Krea University’s 4th round of admissions for B.A (Honours) and B.Sc. (Honours) in Liberal Arts and Sciences Streams for 2020 – 2023 is fast filling up.

Krea University’s 4th round of admissions for B.A (Honours) and B.Sc. (Honours) in Liberal Arts and Sciences Streams for 2020 – 2023 is fast filling up.
Apply today and be part of a new paradigm in higher education

July 1st – last day for accepting applications

Sricity – Chennai 26 June 2020– Krea University, founded by global visionaries, will be closing its 4th round of undergraduate admissions for the academic year 2020 -2023 on July 1st. Their undergraduate School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences (SIAS) offers 3-year B.A. (Honours) & B.Sc. (Honours) degrees, with an option to do an additional year of Advanced Studies.

The university pioneers the unique Interwoven Learning (IWL), based on a set of guiding principles essential for a transformative college experience of today. The Interwoven Learning Model weaves together the arts and sciences, creativity and action, perspectives from the east and west and draws on lessons from the past to get students, future ready.

Backed by a legion of best minds, Krea University aims to impart a unique undergraduate course for students that provides a holistic approach to education. The programme brings together the unique interwoven learning, delivered by a diverse and multi-faceted faculty. Students can gain access to global alliances and cane be part of a talented peer group.

Responding to the crisis of COVID-19, Krea has made a strategic transition to well thought and carefully re-crafted lessons in the virtual space, while ensuring Krea’s ethos of quality education delivery remains resolute. The university is accepting applications from spirited minds for the Undergraduate BA (Honours) programme in Economics, History, Politics, Literature, Arts, Social Studies and B.Sc (Honours) in Computer Science, Biological Science, Environmental Courses, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Psychology as well. The University offers additional minors in Business Studies and Philosophy.

Applications are open until 1st July.

For more information please visit the following websites:https://krea.edu.in/sias/admission.html

Payment Ecosystems, Leadership & Data Science at PayPal

Payment Ecosystems, Leadership & Data Science at PayPal

May 30, 2020: In an insightful session, Dr. V. Chandramouliswaran spoke to the students at IFMR GSB, Krea University and punctuated the interaction with lessons from his decade long journey at PayPal.

Sharing anecdotes from his inspiring journey at PayPal , Senior Director, Global Financial Crime & Customer Protection and Chennai Center Head shed light on the components that drove phenomenal success for PayPal over the years. He spoke about how the organization dealt with cyber security and disruptive technologies. He also pointed out the value for building relationships and trust being a priority, within the business. Hearteningly, he credited employee engagement to be a key driver for the success at PayPal.

Answering questions on the expectations from students for the corporate world in the emerging future, Dr. Chandramouliswaran added, “Students should always have patience and they should be open to multiple career options as they will have to work in a dynamic environment which will have different requirements, every now and then.”

Guiding the students further, he spoke about the need for them to consistently perform and present their A-game, each day at an organization. He encouraged the habit of eagerness to learn and excellent communication skills for the way forward. He also added how the culture of agility and productivity at an organisation helped with the evolving needs and how this culture would survive any adversity in the way.

Evolving narrative of innovation & technology in India- an evening with Dr. Sriram Rajamani

Evolving narrative of innovation & technology in India- an evening with Dr. Sriram Rajamani

19 May, 2020: In an inspiring session, Dr. Sriram Rajamani shared powerful insights from his vast journey as an eminent scientist and member of Microsoft Research, both in the United States and India.

From appreciating the beauty of mathematics to encouraging disruptive innovation, Dr. Sriram Rajamani- Distinguished Scientist and MD of Microsoft Research Lab India, engaged the students at Krea in a hearty interaction.

An eminent scientist and a delightful storyteller, Dr. Rajamani narrated experience stories from his early days in the field to setting up the Microsoft Research Lab India. He also shared his views on use of technology for socio-economic development, the ability as well as limitations of AI to solve real world challenges, and the opportunity lent by COVID- 19 to de-urbanize India. He emphasised on the importance of academia and industry working closer and articulated non-traditional ways to collaborate for wider benefit of education and research

An advertising veteran’s showreel of commercials, life and learnings

An advertising veteran’s showreel of commercials, life and learnings

12 May, 2020: In an energising evening, John Thangaraj navigated the students at Krea through multiple interesting experiences from his expansive stint in the world of advertising.

From a childhood spent admiring stalwarts on the pages of Brand Equity each Wednesday, John Thangaraj, National Planning Director- FCB Ulka terms his entry into advertising, an accident.

An accidental choice that has culminated in numerous classic and heart-warming campaigns that go right into the pages of history in the world of advertising. In a stirring session, John took us through his early days in advertising and traced the changes that have marked the field over years.

“Advertising has moved away from being witty or clever. Today it is about authenticity”, with these words John described how audience is no longer looking at getting impressed and instead seeks empathy. Of how advertisers now shoulder a huge responsibility of being careful and less-indulgent while focussing on consumer problems and ROI in business.

Sketching culture as the backdrop against which advertising lives, John emphasised on how the era of brand building has deconstructed itself to one of brand dissolution. Using the metaphor of a rock, he explained, traditionally an advert would showcase the rock becoming a bigger, thicker and heavier version of itself. Fast forward now, the adverts attempt to put the rock through a grinder, make it into a fine powder and sprinkle it all over the consumer culture.

In the mix of the interaction when enquired about his recent newspaper column on the lockdown, John pointed out an idealistic view on the situation. “The lockdown has shown us there can be a better world. We need to exercise common sense and not follow the norms of a pre-COVID world.”

He shed light on how COVID-19 has pushed advertising to work harder as ROI becomes more critical during these troubled times. Yet, at the same time also driving advertising into fresh arenas where emotions of love, empathy and sensitivity surpass the unidimensional focus on driving sales.

Addressing the students and their interest in the field, he pointed out the need for skills in communication, self-confidence, clarity of thought and hunger for diverse interests as core to the profession. He broke down the misconception, the more esoteric one sounds, the more intelligent you come across and laid out the ground rule of simplicity and clarity within communication being the key. He encouraged students to be keen observers of human behaviour.

“The beautiful thing about advertising is, the more diverse POVs you put into the mix the better the output.” He illuminated that a distinct advertisement always arrives from an amalgamation of various points of view.

He also observed, the past decade witnessing a shift from sell based advertising to societal based advertising and introducing the global narrative of advertising as a tool for social change

The climax of the evening lay in the incredible case studies John showcased, punctuated by campaigns that weren’t just immensely successful but also celebrated the heartening emotions of courage, honesty and empathy scattered across the rich cultural setting of India.

“Larger Intervals Are Brighter” – Finding Healing Pause in the Pandemic

“Larger Intervals Are Brighter” – Finding Healing Pause in the Pandemic

The Krea community welcomed the second edition of Weavenings with a jugalbandi of stories, poetry and music between Prof. Hariharan Krishnan and Prof. Anannya Dasgupta

Not long ago, the Krea community could just meet in the corridors, or share a cup of Narsimhalu’s coffee to have the conversations that bond us. The lockdown has made us aware of how precious our time together is, and how it is not to be taken for granted. To that end, Krea has envisioned Weavenings as a way to keep the informal, joyous conversations going. Encouraged by the positive response to Weavings 1, we organized a second to think about how to keep our spirits up in times of crisis.

To frame the Weavening, Hari brought us to a concept in music – of large intervals, or longer pauses that the mind perceives to be bright. This is why music can help us feel better. His playlist of music with large intervals from Mozart to Hamsadhwani, punctuated his anecdotes of survival and determination. Anannya spun Hari’s stories to see what that means to survive the lockdown in the activities of dailiness. Starting with Mary Oliver’s poem “Today” that goes deep into stillness, she read several of her own poems, from the ongoing Daily Riyaaz, about pauses that even cooking and yoga can offer as places of large, bright, and healing intervals of time.

Rahul Bose and Three Lessons from Cinema, Service and Sports

Rahul Bose and Three Lessons from Cinema, Service and Sports

May 5, 2020:…In an evening punctuated with inspiring anecdotes, actor, sportsman and active citizen, Rahul Bose engaged with the students at Krea and imparted lessons from his life in cinema, sports and service.

The evening started with reflections from a long summer day swathed in dust, shooting in Narsipatnam, a small town in Andhra Pradesh. Through the next one-hour, Rahul Bose took the students through three thought provoking episodes from his life across movies, rugby and social service.

Bose navigated the audience through raw and honest experiences that traversed over decades of his multi-dimensional life. From his debut days in cinema, his extensive work in the social sector or his impressive long sting in the international rugby scene, each leg of life came laced with profound learnings.

“When everyone is doubting you, rely on your instincts, that’s the best chance you have or walk away with your head held high, hit or miss.” Speaking of experiences from cinema, he encouraged students to trust their gut instincts, especially when the situation feels daunting.

His second lesson took us through his work in the social sector at the frontlines, where he stressed the need for young adults to follow the rules if they are humane but protest against them if they are misused or turn discriminatory.

Reminiscing his last few years as a rugby player, Bose spoke about the need to answer failure by coming back better. “There will be times when you are treated unfairly and overlooked, you have to become so good that the next time, it’s impossible for them to overlook you.”

In answer to curious questions about his choices in life, he asked students to choose what they love and not what’s popular. Emphasising on choosing desire over ambition, he spoke on how that can turn life into an absolute joy.

Having been moved by the student movements in the past, he expressed the need for them to dismantle feudalism, work towards gender equality and be more resilient to failure. Speaking of coping with the present epidemiological crisis, he added, “In life whenever something happens, accept and prepare for the worst-case scenario. Anything that happens less, will be an absolute bonus.”

Apart from being an artist par excellence, Rahul Bose has represented India as an international rugby player for eleven years. Rahul also runs two NGOs, ‘The Foundation’ – dedicated to the equalisation of opportunity through the education of children and HEAL – dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse.

DEF- Linking Remote India with Opportunities, Digitally

DEF- Linking Remote India with Opportunities, Digitally

21 April, 2020:…In an inspiring interaction with Krea students, Osama Manzar shared his experiences of working on the frontlines of COVID-19.

With 10000 foot soldiers spread across 130 districts in 25 states, Digital Empowerment Foundation’s (DEF) on-going Covid-19 Digital Emergency Relief Programme uses digital connectivity and assets to link people in the most rural parts of India with opportunities in the new reality.

Osama Manzar, Founder- Director, DEF brought out the top down disparity in understanding ‘digital’. While the metropolitans are densely connected, DEF works at connecting last mile communities. He added that as urban India speaks of misinformation, privacy and safety security issues pertaining to digital, it’s a critical component in most remote areas of India aiding in education, better access to health, skills and livelihood. The organization also collects data from the ground to facilitate research, policy making and advocacy.

Commenting on the existing crisis, Osama explained how DEF volunteers have adapted to the situation in making it enterprisingly relevant, planning for new opportunities and challenges. They are structured as entrepreneurs and not paid employees of DEF and trained to use the digital assets for connectivity. This in turn has shaped their risk-taking skills. Using digital power intelligently, they have been conducting imperative activities, some as simple as delivering money from banks to houses during the lockdown.

Citing the example of a migrant worker who walked from Delhi to Bundelkhand and was stranded in a jungle, wanting not food but mobile talk time to stay connected with his family, Osama explains, “Value of connectivity and digital assets is not in its globalization, it is in localization.” It’s about how it allows one to connect in a local, geographical and linguist peer group, allowing efficient communication. He also spoke about the importance of local infrastructure and supply chain amid the restricted situations of the now.

He emphasised the need for education to hone leadership qualities, and critical thinking.

Click here to watch the full session

Modelling an Evolving Pandemic – Dr. Gautam Menon Speaks

Modelling an Evolving Pandemic – Dr. Gautam Menon Speaks

April 11, 2020:…Dr. Gautam Menon interacted with the Krea Community to help comprehend the obscurities of COVID-19 through disease modelling.

“All of us model all the time with what lies around. We attempt predicting situations through mental perspectives. These are mental models.”

Dr. Gautam Menon kick-started an evening which simplified the complexities that surround modelling of infectious diseases. As he navigated through the interaction, he explained the art and science of disease modelling.

Addressing the students, faculty and staff at Krea University, Dr. Menon spoke as a part of VENI- The Ideas Place’s ‘Where Critical Thinking Meets Creativity’ series. The session was hosted by Dr. Akhila Ramnarayan, Divisional Chair of Literature and Arts at Krea and curator of programming at VENI and moderated by Dr.Anand Sahasranaman, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Division of Sciences, Krea University.

Dr. Menon is currently Professor of Physics and Biology at Ashoka University and Adjunct Professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He is on leave from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, where he is a Professor in its Theoretical Physics and Computational Biology groups.

Dr. Menon began by introducing us to his work on mathematically modelling infectious diseases, and spoke about how the modelling perspective is enriched at the intersection of disciplines. He recounted his experience in physics and his journey into biology, which he termed would be the science of the 21st century. He stressed on the importance of models in bridging the gap between problems and effective policies. On epidemic models, he held that they helped predict the likely path of an epidemic and hence enabled preparation for any upcoming crisis.

Taking us through an entire gamut of terms and simplifying it for the audience, Dr. Menon explained how what we think of diseases has changed over the years. He then introduced the SIR model originated by Kermack and McKendrick in the 1920s, explaining how the model divides the population into three compartments- Susceptible, Infected and Recovered. Tracing the evolution of the model, he spoke of varied versions of the model guided by the same essential principles, and their usage over time to ask different sets of questions, as is the case with COVID-19. Dr. Menon said that every successive model builds on a previous model and that there were dynamic changes in response to information from the ground, and hence the need for constant recalibration. On being asked about the impact of SIR type models in actually predicting the evolution of a disease, he cited the example of the use of the model in the UK during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, where it helped control the extent of damage. He also introduced the Basic Reproduction Number (R0), which is simply the expected number of infections caused by a single case in a population, and a critical parameter used to understand the spread of diseases.

Reflecting on the old story of the sage who asked the king to give him one grain of rice on the first square of a chessboard, and then double the quantity in every square till all squares were exhausted, he explained the nature of exponential rise in numbers in an infectious disease. COVID-19, with its easy transmissibility even from asymptomatic cases, was proving to be a classic case of exponential growth.

When the discussion turned to the question of data, Dr. Menon said, “Models are only as useful as the data you put into them”, and stressed the need for accurate numbers from the authorities. He discussed the need for testing, identification, isolation, concentration on hotspots, and need for robust healthcare systems in the context of flattening the curve in India, and emphasised that while the current lockdown is important, it is optimally useful when backed with resourceful testing.

Click here to watch the full session

Global Financial Crisis from the Frontline – with Abhinav Ramnarayan, Reuters, London

Global Financial Crisis from the Frontline – with Abhinav Ramnarayan, Reuters, London

April 04, 2020:…Abhinav Ramnarayan interacts with the students and faculty on the challenge of financial reportage in times of global crisis.

VENI – The Ideas Place at Krea University launched its first digital edition for the students of SIAS (School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences) and IFMR GSB (Graduate School of Business) as part of the talk series “Where Creativity meets Critical Thinking.”

In a session titled ‘Now and Then,’ London-based Abhinav Ramnarayan, Capital Markets Correspondent, Reuters, talked to Krea students and faculty about the similarities and disparities between the global financial crisis of 2008 and the crisis induced by the Covid-19 outbreak on capital markets today.

Abhinav recalled his rookie days as a financial journalist in the UK, how he joined The Guardian a day after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Twelve years later, he is no stranger to capital markets and the British banking sector. Governments and policy makers in Europe have been quick to react today to the Covid crisis, but that wasn’t the case in 2008, he said.

Abhinav also provided an in-depth commentary on the existing economic landscape, Italian government bonds, the woes of the healthcare sector in the midst of the pandemic, the future of the EU, Brexit and India’s response to the crisis. He spoke of surprises afforded by an unpredictable stock market, pet care industry stocks, for instance, soaring like never before.

On a more sobering note, he said, “In a sense, the world has changed forever. There is an emotional toll to reporting today, more so than in 2008. People are dying.” He himself is learning how to cope. “Take a break during the day and read that book. Listen to music as you go to grab a sandwich for lunch. Switching off for a while makes a huge difference.”

Abhinav identified his own style of lifelong learning through various streams of knowledge, something he said resonates with Krea University’s model of interwoven learning. He explained how a love of reading during his early days in literary studies has stood him in good stead as a finance journalist specialising in a niche area today. Abhinav emphasised having a nose for a story – implying both the power and depth of effective storytelling and the need for stories to translate to a wider audience. Even an article on corporate bonds must be carefully researched and constructed as a narrative with a beginning, middle and end, he said.

Coming back to the post-Covid present, Abhinav offered some hope despite an unpredictable future and the possibility of a “W” shaped recovery. “The underlying systems are strong and so recovery may be faster as compared to 2008. Business as usual may be tough, but I can see that the world is moving towards being more environmentally conscious.”

The session was hosted by Dr. Akhila Ramnarayan, Divisional Chair of Literature and Arts at Krea and curator of programming at VENI, and moderated by Dr. Kalyan Chakrabarti, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Chemistry.

With its first digital edition, VENI- The Ideas Place is re-imagining the confluence of different knowledge streams, opening up a new chapter of global commentary with voices spanning the globe.

Click here to watch the full session

A Narrative of Repair, Reforms and Resilience – Dr. Raghuram Rajan on Lives Beyond COVID-19

A Narrative of Repair, Reforms and Resilience – Dr. Raghuram Rajan on Lives Beyond COVID-19

April 08, 2020:…We witnessed one of the most important narratives of the new reality, as Dr.Raghuram Rajan interacted with the Krea community on the world beyond COVID-19.

What lies in the future? Where do we go from here? What are the numerous possible scenarios? Are these the right questions to ask?

Guiding us as we sought these answers, Dr.Raghuram Rajan addressed the students, faculty and staff at Krea University on the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 combined with the task that lies ahead. The narrative traversed over the role of an individual, nation and the entire world in confronting the crisis.

Speaking to the Krea community who have been away from the campus since the lockdown yet actively adapting to the new expressions in learning, Dr.Rajan spoke about the importance of lockdown, it’s effect on bending the curve, need for ramping up the healthcare systems and urgency to test, track and quarantine.

Tracing the segmented journey of the virus from disrupting China, its movement into industrial economies, and into emerging markets, Dr. Rajan firmly called upon the need to place collective societal incentives over individual suffering. He stressed on the need for countries to stand together and help each other, repairing globalization.

When asked about India’s response in the wider economic context, Dr. Rajan recommended, “Prioritize and focus on the poor and needy.”

He suggested targeting resources to aid viable MSMEs while also supporting sustenance of larger firms in turn preventing possible mass unemployment in the near future. Observing the needs for major economic reforms in the country, debt targets and fiscal councils being among them, Dr. Rajan emphasised, “We should spend to keep people safe, on necessary healthcare and shrink unnecessary expenditure while putting in place stronger systems.”

Responding to a curious student’s query on whether life in higher education would ever return to normal, Dr.Rajan expressed, that though human interaction is immensely valuable, these times have helped us re-imagine education beyond the walls of the classrooms. He felt that the new modules have brought into action the fabled ‘inversion of classroom’, flipping the design of conventional learning. While traditional education encourages classroom lectures and promotes assignments to be done at home. Here, the knowledge lessons have moved to homes where students can learn at their own pace and prep themselves. This assists them in going back to the classrooms and practicing the concepts with a deeper understanding, through debates and discussions.

Speaking to hundreds of students logged in from across geographies, Dr. Rajan concluded with this remark in optimism. “We have been able to adapt to what the world has thrown at us. Let’s count our blessings and once we get back, cherish and rebuild friendships and also learn how great University life is.”