When the economic reforms in the Indian economy got a thrust post-1990, a spin-off was the mushrooming of business schools in India . A recent statistic from the All India Council for Technical Education [AICTE] states that there are over 950 B-schools spread all over India . And every school is run as a business where they compete first for students and then for placements and all without exception charge very high fees. Perhaps, the sole exception in this dismal scenario is the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prashanthi Nilayam. Here you will find a curriculum at par with the best schools, a faculty very experienced and respected, and products shining in the industry but there is no placement service, no fees charged whatsoever from the students and an open admission policy based purely on merit.
But this is not what is special about this management school. What is really special is the integral education which is imparted here wherein character, values and ethics are given as much important as analytical and technical skills. Dr. Abdul Kalam had this to say about the education being offered in Prashanthi Nilayam on the 21st convocation of the Institute (22nd Nov 2002) - “......Is value-based education possible? Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning has given an answer in the affirmative.”
This was vindicated in no uncertain terms when just a month later, in December 2002, the Peer Team of the NAAC [National Assessment and Accreditation Council, an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country], had come to Prashanthi Nilayam to evaluate the system of education being provided here. And this what they put on record - “…The Peer Team feels that this Institute stands out as a crest jewel among the University Education System in the country and this model is worthy of emulation by the institutions of higher learning in the country and elsewhere, so that these benefits would be reaped fast and on the widest possible scale.” No wonder, they rated the University as A++ - the highest any university in India can obtain.
This year on the 21st and 22nd of August almost all the MBA alumni are converging in a grand get together labeled as “Reconnect”. They will be paying homage to Bhagawan Baba, their alma mater, on His 80th Birthday and also reaffirming their commitment and conviction in the role of values in personal and professional life on the 20th anniversary of their business school.
What is so special about the management students of the Sai Institute? Are they really able to apply values in real life situations in today’s ruthless world of business? Are they as competent as graduates of other premier schools? Do they get good placements? And, does their special relationship with Swami help them in their management decision making? To find answers to these and more, read this issue’s cover story.
Guru Poornima celebrations this year in Prashanthi Nilayam were marked with an Inter-faith Conference where religious leaders from different religions spoke in the divine presence – an enlightening experience for every devotee. Also, Swami’s discourse on the Guru Poornima morning about actions, results and God’s grace was truly inspiring. You will find a detailed report of all this and much more in the Prashanti Diary.
In this issue, we have two bhajans in the Sai Bhajans Virtual Classroom in response to readers’ requests. Also, ‘Conversation With Sai’ is much larger than before. You will also find seven articles in the miscellaneous section compared to the usual four or five and the archives page is much more user-friendly.
Before we leave you to explore the rest of the journal, please do not miss the Photo Album. You will find some beautiful pictures of Sai Krishna and also a nice article on Krishna by Sai in the feature articles section. Krishnastami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, is just a few weeks away.
Dwell on the divine miracles of Lord Krishna, think of the beautiful moments you have spent with Sai and be always in the presence of Sai Krishna. Let your life be filled with love and peace.
Sairam and Regards,