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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