Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Art of Managing Fame

Interesting article... Sees inefficiency, bureaucracy, nepotism from a positive side.. Managing fame.. Also, interesting comments made below...

One says:
Yes, Mr Obama was surprised on the announcement of Nobel Peace Prize 2009. He felt humbled, not embarrassed. It appears he was awarded for his forward thinking aspirations, expectations of achievements.

and other says

This is quite a damning and hard hitting article on the Peace Nobel to Obama, and understandably so. After all, the world is so much at a loss of words to justify the honour!

The article is refreshing in the sense that it goes beyond mere criticism of the award, and looks at the motives (or machinations) behind it. Quite conspicuously, there are hints of the award having been packaged, fixed or managed, probably without the consent or knowledge of Obama, to enhance his fame.

It is sad that such controversial choices by the Nobel Peace Prize committee will only lower the esteem of the award in the eyes of the people, as is clear from the article.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Indian Parents Cliches

Father: money doesn't grow on trees
Son: But if you grow mangoes and sell them?

Mother: u will understand only when ur a mother and have a daughter like u
Daughter: Ya right!! Heard of twin sisters.. here comes this twin pair(mother-daughter).. :P

Father: have'nt you seen your cousin or neighbour's child? well beahaved they are.
Son: Then go and adopt him!!

Father: See how XYZ scores good marks!
Son: u can say see how that uncle makes so much money!

Father: When we were at your age, this isn't what we did
Son: Ya I know!! You didn't have TV then and you didn't wear full pants till your 10th class! Thanx for the pant btw. :P

Father: When Rajendra Prasad was of your age he went to school swimming across a river.
Son: Dude, when he was of your age, he was the president of India!!

7) Shaddi kar le iss TV se..waise bhi toh din raat issi se chipka rehta hai !

8) Ise Boarding school bhejenge tab hi sudherega ..........

9) Hum tumhaare Maa-Baap hai hum tumhaara bhala hi chaahenge ...koi parent apne baccho ka bura nahi chaahta ...

10) We never dared to open our mouth in front of our parents.. and you are so disrespectful towards us :P

11) Someday,,u will remember these words and that day, u will know my importance.

12) ye koi khana hai ... pizza burger ... isse pet thode bharega
:D :D

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Talent Driven Country - Article by Chetan Bhagat

Nice article by Chetan Bhagat in TOI

I wonder why I like reading blogs and articles by IITians so much.. :P

Indeed the article is one of the most profound articles I have read in recent times.. I have always felt the same way..

Putting it in simpler words, is he not saying that we should have no nepotism/cronyism in the country... (New words learnt for GRE!! :D)

In all, if corruption in this form is eliminated from the spheres like sports, R&D, management, e.t.c. where talent is really more important, India would become a talent-driven country and this would go a long way in making India a world power... Interesting idea!!

The writer (Chetan Bhagat) is a best selling novelist.

My Celebrity Look Alikes

Interesting site:
Results are pretty interesting and sort of true..

Friday, October 23, 2009

IITs and Institutionalised Insanity

Great article here by Atanu Dey

A few excerpts:

There is a "joint entrance exam", or JEE, to get admission into an IIT and an estimated 400,000 students appear for it. That means about two out of every 100 who apply get into an IIT. To a first approximation, as economists put it, nobody gets into IITs.

Getting into an IIT is serious business. The insane level of competition to get into an IIT infects not just the students but also their families. Preparations start years before, often when the student is in the 8th grade - a full four years of slogging.

There is a mad rush to get into the better JEE coaching classes. Let's call them A-level coaching institutes. A-level institutes have to conduct their own entrance exams not only because their capacity is limited but also to select the best among the students. So there are coaching institutes - let's call them B-level - whose business is to coach students to pass the A-level institutes' entrance exams. I suppose with time there will be C-level coaching classes that prepare the students for passing the entrance exams to the B-level coaching services that prepare students for the A-level coaching institutes that prepare the students for appearing in the JEE so that they can enroll in an IIT.

Institutionalized insanity is a weak phrase when applied to the Indian education system. It is surely a marvel to behold. It makes you wonder how it has come to such a pass and why. Let's do that in a bit.

My comments:
Reason for this situation is that education system in India is determined by the economy. Unlike in US, you have "ample" jobs in all fields, people can afford to pursue their interests. But in India, most people do what gives maximum money. So, lets become doctors/engineers/CAs. Who else other than an IITian gets 20 lakh ruppees per annum in India at the age of 22. (For people not in IIT, i emphasize again. Some indeed get this. This is not an exaggeration). So, every parent wants his child to go to IIT and so the mad race. This has got in our society so well, that everyone, even people of affluent families join the race to go to IIT.

As far as coaching institutes are concerned, there is no reason to cry against them. Its an industry which is thriving because it has customers. Although the downside is that because X people are joining coaching institutes, I will have to join so that I don't lag behind in the race. So, the industry did not have demand but has created a demand. It was never a solution to a problem but after it came, it created the problem and so a demand. It is now trying to solve that problem, to fulfil that demand. Economists might consider coaching institutes a perfect example for such industries.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

GRE Effect

I have to take GRE on 26th..
My vocabulary was definitely "poor".. I never paid attention to improve my word power.. The effect being I had to work significantly harder than most people around me.. I have not read Word Lists.. I have only read Word Power Made Easy (By Normal Lewis), including the word-list given in the end. I have started practising from Power Prep, hoping to complete all practice tests and all practice questions given. Given that I have not studied much, I am not expecting a great result (1300 I think is good enough for me). But preparing for GRE has provided the following to me:

1) If not of the level of GRE or if not of the level of the "magniloquent" people, I have definitely improved my vocab to a normal acceptable level.
2) It might help me in CAT. I practised a few CAT questions with my sister. I think the preparation is helping.
3) I have developed an interest for languages. I am now able to relate Sanskrit, English, Latin, German, Hindi.
4) Hopefully, I will continue in this spirit and learn more words in the future. Now I want to read some good books/novels.

I wrote all this today so that after 26th, I could read this and be happy. :) Also to express the precept that I have lived by till now. Taking exams is always good. You get to measure your strength and a chance to learn something in whatever preparation you do for it.

I am happy!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lets play a game called Demographia

Answer the following questions and then match the answer. You will be surprised to know how less we know about India or Mumbai:

Lets start with a simple one.

1) Population of the country in 2009?
2) Population in 1961?
3) Rate of increase?
4) Percentage of Hindu population in India?
5) Population of Mumbai in 2009?
6) GDP of India?
7) GDP growth?
8) GDP per capita?
9) Inflation?
10) Population below poverty line?
11) Unemployment?

1) 116 crores
2) 40 crores
3) 1.58%
4) 80%
5) 1.2 crores
6) $1.209 trillion
7) 6.7%
8) $1016
9) 7.8%
10) 22%
11) 6.8%

Did any one of you get it even 80% correct?

Update: (19/11/2009)
In fact, I was doing this for case interview practice. I read these wiki pages to learn some basic facts: