Knowledge is power. Right knowledge when used at the right time can turn the tide of any situation, granting victory even when near defeat and turn a cat into a lion. Those who put in the effort, build their dreams into reality. Those who don't build castles in the air as those who know, win the war as knowing is truly half the battle.

And knowing is half the battle: Mock terrorist drill in SBS

“Whatcha gonna do brother!? When the terrorists gets in yo school!” This question asked in a similar voice and tone like the legendary WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan, was answered on the 8th of February in Sri Balaji Society, wherein a mock drill simulating a ‘terrorist attack’ was held in society. The drill began late in the morning after 10:30 am and was conducted with the help of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad personnel and the local Police.

The objective of the drill was to prepare the students and the society personnel to face and manage an extreme situation, such as a terrorist attack and to test their presence of mind and coolness which will help them to live in the very unlikely case of ‘real terrorists’ attacking the four institutes of the society in a way, similar to the 2014 Peshawar School massacre, wherein 132 students and 17 adults were killed. The importance of the drill can also be seen in the ‘disturbingly frequent’ school shootings that happen in the United States, the latest being in the Stoneman Douglas High School on the 14th of February in Florida, wherein the perpetrator, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire on his fellow students with an Smith and Wesson AR-15 automatic rifle, causing the death of 17 students and fatally injuring 15.

The uniformed personnel simulated a ‘hostage situation’ wherein ‘terrorists’ barge in classrooms and hold students hostage and a ‘rescue and sanitization’ operation wherein the QRT Commandos, rappel down the walls of the institute to reach the classrooms wherein they engage the terrorists and rescue the students, helping them to escape safely and in an inconspicuous way from the institute to a ‘safe zone’ near the BITM Building.

The way the police officers performed the ‘rescue operation’ to save the ‘hostages’ was exemplary and brings to mind another rescue operation carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces’ Commando units storming the Entebbe Airport in Uganda on the 4th of July 1976.

Lasting for a period of two hours, the drill came to a conclusion at 12:30 pm with the successful rescue of the hostages and neutralization of the ‘terrorists’. Notes were exchanged by the ATS Personnel and the Police with the Society authorities of how the drill was conducted and what was learnt from it so that in the very unlikely case of a terrorist attack on the society, the students will know how to survive until the armed response personnel are sent in to save the day so that they do not end up becoming another blood stained statistic on the terrorist’s bulletin board.

Lessons in life and management: Dr. Satyapal Singh’s (IPS) Guest Lecture in Sri Balaji Society

Sri Balaji Society was proud to host a former police officer and a complete gentleman, Dr. Satyapal Singh (IPS), the Hon’bl Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Govt of India, on the 13th of February 2018. This was Dr. Satyapal Singh's second visit to the society, the first being on the 19th of February in the year 2010, when he was the then serving Commissioner of Police, Pune.

Organized by BIMHRD (Balaji Institute of Management and Human Resources Development), Dr. Satyapal Singh’s guest lecture was an eye opener for the audience as it gave them an impetus to think about their roles and duties as future corporate citizens when they pass out from the society. Dr. Satyapal Singh urged the students to commit themselves develop employability skills and people skills so that they will be ‘insured’ against the uncertain environment of the corporate world and asked them to improve their communication skills in a way that will help them to motivate their friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

Dr. Satyapal Singh also spoke about the various ‘Gurus’ and teachers of India who have inspired millions of people in the last thousand years and shed some light on ‘Maha Shivraatri’. He also spoke about the importance of developing a positive work life balance. Speaking on the system of education in the country, Dr. Satyapal Singh asked the students to use every available opportunity for improving themselves for the future. He also informed them that they need to improve their physical health and mental fortitude so that develop the confidence, the integrity and the positive mindset in life, enabling them to manage and lead thousands of men in the future.

Dr. Satyapal Singh informed the students that they are the future representatives of Sri Balaji Society, and thus it is their duty to see to it that they keep the proud flag of the society, flying ever high, by committing themselves to deliver quality in the output of their work in their respective companies in the future, so that they win the hearts of their employers and customers along with inspiring their colleagues and sub-ordinates to accomplish their tasks in a more effective, efficient and synergistic way.

Dr. Satyapal Singh’s guest lecture was followed by a series of one on one interactions with the audience as they addressed their questions, queries and doubts for clarification.

The arena of competition: Sri Balaji Society as a venue for competitive examinations

The history of education in India is as old as the country itself. When we look at India, we see that it has been ruled by several individuals, kingdoms and empires alike. From the cities of the Indus valley civilization, in the forest ‘Gurukuls’ mentioned in the great Indian myths, legends and stories and to the great universities started in Taxshashila and Nalanda, we find that education has been provided to students for over hundreds of years in the country.

The history of professional education began in the country with the establishment of the first institute of engineering - College of Engineering, Guindy in the year 1794. This was followed by the establishment of several other institutes specializing in the arts, humanities and sciences in the intervening years inspiring thousands of students all over the country to be more than they could be and was followed by the establishment of the first ‘B-School’ of India was started in the year 1886 as the Commercial School of Pachiappa Charities’ in Chennai.

The cream de la crème of these institutes – The IIM’s and the IIT’s form a prominent place in the imaginations of many a million students in the country, no doubt hoping for a better future and career opportunities, thanks to the education received in these institutes. Naturally, competition is high and thus it is deemed necessary to trim the herd so to speak so that only the worthy get admission to these institutes of repute by conducting various entrance examinations such as MAT, CAT, CMAT, NMAT, GMAT, XAT, CET, IITJEE, GATE and so on.

Sri Balaji Society is proud to be one of the few institutes in the country, wherein a majority of these entrance examinations are conducted on a routine, scheduled, yearly basis. Like clockwork, the preparation begins a few days in advance to prepare its testing venues and computer labs for conduction of the tests and examinations (Online and Offline) in a smooth way.

The conduction of the exams ad tests are managed by the examination test personnel, the key society personnel from the Academics Department and the IT Department along with a few teams of student volunteers who see to it that all facilities in the society: parking facility for the candidate’s vehicles, testing venues and so on are kept in good and working condition, suitable for taking the test in a smooth and peaceful way, so that a good impression is created within the minds of the candidates, increasing the possibility of the candidates writing management institute entrance examinations, to consider Sri Balaji Society and its four institutes as a venue for fulfilling their requirements for management education.