Friday, September 24, 2010

The Theory of Relativity

Friends, just like most of us, even I am not fascinated by the complexity of Science. So you can be rest assured that this post is not about scientific applications of the theory of relativity. But the essence is derived from it. That’s why this theory assumes so much importance as it touches us every day. Let’s explore how?

Einstein's theory of time and space, special relativity, proposed that distance and time are not absolute. The ticking rate of a clock depends on the motion of the observer of that clock; likewise for the length of a "yardstick.” So if you haven’t guessed yet, this post is about Relative Grading. A much used term in academic set up especially in the past few decades. As the common saying goes, “Nothing is absolute, everything is relative.”

This is how IITK introduces Relative Grading, “Many ideas and things were shipped from Washington DC to Kanpur. When a packet from one of these shipments was opened, a brilliant proposal of adopting "relative grading" emerged. And IIT Kanpur was amongst the first, in the country to adopt this relative method of evaluating performance.” Their inputs have been used in the following paras to shed more light on this topic.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rebranding in Real Life

After discussing a few social issues, college experiences and even movies, this time we’ll discuss marketing in real life i.e. not limiting ourselves to consumer products. The topic for this discussion will be 'Rebranding'. First let me define it. Rebranding is the attempt or an exercise, usually by an established brand (which could be a company, a person etc.), to develop a new position in the minds of stakeholders which could include customers, competitors, fans etc. It’s mainly an attempt to keep oneself relevant with changing times.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One day of Entrepreneurship

This blog is an outcome of the fun we had fulfilling a course requirement. Yes, you heard it right. The course was or should I say is “Managing new Ventures” and the assignment was to come up with a venture with an investment of Rs. 1000. The activity could include selling food items, providing printing services, consultancy etc. We were divided into teams of six each and given a week’s time to show and present our learnings. It was an exciting task given the opportunity to become an entrepreneur for a day.

Now I will share my learnings that we had about entrepreneurship after the task and class discussion. I know it would be premature on my part to come to a conclusion after a very short stint in a predictable environment but nevertheless a few generic but exciting things did come to the fore.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A peep into "Peepli-Live"

"सरकार मरने का पैसा देती है!” This line pretty much forms the basis of the storyline of Aamir Khan produced film: Peepli Live. In other words, "a farmer in need of money would prefer to commit suicide if the government gives him muaawzaa (compensation)". You all might be wondering if I am trying to do a movie-review in this blog. Well my answer would be a Yes as well as a No. Yes because I will discuss the different realms touched by this movie and a No because this blog is not a commentary on the quality of filmmaking or acting or for that matter the music of this movie.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Anonymous Whistle-blowers

During our college days, we all have either experienced or heard about ragging. But occasionally some of us have been rescued by the timely intervention of anti ragging squad. No, I am not going to discuss ragging in this blog as I am still not sure what is the exact definition of ragging? Rather I will discuss something that has really put me in moral dilemma. I would like to share it with you to see if we can find a solution. Going back to the earlier example, the anti-ragging squad is usually tipped off by one of the juniors i.e. the sufferers. In order to avoid the wrath of the seniors, that junior informs the administration more often than not anonymously. He does this to avoid being ostracized by seniors or sometimes even by some juniors (some consider it as fun). Juniors undergoing ragging do shower silent praises on such a person. After all he is nothing less than a savior for them. He does what most wanted to do but didn’t have the courage to do so.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Past, The Present & The Future of Asia.

We all love keenly contested battles. Isn’t it? Such contests can take place on the sports ground, in the academic setup, on the battlefield etc. The one such battle that I am going to talk about, is taking place on the global scale. It’s the battle to become the next economic superpower of Asia. In this blog I’ll discuss the three countries that look set to stake their claim for the Numero Uno tag. The great thing about this contest is that we could have three different leaders at three commonly classified points of time i.e. the Past, the Present & the future. So, let me break the suspense on the trinity (if there was ever one). They are Japan, China & India. Let’s us analyze their strengths, weaknesses and the possible road ahead.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Can you Spot Match-fixing?

After raising some of the issues related to our student lives, this time I would focus on a topic that I would, honestly speaking , not have wanted any further discussion on. The topic is “match fixing”. Back in the early 1990’s when I devoted considerable time analyzing even remote things associated with cricket; I was really shocked when a series of well known cricketers were implicated in it. It was disturbing to say the least as I really loved the game and still continue to do so (though the time devoted has come down considerably)    
But it seems that greed is too humane a tendency to buckle down against feeling of patriotism, professionalism or ethics. The incidences over the years have thrown some interesting features about this phenomenon or should I say menace. Let us discuss a few of them.  

First is the variety of ways in which bets can be placed or different ways in which outcomes can be influenced. Those familiar with betting on soccer games especially during the recent FIFA world cup must be aware of odds being placed on more than just the final outcome of the match. It could be number of corners, red cards, yellow cards, goal difference etc. Similarly other sports also provide enough opportunities as well as ways to bet. I will discuss two types of fixing that normally take place in cricket and try to see if both of them finally converge at some point or substitute the other in different formats. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The side-effects of Campus Placement Process

In my previous blog, I tried to jot down some of the benefits that the campus placement process has brought. Most if not all of us would agree that campus placement has been one of the most positive development in the field of education and has increased the purchasing capacity of the Indian youth with its wide reach.