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Choose a job you love MAGAZINE ON EDUCATION

Next year we may not be commuting to work in flying cars yet, but it won’t really matter—many of us won’t be commuting to work at all.


Managing Editor Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran CMI Editor James Paul Associate Editor Dr. Prasanth Palackappilly CMI

Columns K L Mohanavarma Dr. K.N. Raghavan A.G. Menon Sajit Malliyoor Marketing Manager Varghese Kachappilly CMI Art Sajo Joseph

Work is no longer a place. It’s no secret that telecommuting, flexible work arrangements, distributed teams and even entirely virtual companies have exploded over the past few years. We’re bringing the work to the workers, reversing the almost antiquated model of bringing workers to the work. And in doing so, the way we work is changing rapidly, with everything from organizational structures and teamwork flows to career paths and education undergoing radical shifts. Technology is rapidly democratizing where and when we work, and even who we work for. To see rapid disruption in our expectations of what employment looks like, you have only to recall the backlash that Yahoo’s work-from-home ban caused in February 2013. In the past, being highly specialized in one thing wasn’t usually viable; there just wasn’t enough volume to support it. Today, the internet is cracking open the potential market available to specialists, creating a long tail of opportunity that not only supports them but seeks them out. Just as created a market for lesser-known books, online workplaces are doing the same for specific experts not commonly available in many local markets. To support this career specialization, education will become more customized as well—it will be broken down into smaller, more focused units of learning. We have already witnessed the rise of online coursework. This shift towards modular, highly personalized education will enable professionals to learn the specialized skills they’ll need to be competitive and keep pace with the rapidly changing skills landscape. Selecting the right career is very important. Jobs for life may be a luxury of yesteryear but with new opportunities opening up in brandnew sectors and more employers increasingly seeking out, or at least accepting professionals with unconventional and rather unrelated CVs, the environment is rife for individuals to explore the topic of career satisfaction in a serious and creative and original manner.

Contact: Rajagiri Media, Rajagiri Valley P.O, Kakkanad, Kochi-39. Phone : 0484 2428249, 39 Extn : 232 Mob: +91 9497711010 Mail :

Every job has its ups and downs, its good days and days you wish you stayed in bed; so don’t expect perpetual euphoria; but if you are in your element you will know it. When you love your job it will feel like an extension of your identity, not a gruelling chore or ordeal you are committed to from 9 to 5. You will on most days wake up welcoming the tasks ahead of you and take the challenges as they come, with calmness and humour. The most important thing to realize is that you are in control of your career. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


Career Decisions There are many influencers on a teenager’s career decision. Sometimes a game they played when they were young or a character on a television show can spark a lifelong interest in a job. Find out who the main influencers are and how they affect a young person’s decision making.


Choosing a career that suits you Explore yourself. If you want a career that will really make you happy, you should have a clear understanding of what you want and what you enjoy.


Just listen– Half of the delinquencies melt !! One’s guru was born clutching a cane in his right hand while the left held a pinch of snuff between the thumb and forefinger.

Jose K. C.

16 STORIES OF LIFE Mom’s heartache causes son’s dyspepsia!

Deepak Poulose


Career options for today’s youth It is now a great time to be for anyone on the threshold of a career. However, in the final analysis the ones who do well are the ones who choose, not work that is only financially rewarding, but work that they truly love.

Thomas Chacko


A career in life The choice of a career is considered the first step towards adulthood. Besides the children themselves, parents are the next interested stakeholders in children’s future and therefore in the selection of their career too.

Brigadier NV Nair(Retd) 04

The real story of such a mother-child dyad and how dangerously close they came to killing each other!

Dr. Jos Cletus Plackal



Meaningful ways to manage ADHD For many people with ADHD, the symptoms of hyperactivity become more subtle and internal as they grow older.

Sajit Malliyoor Pallikkutam | March 2014



It’s cruel to let radio commentaries die by sheer neglect!



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Dr. K.N. Raghavan

Generations of cricket lovers had depended on AIR commentary to get a ring side view of the proceedings inside the stadia; it would be cruel to let it die by sheer neglect.



Think original to capture ‘eureka moments’ in life!

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Atmavid: Knower of the Self Dr. Augustine Thottakara When your food is pure, your being becomes pure; when your being becomes pure, then your memory becomes strong; when your memory becomes strong, all the knots of your heart will be broken.

Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran CMI

62 To be original means to be oneself! Be what you are with all your talents, dreams, confusions, defects, expectations and level of enlightenment!




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Pallikkutam | March 2014

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CCE has improved scores, not teaching


chool standards in the country remain fairly low with CBSE’s subject evaluators rating 49.8% as average and 9.11% in need of improvement . The analysis of school level assessment doesn’t paint a rosy picture either. Nearly 35% of schools don’t do their summative assessment evaluation strictly as per the board’s marking schemes while 38.1% don’t use sufficient tasks and tools in co-scholastic assessment. CBSE’s first report on Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) since its introduction in 2009 shows that the performance of schools has been a mixed bag. There has been a marked improvement in student scores and the overall pass percentage since 2010 has improved by 9.48 percentage points to reach a record 98.76% in 2013. But on the flip side, CBSE officials have found the general classroom teaching methodology wanting. Tasks given to students in 54.6% of the schools are of average quality and the difficulty level is also average or below average in 86% of schools. Nearly 8% of the schools did not adhere to the marking

schemes and had inflated marks or grades in Research and Training have shown that the summative assessments. 60% of the parents and 90% of the teachers are happy with the new scheme Parents and teachers, though, seem happy of assessment and the related reforms. with CCE. TOI was the first to report in November 2013 that students who skipped CCE has been around in CBSE schools since 2000 but it was extended to the the class X Boards in 2011 (the year Boards were made optional) fared better in secondary level in 2009. At present, it is being followed across 14,647 schools, including government and private unaided schools. The scheme covers more than 22 lakh students in classes IX and X. The Board has also trained more than 3,000 mentors since 2010 in India and abroad to train teachers. While the results have improved significantly , CBSE was forced to introduce many changes in the scheme, such as mandatory appearance in both the summative assessments (SA) and also a minimum requirement of 25% cumulative scores to qualify the their class XII exams than those who wrote examination. Earlier, students were the external exam that year. The new promoted to a higher class on scoring 33% analysis is based on evidence collected in the complete assessment , which from 5,552 schools. Studies commissioned includes four formative assessments and by CBSE; Management Development two SAs. There used to be no minimum Institute, Gurgaon; National University of pass marks for the SA, which is the Educational Planning and Administration , written examination conducted at the end and National Council for Educational of the two semesters.

GRE exam takers increase by 70%


he GRE Program has seen impressive growth globally in 2013, ending the year with the second highest annual GRE test volumes in the program’s history 7,31,000.Volumes in the United States increased by 5 % and students in Europe and Asia tested in record numbers compared to 2012, with the most significant increase occurring in India. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised examination conducted by Educational Testing Services (ETS), based in the US. The GRE measures candidates’ aptitude for graduate school and universities abroad demand these test results for the purpose of admission in streams such as graduate studies, fellowships programs and research programs.


Nancy Powell calls for more Indian women students in US


sserting that the US was stepping up efforts to increase the number of young women studying in her country, Ambassador to India Nancy Powell on Friday said it is paramount that more women from India receive an international education. “It is of paramount importance to me that we increase this number and see more women taking advantage of the opportunity to receive an international education. We can and we need to do better,” Powell said during her address at a girls’ school in the city. Observing that education has become one of the main pillars in the India-US bilateral partnership, Powell said the US is stepping up its efforts increase the

number of young women studying in the country. “We now have ‘Education USA Centers’ in seven locations throughout India to help you get clear and accurate information about opportunities to study in the US. We also have a number of US Government sponsored programmes for students,” she said. She also said that only 30 percent of about 100,000 Indian students studying in the US are women. “We all share a responsibility to ensure that all women are provided equal opportunities and welcomed as partners in global progress. When women succeed, communities and countries succeed,” added Powell.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Shift in teaching methodology CBSE students can get answers still a challenge: Joshi


t has been five years since CBSE introduced Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation at the secondary school level. Under the same set of reforms, Class X boards were made optional besides other exam reforms like value-based questions, open text-based exams and a proficiency test . And the person presiding over these changes is CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi. Before he took over the reins, he served as the CBSE secretary. While the results in classes X and XII have seen a marked improvement, both in terms of the overall pass percentage and the

The chairman, however, feels many schools have successfully adopted the CCE scheme. He also explained how CCE has brought a paradigm shift in teaching. Earlier , teachers would instruct, give exams and allot marks to evaluate the students’ progress. Joshi, however, lays stress on learning through interaction and self-study , with the teacher acting as a mediator . “Suppose there is a chapter on democracy or on inertia . The teacher will speak on the subject and then hand an assignment or a project to all students individually or in a group. The students will go back and engage in some self



shering in one of the most radical exam reforms, the Central Board of Secondary Education will allow Class XII students currently appearing for the board exams to not only get a copy of their evaluated answer sheets, but also seek re-evaluation instead of just a recount of the marks. Students can also specify which questions they want to be re-evaluated on. The facility will be open to those who apply for it and will be completely online — from availing a copy of the answersheet to requesting for reevaluation. According to CBSE sources, the exam committee has approved the move. However, as of now, it will be available only for English, Hindi, physics, chemistry, mathematics, political science and economics. There will also be a cap on the number of questions sought to be re-evaluated. After a Supreme Court ruling, CBSE had, last year, provided photocopies of answer sheets to candidates who had requested for it. However, dissatisfied students had to be content with ‘verification’ of marks, which meant retotalling of marks given for each answer.

number of high scorers , the CCE report showed much more effort was needed to integrate the teaching, learning and assessment process . In an exclusive chat with TOI, Joshi said, “We faced two big challenges when we set out to introduce CCE—the strategy for implementation and taking the school into confidence as well as clearing the doubts in the minds of students, parents and teachers . We successfully overcame those problems. But, even five years down the line, the challenge that remains is the shift in teaching methodologies in classrooms to integrate the teaching, learning and assessment process. That continues to be a focus because the teachers find it difficult to understand how all these can be combined.”

Pallikkutam | March 2014

learning . The next day the groups will come to the class prepared and explain the ideas to each other. The teacher will sit back and take note of the activity; if the students are able to explain the subject properly, the assessment is done. If the students falter, remediation can be immediately done. This is the crux of the reforms,” said Joshi. As the standards of schools vary, the assessment process is bound to differ as well as the results, which the CCE report 2014 showed with ample evidence. Joshi thinks the mandatory accreditation process, introduced by the board from this year after its pilot run in 2013, will go a long way in improving the standard of schools.

The provision of verification of marks/ grades and obtaining photocopy of the evaluated answersheets will also continue. But in place of photocopies, candidates who apply will get a digitized version of the answersheets. “In the first year we are starting with seven major subjects. The facility will be extended to other subjects from subsequent exams. The board is in the process of finalizing the mode of delivery of the digitized answersheets. In case relatively low numbers of students apply for the answersheets, these can be delivered via email. Otherwise they will be allowed for download from the board’s website,” said a senior official in exam committee.



No Indian university in top 100 global list, Harvard voted best N

one of India’s 700 universities and 35,539 colleges has made it to the top 100 list of the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings released recently. This means that academics don’t think too highly of the capabilities and work of our higher educational institutions. The ranking, drawn on the findings of an invitationonly academic opinion survey, is based on the subjective judgment of around 60,000 senior, published academics considered as “the people best placed to know the most about excellence in our universities”. Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University in the US lead the list followed by the UK’s University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. Agency reports said that Punjab University, the alma mater of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, found

a place in the unranked section of 226 300. It is followed by the IITs in Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Roorkee between ranks 351 and 400. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is ranked highest among Indian institutions,

at just below 200, from its 130th place last year. IIT-Bombay figures among the 210220 group, and IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kanpur are ranked below 250. The US has the most representation with more than 45 institutions figuring in the top 100 followed by the UK with 10 institutions, Germany with six and Japan

and Australia with five. India is the only BRIC country that is not represented in the top 100 list. China has two of its institutions on the list while Brazil and Russia have one each. Though based on perception experts said the reputation ranking cannot be taken lightly. In his article ‘Credit check’ on the website, Times Higher Education Rankings editor Phil Baty said that reputation is the currency of global higher education today, and is accepted by scholars, students, donors and industry. “In today’s academy, reputation is the currency: research has shown that institutional standing is the top consideration for academics when moving jobs, is vital for the formation of international collaborations, and is essential in persuading philanthropists to give and industrial partners to invest,” Baty said.

Banaras Hindu University introduces MSc in forensic science


anaras Hindu University will be the first in the country to introduce a masters course in forensic science in collaboration with a Hyderabad based laboratory and two foreign universities. The department of chemistry, BHU will also play a major role in this endeavour which will see participation of as many as 37 more departments of the varsity. The course will be started from the next academic session (2014-15). According to the vice-chancellor of BHU, Lalji Singh, the course will also be available online for the professionals from law, police, government and private investigating agencies. There will be no age limit for the online module of the course. The V-C also informed about the soon to be started


DNA fingerprinting and molecular diagnostics facility in the university. “The

DNA fingerprinting and molecular diagnostics facility along with the forensic science study and research will give the region much needed investigative facility to provide forensic services, including DNA

profiling, document verification, disputed fingerprints, cyber forensics and crime scene investigation, incident reconstruction, failure analysis, psychological evaluation and audiovisual identification and authentication. We will invite experts of international repute to come and train the faculty and other staff here,” said Singh, who played a major role in establishing the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) at Hyderabad under the department of Biotechnology, Government of India. “It will help for betterment of crime investigation scenario as there is acute dearth of such advance facilities not only in the region but across the country,” observed the V-C.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


MBA still most preferred postgraduate course choice in India: survey Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the most preferred postgraduate course choice in India, especially in metro cities, says a survey by university search engine IndiaCollegeSearch.

good opportunities coming their way,” Agarwal added. According to the report, the average salary of students passing out from colleges accepting CAT (Common Admission Test) score in 2013 was Rs. 2.79 lakh per annum, marginally up from Rs. 2.72 lakh in 2012.

Most of the undergraduates try to grab an MBA degree as the qualification holds a lot of promise and importance.

On the other hand, the average salary of students passing out of colleges accepting CMAT (Common Management Admission Test) score saw a minimal increase, moving up from Rs. 2.20 lakh per annum in 2012 to Rs. 2.23 lakh in 2013.

Moreover, many believe that acquiring an MBA qualification is one of the best ways to get a better job. As per the report, MBA is more popular in metro cities than in smaller ones, IndiaCollegeSearch CEO Anirudh Motwani said, adding that in India the proportion of people with professional experience is smaller as compared to that of fresh graduates joining the stream, which is contrary to global trends. When asked about his views on the survey, Sidharth Agarwal, Director, Spectrum Talent Management said, “People who hold an MBA degree find different types of employment opportunities, both domestically and internationally, adding that it is estimated that 70 per cent of the senior managers or board of directors worldwide are MBAs. An MBA programme is a great way to acquire a diverse set of knowledge in a short period of time and enables graduates to take up challenging and responsible positions in the corporate world. But students should be careful while choosing the B-school as brand does matter, experts feel. On the pay package part, experts are of the opinion that though MBA salaries were stagnant in 2013 as compared to 2012, the prospects this year look brighter as market conditions are likely to improve post elections. “The year 2013 was dull for recruitments and thus its impact was also seen on salary packages of MBA freshers. But, it is expected that market conditions will improve after general elections of 2014 and thus MBA pass outs can expect some

Pallikkutam | March 2014

Admissions to IIMs under cloud as writ alleges irregularities in CAT


lleging large-scale irregularities in the manner in which the prestigious Common Admission Test (CAT) for admission to 13 Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) is conducted, a writ petition by eight IIM aspirants has sought a stay on the entire admission process this year. Justice R Subbiah, before whom the petition jointly filed by eight aspirants, all hailing from Chennai, came up for admission on Thursday, directed the Union human resources development ministry and the CAT Centre 2013 at IIM-Indore to reserve one seat each to all petitioners who had moved the court. CAT is the first step for joining any of the 14 IIMs in the country, and some other top management institutions too use the scores for their admissions. After a 20-day exercise at 40 centres that began on October 16 last year, the CAT results were published on January 14.

The petitioner-candidates assailed the examination format and said: “The computerized format of CAT 2013 was conducted over a period of 20 days and the obvious consequence of it is varying standards of difficulty in presented to candidates. The level of difficulty was different for each slot of each day of the testing period. The method of ‘equating’, ‘scaling’ and ‘normalization’ used by the authorities in the process of scoring in CAT 2013 to normalize the scores of the petitioners is lawful and erroneous.” The process of equating and scaling, which is otherwise known as normalization of scores, has caused grave irregularities in the scores obtained by students, it said, adding: “It has been proved that candidates who have not attempted even a single question have been awarded a percentile of 55.46 and this, in turn, implies that more than 50% of the 1.7 lakh candidates who underwent CAT scored zero or even less.”



Money can have psychological effects too!


oney is necessary to lead a decent life. It allows us to meet our material needs. It pays for our survival and for entertainment. But does money influence personal performance, interpersonal relations or helping behaviour? A recent study suggests so. Psychologists Kathleen D Vohs of the University of Minnesota, Nicole L Mead of Florida State University and Miranda R Goode of the University of British Columbia found that personal performance improved and interpersonal relationships and sensitivity towards others declined when money was involved in the decisionmaking. The results, recently published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, prove that a test candidate exhibits decreased interpersonal skills and increased personal performance when they were motivated with money. Participants who were exposed to money spent less time helping a person in need, sat farther away from another person and preferred work alone. They also asked for others’ help less frequently and reluctantly.

Master “21st-century skills” M odern students are expected both to master school subjects and to excel in areas such as problem-solving, critical thinking and communication abilities often referred to by such labels as “deeper learning” and “21st-century skills.” A report from the National Research Council (US) suggests the importance of 21st-century skills for students.

Deeper learning is the process through which a person develops the ability to take what was learnt in one situation and apply it to new situations, says the report. Through deeper learning, the person develops transferable knowledge, which includes both

The report identifies three broad categories of 21st-century competencies: the cognitive domain, which includes thinking and reasoning skills; the intrapersonal domain, which involves managing one’s behaviour and emotions; and the interpersonal domain, which involves expressing ideas and communicating appropriately with others.

Comforting skill is the key!


ost women are less forgiving of other women who lack comforting skills than of men who lack such skills, according to new Purdue University research on interpersonal relationships.

her significant other, then it would be inappropriate to say, ‘You’re better off without him,’ ‘There are more important things to worry about,’ or ‘Don’t worry, there are more fish in the sea.’

“Stereotypes say women should be better comforters. So, we expected to find that women would hold women to a higher standard, and when women did not meet these expectations, they would not be liked by others. However, this standard did not seem as important to women who considered themselves to be the most feminine.”

“Comforting is not effective when it’s a form of unsolicited advice, considered critical, or perceived as a put-down. The person is trying to help, but the approach is counterproductive. By imposing one’s own frame of reference, the advice-giver also is failing to recognize the friend’s feelings and pain.” Burleson says people can improve their comforting skills by making a commitment to listen rather than to give advice.

How women valued their gender identity made a difference, he says. For example, However, they revealed an increased desire women who were deeply attached to a to take on more work and showed greater traditional feminine role preferred female persistence in difficult tasks. comforters to men. Money obviously plays a large role in “Sometimes people who are well-intended human behaviour and there is not enough come across as insensitive when they fail experimental research on its psychological to listen to a friend or when they give influence. It is high time to study the unsolicited advice,” Burleson says. “For cognitive, motivational and behavioural example, if a friend recently broke up with consequences of money.


expertise in a particular subject area and procedural knowledge of how, why and when to apply this knowledge to solve unique problems in that subject. The report refers to this blend of transferable content knowledge and skills as “21stcentury competencies.”

“Listen for your friend’s perspective,” he says. “Ask ‘How are you feeling?’ Acknowledge the person’s pain. People remain upset because they can’t make sense of their feelings or the meaning of the problem. That’s why it is important to encourage persons who are hurting to articulate their feelings so they can work through the pain.”

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Self-regulation game to improve kindergarten achievement E

The experimenter instructs children to touch their head (or their toes), but instead of following the command, the children are supposed to do the opposite and touch their toes. If children pass the head/toes part of the task, they complete an advanced trial where the knees and shoulders commands are added. The HTKS task is a measure of inhibitory control (a child must inhibit the dominant response of imitating the examiner), working memory (a child must remember the rules of the task) and attention focusing (must focus attention to the directions being presented by the examiner).

arly childhood development research ers have discovered that a simple, fiveminute self-regulation game not only can predict end-of-year achievement in maths, literacy and vocabulary. Claire Ponitz from the University of Virginia and Megan McClelland of Oregon State University assessed the effectiveness of a game called the Head-Toes-KneesShoulders (HTKS) task, which is a new version of the Head-to-Toes task developed by researchers at the University of Michigan. Both tasks have proved effective at predicting academic skills among preschool-age children. Their results were published in the newest issue of the journal, Developmental Psychology.

The researchers found that students who performed well on his behaviour task achieved strong scores in reading, vocabulary and maths, compared to students who had low performance on the task.

In the HTKS game, children are asked to play a game in which they must do the opposite of what the experimenter says.

Social skills are necessary to manage Emotions are but school-to-work transition bridge-builders


he social skills of students developed during their university studies contribute to their success in the transition to work, suggests Professor Katariina SalmelaAro, the principal investigator of a research project from Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. The research project investigates into the relationship between the social strategies students develop at university and how well they help them to cope with workrelated challenges. Social skills have an impact on work engagement and early-career coping with working life, the study concludes. Work engagement is defined as a positive, motivating work-related state of mind

Pallikkutam | March 2014

characterized by vigour, enthusiasm and dedication. The results of the research project also suggest that social withdrawal and avoidance during university studies are indicative of a distant attitude towards work and an increased likelihood of exhaustion and burnout after the transition to working life. According to SalmelaAro, social skills have far-reaching implications for future success. Good interpersonal skills, an active social approach and a sense of community and involvement can equip students with the personal resources necessary in making the transition to everyday work and the competitive world of career-making.


motional intelligence can support improving one’s interpersonal relationships, even though it may not serve a measuring tool for evaluating success in life, suggests Keith Oatley, author of Emotions: A Brief History and a professor in human development and applied psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. In his book, released this month by Blackwell Publishing, Oatley goes beyond the hype of emotional intelligence tests and explains that emotional skills can be developed to enhance a person’s relationships with others. Emotional intelligence is defined as a set of skills that enable individuals to understand their own and other people’s emotions so they can manage their lives and their relationships, he says. Oatley’s book also details the history of emotions across different cultures and their impact on society and individuals.



Career discrimination against women exposed

Peer relations are not trivial


t is not just child’s play! The relationships kids form with their peers from the young age of six months through adolescence exert enormous influence on their lives, reports Gary Ladd, professor of psychology and human development at Arizona State University, in his book, Children’s Peer Relations and Social Competence: A Century of Progress. Be it fostering of positive feelings through friendship, or contributing to school-adjustment and later-life problems through bullying and rejection, peer relation has a say. The book discusses different topics including peer acceptance and rejection, friendship development, school adjustment, bullying, self-esteem, loneliness and the roles that sex differences, emotions and culture play in peer relations.


ccording to a study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, women candidates who present themselves as confident and ambitious in job interviews are perceived as highly competent but as lacking in social skills. On the other hand, women who present themselves as modest and cooperative are appreciated; but they are perceived as low on competence. The study was conducted by Julie E Phelan, Corinne A Moss-Racusin and Laurie A Rudman of Rutgers University. In contrast, confident and ambitious male candidates are viewed as both competent

and social and therefore possess better chances to be hired as a manager than either confident or modest women. The results show a clear discrimination against ambitious, competent or modest women. Their excellent social skills got equated with apparent lack of competence. According to this research, women who seek managerial roles are doubly disadvantaged. In order to be viewed as sufficiently qualified for leadership, they must present themselves as confident and ambitious. But if they do so, they risk prejudice for acting “unfeminine,” which can result in hiring discrimination.

Positive bias towards girls in academic performance revealed


As early as preschool, children face such challenges as making a new friend, maintaining existing friendships, fitting into peer groups and avoiding bullies, and all of these interpersonal skills require both complex thinking and behavioural skills, he says. Some of the skills children learn through their peer relationships include assertiveness, conflict management and how to earn respect and control aggression. Research also indicates that play with peers provides children with important opportunities to discuss feelings, expand thought processes and knowledge and experiment with language and social roles.


recent study published in the current issue of Journal of Human Resources suggests that the classroom behaviour of girls promotes teachers to assign girls higher grades than their male counterparts. A student’s ‘approaches to learning’, which is a rough measure of what a child’s attitude towards learning is, includes six items that rate the child’s attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization. Girls are found to possess better “approaches to learning”.

The study shows that the gender disparities in teacher grades start early and uniformly favour girls. In every subject area, boys are represented in grade distributions below where their test scores would predict. This difference can have long-reaching effects, says Cornwell. “My argument is that this has always been true about boys and girls. Girls didn’t all of a sudden become more engaged and boys didn’t suddenly become more rambunctious,” Cornwell said.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


LISTEN !! Just listen – Half of the delinquencies melt !! Jose K. C.

I used to think that one’s guru was born clutching a cane in his right hand while the left held a pinch of snuff between the thumb and forefinger. He took a deep inhalation before proceeding to flick the cane on whatever portion of myself was available for the purpose. I really had no idea what I was expected to do or not do to avoid it. I could never imagine that a simple error of calculation in addition, subtraction or multiplication (I never knew which) would drive anyone hysterical.


The novice-teacher in me noticed then the impact of listening and counseling; he who came as lion was humbled as a lamb. That incident was a crucible of transformation for Paul. For, he is today a gem of a responsible citizen.


y first period that day was a lesson in Chemistry in Class VIII. In fact, Chemistry was thrust on me (as greatness on Shakespeare’s Malvolio), as an appendage, extra to my ‘English’. That day, I was confident with ‘balancing of equations’ because I had had ample help from the veteran Chemistry teacher, Mr. Chettiar of the neighbouring School. But, as I neared the classroom, I saw all girls (only four of them) and a couple of boys (out of the total eight boys) standing outside the classroom. I asked them why. “Stinking, Sir, stinking,” some said half in anger and half in revulsion, whereas two of the girls evaded my question. A classroom stinking? In baffled wonder I stood there. The academic space called the


classroom, which should be wafting the Now, the classroom, we felt, was pure as a fragrance of knowledge and skills …!!?? nun. I thought I would teach my confident ‘balancing of equations.’ But then, the other “Sir, our Paul (not the real name) has evader-girl could not control, “Sir, these boys vomited…My God! Sir, he is drunk,” one of should not drink, no Sir?” A sweeping the evader-girls informed me in a volley of generalization, indeed! And a legitimate moral words, drenched in disgust. anguish. Though I could not believe my ears, I entered She went on at some length on the sacrilege the classroom and saw a huddle of Paul in that Paul had committed. I listened with fond sound sleep at his desk, his morning curiosity at and interest in her honest, contribution - the vomit – lying at his feet in innocent outburst like a grandpa would listen a puddle. Yes, the room did stink. to his grandchild’s moral outrage. I asked Lobsang, the strongest of the boys, Then, I, keeping aside ‘balancing’, talked on to carry Paul to the hostel. He did. And, we the pros and cons of drinking, citing examples soon cleaned the room. The rest of my of accidents and family wreckages students – a manageable eleven of them – precipitated by drinking. actively washed and mopped. After all, they excelled in non-academic exercises though I assured them that Paul’s case would be they struggled in studies. discussed in a staff meeting and due action

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A classroom stinking? In baffled wonder I stood there. The academic space called the classroom, which should be wafting the fragrance of knowledge and skills …!!?? taken. In a minute, the bell rang and I did not ‘balance’.

them coaxed, advised and threatened too.) At last, he relented and came up with a long apology letter, punctuated with As our Principal had been away, the ‘unpunctuations’, misspellings, run-ons, Officiating Principal called a staff meeting, fragments, whimsical articles and tense shifts. in which Paul’s suspension from the school for a week was agreed on. Therefore, an The novice-teacher in me noticed then the unusual assembly was held, which Paul – impact of listening and counseling; he who now apparently sober – too attended. came as lion was humbled as a lamb. That incident was a crucible of transformation for No sooner was his suspension announced Paul. For, he is today a gem of a responsible than Paul (one of the tallest of the lot) citizen. His teachers’ patient listening to his shouted from behind, “You hopeless soul and his nurture was like a soothing teachers, why a suspension? What did I shower on the parched soil of his soul. That do?...” was the miraculous healing touch. Listen in The bewildered staff dismissed the assembly. empathy – not sympathy: it works wonders. Paul went on and on with his rabid ranting Epilogue: But…but, have we the luxury of among the scattered students. Soon, a core time? Haven’t we got misplaced priorities group of teachers was formed as that rob off our time? Much of our mindset ‘counsellors’. Each of them listened to Paul about discipline is rooted in the philosophy turn wise. (It is but a secret that some of

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of the cane. Many of us are sadistic disciplinarians. In the words of R. K. Narayan: I used to think that one’s guru was born clutching a cane in his right hand while the left held a pinch of snuff between the thumb and forefinger. He took a deep inhalation before proceeding to flick the cane on whatever portion of myself was available for the purpose. I really had no idea what I was expected to do or not do to avoid it. I could never imagine that a simple error of calculation in addition, subtraction or multiplication (I never knew which) would drive anyone hysterical.

The author is lecturer in English, College of education, Samtse, Bhutan



Mom’s heartache causes son’s dyspepsia! Dr. Jos Cletus Plackal

Jeevan is also close to his dad, is very unhappy about the family feud. Defeated and exasperated, mother continues her battle with her husband’s allies, the in-laws. Lately Jeevan’s mom had begun to observe remarkable changes in her son’s behaviour. His grades were steadily going down, he was withdrawn and sad.


he mother-child dyad, the symbiotic relationship with mother and child, the invisible yet ubiquitous and pervasive bond of the umbilical cord etc have been investigated in depth, yet we need to know a lot more. The following is the real story of such a mother-child dyad, how intricate and intimate they were, and yet how dangerously close they came to killing each other! The immense power of the invisible umbilical cord must never be underestimated. Cut once physically yet this bond needs to be revisited, mended and nurtured many a time, psychologically, even spiritually. The long and arduous evolutionary journey from an emotional bundle called baby to a mature adult is enmeshed in this intricate, intimate, lifelong bond between mother and child. Jeevan (not the real name ) is in the seventh grade, very shy and sensitive, above-average in studies, very close to his mom. He has a brother four years younger, “naughty”, “nosy,” “michievous” and what not! Certainly Jeevan can’t get along with this “impish” character! Add to his woes mom’s ‘partiality’. “Mom always takes his side”, laments Jeevan. In spite of all this turmoil Jeevan loves his mom so dearly, seeks


out her strokes, asks for her loving care etc. His dad works abroad, and so has been absent from home ever since he was a child. Dad comes home once a year and stays for a few weeks. During these visits there would be many fights,

arguments etc between mom and dad. Mom would get to her teary best at the end of dad’s vacation! Both of them use self-defeating games, dad’s is “it’s all your fault”, and mom’s, “miserable me, because of you”…After the fiery vacation, mom and dad part their ways and continue their fight over the phone. Jeevan is also close to his dad, is very unhappy about the family feud.

Defeated and exasperated, mother continues her battle with her husband’s allies, the in-laws. Lately Jeevan’s mom had begun to observe remarkable changes in her son’s behaviour. His grades were steadily going down, he was withdrawn and sad. And then one day Jeevan’s mother was called to the school by the HM. She was told about her son’s sudden and very painful stomach ache, vomiting, nausea etc. As this situation could not be brought under control the matter was referred to professional assessment and treatment. The boy was taken to a neighbouring hospital and later to a superspeciality hospital. All the elaborate diagnostic procedures were professionally done and no organic dysfunction was detected. All this time the violent stomach crams and the consternations attended on them continued unabated, sinking the family into deeper misery. The boy was brought to counselling at this stage. He had no clue whatsoever as to what was happening to him, and his family was groping in the dark. Since the medics had categorically ruled out any organic

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Jeevan’s mother was apprised of the inner turmoil that her son was undergoing and his constant fear of losing her, especially when he was at school etc. When she came to know the depth of her son’s love for her she became remorseful and teary-eyed. dysfunction, the psychologist was dutybound to go some extra miles in the investigations. A patient and painstaking clinical interview assisted by clinical tests brought the following vital facts to the fore: a) Jeevan was quite fond of both his mom and dad, and their constant fighting nagged him on internally; b) The thought that mother was more fond of his younger brother bothered him day and night; c) This painful thought prompted him to provoke mom and put her to severe ‘loyalty tests’ which she almost always failed (most mothers fail these subtle tests); d) This battle of nerves reached its zenith in the morning when Jeevan shifted into low gear. He was so slow in everything to the point it upset his mother terribly. At her wits’ end she would blurt out, “If you keep on behaving like this, you may not see me when you come back”! It was this death threat that turned

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out to be, so to say,’ the last straw that broke the camel’s back’! In school Jeevan would ruminate about mom’s words of doom, and a sudden surge of negative energy gushed into his guts turning it into a vortex of untold agonies. “Will she be there when I return home?” “If something happens to her what shall I do” etc? The fear of losing one’s dear ones can trigger the worst forms of anxiety attacks. Because of excruciating pain and mental agony, Jeevan was desperate to reach home before he could get some respite. Once home, Jeevan was totally normal and completely symptom-free. Jeevan and his mother had a very painful, confused and contorted symbiotic life. Mother was many times on the brink of disaster because of rejection and neglect from family. She was afraid of losing her baby during pregnancy and delivery. This genetic predisposition to separation

anxiety is mutual, intense and alive. Jeevan’s mother was apprised of the inner turmoil that her son was undergoing and his constant fear of losing her, especially when he was at school etc. When she came to know the depth of her son’s love for her she became remorseful and teary-eyed. With the guidance of the therapist a contract was made in which mother promised that she would never abandon her son, and she would not make death threats and would be at home for him always. Mother did attend some sessions for understanding her own inner world. This was a fresh beginning for mother and son Jeevan became symptom-free, more comfortable in school and began to socialize... The author is licensed clinical psychologist (HRT), Jeevas Centre Aluva.



There are meaningful ways to manage attention-deficit disorders Sajit Malliyoor

The hyperactivity component of ADHD in adults can look the same as it does in kids. You may be highly energetic and perpetually “on the go” as if driven by a motor. For many people with ADHD, however, the symptoms of hyperactivity become more subtle and internal as they grow older.


am a 23-year-old woman married for one and a half years. I am writing this for my husband. He is 29 and is a mechanical engineer working for a private company. Soon after our marriage, I \started noticing some peculiarity in his behaviour. He always seems to be in a hurry. He would be trying to do many things at a time. He is also very careless and often would upset things. He wouldn’t pay attention to what I am saying and would forget the things I asked him to bring. When this leads to quarrels between us, he readily agrees to have consultations with a psychiatrist. The doctor said he had anxiety disorder and was put on medication. He has been on medication for more than three months now, but we don’t think it is helping him to do any better. While searching the Internet, I happened to read about Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. When I read about it, I thought the description matched many of his symptoms. I am a little hesitant to ask my doctor to change his diagnosis, but could you please enlighten us on the possibility of him having Adult ADHD?


I appreciate that you are spending time to read and research the problems your husband might be facing. But we have a major limitation here. It is difficult to diagnose Adult ADHD even in a one-toone consultation, and when the

consultation happens through letters, it is next to impossible. Hence I would describe what the condition is and you should probably consult the doctor again for a review of the diagnosis. In adults, attention deficit disorder often looks quite different from what it does in children—and its symptoms are unique for each individual. Adults with ADD/ADHD often have difficulty staying focused and attending to daily, mundane tasks. They may be extremely distractible. For

example, you may be easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds, quickly bounce from one activity to another, or become bored quickly. Paradoxically, they may also have Hyperfocusing, a tendency to become absorbed in tasks that are stimulating and rewarding. Hyperfocus is actually a coping mechanism for distraction—a way of tuning out the chaos. It can be so strong that you become oblivious to everything going on around you. For example, you may be so engrossed in a book, a TV show, or your computer that you completely lose track of time and neglect the things you’re supposed to be doing. When you have adult ADHD, life often seems chaotic and out of control. Staying organized and on top of things can be extremely challenging. They may be poor in organising things, having a tendency to procrastinate, frequently forgetting appointments and deadline. Another major symptom is Impulsivity. You may have trouble inhibiting your behaviours, comments, and responses. You might act before thinking, or react without

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PERSONAL Many adults with attention deficit disorder have found meaningful ways to manage their symptoms, take advantage of their gifts, and lead productive and satisfying lives. There is a lot you can do to help yourself and get your symptoms under control. considering consequences. You may find yourself interrupting others, blurting out comments, and rushing through tasks without reading instructions. If you have impulse problems, being patient is extremely difficult. Many adults with ADHD have a hard time managing their feelings, especially when it comes to emotions like anger or frustration. Common emotional symptoms of adult ADHD include: a sense of underachievement, poor frustration tolerance, hypersensitivity to criticism, short and explosive temper, irritability and mood swings.

Having a thorough understanding of the challenges of ADHD is the first step in your attempt to conquer the problem. Many adults with attention deficit disorder have found meaningful ways to manage their symptoms, take advantage of their gifts, and lead productive and

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Get plenty of sleep. When you’re tired, it’s even more difficult to focus, manage stress, stay productive, and keep on top of your responsibilities. Support yourself by getting between 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Practise better time management. Set deadlines for everything, even for seemingly small tasks. Use timers and alarms to stay on track. Take breaks at regular intervals. Avoid piles of paperwork or procrastination by dealing with each item as it comes in. Prioritize time-sensitive tasks and write down every assignment, message, or important thought.

The hyperactivity component of ADHD in adults can look the same as it does in kids. You may be highly energetic and perpetually “on the go” as if driven by a motor. For many people with ADHD, however, the symptoms of hyperactivity become more subtle and internal as they grow older. Common symptoms of hyperactivity in adults include: feelings of inner restlessness, agitation, trouble sitting still, constant fidgeting, tendency to take risk, craving for excitement, talking excessively, racing thoughts, and trying to do many things at a time. The wide-reaching effects of Adult ADHD can lead to embarrassment, frustration, hopelessness, disappointment, and loss of confidence. You may feel like you’ll never be able to get your life under control. That’s why a diagnosis of adult ADD/ADHD can be an enormous source of relief and hope. It helps you to understand what you’re up against and realise that you’re not to blame. The difficulties you’ve had are symptoms of attention deficit disorder— not the result of personal weakness or a character flaw.

body. Eat a wide variety of healthy foods and limit sugary foods in order to even out mood swings.

Work on your relationships. Schedule activities with friends and keep your engagements. Be vigilant in conversation: listen when others are speaking and try not to speak too quickly. Cultivate relationships with people who are sympathetic and understanding of your struggles with ADD/ADHD.

satisfying lives. There is a lot you can do to help yourself and get your symptoms under control. Here are some of the strategies advised by an online help guide. Consider a repeat consultation with a therapist, if these strategies don’t produce the desired results: Exercise and eat right. Exercise vigorously and regularly—it helps work off excess energy and aggression in a positive way and soothes and calms the

Create a supportive work environment. Make frequent use of lists, colour-coding, reminders, notes-to-self, rituals, and files. If possible, choose work that motivates and interests you. Notice how and when you work best and apply these conditions to your working environment as best you can. It can help to team up with less creative, more organized people—a partnership that can be mutually beneficial.

Please send your queries to



It’s cruel to let radio commentaries die by sheer neglect! Dr. K.N. Raghavan

Doordarshan had started functioning in 1959, television transmission found its footing in India rather slowly and it was only in early 1980’s that all cities in the country got linked to the television network. So one could watch Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, the World Series Championship of cricket in Australia in 1985, that India won, and all other major sporting events through this medium.


ne of my favourite activities during childhood was to listen to running commentary broadcast by All India Radio (AIR) covering all important cricket matches. As I grew up I learnt to tune in to BBC and Australian Broadcasting Corporation and listen to cricket commentaries and Test match special broadcasts by them. When AIR started the practice of alternating between English and Hindi commentators in 15minute slots, we started learning Hindi more vigorously than our teachers in school could persuade us to do. Radio commentary was a quintessential part of growing up for sports lovers of my generation as one used to listen to live commentaries of hockey, football and even tennis matches, in addition to following cricket all around the world. Though Doordarshan had started functioning in 1959, television transmission found its footing in India rather slowly and it was only in the early 1980s that all cities in the country got linked to the television network. So one could watch the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, the World Series Championship of cricket in Australia in 1985 that India won,


and all other major sporting events through this medium. However after the initial euphoria of watching live action, one started noticing or hearing the commentary that television dished out and found that it was substantially inferior in quality to what was provided by the unglamorous

radio. And surprisingly, despite the many technical advances etc which have resulted in improved viewing pleasure, one still finds that television commentary, particularly for cricket, is still very much in the 1980s phase.

They were required to announce the position of fielders and changes in placement made thereof, so that the audience could visualize the scene solely by listening to the commentary. They had to keep on repeating the scores, of teams and individual batsmen, and bowling figures as that was the only way the listeners could keep track of this vital information. They had to keep on talking, irrespective of whether action was taking place in the ground or not, as otherwise the commentary would appear listless and dull and lose the attention of the listening public. And most importantly, they were expected to be measured and moderate in his choice of words and refrain from making any observations that might provoke unrest amongst the public. It is to their credit that the commentators and the experts on the panel of AIR and radio broadcasting agencies performed their job with finesse before moving aside quietly as television took centre stage in match coverage.

Radio commentators had the task of describing the whole atmosphere on the ground/stadium so that the listener could imagine in his mind the happenings there.

There is no requirement of live commentary in television as the viewers can follow the action on the field. Instead there is a panel of experts who give their

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Generations of cricket lovers and followers of other sports and games had depended on AIR commentary to get a ring side view of the proceedings inside the stadia; it would be cruel to let it die by sheer neglect. opinion about the events unfolding in the arena, through the format of a discussion, where, besides providing inputs about the game, they also pass on small nuggets of information that would make listening a more enjoyable experience. But one finds that there are many experts who are in deep love with their own voice and insist on describing the happenings on the field that the viewer can see for himself. Further, there are certain others with a capacity for the hyperbole; these are persons for whom each shot is a tremendous hit and every ball not scored off is a superlative delivery. Discussions throwing insights about the quality of the game or about the strategies of each side are rare; nor are there any observations that only experience can provide. Instead one is forced to keep on listening to delirious shouts of “DLF MAXIMUMMM” and “TRRRRRRRRRRRRREMENDOUS EFFORT”, till forced to switch on the mute button for some peaceful viewing of the game.

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Yet another type of expert tries to impose his views (invariably wrong) on the listeners. He finds fault with umpires, scorers, ground authorities, players and just about everyone else other than his own paymaster. He interprets rules, argues with his colleagues and often has no qualms about questioning the decisions given by an umpire. While criticism of the valid kind is appreciated even by those who are being criticised, statements made by some of the “experts” would take the form of downright defamation. It is high time ICC stepped in to regulate these experts sooner than later as they are bound to cause serious difficulties by their intemperate and incorrect observations. In 1969, AIR had removed Devraj Puri from its panel of commentators following the riots caused in Mumbai stadium on account of his observation that the umpire gave an Indian batsman out by mistake. But it appears that the present-day broadcasters have neither the guts nor the commitment to public and principled

approach that AIR used to display when it came to covering sporting events. One has to accept that changes are inevitable as life moves forward and one must learn to take them in their stride. But it pains to see the slow demise in popularity of radio commentary by AIR, unlamented and unrecalled, at the altar of television coverage and the culture of love of Mammon that it cheers. Generations of cricket lovers and followers of other sports and games had depended on AIR commentaries to get a ringside view of the proceedings inside the stadia; it would be cruel to let it die by sheer neglect. I hope that, like the FM stations that have suddenly become popular, by some sheer magic, the number of listeners of radio commentaries of sports events’ registers an increase in the near future and they regain their erstwhile pre-eminent position for coverage of all sporting events The author is the Commissioner of Customs in Kochi.



Think original to capture ‘eureka moments’ in life! Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran CMI

We are born unique. There are no replicas of us in the world. So could be our thoughts also, if we are careful. It could be unique, original, fresh and refreshing. To be original means to be oneself! Be what you are with all your talents, dreams, confusions, defects, expectations and level of enlightenment! Think original to capture “eureka moments” of your life! Originality a mirage? Modern information age runs the risk of deserting people in a jungle of ideas, where they are left alone bewildered, confused and lost. Out of multibillion bits of information in circulation round the globe every other second only few are original. Others are carbon copies of already existing ideas. Novel information is a rarity; path-breaking concepts are scarce; original thoughts are scant. Repeaters of old concepts and followers of existing ideas are large in number. We are often content with registering our “likes” and “recommending” others’ ideas. The world today seeks novel thoughts and concepts to redeem it from the shackles of celebrated but fast-redundant ideas of the past. New perspectives are wanted; novelty is sought after; originality is solicited. Originality is a precondition to get ideas protected under copyright. The rationale behind copyrights is to protect original ideas and to reward creativity. That is the legal connotation of originality. To distinguish between the original and duplicate ideas is proving an extremely difficult task today.

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Originality can be defined as the ability to generate something that is unique or first of its kind: to produce ideas and products that have not existed before. In the World Wide Web, there are already mechanisms to track plagiarism. The aim is to promote original ideas. Many webbased services and programs enable users to identify copying of ideas or to limit them to a minimum.

creation of something out of nothing, ex nihilo, rather it is a creation of something out of the chaos of lived experience. It is a discovery of something that was hidden.

Abraham Lincoln once commented: “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new However, can authenticity of original after all.” That might be our experience contributions be conclusively proven? Is too. We often find our own thoughts it not true that synergy of old ideas reflected in old texts! Does it suggest that generates new and effective ideas? Have we have inherited them from those not ideas and concepts undergone evolutionary changes in the course of time? sources? Sure! But it might also include our contribution through synergy. Or as Can we ascribe patency to ideas that had Ralph Waldo Emerson once jokingly said, been in circulation for ages to a single is it true that “All my best thoughts were person? stolen by the ancients.” Is originality a According to famous German-Swiss mirage? painter Paul Klee, creative people are just What is originality? like a tree. They draw minerals of personal experience gradually processing them into J.P Guilford, the famous creativity expert, new concepts. Creativity is a play with considers originality as one of the four own experience. It consists of synthesis of pillars of creative thinking, others being new ideas in the mould of experience. It fluency, flexibility and elaboration (FFOE). involves synergy of many ideas, The ability to develop original thoughts, to transforming them into a powerful and synergize different ideas, to shape new new idea. It is like delving deep into the concepts-approaches-outlooks-methodssea of vast personal experience to collect practices-strategies-praxes is essential to pearls from under the sea. It need not be creative thinking.


Originality can be defined as the ability to generate something that is unique or first of its kind: to produce ideas and products that have not existed before. Often it is someone’s spontaneous originality that makes us call them “creative”. Originality is the pinnacle of creativity. Of the four FFOE skills, originality is most difficult to force. It can only be reinforced. It often grows out of fluency but involves greater risk-taking. An original idea is also delightful. Something original is a joy forever. It creates effects akin to the sudden turning on of a light, firework in the sky or gushing of torrents in a waterfall. The onlookers are enlightened, enthralled and refreshed at the sight of it. It may trigger laughter or at least an inner smile. Originality can be distinguished from creativity. Originality refers to the production of a novel idea, without distinction whether it is useful or not. A creative idea is not only original but also worthwhile, useful, effective and efficient. Brainstorming is a usual technique used to trigger original ideas. The golden rule of

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Schools are supposed to be nurseries of original thinking. Open acceptance and respect for original ideas is vital to nurturing students’ originality. How peers and teachers react to ideas can make or break originality. brainstorming states: “No idea is a bad idea”. This attitude develops a positive spirit that boosts generation of a large number of original ideas. Creativity is one step ahead. It looks for effectiveness and practicality of ideas.

idea. It is the way the brain gives birth to a new idea. Feeding fresh information into the brain thus helps to create an ecosystem for originality. It expands the horizon of your imagination. Some useful tips to facilitate originality are:

How to cultivate originality?

• Change your music: If you hear rap

Original thoughts are often viewed as sporadic and serendipitous. It appears just like winning a lottery. Our lives are often framed around routines. Our daily chores are repetitions. It is only natural that our minds are not fizzing every day with new ideas. We seldom win a lottery.

music, go for jazz; if you favour classical at times switch over to modern.

However, there are ways and means to equip oneself for original thinking. Original ideas are not usually thunderbolts from out of the blue. Originality could be nurtured and stimulated. You cannot force it, but you can create the right conditions to germinate it. You can create enough sparks to ignite it. New thoughts are born with a fire in the brain. Neurons of our brain literally fire as you mull over an original

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Develop new tastes: If you love pizza, try also pasta; if you favour Chinese, try continental.

Make new contacts: Make it a point to meet someone new, encounter a stranger and get in contact with him.

• Read new subjects: If you usually read romance try science fiction. If you normally read fiction, read business books. If you usually read business books, try philosophy. • Alter your routines: Change your pattern of exercise, do yoga rather than go running, play golf instead of tennis.

Routines have negative influences on original thinking.

• Change your attitudes: Change the chair you regularly sit on in a meeting: if you have a habit of sitting at the back, try to sit in the front row. If you are usually quiet, speak up. If you are usually loud, be quiet and listen.

• Keep your curiosity alive: Explore new words, understand new concepts and engage in life-long learning. Schools are supposed to be nurseries of original thinking. Open acceptance and respect for original ideas is vital to nurturing students’ originality. How peers and teachers react to ideas can make or break originality. Most students will be reluctant to speak out original thoughts, if it risks themselves of being looked at as “crazy” by peers or “undisciplined” by teachers. Schools shall not reduce themselves to the places of “right answers”. They must be



According to famous German-Swiss painter Paul Klee, creative people are just like a tree. They draw minerals of personal experience gradually processing them into new concepts. Creativity is a play with own experience. It consists of synthesis of new ideas in the mould of experience. It involves synergy of many ideas, transforming them into a powerful and new idea. places where students are trained to ask “right questions”, rather. Originality is the crux of innovation and it should be nurtured in schools by teaching students to ask right questions rather than stuffing them with right answers. How to overcome mental blocks? Roger von Oech in his book, A Kick in the Seat of the Pants (New York: Harper Perennial, 1986) has identified a number of mental blocks that kill original thinking skills. He suggests six ways to set ourselves free from the mental blocks and to engage in original thinking: 1. Use soft thinking than hard thinking: “Soft thinking” is more diffuse, more lateral, more able to deal with contradiction, and the most appropriate for creativity. “Hard thinking”, on the other hand, is more focused, linear and precise. These two poles of common thinking can be described by the following pairs: Metaphor-Logic, Dream-Reason, Humour-Precision, Ambiguity-Consistency, Play-Work, Approximate-Exact, FantasyReality, Paradox-Direct, and Generalization-Specific. A shift from hard thinking to soft thinking is marked by a shift from the latter attribute to the former one in the pair. 2. Look beyond the right answer: According to Emile Chartier, “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, if it’s the only idea you have.” We shall not limit our search to the “only right answer”; rather we need to search out for the “multitude of right answers”. It allows you to adapt solutions to the life situations. 3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: The fear of going wrong has to be removed. You should not be afraid to be wrong.


Mistakes can be stepping stones to the right solution. As Thomas Edison has rightly mentioned: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” 4. Think ambiguously: Many problems can be tackled using different viewpoints posited by ambiguous thinking. A little bit of ambiguity in thinking provides you with sufficient flexibility for creative thinking. 5. Adopt roles: Entering into the shoes of some role models could liberate you from the mental blocks. You may take the roles of a “joker” or a “magician”. The “joker” was the court jester in the palaces of kings. He had an important role to play in the proper functioning of the palace. He is supposed to save kings from falling into the traps of “yes-men”. Through his interventions, he is supposed to provide new perspectives. The “magician” deals with symbols which can boost creativity. The magician often “proves” that nothing is impossible. 6. Break rules: Very often we are limited by our perception of boundaries. It is important to go outside accepted norms in order to reach solutions. This sometimes means breaking rules. Originality: Challenge of being oneself! We are born unique. There are no replicas of us in the world. So could be our thoughts also, if we are careful. It could be unique, original, fresh and refreshing. To be original means to be oneself! Be what you are with all your talents, dreams, confusions, defects, expectations and level of enlightenment! Think original to capture “eureka moments” of your life!

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Im≥k¿ h∂p-sh∂v IcpXn acn-®p-t]m-Ip-sa∂v hnNm-cn-t°-≠.- a-cn-°-W-sa-¶n¬ Im≥k¿ hc-W-sa-∂n-√-t√m.- tcm-KsØ `b-°-cp-Xv. -]t£ _lp-am-\n-°Ww. i-cocw Xf¿∂p t]mIp-tºmgpw a\ v Xf-cmsX ]nSn®v \n¿Ø-Ww.߃ Xma-kn-°p-∂Xv Fd-Wm-Ipfw dn®v [mcmfw hmbn-®n-´p-≠v. sNdp]mem-cn-h-´-Øn\-SpØmWv.F-\n°v Xmbn H∂pt ]S ns ®¶ nepw s]s´∂ pIm≥-k¿ Fs‚ ico-c-sØ Im≥k¿ ]nSn-s]´ ka-bØv At±Xs∂ a\ v im¥a mb n.Xf¿Ønbn´pw Bscbpw H∂pw l-Øn\v Xncp-h-¥-]p-c-Øm-bn-cp∂p Adn-bn-°msX Rm≥ Xf-cmsX 2011 G{]n¬ \men-\mWv tPmen.\n∂p.HutZym-KnI tPmen-Iƒ Fd-Wm-Ipfw eq¿Zv tlmkv]n-d-deq¿Zv tlmkv]n-d-d-ense sNbvXpw ho´p-I-mcy-߃ \nd-th-den¬ NnIn’ tXSn-sb-Øn-b-Xv.-X-\nIm≥k¿ tcmK-hn-`mKw ta[m-hndnbpw Rm≥ Im≥k-dns\ sNdpØv ®mWv Bip-]-{Xn-bn¬ t]mbbmb tUm.-kn.-Fkv.a-[p-hns‚ tXm¬∏n®p.F-¥m-bmepw tcmKw Xv.AhnsS k¿P-\mb tUmIvS¿ Fs∂ _m[n-®p.-A-Xns‚ t]cn¬ kt¥mjv tPmWn-s\-bmWv BZyw Iogn¬ Rm≥ NnIn’ XpS-ßn.Bscbpw _p≤n-ap-´n-t°-s≠∂v I≠-Xv.-A-t±lw ]cn-tim-[n® DSs\ cmhnse Ggv apX¬ sshIn´v aq∂v Icp-Xn.-A-Xp-sIm-≠p-Xs∂ `¿ØmtNmZn-®p."-B-cmWv IqsS h∂n-´p-f-f- hsc-bmWv Poh≥Sn-hn-bnse Fs‚ Uyq´n ka-bw.-A-\m-hhn-t\mSv t]mepw tcmKiy-ambn Hcnhn-h-c-Øns‚ Xo{hX °¬t]mepw Rm≥ ]d-bm≥t]mepw eosh-Sp-Øn-√.-Xo¿Øpw BZyta aSn-®p.-A-t±-lhøm-Xm-bn-t∏mb ]ØpØn-s‚-t]mepw AkmZn-hkw am{X-amWv H∂∂n-[y-Øn-em-bn-cp∂p c-h¿j-Øn-\nsS Rm≥ NnIn-’bpw ]cn-N-c-Weosh-Sp-Ø-Xv.-Hm^ohpw.-F√mw X\nknse Uyq´n Ign-™p®vXs∂.I-c-™Xpw ff ka-b-ß-fn-em-bnNncn-®Xpw H‰bv°v cp∂p tlmkv]n-d-d-enam{Xw. te°v t]mIp-∂-Xv.-A-Xnc≠v h¿j-߃°v \p-tijw ho´p-tPm-enapºv Ifpw sNøp-am-bn-cp-∂p.H∂-c-h¿j-Ønho-´nsebpw tPmen-bpte-sd-bmWv Kpcp-c-amb sSbpw _p≤n-ap-´p-Iƒ Im≥k¿ Fs∂ ]d-™p-sIm≠v Rm≥ Im¿∂p-Xn-∂-Xv.-NnIn-’Xs∂-bmWv Bip-]-{XnXv'.-Rm≥ ]d™p "X\n-®mWv'.AbpsS \mfp-Iƒ AXn-Zm-cp-W-am-bn-cp- t∏mƒ tUmIvS¿ ]d-™p"-A-SpØ bnse InS-Øn-Nn-In’ ths≠∂v ∂p.- Im≥k¿ Pohn-XsØ ]d-™-Xv.Znhkw `¿Øm-hn-s\bpw Iq´n XI¿Øp-I-f-bp-sa-∂-dn-™n´pw hcWw H´pw sshI-cpXv kocn-bIm≥kdmsW∂dn™v Pohn®v Xocm-Ø-Xns‚ sImXn-sImkmb Imcyw ]d-bm-\m-Wv'.-Rm≥ NnIn’ XpS-ßnb tij-amWv ≠mWv Rm≥ B alm-hym-[nsb tNmZn®p"tUmIvS¿ F\n°v Im≥k- `¿Øm-hn-t\mSpw Rm≥ tcmK-hnkss[cyw t\cn-´-Xv. dm-Wt√' .-Rm≥ hfsc Iqfmbn hcw ]d-™-Xv.-tI-´-t∏msg At±lw kwkm-cn-®-Xp-sIm-≠v tUmIvS¿ tcmK-Øns‚ XpS°w Xf¿∂p-t]m-bn.-]t£ Rm≥ ]d™p t]Sn-°m-s\m-∂p-an-√ -th-K- ss[cyw sImSpØv H∏w \n¿Øn.Hcp Znhkw Ipfn-°p-∂-XnØn¬ v NnIn’ XpS-ßn-bm¬ NnIn-’-sb-°mfpw hen-sbmcp \n-sS-bmWv he-Xp-ssI-øpsS Xmsg am{Xw-a-Xn. km¥z-\-am-bn-cp∂p tUmIvS¿ a[p.I£-Øn-\-SpØv sNdn-sbmcp XSn∏v NnIn’ b psS \mfpI ƒ t]mse I≠-Xv.-th-Z-\tbm \otcm IÆo-cns‚ Znh-k-߃ H∂pw I≠n-√.-]t£ Ft¥m Hc-kzPoh≥ Snhn-bn¬ ko\nb¿ 24 Znh-k-ß-fn-embn 6 ÿ-X.a\- v]-d™p sset{_dn-b-\m-bmWv Rm≥ tPmen Iotam FSp-Øp.28 tdUn-tb-j\pw Im≥k¿Xs∂.Fs‚ ASpØ Nne sNøp-∂-Xv-.`¿Ømhv _n.sP {]Zo]v \S-Øn.-Iotam FSpØ Znh-k-ß_‘p-°ƒ°v Im≥k¿ ]nSn-s]-´am[ya {]h¿Ø-I-\mbn-cp∂p.Afn¬ Rm≥ c≠v Znhkw eosh-SpXns‚ A\p-`-h-߃ Rm≥ ]d-™p- t±lw Ct∏mƒ kwÿm\ s]mXp-aØp.-H´pw høm-Xm-b-Xp-sIm≠p tI-´n-´p≠v.Iq-SmsX Im≥k-dn-s\-°p- cm-aØv hIp∏v DtZym-K-ÿ-\m-Wv.-Ram{X-am-bn-cp∂p eosh-Sp-Ø-Xv.Xf-cmsX \n∂p


Pallikkutam | March 2014


Hm¿°m-∏p-dØv h∂ Im≥k¿ Pohn-XsØ XI¿Øp-I-f-bp-sa-∂-dn-™n´pw Pohn®v Xocm-Ø-Xns‚ sImXn-sIm-≠mWv Rm≥ B alm-hym-[nsb kss[cyw t\cn-´-Xv.B AXn-Po-h-\-Im-ew Ct∏mƒ F\n°v hniz-kn-°m≥t]mepw Ign-bp-∂n√.Im≥k¿ tcmKn-Iƒ°v {]tXyI NnIn-’-bp-ff tN¿Ø-e-bnse "{]Xym-i-'bn-emWv tdUn-tb-j-\pIƒ \S-Øn-b-Xv.28 Xh-Wbpw Rm≥ X\n-®mWv tdUn-tb-j-\mbn AhnsS t]mb-Xv.-Hm-^o-knse tPmen-I-gn™v ho´n-seØn th≠ Imcy-ß-fpw \S-Ønb tij-amWv Rm≥ AhnsS _ n¬ s]mbvs°m≠n-cp-∂Xv.40 Intem-ao-d-d-tdmfw Zqcap-≠m-bn-cp∂p {]Xym-i-bn-seØm≥.A-hnsS Hmtcm tcmKn-bpsSbpw IqsS henb Bƒ°q-´w-Xs∂-bp-≠m-bn-cp∂p.-X-\n-s®-Ønbn-cp∂ Fs∂ ]ecpw kl-Xm]-tØmsS t\m°pambncp∂p.-

t∂¬°ptam F∂v Hm¿°p-am-bn-cp∂p.-]t£ At∏m-sgms° Fs‚ a\ v ]d-™p.-"_nμp DW¿t∂ ]ddq -\n-\-°n-\nbpw Hcp-]mSv Imcy߃ sNøm-\p-≠v.'kXy-Øn¬ Hcn°¬t]mepw F\n°v `bw tXm∂nbn-√.-th-Z-\-bpsS Xo{h-\n-an-j-ßfn¬t]mepw a\ v ]X-dn-bn-√.Nne Znh-k-ß-fn¬ Ipfn®v Ign™v Xe XpS-bv°m≥ _p≤n-ap-´m-bn-cp-∂p.-At∂cw ASpØ ho´nse Hcp tN®nsb-s°m≠v Xe am{Xw XpS-®p-Xcm≥ hnfn-°m-dp-≠m-bn-cp-∂p.

thZ-\-tbmsS td-Untb-j≥ kabØv hf-sctbsd thZ\bpw Xf¿®bp-ap-≠m-bn-cp∂p.-F-\n°v \∂mbn apSnbp-≠m-bn-cp∂p.Iotam XpSßn-b-tXmsS apSn-sb√mw sImgn™v Xe sam´-∏-cp-h-ambn.ico-c-Ønse sXmenbpw ]e-bnSØpw s]mfn™v t]mIp-∂p-≠m-bncp-∂p.-h-e-Xp-ssIbv°p Xmsg apdnhv t]mse-bm-bn-cp-∂p.-]t£ icocw hfsc hnIr-X-am-bn´pw F\n°v hnj-a-sam∂pw tXm∂n-bn-√.Ir-Xy-ambn Hm^o-kn¬ t]mIpIbpw ho´n-te°v th≠ k¿Δ km[-\-ßfpw Rm≥ am¿°-d-dn¬ t]mbn hmßn-°p-am-bn-cp-∂p. ac-W-sØ-t∏m-epw `b-∂n√ -Nne Znh-k-ß-fn¬ Hddbv°p cm{Xn Ign-bp-tºmƒ ssZhta \msf Rm≥ FgpPallikkutam | March 2014

Iotambpw tdUn-tb-j-\psams° Ign-bp∂ Znh-k-ß-fn¬ `b-¶c Xf¿®-bm-bn-cp-∂p.-ho-´n-seØn-bm¬ hoWp-t]m-Ipw-hn-[-ap-ff Xf¿®.-]t£ cmhnse Ggv aWn°v Hm^o-kn¬ t]mI-W-sa-∂p-f-f-XpsIm≠v F√m £oWhpw ad-°p-ambn-cp-∂p.-h-kv{X-an-´m¬t]mepw icoc-Øn\v thZ-\-bm-bn-cp-∂p.-F-¶nepw Nne tkm^vd-dmb {U p-an´v IdpØ XpWn-sIm≠v Xe ad-®pamWv Rm≥ Hm^o-kn¬ s]mbvs°m≠n-cp-∂-Xv.

sams° \S- Ø n- b n- c p∂ t\cØv kplr-Øp-°ƒ F\n°v ss__nfpw sNdnb {]m¿∞\m ]pkvX-I-ßfpw Kn^vdd- mbn \¬In-bn-cp-∂p.B sNdnb ]pkvX-I-ß-fnse {]m¿∞-\-Iƒ Dcphn- ´ p- s Im- ≠ mWv Rm≥ B ImesØms° Ign- ™ - X v.- C ∂pw {]m¿∞\ XpS-cp-∂p.-A-º-e-Ønepw ]f- f n- b n- e p- s ams° t]mIm- d p- ≠ v . ssZhw X∂ kΩm-\-amWv Fs‚ Cu ]p\¿P∑w. Im≥k¿ \n mcw Xs∂ Im≥k¿ Hcp amc-I-tcm-K-amsW-¶nepw AXns\ \n m-c-ambn kao]n- ° - W - s a- ∂ mWv Fs‚ A\p- ` - h w.tcm- K - Ø ns‚ XpS°- Ø nte \√sbmcp tUmIvSdpsS Iogn¬ thWw NnIn’ XpS-ßm≥.tUmIvSsd sXc-s™-Sp°p-∂-Xn¬ AXoh Pm{KX thWw.- h fsc Xnc- ° p- f f tUmIvS-sdbpw {]i-kvX-\mb tUmIvS-sdbpw tXSn-bp-ff NnIn’ F√m-h¿°pw KpWam-Ip-sa∂v F\n°v tXm∂p-∂n-√.-\Ωƒ ]d- b p- ∂ Xv tIƒ°m≥ kabhpw a\- p-ap-ff Hcp tUmIvS-sdbmWv ImtW-≠-Xv.AXn-Po-hnt® Xocq

Im≥k¿ h∂p-sh∂v IcpXn acn-®p-t]m-Ip-sa∂v hnNm-cn-t°-≠.-a-cn°-W-sa-¶n¬ Im≥k¿ hc-W-sa-∂n√-t√m.-tcm-KsØ `b-°-cp-Xv -]t£ _lp- a m- \ n- ° Ww.i- c ocw Xf¿∂p t]mIp- t ºmgpw a\ v Xf- c msX ]nSn®v \n¿Ø-Ww.-Im≥k-dns\ AXnPo- h n® {]ikv X ]{X- { ]- h ¿ØI {]m¿∞-\-bpsS t\c-߃ eoem- t a- t \ms‚ A\p- ` - h - ß ƒ tdUn- t b- j \pw Iotam- b pF\n°v {]tNm-Z-\-am-bn-´p-≠v.-


Culture Where we live, and the values that are held within our own subculture, ethnic group and society influence a young person’s career path. Financial priorities such as sending money back home to family, or saving for your retirement, or taking an overseas experience (OE) are culturally specific. Government policy and economics both local and global can also impact on a young person’s career decision.

Friends Peer pressure can sometimes limit young people’s career aspirations. Encourage your children to think about when school is over - will it matter what their friends think? Many young people stick to careers that are safe and known. Give them examples of outsiders who have done well for themselves. Boyfriends and girlfriends can be an important influence on where a young person chooses to study, or whether they move to a certain town or city. Extended family Older brothers or sisters may strongly influence younger members of the family. Family work traditions or family aspirations for the future, such as “I want them to have a better life than us”, “ I don’t want them to forget where they come from”, influence a young person’s career decisions. Negative beliefs such as “He’ll never amount to anything”, or “I’m a failure and so is she”, can negatively impact on a young person’s decisions.

There are many influencers on a teenager’s career decision. Sometimes a game they played when they were young or a character on a television show can spark a lifelong interest in a job. Find out who the main influencers are and how they affect a young person’s decision making.

Teachers/career adviser A great teacher can set a student on a lifelong love for a subject. Many people can relate a chosen career back to an influential teacher. Teachers might see talents that parents or students themselves might overlook. Careers advisers in schools can offer resources and guidance.

Media and information The media provides some information about careers, but it is not always accurate and doesn’t provide full coverage of all jobs. For example, catwalk models, sportspeople and musicians are often covered. But what about jobs that don’t get media attention? Has your child considered those as well? Use websites or your local library to find accurate information.

Parents Parents are the most important influencers on a young person’s career decision. What parents do for a living; where they live; their education, knowledge and skills; what they earn; and how they spend their time and money have a huge influence on their child’s career decisions.


Choosing a career that suits you Deepak Poulose

Explore yourself. If you want a career that will really make you happy, you should have a clear understanding of what you want and what you enjoy. It means taking some time off to decide what is important to you.


hoose a good career and you have won half the race. For choosing what is good for you, you should know what your talents are and also should be clearly able to identify what your talents are not. Mukesh Ambani cannot choose to become Dhoni and Amitabh Bachchan cannot choose to become Dr Abdul Kalam. But how to choose? For a good career today, students must possess knowledge, qualifications and skills that set them apart from others. They must start exploring their interests and developing their skills


now! But career preparation should be an ongoing process throughout one’s life. One need not settle in one career area. One may change directions when new areas are discovered. The key here is to arrive at a job that is so enjoyable that one does not feel that one is going to work every day. There are hundreds of websites, career fairs and resource centres providing information about jobs, positions, strategies and other relevant issues available. Hence I don’t want to interfere in your elimination skill as you know you best.

I will confine myself to a few tips on the lesser-known brother ”How to choose a career that suits you”. There are four areas to be considered. Let us take a look. First one. What Are Your Interests? Turn your hobbies or something you love into a future career. Think about what you would do if you didn’t have to work. If you had Rs 25 lakh and you could do anything, what would

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Certain jobs are also always in demand or frequently unstable. You will need to consider if the career you choose is stable enough for you and your desires for the future. you do? Your answer to that question may give you insight into what you should do. If you want to be a music star, consider going into audio engineering or music composition. If you want to be an actor, consider going into the broadcasting media or filmmaking. If you like playing video games, consider becoming a video game designer, programmer or QA specialist. If you like drawing or art, consider becoming a graphic designer. If you like sports, consider going into teaching and getting certified as a coach. Search within yourself what you enjoy now or enjoyed in school. Academic subjects translate well into future careers but may require more schooling than other types of careers. Your favourite class in high school could very well launch you into your future career provided you are willing to work for it. For example, if you loved chemistry, you could look forward to a future career as a lab technician or a pharmacist. If you liked English classes, consider becoming an editor or a copywriter. If you enjoyed maths, consider becoming an actuary or an accountant. Second one. What Are Your Skills? What are your limitations? Think about what you are or were good at in school. Think about the subjects or skills in which you excelled in school. If you are particularly good, say in such skills as fixing things or making things, this can provide you with a great future career. Innovations and expertise in carpentry, auto repair, construction and electrical work all benefit from people who are good at fixing things or working with their hands. Consider your interpersonal skills. If your skills lie more in helping and communicating with people there are careers as social workers or in marketing and similar business positions. If you don’t think you’re good at anything, ask your parents, other family members, friends, or teachers what they feel about you. Their ideas may surprise you. Third one. What Is Your Current State? Explore yourself as an outsider. Explore yourself. If you want a career that will really make you happy, you should have a clear understanding of what you want and what you enjoy. It means taking some time off to decide what is important to you. One is your financial situation. Careers may hinge on your financial ability. Some career paths require expensive special schooling, but now lots of Government programmes are available to help out. But if there are time-limitations or other restrictions, consult career counsellors to find what options are available to you. You can even think about returning to school for filling in a particular type of training to perfect your skill.

Pallikkutam | March 2014



Career preparation should be an ongoing process throughout one’s life. One need not settle in one career area. One may change directions when new areas are discovered. The key here is to arrive at a job that is so enjoyable that one does not feel that one is going to work every day. Fourth one. What Is Your Future? Identify your situational advantages. Consider what career options are available for you to easily move into. Joining the same organization as of your parents or the family business or working for a friend. But if options are limited, choose a career which you can quickly enter. Consider whether the career path you choose will provide you with an acceptable level of financial security and job stability. Job markets fluctuate as society needs different things at different times. Certain jobs are also always in demand or frequently unstable. You will need to consider if the career you choose is stable enough for you and your desires for the


future. If you like complete freedom and freelancing, say, as business consultant, lawyer or writer, you may sometimes have plenty of work but not comparable financial returns till you are established. Working in this way requires a certain level of determination and discipline and is not for everybody. The general impression amongst recruiters all over the country and abroad is that though students from Kerala are academically proficient, they are found woefully lacking in soft skills and etiquette. There are organizations like Toastmaster’s International that give ample exposure and put one through a structured and regimented programme of practical exercises in communication and leadership

skills into even the most timid of its members. In Kochi alone there are six Toastmasters Clubs. It would be worthwhile to try out these clubs which anyone can attend three times as a guest. Remember: The day you start to love your job, you don’t have to work for the rest of your life. Choose and prepare for a career that suits you. All the best.

Deepak Poulose is the Chairman cum Managing Director of JNB Marketing, a leading distribution house in Kerala. He is also founder Chairman of HosNcaT. He is a well known speaker and an avid sports fan having represented the University of Kerala at Cricket and Athletics.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Career options for today’s youth Thomas Chacko

It is now a great time to be for anyone on the threshold of a career. However, in the final analysis the ones who do well are the ones who choose, not work that is only financially rewarding, but work that they truly love.


ood jobs were once difficult to come by and youngsters had to choose from engineering, medicine, and chartered accountancy. That has changed. Youngsters today are very fortunate. They can (and should) choose work they like or are good at. They shouldn’t let economic consideration alone determine their career. What are the options that youth has today? The traditional ones – engineering, medicine and chartered – are still there. They continue to be as rewarding financially as they have always been. But today there is a host of other activities that one can pursue which are financially rewarding such as: 1. Computer Programmers. This continues to be financially rewarding, but the difficulty lies in the long and odd hours occasioned by working simultaneously across many time zones. 2. Company Secretary. A key post in modern Indian companies, aspirants must pass the final examinations of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India to get membership of the institute. The great advantage here is that students can pursue

Pallikkutam | March 2014

their studies while working on another job and on qualifying candidates invariably get catapulted early into senior management. 3. Hospital Administration. Large hospitals are now appointing people as CEOs to oversee clinical units, departments or the entire hospital. These professionals manage personnel, finances and facility practices and procedures. In the old days administrators were doctors. That is changing. Institutions like Symbiosis in Pune and Manipal University now offer MBA courses in hospital management. 4. Hospitality industry. This industry is booming in India. It is already among the highest foreign exchange earners and is expected to become the leading one shortly. That means a lot of openings in both general management and culinary. One can pursue a hotel management course at institutions such as the Welcomegroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration which offers graduate and post graduate degree courses in hotel management. There are also MBA courses specialising in hotel management.



Large hospitals are now appointing people as CEOs to oversee clinical units, departments or the entire hospital. These professionals manage personnel, finances and facility practices and procedures. In the old days administrators were doctors. That is changing. Those with culinary skills can opt for a career as a chef, which is now very well paid and recognized. 5. Legal. Now increasingly a very good career path especially in the areas of corporate law. With top institutions like Indian Law School, Pune and National Law School Bangalore, the profession has really taken off. 6. Creative fields. A whole array of courses youngsters with a creative bent can follow. These are: a. Fashion Technology. National Institute of Fashion Technology at campuses in New Delhi and 14 other Indian cities. With India’s strong textile sector, this is a field in which talented people will do very well. b. Jewelry design and gemnology India is today the main supplier of finished diamonds in the world. Courses like Gem Identification, Diamond Grading, Cut Design and Analysis and Pearl Grading are available. Youngsters qualifying in these can find highly paid work and if they have a nose for it. c. Graphic art. Graphic artists are recognized for their skilled work and there are good jobs in the field of advertising. Many graphic artists are setting up their own studios. It is now a great time to be for anyone on the threshold of a career. However, in the final analysis the ones who do well are the ones who choose, not work that is only financially rewarding, but work that they truly love. In the process they will enjoy every moment of their working life and, because they will naturally be good at what they do, will automatically do very well in their career. The author is an adventurer, motor sports enthusiast, published author and qualified company secretary.


Pallikkutam | March 2014


A career in life Brigadier NV Nair(Retd)

The choice of a career is considered the first step towards adulthood. Besides the children themselves, parents are the next interested stakeholders in children’s future and therefore in the selection of their career too. The unsure and inexperienced children have to be carefully guided by their parents.


t was the late 1960s. The junior college boy enjoyed marching in the NCC squad in unison steps on the lush green grounds of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi. The gentle breeze from adjacent Vembanad Kayal soothed his perspiration. The level of enjoyment was the same for him as a senior under-officer while supervising the drill of NCC cadets on the central pathway in Maharaja’s College, Kochi, one or two years later. His passion for uniform and hard work took him to the portals of the Indian

Pallikkutam | March 2014

Military Academy for training as an officer cadet. His passion and NCC background stood him in good stead to undergo the rigours of pre-commission military training. He became a Flag Officer and put in 35 years of long meritorious service in the Indian Army. I myself was that boy. I mentioned this to establish the link between passion and a successful career. The dictionary defines ‘career’ as ‘a way of making one’s living’. It is somewhat imperative for everyone to engage in a career for living. For those lucky people

who had inherited the means for a decent living without working for it, a career may be to ward off the boredom of inactivity. Confused about career?: For most people, education is a route to a career. It is generally at the end of schooling that one is confronted with the career choice. One has the choice of professional courses as well. It is a fact that youth on the threshold of college-level education are in a dilemma about a suitable career for them. Unfortunately, most of our youth lack original thinking or self-realization which



Every person is unique. Each has his/her own natural talents, values, interests, aptitudes and personality. Therefore, the first and foremost requirement is to ‘know yourself’. could assist them to select the right ‘career’. Objective professional guidance is almost nonexistent. Malady of our education system: The education system existing in India is still on the lines introduced during British colonial raj. The main requirement of the education system then was to churn out ‘babus’ for the non-executive rung of the then bureaucracy. They did not encourage original thinking or consider the varied potential of individuals. English education weaned us away from our traditional knowledge base contained in our ancient scriptures. The system popularised was a far cry from career-based education. Career selection: Anyone can do reasonably well in any career with dedication and hard work. But if the job does not suit your interest, you will not enjoy doing it. Every person is unique. Each has his/her own natural talents, values, interests, aptitudes and personality. Therefore, the first and foremost requirement is to ‘know yourself’. It shall be a win-win situation if one can land the career that suits him/her best. Career advisory service: There is general agreement on the importance of the aptitude assessment of a person for selection of a suitable career. One has to first find out one’s natural talent, eg science, arts, writing, precision work, observation skills, manual dexterity, spatial abilities etc. One should be assessed also for individual traits, motivational drives, needs and attitudes. There are lots of material and scientific tools available to assess the above-mentioned aptitudes. These assessments should form part of career counselling at appropriate school levels. Parents and children should be made aware of these tools and encouraged to utilise them.


Pallikkutam | March 2014


The dictionary defines ‘career’ as ‘a way of making one’s living’. It is somewhat imperative for everyone to engage in a career for living. Parents’ role in career selection: The choice of a career is considered the first step towards adulthood. Besides the children themselves, parents are the next interested stakeholders in children’s future and therefore in the selection of their career too. The unsure and inexperienced children have to be carefully guided by their parents. Parents have to stay positive and not shout down the ideas put forward by their children. Parents should discourage expectations like “Things will work out by themselves”. They seldom do! Do not always expect miracles or divine interventions. Parents should be ‘involved’ but not ‘control’, ‘advise’ but not ‘decide’, ‘support’ but not ‘dominate’. Early entry into career: Late entry into a career is a handicap to an otherwise successful career. One will have an added advantage if one makes up one’s mind earlier, enters a career and ensures a longer service profile. It may be of interest to know that our present defence service chiefs were the younger in the lot of eligible select group of the same batch considered, outliving others! I will advise our children:

♦ Identify your capabilities and limitations and choose a career accordingly. It will be a pleasure if your passion is your work.

♦ Do not wait till the last minute to take a decision.

♦ Be regular at work. Desist from the “I will work hard next time” syndrome.

♦ May select not very popular careers. More chances of success due to less competition. Finally, work hard wherever you are.

The author is an alumnus of Sacred Heart College and Maharaja’s College. Served the Indian Army for 35 years

Pallikkutam | March 2014



Five reasons candidates fail to impress in interviews

Employers are looking for nothing less than passion. If you cannot convince the employer that you will be as passionate about their company and line of work as they are you will not be seen to possess the star quality they are looking for nor will they place excessive trust in your long-term loyalty, stamina or staying power. 1. Poor preparation: Employers have done their homework to find you and they expect you to do yours on them too. Candidates who arrive at an interview knowing little about the company, the industry and/or the role are in a poor position to compete with well-prepared professionals who will spend the compressed interview time precisely positioning themselves for the employer’s exact requirements. Employers want to know you are curious, energetic, resourceful and inspired and what better proof of that than arriving fully prepared and with keen insights into the employer and their brand/ positioning/problems/news etc. If you have done your homework right you will be able to hit the ground running in the interview with answers that display how you are uniquely positioned to add value from the get-go given the company’s particular


culture, positioning, objectives, circumstances and situation.

an exemplary attitude towards work, life and themselves.

2. Displaying a negative attitude: Attitude plays a crucial part in defining character and influencing the employment decision. Warning signs of bad attitudes that are sure to alienate a potential employer include badmouthing previous bosses, companies and colleagues; defensive or rudely evasive answers to key interview questions; or overtly aggressive answers, posture and demeanour. Remember people hire competent people they think they will really enjoy working with and who will spread a good positive vibe within the organisation and to external clients and stakeholders. Employers are very cognisant that bad attitudes are highly contagious and will be far from receptive to candidates with less than

3. Lack of enthusiasm in the company: Few things can alienate an employer more than a candidate who is lukewarm or disinterested about their company and its brand and objectives. The interview is not the time to doze off and deliver tired answers that smack of boredom with your audience nor is the time to wax lyrical about how much you genuinely prefer all the competitor brands. Employers are looking for nothing less than passion. If you cannot convince the employer that you will be as passionate about their company and line of work as they are you will not be seen to possess the star quality they are looking for nor will they place excessive trust in your long-term loyalty, stamina or staying power.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Be specific about your achievements and your growth so far. Set examples of events that set you apart from others. Think of a reason why the interviewer should hire you. Give them a reason to choose you. Also, know the company well. You are required to work for them; therefore they expect you to be well-informed of the organisation, its products, services and industry as a whole. 4. Vague, coined or dishonest answers: The interview is not the time to practice your evasiveness skills no matter how expert you are. Employers can see right through a coined, text book answer and dishonest answers are more than likely to be discerned sooner or later and to backfire. By all means keep the conversation positive and constructive and don’t dwell over past failures or negative circumstances or events but also be vigilant that the employer wants someone real, someone they understand and can trust, and they are likely to keep digging

you are discussing. Be very precise and articulate when it comes to spelling out what your personal strengths are, why you are competitive and what sets you apart and makes you uniquely qualified to add value in 5. Lack of clarity on personal USPs: If you that specific context. Practice beforehand. are not very clear about what you are Make a list of all your strengths and find bringing to the table for a particular job role clear examples from your past achievements in a particular company, chances are the that demonstrate each of them and which employer will be even less clear. The you can be ready to discuss in a professional employer is not a mind reader and your job is concise manner at the interview stage. to make his/her life as easy as possible in Remember to be relevant and to focus on mapping your key strengths, skills and transferable skills that are immediately competencies to the requirements of the role applicable to the role being discussed. till they are comfortable they really understand who you are and what drives you and what your real strengths and weaknesses are.

Face the interview with confidence 1. Be yourself: Do not try to be someone you are not. The interviewer is an expert of his job and will immediately catch hold of any dishonest statement or action you portray. Do not pretend to be someone you are not.

interviewer is also just another human being. He is sure to have some flaws too.

formals is always suitable for appearing in an interview.

4. Dress appropriately: Remember, you are going for an interview, not a fancy dress competition or party. Dress smartly

5. Know you CV, job and company: Have a firm grasp on your CV, the job you’re applying for and the company. Be specific about your achievements and your growth so far. Set examples of events that set you apart from others. Think of a reason why the interviewer should hire you. Give them a reason to choose you. Also, know the company well. You are required to work for them; therefore they expect you to be well-informed of the organisation, its products, services and industry as a whole.

2. Maintain an eye contact: One of the best to project confidence is to maintain an eye contact with the person who is interviewing you. Do not look here and there or up and down for it shows nervousness. 3. Body language: Most of the communication that we do during an interview is non-verbal. Sit straight. Do not shake your legs or tap your feet in nervousness. Do not fiddle with your hair or rub your hands. After all, the

Pallikkutam | March 2014

and neatly. Do not wear a lot of jewellery. If ladies are wearing a saree, pin it properly. Do not walk in for the interview shabbily. Tuck your hair properly. Do not wear any uncomfortable dress. Wearing

First impression may or may not be the last one, but it definitely is a lasting impression. Make sure, you get it right.



Hm¿Ω-bnse Hmf-߃ Icn-ß-∂q¿ KwKm-[-c≥

]Ømw ¢m n¬ Rm≥ ae-bmfw ]Tn-∏n-®p-sIm-≠n-cn-°p-∂p. alm-Ihn Pn. i¶-cIp-dp∏v Fgp-Xnb "C∂v Rm≥ \msf \o' F∂ Ihn-X. At∏m-gmWv Rm≥ kzo‰nsb {i≤n-®-Xv. Du¿÷-kz-e-bmb Ip´n. ]Tn-°m≥ anSp-°n. ¢m n¬ Ft∏mgpw {i≤-tbm-sS-bn-cn-°pw. kwi-b-߃ tNmZn-°pw. hn\-bhpw kuayXbpw Ah-fpsS apJ-ap{Z. ]£ C∂-hƒ A{i-≤-bmbn, FhnsStbm a\ p \jvSs∏-´n-cn-°p-∂p. Ihn-fn¬ IÆo¿ Nmep-Iƒ. amXrIm A≤ym-]-I-\p≈ kwkmYm\ Ahm¿Uv t\Snb ae-bm-‰q¿ sk‚ v tXmakv sslkv°qfnse ae-bmfw A[ym-]-I-\pw kmln-XyIm-c-\p-amb Icn-ß∂q¿ KwKm-[c≥, X\n°v e`n® Aaq-ey-amb Kpcp-Z-£nW A\p-kva-cn-°p∂p.

""Hm..-kzo-‰n...-Rm-t\m¿°p-∂p...-Xs∂ Aßs\ ad-°m≥ ]‰ptam?'' ""apsºm-cn-°¬ Rm≥ ChnsS h∂ncp-∂p. c≠p aq∂p h¿jw apºv.. A∂n-hnsS Bcpw D≠m-bn-cp-∂n-√. tK‰v ]q´n-bn-´n-cn-°p-I-bm-bn-cp-∂p. ]n∂oSv Ct∏m-gmWv \m´n¬ h∂-Xv.''

s∏-Sp-Øn-b-Xv.'' Ahƒ _mKv Xpd-∂p, Hcp t]\-sbSpØv Fs‚ t\sc \o´n. ""CXv Rm≥ kmdn\v th≠n hmßnsIm≠p h∂-Xm-Wv. Fs‚ sNdnb Hcp KpcpZ£n-W."" ""kzo‰n-bpsS ho´p-Im-scm-s°....''

""Ct∏m-sg-hn-SmWv?'' tImfnwKv s_¬ ASn-®p. hmXn¬ Xpd-∂-t∏mƒ ap∂n¬ Hcp s]¨Ip´n.

"" km¿ Rm≥ e≠-\n-em-Wv. Rm\hnsS Hcp ko\n-b¿ \gvkm-Wv.`¿Ømhpw AhnsS Xs∂..''

\nd™ ]p©ncn. sXfn™ `mhw. apJØv BÀm-Zhpw kwXr-]vXnbpw. ""ImWm≥ Ign-™-Xn¬ hfsc im¥n-bp-tS-bpw, kam-[m-\kt¥m-jw. Rm≥ Xs‚ IY Øns‚bpw kuc`yw {]k-cn-∏n¢m p-I-fn¬ ]d-bm-dp≠v.'' °p∂ Hcp sIm®p amem-J. ""Adnbmw km¿..-Rm≥ \m´n¬ hcp""Fs∂ a\- n-em-bnt√?'' tºmƒ Nne Ip´n-Iƒ Ft∂mSv ]dbm-dp--≠v.'' Rm≥ Hm¿Ω-bpsS Hmf-ß-fn¬ Nm©m-Sn.

""AXn¬ hnj-a-sam∂p-an-√t√m?''

Ahy-‡-amb Nne Nn{X-߃...

""C√ km¿...-Hcn-°-ep-an-√‚ klm-bhpw D]-tZ-i-hp-amWv Fs∂bpw IpSpw-_-sØbpw c£-

""km¿ Rm≥ kzo‰n...''


""F√m-hcpw kpJ-am-bn-´n-cn-°p-∂p. A\p-P≥ sSIvt\m-]m¿°n¬ tkm^v‰vshb¿ F©n-\o-b¿. A∏®≥ A∂v H‰ Znhkw sIm≠v BfmsI amdn. Hcp ]pXnb a\pjy\m-bn. kt¥m-jhpw kam[m-\hpw Rß-fpsS IpSpw-_-Øn¬ aSßn h∂p. Ipd®p d∫¿ tXm´w hmßn. Hcp \√ hoSp h®p. F\n°p c≠p Ip´n-Iƒ. c≠p t]cpw e≠-\n¬ ]Tn-°p-∂p...'' Fs‚ kt¥m-j-Øn\v AXn-cn-√m-bncp-∂p. Ahƒ t]mbn Ign-™n´pw a\- n¬ B Hm¿Ω-Iƒ \nd™p \n∂p.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


A∂v sshIp-t∂cw Rm≥ B Ip´n-bpsS ho´n-te°v t]mbn. \mep Intem-ao-‰-tdmfw \S-t°≠nbn-cp-∂p. AΩ-tbbpw A\p-P-t\bpw I≠p. Biz-kn-∏n-°m≥ {ian-®p. Ah-fp-sS A∏≥ hcp-∂Xp hsc ImØn-cp-∂p. A∂v Abmƒ A[nIw aZy-]n-®n-cp-∂n-√. H∂p c≠p aWn-°q¿ AhnsS Nne-h-gn®p. Imcy-߃ ]c™v t_m[y-s∏-Sp-Øn. AXym-h-iy-Øn\v ]Whpw sImSp-Øp.-

]Øn-cp-]Xv h¿jw apºsØ Imcy- hnfn®p. Ahƒ ]nS-s™-gp-t∂-‰p. apJw XpS-®p. am-Wv.. ]Ømw ¢m n¬ Rm≥ ae-bmfw ]Tn-∏n-®p-sIm-≠n-cn-°p-∂p. almIhn Pn. i¶-c-Ip-dp∏v Fgp-Xnb "C∂v Rm≥ \msf \o' F∂ IhnX. At∏m-gmWv Rm≥ kzo‰nsb {i≤n-®-Xv. Du¿÷-kz-e-bmb Ip´n. ]Tn-°m≥ anSp-°n. ¢m n¬ Ft∏mgpw {i≤-tbm-sS-bn-cn-°pw. kwi-b-߃ tNmZn-°pw. hn\-bhpw kuay-Xbpw Ah-fpsS apJ-ap{Z. ]£ C∂-hƒ A{i-≤-bmbn, FhnsStbm a\ p \jvS-s∏-´n-cn°p-∂p. Ihn-fn¬ IÆo¿ Nmep-Iƒ.

Hcp s]m´n-°c-®n-em-bn-cp∂p adp-]Sn.

Ahsf Rm≥ ASp-tØ°v hnfn-®p. Nen-°p∂ Hcp ]mh t]mse Ahƒ ASpØp h∂p. Rm≥ AhfpsS apJ-tØ°v kq£n®p t\m°n. B IÆp-Iƒ \nd-s™m-gpIp-∂p-≠m-bn-cp-∂p.

""Ic-bmsX Imcyw ]d-bq..'' ""F‚ AΩ Ct∏mƒ NØp ImWpw....-A√ AΩsb sIm∂p ImWpw.'' sIm√p-Itbm? Bcv? Fs‚ A∏≥ Xs∂... Ft∂m""X\n-s°¥p ]‰n?'' sSm∂pw tNmZn-°-cp-Xv. C\n Ahƒ an≠n-bn-√. H∂pw ]d-bm≥ F\n°v i‡n""¢m v Ign-™n´v Fs∂ h∂p bn√.'' ImW-Ww.'' ""Ip´n F¥m Cu ]d-bp-∂Xv? s_√-Sn-®-t∏mƒ Fs‚ ]n∂mse Xm≥ h√Xpw Ignt®m?'' Ahƒ Ãm^v dqan-te°v h∂p. ""C√..-C-∂se cm{Xn-bpw H∂pw ""X\n-s°¥p ]‰n? Xm\n∂v h√msX Ign-®n-´n-√.''

""kzo‰n'' Rm≥ hnfn-®p. Ahƒ tI´n-√. Rm≥ ho≠pw hnfn-®p. ASp-Øn-cp∂ Ip´n-Iƒ Ahsf X´n aqUu-´m-bn-cn-°p-∂t√m?'' Pallikkutam | March 2014



Ahƒ ]Tn-®p. \√ am¿°v hmßn Pbn-®p. ]n∂oSv Ct∏m-gmWv ImWm≥ Ign-™-Xv. Ahƒ X∂ B Kpcp-Z-£nW Hcp henb \n[n t]mse Rm≥ Ct∏mgpw kq£n-°p-∂p. Rm\-hsf Hcp _©n-en-cp-Øn. Im∏nbpw ]e-lm-chpw hcpØn sImSp-Øp. A¬∏w Ign-™-t∏mƒ Ahƒ kw`-h-ß-fpsS Npcp-f-gn-®p. ""R߃s°mcp ]ip D≠m-bn-cp∂p. A©mdp Ip∏n ]mep Xcp∂ Hcp ]ip. AΩbpw Rm\pw A\pP\pw tN¿∂mWv AXn\v ]p√cn™p sImSp-°p∂Xpw Xo‰-∂-Xpsa-√mw. RßfpsS IpSpw-_Øns‚ GI-h-cpam-\-am¿§am-bncp∂p AXv.'' ""AXns\¥p ]‰n?'' ""C∂se A∏-®≥ AXns\ hn‰p. AΩbpw Rß-fp-sams° F{X ]d-™n´pw A∏-®≥ tI´n-√.'' ""AXn-s\-¥m...-A-Xnepw \√-sXm∂ns\ hmßn-bm¬ t]msc?'' ""AXn\n \S-°n-√. C∂se Xs∂ B Imiv apgp-h≥ I≈p-Ip-Sn®pw No´p-I-fn®pw Xo¿Øp. ssIøpw hoin \mep-Im-enem cm{Xn

ho´n¬ h∂-Xv. AXns\ sNm√n A∏\pw AΩbpw XΩn¬ hg-°p≠mbn. D≠m°n h®n-cp∂ I™nbpw Idn-bp-sa√mw A∏≥ ASn®p XI¿Øp. AΩ-sb Hcp]mSv X√n. hndIp sIm≈n sIm≠-Sn-®p. A\p-P\pw Rm\pw AΩsb sIm√-cp-tX-sb∂v

ÿew hn´p. C\n Ft∏mgm Fßn-s\bm hcp-∂-sX-∂-dn-bn-√.h-∂m¬ AΩsb C\nbpw X√pw...-X-√n-sIm-√pw...'' Ahƒ s]m´n Ic-™p. A∂v sshIp-t∂cw Rm≥ B Ip´n-bpsS ho´n-te°v t]mbn. \mep Intem-ao-‰-tdmfw \St°≠nbn-cp∂p. AΩtbbpw A\p-Pt\bpw I≠p. Bizkn-∏n-°m≥ {ian-®p. Ahfp-sS A∏≥ hcp-∂Xp hsc ImØncp-∂p. A∂v Abmƒ A[nIw aZy]n-®n-cp-∂n-√. H∂p c≠p aWn-°q¿ AhnsS Nneh-gn®p. Imcy߃ ]d™v tIW-t]-£n-®p, Bcp t_m[y-s∏-Sp-Øn. AXym-h-iytIƒ°m≥? Ipsd Ign™v Øn\v ]Whpw sImSp-Øp.-ho-´nIc™p Ic™p R߃ Ddßn se-Øn-b-t∏mƒ hfsc sshIn. t]mbn. DW¿∂v t\m°p-tºmƒ F¶nepw kt¥mjw tXm∂n. AΩ Npcp≠p IqSn ]\n®v InSAhƒ ]Tn-®p. \√ am¿°v °p-∂p. A\n-b\pw t]Sn-®v hnd®v hmßn Pbn-®p. ]n∂oSv Ct∏mInS-°p-I-bm..-]-co£ ASp-Ø-Xp- gmWv ImWm≥ Ign-™-Xv. sIm≠m Rm≥ t]m∂-Xv..'' Ahƒ X∂ B Kpcp-Z-£nW ""A∏t\m?'' Hcp henb \n[n t]mse Rm≥ ""Rms\-gp-t∂¬°pw apºv Ct∏mgpw kq£n-°p-∂p.

IIT-Delhi has been ranked 13th of the best universities.


Pallikkutam | March 2014


Water filter made of sapwood in tree branches


xylem, porous tissue that conducts sap n MIT team of researchers have from a tree’s roots to its crown through a shown that a low-tech filtration system producing up to four litres drinking system of vessels and pores. Each vessel water per day could be made of the sapwood of trees. They show that xylem tissue in sapwood of pine tree can filter bacteria from contaminated water. In a paper published recently in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers demonstrate that a small piece of sapwood can filter out more than 99 percent of the bacteria E. coli from water. Xylem tissue, which facilitates transport of sap up the length of a tree, contains nano-sized pores, which allow water through while blocking most types of bacteria. Researchers believe that sapwood is a promising, low-cost, and efficient material for water filtration, particularly for rural communities where more advanced filtration systems are not readily accessible. The wood is comprised of

Non-embarrassing full-body scanners in the making


o undergo full-body scanning at airports or metros is not fun. It is often time-consuming and uncomfortable exercise to many travellers. It also raises privacy concerns. According to a report published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, a more precise and direct method for using that “terahertz” (THz) technology to detect explosives from greater distances could be developed, making full-body scanners obsolete. THz spectroscopy uses beams of electromagnetic radiation that lie between microwaves, like those used in kitchen ovens, and the infrared rays used in TV remote controls. In addition to screening people for explosives, it is used at drug companies for quality-control purposes and, most recently, to study the layers of paint of ancient works of art. With recent advances, the technique is becoming a strong candidate for detecting substances from a distance. Other researchers have developed remote-sensing THz instruments, but they combine it with a second method to identify substances.


cavitation, a process by which air bubbles can grow and spread in xylem, eventually killing a tree. The xylem’s tiny pores can trap bubbles, preventing them from spreading in the wood. In an experiment with red ink, the researchers have proven that they can naturally filter out particles bigger than about 70 nanometers. However, in another experiment, the team found that sapwood was unable to separate out 20-nanometer particles from water, suggesting that there is a limit to the size of particles coniferous sapwood can filter.

wall is pockmarked with tiny pores called pit membranes, through which sap can essentially hopscotch, flowing from one vessel to another as it feeds structures along a tree’s length. The pores also limit

The research group now plans to evaluate the filtering potential of other types of sapwood. In general, flowering trees have smaller pores than coniferous trees, suggesting that they may be able to filter out even smaller particles.

Artificial heart in vizier!


team of researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has developed a low-cost, programmable soft actuated material that mimics the complex motion of the heart muscle and could lead to better implantable medical devices and flexible robots. They demonstrated the material’s potential by using it to replicate the biological motion of the heart, and also developed a matching 3D computer model of it, as reported in Advanced Materials. The heart moves the way it does because of its bundles of striated muscle fibers, which are oriented spirally in the same direction and work together to effect motion.

What’s missing in the new gadget is the essential twisting motion that the heart uses to pump blood efficiently. To mimic those muscles’ fibres, the team first developed a modified pneumatic artificial muscle (PAM), made entirely from soft material — silicone elastomer, with embedded braided mesh — and attached via tubing to an air supply. Upon pressurization, PAMs shorten, like biological muscles, but in one direction only. The team then embedded several of these artificial muscles within a matrix made of the same soft silicone elastomer. By changing their orientation and configuration within the matrix and applying pressure, they were able to achieve various motions in more than one direction, mimicking the complex motion of the heart.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Blood test that Onion-like structure improves can predict absorption efficiencies of solar cells


esearchers from North Carolina State University have developed a “superabsorbing� design that is expected to improve the light absorption efficiency of thin film solar cells and drive down manufacturing costs. The superabsorbing design could decrease the thickness of the semiconductor materials used in thin film solar cells by more than one order of magnitude without compromising the capability of solar light absorption.

semiconductor material coats a rectangular core. The semiconductor, in turn, is coated by three layers of anti-reflective coating that do not absorb light. In order to maximize solar absorption, they found that there should be a match between the amount of solar light trapped inside the structure and the amount of solar light that could be absorbed. The onion-like structures helped researchers to match their light-trapping efficiency with the absorption efficiency of the semiconductor materials in thin film solar cells.

The structure they propose can absorb 90 percent of available solar energy using only The research team looks forward to work with industry partners to implement this a 10 nm thick layer of amorphous silicon. design in the production of next-generation In cross-section, the new design looks like solar cells. a rectangular onion. The light-absorbing

Offshore wind farms a protection against hurricanes!


omputer simulations by Professor Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University have shown that offshore wind farms with thousands of wind turbines could have sapped the power of three reallife hurricanes, significantly decreasing their winds and accompanying storm surge, and possibly preventing billions of dollars in damages. He found that the wind turbines could disrupt a hurricane enough to reduce peak wind speeds by up to 92 mph and decrease storm surge by up to 79 percent. The study, conducted by Jacobson, and Cristina Archer and Willett Kempton of the University of Delaware, was recently published online in Nature Climate Change. The researchers simulated three hurricanes: Sandy and Isaac, which struck New York and New Orleans, respectively, in 2012; and Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005.

Pallikkutam | March 2014

They found that when wind turbines are present, they slow down the outer rotation winds of a hurricane. In the case of Katrina, Jacobson’s model revealed that an array of 78,000 wind turbines off the coast of New Orleans would have significantly weakened the hurricane well before it made landfall. For Hurricane Sandy, the model projected a wind speed reduction by 35-39 meters per second (between 78 and 87 mph) and as much as 34 percent decrease in storm surge. Jacobson acknowledges that, in the United States, there has been political resistance to installing a few hundred offshore wind turbines, let alone tens of thousands. But he thinks there are two financial incentives that could motivate such a change. Current turbines can withstand wind speeds of up to 112 mph, which is in the range of a category 2 to 3 hurricane, Jacobson said.

impending death!


an a new scientific blood analysis predict short-term mortality? A test on different biomarkers seen to announce pending death of the metabolism at least five years ahead in time has been identified by the Computational Medicine Research Group in cooperation between the University of Oulu and the University of Eastern Finland. Mortality was related to four biomarkers in the blood: levels of two proteins (albumin and alpha-1 acidic glycoprotein), lipid metabolism variables (size of large lipoprotein particles responsible for lipid metabolism in the body) and citric acid concentration. These biomarkers relate to normal metabolism and are present in the blood of all people, but according to the study, their relative amounts are crucial. The biomarkers were independent of known mortality risk factors such as age, smoking, alcohol use, cholesterol, obesity, and blood pressure. The biomarkers associated with mortality also in healthy subjects with no diagnosed diabetes, cancer or vascular diseases.

The new method gives hope that in the future it would be possible to identify increased risk of death at an early stage, so that people could be directed to appropriate follow-up examinations and treatment. This study is the first of its kind in the world. More research is needed for possible clinical applications in health care.



Malwares that mine for Bitcoin exposed


team of computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, took an in-depth look at how malware operators use the computers they infect to mine Bitcoin, a virtual currency whose value is highly volatile. Researchers examined more than 2,000 pieces of malware used by Bitcoin mining operations in 2012 and 2013. They were able to estimate how much money operators made off their operations and which countries were most affected. The computer scientists report that the revenue of 10 of the mining operations they studied reached at least 4,500 Bitcoin over two years. This may not seem like much, but Bitcoin’s value increased from about $10 to about $1,000 during that time, with a peak of $1,100 in November 2013. One Bitcoin is currently worth about $618. Bitcoin mining is particularly attractive for malware operators because of its low cost and because it requires little to no investment in any kind of infrastructure.

The study is part of a larger effort by computer scientists at UC San Diego to better understand how malware operators make money, from sending spam to stealing personal information, such as credit card numbers. The study was conducted in partnership with George Mason University, UC Berkeley and the International Computer Science Institute. The researchers found that the most of the infected computers were located in Europe. But the malware could be found in Asia and Latin America as well. The United States was not immune either.


In fight against stealing malwares


esearchers at Georgia Tech have full intent, regardless of whether the created a piece of prototype software, software is protecting a financial transfer, Gyrus, that takes extra steps to prevent an industrial control system or a wide malware from sending spam emails and range of other userinstant messages, driven applications. and blocking There are two key unauthorized components to commands such as Gyrus’ approach. money transfers. First, it captures Current protection the user’s intent programmes might and interactions recognize the with an application. original user’s intent Second, it verifies to send email, that the resulting transfer money or output can be engage in other mapped back to the transactions but cannot verify the user’s intention. As a result, the specifics such as email contents or amount application ensures accurate transactions of money. Without context, it is even in the presence of malware. impossible to properly verify the user’s

Sprouting garlic has medicinal effects “Sprouted” garlic — old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves — is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists are reporting in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that this type of garlic has even more hearthealthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts. Jong-Sang Kim and colleagues note that people have used garlic for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Today, people still celebrate its healthful benefits. Eating garlic or taking garlic supplements is touted as a natural way to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure and heart disease risk. It even may boost the immune system and help

fight cancer. But those benefits are for fresh, raw garlic. Sprouted garlic has received much less attention. When seedlings grow into green plants, they make many new compounds, including those that protect the young plant against pathogens. The researchers found that garlic sprouted for five days had higher antioxidant activity than fresher, younger bulbs, and it had different metabolites, suggesting that it also makes different substances. Extracts from this garlic even protected cells in a laboratory dish from certain types of damage. “Therefore, sprouting may be a useful way to improve the antioxidant potential of garlic,” they conclude.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Why are breastfed babies smarter?


oads of studies over the years have shown that children who were breastfed score higher on IQ tests and perform better in school, but the reason why remained unclear. Is it the mother-baby bonding time, something in the milk itself or some unseen attribute of mothers who breastfeed their babies? Now a new study by sociologists at Brigham Young University pinpoints two parenting skills as the real source of this cognitive boost: Responding to children’s emotional cues and reading to children starting at 9 months of age. Breastfeeding mothers tend to do both of those things, said lead study author Ben Gibbs.

The BYU researchers note that the most at-risk children are also the least likely to receive the optimal parenting in early childhood. Single moms in the labor force, for example, don’t have the same luxuries when it comes to breastfeeding and quality time with the children. Parents with less education don’t necessarily hear about researchbased parenting practices, either. It makes it harder to think about how we promote environments for disadvantaged homes. These things can be learned and they really matter. And being sensitive to kids and reading to kids doesn’t have to be done just by the mother.

What brings successful young men to suicide?


uicide among young men is a major public health concern in many countries, despite great efforts to find effective prevention strategies. By interviewing close relatives and friends of apparently well-functioning young men who unexpectedly took their own life, Norwegian researchers found there had been no signs of serious mental disorder. This contradicts previous research which suggests that depression or other mental illness is an important risk factor in suicide. The researchers interviewed close relatives and friends of ten young men who, in spite of accomplishments and successes, had unexpectedly taken their own lives in young adulthood about how they knew the deceased and understood the suicide. The main finding suggests that developmentally, these young men appeared to have compensated for their

Climate change has brought Indus Civilization down!


limate change may have contributed to the decline of a city-dwelling civilization in Pakistan and India 4,100 years ago, according to new research. Scientists from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated that an abrupt weakening of the summer monsoon affected northwest India 4,100 years ago. The resulting drought coincided with the beginning of the decline of the metropolis-building Indus Civilisation, which spanned present-day Pakistan and India, suggesting that climate change could be why many of the major cities of the civilisation were abandoned. The research, reported online recently in the journal Geology, involved the

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collection of snail shells preserved in the sediments of an ancient lake bed. By analysing the oxygen isotopes in the shells, the scientists were able to tell how much rain fell in the lake where the snails lived thousands of years ago. The results shed light on a mystery surrounding why the major cities of the Indus Civilisation (also known as the Harappan Civilisation, after Harappa, one of the five cities) were abandoned. Climate change had been suggested as a possible reason for this transformation before but, until now, there has been no direct evidence for climate change in the region where Indus settlements were located.

lack of self-worth by exaggerating the importance of success, thus developing a fragile, achievement-based self-esteem in adulthood which left them vulnerable in the face of rejection and perception of failure. Such situations generate a strong sense of shame and of being trapped in anger. This develops into unbearable thoughts that the vulnerable person cannot regulate or manage, and leads to a feeling of a life not worth living. The former strategy, which involved compensation with continual increased efforts, does not work anymore, and suicide becomes a way out of a situation of unbearable psychological pain, infers the study.



Summer diet tips Mercury levels are rising and summer is at its peak, and the scorching sun gives us enough reasons to constantly hunt for soothing foods which can comfort us in the heat. You can get dehydrated easily due to excess sweat and perspiration and that’s the time when you feel like reaching out for something cold like sodas, beverages or even cold water. This is where we go wrong because anything extremely low in temperature can constrict our blood vessels affecting the heat loss process from our body. Follow these diet tips for a healthy living in this summer.


ncrease your water intake. In high humidity, you do not sweat adequately due to which you cannot release heat efficiently from your body. That is the reason why you need to drink enough water at regular intervals even if you are not thirsty, to cool your system. Eat lot of fresh fruits, raw salads and lightly spiced foods. Fruits and veggies are easy to digest and high in water content which helps in hydration. Avoid fried and junk foods as they take time to digest and require a lot of water. Spicy foods can also increase body heat.


Drink naturally cooling beverages like coconut water, lemon juice, buttermilk, sugarcane juice, etc. rather than aerated soft drinks, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages as they contain sugar and other preservatives which act as diuretics (increase the flow of urine) and can cause loss of water from the body. You can add sabja (tulsi/basil seeds) to drinks as it has a cooling effect on the body. Curd is excellent for summers as it increases friendly bacteria in the gut and improves digestion and boosts immunity.

Add veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, beet, etc to add to increase the water content in your body. Avoid heavy meals at one time as it can cause acidity and affect digestion. Rather, eat small meals to feel light and keep your system active. Raw mango is a special fruit in the summer season and is extremely good to prevent sunstroke and weakness. Raw mango juice can help balance electrolytes in the body. You can also have raw mango in any form like adding it in salads or making a dish out of it.

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HEALTH WATCH add or subtract the rotis as per your appetite and requirement).

Here’s a sample summer diet that you can follow:

Evening: Have fruit yoghurt/fruit smoothie. They are filling, nourishing and very cooling.

Breakfast: Eat 2-3 fresh fruits as they can help neutralise your stomach acids and make you feel light and active. They are natural sources of energy.

Dinner: Always have a light dinner, especially during summers. The above mentioned diet is low in fat, medium in protein and high in good complex carbs which help control obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and many other ailments. So this summer, stay healthy and cool by eating right.

Mid-morning: Have a glass of buttermilk/ coconut water to refresh you. Lunch: Have a bowl of salad with 1-2 rotis, veggies and thin dals (You can

Water therapy: An effective practice to follow in daily basis W

ater therapy is an excellent way of preventing diseases and maintaining one’s health. After undergoing this natural therapy people have experienced a feel of positive change in their body and day to day routine. One may not believe in its advantages before practicing the therapy but it is for sure that it will give a magical effect in curing and preventing various common diseases. During the water therapy, after waking up from the bed, one needs to drink about 1.5 liters of water a time, i.e. 5 to 6 liters a day without even brushing the teeth. After this, one may also opt to wash his or her face with clean water. It is very essential, not to eat or drink anything for next one hour. You may brush and clean the teeth. You should use filtered and boiled water for the purpose. In the initial period, while starting the natural therapy, one may

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find it difficult to drink so much of water at a time but should try to have it in a short interval may be in a 2 minute interval or so till the time one gets used to it gradually.

Undoubtedly, water therapy has several advantages and is useful in curing various diseases. It provides relief from stress, glowing skin, weight loss and many other encouraging effects on one’s health. This natural therapy is very much popular in

Japan and is quite useful for serious and old diseases and modern illness. While one is practicing the water therapy, one must not consume any sort of alcoholic drinks previous night and be particular regarding the eating time throughout the day. After taking breakfast, lunch and dinner one must not eat or drink anything for next two hours. Water therapy is effective in curing diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, constipation and more. It provides relief from body ache, head ache, fatness, fast heartbeat and lots of other such problems. The thing that this natural therapy does is that it renders colon to the body more effectively by forming new fresh blood. This makes the body to take the nutrients from the food effectively and to boost the health of a person. All this tunes up the body and cures various issues that a man faces with respect to his fitness.



MOOC- The Game Changer? Dr D.Dhanuraj

MOOC opens up plethora of innovations in the Indian context. Availability of free education materials could challenge the conventional establishment practices in the sector.


t is told that there are six types of You Tube interfaces which adjust automatically according to the gadgets and connectivity speed. With such mind boggling provisions in the internet) and the availability of cheaper smart phones and tablets, the education sector is undergoing tremendous transformations in the recent times. Many years ago, the focus in most of the developing countries was to enroll maximum number of students to college going level so that the growing economy of these countries will have direct benefits out of it. With the opening up of the borders, trade and services, the requirement of the skilled and trained manpower facilitated the mushrooming of the higher education institutions in India. Even though the move to allow private and self-financing educational institutions to operate in the higher education level was welcomed, the quality of the education imparted dented many of their chances to establish and brand themselves as the institutions of excellence in the recent past.

to Engineering field, but covers the entire education sector. India produces around 5 million graduates every year. Here also, the under employment is the dominating factor as majority of the graduates are poor in their subject understanding, analytical skills, English speaking abilities etc. India has a rotten system of learning concepts with prominence to theories and has less relevance to practical and interdisciplinary

According to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), more than 1.5 million engineering graduates are trained in India. But the recruitments from many of these institutions are very poor and sometimes zero leading to the strains in the socio economic milieu of many of the families across the country. With the mushrooming of these institutions, irrespective of the income levels and the social back ground, parents bet on their children by sending them to these institutions thus hoping for both social and economic liberation sometimes from the murkier social past.

approaches. Teaching lacks the exposure to the functional skills that would be deployed in the industry. It is heard that, while they select faculty for Engineering colleges, qualified people with more experience in the industry are less preferred to those without any industry exposure at all, but having prior teaching experience. How can one get acquainted with the practical issues and industry standards, if not at all exposed to the industry? How can such a faculty impart knowledge on practical wisdom and industrial standards to his/her students?

It is not only the unemployment but also the under employment sending out the worrying signals in the sector. Recent studies show that it is not only confined

Degrees and certificates are issued for the sake of giving it.While the industry education tie ups are encouraged to overcome these challenges prevailing in the


education sector, questions are raised about the improvement in teaching. The faculty improvement programs/quality improvement programs are doubted for their quality and seriousness. The teaching aids and methods are not updated for many years. In the modern wireless world, sometimes students are having superior knowledge denigrating the position of the teachers causing embarrassment to the institution and the management. At the same time, given the poor quality of the education offered, many of the self-financing colleges are under threat and fear the shutdown. To complicate the situation, parents are not willing to shell the amount of money that these colleges demand for the fear of unemployment and underemployment of their kid. It is in this context, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) offered by the top universities from Europe and America shall be looked upon. The idea behind MOOC’s is to bring education to the masses, enabling anyone throughout the entire world with access to the internet, the opportunity to study college or university level courses, gaining a quality educational experience. In one of the review reports published by U K Government on MOOC in the recent times describe MOOC as “They see opportunities for brand enhancement, pedagogic experimentation, recruitment and business model innovation�. Famous MOOC platforms include Coursera, Udacity and edX. There are many Indian players are also testing the water who are successful at the school level. Though these courses started generating interest not only among the college going students, it has become popular among the employees in order to improve their skill sets on various aspects of job competitiveness. As in every case, MOOC has also not escaped from the critics of traditionalists. Learning is a

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MOOC may not replace the education institutions very soon. But the message and intent are welcome. This not only demands the improvements in class room teaching with the better aids and content improvement. Both the teachers and students can avail MOOC to benchmark their learning and understanding on the subject taught and graduated. complex social and emotional process that promotes Critical Thinking, say MOOCS critics. How can MOOC replicate the class rooms while they offer Online course; they ask. They are simply an advanced form of the distance learning of the yesteryears, they claim. But in the limited time period MOOC started operating, most of these platforms were able to encourage meet-ups and group learning among the students from the same city. While some of these courses are offering Certificates subject to the successful completion of the assignments and pass in the online written exam, many others prefer to opt for MOOC platforms to improve the learning and understating of the subject they pursue for their career development. Unlike the system in India where the syllabus updation takes ages, MOOC syllabus are updated regularly and peer reviewed thus giving the participates an unique opportunity to access the pool of reading materials and other toolkits to enhance their subject learning and processing. They report positively on learning experiences and innovative formats of pedagogy, and spotlight themes such as access, empowerment, relationship

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building and community among the participants and academicians. Though it is positively discriminated in favour of the net savvy participants at present, it is anticipated that improvements in online technologies would reduce the disparity among the participants in regard to access, content, quality, accreditation, pedagogy, poor engagement with weaker learners, and exclusion of learners without networking skills. MOOC may not replace the education institutions very soon. But the message and intent are welcome. This not only demands the improvements in class room teaching with the better aids and content improvement. Both the teachers and students can avail MOOC to benchmark their learning and understanding on the subject taught and graduated. It also offers the students the opportunity to address their doubts and go beyond the class room oriented reading lists. For the management of the institutions, MOOC gives avenues for innovating, maturing, deepening leading to expansion of the courses they offer. They can also build business models where the industry tie ups and support for

certain courses using online platforms learning from MOOC experiments. May be, the industries can also be encouraged to list the successful completion of the courses by the job applicants on MOOC platforms along with the certificates from the colleges given some weightage in the job recruitments. From the policy perspectives, MOOC opens up plethora of innovations in the Indian context. Availability of free education materials could challenge the conventional establishment practices in the sector. This could alter the nature and type of the educational institutions and their capital investments. This could be also be modified to provide better avenues for millions of college going students to raise their hopes in their careers who otherwise may not get any opportunity of experience the fruits of education. May be its high time to tweak the discussion on ‘Education is Mass Industry’ taking the advantages of the online platforms such as MOOC while designing the future policies of the education sector. The author is Chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research



Atmavid: Knower of the Self Dr. Augustine Thottakara

When your food is pure, your being becomes pure; when your being becomes pure, then your memory becomes strong; when your memory becomes strong, all the knots of your heart will be broken.


he two protagonists of the following story are two great Vedic sages and saints, Sage Narada and Sage Sanatkumara. About Narada we could say the following things: (i) He was an eternal traveller; a mendicant, always on the move. He was the most-travelled sage of the Vedic times. (ii) He was a great musician; he was always depicted with a veena in hand. (iii) He was a great devotee of Visnu; he always sang the glories of Visnu with the accompaniment of his musical instrument. (iv) He was a very learned man; one who knew the Vedic lore, epics, puranas and allied disciplines eminently well. (v) He had also the reputation of creating trouble among the people; to make people quarrel with each other. This he always did with good intentions, either to teach a lesson to arrogant and haughty bigwigs, or for the common good. (vi) Two works are attributed to him: Narada-smrti, a book of the Codes of Law (ca. 200 CE), and Narada Bhakti-sutra, a textbook on bhakti, devotion, which was written several centuries later. Evidently these authorships are only attributions; the real authors of these texts are not known to us. There is also a purana in his name, the Naradiya Purana, which is considered to be the second part of Visnu Purana. (vii) Sage Narada appears mainly in the Ramayana and Bhagavata-purana. Sanatkumara was one of the four mindborn sons (manasa-putra) of the creator Brahma. The other three were Sanaka, Sanatana and Sanandana. These are not the


physical sons (aurasa-putra) of the creator god. They were created by his intentions and mental desire. They were basically teachers; they roamed around the world

service to Lord Visnu. Brahma taught Sanatkumara the stories and secrets of the puranas. He later imparted this wisdom to Narada. Narada in his turn taught this sacred knowledge to Vyasa, who wrote the 18 great puranas. Now the story is this: In Chandogya Up. VII.1 the great sage Narada approaches the guru Sanatkumara, and begs him for the knowledge of Brahman.

together teaching dharma to people. These four sages were eternal celibates. They were also great devotees of Visnu. They were eternally liberated selves (nityas); still they found bliss in the devotion and

“Om. ‘Revered Sir, teach me’ – thus saying Narada approached Sanatkumara. Sanatkumara said to him: ‘What do you already know: declare that to me, and be my disciple’. Narada said: ‘Revered Sir, I have learnt Rg-veda, Yajur-veda, Sama-veda and Atharva-veda as the fourth; all the epics and puranas as the fifth; then grammar, rules of ancestor worship, mathematics, science of portents, knowledge of treasures, logic, ethics, knowledge of divinities, knowledge of Vedic mantras, knowledge of elements, science of war, science of stars, knowledge of serpents and knowledge of celestial beings - all this I know, revered Sir. Such am I, revered Sir; but I am only a knower of words; and I am not a knower of Atman.1 Indeed I have heard from great persons like you that a knower of Atman goes beyond grief. I am in such a state of grief. Revered Sir, make me cross over this (ocean) of grief’. Sanatkumara replies: “Whatever you have studied, really it is only the names”. He instructs Narada to transcend the names, and go up in an ascending scale, travelling

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All these faculties and psycho-somatic realities originate from prana and are sustained, supported and permeated by prana. Prana gives them life and meaning of existence. Prana is atman; those who know prana know atman; those who know atman (atma-vid) will cross over the ocean of sorrows. through speech, mind, manas (mind), will, intelligence, contemplation, understanding, strength, food, water, fire, akasa (space), memory, aspiration (asa), and prana (vital breath). All these faculties and psychosomatic realities originate from prana and are sustained, supported and permeated by prana. Prana gives them life and meaning of existence. Prana is atman; those who know prana know atman; those who know atman (atma-vid) will cross over the ocean of sorrows. A guru like Sanatkumara is brahmavid or atmavid, and such a person is also brahma-nistha, established in Brahman. They are Jivan-muktas (Advaita Vedanta) and Bodhisattvas (Mahayana Buddhism). For the older Upanisads knowing is becoming. Knowing Brahman means you become Brahman. Brahmavid apnoti param, “one who knows Brahman attains Brahman” (Taittiriya Up. II.1.1). But this knowing happens on a higher plane, in the realm of spirit, and not in the ambit of senses, mind and intellect. This is the stage of the supreme wisdom (para vidya). In fact, by bringing together two very eminent personalities of the Vedic age as guru and disciple, the Upanisad was stressing the need of a spiritual preceptor for all those who wish to attain the knowledge of the Self (atmavid). Only a worthy teacher can give a deserving disciple this third eye of wisdom.

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One of the classical paths for eternal liberation is the path of knowledge (jnanamarga). Advaita Vedanta advocates that the surest means of salvation is this path of knowledge. Systems like Samkhya, Nyaya and Vaisesika too support this

The entire sixth chapter of Chandogya Upanisad is this conversation between Narada and his guru Sanatkumara. It ends with a practical exhortation to the readers: “When your food is pure, your being becomes pure; when your being becomes pure, then your memory becomes strong; when your memory becomes strong, all the knots of your heart will be broken. Thus the revered Sanatkumara showed to Narada, after all his impurities had been washed off, the further shore of sorrows. People call Sanatkumara Skanda (learned person). Yes, they do call him Skanda” (VII.26.2). A common saying states, “Salutations to the revered guru, who has opened the inner eye of the disciple, who was blind with the cataract of ignorance, with the collirium stick of knowledge”.2

view. This knowledge, of course, is not 3 ChUp. VII.1.3. so’ham bhagavo obtained by sense perception, or by mantravid eva-asmi na-atmavid / inference (intellect), or by the testimony 4 ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjanaof scriptures and instructions of teachers. This knowledge is anubhava, the intuitive, salakya / experiential, mystical experience of the caksur unmilitam yena tasmai srigurave Divine. namah //



Microsoft to launch low-cost Windows tablets M icrosoft will launch low-cost Windows tablets in the coming months, specifically made for consumers in India. The tablets, which could sell for as low as Rs 10,000, will help Microsoft achieve price parity with Android devices in the market.

competitive with Android. We want to get the bill of material for Windows tablets down,” Amrish Goyal, director of Windows business group said.

Windows 8.1, there were reports that to help companies create low-cost tablets the software giant might slash its Windows licence price by up to 70%.

“We will probably not sell a tablet for Rs

For devices that cost less than $250, the company would reportedly charge $15 for Windows instead of usual $50.

The tablets will likely be made by Microsoft’s traditional computer partners like HP and Dell as well as by local Indian firms like Karbonn and Lava. In India, the market is dominated by devices running on Google’s Android, mostly because these tablets are cheap, affordable and easy to find. In developed countries like the US, Microsoft competes with Android tablets with Surface devices, which the company believes are too expensive for markets like India. “We are reducing our required hardware specification for Windows to bare minimum that is needed for good experience. We want to be price

With the personal computer market, where Microsoft is very strong, almost entering negative growth phase, for Microsoft as well as its hardware partners, tablet market is very crucial. So far, Microsoft has been slow to address this market.

5,000. But yes, we will sell tablets with a price of around Rs 10,000 by middle of this year,” Goyal added. While Goyal refused to confirm that Microsoft was slashing licence fee it charges from its hardware partner for

Most of the Windows tablets available in the market currently are targeted at “pro” users and sell for a hefty premium compared to iPad and Android tablets. Most of these tablets cost around Rs 30,000 or more. In comparison, Android tablets like Nexus 7 (older version) are available for less than Rs 10,000.

Apple steps up hiring in China for new products: WSJ


aced by reducing market share and increasing competition, Apple seems to be gearing up for faster and more frequent product releases. According a report in The Wall Street Journal, the iPhone maker is recruiting hundreds of engineers and supply chain managers in China and Taiwan. The hiring push reportedly started in the second half of 2013, with the company poaching engineers from rival smartphone maker HTC and other Taiwanese technology companies including its own suppliers like Quanta Computer and Inventec Corp.

engineering team in Taipei to drive new iPhone product development.”

that the company will launch two bigscreen iPhones this year.

Apple reportedly already now has over

According to the report, while the core development will continue to be driven from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, the new hires in China will liaise with suppliers over hardware development for touchscreens and cameras, software quality assurance and electrical engineering.

The WSJ report says, “Apple is moving to strengthen its manufacturing base in China even as the 600 engineering and operations employees company moves a few production lines in China. back to the US.” The company has The hiring seems to be intended at The IT giant is rumoured to be working on factories in US, where it develops Mac strengthening the company’s team in new product lines, including a smartwatch Pro computer; it also has a factory where Shanghai and Taipei. AnApple and an HDTV, along with the next versions it will reportedly manufacture sapphire recruiting email says, “Apple is building an glass displays for next iPhones. of iPhone and iPads. Speculation is rife


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Facebook in talks to acquire drone maker: Report


acebook may be in talks to acquire drone maker Titan Aerospace as part of its efforts to bring internet access to the unconnected under, which the company backs.

are not connected to the internet, starting with Africa. It adds that Facebook would build 11,000 “Salora 60” drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles.

According to a TechCrunch report, the social networking giant is in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, which makes unmanned drones that stay near the earth’s orbit, powered by solar energy. The website cites sources as saying that the price for the acquisition is close to $60 million.

communications. The company’s website explains that the Salora drones are capable of supporting a wide range of voice and data communications and can be used to extend the range of ‘line of sight’ communication and data systems. The drones come with an internal battery back to store energy harnessed from the sun. They can remain at a height of 20km above sea level for five years without needing to refuel or land.

A video posted by Titan Aerospace suggests that the drones could potentially The online publication has said Facebook is be used for weather monitoring, disaster likely to use these drones to provide recovery, earth imaging, or internet access to parts of the world that

Facebook drones may work just like Google’s Project Loon initiative under which the internet giant intends to provide internet access to remote places through hot air balloons. The company is testing the balloons in New Zealand as part of a pilot project.

Twitter sends password reset emails to some users due to ‘system error’


ome Twitter users on Monday received a password reset email that was triggered by a ‘system error’.

that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter. We’ve reset your

Twitter confirmed that it had sent the emails out by mistake, with a spokesperson clarifying, “We unintentionally sent some password reset notices tonight due to a system error. We apologize to the affected users for the inconvenience.” According to Re/code, the number of affected Twitter users was less than one percent of the total user base. The report noted that the users who had received the password reset request emails were locked out of their accounts temporarily, and were also not informed about the exact reasons of the password reset. The password reset email sent by Twitter was said to have read, “Twitter believes

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many as 250,000 user accounts. Twitter had confirmed the news on its blog post and revealed that the passwords were encrypted and that it had already reset them as a ‘precautionary measure’. The blog post claimed that Twitter was in the process of notifying affected users. Twitter said, “This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked.”

password to prevent accessing your account.” In February last year, anonymous hackers attacked Twitter and gained access to passwords and other information for as

Other popular service like Snapchat, which is a photo messaging app, is also no stranger to security scares. Earlier this year, details of 4.6 million users of the popular mobile photo-sharing service Snapchat were reportedly leaked.



Bill Gates reclaims world’s richest title from Carlos Slim: Forbes


ill Gates has returned to the top of Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s richest people, as rising stock markets swelled the ranks of billionaires, which included a record number of women.

Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, whose net worth fell below $300 million from $10.6 billion as his oil and natural resources empire collapsed amid too much debt and falling output.

With a net worth of $76 billion, the Microsoft Corp co-founder reclaimed the top spot after a four-year hiatus, toppling Mexico’s telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who placed second at $72 billion, Forbes said in announcing the list on Monday.

Roughly two-thirds of the world’s billionaires, or 1,080, were self-made. The United States had the most billionaires, with 492, followed by China at 152 and Russia at 111. Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda joined the list with one each.

Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of clothing conglomerate Inditex SA, which includes the Zara fashion chain, ranked third at $64 billion. Investing icon Warren Buffett, who runs Berkshire Hathaway Inc and is a frequent bridge partner for Gates, was fourth at $58.2 billion. Oracle Corp chief Larry Ellison came in fifth at $48 billion. Gates has topped the list in 15 of the last 20 years. A record 1,645 billionaires with a total net worth of $6.4 trillion made Forbes’ list, up from 1,426 last year.

Microsoft reportedly plans to offer a free version of Windows


ccording to reports, to Microsoft plans to announce a free version of Just over 10 percent were female, with 172 Windows 8.1 in a bid to persuade women compared with 138 a year earlier. customers to upgrade to the latest version. Wal-Mart Stores Inc heiress Christy Walton was the highest-ranking woman, in Reports claim the new version, ninth place, at $36.7 billion. France’s called ‘Windows Liliane Bettencourt, who got much of her 8.1 with Bing’, wealth from cosmetics company L’Oreal could be given SA, was next among women at $34.5 away at a billion, and ranked 11th overall. developers’ The Internet was well-represented. Google conference in Inc founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin April, a version ranked 17th and 19th, worth a respective that would have $32.3 billion and $31.8 billion, while key Microsoft Amazon Inc’s Jeff Bezos was between apps and them at $32 billion. services. Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg, 29, more than doubled his net worth to $28.5 billion, and ranked 21st. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left office two months ago, was 16th at $33 billion, built mainly through his eponymous media company. Forbes said the year’s biggest loser was


According to media reports, “Microsoft is currently experimenting with a free version of Windows 8.1 that could boost the number of people using the operating system.” The firm has already made major changes to Windows 8 in a bid to make it more appealing to consumers.

(Also see: Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaked video ‘confirms’ Start screen and Modern app tweaks) Microsoft hopes the new system would make it easier for touchscreen users, giving a similar experience across Microsoft’s phones, tablets and PCs. “Let’s make it easier to start applications in the way we are used to,” Microsoft former CEO Steve Ballmer was quoted as saying in The Verge. The firm would bring back the start button which can let you boot straight to the desktop, added media reports. Ballmer also said the firm was not abandoning its start menu, adding that it was slowly beginning to attract app developers to Windows 8.

Pallikkutam | March 2014


Micromax Canvas Knight with octacore chipset launched at Rs. 19,999 Dr. Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager, International Sales & Marketing, MediaTek Inc, said, “The MT6592T enables consumers to experience premium gaming performance and enhanced web browsing. With MediaTek’s tru octa-core MT6592T, users can enjoy heavy web downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality premium video viewing or other types of rigorous multitasking without experiencing lag times or excessive battery consumption.”


icromax has launched its first octa-core smartphone, the Canvas Knight, in India at Rs. 19,999. The popular domestic handset maker has announced that the Canvas Knight smartphone will be exclusively available via company’s online store. The highlight of the Micromax Canvas Knight is its octa-core MediaTek (MT6592T) processor clocked at 2GHz, coupled with 2GB of RAM. The Canvas Knight offers dual-SIM (both Micro-SIMs) support and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box. It comes with a 5-inch (1080x1920 pixels) full-HD IPS display with a pixel density of 443ppi. The Canvas Knight comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage, which is non-expandable. It sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with OmniVision CameraChip sensor and M8 Largan Lens, while there is a secondary 8megapixel front-facing camera. On the connectivity front, the Canvas Knight includes 3G, Wi-Fi, Micro-USB, and Bluetooth. The new smartphone from Micromax packs a 2350mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 7.5 hours of talk time and up to 175 hours of standby time. The Micromax Canvas Knight comes preloaded with apps such as BBM, Hike, GetIt, Truecaller, Spuul, Kingsoft Office Suite, Opera Mini, M!Live, M!Vault, M!Security and Games (RealSteel WRB, Where’s My Perry and Where’s My Water).

Apple loses bid for permanent ban on Samsung smartphone sales in the US


U.S. judge rejected Apple’s request for a permanent sales ban in the United States against some older Samsung smartphones, a key setback for the iPhone maker in its global patent battle. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled that Apple Inc had not presented enough evidence to show that its patented features were a significant enough driver of consumer demand to warrant an injunction.

Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have been litigating for nearly three years The smartphone will be available in three over various smartphone features colour variants: Black, Black and Gold, and patented by Apple, such as the use of White and Gold. Commenting on the fingers to pinch and zoom on the screen, launch, Rahul Sharma, Coas well as design elements such as the Founder, Micromax said, “Canvas Knight phone’s flat, black glass screen. is another milestone for Micromax to bring the best combination of technology, style Apple was awarded more than $900 and affordability for the masses.” He million by U.S. juries but the iPhone further added, “With the launch of Canvas maker has failed to sustain a permanent Knight, our first octa-core smartphone, we sales ban against its rival, a far more have yet again raised the bar of affordable serious threat to Samsung, which earned innovation in the country”. $7.7 billion last quarter.

Pallikkutam | March 2014

The ruling on Thursday comes ahead of another patent trial set to begin later this month involving newer Samsung phones, and could frustrate any further attempt by Apple to bar the sales of those models as well. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the order. In a statement, Samsung said it was pleased with the ruling. “We ... agree with its observation that a few software features alone don’t drive consumer demand for Samsung products rather consumers value a multitude of features,” the company said. Even though Samsung no longer sells the older-model phones targeted by the injunction request, Apple has argued in court documents that such an order is important to prevent Samsung from future copying with new products “not more colorably different” than the defunct models.



A Guide to English Style and Usage- 11 A.G. Menon

homework means the work that teachers give their students to do at home: Use the computer after you have done your homework; Our maths teacher gives us a lot of homework. Housework is all the jobs that have to be done regularly to keep a house clean and tidy: She has to do all the housework before leaving for the office.

H head In British English the word head can mean a head teacher, headmaster or headmistress who is in charge of a school. But in American English, principal is the common term in secondary schools, though headmaster and headmistress are also used. In some companies the most important person like president, chairman, managing director or director is referred to as head, as in Head, Simpson and Company, Head-Purchase Department, etc. In such cases it is better to be specifc than vague, like Chairman, Simpson and Company; (Chief) Manager, Purchase, etc.

conscious of a sound using your ears’. Listen to is ‘hearing and paying attention (to)’: The neighbours heard two of the suspected thieves whispering but could not listen to what they were saying; The students listened carefully to the President’s speech. height Lakshmi is a medium-height woman should be changed to Lakshmi is a woman of medium height. Like that, say The man caught for the theft was of medium height.

help The expression can’t help... meaning ‘cannot stop yourself/oneself’ is followed by the ‘-ing’ form of a verb: He headache The word is a countable noun: can’t help worrying about his son, not He Whenever I take alcohol, I get a headache can’t help to worry about his son. Help is (not ...I get headache); She woke up in the usually an uncountable noun: If you want morning with a terrible headache. (some) help, please contact me. However note the phrase be a great help: Thank headquarters The word can be singular you for coming. You’ve been a great help; or plural depending on the context: The headquarters of Sony Corporation is/are in It would be a great help if you would buy this for me. Tokyo; Headquarters has informed the branches of the policy change. Please note hesitance, hesitancy and hesitation that there is no such word as headquarter. Both hesitance and hesitancy mean ‘the The short form of headquarters is HQ. state of being hesitant’: He showed some health The word is uncountable: I am in hesitance/hesitancy in explaining the Government’s new plan. Hesitation means good health, not I am in a good health. ‘act or instance of hesitating’: After some healthful and healthy Though the two initial hesitation he agreed to accept the words have almost the same meaning, offer; I have no hesitation in ‘having good health’ or ‘promoting good recommending her name for the post. health’, it is more common for healthful to be used to mean ‘promoting good hire A Briton hires a car and engages a health’, as in: Including a lot of vegetables chauffeur; an American hires a chauffeur in your diet helps you (to) lead a healthful and rents a car. In Britain, you also hire a life, and healthy to be used to mean suit, a meeting hall, a bicycle...usually for a ‘having good health’, as in: His daughter is short period: Why do you want to buy a growing into a healthy child. suit when you can hire one?; He showed me where I could hire a taxi. hear and listen to There is some difference between hear and listen to. historic and historical The former refers Hear means ‘to receive or become to events that are important in history:


The landing by two astronauts on the moon in 1969 was a historic event; The Taj Mahal is a historic edifice; In a historic decision, Parliament approved the bill to give 50% representation to women in the House. Historic also loosely means ‘memorable’: He had also participated in the historic Quit India Movement of 1942. Historical means ‘relating to past events’: I am an ardent reader of historical novels; There are historical records to prove that many in the Government of the time had sided with the foreign invaders. hoard and horde Though the two words sound alike, they are different in meanings. Hoard as a noun means ‘a collection of something, usually illegally’: The police unearthed a huge hoard of unaccounted money from the house. As a verb it means ‘to collect large amounts of money, supplies, food etc, especially secretly’: When food became scarce during the war, many people had hoarded it. Horde is ‘a large group of peple’: Hordes of activists participated in the party’s protest march to the Secretariat. holiday The sentence Our neighbours are going on holidays next week is wrong. It should be rewritten as Our neighbours are going on holiday next week. Like that, say I am back after holiday (not holidays). However holidays are used with my/the/ you etc: Where are you planning to go for your holiday/s this time?: During the summer holiday/s some students of Class X of our school are going to Kashmir. Usually in Britain employees look forward to their holiday. But students, especially college students, have vacation. home You arrive/go/leave/return home (WITHOUT at/to): I arrived home very late after the function; Let me go home

Pallikkutam | March 2014


healthful and healthy Though the two words have almost the same meaning, ‘having good health’ or ‘promoting good health’, it is more common for healthful to be used to mean ‘promoting good health’. early as I am hungry; Subhash left home at 11 to catch the 12 o’ clock train; He returned home after a 20-day tour of North India. home from home is used to refer to a place which one feels is as peaceful and comfortable as one’s home: The hotel where we stayed in Kolkata was a real home from home. In American English it is home away from home. homework and housework The first word means the work that teachers give their students to do at home: Use the computer after you have done your homework; Our maths teacher gives us a lot of homework. Housework is all the jobs that have to be done regularly to keep a house clean and tidy: She has to do all the housework before leaving for the office. Both words are uncountable. Homework also means ‘studying a subject or situation carefully and thoroughly so that one can deal with it successfully’: It was clear that she had done her homework for the interview: she has been ranked first; It seems our External Affairs Minister had done his homework well: he presented the country’s case well. honorary and honourable The former means ‘given as an honour rather than acquired through the usual channels or unpaid’: She received an honorary doctorate from Calicut University for her exemplary social service; Mr Mohammed

Pallikkutam | March 2014

Kutty has been elected Honorary Chairman of the group. Honourable means ‘honest and fair or deserving praise and respect’, as in ‘an honourable deed’, ‘an honourable man’. Honourable with a capital H is a title presented to some or used before the names of some people of high social rank as in ‘the Honourable H K Stevenson’. hope The sentence I hope that he would change his opinion about me soon should be rewritten as I hope that he will change his opinion about me soon. You hope that someone will do something or change their opinion, view etc or something will change or happen (NOT would). hopefully Many people do not favour the use of the word in the sense of ‘it is to be hoped that’, as in Hopefully we will get the approval very soon. They say the word should be used only to mean ‘in a hopeful way’, as in The man looked hopefully at me for a substantial donation. hospital He was admitted to (NOT at/in) hospital last night; Last year I was in (NOT at/in the) hospital for two weeks; She has got a job in (NOT at) a city hospital; Next week I’ve got to go (in)to hospital for an operation. In American English it’s I’ve got to go to the hospital...; He was admitted to the hospital; Last year I was in the hospital for two years.

there is no room inside: We returned home disappointed after seeing the ‘house full’ sign. Remember that it is house full, not houseful which means a lot of people or things in your house: We had a houseful of guests yesterday. how do you do? This is used only in spoken English as a polite way of greeting a stranger or someone you are not very familiar with and is not used in written English. How are you? is used in spoken and written English as an informal greeting. human and humane As an adjective, human means ‘of or relating to human beings’: The accident was caused by human error; It is human nature to commit mistakes; This food is not fit for human consumption. Human can also mean ‘kindly’: The new manager is a human person. Human as a noun also means ‘a man, woman or child’. Humane means ‘showing kindness, sympathy or understanding’: The country showed a humane attitude to the prisoners of war. humble pie If you eat humble pie, you retract a previous assertion, opinion or remark admitting you were wrong about it: Johnson was forced to eat humble pie and was forced to apologize for his remarks. In America it is eat crow, not eat humble pie.

house full This is a sign seen ouside some theatres that informs people that



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Pallikkutam | March 2014


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FORM IV Statement about ownership and other particulars about newspaper


Place of publication



Periodicity of its publication



Printer’s Name

Fr. Varghese Panthalookaran





Publisher’s Name

Fr. Varghese Panthalookaran





Rajagiri Media, Rajagiri Valley PO, Kakkanad, Kochi-39

Rajagiri Media, Rajagiri Valley PO, Kakkanad, Kochi-39

Editor’s Name

James Paul




CRA 25, Jees Villa, Eramath Road, Chempumukku, Kakkanad, Kochi-30

6. Names and addresses of individuals who own the newspaper and partners or shareholders holding More than one per cent of the total capital. I, Fr. Varghese Panthalookaran, hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Date: 15 March 2014

Confessions Saina Nehwal What is your idea of happiness? Once you are satisfied with your goal, it is the real happiness. I become restless, grieved and annoyed if I lose the game. My happiness is linked with my win. What is your greatest fear? I do not fear anybody on the field or in society, but I fear at night when I am away from my parents. I am scared of the unknown described in horror movies.

If not yourself, who would you be? I am too satisfied; and I believe in struggles, not in a smooth life. I would be the same anywhere. Who are your favourite poets? My knowledge in this field is zero. What is the reform you admire the most? Equality and prosperity for all.

What is your favourite virtue?

Which talent would you most like to have?

My virtue is my game. I’m a selfmade person, with guidance from my parents, the hard work of coaches and wishes of millions of my fans.

I am happy to be a player. It has evoked interest in millions of young people. Kids want to emulate me, so I am satisfied.

What is the principal aspect of your personality?

What are your favourite food and drink?

I am simple, disciplined and emotional.

I enjoy three meals a day and 90 per cent of what I eat is vegetarian and home-made. I occasionally eat non-vegetarian, and chicken preparations are my favourite. I like sweets such as jalebis. What I cannot miss is ice-cream — after every win. I also like to drink light coffee (cappuccino).

What is your main fault? I am proud that I do not have any fault. I am proud of being myself. What do you hate the most? Inequality in society. I cannot believe there is caste system in society; I cannot believe people are judged on the basis of their prosperity. What is your greatest misfortune? Missing a medal in the Beijing Olympics after being on the threshold of a win — I consider it one of my greatest misfortunes so far. What is your most treasured possession? My medal in the Common Wealth games, London Olympics 2012, and my beautiful car BMWSX6. What is your favourite colour?

How would you like to die? I want to play for many more years, leading a happy, injury-free and healthy life.

Saina Nehwal; born 17 March 1990 in Dhindar, Ghaziabad district, Uttar Pradesh, is the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. She achieved this feat by winning the Bronze medal at the London Olympics 2012 on 4 August 2012. She is the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships and was also the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesia Open on 21 June 2009.


Printed and Published by Fr.Varghese Panthalookaran CMI on behalf of Rajagiri Media, Rajagiri Valley PO, Kakkanad, Kochi-39 Ph: 0484-2428249. Printed at Anaswara Printers, Elamakara, Kochi. Editor: James Paul

Pallikkutam : March  

Magazine on Education

Pallikkutam : March  

Magazine on Education