Monday, August 31, 2009 0 comments

The Indian Education System Part 3

Okay, am back after a while, and am sorry for the delayed post. I had a hectic college schedule, and ended up falling sick. Anyways, enough excuses. Let me finish my discussion on the Indian education system in this post.

This time I shall focus on Stress Learning, another principle very common in educational institutions, as well as in industries, in India. So what does this stress learning principle say? It says that if we overload a child/student/worker with excessive work load, which may include studies,projects, or any similar demanding work, then the child/student/worker , under stress or duress, will perform better and deliver a more sustainable and profitable output. I have seen many people follow this inane logic blindly, hoping to get better results. But the unfortunate situation is that, few people seem to realize the tragic and harmful effects associated with it.

Lets start off with education. Later, in another post we will discuss about the job scenario. In school, the curriculum is mainly designed in such a way, so that a child gets very little time for pursuing extra curricular activities, or sports, and is over burdened by his/her studies. Before his brain has fully matured, he is forced to study complicated Scientific definitions, fatuous mathematics formulae and what not. Instead of following a logical, increasing order of difficulty level approach, the child is bombarded with information which he is simply not ready to take. Now many of you might ask why such a horrible system is followed in our schools? Its because we believe that children should be exposed to useless, complicated things which they will hardly require in practical life, as early as possible. The total opposite of what is followed in American and European schools, where practical education is given more stress, and a simple step by step study system is followed so that no student feels overburdened. But look at the plight of the children in India. Carrying bags which weigh a ton, and handling books the size of a dictionary. Yet, as always the education sector here is blatantly ignored.

The same vapid trend is continued in our higher educational institutes. The syllabus set for a single semester is so vast, that even good students find it hard to cope up. Add to that, the lack of experienced faculty and infrastructure in majority of the institutes, and we cook a perfect recipe for disaster. Though it is true, that many students in colleges, rarely study, and mostly open their books a few days before the exam, yet manage to pass. That is a different thing altogether. But take the case of Bschools in India. Ask any guy who has done a MBA/is pursuing a MBA degree, if he faced stress due to a hectic life schedule in the campus, and the answer will almost certainly be a resounding ‘yes.’ Yet, many of them also remark that they are enjoying studying in a stressful environment. Some of them even boast of sleeping for only 1-2 hours per day, or not sleeping at all. In fact, the work load is so designed such that the student hardly gets any time to relax, but is showered with assignments, projects, quizzes and what not. The insipid excuse for this is that a Manager has to handle stress in his everyday assignments, and he should be prepared for a hectic lifestyle. Though partly true, this changes the mindset of the student. He will develop a negative frame of mind, and will expect every assignment to be tough, and will accept stress as a part and parcel of his daily life. In such a manner, most of the students are compromising with their health, a factor which is ubiquitously ignored,even by the Government. If one sleeps for just a few hours every day, and makes it part of his daily schedule, especially by overloading himself with work, then very soon, he will keep suffering from one ailment to the other. Common ones include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, migraine, etc, many of which are related to stress. One should keep in mind that money is not everything. In fact, I believe that if you are not getting time to spend the money you are earning, and enjoy time with your family, then such a job/environment is useless. Do not compromise with your health, people. If you take care of your body, it will respect you. If you ignore it, then one day it will certainly take its revenge, by extracting a heavy toll from you.

In fact, a widely popular trend followed by companies is too lay-off older people, and appoint younger ones, because they feel they need fresh blooded people who can work hours on end. And unfortunately, due to our over-population, there is never a dearth of people struggling and fighting over a single vacant position. If one guy is fired, over a 100 fight to take his place.

Anyways, more on the job environment in a future post. Have written enough for now.

Take care people. And as always, thank you for reading.

Monday, August 24, 2009 1 comments

Game On!

Am back after a while.
Today’s topic is Sports. Well, not exactly. It’s more about India’s dismal performance in almost all sports, in any international event.

I will try not to go into the Cricket Vs. Rest of the Sports debate, as that topic itself is quite descriptive. But its quite obvious, that almost everyone in India, including the Government endorses cricket, while brutally ignoring and neglecting other sports, and events. A top Indian cricketer earns more money via a single match and advertisements than a hockey player earns in his entire sporting career.

Everyday, when I turn to the Sports column in any newspaper, I almost always find the same news. ‘Indian players disappoint. So and so fail to qualify. So and so, exited in the first round itself. India loses yet again. Indian players give a miserable performance at so and so.’ And so on and so forth, this news continues. Every single day. Apart from cricket, India has hardly demonstrated any adroitness in any sporting event, at the international level. We always perform disastrously in the Olympics, we have yet to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, and our once unbeatable hockey team has gone down the dumps. Not even to mention events such as athletics, swimming, golf, etc, in which India hardly has any eminent player to talk about.

Why is this so? Why does a country with a billion plus population fail to produce even a few good sportsmen, when it comes to sports apart from cricket? Do we lack the potential? Or the financial resources? Or is it due to politics and corruption? Let us now delve into this problem deeply.

First of all, India has always been a poor country since Independence. Even till date, almost half its population is below the poverty line. So when people were not even getting food to eat and a house to stay, it’s quite evident that they would hardly be bothered to take sports seriously. And quite frankly, the Government has never really promoted any sport. Sports has always taken the back seat, whenever political issues were discussed. There is no permanent autonomous Sports Organization in our country, which handles all sporting events(am not talking about cricket, and BCCI is more famous for controversies than anything else). As a result, we lack the necessary financial resources, and the capital to build world class training institutes, and to induct qualified professional trainers. Most of the training institutes are paltry buildings and the trainers themselves have little idea about the sport.

India is not short of talent. We have immense potential, when it comes to sports. There are millions of budding athletes in our country. But unless they have political connections, or unless they are rich, they keep facing one hurdle after the other, when it comes to progressing in sports.

Corruption is another factor. There are many corrupt selectors throughout the country. They select their own preferred candidates (who often bribe them) to represent their team, for any event, instead of selecting a better candidate. Favoritism has diluted the efficacy of sports. For example, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, all the people sent to represent India, in sporting events, were linked to the Railways. Why this discrepancy? Does it mean that people from outside this nexus, are inefficient in sports? Obviously not.

Finally, one last factor I would like to mention is the attitude and mentality of the Indian people themselves. In many households, parents want their kids to study hard and always come first in class. Sports always take the least importance. Scarcely if ever, is a child encouraged to participate and excel in sports. All parents want is a 90% mark in their child’s report card. Apart from this, most children prefer playing cricket and football, limiting themselves to these two games. Very few(compared to rest) opt for tennis, polo, hockey, athletics, sword-fighting, fencing, skating, martial arts etc. I have seen many budding sportsmen/sportswomen being forced to abandon playing the sport they loved, and forced to become engineers and managers by their hypocritical parents, who believe that forceful studying is the only way to success.

The main problem is that many people don’t take sporting events seriously. They only take it up as a leisure activity, something to kill time with, or to enjoy with their friends. And with this casual outlook, no wonder, so few prominent sportsmen are coming up nowadays, in our country. We should take a page out of some other countries books. Like China or Australia, who in spite of lagging behind in the past, have produced some of the Worlds best sportsmen, and now they excel in numerous sports. They have not remained unidirectional like India has, by focusing on only one sport.

There are quite a few more factors that I have not mentioned, like politics. But I feel this post has become too long, and I will stop now.

I assume, sometime in your childhood, you must have heard this saying, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ Well, even if your name is not Jack, its high time you took this saying seriously.

Take care, folks. And thanks for reading.
Thursday, August 20, 2009 4 comments

25 Random Facts About Myself


Well, I will do a detailed character sketch of myself, sometime in future. For the present however, am copying a concept popular amongst bloggers. The topic is ’25 Random things about Myself.’ All right, it need not be 25, but I decided on saying 25 for now. May write more such facts later.

All the facts written below are true to the best of my knowledge. And no, I did not take a Polygraph test for them.

So, I begin. Here they are, in no particular order or hierarchy:

1) I do NOT believe in Love.
Don’t ask me why. I believe that true love is either very rare, or non-existent.

2) I simply love South Indian food ,especially Idli and Dosa.

3) Red is my most favorite color. Ironically I once suffered from severe haemophobia or fear of blood.

4) I am a monotheist. I believe in the presence of One God, One Universal Power that controls our living.

5) I detest crowd and over-crowded places.

6) I do not believe in marriage. I think marriage without love is meaningless.

7) I do not believe in numerology or astrology. I believe that man builds his own future and destiny, on which stars have no role to play. [Recollect Mithun’s dialogue from CC2C: ‘Man’s fate lies not in this(points to his own hand lines), but in this’: clenches his fist. ]

8) I love playing RPG(Role Playing) games. I like to live in a world of fantasy, and I believe that my imagination knows almost no bounds.

9) I scarcely if ever, trust others. I have been betrayed by my best friends in the past, whom I trusted blindly.

10) I have very few real friends. Most are fake, and come to me whenever they need something.

11) I am a kind of a reticent person. Some people also call me an introvert. However, I can also go on talking if I am in the mood.

12) I am altruistic. I like helping others.

13) I am a very good flirt (Try me). Though of late, I have stopped flirting. May resume in future.

14) I have never, till date sweared at any person. In fact, I have never used(spoken or written) a serious slang(I dont consider 'damn, crap' etc as slangs) anywhere, anytime, anyplace. I maintain this as a rule.

15) I abhor smoking and drinking. I believe the world will be a much better place to live in, minus alcohol and tobacco.

16) I am a total bookworm. I cant stay 30 minutes without reading something (books, magazines, newspapers, whatever).

17) My most favorite author is the late Michael Crichton.

18) My most favorite actor of all times is Akshay Kumar.

19) I love watching Hollywood action movies, especially the ones featuring Arnold S. The Terminator series (minus T4) is one of my favs.

20) Of late, I have become emotionless. External events hardly affect me from the inside.

21) My biggest idols are Uchiha Itachi from Naruto, and Kuchiki Byakuya from Bleach. For those who don’t know, they are animation characters.

22) I do NOT believe that in order to be successful in life, one must follow the ‘Btech+MBA’ path. Though most people in India follow this almost like a law.

23) I respect the truth. I find it quite difficult(though certainly not impossible) to lie to others.

24) I believe that attaining true knowledge, is more important than running after marks, degrees, or even money.

25) I have a deadly fascination for swords of different types, shapes and sizes. I will purchase a few in future. (Maybe from Japan, whose Samurai’s and Ninjas belter my imagination).

That’s all from now folks. See ya soon. Take care..
Saturday, August 15, 2009 0 comments

Happy Independence Day

All right, Happy Independence Day to all(Indians) of you, folks. Let us celebrate our 62nd Independence Anniversary with pride. While the country may still be plagued by a host of problems, India has nevertheless risen to quite a high position in the past 60 plus years. We have witnessed lots of technological progress, including the rise of the IT sector. Literacy rate has risen from 30% to over 60%. Infant and maternal mortality rate has fallen. Our GDP is growing at a stable rate. Millions of villages have obtained electricity and water supply. India produces some of the Worlds best leaders, doctors, engineers, etc. We will soon have the maximum number of billionaires in the world.
Mobile and internet connections have penetrated the entire landmass.
United we Stand, in the Worlds Largest Democratic Republic.

Yet, in spite of all this progress, we have faced innumerous impediments in our path. So many nefarious and parasitic problems remain. I will now, divide them into some questions, which I ask to the general public and the Government, both.

Q)1) Why, even after 62 years of Independence, are so many people (over one-third of the population) still so destitute that they are even unable to afford a daily meal?
What happened to the ‘Garibi Bhagao Abhiyaan’? The number of poor has increased, and so has the number of slum dwellers. The disparity in wealth is quite evident.

Q)2) Why has the Education and Infrastructure sections been neglected so badly over the past 50 years?

I believe these 2 fields are of prime importance for any country’s development, yet it is precisely these 2 fields which we have utterly neglected. So many million people are still illiterate. India produces the largest number of school dropouts every year. And Female Education is still ostracized. India has the Worlds Largest Road connection, but most of the villages(and even some cities) are still inaccessible via road networks. Most projects get delayed in red-tape. And the condition of the Roads and Railways is deteriorating every day. India can boast of having the worst public transport system in the world. See the condition of our normal buses and non-reserved train bogies, and one will get a decent idea.

Q)3) Why has the Government failed to check the unprecedented growth of population in the country?

India has almost reached the state of hyper-population. Forget un-employment. There are so many people, that all the resources are falling scarce. Including crops, and other food items. In fact, almost every problem that India faces, can be linked directly or indirectly to over-population. From shortage of college seats, to lack of jobs, discomfort everywhere, etc. The poor, even today, prefer to have around 5-6 children, on an average. Proper awareness needs to be generated and adequate measures to be taken, before the situation goes totally out of control.

Q)4) Why has the Government done practically nothing to get rid of the worm called corruption?

India has the uncanny reputation of being one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And it has done nothing to prevent it. It’s the political parties and various thousands of unions, which decide what is to be done, and rarely the common man. Oppose them, and you can get killed. This is hardly in accordance with the ‘By the People, For the People’ tagline. The situation has become so perverted, that its next to impossible to find an honest person affiliated to politics. Even the police is corrupt. The security system is almost non-existent. Terrorism is rampant.

Q)5) Why do we still have one of the worst Law Systems in the World?

Justice delayed is Justice denied, they say. Yet in India, the average litigation period is around 15 years. Compare that to less than 1 year in other developed countries, including China, and you can get the scenario. First of all, due to a highly in-efficient system, people in India rarely if ever, get true justice. The political leaders see to that. Secondly, almost all cases are delayed by un-necessary red-tape and favoritism, to the extent that the hapless victim can do nothing but watch, as the culprit goes scott free. The police is just as inefficient. They are under-paid and rely on black money, which they obtain from underworld dons. Bribe is as common as sweet distribution.

I could go on and on, with India’s never ending problems, whole day. But I will prefer to end this post here. I hope to see the Government take steps regarding these infirmities, in future, to create a fully developed Super Power nation, with an infinite potential. We have identified the problem. Now we need to put an end to all evils and threats.

Jai Hind.
Monday, August 10, 2009 0 comments

Killer Flu

All right, this topic is so much ubiquitous nowadays that I simply had to write about it. And as usual, the reference will be towards India.

As of now (when I am typing this), already 6 people have become victims of this deadly disease in India, Swine Flu. As most of you must be aware, it is caused by the H1N1 virus, and there is no complete cure of it, as of now, though scientists are on their way in developing a successful vaccine for it. Already around 800 recorded victims in India, the number stealthily rises every day, almost like an exponential graph, ever increasing.

Globally, over a lakh people have been infected, and thousands have died as a result. In fact, the WHO estimates that within the next 2 years, the number of infected people can climb to over 2 Billion. That’s around one-third of the total World Population. Swine Flu has already become a Global Pandemic, and unless adequate steps are taken to control and curb it, the results can be very disastrous indeed.

The only known drug for Swine Flu, is Oseltamivir, or in short Tamiflu, as it is more popularly known. It is effective, only when it is supplied in the early stages. In Later stages, it becomes useless.

Currently, Swine Flu is spreading like wildfire, even in India. And the attitude of the Government towards it, is shocking, not to say the least. The health minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, recently remarked, that the number of cases, is very small , when compared to the total population of India. So that is why we should not panic. So what he means to say, is that we should calmly sit back and watch while the total number of cases, crosses the million mark, and then blatantly state that the situation has become out of Government’s control, as it’s simply impossible to cure so many people, and prevent further penetration of Swine Flu. This situation could become a fact, if no adequate measures are taken NOW.

The situation is not very different, over 2 decades ago, when AIDS was exposed to India. Naturally, it spread like havoc, while in the meantime, both the Government and the people, remained totally nescient about it. In fact, the lackadaisical attitude of the Government towards AIDS, was quite appalling. It made almost no attempt to prevent the spreading of the disease, or to educate the general mass, about the causes of it. Within a few years, millions of people had become infected with AIDS. And with no actual cure, millions began to die as well. Still, the Government promptly kept on sleeping, and till date, it has hardly done anything effective or worthwhile in stopping AIDS. The situation will probably be similar for Swine Flu as well.

Why is the Health Sector neglected so badly in India? The Government Hospitals are awfully managed, and the less said about them, the better. The private ones may not be as shabby, but charge an exorbitant sum, usually way beyond the reach of most people. The Government allocates just around 5 percent of the total GDP for Health. Whereas in USA, it is closer to 16 percent. It’s no wonder, that so many people are suffering from ill health, yet have nowhere to go for their treatment. There are very few good doctors in India, and the cost for procuring a medical degree is sky rocketing.

In fact, I have seen that there are so many aspiring medical students, who simply do not get a chance to pursue medicine, due to dearth of seats. These students usually get into Engineering, and waste their careers. Instead of having so many people competing for a handful of seats(AIIMS, Delhi has around 70 seats), we should demand for more medical seats.

The Government needs to wake up, and wake up NOW, before its too late. We certainly should not panic about Swine Flu, but that does not mean that we should just sit back, and do nothing. Follow the instructions, given by the Government about staying 6 feet away from the victim, donning protection masks, etc. Make sure to wash your hands properly. Spread awareness amongst others, especially the poor. Remember, every single thing you do, will have a repercussion. Its up to you to see that’s a good one.

Combat Swine Flu. Stay Healthy.

See ya guys… thanks for reading.
Saturday, August 8, 2009 0 comments

Anger Management

Okay guys, am taking a break from the education system topic, which I will continue later.

For now, lets focus on a new topic, ie Anger Management, and Toleration.

Anger is an emotion, which I am sure all of you must have felt at some point of time. In fact, maybe every single day. Some people get angry at the slightest provocation or incident which occurs. Others incessantly remain bovine or calm, even in the toughest of situations. But the later category of people forms a very small group in practical life. The first group consists of the majority of the people who exist.

In fact, human toleration level has vastly degraded from the past. We are always in a state of war and conflict, whether physical, mental or emotional. Rarely do we spare time for ourselves, for thinking and pondering, etc. Instead, we often get frustrated, and in that frustration we want to vent out all our anger. This may happen in several forms. We may scream out aloud, we may start breaking vulnerable, hapless things or in the worst case, we may even physically attack others (happens quite often).

But why do we do such nefarious things? Why can’t we remain calm and keep our cool? Is it really because our tolerance level has gone down to such a great extent, that we cannot even stand minor hiccups? Anger is one of the major deterrents towards good health. Not only is it harmful for us, but indirectly becomes harmful towards other people as well. For example, a few months ago, I read in the newspaper that a man killed his wife in fury, because she had asked for some money to buy vegetables. This man, a drunkard, later regretted the incident. Such cases are very common. Often, they take up unprecedented proportions, and go out of hand.

I will give a few, common examples. I travel by bus regularly. Very often, I see people quarreling over simple things, such as seats, place to stand, etc. They start shouting and abusing each other. The same thing is quite common in trains and even airports. Anger outbursts are common at crowded places. Such as ticket counters, banks, etc. More often that not, the issue is a very baseless one. People don’t need a reason to get angry. Teachers, at school are also quite prone to anger. Without thinking, they mercilessly beat the child, and scream till the child’s ears split wide open. And on being questioned, they blatantly claim that they beat the child, for his own good. As if they even bother one bit about the child. I firmly believe that if you really want to be a good human being, you should learn to control your anger, first of all.

Some scientists believe that anger is necessary for everyone. And that it’s also important, to take out your anger in some form, otherwise you will gain internal maladies. This is simply ridiculous. What do you want an angry person to do? Take a knife and stab his child, just because he(the boy) got punished in school? Of course not. What you should do ideally, is to take deep breaths, count from 1-10, think of something pleasant that happened in the past, and relax. But of course, most people do not bother. They simply stand up, and whack, slap the child across his face. And if that person is a friend or colleague, they verbally abuse him without the slightest hesitation.

Consider anger to be a form of negative energy. You need to translate this energy into something positive. Always think before you act. Your actions could have disastrous consequences, in the future. I have seen many people starting a fight, after being sweared at. I say to them, ‘That guy sweared from his mouth. Why did you take it in, from your ear? Just block it out.’ Yeah, many of you belligerent people, will say, ‘What do you expect me to do? Stand still, and ignore him? He is responsible for my anger….’. Yes, ignore that person. And NOBODY BUT YOU are responsible for any anger, that emerges within you. We always lift our finger, and point at others, when asked who is responsible for the damage done. Its always others who make us angry, always others who hurt us, and make us frustrated. I say, if that’s the case, you are not much better off than the idiot box. Yes, you heard me correct, I meant the Television. You have just given the remote of your life to others. Just like people change channels on the TV, people come and change your mood as per their will. This makes you little better than a slave, who responds to others commands.

What should be done for this? First of all, become strong from the inside. Don’t let what others say, affect you in any way. Believe in yourself, and your principles. Getting involved in arguments, and fights, will NEVER benefit you in any way. Instead, it will only lower your image in society. Never get blinded by anger. In most cases, the people who succeed and rise to the top are ones who have a high tolerance level, and who remain calm in grim situations. The calmer you are, the better you can work. That’s a proven fact. And try not to raise your voice, as far as possible. Its not that if the person standing in front of you is shouting at you, then you should shout louder to prove your superiority.

So the next time, you start abusing someone, and raise your hand, pause, and think for a moment. Anger blocks our reasoning ability. This is also one of the prime reasons for crime. With anger, comes an array of diseases. High blood pressure, tension, stress, fatigue, migraine, even heart attacks, are related to anger.

Combat anger. Live a healthy and peaceful life.

See you soon, folks. Take care..
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 1 comments

The Indian Education System Part 2

I know, am posting this after a long while, but trust me, I have been occupied with lots of work. I know its just an excuse for not posting, but still.

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, our education system. Ever since the 19th century, during the British rule, we have followed the system of Learn By Rote. And we still continue to follow it post independence, in majority of our schools and institutions, including the top ones. The curriculam or the syllabus is set in such a way, that most students do not get any other alternative to plain memorizing of data.

If we take any subject like History or Geography, obviously most of it is related to learning by rote. But nowadays, students are even memorizing Scientific and mathematical problems, just to score high in their exams. So we have become totally exam oriented. Pursue for knowledge is limited to very few individuals. Ask any student, if he would have loved to study a subject or topic if it was not included in his exam. Most will say 'No'. Many students complain that they do not like a subject, but are forced to study it against their will, in order to pass their exams.

Now, it has been proved scientifically that if you pursue any subject against your will, your efficiency will automatically come down. Why should we study subjects which we dont like, or which will not help us ever in future. For example, if a student is interested in studying Science, what will memorizing past battle dates give him? This reminds me of a chapter I had in plus 2, in English. It was about Einstein. On being asked why he was reading Geology, when it was not included in his course, he replied, 'Because I like it. isnt that reason good enough?' He got the reply, 'Yes, but it wont help you in obtaining a degree.' In the same chapter, he also told his history teacher, 'I see no point in remembering dates, since once can always look them up in a book.'

Have we all, become such materialistic persons, who desire marks and success beyond everything else? Why shouldnt we do things that we like, rather than doing things simply with the purpose of obtaining marks and degrees? One can argue, that without those, we cannot get a good job in this fickle society. That is, unfortunately, quite true. We all judge a person by his marks, and not by his character,

And it has often been seen, that people with a good memory tend to score high marks, than their fellow classmates, who may be as intelligent or even more intelligent than them, but lack the memory power, to memorize digestive or nervous systems, and accounts of Second Battle of Panipat.

Thank you for reading..
* To be continued.