Friday, July 15, 2011

Convocation Ceremonial Cap – What it Signify?

Convocation means ‘the act of calling together’ or ‘a large formal gathering of people’. That is what dictionary simply says.

But to every degree holder including me, it connotes much more than mere gathering of people.

The ‘Convocation Ceremonial Cap’ represents a symbol of ‘Triumph’ and ‘Award’ for one’s hard work, perspiration and dedication devoted in Schools and Colleges. It is the bumper harvest of whatever seeds that were sown all along the years of our education. Convocation is indeed a special and rare moment for all academicians to celebrate their achievements in symbolic ceremonial cap with pride and honour.

Though it is the individual academician who is ultimately conferred with the Honorary Degree upon graduation, yet there are many players involved in making impossible things possible which is truly the winning of the ceremonial Convocation Cap.

First is the Royal Govt for establishing educational infrastructure in the country. Next, our beloved Parent for admitting us in schools followed by noble Teachers in imparting precious knowledge. Finally it is us, the graduates, who now has to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum (King, Govt and People) with loyalty and dedication in return for what all have been given.

The most befitting Convocation Ceremony (for graduates of the eight Institutes of Bhutan) being held in YDF hall, Thimphu today the 15th July, 2011 thus reminds me of the past historic occasion when I along with 38 other graduates of Sherubtse College were conferred with Degree Certificates with the same symbolic ‘Convocation Cap’ way back in May 1987 in honour of graduating ourselves as the first graduate from premier College in Bhutan.

Just as May 1987 was a special and grand month for us, Today - the 15th July, 2011 is also a very special and significant day for all of the graduates attending the ceremony.

Thus in commemoration of the past historic and prestigious convocation event (which is only a memory now) I join with each and every one of the graduates in celebrating the precious convocation ceremony that is being held today in Thimphu.

To All Graduates – while I wish you heartiest Congratulations and Tashi Delek, you are now the Heroes and Heroines of Palden Drukpa and I am proud of all of you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

'Banking' is more than the “Layman’s Understanding of a Bank”

To any laymen if we ask a question, ‘What is a Bank?’ they will tell you Bank is a place where there is plenty of money.

But the most ridiculous aspect of laymen’s understanding is that anyone who is working in Bank is rich with money. They often mistake that employees working in bank own the entire bank’s cash and can be used for their own personal needs no matter what. They fail to understand that whatever cash bank holds is government’s money and whatever deposits bank holds are people’s money and not the money of the individual employees.

I vividly remember encountering a middle aged man in 1991 in Trashigang. He asked me, “Where are you working?” to which I honestly answered that I am working in Bank of Bhutan. Then he commented, “Wow, that means you are a very rich man!” ironically referring to mean that all physical cash lying in the bank belonged to me. I tried to convince him the truth but in vain.

Even now most people at the back of their mind have still the notion that bank is simply dealing with money only and nothing more. Worst still they consider Bank is inferior to other Civil Offices in the country.

The Real Truth of Banking…………

But the real truth is Bank has a much larger role to play besides simple cash transaction. In fact Banks play a pivotal role in growth of economy through its host of products and services from acceptance of deposits and extending loans to drafts and remittances, export and import services, ATM outlets, SMS and Internet banking, to Debit / Credit Cards etc.

As bank is in the business of making profit it definitely makes money out of interest spread or interest margin between low cost deposits it accepts from and high yielding loans it extends to public. But all must understand that whatever profits made at the cost of public are deposited in to govt’s exchequer in the form of taxes and dividends from where money is again made available to people in the form of salaries, perks and expenditures for public spending.

In essence bank facilitates easy money supply in the country for everyone’s needs. Bank is indispensable for the economy and for everyone no matter how people construe it to be.