Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002
Industry & Economy
XLRI, Hughes in pact for online management course
JAMSHEDPUR, Aug. 12
XAVIER Labour Relations Institute, popularly known as XLRI, has joined hands with Hughes Escorts Communications Ltd to introduce a business management education programme through broadband satellite connection.
Hughes Escorts is the Indian operation of the US-based communication major, Hughes Network Systems, which is a wing of Hughes Electronics. However, this job is being done by DirecWay Global Education, which is a joint venture between Hughes Network Systems and One Touch Knowledge Systems Inc.
The course will be conducted live in 14 cities all over the country from September. A studio for this purpose will soon be constructed in XLRI campus at Jamshedpur. It will be built by Hughes Escorts at a cost of Rs 3 crore.
According to Father P.D. Thomas, Director of XLRI, the course is targeted at working executives. "It is a 14-month, 360-hour course. It has been named as Post-Graduate Certificate in Business Management. The course fee has been fixed at Rs 1.50 lakh'', Father Thomas told Business Line.
The structure of the programme is based on a joint survey conducted by XLRI and Hughes Escorts across nine centres and 300 working professionals. It was found that 75 per cent of them preferred a course on business strategy, marketing and finance.
"This arrangement with Hughes Escorts to offer management training on the satellite platform will take the expertise of XLRI faculty beyond the borders of Jamshedpur. It is part of a bigger plan of XLRI and it is called Upskill Corporate India'', he said.
Apart from the four metros, the other cities identified are Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Tiruchi, Pune, Kochi, Coimbatore and Madurai.
Hughes Escorts already have classrooms in the four metros. The company is open to franchisee arrangements for the other cities.
The teacher will be based in the studio and the students in those classrooms. The information from the studio will comprise live video, voice and data. It will be transmitted to the classrooms through Hughes' broadband satellite network. Students can interact with the teacher using voice and data.
When asked about the revenue-sharing arrangement between the two parties, Father Thomas said it would be 60:40 in favour of Hughes Escorts for the first year after which it will be reviewed. "We are giving them an opportunity to recover the capital expenses they will be making on account of setting up the studio. Fresh arrangements are likely to be worked out from the next year'', he added.
Admission to this programme will be made through eXAT. There will be an examination for two hours and the participants would be tested in the area of verbal ability and comprehension, general knowledge and analytical ability and general knowledge. About 180-200 students will be selected for this course.
"There has been a tremendous response to this course as for the first time the working executives are getting a year-long management programme. The new communication mode will also eliminate the disadvantages of e-learning,'' he said. However, it will be more demanding for the teachers, as they will have to conduct live classes for students who are apparently virtual.
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