The Policy Analysis and Research Group, for short PARG, is a student research group domiciled in Economics department in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. It essentially and only, houses undergraduate researchers of Economics department and allied disciplines.
Over the years, PARG has epitomized academic excellence as it members continually brim with unequalled drive for personal and professional developments.
Equally, the members of the aforementioned group carry themselves with uncommon discipline and need for academic achievement. These character and reputation have placed the group on an enviable height of admiration by other students in the department of Economics particularly and other university students generally, who do joyfully register their readiness towards joining the student research group or for an invite to their research meetings.
One would ask what it really takes to become a member of this student research group. Oh yes, before one becomes a Pargite, The necessary condition is purchasing the group’s application form while the sufficient condition is passing the keenly contested PARG recruitment examination. The student research group’s examination usually witness a massive turnout of students (intending Pargites), who had luckily purchased their Forms from the limited printed copies – limited so to speak because many who desire to join the highly rated research group may not actually be able to purchase the form. In economic parlance, the demand for PARG membership is greater than the supply of PARG membership, this is essentially a function of the PARG effect!
PARG recruitment exam undeniably creates a particular indescribable atmosphere both for the intending Pargites and Examining Pargites. For the Former, it’s a step towards a lofty dream realization, while for the latter, it’s a huge responsibility to discharge with all sincerity and thoroughness.
On the exam day, the intending Pargites are mandatorily instructed to put a corporate attire with all décor and professionalism. The exam is divided into 3 awe-aspiring sessions vis a vis; Written test, IQ/Interview session and presentations.
The sessions have an unequal weight as the IQ /Interview session carries a higher cumulative marks than the rest of written test and presentations.
About the written test, Intending Pargites are examined on Essay, Economics, Mathematics and general Knowledge. The presentation tests them on their presentation skills, public speaking, time management, thought rationalization, coherence etc and lastly, the IQ/Interview session probes the readiness of the candidate to do scholarly research and presentation activities with other necessary thought-provoking professional questions.
When all these are done, the exam committee collates the total marks from the three sessions and fixes a cut-off Mark (This is usually high) and only the few who made it above the cut-off Mark are ceremonially inducted into the Policy Analysis and Research Group (PARG) as Pargites.
The student research group holds their weekly meeting on Wednesdays with high intellectually savoring research topics and presentations. A visit to their meeting proved to be inspirational, delightful and most importantly challenging. Yeah! It is indeed challenging what those young scholars could do and are doing with data and power points. Most wowing is the level of intellectual criticism and questioning they level against the day’s presenters.
Before anyone starts addressing the PARG house they usually begin by “progress….” And the members echo, “Through knowledge”. On a further inquiry, I learnt this was their exclusive greeting operandi. It is exclusively PARG as non-Pargites are not allowed to use that signature. This really got me envious but I can’t help it.
Frankly speaking, PARG has changed and is transforming the Wednesdays of these young Economists in training as they always appear in their corporate wears as if they were IMF and world bankers- yeah only time can tell what the loft outcome of these bright minds would be. Like a trickle-down effect, other non PARG members have sub-consciously bought into the corporate Wednesday of PARG and this makes the whole day look so glamorous in the department of Economics, University of Nigeria – all thanks to PARG.
Many lecturers too have come to identify with this highly rated student research group in the department of Economics. As they most times ask students questions such as these ‘are you a member of PARG, who is the president of PARG, where you students at the PARG Policy debate? Oh what a bliss point! As for PARG policy debate, you definitely need to witness this intellectual atmosphere yourself.
The parliamentarian-modelled-after policy debate creates a parliament-like cosmos and gets students talking and rationalizing about the latest government policies in the country. In PARG, this policy debate is majorly for third year Pargites who debate fiercely, passionately yet intelligibly with their level mate. Quite frankly, the recognition PARG and Pargites have built for themselves in the department of Economics, University of Nigeria is admirably commendable and is every serious student’s dream.
Generally speaking, the members of this student research association hold their membership with all esteem and value. This is partly because of the hurdles passed before becoming a Pargite and partly because of the unequalled values the research group imbues into her members in preparation for the Economic policy World. PARG is a life style, Wednesdays are for PARG and PARG is definitely on another scholarly level.
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