupation with seeds and seed material has obscured other important issues involved in reviewing the research policy. We need to remind ourselves that improved varieties by themselves are not sufficient for sustained growth of yields. in our own experience, some of the early high yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice and wheat were found susceptible to widespread pest attacks; and some had problems of grain quality. Further research was necessary to solve these problems. This largely successful research was almost entirely done in public research institutions. Of course, it could in principle have been done by private companies, but whether they choose to do so depends crucially on the extent of the loss in market for their original introductions on account of the above factors and whether the companies are financially strong enough to absorb the ‘losses’, invest in research to correct the deficiencies and recover the lost market. Public research, which is not driven by profit, is better placed to take corrective action. Research for improving common pool resource management, maintaining ecological health and ensuring sustainability is both critical and also demanding in terms of technological challenge and resource requirements. As such research is crucial to the impact of new varieties, chemicals and equipment in the farmer’s field, private companies should be interested in such research. But their primary interest is in the sale of seed materials, chemicals, equipment and other inputs produced by them. Knowledge and techniques for resource management are not ‘marketable’ in the same way as those inputs. Their application to land, water and forests has a long gestation and their efficacy depends on resolving difficult problems such as designing institutions for proper and equitable management of common pool resources. Public or quasi-public research institutions informed by broader, long-term concerns can only do such work.
The public sector must therefore continue to play a major role in the national research system. It is both wrong and misleading to pose the problem in terms of public sector versus private sector or of privatisation of research. We need to address problems likely to arise on account of the public-private sector complementarity, and ensure that the public research system performs efficiently. Complementarity between various elements of research raises several issues in implementing an IPR regime. Private companies do not produce new varieties and inputs entirely as a result of their own research. Almost all technological improvement is based on knowledge and experience accumulated from the past, and the results of basic and applied research in public and quasi-public institutions (universities, research organisations). Moreover, as is increasingly recognised, accumulated stock of knowledge does not reside only in the scientific community and its academic publications, but is also widely diffused in traditions and folk knowledge of local communities all over.
The deciphering of the structure and functioning of DNA forms the basis of much of modern biotechnology. But this fundamental breakthrough is a ‘public good’ freely accessible in the public domain and usable free of any charge. Various techniques developed using that knowledge can however be, and are, patented for private profit. Similarly, private corporations draw extensively, and without any charge, on germplasm available in varieties of plants species (neem and turmeric are by now famous examples). Publicly funded gene banks as well as new varieties bred by public sector research stations can also be used freely by private enterprises for developing their own varieties and seek patent protection for them. Should private breeders be allowed free use of basic scientific discoveries? Should the repositories of traditional knowledge and germplasm be collected which are maintained and improved by publicly funded organisations? Or should users be made to pay for such use? If they are to pay, what should be the basis of compensation? Should the compensation be for individuals or (or communities/institutions to which they belong? Should individual institutions be given the right of patenting their innovations? These are some of the important issues that deserve more attention than they now get and need serious detailed study to evolve reasonably satisfactory, fair and workable solutions. Finally, the tendency to equate the public sector with the government is wrong. The public space is much wider than government departments and includes co- operatives, universities, public trusts and a variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Giving greater autonomy to research organisations from government control and giving non- government public institutions the space and resources to play a larger, more effective role in research, is therefore an issue of direct relevance in restructuring the public research system.Which one of the following statements describes an important issue, or important issues, not being raised in the context of the current debate on IPRs?|
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions: In every religion, culture and civilization feeding the poor and hungry is considered one of the most noble deeds. However such large scale feeding will require huge investment both in resources and time. A better alternative is to create conditions by which proper wholesome food is available to all the rural poor at affordable price. Getting this done will be the biggest charity.Our work with the rural poor in villages of Western Maharashtra has shown that most of these people are landless laborers. After working the whole day in the fields in scorching sun they come home in the evening and have to cook for the whole family. The cooking is done on the most primitive chulha (wood stove) which results in tremendous indoor air pollution. Many of them also have no electricity so they use primitive and polluting kerosene lamps. World Health Organization (WHO) data has shown that about 300,000 deaths/ year in India can be directly attributed to indoor air pollution in such -nuts. At the same time this pollution results in many respiratory ailments and these people spend close Rs. 200-400 per month on medical bills. Besides the pollution, rural poor also eat very poor diet. They eat whatever is available daily at Public Distribution System (PDS) shops and most of the times these shops are out of rations. Thus they cook whatever is available. The hard work together with poor eating takes a heavy toll on their health. Besides this malnutrition also affects the physical and mental health of their children and may lead to creation of a whole generation of mentally challenged citizens. So I feel that the best way to provide adequate food for rural poor is by setting up rural restaurants on large scale. These restaurants will be similar to regular ones but for people below poverty line (BPL) they will provide meals at subsidized rates. These citizens will pay only Rs. 10 per meal and the rest, which is expected to be quite small, will come as a part of Government subsidy. With existing open market prices of vegetables and groceries average cost of simple meal for a family of four comes to Rs. 50 per meal or Rs. 12.50 per person per meal. If the PDS prices are taken for the groceries then the average cost will be Rs. 7.50 per person per meal. This makes the subsidy approximately Rs. 2.50 per person per meal only and hence quite small. The buying of meals could be by the use of UID (Aadhar) card by rural poor. The total cost should be Rs. 30 per day for three vegetarian meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The rural poor will get better nutrition and tasty food by eating in these restaurants. Besides the time saved can be used for resting and other gainful activities like teaching children. Since the food will not be cooked in huts, this strategy will result in less pollution in rural households. This will be beneficial for their health. Besides, women's chores will be reduced drastically. Another advantage of eating in these restaurants will be increased social interaction of rural poor since this could also become a meeting place. Eating in restaurants will also require fewer utensils in house and hence less expenditure. For other things like hot water for bath, making tea, boiling milk and cooking on holidays some utensils and fuel will be required. Our Institute NARI has developed an extremely efficient and environment-friendly stove which provides simultaneously both light and heat for cooking and hence may provide the necessary functions. Providing reasonably priced wholesome food is the basic aim and program of Government of India (GOI). This is the basis of their much touted food security program.However in 65years they have not been able to do so. Thus I feel a public private partnership can help in this. To help the restaurant owners the GOI or state Governments should provide them with soft loans and other line of credit for setting up such facilities. Corporate world can take this up as a part of their corporate social responsibility activity. Their participation will help ensure good quality restaurants and services. Besides the charitable work, this will also make good business sense. McDonald's-type restaurant systems for rural areas can be a good model to be set up for quality control both in terms of hygiene and in terms of quality of food material. However focus will be on availability of wholesome simple vegetarian food in these restaurants.More clientele (volumes) will make these restaurants economical. Existing models of dhabas, udipi type restaurants etc. can be used in this scheme. These restaurants may also be able to provide midday meals in rural schools. At present the midday meal program is faltering due to various reasons. Food coupons in western countries provide cheap food for poor. However quite a number of fast food restaurants in US do not accept them. Besides these coupons are most of the times used for non-food items, it will be mandatory for rural restaurants to accept payment via UID cards for BPL citizens. Existing soup kitchens, lagers and temple food are based on charity. For large scale rural use it should be based on good social enterprise business model. Cooking food in these restaurants will also result in much more efficient use of energy since energy/ kg of food cooked in households is greater than that in restaurants. The main thing however will be to reduce drastically the food wastage In these restaurants. Rural restaurants can also be forced to use clean fuels like LPG or locally produced biomass-based liquid fuels. This strategy is very difficult to enforce for individual households. Large scale employment generation in rural areas may result because of this activity. With an average norm of 30 people employed/ 100-chair restaurant, this program has the potential of generating about 20 million jobs permanently in rural areas. Besides the infrastructure development in setting up restaurants and establishing the food chain etc will help the local farmers and will create huge wealth generation in these areas. In the long run this strategy may provide better food security for rural poor than the existing one which is based on cheap food availability in PDS - a system which is prone to corruption and leakage.In accordance with the view expressed by the writer of this article, what is the biggest charity ?|
|MCQ-> on the basis of the information given in the following case. Teknik Group of industries had businesses in different sectors ranging from manufacturing, construction, fish farming and hotels. These different businesses operated as semi-independent units managed by the unit level managers. Teknik’s management had an internal consultancy group called as Business Advisory Group (known internally as BAG). The 15 experts in BAG were hired personally by Mr. Teknikwala, the owner of Teknik, who wanted this core group of experts to help his organization grow fast without facing the typical growth hurdles. Most of them were specialists in fields like law, information technology, human resource management, and operations management. Almost all of them had experience spanning decades in the industry. Whenever any of the units faced any significant all units and it represented an extra work for those who were involved. This coordination was required to understand the different work processes and the users’ requirements. This coordination activity was being extensively managed by the old timers as they were familiar with internal processes and people in the different units. An external consultant was also hired for customization and implementation After two months, BAG teams had to fortnightly present their progress to Ms. Teknikwali’s team. In the last meeting Ms. Teknikwali was dissatisfied. She explained her thinking that since ERP impacted every aspect of the business, the roll out had to be done faster. She wanted Mr. Shiv to get the implementation completed ahead of schedule. In the meeting she asked Mr. Shiv to get the people in IT team to be more productive. Not willing to disagree, Mr. Shiv committed to a roll-out schedule of complete ERP system in 6 months instead of earlier decided 14 months. Next day, Mr. Shiv presented the revised project milestone to BAG members. He told them that in order to meet the deadline, the members were expected to work on week-ends till the completion of the project. Along with that, they were also expected to maintain their earlier standards of delivery time and quality for the normal trouble-shooting and internal advisory work. Mr. Shiv also pointed out that anyone whose performance did not meet the expectations would be subjected to formal disciplinary action. The meeting ended without any member commenting on Shiv’s ideas, although Mr. Shiv heard a lot of mumbling in the corridor. Over the week, Shiv noticed that the members seemed to avoid him and he had to make extra effort to get ideas from them. After a fortnight Shiv reviewed the attendance register and found the Mr. Lal, an old time member, had not come during the week-ends and certain decisions were held up due to lack of inputs from Mr. Lal. Mr. Shiv issued a written reprimand to Mr. Lal. He was speechless on receiving the reprimand but kept silent. It has been three days since that incident. Some of the senior members had put in request for transfer to other business units. It was rumoured that four problems, the unit level managers would put up a request for help to BAG. The problems ranged from installation of internal MIS systems, to financial advice related to leasing of equipment, to handling of employee grievances. Over a period of 20 years, Teknik’s revenues grew from 100 crore 10,000 crore with guidance of BAG and due to Mr. Tekinwala’s vision. Given its reputation in the industry, many people wanted to start their careers in BAG. Often young MBAs fresh out of business schools would apply. However their applications used to be rejected by Mr. Teknikwala, who had a preference for people with extensive industry experience. Things changed after the unfortunate demise of Mr. Teknikwala. His daughter Miss. Teknikwali took up the family business. She was an MBA from one of the premier business schools, and was working in a different company when Mr. Tekinwala passed away. She preferred that BAG developed new ideas and therefore inducted freshly graduated MBAs from premier business schools. She personally supervised the recruitment and selection process. Now the entire group constituted of 50 specialists, out of which 35 were the old time members. She also changed the reporting relationships in the BAG group with some of the older members being made to report to the new members. In IT team, Mr. Shiv, a newly recruited MBA, was made in-charge. For the older members it was a shock. However, as most of them were on the verge of retirement, and it would be challenging to search for new jobs while competing with younger professionals, they decided to play along. After one month, all business units were caught up in the ERP fever. This was an idea pushed by Ms. Teknikwali who the need the need to replace the old legacy systems with latest ERP system integrating all the units of Teknik. This was heavily influenced by her experience in the previous where an ERP system was already up and running. Therefore she was not aware of the difference between installing an ERP system and working on an already installed one. The ERP mplementation in Teknik Group required extensive coordination with senior level managers of senior legal experts had agreed to an offer from a law firm. Other senior members would sporadically come in late to work, citing health reasons. Almost all senior members now wanted a weekly work-routine to be prepared and given to them in advance so that they could deliver as per the schedule. This insistence on written communication was a problem as urgent problems or ad-hoc requests could not be foreseen and included. Also normal services to other business units were being unattended to, and there were complaints coming from the unit heads.Which of the following could have been a better response of Mr. Shiv to Ms. Teknikwali’s request to re-schedule the ERP implementation?....|