Category Archives: general

Learning How to Learn

Whenever we get any new topic that has a test or some kind of compulsory feedback attached to it, we tend to panic. The reason for this panic reaction is that, as we age, our ability to grasp new subject or retain new thoughts reduces. Not just that, but our minds are also fatigued and attention span has drastically reduced due to the arrival and onslaught of smartphones.

In such a situation, a course like this comes as a breather and re-affirms the belief that we can still learn by using certain mental tools and techniques. The course is vast, but I shall try to elucidate a few of the topics discussed, which I sincerely believe that you would find use for it.

Topic A: Focussed and diffuse modes of thinking

Focussed mode of thinking is used when we are doing a task that requires our total attention, like solving a critical problem. We know what exactly is to be done, so we put all our energy into it, without getting distracted.
But what if the problem is of a different nature and not similar to what has been resolved earlier. Here, the diffuse mode comes into picture, whereby we relax and think about it.  We usually take a break by going for a coffee or on a long walk, take ourselves away from the problem in hand. And suddenly when we get back to our desk, we find that the solution has just occurred to us. Thats the diffuse mode of thinking.

Topic B: Visualization in learning

This is a powerful tool which helps us in recalling certain events or historical data/facts. We try to weave an imaginary chain of events which will help us remember things better. I usually forget to fill up the gas tank of the car, and this has led to terrible situations of getting stranded on express ways. So, whenever I enter the car, I just imagine a genie perched on the fuel meter , dancing around and teasing me that the fuel is “low” and I would be in problem. This immediately draws my attention to the fuel guage. As simple as that.

Topic C: Interleaving

Studying a new subject in one go and cramming ourselves isn’t the best solution for learning. By doing this, we may complete the syllabus but the understanding remains zero. So, what we ought to do is, learn a little everyday. Build up the infomration brick by brick and erect that wall of knowledge. And every few days, revisit the topics that were covered. This enables the short term memory to get converted to long term memory, by constant revision.

With these techniques, I feel much more confident of learning something new,

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in general


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Risk & Opportunity: Managing Risk For Development


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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in general


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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,100 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in general


Why India Pledged $10 Billion to IMF

Earlier this week, when India announced that it would pledge $10 billion to IMF, there was a lot of hue and cry about it. All armchair activists took to Facebook and vented their anger and doubted the wisdom of India’s PM. None of these people even bothered to check what the pledge actually meant. There was the usual vitriolic statements that, India being a poor country should not indulge in such foolhardy.I too was startled by this news, but I thought that it would be prudent on my part to check for the facts first, and then harp about it. So, here’s my understanding of the issue. Sometime in April ‘2009, our PM Dr.Manmohan Singh had stated that India would consider contributing to IMF based on its quota. Every country has a quota which is based on their relative size to global economy. Also, this IMF quota decides their voting power in crucial issues. In 2009, India had a quota of 1.89% which approximated to $6.23 billion. And in 2012 that has moved up to $8.74 billion.

Here’s a quick quote from IMF statement on ths issue:
“We warmly welcome pledges by our members to increase IMF resources by over $430 billion, almost doubling our lending capacity. This signals the strong resolve of the international community to secure global financial stability and put the world economic recovery on a sounder footing. These resources are being made available for crisis prevention and resolution and to meet the potential financing needs of all IMF members. They will be drawn only if they are needed, and if drawn, will be refunded with interest”.

So, this makes it amply clear that its an interest bearing loan, and not an aid/donation/charity that has been thoughtlessly doled out. If it were an aid/donation, we wouldn’t be discussing about the amount being refunded with interest.

There is another statement which sounds the purpose of the pledged amount:
“These resources are being made available for crisis prevention and resolution and to meet the potential financing needs of all IMF members. They will be drawn only if they are needed as a second line of defense after resources already available from quota and the existing New Arrangements to Borrow are substantially used. If drawn, they will be repaid with interest. The IMF is committed to assuring our members’ interests and resources are safeguarded”.

Another important point to note is that, India is not the only country that has pledged money to IMF. Japan tops the list with a pledge of $60 billion, while India, Brazil, Russia, Mexioc have each pledged $10 billion; while UK, Saudi Arabia and Korea have pledged $15 billion.

India has been a beneficiary of the IMF donations when they needed it the most during 1991 crisis. Now that we are sitting on forex reserves of $250 billion which is acting as a cushion against the downturn in current global economy, its time we support IMF’s cause.

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in business, general


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Micromax A75 … Impressive !

ImageI was just looking around for Android phones, in general, and Samsung Galaxy Y in particular; that’s when I chanced upon Micromax A75. And I must tell you that I was mighty impressed by it.

It runs on Android 2.3 [Gingerbread], and gives you a whole lot of features. But that’s to the credit of the OS. The phone itself was of fine build quality. And the feel of the phone in the hands was pretty good. The capacitative touch-screen worked very smoothly with a single swipe of the finger. I did not have to repeat my thumb or index finger actions at any point of time.

Browsing through the photo albums was a nice breeze. Then I turned on the GPS and much to my surprise, it was great. The manner in which the maps loaded, and the smooth transition of moving north-south-east-west and all directions, left me wanting for more. The dual-touch zooming-in and zooming-out on the maps was very good. This also proved that the phone did not lose connectivity at any point of time. And it loaded the data and maps pretty fast.

The phone has a G-sensor too. The video quality was pretty nice. It has a limitation though, you cannot install any other media player. It only uses the default inbuilt media player.

Among other notable features is the front-facing camera which comes in handy for making video calls or video chat. And the screen size is good enough to browse the net and even to read a book.

Overall, a ‘superfone’ as they call it. I did not expect Micromax to catch-up with Samsung and HTC, in quality, this quickly. And that has left me impressed. I may never buy this phone or any other Micromax smartphones, but I do like the technical advancement they have made. They are no more a small brand which makes cheap phones. They are a small brand that is capable of making quality phones and would soon be giving the smaller players in Indian market, like Motorola & Sony Ericcson, a run for their money. Way to go guys!

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in business, general, lifestyle


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Reasons For Buying A Tablet PC

I have been looking for a cheap affordable tablet for quite sometime now. But one of the problems have been that, I don’t have a good enough reason for possessing a tablet pc. I am just wondering, who actually needs a tablet!

I have a desktop at home with Win7 and 2gb RAM, and of course an external HDD of 1Tb. That desktop is connected to a HP All-In-One [printer/scanner/copier/fax]. I also have a HP laptop which gives me the mobility that I desired. So, I am no longer attached to the desktop, unless I need to use the All-In-One.

I have a smartphone, Nokia E71, in which I have configured all mailboxes and other Symbian apps for social networking. I have an Apple iPod 16gb for all the songs. So, why do I need a tablet?

I tried answering the question myself and here are a few good reasons:

a. the tablet can work as an e-book reader, since I cannot walk around with my laptop

b. watch movies which I wouldn’t watch with family and friends

c. have an android/touch-screen experience

d. play games which require g-sensor

e. play songs in a player that has external speaker

f. for vanity, since I have all else

But are these reasons good enough? I don’t really know. So, who really needs a tablet? These guys:

a. who don’t have a desktop or a laptop

b. who don’t have a mp3 player

c. who don’t have a GPS device

d. who wants one tool which can do everything that entertains, be it playing games or songs or movies or surfing the web or reading e-book.

Just about everything can be done on a tablet. Hope, I will be able to convince myself of the need for a tablet pc !

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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in general


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my learnings in the IT field

 1.  I learnt to operate 3 critical machines

.         Scanner

.         Printer

.         Xerox Machine

 2.  I learnt to use 3 High End Software: –

.         Microsoft Word

.         Microsoft Excel

.         Microsoft PowerPoint

 3.  I learnt to use 3 great shot cuts:-

.         Ctrl+C

.         Ctrl+V

.         Ctrl+S

4.      I learnt to say three very important words for professional life:-

.         Yes sir

.         Ok sir

.         I’ll Just Do That sir

 5.  When I really wanted to quit, I learnt to: –

.         Wake Up early

.         Sleep late

.         Continue to Work

 6.  I learnt to: –

.         Face Monday

.         Fight For 5 Days

.         Wait For Friday

 7.  I learnt to give reasons to family frnds and relatives for not making

.         Phone Calls

.         Messages

.         Mails

 8.  I learnt to celebrate these things far away from loved ones:-

.         Birthday

.         New Year

.         Festivals

 9.  In last one year, People say:-

.         You Learnt…

.         You Earned…

.         You Enjoyed…

 10.  But when I compare me with my-past-self…

.         I just Sustained…

.         I just Tolerated…

.         I just Survived… for bucks

 11.  Few more

.         I never Demanded anything

.         I never Dreamed of anything

.         I never Developed anything

 12.  I have survived:-

.         For convenience of my Family…

.         To avoid blame of Society…

.         To get tag of Employment…

 13.  When I already knew that I have got the wrong train.

.         I learnt to Rejoice…

.         To be Happy…

.         To Smile…

I think I learnt to survive…

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in general


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iGod : Steve Jobs’ New Project


The only modest Steve Job’s creation that I have possessed until this day is the iPod. But when I held that 8gb digital audio player, way back in 2006, I knew it was something awesome. The feeling gave me a rush of blood. After having used some cheap audio  players, the feel of this was heavenly.

And iPod was just the beginning of a digital revolution that Jobs embarked upon. When the phrase ‘music to the ears’ was coined, no one had envisaged that iPod would make it literally come true. Honestly speaking, some models of Creative and iRiver have better sound quality than iPod. But the very fact that iPod was the reason why Creative and iRiver was created, in itself is a tribute to Jobs. He was a voyager in search of new technology and finding new digital avenues to re-create or polish.

Alexander Graham Bell may have invented the phone, but Jobs made it desirable to possess one in the form of iPhone. This gadget was talk of the town and people of all age groups, especially 15-35, were trying their hardest to get their hands on this. The iPhone became an equivalent of a vibrator that everybody wanted to hold and jack-off to digital orgasm. The option of the numerous games and apps, the call quality, the features of phonebook and calendar everything bundled into one slick handheld device that helped people stay connected, made every mortal feel empowered.

Had it been any other man, he would have happily retired and gone fishing by the Missouri for rest of their lives. But not Jobs. He followed up the iPhone with another electronic device called iPad.

This time, he combined an ebook reader with a web browser and sprinkled in all the  essential apps of a laptop; thereby making desktop and all library books redundant in just one go. The iPad became another object of desire. And credit must goto Jobs for paving the way for this.

All creations of nature is attributed to the supreme power up there, God. And closely looking into Jobs profile, we notice a similar trait. He created stuff out of nothing. He made paths were none existed and ventured into the less trodden digital wilderness. He shall be a guiding light for all of us. And his creations will entrall and continue to entertain us. And we will be appreciating his creations forever because he touched so many lives with technology in this digitised world. Just heard the news this morning, that Steve Jobs is on his new project called iGod.

This post was first published on Yahoo Network

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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in general, lifestyle


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25 Paise Coin Out Of Circulation : Char Aana Ka Gaya Zamana

Today, 29-June, is the last day that ayone will accept the 25 paise coin. The mint has not produced this coin since 2002, and since 2005 no shopkeeper accepted this coin. But today, officially, this coin will be out of circulation.

If at all you have amassed lose change over a period of time, then rush to the nearest public sector bank and redeem it. I am highly doubtful about a private sector banking accepting this coin, else it will be their headache to return the same to RBI and get crisp notes in exchange.

The iconic 25 paise, that once used to bring joy to my face about as many years ago, is of no worth today. The jingling of coins in the pocket has become out of fashion in this day of plastic money. Anyways, a final adieu to the char aana.

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in general


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5 Signs Of When To Quit A Job

Its never easy to quit a job, not at least when you have completed more than 3 or 5 years in a firm. I was in such a quandary last summer when I quit my job of 5.5+ years. At that time, I asked myself some tough questions and arrived at a decision that best suited my career and my personal growth. Here are those 5 important signs to recognize when to call it quits:

i) Are you enjoying your job? Is you job giving you satisfaction?
There comes a point in our career where we go about our mundane activities without stopping to think if we are enjoying the process of working. My job wasn’t giving me anything new to learn, it became a mechanical task. I wasn’t growing at my workplace, in fact I started stagnating. So, I asked myself if the job was giving me the satisfaction that it used to give me, say 6 months back or a year back. My heart said NO, check with yours.

ii) Do you have room for personal growth? Do you have a life?
Sometimes, growing in the career and climbing the ladder of hierarchy at workplace takes prime importance. And we lose focus from other important things of life, like say, do we have a personal life at all? I was wasting too much time in the commute. I was shut-off from family and friends, didn’t have anyone to meet or anywhere to go as work kept me occupied. So, it became very important that I reclaim life.

iii) Have you progressed in your job? Have you been given timely promotions?
Initially my work was appreciated and I was even promptly promoted, without having to fight for it. But later on, things did not go as expected. My hard work was not being recognized and the promotion that I should have been given, was denied. When good work goes unnoticed time and again, then the management is probably trying to say that they have nothing more to offer you. So, always give yourself this reality-check of when was the last that you were promoted.

iv) Is your job affecting your health? Are you stressed out?
You maybe happy with the job, it maybe paying you well. But is it affecting your lifestyle and your fitness? Are you healthy enough or having too much fast food and caffeine taken a toll on you? Is your blood pressure and cholesterol under control? If not, then it means the job is stressing you out. And its probably time to relax. Give your body and mind a break.

v) Is your pay good enough? Are you financially secure?
This of course, is what we work for, to take home a pay. Salary is what keeps us going by meeting our financial needs, be it a new car or a house. We all need financial security and have to save up for that rainy day. But is our job paying us enough? Is there someone out there, who is doing the same thing as we do, and getting paid more for it? If yes, then why? If your current firm cannot keep up with the industry pay structure then its time to re-assess our career.

Four of the above five questions led to NO as the answer, and I went in for a change of job. I think we should all do this timely check once every two years, if not every year.

This post was first published on Yahoo Network

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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in general


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