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Gurudatta Joglekar Co-Founder, O2, Breathing Brains! A Training and Placement Institute

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Alcohol Ban – Good intentions missing the mark?

Supreme Court has directed that there will be no liquor sale in hotels and restaurants, or liquor outlets, within 500 meters of state and national highways (with few exceptions of course). I wondered if this decision, though with good intentions, is missing the mark.
There are two sides on this decision.
1)    To curb drunken driving killing many every year (effect – marginal)
2)    Revenue loss for the state, loss of jobs, injustice to those who drink responsibly (Effect fair to heavy)
Without numbers, I claim that the former side of the decision is having a marginal weight over the later part.
I would rather argue to improve the quality and nature of policing & usage of Breathalyzers. Further, strict enforcement of laws & punishment for the drunk & drive cases. Personally, I was never checked by a breathalyzer (and I claim to be a fair traveler) till date.

I have the following arguments:
1)     Banning the sale of alcohol within 500m from SH & NH will really reduce drunk & drive accidents?
2)     I have a valid license to sell alcohol (either retail or bar) and suddenly, I am told that your license will not be renewed just because my hotel is within 500m from the highway. Why should I suffer?
3)     Though less, but I have traveled a bit in Delhi, Gurgaon. I fear about the impact of this decision as most of the hotels & restaurants are along the highways. Even about the hotels along the Eastern/Western Highways in Mumbai, Thane. The big establishments/chains like Taj/Le Meridian, Oberoi, The Leela, The Lalit, etc which generally are along highways must be taking a big hit.
4)      What about the effect on this decision on tourism industry (though the impact may be marginal)?
5)      Why should the people who drink responsibly or take drivers with them suffer?

I have the following suggestions:
1)     Increase policing along highways and equip them with breathalyzers
2)     Perhaps, checking on every toll plaza as the travelers are in the queue, most of the times. At least on national highways.
3)     Stricter enforcement of actually existing laws. E.g. If there is a printed receipt directly from a handheld machine for crossing speed limit, why not for drink & drive?
4)     Why not link Aadhar to license and have a record of all the cases against the Aadhar number. If the drink & drive cases, exceeds a limit, say twice, license suspended for a specific duration, say 6 months.

I would like to remind the honorable Supreme Court that Salman Khan is a citizen of India.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

TCS Email Writing Guidelines

In this post, I would like to throw some light on some important points which I missed in my earlier post (last year). In case you have not read my earlier post, I would suggest going through that first. Here is the link http://gurudattajoglekar.blogspot.in/2014/09/two-notes-before-i-start-1.html).

In continuation to the above post,

Use of keywords:
The best job (ironically) that TCS does is to give keywords for the email. Please take care of the following points:
- Sequence/Order of keywords: Please ensure that you retain the sequence/order of keywords as given in the question
- The tense of keywords: Try your best to retain even the tense of the given keyword. e.g., ‘schedule’ is one of the given keywords. If you frame the sentence as ‘meeting was scheduled’, you end up scoring less as you have changed the tense of the keyword.
- Matching of keywords: Ensure that the keyword you use exactly match with the given keyword. Example: Given keyword ‘it was a success’ and you use it as ‘it was a great success’. The system may not be able to match the words as ‘great’ is not allowing it to do so.

Word count:
Generally, expected word count is given in the question. Pay attention to words like minimum and maximum. Mentioning some obvious points herewith. Ensure that you cross the minimum word count given in the question and do not cross maximum .
- If minimum word count is given, ensure that you cross that word count. But, don’t get over-excited and type a long email. e.g., if the question has minimum 50 words and you type an email with more than 100 words, it is considered lengthy. 
- If the maximum word count is given, ensure that you do not cross that word count. But, don’t submit the email with too fewer words than expected. E.g., If the question has a maximum word count of 100 and you type an email with only 50 words, it is considered too short.
- If a range is given, try to finish the email with word count somewhere near the average. E.g. Question with minimum 70 and maximum 100 words, 80-90 words is considered optimum.
- As a general rule of thumb, you can go with one keyword – one sentence which would do your job. Also, keep a buffer of around 10% of the given word count.

Effective timing strategy:
It is wise to use 1+7+2 strategy in the 10 minutes allotted for the email writing section.
- 1 min: Read the question carefully, think of each and every keyword and most important, understand the context of the given question. You can have a rough draft prepared in your mind, especially how to start and how to end.
- 7 min: Type and complete the email
- 2min: Check your email thoroughly for keyword usage, word count, punctuations, spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, etc.). I have covered such points in this and my earlier post.

I am sure that if you practice this in advance, this timing strategy will prove really helpful.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Formula oriented approach Vs theoretical approach
Lively responses on my Facebook post validated the fact that the subject topic is of interest to many. I appreciate the responses received, however, some of them are slightly off the topic. Well, they have focused on ways to prepare for campus screening tests, but my post is primarily focused on clearing the tests (Meaning – the psychology at the time of test). Of course, how to prepare is a point of discussion, but, not right now.
I would be trying to classify various approaches to solve problems and then substantiate each type by giving an example.
Many, rather most, are of the opinion that one should solve problems logically.  But, I really do not know what exactly they mean by logical approach. There seldom exists any logical approach to a problem. Prasanna seconds by view by rightly mentioning the term ‘smart’ in his post, which is more appropriate. Some, if not all, problems can be solved by rejecting the inappropriate answers. Most of the times, this works.
Extending the point further, I would rather mention the term ‘sensible approach’ or ‘obvious approach’, where one is expected to apply his common sense. This again works for some, if not all, of the problems.
Coming to the theoretical approach, many argue that this is a more preferably approach. I do not disagree, but when it comes to clearing the test, time available for the test plays a very important role. From my experience, one cannot think of using theoretical approach for more than 10% of the total problems.
Formula oriented approach, seems to be a good choice, when it comes to attempting the test in the given time. I personally prefer this approach the most but would like to make a claim here. Chances of getting a problem correct by theoretical approach is slightly more than by the formula oriented approach. This is possibly because most formulae have few exceptions, which we tend to ignore while solving a problem. On the contrary, in case of theoretical approach, we go low, step by step, in detail, and we rarely end up missing the exceptions.
Giving some examples to substantiate my approaches:
1.      What is the remainder if 4536453663 is divided by 45?
A)  18                B) 48            C) 63            D) 3
From the right theory given to me by Prasanna , if the sum of digits (successive sum) of the dividend and divisor both are 9, the remainder has to be a multiple of 9. Clearly, the correct option is 18
Some may confuse this with theoretical approach, but I wouldn’t call it so. I was not knowing the background or derivation of this property, neither had the time to validate that. What I used was an obvious and rejecting options approach.

2.      xy + yx  = 46, What is the value of x and y ?
Answer: 1 and 45
No doubt this is nothing else than an obvious answer using obvious approach.  

3.      In how many ways can we distribute 10 pencils to 4 students, so that each student gets at least pencil?
Answer: 9C3
One possibility is that the student may actually derive something by mentioning various possibilities and counting them. Though time consuming, this may give a correct answer.
However, for the ones, who already know the background, will give the answer in matter of seconds, which I would call a formula oriented approach.

4.      There are five distinct integers a, b, c, d, e in ascending order such that (68-a)(68-b)(68-c)(68-d)(68-e)=725. What is a + b + c + d? 
Here, I would say we use and prefer theoretical approach as we need to find the prime factors of 725 and then arrange them according to the question. Factorization of the given number is the only way of coming down to a solution, at least for me, which is nothing but pure theory.

All in all, in case of an aptitude test, important is clearing the test and in the given time. Though we cannot generalise one particular approach for all the questions, we can claim to use one particular approach for majority of the questions. Considering the upsides and downsides of the approaches mentioned so far, I would prefer to use a formula oriented approach for clearing an aptitude test. However, I do not debate that this approach will be helpful only if the student has used a theoretical approach while preparation.

For my final verdict, I would like to take reference of a theoretical approach J. Below are the theoretical claims:
1.    Voter A wins 41 votes, Voter B wins 40 votes, others in total win 19 votes.
Voter A wins, because he is in the majority.
2.    People claim India to be a Hindu country from the fact that 79.8% of India’s population is Hindu
This theory explains us the ‘rule of majority’!
Similarly, if we are solving more than 50% problems from a particular test by the formula oriented approach, we can safely claim that this approach has the thumbs up than all other approaches.

Note: In case you observed, I have used ‘theoretical’ approach for preparing my verdict J

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Yakub’s hanging - Closure of something old or the start of something new?

Asaduddin Owaisi, one of the greatest orator/debater on my list, is said to be disappointed by Yakub’s execution. Here are some of his arguments, my take and conclusion (with a question).

Argument one. Owaisi claims that the capital punishment was executed because Yakub lacked political backing. Apparently, President of AIMIM, known for its radical Islamic views, is claiming this. Furthermore, Owaisi studied L.L.B. in London and Barrister-at-Law in England (Refer Asaduddin Owaisi ). Surprised to see this party coming into the picture just recently. More surprised to see Owaisi not fighting for Yakub so far. Watch this video of Owaisi demanding money for Muslims. If he was so bold to demand 2 lakhs in the house, then, why didn’t he stand for Yakub?

Argument Two. One of his prominent argument, a Muslim was hanged (Yakub was hanged because he was a Muslim) and so called Hindu terrorists are still not. He mentioned Godhra, Babri, Sikh riots in Delhi, etc. I disagree to his argument, to some extent. Most of the cases which Owaisi is comparing Yakub’s case to, are still in process.  I agree to his argument, to some extent, for the matter of fact that, I, the citizen of India, do not have much information regarding how a case is treated as ‘rarest of the rare’. We do not really know about a score card, where we can compare Godhra Riots accused to Mumbai blast accused. Say that person A scores 96%, attracts capital punishment and person B has only 80%, attracts life imprisonment.

Argument Three. Owaisi accepts that Yakub is not innocent. He also accepts that he was aware of the conspiracy and even aided it. But, he opines that he was not the main player. More important, he says, was his behaviour subsequent to his escape from India and his role in exposing the Pakistani hand in the blasts. Precisely, let us all accept, Yakub was not the main player. But, this does not necessarily mean that he cannot invite capital punishment. Perhaps it means that the punishment to be given to XYZ, supposedly the main player in the blast, must be more severe than just hanging him. But, unfortunately, neither is the person with India nor the punishment.

Argument Four. He claimed that Yakub surrendered himself to India and helped Indian Authorities in investigations, sharing top secrets of Tiger Memon and gang, for which, India is expected to show some sympathy. I am not sure if I agree. Sympathy? For being one of the main player, in the act of killing hundreds and injuring thousands?

Looking at the above four perspectives, very few will believe that Owaisi is/was really behind Yakub. Owaisi, in a parliamentary committee meeting had questioned "Hindu" names like Agni, Aakash and Arjun for defence weaponry. Seemingly cunning and deceptive, he is nothing but trying to gain political traction from this hanging!

Keep Owaisi aside, watch Yakub Memons only interview . Seems to be very innocent, with a clear conscience and high on morality? An engineer, in my late 20’s, I fear I am not a proper person to decide whether he was guilty or not. And surely nobody, to confront the Indian Law.

All this is bound to have a direct and tangible impact on upcoming Bihar elections. But, if we consider the larger picture, I am hinting towards a really bigger scale. I really do not know if Yakub’s hanging is the closure of something old or the start of something new? 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The 2mins blog

Entered India somewhere in 1980’s, now Amitabh Bacchan to Madhuri Dixit promoting the immensely popular Maggi noodles. This (sudden) ban on Maggi is a bit surprising to me for following reasons:

One: Is this just a drama? Banning a product after allowing it to gain an enormous market share, is an eye catching act of course.
Two: Required business cuts, perhaps, denied or deviated by Nestle?
Three: Is the government even aware regarding food Adulteration happening all over India?

In Mumbai, vegetables are grown near and around the tracks using water from gutter. This has not stopped over years? They will not be banned or this will not be controlled, of course vegetables are good for health. Maggi, widely consumed in cities like Mumbai, contains xyz, which is bad for health, banned. What an irony!

Why was the government not vigilant enough to govern such malpractices, especially in the food industry? They couldn’t spare 2mins? Oh common. You get a plate of hot, sizzling and spicy Maggi, in just 2mins!

Why was the government not vigilant enough to govern the Mid-Day meal scheme? Kids brawled to death in some states. They couldn’t spare 2mins? Oh common. You get a plate of hot, sizzling and spicy Maggi, in just 2mins!

Why was the government not vigilant enough to monitor Maggi samples on an annual basis? At least much frequently than once in a decade. They couldn’t spare 2mins? Oh common. You get a plate of hot, sizzling and spicy Maggi, in just 2mins!

But who will raise the voice? In India, the one who speaks and is listened to, is the one with the Gandhi Printed Paper.

Wait and watch now. 2mins please, and no Maggi this time!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Focus on marks or on co and extracurricular activities?
Many graduating students recently asked me whether one should focus on marks or on extra-curricular activities. Though, this is a very subjective question and every person can have mixed opinions, I will try to share my views.
Grades are important, but not essential
Whether you stay in the library or barely know there is one on the campus, concentrate on getting good marks. Though marks are not everything that you need to go through, but you never know when your academics have bolstered you. If one has five short listed candidates A, B, C, D, E and all other dynamics are reasonably equivalent but for C, who has substantially higher marks. He will generally fair well in the comparatives and get through. When entering the corporate world, one doesn’t have the experience or skills and the organisations will have to train you and wants to ensure that you possess the ability to learn. I personally do not ascribe to the argument, generally talked about, that if a candidate has good marks in his graduation, he absorbs new knowledge easily. Important is the learnability and adaptability, both of which have no direct correlation to what marks you have scored. But, there is certain difference between good and excellent academics. If one has received academic scholarships, awards, recognitions, companies tend to take notice. Not because the award winners are smarter, but they went the extra mile than others. It is an indication about an inner drive which generally reflects in their work as well.
Grades are generally mere numbers. Candidate A has scored an average of 85% as against 75% of B. Yes, we all know, numerically, 85 is greater than 75 or 75 is less than 85. But, what does it really tell? Can we claim that 85% of university A or institute A is better than 75% of university B or institute B? Are we really comparing apple to apple?  Let’s assume that we have maintained parity between two scores from two universities/institutes. But, what if candidate B has taken some core skill certification, organised blood donation camps, is an active member of some college organising committee or whatever. What if the elective B has chosen is more relevant to his skills or likes. Isn’t all this an indication that he takes decisions, instead of going with the herd? Another point worth mentioning is that if you graduate at the top or bottom of your class, you will be noticed. If you are in the middle ground, where pretty much everyone is, you will need other skills to land the job. Sure that I’ll be confronted on this point.

Grades are today, tomorrow but not the day after. Two or three years after your graduation, what will matter, your marks in graduation or what you have put in these years? Of course, the later. There is a saying that ‘You are never again as technically competent as the day you passed your exams’. As time passes by, marks or grades tend to fade away as a predictor of progress or success in your job.

Activities (which give skills), are not only important, but also essential
In business or in the corporate, you need releases from work and you must have developed social skills when dealing with clients. You also need time management skills and multi-tasking abilities. I believe that living in the library seldom promotes these skills. Ask any HR manager on what would he prefers in a candidate and he will not be really interested in selecting the ‘meritorious students’, but wants ‘strong students’ who also had other things going on in their lives. Perhaps, having girlfriend/s J 
Of course, above theory is seldom applicable for job profiles which really asks for merit, studiousness and whatever. Example, articleship.
Some suggestions on extracurricular and/or curricular activities:
·       Activities should be relevant
·       Activities should be excelled at
·       Try to perform/participate in unique activities

Though, I have not talked independently on ‘activities’ at length, I have given reasonable justice in comparing activities and marks in the above paragraph.

Grades/marks are important during the first few years of career. If you want to have a non-scholastic advantage in the hiring process, consider adding relevant, unique and skill giving extracurricular activities to your resume.

Marks are today, tomorrow but not the day after. Skills are today, tomorrow and forever!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

MSG – Buy a ticket or not?

I learnt about the film ‘MSG – Messenger of God’ only after it was recently banned and my colleague mentioned this to me. J  This twitched my interest in understanding what was so objectionable in the film and why is it banned.

The film seems to be about a self-styled godmen (like many others in our country), in his 40’s or so. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh heads a Dera and seemingly has lakhs of followers. This fundoo Baba, is active on twitter, performs magic, holds concert where he sings. And now we have a film, produced and directed by him, starring  Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh as MSG (Messenger For God).
Ironically, I learn that he is under scanner for sexually exploiting female devotees and for castration of his followers. Nothing exceptional when we hear of the term godmen in this country. What more is that he runs a ‘Cleanliness Earth Campaign’ .Please do not relate this to the Clean India or Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, he won’t encourage this! J (refer his website/twitter account for more details)

About his movie, it is said to deal with youth-related issues like drug abuse, alcohol addiction, etc. With seven songs in the movie, he does everything, sing, dance, fight, (perhaps flirt as well), etc. But does that mean the film should banned? Absolutely no.

Firstly, I learn that it is banned for being a self-promotional ad film. So what? Don’t we have high profile cricketers and actors in advertisements from fairness creams to inner wears and shoes to condoms? Secondly, point to be argued is about the (practically) impossible stunts that MSG performs in the movie. But, lets avoid discussing on this point when we have (super)heroes like Salman for Dabbang, Shahrukh for Ra One, Hrithik for Krishh 3, to name a few. What is wrong if this man performs some stunts with special effects? Thirdly, some might put across a point that this movie has objectionable content. Just to learn, definition of objectionable content according to Wikipedia: “According to the Information Technology Rules 2011, objectionable content includes anything that “threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order." This movie doesn’t seem to violate any of the above points, when why the ban?

Is censor board really necessary? The journey and decisions of the censor board so far are not really justifiable or acceptable. (Nearly) blue films being released – reason, to give the new generation actors/actresses a chance and platform. Many pro-religious movies released – reason, to pass encouraging, life changing message to the youth. So, how is MSG to blame? Is it because of the funny acts that the movie seems to have. But, lets be assured that he cannot compete with our ‘Akhiyon Se Goli Maare’ and ‘dost baat maar sakte ha, magar kabhi laat nahi maar sakte’ wala Govinda.  The basic question remains, why to ban MSG? If you want to see it, go buy a ticket. Those who don’t want to see it, need not. Plain and Simple!