Sunday, September 09, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 31: 100% attendance at Finnish Chapter Reunion

Posted on Delhi Stephanian Kooler Talk Blog, Mumbai Cathedralite Seventh Heaven Blog and my Jacob's Blog.

On Thursday afternoon I had a call from fellow Cathedralite and Stephanian, Professor Ajeet Mathur that he was on his way to Oulu to address a conference here. I decided to call a reunion meeting of both our alma maters, Delhi Stephanians and Mumbai Cathedralites.

Ajeet and spouse, Sari.

Ajeet's better half arrived on Friday afternoon, so Friday evening was reunion time with spouses at my residence. I am glad to report that yet again we had 100% attendance with both spouses present!

Ajeet is now the Project Director of the Finland - India Economic Relations Project being executed at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. He is also the Director of the Institute of Applied Manpower Research, which is part of the Planning Commission of India (working on the 11th 5 Year Plan), which is headed by Stephanian 63er (like me) Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Quite surprised to see that Ajeet is now an Indian bureaucrat!

Ajeet gave a very interesting talk at the conference in Oulu "Promoting mutual cooperation, economic and social development". Ajeet's topic was "On why unemployed are unemployable and what Finland can do about it".

A few years ago I would have been very excited about such a topic, but retirement has caught up with me and it is a topic for others, especially the younger expats in Oulu and Finland, many of whom have stayed jobless (for no fault of theirs) for many a year. Did Ajeet's talk offer any solutions - yes, migrate to India which requires an enormous influx of trained cadre in every field!

One particular slide was of great interest to the entire audience. It has stuck in my mind. It was a picture of a monkey cleaning utensils at a roadside truck dabha somewhere in India. Ajeet pointed out that the wages given to the monkey for his work was 2 bananas a day.

Not even the lowest of lowest in India can afford to compete with the work of this monkey.

Ajeet added that one of the largest exports from India to the US was Monkeys where they are being researched to see what human tasks can be handed over to monkeys such as repetitive keyboard entry, etc.

Great reunion - going way past midnight!

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