Examination – Has It Killed Education?

Don't Let Examination Kill  Students

Don’t Let Examination Kill Students

Fourteen year old Raju looked at the ceiling fan. He started sweating and thought of cancelling his plan but that was not possible. He went ahead, threw the string around the fan and before he could change his mind, hanged himself using the same rope. Later on, it was discovered that Raju was under stress due to coming exams. He felt pressurized and didn’t know whom to talk with.

The above incident is not alone. In India, daily average twenty students use various methods for committing suicide. They all have different Modus Operandi but the same reason. Some have Stress of not getting admissions in esteemed institutions, others fear of not performing well in the exam.

Why students are taking such drastic steps? Have the authorities ever thought what is wrong? Is there any drawback in our education system which is putting pressure on students?

Students are not mentally grown-ups. Many still don’t know how to handle pressure. The students assessment is done based on their performance in few hours. In the examination hall, they have to give their best to do within the given short duration and then accept their destiny when the results come. You may be a scholar but if you fall sick during exams, no one is going to rescue you. I know a son of my friend, who gets so nervous during Mathematics paper that he literally forgets whatever he knows during the tests.

Life is uncertain and even the topper can get depressed and forget everything under the exam pressure. Is it good to leave one’s fate based on the performance in few hours?

What is Education?

Education develops the thinking of a person. It develops the thought process. Education is not about passing an exam or getting good grades. It’s also not about getting a good job after being educated. It’s an enlightening process. In schools, we are taught subjects viz Social Sciences or Poetry not as one day we will earn due to knowledge of such subjects. Social Science grows our knowledge about this world and Poetry enhances us in expressing ourselves. We start earning due to our interest or proficient understanding of a particular subject. Examination is there to assess the knowledge we gained at a particular time.

A person is referred as an Educated Person when he is humble, intellectual, knowledgeable and kind. Being educated and being financially successful is different thing and totally unrelated. However, examination has become a very important link between the two. Examination certifies a person’s knowledge at every step of learning process. It’s very easy to distinguish who is grasping the knowledge quickly and who is intellectual by way of examination. Those who excel in these exams have more chances to achieve success in life and do better in career. They are approached readily by organisations for jobs. They have been certified by examination that they are intellectual and they possess the knowledge well enough in a particular field which enable them to do requisite work swiftly.

However, as in our current education system, the biggest issue is that it has become exams oriented, instead of being education oriented. Today, nobody is interested in training students and to really measure their knowledge and understanding on the subject.  Everyone is just focused on grades and marks. As a result, today’s exams are not a good criteria to assess their genuine education skill, but they have just become a measurement of one’s retention skills. As a result, students have only one goal of how to perform professionally in the examinations. Nobody pays attention to actually gaining knowledge. They are not inclined to go an extra mile and do research which may give them better understanding of the subject.

It’s a sad reality that this kind of system prepares students for materialistic success and monetary gains. The fundamental education has gone in the background and students have lost the focus of learning.

What is the use of making them remember things which they are not going to use in the future? The education system should allow them to learn the subject and understand the fundamentals. Instead, the system emphasizes on how much students mug up and write during the exams.

Protect You Kid From the Pressure of Education

Protect You Kid From the Pressure of Education

A very important thing to understand here is those who are not excelling in these exams are not actually dumb. Many of them are really very smart. They just don’t have the sharp memory to mug-up things. They might not act quickly and perform well in short duration of exam time. But, can perform well in real-time demand of life situations. Many of my schoolmates who used to score 40-50 % in schools are successful managers. Many who are good in mugging up the things are left behind after school, as they lack the power of analyzing.

Enhancing Our Education System?

There are two major types of learning process that is used world-wide for education.

  1. Rote Learning Method
  2. Critical Thinking Method

Rote Learning is a method of memorizing by way of repetition. Critical thinking method is to educate someone by developing their thinking. Both have its own uses in the education system. Rote learning is used in early stages of our education to learn the basic things like counting, basic mathematical operations, memorizing alphabets, names of fruits,  flowers, birds, etc. Once the child is at a stage when they can analyze, think, act. Critical Thinking method is used to develop their intellectual skills.

In our education system, Rote Learning method is used even after the kid is grown-up. Like I remember in 7th standard, the one who could write each and every step of an experiment given in chemistry book or biology book used to be given full marks. I was unable to memorize well so I used to score poorly.

A balance of both the methods depending on the growth level of the kid should be applied to enhance the learning. The motto should be to impart the education rather than score more.

Schools should have regular meetings with parents to keep them updated about their child’s performances and interests. The pressure of study comes on a child by their parents. Parents wants their child’s future to be easy and secured. A simple way for this is to score high. Get certified that you are intelligent and you will be taken with both hands by companies after completing education. However, showing anger, frustration and admonishing to score high even after being in top ten in the class is quite common in our society.

Apart from this, the people who regulate the rules and make education policies should understand their responsibilities. Due to their ignorance, today our education system has become another name of rat race where learning has no chance to win! And even if the rules are changed, it’s a duty of every institution to see that they are implemented properly. Those in power should make proper changes in the policy. And the parents as well as teachers should make sure that the students do what they love to do instead of compelling them to learn what they don’t like. If the subject is beyond their capacity, they are hardly going to succeed. Letting them do things they like and letting them select their own destiny might be helpful. It might reduce the pressure from young students and reduce the suicide rate.

Organic Foods: Are They Worth The Hype

The World is Going Crazy about Organic

The World is Going Crazy about Organic

A food which is produced under strict standards laid down by government is called ‘Organic food’. This kind of technique produces crops without harming either environment or the animals, thus protecting our natural reserves for the next generation. The word ‘Organic’ actually depicts a way farmers grow and cultivate different produces like grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

Today who has not heard of an Organic Food? They are everywhere, from specialized health food stores to your local super markets; the aisles are full of organic products with different labels. One aisle is full of traditionally grown fruits and another with organically grown fruits. They both look fresh, colorful, nutritious and good. One might get in dilemma about which one to choose.

Let’s go in detail of Organic Foods to understand this.

Organic Foods

  • Now days, people don’t leave a single stone un-turned when it comes to their health. Often foods produced non-organically has harmful antibiotics which are injected in livestock.  These antibiotics create adverse effects on our body. Eating organic food ensures that farmers have not used any antibiotic on the animals and the crops.
  • Farmers use large number of pesticides and chemical fertilizers which keep pests away but weaken our resistance power. Such methods of producing crops are hazardous for our health.  Food made organically just uses natural manures and compost and doesn’t contain a single trace of strong chemicals thus reducing pollution and protecting mother earth.
  • The use of pesticides by the ignorant farmer has resulted in growth of a lot of disease especially cancers. Farmers want to protect themselves in every possible way from pests. No chance to be taken. In the process, they spray more than required amount of pesticides on the crops. There is no proper awareness program conducted by the authority. Organic food takes away these possibility.
  • Often people say that organic food retains the original taste and texture of vegetables and fruits. They even look fresher and colorful compared to food grown non organic way.
  • Organic food doesn’t contain the harmful toxin deposits. Hence they are nutrition rich compared to the non organic food. According to one study, Animals which were not given dose of antibiotics produced healthier dairy products compared to traditionally generated dairy products.
  • Eating organic food ensures that one is eating healthy and this protects from the potential dangers of catching bugs and infection.  This in turn keeps us healthy and in good physical shape. One becomes happier and feel energetic after eating such food.
  • When someone purchases locally grown, organic products direct from the farmer, it provides enormous support to the local community. The purchase creates jobs for many people and this ensures financial security for the farmers.
  • Fertilizers and pesticides have adverse effects on new-born babies and young children. A recent report had established a connection between different disorders and non organic foods. Eating organic food ensures that our children will be saved from possible risks of ADHD, leukemia and other defects.  If pregnant women and young children go organic, they can benefit most.
Organic Foods

Section for the Affluents: Separate Section of Organically Grown Foods

Drawbacks of Organic Foods

Yes, it’s true that organically grown foods have many benefits. But lets’ have a look at some of the drawbacks of using this kind of food.

  • Organic food doesn’t contain any preservatives. Hence, they don’t have a long shelf-life. On the other hand, traditional foods can be stored for many days. As they use various additives to keep it fresh for days. Customers don’t have to visit the market often as they can store non organic food for long time. This saves time and money.
  • As the farmers don’t apply chemicals and other dangerous drugs to his crops, he might have to invest more time, money and energy in growing and cultivating organic crops. Moreover getting Organic certification is not cheap. Sometimes these organic farms are too small and can’t receive financial help from government. This increases the overhead costs and makes raising organic crops an expensive affair. This makes organic foods more expensive compared to their non organic counterparts.
  • A new research has found that cow’s milk is harmless for kids and there is not much dissimilarity between the traditional and the organic one. Pediatricians all over the world recommend to drink skim milk. It can be either organic or the conventional.
  • There might not be much choice in organic food products in local market. Most of the time one gets a limited variety of products.
  • One might have a difficult time in finding a restaurant serving organic food if planning to eat out.
  • Still majority of farmers grow traditionally cultivated crops as they want more profit with less effort from their side. If they use fertilizers and pesticides, it helps them to boost the crop and volume of their products.

Organic or Traditional

As we can see from the above discussion, eating organic food might be good for an individual. It provides many health benefits and who don’t want their family to be fit, healthy and happy? However, in the long run, going organic is a costly affair and everyone can’t afford it. Organic food products are almost twice the price of conventional food products. One who is cautious about their household budget can’t pay for it on a day-to-day basis.

Conventional food does contain pesticides and harmful chemicals. But, the harm can be minimized by washing the fruits and vegetables under running water before using them. Keeping view of the budget, it might be less expensive method to make sure healthy eating. Middle class spends most of its spending on foods only. Taking preventive measure in traditional foods can definitely be a better idea to keep the budget balanced with healthy diet.

If we see the wider picture, organic food is nothing other than naturally grown food product. No harmful chemicals, no fertilizer, no pesticides. A little pesticides or fertilizer can’t be harmful. However, taking it in heavy dose along with food product could be dangerous. If regulation is implemented along with awareness for the use of these chemicals, traditional foods could become healthy too. Farmers need security in adverse situation. Once it is given to them by way of insurance or protection of their chance of loss. They will use minimal required fertilizers and pesticides. The food products could be produced naturally and at a lower cost.

Government can’t just make regulations for the affluent only. Organic foods give healthy food to rich people only. Not to the masses. Its their duty to devise plan to give healthy food for whole society not just few. Society is not run by affluent family. The backbone of society is farmers, artisans, laborers, house-hold helps, small technicians. These drive the production section of the society. Healthy food is a right of everyone. One can’t divide this right based on income or affordability. Traditional or Organic. It should be healthy and available for everyone.

Introduction From Basic: What is WordPress?

Google Blogger

Many of you who are familiar with blogging, when told about blogging the first thing that comes in mind is a blog on Google Blogger. It was a purchased by Google in 2003 started by Pyra Labs. It became the most popular platform for blogging. However, Blogger has some limitations like:

  • You can’t customize much in respect of appearance or features. You have to do a lot of research if you are not a pro.
  • It is hosted and owned by Google. They can shut it down any time. They can act and remove your blog on complain without any warning. Copyright violation, DMCA notice any such notice to Google will result in immediate removal of your blog.
  • The most important of all is Blogger is outdated and not a preferential service of Google. They are not keen in updating the service with latest advancement in blogging and make it more user and customization friendly.

In between a lot of alternative services flourished. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and others. Google Blogger is used mostly for regular blogging only. However, these services are referred as Content Management Service (CMS). These are used to create a lot many different sort of website than just a blogging website. One may see the current market share of all the Content Management Services CMSs here.

Wordpress Logo

You may see WordPress has developed as a giant for CMS. Drupal and Joomla both give software which could be easily installed on hosting environment to create your website and comes with Open-source License. Hence, one could customize it easily. However, WordPress provides both Google Blogger type blogging platform where you can sign up and start blogging and Open-Source Licensed software which you could install on self-hosting environment like Drupal and Joomla.

WordPress blogging platform is available at www.WordPress.com. It is popularly referred as WordPress.COM. The self-hosted blogging software could be downloaded at www.wordpress.org. This is referred commonly as WordPress.ORG or self-hosted wordpress.

Just like Google Blogger, WordPress.com has some restrictions. However, their blogging environment is much more advanced than Google Blogger. Customization and many add-on services are allowed as premium services on payment. There are almost 60 Million blogs hosted on WordPress.com. If you are a novice and want to create a wonderful looking blog where you can start writing without nothing to worry about, choose WordPress.com.

Wordpress Dashboard

WordPress.ORG gives all the capability of customization and personalization. The customization and personalization could be achieved easily by more than 2,500 free themes and 30,000 free plugins. In order to set up your WordPress.ORG blog, you need to get a hosting account at HostGator, BlueHost, JustHost or other such hosting company. Plus you need your own domain name which you can get at GoDaddy. Most of the hosting company give domain name at the time of registering for their service. But, it’s better that you use your own domain name from GoDaddy. As it will be easy if you wish to change hosting company in future. In later articles I will give your more details about blogging with WordPress. Enjoy!

How Good Are The New IITs

New IITs

Proposed Main Building of IIT Bhubaneshwar

In 2008, Government of India added eight new Indian Institute of Technology (IITs). There were earlier seven IITs before. Out of these eight new IITs, six started function in 2008 itself and two started operation from 2009. IT-BHU was converted as IIT (BHU) Varanasi in 2012. I’m summarizing the establishment years of these institutes in chronological order below:

  • 1951: IIT Kharagpur
  • 1958: IIT Bombay
  • 1959: IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras
  • 1963: IIT Delhi (founded in 1961 as The College of Engineering & Technology)
  • 1994: IIT Guwahati
  • 2001: IIT Roorkee (Founded in 1847, renamed as Thomason College of Civil Engineering in 1853 and University of Roorkee in 1948)
  • 2008: IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Jodhpur, IIT Patna, IIT Ropar
  • 2009: IIT Indore and IIT Mandi
  • 2012: IIT (BHU) Varanasi (Founded in 1919 as BENCO; renamed as IT-BHU, by joining three institutes BENCO, TECHNO and MINMET running under BHU)

The eight new IITs were started within an Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012) to develop Higher Education and Research in India. During this period five IISER, an NISER, seven IIMs, ten NITs, six AIIMS, seven NIPER and many other institutes. All these are getting huge funding from the Government of India. Established with a vision to develop India as a Super Power.

As per new IITs are concerned, all new IITs are awaiting completion of their permanent campus construction work. However, they are running full-fledged within limited strength from their transit campuses taken on rent. All are being mentored by old IITs.

Academics

Even though they don’t have permanent campuses these institutes have healthy infrastructure and running like any other engineering college. Initially, these institutes were getting faculties from their mentor IITs. However, with time they have full-time faculty. But, many of the post of full-time faculties at these institutes are still vacant. But, the lack of faculty is not the problem of only new IITs. Even old IITs have vacant positions of full-time faculties.

The academic standard of new IITs is better than any just opened engineering college. They have many faculties from old IITs or NITs.

Courses started at new IITs are still not as vast in numbers as old IITs. Most of them have started with B Tech courses in Computer Sciece, Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Chemical. However, once they shift to their permanent campuses both several courses and intake per courses will increase.

Infrastructure

Standards of new IITs, even though they are running from transit campuses are not compromised. Some of the new IITs are exception, rest are giving healthy environment in rented accommodation in some institutes. However, it is expected most of them will shift to their permanent campuses within next two to three years.

Student Life

IITs are popular in developing a student at its best. They not just excel in the regular career. Instead, they excel in other fields too. The craze for IIT is so much as it develops the personality and boost confidence of students to do well in their life.

All the new IITs organize cultural or tech fests and activities just as regular IITs. Still, a lot of development will see once they get their own auditoriums at permanent campus.

Placements

Placement is the most important section that you would be looking for. The good news is new IITs are doing well in this section. Even though they don’t have the facilities that many not renowned but established colleges have. They have the most important thing, quality students. Students at new IITs are being selected from the premier exam earlier IIT JEE and now JEE Advanced. So, even though these institutes are yet to set up themselves, companies are coming and giving healthy package.

As per Times of India, I’m presenting the placement conditions of these institutes in 2013. It also presents faculty condition at these institutes.

Name Posts for faculties Posts vacant Placement last year Lowest package Highest package
IIT Bhubaneswar

90

17

92%

3.5 L

11.5 L

IIT Gandhinagar

90

14

91%

Didn’t disclose

Didn’t disclose

IIT Hyderabad

105

4

85%

3.5 L

34 L

IIT Indore

90

13

85%

4.5 L

17.58 L

IIT Jodhpur

90

42

79%

3.75 L

17 L

IIT Mandi

90

41

88%

4.75 L

18 L

IIT Patna

90

19

87%

4.5 L

16.3 L

IIT Ropar

90

38

88%

3.75 L

63 L

This year the placement are going to be little bad as market condition is bad and PSUs are not coming for campus recruitment. But, these are going to affect both new, old IITs and other colleges too.

These institutes are better in placement than many regional level good engineering colleges. But, not better than NITs now. They are well established and have good connection in industry. Gradually, it will develop.

Final Verdict on New IITs

In my last article, Good College or Good Branch. I kept the ranking of these institutes in Tier 3 colleges. It is to be taken into consideration after old NITs for admissions. However, once these shifted to their permanent campus. Sooner or later it is going to surpass many old NITs.

If you like the above article, I’m giving links for articles written on similar topic by me:

  1. Good College or Good Branch
  2. When Should I Start Preparing for IIT?
  3. JEE: Should I Take A Drop?
  4. How to Prepare for JEE Mains After Appearing for 12th Board
  5. Most Suitable Date for JEE (Main) Online Test
  6. New Pattern: What is JEE?
  7. IIT JEE: What should be Strategy for Partial Droppers?
  8. How to Prepare for IIT JEE?
  9. Kota: Paradise for IIT JEE Aspirants
  10. Role of Coachings in IIT JEE selection
  11. Hopes Beyond IIT
  12. IIT JEE: What should be the strategy for repeaters?