Thursday, October 15, 2009

Would you lie to get your dream job?

Lying on resume is very common in India. We’ve observed lot of people mention projects that they never were part of. People also show fake work experience to hide gaps in employment history. In fact, this practice is so common that most employers assume that there is some level of exaggeration in every resume. At, we decided to conduct Business Ethics Survey to understand the conduct of jobseekers in existing business environment.
Thirty Seven percent of the respondent said that they have lied on their resume at some stage in their careers, according to the study conducted by Twenty Six percent respondents confessed to lying about employment history and projects in their previous organisations while Six percent of the respondent said that they’ve lied about their academic credentials.
“There is no doubt that job seekers lie on their resume. It can go from lying about roles, responsibilities and accomplishments to marks and academic qualifications. Not every organization can afford background checks and it becomes very difficult to catch these lies. I’ve never seen a job seeker get the job if he is caught lying on resume, how trivial the lie may be”, said a recruitment manager with a large media company.
Sixty three percent of the respondents said that they search for new job listings at workplace using their employer’s resources. There is nothing wrong with looking for a job while being employed but using employer’s resources is questionable and risky given that it could be monitored
Eighty seven percent of the respondent said that they consider employer’s previous record of business ethics at the time of accepting job offers. Only Six percent of the respondent said they didn’t care about employer’s previous record. “The organisation’s past record is important but the problem is that it’s very difficult to find such information unless you know someone who is working there for a while”, said Ramesh Patil an IIM A graduate working with a large telecom operator. Business Ethics Survey
The survey was conducted from September 21 to October 5, 2009 with over 1700 MBAs from top business schools participating in the survey. Median age of respondents was around 28 years.
What do you think? Would you ever lie to get your dream job?

Climate Politics

This week, I attended a conference on climate change hosted by a Delhi-based think tank. They'd invited spokesmen from the Congress and the BJP. The Congress chap didn't show up. The BJP guy did. He should've saved himself the embarrassment. I won't name him because he's an active and 'visible' member of the party. But here is just some of what he had to say about climate change (the bold is his, the italics are my comments).The Speech- (at the start of his speech) All 1 billion Indians know about climate change. He's clearly not one of them as you will see. - The Montreal Protocol failed to control climate change. We need a new protocol at Copenhagen Totally agree, especially since 'Montreal' was meant to control ozone-depleting substances, not CO2. - The global 2 degree limit from the MEF declaration is unfair. Developed countries should have a 1 degree limit, while developing countries must have a 3 degree limit. Sure. let's set the temperature above India to a nice 24 degrees. To compensate, perhaps the US can set its temperature to 23? Oh wait, we share the atmosphere. My bad. - (at the end of his speech) 1 billion Indians don't know about climate change. Oh my, did someone go out there and erase their memories while you were speaking for the past 20 minutes? Q&A with the un-informedDuring the Q&A round, not one of the so-called experts called his bluff out of fear of angering him. So I did. "Sir," I asked, "India seeks to emulate China in many areas. If China has invested $221b in green tech through their economic stimulus, why can't India do something similar?" His answer: "That's a difficult question for me to answer". So I asked again, "Then perhaps as a member of the oppostion party, you could ask your colleagues to question the government". His reply, "Um, yes, it's hard for me to answer. I don't know. I'm not part of the government". The only thing this man was right about all afternoon was the fact that he was no longer part of the government, having lost his seat in the last Lok Sabha elections.If this is the quality of debate in our parliament, how exactly is India supposed to achieve national consensus on climate change. I am no longer surprised when people tell me that bureaucrats have have hijacked India's position on climate change. It must be so easy for them to do that, seeing how ill-informed our politicians are on the single-most important crisis of our time.However, I am encouraged that the new Environment Minister has managed to hammer through the log-jam by sheer force of his personality.

Cybersecurity starts at home and in the office

When swine flu broke out, the government revved up a massive information campaign centered on three words: Wash your hands.

The Obama administration now wants to convey similarly clear and concise guidance about one of the biggest national security threats in your home and office - the computer.

Think before you click. Know who's on the other side of that instant message. What you say or do in cyberspace stays in cyberspace - for many to see, steal and use against you or your government.

The Internet, said former national intelligence director Michael McConnell, "is the soft underbelly" of the US today. Speaking at a new cybersecurity exhibit at the International Spy Museum in Washington, McConnell said the Internet has "introduced a level of vulnerability that is unprecedented."

The Pentagon's computer systems are probed 360 million times a day, and one prominent power company has acknowledged that its networks see up to 70,000 scans a day, according to cybersecurity expert James Lewis.

For the most part, those probes of government and critical infrastructure networks are benign. Many, said McConnell, are a nuisance and some are crimes. But the most dangerous are probes aimed at espionage or tampering with or destroying data.

The attackers could be terrorists aiming at the US culture and economy, or nation-states looking to insert malicious computer code into the electrical grid that could be activated weeks or years from now.

"We are the fat kid in the race," said Lewis. "We are the biggest target, we have the most to steal, and everybody wants to get us."

And if, for example, the US gets into a conflict with China over Taiwan, "expect the lights to go out," he said. The exhibit at the Spy Museum - "Weapons of Mass Disruption" - tries to bring that threat to life.

A network of neon lights zigzags across the ceiling. Along the walls computer screens light up with harrowing headlines outlining the country's digital dependence.

Drinking water, sewer systems, phone lines, banks, air traffic, government systems, all depend on the electric grid, and losing them for weeks would plunge the country into the 1800s.

Suddenly, the lights go out and the room is plunged into silent darkness. Seconds later as the sound system crackles, a video ticks off a pretend crisis: no food, no water, system shutdown.

That faux threat has become a prime concern for the government, but fully protecting the grid and other critical computer systems are problems still waiting a solution.

Federal agencies, including the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, are pouring more money into hiring computer experts and protecting their networks.

But there are persistent questions about how to ensure that Internet traffic is safe without violating personal privacy.

One answer, experts said last week, is to begin a broader public dialogue about cybersecurity, making people more aware of the risks and how individuals can do their part at home and at work.

Some will find it easier than others.

Much of the younger generation has grown up online and are more likely to know about secure passwords, antivirus software and dangerous spam e-mails that look to steal identities, bank accounts and government secrets.

Older people moved into the digital universe as it began to evolve and most have not grown up thinking about how to protect themselves online.

"Detection and prevention are fast, but crime is still faster," said Phil Reitinger, director of the National Cybersecurity Center. The key, he said, "is to make sure that we're all getting the word out about not only the seriousness of the threat, but the fairly simple steps that people can take to help secure their systems and their lives and families from the threats that are out there."

In the computer world, "wash your hands" is less about tossing your keyboard into the dishwasher - although some have tried - and more about exercising caution.

Those steps include:

* Using antivirus software, spam filters, parental controls and firewalls.

* Regularly backing up important files to external computer drives.

* Thinking twice before sending information over the Internet, particularly when using wireless or unsecured public networks.
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