Dilemmas in Global Politics: India’s Foreign Policy Challenges in Afghanistan

The world woke up on the morning of 15 August 2021, to bear witness to one of the biggest turning points in the history of the post-Cold War world. The sudden withdrawal of U.S.-NATO forces coupled with the takeover of the administrative power by the Taliban since their rule from 1996 to 2001 in Afghanistan has led to a huge political and strategic uncertainty in the region.   Not long after the end of the World Wars does one find Afghanistan being sucked into the vortex of great power rivalry, the repercussions of which have come to be felt even in current times.   The land was ravaged by the violent repression of political power syndrome. The dramatic resurgence of the Taliban government led most of the regional powers to recalibrate their approaches and influences in protecting their national interests in the country.

Besides this, so far as regional interests are concerned, one has to take note of the strong and differentiated regional power interests of Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and Iran which trigger certain questions to shape the prospects of Afghanistan. They are – first, the withdrawal creates new opportunities for influence and control for Russia; secondly, the withdrawal is a net gain but not an unequivocal victory for China, which has new opportunities to extend its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), address regional security threats, engage in significant economic activities, and challenge the ambitions of the United States and raised a big question about American dependability and assurance as an ally and security partner. Thirdly, the withdrawal represents the least optimal outcome for India and its troubled relationship with Pakistan, but there are opportunities to engage with AUKUS and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. Finally, despite the ongoing tensions with the Taliban, Iran may take advantage of the withdrawal in its international posturing toward the United States.

 This new environment led Indian policymakers to a serious quandary and raised a big question regarding India’s role and influence in Afghanistan under the new miliew. Although, ambiguity and flexibility are essential attributes of diplomatic life, however striking a balance between moralism and realism requires constant calibration. Although New Delhi has considered the Afghan Taliban as Pakistan’s proxy, engagement with them has been a regular feature of the Indian policymaker.

India can undertake four policy options in terms of its’ future with Afghanistan, firstly the Realist policy, where New Delhi need to shift theatre from Kashmir to Afghanistan and should work towards building a Delhi-Washington-Moscow Consensus to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan. Secondly, the use of soft power as a major means to stay out of the Afghan quagmire, knowing fully well it can also endanger India’s investments in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Thirdly, smart power strategy, where India should come out of its Panipat Syndrome and pursue a proactive policy to safeguard India’s national interest and needs to engage with the new government in Afghanistan without damaging its carefully nurtured image of a trustworthy neighbour, which in other words means that it will neither confer legitimacy on the Taliban nor will it erode the legitimacy of India.

Fourthly, India should take on a mediating role among the different nations anxious to involve themselves in Afghanistan and produce a formula that would help maintain Afghanistan’s neutrality and ensure that it becomes a buffer zone to prevent further Chinese expansionism towards South Asia and by which it can preserve its national interests on its own without any butterfly effect.

Amidst the ambiguity over international recognition of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, questions have arisen as to the fate of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The largely dysfunctional South Asian organization’s future will largely depend on the road that Afghanistan takes.

Comparative approach and Liberal Arts

The tide of liberal arts is now sweeping the differences between various academic disciplines all across the world demolishing the demarcations between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and NON-STEM subjects. As a result it is also trying to break the stereotypes that are tagged with this demarcation of disciplines that are automatically getting responded as just constructed and imposed shadow lines. It also reminds us of the days of polymaths who existed in different civilization across the globe in various time periods.

Today we all live in an application based world, where knowledge has to be applied, and to solve this purpose we are all trying to make paths towards the practice of liberal arts in the field of education and India is not an exception in this regard. When we talk about the application of knowledge we must remember that this appliedness of knowledge is only possible if we can take education outside the boundaries of an educational institute.

In the year 1964 Sturart Hall and Richard Hoggart founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham with the objectives of taking education outside the university campus and encouraging the students to have a firsthand experience with the community, so that they can develop a better understanding of their respective community as a whole.

In other words this was an important step to implement the idea of Academic Social Responsibility. This new teaching and learning pedagogy once again may help us to bring science and humanities together to give shape to the academicians with the understanding of their responsibilities towards society. This also opens up the possibilities of collaborative curriculum designing, for outreach activities and also accommodates our eternal ‘quest for relevance’ as per the time and space we belong to. This may remind us of the Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thoing o ‘, who engaged in a protest against Eurocentricism in the field of education while discussing ‘quest for relevance’. In the process he encouraged the academicians across the world to have this quest while designing the curriculum.

Thus from the above discussion it is clear that the current educational scenario is ready to welcome an interdisciplinary approach towards education. We have to remember that comparative literature has long been accommodating this interdisciplinary approach and thus giving the platform to study literatures from across the world in an interdisciplinary manner and thus may play a key role in the development of liberal arts.

Comparative literature encourages the study of literature using a comparative framework. Students under such a frame work are encouraged to study many literatures together. Thus it creates the room to read and to critically engage with the literatures produced in various languages from different parts of the world.

Boundaries of such comparative approach is absolutely fluid, it can thus make teaching learning pedagogy multimodal in nature, further breaking the barriers between various existing disciplines. According to Susan Basnett comparative approach gives us the scope to study texts in relation to one another. Thus, comparative approach is the key to practice liberal arts.  

Singular perspective focuses on a particular issue, whereas a comparative approach gives a broader spectrum of understanding. Comparative approach in a way reproaches the singular independent existence of disciplines. It sees the existence of all disciplines not in an independent fashion but in an interdependent fashion, thus provides a platform for the practice of liberal arts.

Liberal arts thus with a comparative approach makes all barriers fluid. It makes all geo political boundaries and linguistic boundaries blurred in its attempt to connect with everyone. This reminds us of the German author, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Rabindranath Thakur, who also referred to this idea of connectivity among the people across the world through the exercise of a comparative approach.

Liberal arts and comparative literature both widens our spectrum of reading texts. At this juncture we must remember that texts are not only printed books, every incident that happens around us and among us is a text. Liberal arts focus on training its students in reading these texts of which they themselves are a part. This process serves a twofold objective – firstly the students get the opportunity of a firsthand engagement with the society and secondly they go through a reality check regarding their ability to apply the knowledge that they have acquired in their educational institute.

Both liberal arts and comparative literature together investigates and questions whatever is given. Both jointly vehemently discourage a blind belief in anything given. Liberal arts is probably the only sect of knowledge that dares to question the formulation of knowledge itself. Being a part of an institution liberal arts tries to question the process of institutionalization.

Comparative approach helps liberal arts to get a wholesome, inclusive and comprehensive understanding of our society. Connection is the key component of liberal arts.  This connection that we are referring to is the connection of our work and knowledge with the humanity and human concerns.

It is not just the imagination of certain authors but different historical eras have witnessed that whenever knowledge has lost its contact with humanity and human concerns, hell was let loose on mankind, be it the violent process of colonization or be it the transformation of nuclear power into a destructive bomb.

In today’s world we are all connected at different levels, sometimes we realize and sometime we do not. We cannot exist independently anymore. Thus the academic disciplines designed by us too cannot exist and have never existed independently.

The mission of liberal arts is to break science and humanities stereotyped binaries, that are imposed on both, by showcasing the connectivity that has existed between the two since the time immoral, at the same time liberal arts has the objective to connect both the dimension of knowledge systems with the human concerns. Liberal arts with a comparative approach reminds us that human beings with their knowledge need to serve human concerns. 

 

Career Prospects in Visual Arts in 21st Century Era

Visual art is relies on visual experience. A degree in Visual Arts can lead us to a many-sided career and life as an artist. Throughout this study, we will be exposed in art history, theory and criticism alongside intensive studio practices and experiences in drawing, painting, sculpture, print media, photography and multimedia art. We can exhibit our art work in group or solo exhibitions in galleries as professional artists. Visual arts include painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, crafts, films etc. It also includes applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, interior design, fashion design etc.

Visual Arts can lead to many career options like Freelance Artist, Art Teacher, Art Historian, Art Consultant, Architect, Archivist, Art Editor, Art Gallery Director, Art Critic, Art Curator, Cartoonist, Cinematographer, Engraver, Exhibition Designer, Fashion Designer, Gallery Director, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Interior Designer, Jewelry Designer, Museum Director, Product Designer, Set Designer etc. Today visual effect is a creative professional field for visual artists with many bright prospects. At present day most of the movies are overwhelmingly reliant on visual effects that mean VFX. Big budget franchises depend on highly creative and realistic effects.

Very simply, artists create works of art. Artists employ a variety of methods and materials to communicate a message, thought or feeling, including painting, sculpture, and illustration using oils, acrylics, watercolors, pencils, pastels, clay computers etc. Craft artists make hand-made objects, such as candles, tapestries, quilts, and potteries to be sold or shown. Multimedia artists create images for film, video and other forms of electronic media. Apart from these, artists also can find work with museums, galleries, schools, advertising agencies, magazines, newspapers, and movie studios.

In Graphic Design one artist can work as an Advertising Director, Logo / Branding Designer, Advertisement Designer, Sign Writer, Magazine Layout Designer, Packing Designer, Calendar / Stationary / Wallpaper Designer, Typographer etc. In Museums, one artist can work as a Curator with good knowledge of art and good communication skills. One can get job as Artist Representative with the knowledge of art, business experience (marketing and sales), organizational skills, self-motivation, and sensitivity to working with artists

There is another bright career in Art Gallery to work as a Gallery Director or Curator. Good business and marketing skills, communication and writing skills, fundraising skills, flexibility, diplomacy, ability to motivate others, sensitivity to artists’ needs, experience in exhibition design, curatorial work, sales, and art education can all be useful here.

Art Teacher as a career in Education

With the degree in Fine Arts, one can find his or her career as an art teacher in Education. Art teachers are generally required to have a Bachelor and Master degree in Fine Arts with the following art spheres: ceramics, painting, sculpture, media arts, drawing, photography, printmaking and graphic design.

Art offers us the space to express ourselves. Art education entails teaching students how to express their feelings and thoughts about their world. Art Teachers guide their students to develop their visual communication skills by producing various art forms. Art students may be in public and private schools, museums, summer programs, and other places where visual communication is learned.

Art Education arouses language in visual images. Art Teachers nurture students’ artistic skills at their school level. They also teach after school and summer programs to children, or in an adult education program such as ‘Teachers Training Program’. They can also work in Art museums as education coordinators. Along with being creative and passionate about art, Art Teachers should be able to motivate students to think about the subject critically and to understand students’ educational and emotional needs.

Artist Picasso once said that painting is just another way of keeping a diary. Art Teachers should go beyond painting and guide students to keep their diaries in various art forms. They should spur students to unlock their creativity while expressing their thoughts, feelings and opinions at the same time.

Future of Brand Communication and Management

Branding have been evolved hundreds of years, may be more than this. The meaning and prospect of this brand came into use over a decade. The meaning and narratives of brand communication has been progressed and it is not limited to a particular products and services but the horizon of branding widens its spectrum in a larger array. Here, will reconnoitres the concept of branding which have been advanced to a new paradigm, and would venture on what’s coming next.

 

The word Brand is etymologically derived from the word “Brandr”, a term from Ancient Norse meaning “to burn”. Around 950 A.D. the term “brand” denotes to a burning piece of wood. By 1300s this word was used to mean a torch, a factor which burns a piece of wood. This term brand further adds to denote to scorch the cattle of ownership by the year 1500s. The ownership status quo been conferred if their cattle got misplaced, ranched or lost. So, the development of using some similar trait of identifying their respective cattle were used. They had very simple, familiar identification and quick remembrance which lead and pave the way for ‘logo’ which is indispensable for brand identity and image.

Brand communicates to inform, persuade, guide, teach, evoke, enlighten, remind and gives a new insight about a product, service, company, organization to its stakeholders and persuades to pursue the positive perception of the products, service and companies’ strength and core values.

For the drive of easier comprehension, let us put some of those changes in the form of pointers:

  1. The Preponderance of Digital Media: with the advent of digital media, the traditional form of paid media push marketing strategy is no longer valid and lost its conventional power to hold and influence consumers.
  2. Personal Branding: the role of Influencer’s which is in the rise of social media platforms has changed the phenomenon of the conventional definition of personal branding. Social media and branding also the future of branding in a positive room which enables every company and organization to maintain and update their social media pages of triggering and disseminating useful information (Facebook. Instagram and Twitter).
  3. Brand Extension: it creates credibility and consumers gets varied scope of opportunity if the brand positively follows up for further extension.
  4. Brand Association: the top of the mind awareness (recall) and aided awareness (recognition) seems credible in digital age with the help of niche marketing strategy and native advertising.
  5. Co-Branding: this creates the blurred boundaries between global market products and services. So, no matter what, there is a prospect avenue for business collaborations both nationally and internationally. With the rapid changes in the pattern of brand communication, definitely this also need to be focussed international + local products collaboration (because generally the known businesses allies with the established brands).
  6. Brand Equity: Simply, the brand awareness, positioning and loyalty leads to brand equity and paved the way for understanding these three factors in a more diligent manner (recognition/recall/ aided awareness/ TOMA etc).
  7. Naming of the Brand: this gone beyond the graphics but the interactive media content spuriously based on the art, aesthetics, idea and creativity proves to be right in contemporary times. It more emphasizes the ideation blended with virtual reality and augmented reality.
  8. Viral Marketing: this strategy is a new norm to reach out to potential consumers through snowballing and e word of mouth.
  9. SEO: it enhances the website traffic to update the page of the website and searches through hashtags and keywords. It aims to unpaid traffic rather than paid traffic.
  10. Outsourced Delivery: there are few companies and creative bunch of groups who takes this up on behalf of reputed and established brands. The young professionals who is proficiency of digital media marketing, search engine optimization and algorithms related to augmented reality and virtual reality can be put forth for positive brand image.

The rise of the usage and availability of internet across geographic boundaries with economic viability, enhances the platforms of social media which is a driving factor for the next stage of the progression of branding. Point to be noted that the definition of conventional consumer or customers have changed drastically, there is a bent towards the coexistence and participatory. They do not want to consume the products or content anymore, rather tries to participate and so as the future of brand communication not to communicate anymore but to act, feel and intermittence. The power of influencers of social media brands like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook frequently depend on their users to aid and to create their value and how they should be perceived by the public. It further gives them their identity and positive image and enhances the brand durability. Various content sites like Buzzfeed, Amazon, The Huffington post and Yelp be contingent on reviewers to deliver their utmost convincing content. In this regard, many web-based companies and organizations handles their respective brand image and gets loyalty and revenue through active consumers which is unmatched and some thing interesting in these recent times. On the other hand, viral marketing, search engine optimization, and outsourced delivery permits their companies and organizations to have expansion visibility which reduces the cost of products delivery and saves millions of bucks and investment on advertising and infrastructure.

Basically, to conclude, if there is a brand admiration established by the consumers and they would like to see the advancement of prospect category of a specific product, then they must go ahead. This improvement on positive branding and effective brand communication may bring various advantages to one’s business, for example, good growth, profit and a prospect to meet their clients’ who might need to know the advancement of companies’ brand image. If an excellent inkling or creativity for new product is there to experiment that certainly the consumers/customers may accept or like, then probably yes, the companies must give it a try!

Crisis Communication in the Post Digitalization Era

Crisis Communication at large has undergone a massive change in the last few decades especially after the introduction of new media and digital technologies. Earlier Corporate India used to have a Public Relations (PR) department which was mainly dedicated to maintaining the image of the organization. This was done using a series of steps including maintaining healthy relationships with people both at the internal level as well as with the audience or the customers at large. This department was also responsible for looking after the crisis communication in case of crisis situations. Now, in the post digitalization era, crisis may arise from Tweets, YouTube Videos or even a song, which has the power to tarnish the reputation of an organization.

There has been a notable instance in the year 2009 where a Canadian singer named Dave Carroll who had posted a song on YouTube based on “United Breaks Guitar” after his guitar was broken while flying through United Airlines. Initially the organization claimed that it was the negligence of the passenger and tried to shrug off the blame but through this song the Carroll made it a point to explain the entire incident. This musical video became popular in no time and gained massive attention of the audience which further influenced them from taking United Airlines flights for a while. The organization had to take many efforts to counter this narrative and thereby deal with this crisis situation to get back their customers, including offering a brand new Taylor guitar to Dave.

Now, this is not just one case rather with the growing popularity of online contents we get to see many such protests coming up almost every week. This is where the major challenge lies in dealing with a crisis scenario which has the potential of getting viral and thereby causing harm to the reputation of the organization.  Here, the key lies in targeting the same medium to build up a counter narrative and reach out to similar audience for managing the crisis situation.  For example, if a false narrative is spreading against an organization through twitter then the organization will have to take up initiatives to ensure that a counter narrative is spread from their end through twitter as well. So, it is not just important to target the crisis through communication but it is also important to use the same channel of communication though which the crisis has been spread.

Earlier organizations used to have draft Press Release ready for situations like any mishap during working hour or financial crisis which the organization may face in future. This used to help them to ensure that this Press Release can be readily spread if there are any such scenarios coming up in the near future. These days the definition of crisis has gone way beyond and all thanks to new media where anyone can literally post anything against an organization. Be it grievances from a customer or any counter narrative strategy used by competitive organization, crisis can come up in any form which was not even predicted before. In this case preparing a Press Release from beforehand will not be possible for any organization due to the vast diversity of crisis situations which may arise in the digital age. Hence, this is where using the same medium of communication can actually help any organization to target the same audience who has perhaps come across the information causing crisis in real time.

Strategic Communication management is playing a key role where dynamic crisis management is actually possible according to the book “How to Communicate Strategically in Corporate World”. The book states that communication has become an integral part of the strategies designed by an organization where a Chief Communications Officer often presides over the developments taking place in crisis management and other related strategic communication. Factors like personal touch and empathy are the key players in crisis communication where it is not just restricted to Press Release rather the organizations use strategies for communicating with people.

Sometimes, incidents like a flight crash can also come up as a crisis where communication becomes the major factor using which it can be managed. In one such incident during a flight crash of Air Asia, the organization had a strong hold of the situation and handled it so well that it had further lead to a positive publicity of the organization. This was possible due to the use of personal touch and empathy from the end of the organization during crisis communication. In this case the Tweets done by the spokes person Tony Fernandez who had profusely apologized for the plane crash and expressed that the organization takes over all the charges of the accident. This acted as a turning point where the audience could understand that the organization had genuine emotions towards the family members of the injured and deceased person. It became an eye opener for many other organizations that later came up with similar strategies to deal with crisis. Having empathy in communication helps to ensure that it is not the organization v/s the customers or the audience rather there is a blend between the organization and the audience. It further helps to persuade the audience ensuring that the organization is with them and not against them, making this one of the best practices in crisis communication.

Crisis communication has undergone a huge change over the course of time and now the use of only Press Release is not sufficient for crisis communication. The preference for medium of communication among the audience has changed, the lifestyle of the audience has changed and so do the nature of strategic communication but what has still remained same is the emotion. Hence, it is through personal touch and empathy that a crisis situation can be better handled and it should be reflected through crisis communication.

Prof (Dr) Mahul Brahma (PhD, DLitt) is a Professor and Dean of School of Media and Communications, Adamas University and a Fellow of School of Art, Film and Media, Bath Spa University, UK. He is an author and TEDx speaker. His latest book The Mythic Value of Luxury has won Sahityakosh Samman recently. His first short film was screened at Cannes Film Festival.

Career Prospects Post Pandemic – What prerequisites to know around Advertising Research?

What is Advertising Research?

As it has been known to all this advertising research falls under the gamut of marketing communication as paid form and sponsored ideas intrigues with this.

The moment we say that it falls under marketing communication, the potentials for knowing the market and its underlying category (customer/consumer/clients/audience); all is needed is research. The best meaning can be got through is ‘Research’; which helps the need of the consumer as well as to get the pulse of the competitors in and around.

There are few synonymous for this term such as Market research, marketing research, Brand Communication research.

Background and History of Advertising Research- The history of advertising research states us moderately a jiffy about its contemporary position. Although approximately advertising agencies have had research departments from the beginning, the actual affluent days came between the 1930s and the 1970s.

During this period, advertising agencies espoused research departments for two basic Reasons:

(1) The propagation of advertising research in the culture during this period suggested its necessity, and

(2) Other advertising agencies had research departments.

Various dimensions of Advertising Research-

Types of Advertising Research

Advertising research should be intended to tell you how operative your advertising plan is at reaching and coaxing customers.

This research is beneficial no matter what form of advertising you use, including print, television, radio, and digital. Advertising research can focus on different areas of the advertising process, including:

Target Market

It is all about doing research to know the habits and preferences of your target customers to ensure the advertising campaign. This eventually helps to identify and know who customers are, what difficulties they have, what assistances they are look for, and what type of messaging will reverberate with them.

Researching your target market can be cooperative if:

  • To attract new customers.
  • To retain potential consumers.
  • You are escalating your business market.
  • Your advertising is not reverberating with your set target market.

Another important aspects of advertising research is ‘Brands’ which are not defined just by their products or services.  A brand is made up of much more; it has its own personality (contributed to by its employees), its own mission statement, its own goals, its own ethos, even its own humour (see Innocent drinks for an example).  However, a brand’s perception is not owned by the brand itself, rather it is owned by the customer, based on how they see and feel it.

Response to Ads

Understanding how tangible customer/consumer in your aim demographic respond to ads can help you create a strong and effective advertising campaign. In this type of research, customers are shown different ads and are asked what they think about the products that are featured, whether they would consider purchasing them, and how well they understand the product after seeing the ad.

Outcomes and Success

Generally, research is done to measure the success of each advertising campaign. Understanding the effect advertising has on sales, customer perception, and lead generation, along with reoccurrence on venture also need to be taken into consideration, it further helps in saving time and resources. You can further go for comparative analysis of advertising across diverse media or markets. This can help your business comprehend whether it needs to revise its advertising strategy.

A clear benchmarking needs to be done for successful campaign for any ads to track customer response, such as exclusive assembling codes, coupons, or web links.

Well-articulated advertising research won’t just influence your advertising strategy. As with any constituent of your marketing mix, the eventual goal is to upsurge sales and grow your business.

The question or thoughts get provoked in following points

What is advertising analysis? 

What’s the difference between a ad audit and ad analysis?

What is a ad association, attribute or perception?

What’s more important, understanding the tangible or intangible elements of an ad?

Importance of Advertising Research-

Questions such as- “Why netizens follow every trend of advertisements on a serious note?” “Who is a consumer?” “Why digital ads become viral?” “Why people believe whatever they see ads online?” can be answered only through advertising research. Advertising Research helps in- understanding the vehicles of media better, recognizing and empathetic negative effects of ad messages, and developing advertising literacy content. Ad research has the potential to bring another phenomenon to create ‘Acts’ instead of Ads. And so, there is a calamitous need to investigate the nature of advertising along with studying the audience in depth in order to understand its impact and reach. Now just think and feel how you perceive and feel about doing or be a part of this advertising research? Is it essential? Research is an continuous determination that requires lots of human power (knowledge to pulse of the audience) and hence “the supplementary, the additional”. I urge all the aspire students who have inclination towards advertising should know more about research to join this interesting and very much relevant field. To conclude I would like to end with a quote – ‘advertising is a story unfolding across all customers touch points!!!”.

Career Prospects in Cyber security

Multinational companies are spending fortunes to protect and secure their systems, sensitive data, networks, and privacies from cybercriminals. After the pandemic, with proliferation of internet use and technology use, these cyber attacks become more refined and inventive, forcing the organizations to depend on the proficiency of the cybersecurity professionals.

As per CyberSeek report, around half million cybersecurity professionals are required to fulfill the gap. It is best time to become a cybersecurity professional because of this rising demand and small talent pool. There are some lucrative job opportunities available for those persons with relative technology focused skill. Even if someone does not have prior experience in cyber security domain, getting a job in this domain is possible. With the increase of frequency in cyber-attacks, almost all the organizations are recruiting to defend against these kinds of threats. There are various career paths available for the students who interested in making the career out of cyber security professional.

Like machine learning and data science, Cyber security career paths are also multidirectional as well as non-linear. Once someone enters the domain, his/her career can go in any direction. Along with that there are also feeder roles like risk analyst, software engineer, network administrator which can be used as a beginner level cyber security professional.

When anyone thinks of cybersecurity jobs, generally the first think comes into our mind is someone trying penetrate the networks or systems which is basically penetration testing or ethical hacking. But this notion is nothing but the tip of an iceberg. Cybersecurity is bigger than that. It contains various sub categories and specialization and all of these can be broadly categories in to two parts i.e., Infrastructure management and Security and Risk Management.

Infrastructure Security

Networking infrastructures are extremely important to multinational business organizations. Cybercriminals can readily access and exploit sensitive resources and information if they are not properly protected. Cybersecurity specialists must design, firewalls, virtual private networks, application security, and many more to mitigate security and data breaches.

Common job roles for the protection of infrastructure are given below:

  • Security Operations Center (SOC) analyst
  • Security infrastructure engineer
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Security architect
  • Cloud security engineer

Security and Risk Management

Security and risk management actually constitute ensuring that businesses follow security regulations and procedures, as well as undertaking risk assessment to determine security flaws in tangible infrastructure, business applications, and data. Penetration testing and compliance are useful roles in this niche. In fact, compliance has become so critical that some industries even have entire squad devoted entirely to data governance and privacy protection.

Common job roles for Security and Risk Management are given below:

  • Penetration tester
  • Data privacy and security analyst
  • Security compliance analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • Cyber Security Incident Response Analyst

Skill requirement for cybersecurity

Even though cybersecurity jobs may appear to be extremely specialized and computational-intensive, these skilled persons have the know-how of various different but interrelated domains. It is expected that these professionals have some specific skill sets in both hard skill sets which are scripting, system administration and networking and soft skill sets which are creative thinking and communication. Basically, one needs to constantly reinvent and learn upcoming technologies.

Technical Skills:

  • In terms of essential cybersecurity skills, Networking tops the list. If one wants to aspire to become a penetration tester or network security engineer, that person needs to fully grasp underlying mechanisms various networking protocols and principles.
  • Most network components and intrusion prevention systems run Linux as their operating system. Learning Linux helps to collect security data and perform security toughening.
  • System administration is indispensable for cyber security specialists. Can user, for example, dictate what happens after downloading malware on windows operating system or extract files from a pc without knowing the log in credentials?
  • To detect security loopholes in networks or security devices, it is necessary to have an outlook like a cybercriminal. White hat hackers try to safeguard data from both outside and inside threats by identifying vulnerabilities in systems that could be reduced. White hats are mainly utilized by the intended system’s owner and are handsomely compensated for their efforts. Their practice is not illegal since it is performed with the approval of the system owner.
  • To become a cybersecurity practitioner, you wouldn’t need to be an extremely skilled programmer, but you must handle situations with an algorithmic mindset. Scripting is a wonderful way to learn the underlying working principles of hardware and software.
  • Even though you wouldn’t want to become a programmer, it’s important to understand enough to read code.
  • To run malware analysis, cybersecurity professionals ought to be accustomed with all virtual machine platforms.

 Soft Skills

  • Communication: You will need to invest a considerable amount of time training end users on how to set up their machines or implement security measures.
  • New security hazards emerge all the time, so you must be able to continuously acquire new skills and techniques.
  • On a regular basis, cybersecurity entails finding solutions to issues. If you really do not like to indulge in solving problems, a profession in cybersecurity is probably not just for you.

 Top Cybersecurity Job roles: From beginner level to executive level

There are many high-paying, versatile full-time job vacancies in the industry. Due to the sheer world – wide scarcity of skilled talent pool, numerous recruiters are offering entry-level salaries ranging from Rs. ₹10L to ₹12L. Cybersecurity directors and chief information security officers (CISOs), for example, can obtain more than ₹90L per year.

  • Cybersecurity Analyst: Security Operations Centre (SOC) analyst concentrates on the front-line attack detection. Cybersecurity analysts work in dedicated security hubs and must be competent in a variety of areas such as log analysis, Wireshark, malware analysis, and programming. A SOC analyst’s primary responsibility is to monitor network data. This particular job role has the potential to be used as a fantastic launchpad for next level of the roles.
  • Penetration Tester: Penetration testers, also known as white hat hackers, are one of the most in-demand job positions in the cybersecurity industry. They are in charge of identifying and analyzing security flaws in organizational IT infrastructure along with that a penetration tester are asked to prepare a detailed report about their observations and procedures. Penetration testing is not a low-wage job rather it attracts one of the most handsome salaries in the industry.
  • Cybersecurity Engineer: Cybersecurity engineers, like software engineers, create technologies that protect computer architecture. Their commitment is to foresee network security loopholes, which necessitates the installation of firewalls, the use of encryption software, and the revamping of patches. A few years of experience and a strong command in various scripting languages are required to become a cybersecurity engineer.      

New Era of Construction Engineering and Management

During the recent time of pandemic when the world is paused for almost all regular activities so is the situation for the academics and industries. The time demands new era construction engineering mangers to develop and run a system where employees can be engaged to their respective fields with all safety measures to maintain the pace of the project.

Here, a brief discussion is done on the importance and opportunities of Construction Engineering and Management for the next generation engineering graduates.

History:

It all started at the time when people used to live in the caves of jungles or forests. Then one or few of them observed nature and got an idea to build a house of leaves. That incident may be called as the first example of construction in the human history. As the time went past, new techniques were developed and the infrastructure of the society also improved to upgrade the living standard of the citizens.

In fact even few decades ago, if anyone is asked to call an engineer, he/she at first used to the think of a civil engineer or more specifically a construction engineer. Construction Engineering and Management is basically a part of Civil Engineering which requires technical and scientific knowledge with critical thinking. Sometimes it requires design and execution of new techniques to solve the critical problems and help to improve safety and efficiency in production.

Roles and Responsibility:

A construction engineer must be aware of rules and regulations, facts of different codes of practices, should be up to date with the latest safety measurement techniques. A good construction project manager increases the productivity of the organization by completing the project efficiently with in the time allocated. Construction Engineering and Management is a bridge between construction and execution of all the activities of the project and management of all the resources of it. An engineering manager may need to investigate the job site, check environmental regulations and other laws of the local administration and sometimes may work with the labors. A construction manager prepares report on the work progress, availability of the resources, and figure out appropriate solutions to critical problems. The position need to deals with the wide range of people like contractors, suppliers, environmental and govt. agencies. Apart from on-site jobs, a construction manager may take help of software to analyze and find out important facts of the project.

Generally the role of a construction project manager can be classified into the following three phases:

  • Pre-construction Phase: This phase consist of project planning and organizing. Before starting the execution process plan, schedule and budget allocation of materials, human, equipment should be done.
  • Construction Phase: During construction the optimum of all the resources will be used. So it requires close monitoring of construction manager. The engineering knowledge and skill of the construction manager is helpful during this phase of construction management. Constant communication is built among all the levels of employees in order to run this process smoothly.
  • Post Construction Phase: The construction engineering manager is the technical person who will prepare the project progress report and clarify it to the owners as well as to the other govt. institutions.

Scope and Opportunities:

The engineers placed in the construction projects can only understand the criticality of the challenges and determine the actual requirement of human resources as well as material resources. Based on the experience and/or knowledge, only construction engineering managers can solve various challenges in construction sites. In current situation where the pandemic hit society is struggling to run its regular life, the new age construction engineers can be a silver lining to all. They can propose and encourage government and other organizations to continue development woks and can create modern day infrastructure needs by using cutting edge technologies invented till date. The use of the modern techniques will serve the society in two way. One is by using modern equipment, projects can be completed quickly than usual time and will save huge amount of labor cost. On the other hand, it will create a new set of employment sector where new technicians will be required to operate modern equipment.

To avail all these pride and opportunities, one must have a valid degree or experience in civil/construction engineering. For the information of all aspirants, it must be mentioned that there are very few institutions who offer construction engineering & management in west Bengal. Adamas University is one of the prime university among them in the eastern zone of India with world class facilities where students from abroad comes to build their career. Here you will find a set of talented experienced faculties and all laboratory supports to pursue your dream into reality.

Effective Blogging: The Road ahead

In 2022, the fifth most reliable source for online information has been rated to be the Blogs. Each month, nearly, 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages. That’s quite a huge number! So, you know why there has been a steady upsurge in blogging.

A blog according to Wikipedia is a discussion or informational website published on the internet, often informal diary-style posts.

This article will have two sections. First, how pandemic affected the blogging industry and second, some effective guidelines for writing good blogs.

Now, we will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has its impact on blogging industry. Though the nature of the work is staying indoors but a survey conducted by firstsiteguide.com shows that 63.88% have been affected directly. Likewise, many had to alter their habits, pay higher prices, withdraw various services, and find a new method. Nearly, 46.50% of bloggers say that they have been blogging more since the pandemic. Whereas, 27.18% say that they blogged less, while the rest didn’t transform their blogging behaviour. However, some posted less as they weren’t motivated enough. Traffic has also been affected during the pandemic, only 54.27% of blogs getting more traffic. Since blogging revenue is directly connected to the amount of online traffic, around 35.19% of bloggers say that their revenue increased. On the other hand, 25.13% of bloggers had less revenue. The rest stated no significant changes.

blogger income bar graph
Courtesy: firstsiteguide.com

So, now this article will throw some light on 9 effective steps for blogging. Though this is not exhaustive but you can read through to sail smoothly.

The first thing you learn when you’re blogging is that people are one click away from leaving you. So, you’ve got to get to the point, you can’t waste people’s time, you’ve got to give them some value for their limited attention span.

Alex Tabarrok

Tabarrok rightly puts it that your writing style will be the ultimate mantra for an effective blog. With limited attention span of your audience, you can either entice them or keep them at bay with just one click.

  1. Write for yourself first – To take the first step towards blogging; At first write for yourself. Have a critical mind to analyze beyond your ideas.
  • Think, whether you are liking your write-up.
  • Question yourself: Will you, as an audience, like to read the whole text? If not, why?
  • Work both on your strengths and your weaknesses. This is a key element to decipher your connection with your readers. 
  1. Get concepts from your audience- Audience is your patron. They will guide you to sail through this online race. So, if you can connect with them on regular basis, they will suggest your topics. But before that be careful, you must listen to your inner calling. Like, which genre of writing will keep you afloat even after 6 months or years after?

Hope, you don’t want to quit the scene. Right! So, hang on!

  1. Comprehend your audience- Don’t ever under estimate your audience. They will give you feedback regarding your blogs. So, keep an open mind for constructive criticism. This process will aid you to sharpen your skill as a blogger.

Always keep an open dialogue with them and work on their suggestions to perfect your art of business.

  1. Love your present readers – Whenever you have published your blog on platforms like, WordPress or Blogger etc. You will have your set of audience. That means you have offered your blog for the outer world to add their comments. They will judge you, appreciate you or moreover can troll you. But you may never know when your blog can become viral? Though there is a debate whether every viral content is worth sharing or not but you can’t deny the fact that it has immense power to get noticed!

So, love your existing readers and respect their opinions.

  1. Be consistent – This is a mantra for every business i.e., consistency. Write on regular basis either daily, weekly or fortnightly. But if you are serious in your business, write on daily basis. Fix on your ideas, research well, be careful with your references. DON’T ever indulge in plagiarism. Respect others work to earn your respect.

You can be inspired by others but structure your blog according to your own niche style.

  1. Keep it short – There is a saying in the field of journalism – KISS & TELL. That means Keep It Short Simple & Tell the Story. It goes with the concept of effective blogging too. When your audience is a click away to skip your page. The method to hold on to your audience, is to tell a story, in a few words.

We can say, brevity is the key.

  1. Give it time – Believe me, if you love to write. You will give your time no matter what? So, time will pay you dividends. It will gain your regular audience. There is an audience for every genre of writing.
  • Focus on your daily target.
  • Try to write at least 500 words daily.
  • Make it a habit. As if you are writing on your diary.
  1. Write catchy headlines – Headline is said to be the crest of every write-up. So, if it fails to convey the message well to your readers; then forget about your efforts on your research. You must think captivating headlines that will trigger interest in your audience to read your blog till the end.

So, practice writing enticing headlines to grab attention of your readers but remember Don’t misguide them!

  1. Be Yourself – This is what will give that niche touch to your blogs. Have that personal touch. Don’t pretend to be what you are not. Your readers know you through your blogs, so be an open book, which can be read whenever they feel like.

So, we come to an end of this blog. Hope you enjoyed reading and start blogging from today!

Reference

  1. https://optinmonster.com/blogging-statistics/#:~:text=General%20Blogging%20Statistics,sites%20are%20written%20in%20English.
  2. https://firstsiteguide.com/blogging-industry-survey/#pdf

BLURB

The 10 most fascinating insights from blogging industry

  1. The majority of bloggers are millennials (people aged 25 to 34).
  2. For 14.08% of people, the greatest challenge was starting a blog.
  3. 91.65% of bloggers recommend starting a blog if you don’t have one yet.
  4. 28.83% of bloggers use GoDaddy web hosting services, followed by Bluehost with 9.90%.
  5. 59.81% of bloggers make money through blogging.
  6. 18.74% say that affiliate marketing is their top revenue source.
  7. 44.56% recommend YouTube as the second most popular revenue channel.
  8. 54.08% of bloggers say that they get the most traffic from social media.
  9. 33.40% of bloggers get ideas for new post topics on social media.
  10. 63.88% of blogs were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and 46.50% of bloggers say that they have been blogging more since the pandemic started

Is it the Best Time to Study Electronics?

The rate of employment in the electronics sector is booming due to the steep growth of electronics industry in India. The past few years have witnessed a massive compound annual growth rate of more than 42%. The electronic markets around the world was valued at 1172 billion USD back in 2017 and is enlarging continuously. According to few reports the market for manufacturing semiconductors (consisting of machinery, substances, and solutions) is expected to enlarge from USD 440 bn in 2020 to USD 1 trillion by 2030. Reports indicated a prospect of about 80 bn dollars for the Indian semiconductor industry by 2030. A few articles also suggest massive growth for inventions and R & D in the Semiconductor production instruments–submodules, consumables and spares for the MSME industry in India. This year (2022) the semiconductor chip industry around the world is predicted to get as far as US$600 bn. In a recent conference Hon. PM (Shri. Narendra Modi) expected the consumption of semiconductor in India to go beyond $80 bn by 2026 and $110 bn by 2034. A few experts expect the global semiconductor industry to grow 10% in 2022 to over US$600 billion for the 1st time in history. In the year 2021, the market for semiconductors in India was evaluated at $27 bn. This market is expected to grow at a sensible CAGR of 16% between 2019 and 2026. Experts predict this market to cross $64 bn by 2026. The current estimate of the semiconductor trade for the telecom industry is greater than 2 bn and is predicted to enlarge at a CAGR of 34% between 2021-2026. There is a budding occasion for India to give as far as $85 bn – $100 bn of the $550 bn – $600 bn annual global opportunity by 2030 (17% of the market need around the world).

Opportunities:

The central govt. approved ₹76,000 crore under the PLI project to boost the semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosphere in India. A large number of incentives are provided to design companies to design chips in India. The govt. of India has also launched the Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) and the Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) estimates a steep growth of 24%, 23%, and 20% market share in wireless communications, consumer electronics, and automotive electronics respectively. The government is also in conversation with semiconductor manufacturing giants of Taiwan like the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) or the United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) for developing the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem in India. The govt. is also in search of manufacturing sites along several cities in India. There has been an approval for $13 bn for allied sectors which contains ACC batteries, auto components, telecom and networking products, solar PV modules, and white goods. The PLI policies and the Make in India initiatives can aid the local procurement of semiconductor by over 17% by 2026. The 5G rollout in India is predicted to skyrocket the need for semiconductors manufacturing in India (as predicted by several telecom industries). The local production of semiconductors in India is presently low, India has a large capability to frame itself as a front runner supplier in the upcoming days provided that the talent/skill pool and resources are used precisely. The near future is expected to create opportunities for research and innovations in the semiconductor production submodules, consumer nondurables, and spares. India has also got an exceptional talent in the semiconductor design. Almost all best in the world semiconductor design firms have research and development units in India.

Threats:

The semiconductor global market is dominated by U.S. with almost 50% (worth $208 bn in 2020) of the market share. The U.S. counts the semiconductor as one of its top 5 exports with over 80% of the sales to overseas countries. The U.S. industry invests over 1/5th of its total revenue for research and development of semiconductors. Along with the U.S. China is also a major manufacturer of semiconductors. China has largely increased its semiconductor chip sales with an annual growth rate of 30.6% capturing 9% of the global market share, leaving behind Taiwan and Europe. The war among Ukraine and Russia may lead to shortage of Neon and Hexafluorobutadiene gases from Ukraine disturbing the supply chain of semiconductors. These issues in the supply chain may also adversely affect the automobile sector. A report states that less than 10% of the India’s semiconductor components were sourced locally. In the last two years, the global chip shortage has caused a revenue loss above US $500 bn around the globe. The continuing talent scarcity will increase by the inclusion of increased semiconductor manufacturing amenity outside Taiwan, China, and South Korea. The loftier need for software skills needed to program and integrate chips into fast-growing markets will further worsen the shortfall.