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The New Stuff

Education in 2.0 world

Be it my love for maths as a subject or my strong conviction about need for education / tutoring portals in India, one site which I have always closely followed up since its inception is This site was launched somehwere in July last year & the recent metamorphosis which this site has undergone is a lovely change I must say J. The site has evolved as a very interesting online tutorial portal & as per the industry sources, the site has got 15,000 registered users till now & is expected to grow to 25,000 users by March 2008 (Source: Hindustan Times)

Well, as a kid I remember how many of my friends used to hate maths as a subject & considering the phobia of maths in many students till date I think it’s an excellent move to have a portal like this to make the life of students simpler & easier. Oh how I wish such portals would have existed when we were kids!!! Life would have been so simpler for many students in our generation as well J However, why only maths, I think there is a need for many such portals in India who can offer education to students in an easier and cost – effective ways. Such portals are a win-win situation for all in a country like India, where curriculum based education is being given the highest priority as compared to any other country, where teachers in normal schools and colleges are one of the lowest paid salaried individuals & where accessibility to good education in most of the states is still a burning issue. With such cost effective portals students can get access to quality education in an easier way & at the same time even teachers can make more money as compared to their low salary being paid in most of the schools/colleges. Considering the need & potential of education as a category, I’m all eager to see the developments in this category in future & I’m sure this category will also see a huge boom like travel, job, matrimony & entertainment.

Imagine, another one as NDTV imagine

Today saw web banners of NDTV imagine all across main internet publishers. Well, the banner surely raised curiosity & made me click the links immediately and oh yet another entertainment channel & that too with nothing new L… same old daily soap concept. Though I was aware of NDTV launching 3 new channels in entertainment & movie segment but still after seeing the programming details of the channel on its website, I personally got disappointed… same story soap concept, musical reality show & then dance reality show etc…Aren’t we done to death with saas bahu sagas & reality shows? Well, the formal announcement of NDTV new channels always said fresh entertainment but the sneak preview on the website definitely promises nothing like that. Maybe once the channel is live, we can judge its best.
Well, lot many channels got launched during the last 5 to 6 years & Indian Television Industry has surely seen an explosive growth. Infact its one of the fastest growing industry in India, with more than 300 channels launched in last one & half decades. The industry is surely saturated as far as channel concepts & programming are concerned but still in last few months, we have again seen quite few new channel launches. Despite the clear cut advantage lying with first movers like Star, Sony & Zee since years, new set of biggies like UTV launched Bindass & INX launched 9X entertainment & 9Xmusic in recent past!!! Gosh… too many me-too channels with same kind of programming! Isn’t it sort of ENTERTAINMENT OVERDOSE for Indian television viewers???

Well, this one was really bad

This has not happened for the first time that I’ve got jam packed in Bangalore traffic in such a way that it looked as if the jam would never come to an end but somehow my yesterday’s drive back to home really left me wondering & shaken from inside. I felt this terrible desperation & helplessness after yesterday’s incident.

A reputed hospital comes on my way back home & so generally I find one or two ambulances running on the road. As any other road in Bangalore, even that particular road is jam packed during peak hours, sometimes so much that a stretch of 3.5 kms takes as much time as 30 mins to 45 mins to be covered. Infact occasionally I have spent even more time on that particular stretch. So, as usual even last night was nothing different when I was just stuck in the jam with so many screeching & screaming horns here & there. In all those sounds, there was one ambulance sound also roaring its alarm like anything, well but what can one do to help that ambulance as those who live in Bangalore know that there is hardly an inch for any vehicle to move here & there if you are stuck in jam. Suddenly my eyes went to that ambulance window & I saw a lady crying appallingly… somebody in that ambulance was critically injured & as per the auto driver next to me it was her husband who had got injured. Her loud voice & continuously running tears were just making it impossible for me to withdraw my eyes from her. That ambulance driver came out to instruct people to move here and there explaining the critical condition of the patient & even public was willing to move seeing the desperate condition of that female…she was just crying like anything & everybody was soooo pained to see that. But alas, no place for any vehicle to move back, front, right or left… we all were just stuck…even with all the intention to help, none of us were able to do anything…Oh god, what a moment that was…I felt like just jumping out of my vehicle & allowing that ambulance to go. But of course that would not have been of any help as what to do with the vehicle… In all this chaos & millimeter by millimeter progress of vehicles ahead, more than 25 mins were over, the hospital was hardly any distance from that place but still L…Then a bunch of guys suggested all of us to move back & there was a small service lane kind of thing in the back in which people started entering, so that atleast that ambulance can move back & maybe try some other route to reach any other hospital. But ohhh suddenly we heard the sudden loud wailing of this lady…she started banging her head on that ambulance window… oh god, what happened, has he died???????? I was just wondering & the taffic started moving, maybe one of the signals had become green… I tried asking my neighboring window, “what happened, is he ok”?, he replied, “looks like he is dead now”!!!!!!!!! And zoom that ambulance went ahead as the jam opened…

Well, I don’t know what happened to that lady’s husband, is he alive or he just died in that jam waiting to reach the hospital which was hardly 10-15 mins away from that area… I just kept on praying that may he be alive as that lady’s tear filled face was hounding my mind… and whole of my way back I was just wondering about the traffic jams & ‘n’ number of vehicles plying on the road… Well, traffic woes are the reality of any city these days but is there any solution to it in a city like Bangalore where the roads are so narrow with no space on sides to expand the roads even an inch??? The city has exploded completely with migratory population like us & the infrastructure was not at all geared up to bear an explosion like this… we all only crib about the traffic etc etc here, but when I see those narrow roads, those upcoming commercial spaces & the incidents like yesterday, I keep on wondering… if there is any solution to it???

Kiran Bedi seeks VRS!!!

Just now a colleague shared with me this news & oh I read it also, how sad this news is… very few people are there in our system whom most of us really admire for their gallant & honest work which they have done in their tenure for our country & Kiran Bedi was definitely one of those whom I think most of the Indians really admire as idol. Well, sad it is but looks like India’s first woman IPS officer who has always been known for her deeds & ingenious acts has also finally succumbed to the dirty politics game. I remember as a kid how I used to admire Ms. Bedi & how mesmerized I used to be when she used to speak on DD news. What an aura & what an exemplary personality she was!

She has surely denied the reasons like Dadwal becoming commissioner instead of her or Govt not fulfilling its promise of giving her due position rather she has quoted strong academic & social interests as the guiding factor for her decision. She has stated that she would like to work outside the system & fulfill her dreams.

Well, whatever be the reasons I think she has taken a very right decision. Despite the weird comments by some media guys & few people that she is throwing womanish tantrums to show her dissatisfaction for not being made Delhi Commissioner, I personally feel that such laudable personality surely doesn’t deserve to be in Indian Govt. System. It’s an irreparable loss for Indian Govt to lose somebody of her caliber & as far as her future, dreams & responsibilities towards society are concerned I am sure she will do even more wonders if she works outside the system without any insane rules & regulations imposed on her & will definitely keep on contributing more & more to the society the way she has done in past. I have always saluted this lady & will keep on doing this forever. Good move Ms. Bedi & as always kudos to you!

OSO or Sawariya

Last weekend went to watch Sawariya in a nearby multiplex & after all the promos were over suddenly we saw OSO was being played on the screen. Oh lo confused & bemused we were wondering if we have taken a wrong ticket or we have come to the wrong screen…I was getting upset as I had come with a mindset to watch OSO but then hubby told, “chal OSO dekh lete hain yaar, anyways we had to watch this movie also na”… hmm he was right, I was anyways planning to watch the movie the same weekend. Well, after initial few minutes I got engrossed in the movie completely & overall I would say that I enjoyed the movie. The next day when we got ticket was a weekday but still we decided to watch Sawariya as for next few days I was going to have a very hectic travel schedule & I was very much keen on watching Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie as soon as possible (Rather I should say I was very eager & curious for Sawariya as against OSO). I had heard from everybody that Sawariya is a very bad movie but nothing of that sort deterred me from my decision to watch Sawariya as I used to think how can something made by Bhansali “very bad”? Maybe the movie is very intense & different and hence not meant for general public.

But oh how wrong I was in my hypothesis that Bhansali & very bad can’t co-exist!!! The movie was not only bad rather a huge disappointment for many of us. Initially when I saw the huge sets & unrealistic backdrop etc of the movie then I thought maybe this is something of different era & hence the whole background like this… but forget about era even the story was absolutely rubbish… suddenly this & suddenly that, after every wink of your eyes there was a song. Songs were so lovely but absolutely no co-relation with the sequence rather most of the songs were totally out of place. The two much awaited star kids were good, infact as per me Sonam was good but I found Ranbir to be over acting at many places. Rani’s role was a total waste of talent of somebody like Rani & for Salman there was nothing to act as such. It was totally confusing as to how he suddenly appeared then disappeared & then again appeared at the end. The streets, those bridges, that small boat & that whole blue blue appearance of the movie was soooooo dull, very unlike of Bhansali. Infact with no story, no theme, no co-relations, it was totally unbearable after a point & with all blue color themes to me it looked like a BLUE after BLACK from Bhansali.

On the contrary as against my expectation, I enjoyed OSO a lot. Whatever I had heard of & seen the promos I had thought that OSO will be one ghista pita, Bollywood masala kind of movie & reincarnation and all will be so weird to watch in this era but oh I was totally wrong. Not only did I enjoy the movie with that stereo type story rather I was totally impressed with Farah to present such a typical story in such an interesting packaging. The movie was full of sweet surprises & at the end almost everybody in the theater left the place with a smile on their faces. Shahrukh was great & Deepika was just so cool. Being her first film I should say she has lived the role of 70s girl in just a superb way. And that title song was also very peppy. So, overall it was a good enjoyable movie and even a person like me who generally doesn’t like to watch typical masala movie enjoyed it completely.

Well, both these movies were over hyped & were two most talked about movies in the recent times & many people like me had expected Bhansali’s Sawariya to be anytime better than Farah’s OSO but I guess after watching both I will give anytime more stars & points to OSO as compared to Sawariya.And ya never ever do the mistake which we did of watching Saawaria on a weekday, as it’s too heavy a dose for a weekday & if by mistake you also get to see OSO instead of Saawariya like us, then just thank your stars and watch the movie happliy :-)

Here comes Mash...

Looks like a carnival of social network sites is on… now joining the bandwagon is yet another big player – MASH which is the new social networking site from Yahoo. Yahoo announced its new venture MASH on Friday & currently beta version of it is on, wherein people are invited for mashing on this site. I tried visiting the site but currently it says only by invitation.
So, whats you first reaction? Atleast I reacted like eh… yet, another social networking site! How is it going to be different from the current ones? When there is already an Orkut, why do I need to move to another site unless & until there is something really different and interesting over there. Anyways apart from Orkut, there are currently n number of general social networking sites like,,,,, & many such similar x, y, z.coms & not to forget those professional networking sites like, etc. Well, every such new site during launch claims that its different & something really new but alas the end product is pretty much same with no innovation at all. Classical example of this is! They spent such huge money on advertising this site but the end product? Well, its really sad…forget about being different, bigadda is not having even those very much required social networking features also. So, gimme one good reason as to why I should migrate to some other similar site when I am already settled & happy with my friends networking on Orkut or with my professional acquaintances on linkedin?

Despite it being a very general statement, most of the site launchers are failing to understand one very basic rule - user needs some real good reason for migrating & getting hooked on to some new site. Something different, something new & something persuasive enough! All those wannabe sites who think that by just changing the UI color or the font design, they will become yet another orkut are just dreaming something near to impossible. Huh, so let’s wait & watch what Yahoo has got in store for us now. However the kind of Yahoo fan I am, I would surely expect something cool coming out of them… Hope Mash is mashing enough like other cool tools like yahoo messenger & mails

8 new IITs and 7 new IIMs???

Read & heard as headlines at many channels that Govt. has proposed to set up 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, more Institutes of Science & Information Technology…Hmmm definitely a great idea but is it possible to have more IITs & IIMs???
I guess it’s quite easy to make such announcement without considering the long-standing problems which are prevailing in our country in setting up premium institutes like IIT & IIM. Such premium institutes not only require high standard infrastructure rather they also need premium faculty too. With the current state of career in academics in India, almost 30 to 35% of the faculty seats are vacant in most of the premium institutes. Quite high standards have been laid down as recruiting criteria for faculty members at all premium institutes but there is no proper thought being given about the compensation & other benefits which these faculty members should receive. An IIT or IIM pass out fresher easily gets 2.5 to 3 times (maybe more) more salary than its faculty members plus the kind of growth which a corporate world promises or to be more relatable I should say the kind of growth which a foreign university promises to its faculty, an Indian prof can never get such growth even in premium institutes of India. Govt keeps on announcing the increase in faculty position at universities & colleges but what’s the point of such increase when a large portion of existing seats are lying vacant? How about these facts which can really leave us pondering:

  • Not even 1% of the current educated population in India opts for academics as their first preference of career. It is in most of the cases considered as compromise or last option of career.
  • In addition to the 2.5 to 3 times higher salary which a fresher draws in corporate world as compared to the faculty members who have taught him in the institutes, what is more disturbing is to have a look on the hike which these faculty members get over a period of time… On an average a professor gets a hike of Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 in his salary & that too not annually rather in most of the cases it’s after every alternate years… In fact I remember I read it somewhere that an average IIT graduate draws more salary in his first or second year of career than an IIT director...
  • As per the normal standards, the teacher:student ratio in professional colleges should be 1:6 & in regular colleges it should be 1:10 whereas in India its somewhere between 1:10 to 1:14 for professional colleges & 1:20 to 1:40 for regular colleges. And this ratio trend is changing really at a worrying pace.

Considering the current salary packages, acute shortage of faculty members, ever declining interest of people in academic position & all other existing critical problems, is it possible to have new premium institutes like IITs & IIMs??? Well, I think no, atleast not till the time we have a re-look at our existing policies…

Ah, one peaceful day in my life

Last weekend after a long long time, finally we managed to a take a weekend break & decided to drive down to any location where we can get a resort booking… & finally after lots of trials & effort we managed to get a booking for 1 night at Tusker Trails in Bandipur… hah Bangaloreans & their love for weekend trips… leaves hardly any scope for any last moment booking availability.

Well, finally we managed to reach Bandipur (read more about Bandipur in my travelogue here), the place was so beautiful & drive was great but what made me super-excited was the fact that there was no mobile network available over there… Oh man, what a joy; that meant I would not receive any calls that day… Such a big relief & I just felt that this holiday would be perfect simply because I would NOT get any calls for work as well as other stupid things like credit card, personal loans etc etc… J…. Wah what a joy & it indeed proved to be such a great day, such a peaceful day without my mobile phone continuously ringing (rather screeching) in my ears. On a normal day many a times I get so irritated by the calls at all possible odd hours & this funda of 24x7 availability on official mobile phones that I just exasperatedly wonder “who the hell on this earth invented the mobile phone?”

Mobile again is also a classy example of we becoming slaves to technology. Till I guess last 4-5 years mobile phones were just “nice to have” kinda stuff in India but now if you don’t have a mobile phone you will be seen as one of those primitive men or primordial human beings. Its being categorized as one of the basic necessities of life & it has got as much “must-have” status as much as clothing & shelter have got in our lives. Well, I understand it has made our lives lot easier but I think it has made lives equally miserable too. Anybody can contact you anytime & you are left with no time for yourself ( …If I start writing the miseries which mobiles have brought to our lives, I think my list will never end). Now people just don’t talk while they need to talk rather they talk while working, driving, cooking, walking, exercising, shitting & when not!!! I sometimes wonder can we now survive without our mobile phones at all & what will happen to the world when suppose there will be absolutely no mobile connectivity for a week…JJJ… well, I don’t know about others but I think I will surely enjoy that one peaceful week.

Good Step IB Ministry

Everytime I used to see those advertisements, I used to feel so exasperated by the content of those advertisements. Absolutely pathetic, indecent & suggestive. Yup, I am speaking of Amul Macho & Lux Cozy ad The Amul macho ad shows a woman washing a mans underwear at a dhobi ghat and by looking at the underwear she gets turned on. In the other Lux cozy ad, a washerwoman comes to the apartment to pick up laundry and she finds a man standing at the gate wearing a towel. Suddenly, his towel drops leaving him only in his undergarments and the washerwoman eyes him quite suggestively. I had read many reviews of these ads claiming that these are very creatively done sexy ads, well I dont know about creativity at all in these ads, rather I found these ads to be really vulgar esp. when these ads pop up between programs which you might be watching with family members & kids who will never stop being inquisitive about the ad or will keep on repeating the jingle later like they do for all other ads.

Hmmm for once I am in favor of I&B Ministry, this time I think they have done a very righteous act by banning these ads on prime channels in prime time slots. I can see lots of opposition from many people against banning these ads & people protesting as to why cant I&B ministry stop being moral police & let the public decide what do they want or dont want to watch on television? Well, I dont think in this case I&B is acting as unnecessary moral police, or has done anything wrong as by all parameters those ads were very much indecent & double meaning ones of course there is nothing wrong in so called such sexy or funny ads but what was wrong was the placement of those ads which was very much on all main channels at peak time. Also I heard & read some comments from people saying that before banning the ads I&B should have thought of music albums & movie scenes of Sawants & Sherawats. Yes I agree some of the music albums as well as other programs being shown on TV are also obscene, but if those are not banned then does this mean that nothing else can be banned? Its definitely a good start from I&B ministry & lets hope they continue doing justice to their existence. I strongly believe that there is nothing wrong in any kind of content / messaging in ads or TV programs or cinema provided they run at the right place & at the right time everything definitely cant be shown everywhere!!!

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