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Showing posts from November, 2009

Some thoughts on University Education in India

Recently Sam Pitroda recently mentioned that - "too much focus on engineering and medical education has created a situation in India where liberal arts really did not get the kind of attention it deserved." He said: "A good liberal arts education is important to produce leaders. India has now begun to recognizse that we need not only world class engineering education, we also need world-class liberal arts education. And, we agree that the model we have in (University of) Chicago or Harvard is a model that we need to look at , but it needs to be Indianised - it has to be of a local context." Clearly, Pitroda is talking about the skewed model of having competitive exams for professional courses only which has created a void in liberal arts education in India. Unlike US system, Indian universities do not have a uniform SAT for admission across disciplines – so while for entry to professional courses like engineering and medicine we rely on AIEEE/SEEE and PMT/CPMT’s b

Demise of a Bank*

"It was his child - the bank, how could he let it die?" - these were the thoughts which reverberated in Gopaldas's mind on that cold winter morning as he sipped his morning tea before readying himself for office .... for the last time, he thought. But had it not been for him, the Bank would have been sold out long ago. Samaj Uday Cooperative Bank was an ailing bank and so small in its operations that apart from its own depositors and borrowers, hardly anyone knew about the Bank. Started in the early years of Indian independence by a group of small traders along Gandhian principles - the Bank's main aim was to provide credit to small traders and businessmen. Gopaldas had joined the Bank in September 1962, the month he remembered so precisely because it was the month India went to war with China. He had joined as a junior clerk but his diligence in the early years saw him rise fast and become an officer by the time he got married. By 1984 he was among the senior mana

Is personalized news a mirage?

Having been personally associated with an attempt to create a 'personalized' news reader, it was amusing to read views of Eric Schmidt on the subject. Bang on target – Eric steered clear of what a personalized news reader should be, and just highlighted that the increase in the personalized (also mobile) devices which we use to consume info will automatically lead to need for personalizing the content itself. However, looking at personalized news from someone else's eyes, I for the first time am realizing that for all the good efforts of the geek world – humans may not need personalized news after all ! By personalized news I mean, the news which I as an individual am interested in. For example some ways to determine the classifications for such news are: All News from sources chosen by me Any News related to the topics which I am interested in (Sports / tech etc) News being read by people in my network (colleagues, friends, family) News which relates to any entity