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Lalu's school gains more fans

Lalu's school gains more fans
Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad
narrates the successful turnaround of the
loss-making Indian Railways.
G. Krishnakumar
KOCHI: The 'Lalu Rath' rolled into
the hearts of hundreds of
management students of the
Cochin University of Science and
Technology (Cusat) and
mesmerised them by narrating
how he scripted the successful
turnaround of the loss-making
Indian Railways.
Before starting his interaction
with the students here on Friday,
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad
reminded them that
representatives of prestigious
educational institutions like
Harvard and Wharton had visited
India to learn more about the
management i ìodels being
adopted by Indian Railways. Clad
in 'dhoti-kurta' and speaking in
Hindi, his short but interesting
observations left the teachers and
students spellbound. The
management guru in him
impressed the audience with his
one-liners. The Minister fielded
questions with aplomb and earned
applause for his witticisms.
Said Mr. Prasad: "Logmujhse
poochthe hain - Laluji aapne kya
jadoo kiya"Q?eop\e ask me Laluji
what magic did you do?). And I
told them, "jadoo tho abhi bald
liai"(there is more to come).
Kunal Soni, a management
student, fired the first salvo when
he pointed out that Mr. Prasad
would not always be the Railway
Minister. "Sir, what policy
measures would you propose to
ensure the sustainabilityof the
progress and the growth achieved
by Indian Railways?"
Quick came the reply? "The
same question was asked by
students from Harvard, MIT, and
IIM-Ahmedabad. Yehgaadiaage
chalega, peechein nahin" (this
train will move ahead, and not
backwards) even though Ministers
might change in future.
Krishnachandran, an MBA
student, asked how Mr. Prasad had
tackled the problem of
bureaucratic culture of Indian
Railways. The Minister said that
the right officers were posted at
the right posts to ensure
T did not threaten them but
provided encouragement to
perform," he said. Calling himself
as a "big land lord' (based on the
MANAGEMENT GURU: Lalu Prasad at the School of
Management Studies of the Cochin University of Science
and Technology on Friday. - PHOTO: VIPINCHANDRAN
surplus land available with
Railways), Mr. Prasad said that
efforts would be made to utilise
the land commercially.
Joshi Antony of the School of
Management Studies wanted to
know whether the privatisation of
Railways could improve the
efficiency further. Mr. Prasad said
that privatisation would be helpful
in categories like improving
container services and setting up
world class railway stations. The
Minister said that a lot of foreign
direct investment was coming to
the country. But infrastructure
had to be improved to attract more
investment, he said

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