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FEATURED NEWS

FLAME University successfully concludes its Summer Immersion Program for high school students

May 25, 2018

As an endeavor to provide high school students with an opportunity to experience Liberal Education on a University campus, FLAME University continued its efforts to host its

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"Treat success and failure with the same spirit", advised Mr. Anil Kumble at FLAME University’s annual convocation 2018

May 08, 2018

FLAME University’s Annual Convocation 2018 was held at the FLAME University campus in Pune on 5th May, 2018. Mr. Anil Kumble, former captain and head coach of the Indian

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Research from CESS Nuffield - FLAME University finds iron-fortified salt an ineffective control for widespread anemia in India

March 10, 2018

Several strategies are available to address the high prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia found across India. The challenge? Getting people to eat iron-fortified or iron-rich foods.

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Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital shares his investment philosophy with FLAME students at a value investing knowledge series

January 12, 2018

Howard Marks addressed a crowd of investment enthusiasts including some FLAME University students at a value investing knowledge series event held by ENAM Holdings in Mumbai on March 2, 2017.

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Mr. Prashant Jain, CEO of JSW Energy, shares his leadership mantras with the FLAME community

October 28, 2017

Mr. Prashant Jain, Joint Managing Director & CEO of JSW Energy visited FLAME University and interacted with our students and faculty. He was formally welcomed by Dr. Devi Singh, Vice-Chancellor, FLAME University.

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Mr. Sonal Dabral, Vice-Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather India, shares his advertising experiences at FLAME

October 27, 2017

Mr. Sonal Dabral, Group Chief Creative Officer and Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather India visited FLAME University on Friday, 27th October 2017 to interact with students and faculty members.

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LATEST NEWS

Sahyog: People in Conjunction

If conjunctions were exclusive to language, a community would cease to exist. Conjunctions are not only important in grammar, but also in communities, where they take a form of social gatherings, festivals and other cultural events. The first ‘Sahyog Diwas’ held in the FLAME community this November acted as this conjunction, which united the faculty, support staff and the students. As the name suggests, the event emphasized the spirit of an ensemble. This conjunction promoted collaboration between different members of the community to create a product of higher value, similar to joining different phrases to form a sentence. The idea of ‘Sahyog’ or acting in conjunction honored and celebrated the interdependence of the members in the FLAME community.

In order to promote collaboration within the community, both students and staff members performed at the event. From the melody of the classics to the multilingual conversations, the performers and speakers celebrated the diversity that existed within the community. Nonetheless, the presence of all members beneath one roof highlighted the ensemble spirit despite the cultural and linguistic diversity. Amongst these performers, I also had the opportunity to deliver an original piece of spoken-word poetry.

Whilst writing this poem, I was urged to transcend my personal voice and embody the collective voice of the community. This altered the way I thought about themes, expression, and style. During the ideation stage, I began thinking with a mindset of expressing my own emotions, opinions, and responses - the way I always think about my poems. I view them as a telegram from me to the audience, where I use minimal words to express my thoughts. However, after reconsidering my audience, the event and the concept of ‘Sahyog’, I realized that my mindset needs to be altered. In this performance, I was not the persona. Instead, I was representing the community, which was talking back to the community itself. This brought me back to the idea of ‘Sahyog’ - it was not about ‘we’ and ‘them’, it was about ‘us’. Post this realization, I shifted the focus of the poem to the spirit of the ensemble. As a result, I contemplated what the community wants to say to itself. It occurred to me that although we recognize the interdependence of the community members, we often don’t find the time, space and the right words to explicitly appreciate each other’s work. Thus, I decided to revolve the central theme of my poem around the concept of ‘Shukriya’ - a thank you from the community to the community.

Although I wasn’t performing in front of an audience for the first time, I was extremely nervous prior to my performance. It was the first time I had written from a collective point of view instead of an individualistic one. At the same time, I trusted the ensemble I was a part of, who would provide me with support and encouragement if and when I needed it. This warmth came from the faculty and staff in the audience, my fellow performers as well as the students in the organizing committee. This constant feeling of ‘Sahyog’ boosted my morale and increased my confidence before and during my performance. I noticed that this ‘Sahyog’ was not only shown towards me but towards all the members of the community present there, including our beloved faculty, wardens, the Sukh Sagar staff, the DTS workers, as well as the students. Such an aura re-emphasized the spirit of and the purpose behind ‘Sahyog Diwas’.

Every experience has one key moment, often a learning, that is embossed in time. One such learning that I am going to take back from this event is an observation made by one of the speakers. In their speech, they highlighted that the support staff at FLAME was always smiling regardless of the issues they faced in their lives. Never a complaint, always a smile. This taught me that we must face our problems with a smile and have a positive outlook towards life and the troubles that it brings. My learning from another member of the community unveiled a connection between us, showcasing that the event was successful in its role as a conjunction. It also illustrates that ‘Sahyog’ isn’t just about collaborating with each other, but about learning from each other, allowing us to grow as an ensemble. This stimulation of learning and growth is the true crux of the concept of ‘Sahyog Diwas’.

By Devi Dang, First Year Undergraduate Student

Homing in on the 'Homeless' in India: A Proposed Schema

The idea of home is associated with a physical sense of safety and comfort. In winter, more than any other time, we crave the cozy warmth of our homes and beds. But the same season is terrible for those who do not have access to these things. It is right, therefore, to pay attention to the reality of having to live without a secured and comfortable situation of housing, or homelessness. We may ask ourselves: why does the law appear so myopic, that those who are struggling to house themselves, are treated for this very reason as irregular or illegal, and hence denied the help and resources that they need? Why do the ‘homeless’ tend to be an overlooked, rather than cared for, group? In this essay, Dr. Anup Tripathi, Assistant Professor of Sociology, traces the problem down to language itself, and the terms by which we have conceptualized homelessness. He proposes a new way of seeing and speaking, in which the ‘homeless’ are not defined by their lack, but by their ongoing efforts to improve their lot, and by the responsibility of State agencies towards them. Thus, he speaks of those who are struggling to house themselves despite all odds as people in precariat housing arrangements (‘precariat’- a word derived from ‘precarious’ and ‘proletariat’) and of the housing-destitute as people who are in need of care and shelter, by the civil society and the State.

Housing as an issue and social good remains a peripheral matter with regard to public policy in India. Barring a few policies and programmes allocating housing to the rural and urban poor, and upgradation and redevelopment of slums, the Indian State has not been very enthusiastic in creating a universal system of formal housing for its population with varying needs. As a result, Indian cities are inhabitance sites of various kinds of informal housing arrangements, which more often than not, are difficult to classify as ‘slums’ or ‘homeless settlements’. Since citizenship entitlements are dependent upon formal or recognized housing arrangements, a number of citizens living in informal housing arrangements have difficulty in accessing their citizenship rights. In extreme cases, they have to even endure partial or complete denial of such rights. The inaction of the government in the realm of housing becomes a trigger for civil society organizations to work on the issues pertaining to it. In fact, the usage of the term ‘homelessness’ in India began with the advocacy efforts and intervention programmes undertaken by civil society organizations. While planning and implementing interventions with so-called homeless people, civil society actors have employed various identifying criteria and used a number of terminologies for them. There are a number of social categories which have been identified as representing homeless people. At the same time, there are a number of tensions and disagreements within the civil society discourse when it comes to defining homelessness.

A Proposed Typology of Homelessness

Homelessness is generally referred to as a lack of physical structure of living in the formal propertied system of housing and not as an opportunity for upward mobility or for attaining a stable condition of living. There are numerous such conceptualizations of homelessness and inadequate housing arrangements performed by civil society actors and various State agencies. Unfortunately, these conceptualizations create different constituencies of people with similar living conditions through various categorisations that are aloof from each other, if not pitted against each other. Therefore, I propose that rather than classifying people into precariously housed, inadequately housed, houseless or homeless etc., a true theorizing of homelessness should see it as active housing in the face of the harsh urban life. Given my discomfort with the prevalent conceptualizations of homelessness, I would like to propose a typology of homelessness based on my research work. I suggest that homelessness be understood via two distinct categories:

1. Precariat Housing (Housing as Opportunity)
Housing oneself in a city outside legal settlements requires tremendous fortitude and enterprise. The different kinds of inadequate dwelling arrangements on pavements, shop awnings, unauthorized slums or ‘homeless settlements’, parks, pavements, platforms etc. indicate that the people residing in them look at housing as an opportunity to lead a stable or better life. The everyday life of such people shows that there are various kinds of material dimensions to housing like identity, citizenship entitlements, healthcare, sanitation, incomes and expenditures, finances, savings, availability of food, livelihood, social networks, relationships etc. which are socially produced and reproduced. These dimensions also help them gain a better condition of living for themselves. Through their struggles, grit and determination, people living in such inadequate housing arrangements add on different dimensions to housing; thereby making it a composite idea pertaining to a decent living rather than a mere physical structure for inhabitation. By actively housing themselves outside the formal housing system, these people seek to consolidate their ‘gains’. Instead of referring to them as ‘homeless’ or ‘homeless migrants’ or ‘houseless’ or ‘precariously housed’ etc., or qualifying them under the umbrella terminology of ‘homelessness’, I propose that all types of informal and inadequate housing arrangements be referred to as Precariat Housing. ‘Precariat Housing’ is any kind of dwelling arrangement which is not formal and regularized. Most of the urban poor engaged in various kinds of economic activities house themselves in such precariat housing arrangements. It is important to understand that this is a progression for them in terms of consolidating their gains or attaining stability in their living situation. Therefore, the idea of viewing homelessness in terms of dispossession or lack of a normative physical structure of living does not do justice to their real-life pursuit of housing as opportunity. Their lack of housing ought to be recognized for what it is: the active pursuit of housing. Referring to it as ‘precariat housing’ would then be useful in terms of presenting it before the State as an arena deserving of appropriate policies and programmes. On the other hand, referring to such precariat housing via different categories like homelessness, houselessness, inadequate housing, precarious housing, non-regularized slums, pavement dwellings etc. is counter- productive since these categories do not speak to each other. The presence of different constituencies of people with similar housing conditions also limits State action and civil society intervention in the arena of housing and welfare. In addition, the everyday life of the inadequately housed people shows that if the opportunities of housing are not supported or provided, then people living under them get pushed to the margins from where it becomes very difficult to improve one’s life situation.

2. Houseless People in Need of Care and Protection (Shelter as Enabler)
All those homeless people who are living on the most extreme margins of urban life- the ones who are not able to improve their life situation and are unfortunate in their lives, as a result of which they are leading a houseless life and have little care and support from others should be referred to as Houseless People in Need of Care and Protection. All such individuals and families including disaster affected, destitute and the mentally ill amongst them should be provided with State run shelters which serve as enablers for them rather than being places of confinement. Such shelter homes can be conceived as service homes for providing various types of services and citizenship entitlements to persons in need of care and protection. The services may include providing identity documentation, legal aid, psychiatric care, counselling, healthcare, adult education, vocational training and job placements, anganwadi or ICDS related services, livelihood, repatriation, day care centres etc. Instead of referring to such people as homeless, I am using the term ‘Houseless People in Need of Care and Protection’, because it is imperative that the State, being the ultimate protector and caretaker of all its residents takes care of them. Therefore, these people are not ‘homeless’ as they are to be provided care, support and protection by the State.

By Dr. Anup Tripathi, Assistant Professor of Sociology

FLAME University Announces start of Admissions for 2019 intake

FLAME University, the pioneer of  liberal education in India, announces the start of Admissions for its 2019 intake for the undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Programs Offered

FLAME University offers three-year B.A., B.Sc., BBA and BBA (Communications Management ) courses in its  undergraduate program.  This year onwards a B.A. (Honours)* undergraduate program will be added to its portfoilio of UG programmes.  The liberal education anchored undergraduate courses at FLAME University are an effort to revolutionize higher education in India.
*In addition to B.A. in Economics, a B.A. (Honours) program in Economics is also offered.

FLAME University also offers two-year MBA and MBA (Communications Management) postgraduate programs. The MBA program is accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for a period of five years and is also accepted into the CFA University Affiliation Program

Why FLAME?

The university offers over 250 major-minor combinations at the undergraduate level which is very unique in an Indian context. 
It offers the best faculty to student ratio in the country. At 9:1, it is unmatched at the higher education level in India. With more than 90 quality full-time faculty members, the university offers an unparalled education experience.

Additionally, students have the option to enroll for the FLAME Scholars Program which is a one-year post-graduate diploma program which leverages the strengths of the UG programme.  Offered as a seamless extension after the UG, the one year has highly specialized courses with innovations in content, delivery, and structure.

Admission Process

For undergraduate programs, FLAME University accepts SAT scores or alternatively conducts its own assessment test called FEAT. Selection of the best performing and well-rounded applicants who can contribute and enhance the learning experience at FLAME University is done considering aspects like SAT/FEAT scores, essay, personal interview, past academic record, extra-curricular activities and statement of purpose.
For postgraduate programs, FLAME University takes into account national level admission test (CAT/XAT/MAT/CMAT/GMAT/MH-CET) scores, group discussion, personal interview, past academic record, extracurricular activities and statement of purpose.

Scholarships

FLAME University offers a range of scholarships that recognize the inherent excellence and distinctive attributes of students ensuring that FLAME attracts the brightest of minds.

In addition, merit, need-based and special scholarships are provided that may range from partial to full fee waivers.

Apply to FLAME

Tom Gayner to FLAME students: Embrace interdisciplinarity

A successful investor must be willing to take the risk and yet be extremely cautious, says the eminent value investor

Thomas 'Tom' Gayner, co-CEO of Virginia-based Markel Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the world’s leading value investors. He was recently in Mumbai, for a specially curated talk in association with ENAM and FLAME University. Along with the experienced investors in the audience, a group of FLAME students -Raj Agrawal, Purvi Shah, Ishita Varaiya, Utsav Adani and Vandit Dharamshi also had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Gayner, and to interact with him.

It was striking, recounted Raj, that among the various aspects of investment philosophy that were discussed on the day, the relationship between investing and other disciplines was so prominent. Even more than the number-crunching that is necessarily involved in good investment decisions, investors must pay heed to the ‘story’ of a company, Mr. Gayner had pointed out. This story encompasses such indices as the quality of management, in terms of both integrity and ability, and the relationship of the business to its customers- i.e., whether customers profit and grow along with the business, or not. "He said that it’s important to invest in ethical businesses. Such businesses earn loyalty and retain consistency- which is what investors want."

At one of his popular online Google Talks, Mr. Gayner had spoken about the bearing that history, economics, psychology and other disciplines have on investing. With this in mind, Raj posed the question to him: "What are the disciplines that a successful value investor must be familiar with?" The answer was, that in addition to a core knowledge of accounting, an understanding of human behavior is key. This is not only because markets fluctuate according to sentiment, but because an individual’s investment decisions are inevitably coloured by biases. As such, it is necessary to be self-aware, both at a social and personal level. "When I hear such talks it makes me read more in other disciplines", Raj admitted, "For example I’m now reading about the history of a particular bubble- a crash. I'm also paying a lot of attention to psychology as a discipline."

Similarly, one of the key takeaways for Vandit, was Mr. Gayner's observations on the need to wholeheartedly acknowledge and correct one's mistakes, in order to be successful. The next was about embracing uncertainty- One should have a willingness to take risk and embrace uncertainty, yet be extremely cautious. Taking no risk is also a huge risk.

Mr. Gayner also dispelled the fear of a general reversal of globalization and inter-connected-ness, in the modern era, and a return to partisan identities. Citing the example of Genghis Khan, whose pioneering introduction of paper currency was indeed reversed- but only for a time- Mr. Gayner made it clear that some ideas simply cannot be turned away from. Globalization and inter-connectivity are of this nature. Therefore, investors should think accordingly.

The event presented a great occasion for the students to meet and greet with leaders in the field of value investing. Through such interactions, FLAME continually looks to enhance students' learning experience. But most of all, Tom Gayner's talk was a reminder that inter-disciplinary education, with a global connect, are the foundation of excellence in the modern world, not least when it comes to investing.

Madhurima Khadilkar shoots in the GirlUp/Disney Dream Big Princess Project

 A FLAME Film Student's Memoir  

At the start of this summer, I applied for Disney’s Dream Big Princess Project with GirlUp. GirlUp is an international organization under the United Nations Foundation which exists to empower adolescent and young adult women around the world. Every year, they hold the GirlUp Leadership summit in the USA, where GirlUp club members and other young women come together. Disney is one of their biggest partners. Last year, they had a group of female photographers create a photo series of inspiring girls and women around the globe. In 2018, they expanded the project from photo to video. To this end, they selected girls interested in filmmaking from different countries. I was grateful to be selected as a part of this group, which consisted of 21 young girls and women from countries like New Zealand, Canada, USA, UK, France, Mexico and others.

As part of the #DreamBigPrincess project, we were flown down to the GirlUp leadership summit in Washington D.C. The summit was an incredible experience! Accomplished women from different fields spoke on various topics, ranging from self-confidence building to women’s safety and empowerment in the third world. There were also workshops held on the future of Virtual Reality in storytelling, freedom from female genital mutilation in Liberia, and the importance of organizations like Planned Parenthood. What I also thoroughly enjoyed was meeting with all these incredible women and girls from different backgrounds. The conversation was extremely stimulating; difficult questions were asked, answers were attempted, and overall, the three-day discourse gave me much to think about.

On the last day, we took part in a storytelling workshop, which prepared us to complete our personal projects. Each girl would get to interview an accomplished woman from her country, from any field, and produce a video about it for Disney. We got full control of the project from beginning to end, from scripting to editing, while a team was sent to assist us.

For my project, I interviewed the photographer Ashima Narain. Over a career spanning nearly twenty years, Ashima has engaged with various fields, from nature photography to fashion photoshoots. She has also worked with multiple NGOs and was a part of the Dream Big Princess campaign last year. Her body of work is amazing and she truly had some wise advice to share with me, and with young aspiring photographers and storytellers around the world. Interviewing her and hearing her thoughts was a great opportunity.

My interview with Ashima, along with the other videos, is now live on all Disney platforms and can be accessed here: https://partners.disney.com/dream-big-princess-video-series.

For every like or share these videos get, Disney will donate $1 to GirlUp, which will help it continue the good work it’s doing in India, Liberia, Guatemala, and many other countries.

I’m extremely excited to share this project with everyone. As a Film and TV Major here at FLAME, this was a great learning experience for me, with takeaways which will surely be helpful in the future.  Most of all, I’m thankful for the other twenty women who were part of the project with Disney; I made some lasting friends in the group and look forward to working with them again very soon. Let’s keep empowering more girls and women across the world!

 

By Madhurima Khadilkar
Undergraduate Student - FLAME University

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