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In this issue, we make an attempt to bring in regional perspectives on the quality and administration of higher education in the Indian context especially Punjab and Coimbatore. Performance expectations, training needs, methods and techniques, cost-benefit analysis, and teaching ethics are some of the areas touched upon. In addition, we also bring some perspectives from the USA.

S Sandhya Menon and S Isac Athisayam, in their paper, “Training Needs: A Study Among Teaching Staff of Management Institutes in Coimbatore City”, attempt to envision the future of management education and the role played by teachers in transforming the vision into a reality. They make an assessment of the training needs with a view to influence the aspirations and improve the quality of the teachers. Defining the scope of their study as identifying the institutional expectations vis-à-vis actual performance besides identifying the required organizational and administrative interventions for teaching effectiveness, they conducted their study in management institutions in Coimbatore. The paper makes several pertinent observations, gives relevant suggestions and points out various areas for further research related to environmental challenges, managerial practices and available competencies with regard to imparting managerial skills.

A comparison between the university management departments and private management institutes of Punjab in the aspects of fee structure, faculty, links with industry, placements and infrastructure is drawn by Lakhwinder Singh Kang and Surinder Sharma, in their paper, “University and Private Management Institutes in Punjab: A Comparison”. They present an analysis of how different stakeholders, viz., alumni, faculty and the practicing managers, perceived the state and privately owned management institutes. The findings of their study provide useful pointers to policy makers, quality assurance agencies, faculty, industry, governing bodies of various management institutes, parents and prospective students. On similar lines, Satvinder Kaur and P S Raikhy, in their paper, “Cost Recovery in University Education in Punjab: Trends and Implications”, estimate the extent of cost recovery in university education in Punjab for the years 1991-92 and 2005-06 and the changes therein over this period. They factor in the rise of forces of liberalization, privatization and globalization in the economy. The results show that there has been sufficient increase in cost recovery from students and/or their parents in the form of enhanced tuition fee and other fees and funds.

Ashish K Pillai and Arunesh Garg, in their paper, “Attitudes and Perceptions of Students of Business Schools in Punjab Towards Treatment of Ethics in Marketing”, study student attitudes and perceptions regarding the importance of ethics in marketing and the need for teaching it. The study found that the MBA students from the regional business schools in Punjab consider ethics in marketing to be a very important aspect for discussion. They also felt that currently marketing and allied subjects cover ethics inadequately.

Subhash Sarnikar, in his paper, “Is Diversity Other Side of the Same Coin (Affirmative Action)?”, traces the historical background of affirmative action. In the context of USA he summarizes the viewpoints of both race neutral and race conscious proponents, evaluates the implications of the Supreme Court decisions and finally brings out a concluding analysis suggesting clarity and differentiation in the intentions of affirmative action and diversity policy objectives so that the public and private benefits of higher education do not suffer under policy confusion. Affirmative action seeks to affect workplace demographics based on race, gender, disability, and veteran status, whereas diversity policies could include a wider array of characteristics, including generational differences, age, gender orientation, educational background, religious beliefs, marital status, geographic location, income, and parental status. He opines that crafting a diversity promotion policy keeping in mind affirmative action intention is like putting the cart before the horse. That a broad based affirmative action policy and an independent diversity policy together can play an effective role in support of the public and private benefits as propounded by higher education is suggested. He argues that while initially such policies will produce social benefits, eventually economic benefits, both public and private, will follow.

In the context of USA, the case study by Surajit Ghosh Dastidar, “Bridging the Gap Between B-School and Businesses: A Case Study of US B-Schools”, traces the evolution of the MBA program from the ‘Corporate-Based Era’ of the 1900s to the MBA program as we know it today. It brings to light the perceived as well as the real gap between current business practices and what is being taught at business schools in the USA. The case is rich with examples of the initiatives taken to bridge the gap by leading business schools, viz., Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Harvard Business School, Darden’s Graduate School of Business Administration, Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, and Indiana University’s Graduate School of Business.

- - Y Malini Reddy
Consulting Editor

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Automated Teller Machines (ATMs): The Changing Face of Banking in India

Bank Management
Information and communication technology has changed the way in which banks provide services to its customers. These days the customers are able to perform their routine banking transactions without even entering the bank premises. ATM is one such development in recent years, which provides remote banking services all over the world, including India. This paper analyzes the development of this self-service banking in India based on the secondary data.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is playing a very important role in the progress and advancement in almost all walks of life. The deregulated environment has provided an opportunity to restructure the means and methods of delivery of services in many areas, including the banking sector. The ICT has been a focused issue in the past two decades in Indian banking. In fact, ICTs are enabling the banks to change the way in which they are functioning. Improved customer service has become very important for the very survival and growth of banking sector in the reforms era. The technological advancements, deregulations, and intense competition due to the entry of private sector and foreign banks have altered the face of banking from one of mere intermediation to one of provider of quick, efficient and customer-friendly services. With the introduction and adoption of ICT in the banking sector, the customers are fast moving away from the traditional branch banking system to the convenient and comfort of virtual banking. The most important virtual banking services are phone banking, mobile banking, Internet banking and ATM banking. These electronic channels have enhanced the delivery of banking services accurately and efficiently to the customers. The ATMs are an important part of a bank’s alternative channel to reach the customers, to showcase products and services and to create brand awareness. This is reflected in the increase in the number of ATMs all over the world. ATM is one of the most widely used remote banking services all over the world, including India. This paper analyzes the growth of ATMs of different bank groups in India.
International Scenario

If ATMs are largely available over geographically dispersed areas, the benefit from using an ATM will increase as customers will be able to access their bank accounts from any geographic location. This would imply that the value of an ATM network increases with the number of available ATM locations, and the value of a bank network to a customer will be determined in part by the final network size of the banking system. The statistical information on the growth of branches and ATM network in select countries.

Indian Scenario

The financial services industry in India has witnessed a phenomenal growth, diversification and specialization since the initiation of financial sector reforms in 1991. Greater customer orientation is the only way to retain customer loyalty and withstand competition in the liberalized world. In a market-driven strategy of development, customer preference is of paramount importance in any economy. Gone are the days when customers used to come to the doorsteps of banks. Now the banks are required to chase the customers; only those banks which are customercentric and extremely focused on the needs of their clients can succeed in their business today.


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