Sunday, 22 December 2013

World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC)

WUDC has become the preeminent student event in the academic world. Teams from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and Sydney will compete. The participants are the best students from these universities who like to spend their free time reading current affairs, arguing controversial topics and improving their ability to communicate — all skills that help them a lot academically.

 The India advantage
A noteworthy aspect of WUDC taking place in Chennai is that participants will be exposed to the next generation of world leaders. From the current crop of debaters, you will find at least five future Prime Ministers and Presidents. Previous competitors include Michael Gove (the U.K. Education Secretary), Liam Fox (former U.K. Home Secretary), Ted Cruz (Senator from Texas, U.S.) among others. Chennai Worlds is also an opportunity to showcase India to the rest of the world. Importantly, hosting WUDC in India would help improve the quality of debating in India. Debating against the best in the world will help Indian students improve their own debating skills, and hopefully allow them to teach those skills to others. Chennai Worlds is vital to the further development of Indian debating, as many students will be exposed to the highest level of debating.

 Intellectually exciting
Debating forces us to challenge our premises. It makes students ask, “why is that true.”? “How sure are you.?” “If you had to argue the other side, how would you.”? This is inspirational for many, as it really does open their world to things they otherwise never considered. Debating allows students to express their opinions; it is an avenue for exploring what you think and why you think so. Debating sharpens one’s ability to analyse issues.

Essential skills for debaters
The best debaters are immensely intelligent, with the ability to construct complex arguments with only 15 minutes of preparation. With topics that can be about almost anything (science, politics, economics, international relations, philosophy), without the ability to think rapidly, critically and deploy logical arguments, they will never be able to compete at the highest level.
However, being intelligent only gets you so far. You need to be aware of how well you communicate those arguments to an intelligent audience.

 That obviously involves being a proficient public speaker. It involves framing your arguments correctly, careful use of vocabulary and structuring your thoughts in a coherent manner. A knowledge of world affairs is a great tool, but debating isn’t a general knowledge quiz. You may need facts, buts it’s often about deploying them carefully and in a persuasive way.

The advantages 
At the top level, you have to be at your best to win. That’s Worlds — challenging you to debate against the most intelligent people that you will ever meet. However, from my professional life, I've noticed that many people struggle to express themselves and really hate speaking in public or giving presentations. Debating really equips you with the speaking skills that are vital, but so often underemphasised in traditional academia.

 Quick info
Rajalakshmi Institutions will host the WUDC 2014 in Chennai from December 29 to January 3. There are 384 two-member teams attending the Chennai Worlds. They compete in debates, each with four teams. There are two teams proposing the motion (the government) and two teams opposing the motion (the opposition). While there are two teams on each side, they do not work together and all attempt to be the team that persuades the judges that the motion should be passed/should fall. Each speaker talks for seven minutes, which means that overall there are eight speeches in a debate. All 384 teams compete in nine preliminary rounds. The grand finale is to be held on January 3. The results will be announced at midnight. The venue is the Thandalam campus of Rajalakashmi Institutions. It is a closed event, open only by invitation.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh on 21 November 2013 inaugurated the 3rd BRICS International Competition Conference in New Delhi.

The theme of the conference is: Competition Enforcement in BRICS Countries: Issues and Challenges. The participating countries are BRICS Nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The two-day conference is organised by Competition Commission of India (CCI) on behalf of BRICS countries.
The aim of the conference is to discuss various issues and challenges in competition enforcement in BRICS countries.
The conference would focus on issues and challenges in setting up an effective agency, enforcement related to state owned enterprises, public procurement and creation of competition culture. During the conference, Competition Commission of India will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with European Union on competition issues.
About BRICS International Competition Conference

BRICS International Competition Conference is one of the most prestigious conferences in the field of competition law and policy.

The third BRICS International Competition Conference scheduled from 20 to 22 November 2013.

The conference is being organised in pursuance of New Delhi Declaration and Action Plan adopted at fourth BRICS Leaders Summit in New Delhi on 29 March 2012.

The conference is third in the series with the earlier two BRICS International Competition Conferences having been organised in Kazan, Russia and Beijing, China respectively.

The objective of the conference is to discuss various issues and challenge’s in competition enforcement in BRICS countries and take the agenda of cooperation among the BRICS competition authorities forward from the earlier two conferences.

During the two day conference, discussions would focus on issues and challenges in setting up an affective agency, enforcement vis-√†-vis state owned enterprises, public procurement and creation of competition culture. 

A separate session has been provided for experience sharing by mature jurisdictions on the subject of role of Competition regulation in innovation and economic development. In the last session, it is proposed to discuss how to transform our cooperation from ideas into action.

The Conference is expected to provide opportunity for wide ranging discussions among the representatives from the BRICS countries as well as from other enforcement agencies, multilateral institutions, and academia and civil society institutions.

About BRICS Nations

BRICS is an acronym for the powerful grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The first BRIC Summit took place in Yekateringburg, Russia in 2009, where the elected leaders of the four countries formally declared the membership of the BRIC economic bloc. South Africa joined the bloc in 2010, resulting in BRICS.

The BRICS mechanism aims to achieve peace, security, development and cooperation. It also seeks to contribute significantly to the development of humanity and establish a more equitable and fair world.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Gandhi Jayanti(2nd Oct 1869)-India to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's birthday

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world", the man behind this inspiring thought is none other than immortal soul of the nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi and Bapu. He was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Using his ideas of non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world.

  In the memory of the legendary figure, we celebrate 2nd October "Gandhi Jayanti" which is observed as a National holiday in the country.
 His birth date is also affirmed as a dry day (ban on selling alcohol) in India whereas strict orders are imposed for not cutting animals too on this day because of his non-violence sprit that he carried with himself till his last breath.

 The son of a senior government official, Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869 in a Hindu Bania community in Porbander, Gujarat, and studied law in London. He was married to Kasturba in 1883, Mohandas and Kasturba had four children, Harilal (1888), Manilal (1892), Ramdas (1897) and Devdas (1900).
Mahatma Gandhi became famous by fighting for the civil rights of Muslim and Hindu Indians in South Africa, using new technique of non-violent civil disobedience that he developed. Returning to India in 1915, he started organizing poor farmers, urban laborers to protest against excessive land-taxes and discrimination.

 A lifelong opponent of "communalism" (i.e. basing politics on religion) he reached out widely to all religious groups. He became a leader of Muslims protesting the declining status of the Caliphate. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, increasing economic self-reliance, and above all for achieving Swaraj - the independence of India from British domination.
He was associated with many movements as Khilafat movement, Non-cooperation movement, salt-satyagrah, civil rights movement in South Africa and World War 1st.

 On his struggle to get independence for India there were many others who strongly counter the ideas and thoughts of Gandhi ji and demanded that his ideas should be discarded completely.
With the same reason conspirators were planning to end the chapter of Gandhi ji, and consequently his assassination was planned and accomplished by Nathu Ram Godse.
The killer of Gandhiji has his apologies to justify the assassination on the following arguments:

1: Mahatma Gandhi supported the idea of a separate state for Muslims. In a sense he was responsible for the creation of Pakistan.
2: In spite of the Pakistani aggression in Kashmir, Bapu fasted to compel the government of India to release an amount of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan.

3: The antagonism of Muslims was a result of Gandhi ji's policy of appeasement.
The assassination of Gandhi ji was a culmination of decades of systematic brain-washing. Gandhiji had become a thorn in the flesh of the hardcore Hindus and in course of time this resentment turned into a phobia. Beginning with the year 1934 over a period of 14 years on as many as six occasions attempts were made to kill Gandhiji. The last one by Godse on January 30 1948 was successful.

 Mahatma Gandhi was shot at point-blank range by Nathuram Godse. Gandhi ji was outside on the steps of a building where a prayer meeting was going to take place. He was surrounded by some of his family members and some followers when three consecutive gunshots killed him.
Gandhi ji's death was mourned nationwide. Over two million people joined the five-mile long funeral procession that took over five hours to reach Raj Ghat from Birla house, where he was assassinated. Gandhi ji's body was transported on a weapons carrier, whose chassis was dismantled overnight to allow a high-floor to be installed so that people could catch a glimpse of his body.

The engine of the vehicle was eliminated; instead four drag-ropes manned by 50 people each pulled the vehicle. All Indian-owned establishments in London remained closed in mourning as thousands of people from all faiths and denominations and Indians from all over Britain converged at India House in London.
By Hindu tradition the ashes were to be spread on a river. Gandhi ji's ashes were poured into urns which were sent across India for memorial services. Most of them were immersed at the "Sangam" on 12 February 1948 which is known as a sacred place in Hindu religion for sinking the remains of dead body which is situated at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Mostly everyone knows 2nd of October as a birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, but this day is also significant for India as our second Prime Minister of Republic India and leader of National Congress party, Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was also born on the same day. He became a national hero acquiring the victory in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. His slogan of "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer") became very popular during the war and is remembered even today.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Miss Philippines, Megan Young, was crowned Miss World

Miss Philippines, Megan Young, was crowned Miss World on Saturday amid tight security on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, where the contest's final round was moved following protests by Muslim hardliner groups.
"I promise to be the best Miss World ever," Young, 23, said after winning the 63rd annual event, as a large number of Filipino fans who traveled with her celebrated by jumping and waving the country's flag.
Despite threats from the Islamic Defenders Front to disrupt the contest, police said no rallies were staged Saturday. The group has demonstrated for weeks, calling for the government to cancel the pageant because members say it shows too much skin and goes against Islamic teachings.
The 127 contestants vying for the crown were introduced Saturday wearing evening gowns shimmering in sequins, many of them with plunging necklines and slits up the leg. Four candidates dropped out earlier, mainly due to illnesses, said Syafril Nasution, one of the local organizers.

Young, who took the crown from Wenxia Yu of China, the 2012 winner, was born in the United States. When she was 10 she moved to the Philippines, where she has appeared in films and as a television host.
Miss France, Marine Lorphelin, 20, took second place, while Miss Ghana, Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter, 22, came in third.
Miss World organizers had earlier agreed to cut bikinis from the swimsuit competition, replacing them with more conservative sarongs. But pressure continued to mount, and more mainstream groups joined in and called for the show to be banned.
Indonesia's government announced three weeks ago that the final would be moved from the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, and instead held on the Hindu-dominated resort island of Bali, where earlier rounds were taking place.The British, Australian and U.S. embassies issued warnings to citizens planning trips to Bali during the competition, saying there could be large-scale protests or even attacks.
Col. R. Umar Faroq, the Director of Vital Security for Bali provincial police, said thousands of security forces had been deployed to secure the final.
But Faroq said that security was tightened along the north coast of East Java to Bali in anticipation of possible protesters from other islands.

"The success in securing the Miss World final will be a benchmark for the police in securing the incoming APEC Summit," Faroq said, referring to the upcoming Asia-Pacific Cooperation summit on Bali to be attended by world leaders, including President Barack Obama, and thousands of delegates.Miss World is the latest controversy in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, where most follow a moderate form of the religion. However, a small extremist fringe has become louder and more violent in recent years, attacking Christians and other religious minorities, along with anyone else deemed immoral.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Five movies that’ll inspire you to study

1. The Pursuit of Happyness
Starring – Will Smith
This movie will inspire you from the core. It portrays the story of a man, a normal man, no super powers nothing, just like me and you.
The movie, based on a real story, revolves around the struggle of the main character, when nobody stands by him, not even his wife, but his knowledge, persistent nature, and willingness to study. It teaches us that, when darkness comes around, not even your shadow withstands, but the wisdom and morals that you’ve acquired till date. 
Best Quote: 
” Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something. You got a gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you, you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period. ”

2. Udaan
Starring : Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor
An intelligent Indian movie, after a long time of spicy mainstream cinema. This movie tells the story of a boy(Rajat) whose struggle starts from his own home. His father’s(Ronit) and his views are like east and west. While Rajat wants to pursure his dream of becoming a writer, his father forces him to go for something else.
The movie will inspire you to take your passion seriously. It is a common scenario that students have to forcibly choose subjects that their parents want’em to study. This movie plants a tight punch on the face of all those parents.
Best quote :
Subah ki kirno ko roke jo salaakhein hain kahaan,
Jo khyaaalo pe pehre daale wo aankhein hain kahaan,
Par khulne ki deri h parinde udke choomenge,
aasmaan, aasmaan, aasmaan… ”

3. Idiots
Starring : Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, R. Madhavan
Talking about Indian Cinema & Indian education, you just can’t miss this movie. The highest grosser of all time, raking Rs.200+ cr at box office, this movie was loved by each and every one for its exposure of bitter truth about the Indian Education System. It inspired every student to study to excel, not only to get marks and a white-collar job. It, very handily, convinced the audience that mugging up and not listening to your heart, wouldn’t take you anywhere.
Let me say one thing about this movie, if you haven’t seen it yet, you haven’t seen Indian cinema at its best, and you haven’t yet been inspired to the core.
Best Quote  :
Kaamyaab nahi, kaabil hone ke liye padho,
Kaamyaabi jhakk maarke pichhe aaegi

4. A Beautiful Mind
Starring : Russell Crowe, etc
A biopic, about Nobel Prize winner mathematician, John Nash, portraying his excellence at studies, passion to solve problems, his mental condition, and his Nobel Prize.
After getting into the prestigious MIT, USA, John, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography. As the depths of his imaginary world are revealed, entire sequences and even the people were found to be unreal. Nash withdraws from society and it’s not until the 1970s that he makes his first foray back into the world of academics, gradually returning to research and teaching. In 1994, John Nash was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.
The only thing that remained with him, through all the ups and downs, were his studies, for which, later in his life, he was awarded and applauded.
Best Quote:
Find a truly original idea. It is the only way I will ever distinguish myself. It is the only way I will ever matter

5. Swades
Starring : Shah Rukh Khan, etc
Set in modern India, the movie revolves around Mohan Bhargava (SRK), a bright young scientist working as a project manager in NASA, returns to India, on a quest to find his childhood nanny. The film uses the contrast between the highly developed world of NASA, and this world back home in India, which is at the crossroads of development. Mohan uses his skills and knowledge to bring electricity to develop an electricity generating station, for his village, which, until now, used to remain dark, with no electricity.
The movie’ll inspire you to see the practicality in everything you study, having an application in fulfilling the necessities of someone else, especially in places like India, where we are still in development stage.
Best Quote:
 Technically, none, but if you can feel the heart of this movie, you don’t need words.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Raksha Bandhan-Strengthening the sacred bond of brother and sister

Raksha Bandhan - Celebrating the sacred bond of brother and sister

 Raksha Bandhan, popularly known as rakhi, is a festival observed to pay homage to the sacred and unconditional bond between brothers and sisters. It's an ancient Vedic festival which is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the month of Shravan (August). Raksha Bandhan 2013 will be celebrated with zest and vigour on August 21.
On this festival, as a ritual, a sister ties a colourful rakhi, a sacred thread that symbolizes love between siblings, around her brother's wrist. The festival starts by performing traditional aarti and concludes with prayers. Moreover, as a part of tradition, a brother presents his sister varied exciting gifts and vows to guide and protect her throughout the life. Gifts play a prominent role and symbolizes tokens of love and affection.

 The festivity of Raksha Bandhan has religious fervour and can be traced in the Indian mythology and history. Interesting instances pertaining to the celebration of Raksha Bandhan can also be found in ancient manuscripts. The celebration of this festival is all about paying reverence to emotions and the sentiments attached between siblings.
Raksha Bandhan is a festival of fervour and its festivity can be witnessed in other communities as well besides in Hindu and Sikh communities. Special events with fun-filled activities and bazaars are organised to observe the day. Markets and shops on the occasion are embellished with colourful and captivating designs of rakhis, gifts, sweets to celebrate the occasion. Rush of people to the shops are seen ahead of the celebration trying to find the best gifts and rakhis.
Rakhis are available in captivating design forms that include teddy bear, flowers, dolls and cartoon characters.
Online stores also display a striking collection of delightful rakhi gifts at attractive prices for the festival. Most online or virtual stores offer an extensive range of colourful rakhi gifts with the option to send rakhi to India or anywhere around the world ensuring prompt dispatch.
Another popular way of sending rakhi wishes is by sending and sharing animated and fascinating rakhi e-cards available online.
However, many think that traditional rakhi gifts are passé and people are opting for new gift ideas to amuse their loved ones. They seek for innovative gift ideas that are thrilling and sure to last lifetime.
Sending lovely and inspiring rakhi SMS is also a wonderful and popular way to celebrate the occasion and capture the moments. Numerous collection of rakhi SMSes are easily available online that are best to convey love and affection on the special day.
Banking on the popularity of sending rakhi SMSes, many service providers offer customized, graphic and a variety of rakhi SMS options to their customers to celebrate raksha bandhan. Moreover, the availability of sending a rakhi SMS in the language of one's choice has amplified its popularity.
Raksha Bandhan is the perfect time to show your love and affection towards your siblings and strengthen the bond.

Sakurajima volcano covers Japanese city in ash

One of the world’s most active volcanoes showed its ugly side this weekend, erupting and producing an ash cloud that spread out across one southern Japanese city.
Sakurajima, a volcano that sits in the background of the southern Japanese city of Kagoshima and is known for producing hundreds of small explosions per year, erupted Sunday in one of the volcano’s largest explosions in decades and perhaps the largest since an eruption in 1914, burying village homes in feet of ash.

 The plume from Sunday’s eruption reached 16,500 feet (more than 3 miles) before settling down over homes and businesses in Kagoshima and surrounding areas. The ash caused poor visibility and train delays in the city that sits just 5 miles east of the summit of Sakurajima. Residents who ventured outside were forced to wear dust masks to keep from inhaling deadly volcanic glass shards produced from explosive expansion of bubbles in erupting magma.
Some evidence from a YouTube video of the eruption shows what might be small pyroclastic flows generated from the explosion as well.

 On Monday, as the dust and ash settled, residents of the southern city were out clearing ash from their cars and the streets. There is, as yet, no word on what caused this larger-than-normal eruption, but some believe there was a collapse in the Showa crater or perhaps some gas-charged magma entered into the upper chamber.
The Associated Press reported a lava flow had also raced more than a half-mile down the mountainside, but later reports refuted that evidence. Still, this was the region’s largest eruption in decades and the 500th eruption this year alone.
No deaths or injuries have been reported with this latest explosion on Sakurajima.

 “The smoke was a bit dramatic, but we are kind of used to it,” a city official who requested anonymity told the Associated Press.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said there are no signs Sakurajima will produce an even larger eruption but maintained similar activity may continue. It had put up a warning people should not venture near the volcano for at least the time being.
Japan sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a region that encircles nearly the whole of the Pacific Ocean and contains thousands of active volcanoes.  The most recent activity has been observed in Alaska where a trio of “Ring of Fire” volcanoes – Cleveland, Pavlof and Veniaminof – has been showing their fiery side as of late.

Veniaminof, an 8225-foot-high volcano that sits on the Alaskan Peninsula, became more active earlier this summer and is currently under a code “orange,” according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, which is operated by the USGS. That volcano has continued to produce elevated, sustained, seismic tremor levels and is being continuously monitored.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees-Jeff Haden

Good bosses care about getting important things done. Exceptional bosses care about their people. Good bosses have strong organizational skills. Good bosses have solid decision-making skills. Good bosses get important things done. Exceptional bosses do all of the above--and more. Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them. That's why extraordinary bosses give every employee:
1. Autonomy and independence. Great organizations are built on optimizing processes and procedures. Still, every task doesn't deserve a best practice or a micro-managed approach. (I'm looking at you, manufacturing.) Engagement and satisfaction are largely based on autonomy and independence. I care when it's "mine." I care when I'm in charge and feel empowered to do what's right. Plus, freedom breeds innovation: Even heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches. (Still looking at you, manufacturing.) Whenever possible, give your employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best. When you do, they almost always find ways to do their jobs better than you imagined possible.
2. Clear expectations. While every job should include some degree of independence, every job does also need basic expectations for how specific situations should be handled. Criticize an employee for offering a discount to an irate customer today even though yesterday that was standard practice and you make that employee's job impossible. Few things are more stressful than not knowing what is expected from one day to the next. When an exceptional boss changes a standard or guideline, she communicates those changes first--and when that is not possible, she takes the time to explain why she made the decision she made, and what she expects in the future.
3. Meaningful objectives. Almost everyone is competitive; often the best employees are extremely competitive--especially with themselves. Meaningful targets can create a sense of purpose and add a little meaning to even the most repetitive tasks. Plus, goals are fun. Without a meaningful goal to shoot for, work is just work. No one likes work.
4. A true sense of purpose. Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone loves to feel that sense of teamwork and esprit de corps that turns a group of individuals into a real team. The best missions involve making a real impact on the lives of the customers you serve. Let employees know what you want to achieve for your business, for your customers, and even your community. And if you can, let them create a few missions of their own. Feeling a true purpose starts with knowing what to care about and, more importantly, why to care.
5. Opportunities to provide significant input. Engaged employees have ideas; take away opportunities for them to make suggestions, or instantly disregard their ideas without consideration, and they immediately disengage. That's why exceptional bosses make it incredibly easy for employees to offer suggestions. They ask leading questions. They probe gently. They help employees feel comfortable proposing new ways to get things done. When an idea isn't feasible, they always take the time to explain why. Great bosses know that employees who make suggestions care about the company, so they ensure those employees know their input is valued--and appreciated.
6. A real sense of connection. Every employee works for a paycheck (otherwise they would do volunteer work), but every employee wants to work for more than a paycheck: They want to work with and for people they respect and admire--and with and for people who respect and admire them. That's why a kind word, a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to ask if an employee needs any help--those moments are much more important than group meetings or formal evaluations. A true sense of connection is personal. That's why exceptional bosses show they see and appreciate the person, not just the worker.
7. Reliable consistency. Most people don't mind a boss who is strict, demanding, and quick to offer (not always positive) feedback, as long as he or she treats every employee fairly. (Great bosses treat each employee differently but they also treat every employee fairly. There's a big difference.) Exceptional bosses know the key to showing employees they are consistent and fair is communication: The more employees understand why a decision was made, the less likely they are to assume unfair treatment or favoritism.
8. Private criticism. No employee is perfect. Every employee needs constructive feedback. Every employee deserves constructive feedback. Good bosses give that feedback. Great bosses always do it in private.
9. Public praise. Every employee--even a relatively poor performer--does something well. Every employee deserves praise and appreciation. It's easy to recognize some of your best employees because they're consistently doing awesome things. (Maybe consistent recognition is a reason they're your best employees? Something to think about.) You might have to work hard to find reasons to recognize an employee who simply meets standards, but that's okay: A few words of recognition--especially public recognition--may be the nudge an average performer needs to start becoming a great performer.
10. A chance for a meaningful future. Every job should have the potential to lead to greater things. Exceptional bosses take the time to develop employees for the job they someday hope to land, even if that job is with another company. How can you know what an employee hopes to do someday? Ask. Employees will only care about your business after you first show you care about them. One of the best ways is to show that while you certainly have hopes for your company's future, you also have hopes for your employees' futures.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

UPSC releases dates for online filing of main exam forms

New Delhi,The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released dates for online filing of applications for the civil service main examination, an official statement here said.

"All the qualified candidates are advised to fill up the detailed admission form for the civil service main examination and submit the same online from Aug 20 to Sep 10," said the UPSC statement Saturday.
USPC declared the results for the preliminary examination Saturday. The mains examination is scheduled to begin Dec 1.
"No application under Right to Information Act (RTI) 2005 or otherwise will be entertained for procurement of marks, cut off marks and answer keys to the civil services preliminary examination," added the statement.
The civil services examination is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by UPSC for the recruitment to various government posts. The examination is conducted in two phases -- the preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers and the main examination, consisting of nine papers followed by a personality test.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Mettur Dam-the water level reaches 120 ft, the entire inflow will be let out

With the inflow crossing one lakh cusecs (cubic feet per second) on Saturday evening, water level in the Mettur dam was inching closer to the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 120 feet.
By Saturday midnight or early hours of Sunday, the FRL would be attained, going by the present inflow rate. The previous time the dam reached FRL was on December 2, 2010.
On Saturday, the level stood at more than 115 ft and the storage level was more than 83 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), against the full capacity of 93 tmc ft.
Also, 170 MW of power generation began on Saturday, against its installed capacity of 250 MW. Officials told The Hindu that the generation would be increased if the quantum of discharge went up in the coming days. From the initial discharge of 12,000 cusecs on Friday, it rose to 18,000 cusecs on Saturday. Official said it would increase to 25,000 cusecs by midnight.
Public Works Department officials pointed out that the inflow was only 40,815 cusecs when water was released on Friday for samba cultivation. But, it kept increasing since then. People living along the Cauvery were asked to move to safer places.
A senior official in Chennai said “as and when the water level reaches 120 ft, the entire inflow will be let out. It is expected that by 11 a.m. on Sunday, the quantum of discharge will be about one lakh cusecs.” The official added that Collectors of Salem, Erode, Tiruchi, Karur,Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, all lying on the Cauvery river, had been sounded about the emerging situation, apart from Cuddalore.

The world's top 10 Universities

Overall Score
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United  States                                                         
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
Harvard University
United States
UCL (University College London)
United Kingdom
University of Oxford
United Kingdom
Imperial College London
United Kingdom
Yale University
United States
University of Chicago
United States
Princeton University
United States
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
United States

Monday, 29 July 2013

Disconnect between teachers and learners

By Dr Albert P’rayan

I am writing this column on the eve of the Eighth International and 44th Annual ELTAI (English Language Teachers’ Association of India) Conference at SRM University, Chennai from 18 to 20 July. The theme of the conference is ‘21st Century Learner: Learning Styles and Strategies’. I have been invited to take part in a panel discussion on the topic ‘The disconnect between teachers and learners in the English classroom’.
The term ‘disconnect’ in the English language teaching (ELT) context can be defined as an instance in which a teacher of English fails to connect with learners and hampers learners from learning the English language effectively. In simpler terms, ‘disconnect’ is an instance in which the teacher distances himself/herself from learners. The topic implies that teachers of English are expected to connect with their learners.
The answer to the question of whether there is a disconnect between teachers and learners in the English classroom is YES and NO. In most cases the answer is YES and in a few cases NO. ‘Disconnect’ in this context is not an alien concept in India. Even after 14 years of learning English (from LKG to Class 12) and having English-medium education for over a decade most students who begin their tertiary education are not able to converse in English or write without grammatical errors. Many students who lack proficiency in English are scared of making presentations in front of an audience, taking part in group discussions or appearing for a mock interview. It affects not only their academic performance but also their career. Such students with poor English language skills or communication skills face rejection in campus recruitment. Most educational institutions have failed to enhance their students’ English language skills. Who should be blamed for this? The education system? English language teachers? English language learners?
This tragic reality or situation is a clear indication that there is a huge disconnect between teachers and learners in the English classroom. Twenty-first century English language learners are different from learners of the previous century. Their learning styles are different. Their language needs are different. Are teachers ready to accept these differences? Do they treat these differences as challenges or opportunities? Are the teachers ready to match teaching styles with learners’ learning styles? Are they ready to undergo a paradigm shift?

 We have five categories of English language teachers:
1. Teachers who have language proficiency, pedagogical skills and professional skills

 2. Teachers who have language proficiency and pedagogical skills but lack professional skills
3. Teachers who have language proficiency but lack pedagogical skills and professional skills

 4. Teachers who lack  language proficiency but have pedagogical and professional skills
5. Teachers who lack language proficiency, pedagogical skills and professional skills

 Only the first category of teachers — teachers who have proficiency in all three — can connect with students and enable them to become effective learners. They are reflective teachers. They reflect on lessons they are going to teach, lessons they have taught, the target learners and their learning styles, their interactions with learners, learners’ feedback, etc. Professional ethics here means teachers are morally bound to connect with students.
Passion for teaching and a desire to connect with their students are two important characteristics of successful teachers.