It is with a sense of great delight that I am presenting to you the current issue of NICE Journal of Business. It is regretted that due to the havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to combine the two issues of Vol. 15 (Nos.1 & 2), and the combined issue too has been delayed. The response from the authors and readers has been overwhelming. With each issue of the journal, we bring to you, the latest and authoritative insights into the dynamic and fascinating world of business.
In this issue, we have put together one perspective and seven research papers on topics reflecting diverse interests in the vast field of business. The research papers pertain to the major areas of business: marketing, banking, finance and stock market, human resource management and organisational behaviour, and public governance. They deal with topics, like Indian agriculture: Its performance, problems, policy, and the on-going farmers' agitation, public-private-partnership highway projects, impact of foreign portfolio investment on stock market volatility, consumer purchase-intention for organic food, impact of self-help groups of microfinance on women's economic empowerment, measurement of subjective well-being in micro, small and medium enterprises, influence of consumer satisfaction on their purchase intention, and internal branding in higher education.
The agricultural sector is impacted by, and impacts, the society, economy, and environment. Agriculture has been subjected to a benign neglect. Prof. Shrawan Kumar Singh presents an overview of the Indian agriculture and sets out the possible changes that will make the overall policy-set fit for the purpose. He states that there is no silver bullet to fix India's agrarian problems. He emphasises a policy-set capable of providing the institutions and incentives that this major sector of the Indian economy needs to meet its formidable challenges.
Prof. Ram Singh seeks to evaluate the performance of the public-private partnership (PPP) highway projects, as compared to the traditionally-built highways and to investigate the project delays (time overrun) and cost overrun for the two types of the projects. His study reveals that while the project execution has been faster in the case of the PPP projects, the time overrun for such projects has been significantly shorter than the traditional (government-managed) projects.
The study by Dr. Harvinder Kaur reveals a strong negative relationship between the FPI net flows into equity, debt and hybrid securities and the Nifty-return volatility and, between the FPI monthly open interest in derivatives and the India-VIX during the 21-year period from January 2000 to December 2020. The higher the FPI flows, the lower will be the stock-market volatility and, as popularly perceived, do not have any destabilising effect. The insights provided by the study will encourage the Indian policy-makers to spur the foreign portfolio investment without fear.
Organic agriculture safeguards the condition of soils, eco-tourism, and individuals by undertaking eco-friendly procedures. The study carried out by Aishwarya Pratap and Prof. H. C. Purohit seeks to examine the consumers' organic food purchase intention, with the help of the extended version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour. They have found that in addition to the direct effect on consumer From the Editor's Desk purchase intention, consumer attitude also mediates the relationship between the environmental concern and the purchase intention towards organic food.
The rural women in Haryana, who are members of active self-help groups (SHG), were found enjoying a high level of economic empowerment on selected indicators, as indicated by the women's economic empowerment index. The study conducted by Sumesh Kumari and Prof. Surendra Mor seeks to measure the impact of the SHG-led microfinance on economic empowerment and the total expenditure of rural women with active SHG membership. They find that the SHG-led microfinance activities have empowered the rural women to increase their total spending after joining the SHGs.
Kuljeet Kaur and Prof. H. C. Purohit measure the subjective well-being (SWB) of employees working in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Uttarakhand. She concludes that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) must identify employee well-being at work, to enhance productivity and, as a result, organisational growth.
Manish Uprety and Prof. P. C. Kavidayal assess the impact of satisfaction on the consumer re-buying of the FMCG goods in the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand. They found that the the products, like toothpaste, hair oil, toilet soap, and laundry detergents used by the consumers in their day-to-day livelihood, have a variance of satisfaction through product identity, product quality, and product features.
Hardeep Chahal and Parul Chhibber examine the multi-dimensionality of Internal Branding scale from the perspective of non-teaching staff of top-ranked management institutes. They have established and validated Internal Branding as a five-dimensional scale comprising of brand-centred HRM, internal branding communications, leadership, brand permissibility and workplace spirituality as its significant dimensions. This scale can potentially be used as a reliable instrument for measuring Internal Branding in future studies.
The issue also contains review of three books of current interest written by eminent experts.
I place on record my gratitude to the eminent scholars and authors for their valuable contribution to the quality of our research journal, NICE Journal of Business.
Many experts devoted their time and talent in reviewing the papers, by making critical comments and suggestions for improving their quality. I am deeply indebted to all of them.
I owe a word of special thanks to Dr. Shobhit Kumar, Chairman, NICE Society; Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, Chancellor, and Prof. Amar P. Garg, Vice-Chancellor, of Shobhit Institute of Engineering and Technology (Deemed-to-be University), Meerut, for their support to this academic endeavour, intended to promote, preserve and disseminate business research. In fact, the journal was the brainchild of Kunwar Shekhar ji, when it was launched in early 2006. Since its inception, he has taken keen interest in the growth of the journal.