Day 6: ‘Information Representation: Improving Bayesian Reasoning’- Dr. Michelle McDowell, Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute of Human Development, Germany


The major takeaway from the lecture titled “Public Understanding of risk: An educational challenge” was that easy and transparent information saves lives. The talk focused on how to represent risks so that people can understand it and make rational decisions. Statistical illiteracy is found to be a collective problem which has major health implications and is commonly observed in patients, journalists and physicians. It basically results from non-transparent framing of information due to cognitive biases, nature of doctor-patient relationship and conflict of interest. The patient’s understanding of risk is found to be low because they fail to ask questions from physicians. Statistical illiteracy can be improved with the better and transparent representation of information which can reduce relative risks. She recommends usage of frequency statements instead of single event probabilities and absolute risks instead of relative risks as it makes understanding more easy and sensible.

Atharva 2017: Day 2: Summary

Day 2 of Atharva 2017 continued to challenge the participants and pushed them beyond their boundaries. The B-plan competition, Sankalp, gave an unparalleled opportunity to receive guidance and assess business ideas before launching a new venture. These business ideas were evaluated by industry experts from NASSCOM.

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Infinity witnessed debate the sector, where each team was tested on their knowledge of various sectors and their ability to analyze recent events. The teams presented the drawbacks of the sector and the challenges an investor in that sector would face. The highly engaging debate session was information laden with each team presenting their extensive research on various sectors.

Shrishti, the HR Leadership competition was a case study challenge. It provided an opportunity for the students to analyze a hypothetical case that reflects the potential HR challenges they will face in the industry and put theories and ideas into real-life practice.

Make You Mark challenged the participants with Brand extension strategies. The participants had to do an extensive marketing research of an existing company and identify the potent markets within the same company. Their aim was to improve the existing companies marketing strategies and they were evaluated on the feasibility of their research.

As part of Atharva, there was an information session on “Overview of Security Markets” by Mr. Bharat Dave, Manager, BSE. He explained how company, industry, and economy related news affect the stock market. He explained position monitoring, circuit filters and surveillance system present in BSE to protect market participants. He concluded by saying you can become a millionaire and billionaire if you follow the rules and be a disciplined investor.

The day continued with “Run For A Cause”. Students from various colleges around Manipal and from T A Pai Management Institute participated in this generous cause. The money collected from this event would be distributed to a school in Manipal to help the unprivileged children.

The day concluded with a sizzling and outstanding performance by TAPMI’s in-house band, YTBN (Yet To Be Named). They performed to various melodies across genres. It kept the students engaged and recreated the lively environment in the college.



Day 2: Atharva 2017: Lecture on ‘Overview of Security Markets’ by Mr. Bharat Dave, Manager, BSE


In an informative session, Mr. Bharat Dave began by talking about the history of the 140-year-old Bombay Stock Exchange. He said it is India’s fastest exchange with 6 microsecond response time and highlighted the technology, products, and advantages of BSE.

The exchange can be utilized to earn returns from idle resources, beat inflation, reach financial goals and make provisions for an uncertain future. He explained how company, industry, and economy related news affect the stock market. He went on to teach the students of TAPMI some principles of safe investments which are as follows:

–    Diversify your investment into different sectors to generate wealth as per your goals

–    Don’t be greedy, have faith and patience

–    Avoid penny stocks

He explained position monitoring, circuit filters and surveillance system present in BSE to protect market participants. He further detailed the complaint redressal system against listed companies and trading members. The quasi-judicial mechanism in place ensures arbitrators appointed must resolve the issues in 6 months.

A recent initiative by BSE is the SME platform where currently 161 SME companies listed, benefits companies to access funds and generate visibility. Some of the investment strategies shared by him were regarding Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) and Systematic Transfer Plan (STP).

He concluded by saying you can become a millionaire and billionaire if you follow the rules and be a disciplined investor.


Atharva 2017: Day 1: Summary

Atharva, provides a platform for young budding managers to showcase their talents. The contestants are rigorously evaluated by industry experts. This year, Atharva_30 launches its most awaited 30th edition of the national B-School fest.

Mr. Gururaj Kidiyoor, Director, T A Pai Management Institute, and our honorable chief guest, Mr. Deny Joseph, Director, KPMG Global Services, graced the inaugural ceremony with their presence. Mr. Deny Joseph spoke about how change is inevitable and the one who is most adaptive to change will survive in this world.

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Day 1 of Atharva gave an opportunity to the budding entrepreneurs of different B-schools to analyze and present their business ideas before industry experts through SANKALP, the business plan competition.

Considering the roles of Human Resources as vital in contributing ideas of success and executing companies’ business plan in dynamic organizations of today, sHRshti provided a platform to the evolving HR professionals to showcase their talents in hiring, training and retaining employees.

Infinity, the finance event of Atharva saw teams across the country showcase their knowledge and talent in the analysis of Mergers and Acquisitions. The exciting round required students to select the industry of choice from given five sectors (Automobile, Banking and Finance, IT industry, Energy and Power and Pharmaceutical) and two publically listed companies from the sector. The teams from TAPMI, IMI New Delhi, IFMR, KJ SIMR and SIBM Bengaluru fervently justified their choice of industry and the companies – the acquirer and the company to be acquired. Through extensive financial and qualitative analysis, the rationale behind the choice of companies was presented.

Make Your Mark was a  platform wherein participants got to exhibit their competence in the field of marketing.

The day concluded with Vibes – the inter-collegiate dance competition where TAPMI emerged as the winner. It was followed by the talent show competition Blaze where awards were given to Mr. and Ms. Blaze.

Day 1 of the 30th edition of Atharva was a phenomenal hit and left the participants and the students of TAPMI eagerly awaiting the next 2 days of the event.

Day 5: ‘The Performing characteristics of fast & frugal trees’- Prof. Shenghua Luan, Cognitive Psychologist


The professor introduced fast and frugal trees (FFTs) as a specific and especially useful form of heuristic decision making. We saw that FFTs are fast, simple, and work quite well. They save valuable time while making critical decisions. They are powerful, easy to use, robust, and easily interpretable.
Then he proceeded to introduce the signal detection theory (SDT), and how a signal and a noise distribution, and a decision criterion together determine a decision. Sensitivity and decision criterion or bias are the two important concepts in SDT. An important message here is that a biased decision criterion is often completely rational.
We saw that the logic of the decision criterion from SDT can be applied in FFTs as well and is related to its exit structure. We also learned that adjusting the exit structure of FFTs according to the payoff structure of the task is the most important way to improve its ecological rationality. Sensitivity of FFTs can also be well defined with respect to the order and certain other properties of the cues.
We learned that FFTs are not just prescriptive, but can be used as descriptive models of decision making too. Finding parallels between SDT and FFTs was interesting and is a great step towards integrating two seemingly disparate models of decision making.

Day 5: ‘Heuristics in Modelling choice’ – Prof. Konstantinos Katsikopoulos, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany


This lecture discussed the prescriptive approach for decision making through the techniques of fast & frugal trees. This was demonstrated through two cases in the lecture. First, we addressed the question of whether the possibility of flagging banks at the risk of failing is reasonable. Using data, there was an improvisation on an existing tree by Aihman et al by including threshold values. Further, the logit models were discussed along with F&F models. It was also observed that the logit models were better than the F&F trees in terms of hit rate & false alarms. However, with less data, the results were reversed. F&F models are found to be better than the logit models.

Secondly, The case of NATO checkpoints in Afghanistan saw seven suicide attacks that caused a considerable number of civilian casualties. The idea here was to develop an F&F tree to minimise the casualties. Prof. Konstantinos explained that using a reasonably simple F&F tree, the number of casualties could have been possibly reduced by 40%. This was an interesting example that could be applied to a real life scenario.

Bounded Rationality, Day-4: ‘The Role of Empathy in Altruistic Behaviour: Evidence from Sequential Dictator Games’ – Prof.Sujoy Chakravarty, Professor (Economics), Jawaharlal Nehru University


Prof. Sujoy Chakravarty, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University spoke about “The role of empathy in altruistic behaviour: Evidence from sequential dictator games.” He said that economics is a field that isn’t hijacked by crazy people, it is what we have. Even when a lot of things seem. To introduce the topic he differentiated between selfish and non-selfish motive. When it comes to warm glow or altruism, these are non-selfish behaviour. Whereas, reciprocity is a selfish behaviour but indirect reciprocity is more dependent on empathy and could be fuelled by empathy.

Prof. Chakravarty jokingly remarked that reciprocity is the oil that greases the wheel of capitalism. The concept specifies that an individual will be generous to another individual only when that individual has been good to him before. He talks about three types of reciprocity: downwards, upwards and indirect. He explained that in downstream reciprocity, “B helps A, C observes B. as a result C is more generous to B.” Whereas, in upstream reciprocity, “A helps B. B is more generous to C if has been generous to B.” But according to him, indirect reciprocity functions differently, it leads to an individual helping another one who has not interacted with him nor is there a chance of interacting with him in the future. According to Prof. Chakravarty, in indirect reciprocity “A helps B, this observed by C.  C will behave generously with B if A hasn’t.” In this case B gets two chances to play this game. C’s action will act as a compensation for A’s action.

Prof. Chakravarty has conducted his research on a large sample. He told the audience about the methodology of the study and how he has come to the conclusion of his research. He said the control conditions are empathy, randomness and information. His work is still underway and he said that he is still finding faults in his own research and trying to tease out other alternatives. He welcomed the audience to critique his work. It was an enriching and learning experience to go through the entire process o how the research is growing.