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Ramblings by Jaya Jha

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Exam for selecting BPO employees

India tries exam to boost quality of outsourcing.

Okay - so apparently is playing with the idea of having an exam in place for giving some kind of certification to wannabe BPO employees.

Now, for the regular readers it should be no new as to how worthless I find things like exams. But this one triggered me to write about exams on a different note. It had been on my mind but somehow never came here...

Since I belong to a small town, I have always been wondering about the lop-sided development of the country. The benefit of IT/BT/BPO/whatever boom goes to people in metro and may be in the next stage to people in the 2nd tier cities. But what about people beyond those areas? They are practically left out. Why? Because they are not at the place where the opportunity is. And sitting so far, it is difficult to acquire the right kind of competencies needed to capitalize on the opportunities. The matter gets worse because clear, objective expectations are not there. What standard exams do is to clearly convey the expectations. Then putting efforts in acquiring competencies becomes slightly less risky and also little easier. By clearing the exam, you find a gateway into the world, which was beyond you till now. At least you are on equal platform with other more fortunate ones on one of relevant things. And then of course, you adapt and adjust.

For example the entrance exams for Engineering colleges. It does not totally eliminate the divide between those who have studied in good public schools in metros and those who have had to do with government schools with grossly inadequate facilities, but there still is some hope even for the less fortunate ones. Unlike say, in management schools, where there is interview and GD and where there is likely to be some subjective weightage for your background and all.

I am not criticizing any of these alternative ways. They have their merits and demerits and as I said earlier I am not particularly fond of the "objective exams". I am still not saying that exams are the best way. But given that we are in a society, where the equality of opportunity is far from having been achieved, they serve as a criterion, which is not as biased towards those having good opportunity as many other criteria. An exam might in fact be less accurate as a criterion, but it has its merits. I am not forgetting the regime of "tricks and tactics" and "tuitions and coachings" that exams create (okay - those are created even by several other alternatives - though are less effective). But they, nevertheless, are less susceptible to what I will call "opportunity bias".

P.S. Feel like writing about lots of things these days, but for a change I am terribly busy at IIML and I do not know whether to put a :( or a :) at that...



  • At Wed Sep 27, 04:22:00 PM 2006, Anonymous rajeev said…


    Nice blog!

    Why don’t you consider writing about some of the new

    “India 2.0” sites that are creating a little buzz as






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