Saturday, December 15, 2012

Doomsday Phobia - Whether world will end on 21st Dec 2012 as per Mayan Calendar?

PodUniversal Edition 158

World over rumours are getting spread through mainline and social media about the 'Doomsday'.   The news is getting spread that as per Mayan Calendar, the world will end on 21st December 2012.

Reports are also coming that many people in developed countries have donated their properties for  charities, to get ready for the 'Doomsday'.

Mr D K Hari, Founder of Bharath Gyan has recently authored a book  '2012 - The Real Story'.  In this book, Mr D K Hari has dealt about this phobia.  Mr Hari is a researcher in the ancient wisdom.

According to Mr Hari, Mayan Calendar has the joint origin of India and Central America.  In an exclusive and very interesting interview to PodUniversal, Mr Hari has brought out the scientific facts behind the Mayan Calendar.  He says that as per this calendar, the one era (yuga) ends on 21st December 2012 and the new era starts on the next day.  Unfortunately, few people are spreading the panic among the entire world as if the world is going to end on that day.

In this interview, he has also brought out how Maya clans had the origin from India and how they were engaging themselves in building huge cities, ships, bridges, etc. According to Mr Hari, Srilanka City, Ram Setu, Pyramnids were built by them.  

Please listen to his very interesting interview (9 minutes)

This interview may also be watched from

Monday, December 10, 2012

Communication Research needed for Employee Engagement

PodUniversal Edition 157

I had the opportunity of going through the book 'Employee Engagement and Communication Research' authored by Ms Susan Walker ABC, from London.  This book was  published last month  by Kogan Page Limited at London and US.

Generally all the companies make huge noise about the employee motivation and employee satisfaction.  But in reality, they remain more in paper.  A serious research or study is not made by any company to understand the ground reality of the employee perceptions.  Whatever the surveys done in the name of 'employee satisfaction survey' serve the ISO audit purposes only.

In this book, Susan deals with the various aspects of communication research, development questionnaire,  measurement, interpretation of  data, strategies and action to be adopted.  She also explains as to how such communication research can help the companies in the employee engagement.

The author has divided the 20 chapters into three sections, viz. (a) Measurement, (b) Strategy and (c) implementation.  Even the complicated technical details have been presented in a simple manner.  She has also shared interesting and relevant case studies in these chapters.

This book will serve as a good handbook for the Communication Managers, HR Managers and Research organisations.  This book is available in UK, USA and in India.

The author Susan’s career began in the internal communications field before joining Market and Opinion Research International (MORI), the major UK research agency where she headed the employee research practice. She is now running her own engagement and communication evaluation research business.

Susan is  a Fellow of the Institute of Internal Communication and an  Accredited  Business 
Communicator (IABC). She has held various posts within IABC UK Chapter in the past and presented 
at events worldwide including IABC conferences in New York, Los Angeles and Brussels. 

The author can be contacted through mail at

I interviewed Susan  over mobile.  Please listen to the interesting conversation.  The transcript of this conversation is also given below the YouTube flash player.  This podcast can also be listened from (6 minutes)

Transcript of this conversation:

What prompted you to write this book?

I was inspired to write the book because I had looked at the market and there were books about research, and engagement and communication but there were really no books that tied all three together and looked at employee research from that point of view - that is what stimulated me to write the book.

What is employee engagement?

Well, there are all sorts of definitions of employee engagement and I think a lot if it is down to an employee who is interested in the company, understands its purpose, who feels part of it – and that feeling that they with the organization and want to help it.

Many companies conduct  conduct employee satisfaction surveys for ISO purposes. can it be considered as communication research?

Yes, I  think so, it concerns satisfaction which is really I suppose another work for engagement and especially if there are communications quests as well, I think It would be considered as engagement and communication research.

What are the areas covered by you in the book?

Three main areas: first of all measurement. This covers basis tools such as objective questionnaire design, statistical reliability, sampling. Then the second section about strategy which is engaging senior management, looking at benefits of research and linking with the business. Then the third section about action planning, defining what needs to be done from the survey results. And also a number of case studies and also interviews with leading professionals around the world: an important part of the book to have that global perspective.

What is the trend of communication research globally?

Interesting talking to people from all over the world Brazil, Russia ,China and of course India and although circumstances and cultures vary it seems that many of the challenges we face are the same The prime one being engaging senior management and convincing senior management that it is worthwhile measuring their employee engagement and communications. Also making sure that action happens as a result. So although we may come from different places, we all seem to share the same challenges.

Somewhere in your book, you have mentioned about 'Arthasastra'.  How you got impressed with Arthasastra?

What impressed me, it was written many thousands of years ago and people think things written a long time ago have nothing to teach us. In fact this is said to be the very first management book that was ever written. But what impressed me was that it did not just look at aspects like the military and the economy but it also looked at welfare. And a lot of the advice which was then said to be for the King could be said nowadays to be about the CEO of the organsiation – like the King of the organization. And I felt that a lot of what was written there was just as applicable today as it was then.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Recent controversy over Sec 66A of IT Act - Panel discussion

PodUniversal Edition 156

Recent arrests of some of the social media users in West Bengal, Puducherry and Maharashtra under Sec 66A of the IT Act has triggered a serious controversy across the nation.  Even the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India has expressed concern over the knee-jerk reaction of the Police.  Many of the social media activists have started demanding repeal of 66A itself.

The Information Technology Act, 2000 was amended in 2008. The amended Act which received the assent of the President on February 5, 2009, contains section 66A.

What does this section say?

66A. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.  Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,— (a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or  (b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,

(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine. 

Explanation.— For the purpose of this section, terms “electronic mail” and “electronic mail message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, images, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.

To discuss about this, PodUniversal recorded  a panel discussion over mobile tecon on 4th Dec 2012.  Mr V Rajendran (Cyber law advocate and Senior Vice President of Cyber Society of India) and Mr S Balu (recently retired Addl. Superintendent of Police) were the panelists.  Prime Point Srinivasan anchored the discussion.

Please watch and listen to this interesting panel discussion. (10 minutes)

This panel discussion may also be directly listened from the following link.

How to get rid of jet-lag in air travel

PodUniversal Edition 155

Frequent air-travellers suffer from jet-lag causing dislocation to their regular schedule.  Prof. Muralidharan of Australia gives few tips to get rid of the jet lage.  Please listen to his interview.

This interview can also be listened directly from the following link.

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