Even as India grapples with the effects of demonetisation, colleges in Mumbai are using the issue as study material in commerce and management courses. From analysing the effects of demonetisation on the country’s overall economy, to the woes faced by common people, city campuses are buzzing with activities to decode the concept.
“The idea was to get students to come up with innovative solutions to the issue and the fact that it was happening so close to them. It made more sense in pushing them to understand the situation better,” said Lata Dhir, professor, Organisation Behaviour and Leadership at SP Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR). She added that students of the design thinking course were first asked to survey the stakeholders of this problem—commoners (bankers, service class, shop/business owners, grocery store owners, street vendors, etc).
Following the survey, students were asked to find solutions. “Students portrayed the role of the government and gave appropriate solutions to the various problems they gathered through their survey. Some of the solutions have been used by various companies now, which makes our teaching module a success,” added Dhir.
Students of Narsee Monjee College in Vile Parle, were not only made to understand demonetisation through regular lectures in class, but had to sit through a workshop conducted by the institute along with the Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society (BCAS) in December. “While the faculty was taking time to include demonetisation as an economic reform in their regular lectures, this workshop helped students understand the problem at hand,” said Amee Vora, principal of the institute. She added that students had also shared various queries with experts about their understanding of the issue and were happy to get clarity on the same.
Taking into consideration the fact the economic reforms are not implemented regularly, many colleges chose to include demonetisation as part of their teaching module in order to get students abreast with the latest changes in the country’s economy. “It is one thing to use textbooks and notes to explain an issue and another thing to throw students into situations and help them understand economics better. We opted for the later,” said Sobhana Vasudevan, principal of R A Podar College in Matunga. “Evolving with the current situation made more sense than discussing if demonetisation was the right choice. The fact is that implementation has already happened and students had to dissect the issue to understand its implications in the real world,” she added.