Saturday, November 09, 2013

Open Text Based Assessment



It is quite heartening to see the initiative by CBSE to implement open text-based assessment (click here).
Often times in daily life we meet problems that do not have an answer that falls in the yes/no category. Education should prepare students to face such situations. Open-ended questions can develop such caliber in students and should be encouraged. While it could be taxing on the teacher/question-setter for such type of assessment, the results, on the long-run will be very rewarding, I believe. I wonder when this type of assessment will come into colleges! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are IITians not contributing or are we NOT allowing them to contribute?



The news of three IIT graduates getting placed in google with salary package of 92 lakh rupees is perhaps the talk of the country. What is particularly distressing to me is that, the talent has been brought into lime light only because a foreign company has hired them and has offered a huge package. By merely talking of it, we are only welcoming the foreigners to harness and exploiting our domestic talents. Our acts of celebrating such an incident is in paradox to the majority opinion that IITians do not contribute to the nation. The fact is, we do not recognize our own talents and hence the talented people go to places where they are recognized. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Religion evolving?


The catholic church initially held that God created man. Darwin's theory of evolution did not fit into its theory and hence was not supported. However, 100 years later, now, the same catholic church has "tuned" its reaction to evolution by saying that God created the soul, evolution occurred, human beings may have descended from primitive organisms. This is a very fine (recent) example of how religious ideas and beliefs keep changing.

Religion seems to be a framework developed by humans to explain/theorize their observations and experiences. When compelling evidences that stand contradictory to current ideas surface, religion does indeed seem to absorb it. This is similar to science theories wherein a theory is modified to incorporate exceptional observations.

Friday, August 02, 2013

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

                               Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Honesty


There was a time (until recently) when I was of the opinion that the only non-corrupt people are the academic people (that is, the educators and teachers). But of late, this has been proven to be a myth and nothing more. Lies, prejudices, jealousy and dishonesty are not alien to the academic people. At the root of all these lies vanity.