Education – What India needs the most

Before heading to the crux of the much interesting topic, let me cite a few quotes that are borrowed from great personalities.

  1. “If you think Education is expensive in 21st Century, just wait to witness how expensive it will be without education” – Barack Obama
  2. “Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world into a better place.”- Nelson Mandela
  3. “And our own Rabindranath Tagore said “Education is one which does not give only information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence.

The main question to ask ourselves now, is: ‘Is our education system enabling us to convert information into wisdom?’ I understand that the topic might be overcooked on the web. But the view the Pandas present is quite different.
First of all education is not only schooling or grades or number of qualifications. It is a tool which makes a person live happily, work with maximum efficiency and live with delight. It should benefit both the human mind and the heart. O.K. let me name the above as it is known ubiquitously as intelligent quotient and emotional quotient.

The right form of education enables a person to learn the nitty-gritties of life. The jealousy, greediness, enmity, theft, robbery, dacoits and murders are present in this world. Some are also committed by educated people. Why is this so? This is not only because of the internal psychology, but also due to improper understanding of life.

According to a source, children whose mothers are able to read have 50% more chances of survival (above the age of 5) than the rest. A scintillating fact is it not? Another fact. Just imagine that if all women on earth had any form of primitive education there would be nearly 2 million less malnourished kids in this world. Does it not strike the minds of those chauvinistic people who are reluctant to send girls/ladies/women for education?

In developing countries like India, we see it to be a rat race. Yes, we Pandas are also a part of it. But we urge every reader to expound beyond this rat race. Education is a learning process. Look out for knowledge. If you have the privilege to go to a learning center, make use of it to the fullest. Along with the syllabus try reading all genres of books ranging from comedy, romance, G.K to lifestyle.

And most importantly, start educating one other child either by paying fees or in whatever way possible, to make this world a better place to survive.

Article Originally written by Adithya N

The reason to get up in the morning

“If you can’t fly, then run;
If you can’t run, then walk;
If you can’t walk, then crawl;
But whatever you do, you have to keep going”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

World came into existence around 13.6 billion years ago according to Big Bang Theory. Life began around 4 billion years ago. So, there is an enormous probability that a particular person would have taken any life form. In other words, there is very less probability to take a form of human being in this generation as a Millennial. Where there is unlimited access to information, unhindered rights to fundamental freedom etc., so there is a purpose to fill in everyone’s life and to fulfil that, one needs to get up in every morning.

Though the civilization has evolved through generations, we still have many challenges to be resolved around us. According to WHO, 5 woman die per every hour during pregnancy and 1 woman die every hour due to dowry related issues. India still has highest number of child deaths in the world. Gandhi says that it’s the duty of every educated person to lift the downtrodden from his poverty. For this, we need to get up every morning.

Demonetization and its efficacy

Sometimes, thought the target is missed, prize is won. Demonetization drive started as a drive to alleviate the circulation of black money in the economy. But, it resulted in improvement in usage of digital payment systems and reduction in interest rates by most banks. However, there was a short term reduction in GDP growth rate and escalation of unemployment due to decline in demand.

In the analysis carried out by Mint, the industries such as Mining, Metals and Machinery were not affected by demonetisation. Most affected were customer facing industries like consumer goods sector. Consumer electronics and domestic appliances were badly hit. There was also a 30% fall in house prices in metropolitan and Tier 1 cities. So, due to temporary slowdown of economy, IMF slashed India’s growth forecast by 0.4% for next fiscal.

According to RBI, banks have received around Rs. 5 trillion by 18th November, 2016. Leveraging this opportunity, online payments systems promoted their brands and improved their market share. Paytm saw a fivefold increase user base after demonetisation and so have do other companies like Mobikwik, Ola Money etc., Government also swung into action through their digital payment systems like BHIM and UPI. However, the continuation in usage of digital payment systems is yet to be seen.

Should religion be given a say in the process of law-making

Preamble of the Indian Constitution stipulates that India is a secular country. It is supported by Article 25 of Part III which provides freedom of conscience and free practice, propagation and profession of religion. Also, Indian way of secularism means that India is non-religious and not anti or irreligious. So the state supports all the religions without any favouritism.

India is a birth place of many religions. Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism are born here. Christianity and Islam are also widely practised in India. Furthermore there are many cultures and traditions which are imbibed our society. Not considering the voice of religion in such a multi diverse society is an act of ignorance. All the laws governing the personal life of citizens are based on the religion. For example, Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and The Muslim Women Act, 1968 are promulgated respecting the religious values of citizens.

According to the sociologists, like Robert. K. Merton, who believe in functionalism, religion is a part of society and cannot function without it. However, this doesn’t mean that religion takes the centre stage as in case of some Islamic countries. Religion should evolve itself with by complimenting and contradicting laws in any society.

Kapil Sharma – Impressionnant Artiste

What do you do when you find something extremely funny? The first thing is ROFL or LMAO or LMFAO. The astutely funny acronyms are a result of happiness and funny feelings. The laugh hormone gets triggered the moment we find something funny. And Nitrous oxide is the external causal factor!

Kapil Sharma is an amazing Indian Stand –Up comedian. He has a witty language and a blithe mindset. The smudging of both the ingredients place him on the pinnacle of Indian Hindi Comedy. The understanding of the clear need of rising stress levels and its related maladies made this human “The Comedy King of Stressful Times.” The characters he plays in all his shows are highly justified ranging from Arora Saab to Inspector Shamsher. The osmosis of knowledge and comedy in his acts is admirable.

He rose from the grass root level to a superstar (along with his production house K9) like none other. He fought animosity, jealousy, lousiness, tardiness and complacency by improving on every act. The man’s self-belief and trust on his team is out of this world. These lessons are immeasurable for any person to learn. Having an amazing business acumen, he knows how to recruit candidates who fit the best in the shows and does that equal to that of a seasoned HR Manager!! He is active on social media and has of late been involved in a “Tax Tweet Controversy” due to his frank nature.

The recent saga of Kapil allegedly abusing his close friends and colleagues Sunil Grover and Chandan Prabhakar has put him in the “dim-light” of the showbiz industry. The recent off screen controversies which has almost dismantled his team into two different groups. Kapil has to focus more on his work life balance which has almost been bleak. The former media channel where he earned most of his fame through the show “Comedy Nights with Kapil” has also come up with the complaint of unreasonable demand from the talisman. So, Kapil has to understand that managing fame and relationships.

The way ahead to this gentlemen is a huge challenge. The disdaining conflicts, current fall in TRP (Television Rating Points), not so mesmerizing acting in movie (Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon) and repetitive script need to be tackled. The Pandas understand that these are easier said than done due to the humungous task of making people laugh and manage a personal life along with the same.

The other question which most of his fans have is “When will Kapil Sharma Marry?” I do not have the answer for the questions, but time does. Kapil is going to raise the bar of creativity and responsibility in the near future to tackle the problems. Eagerly waiting for that! If you have a comedian in you, bring it out by giving your best. One Day, you could be a legend in your own right.

Zindagi mein kuch karo babu!! Nahi toh, tujhe milegi Baba Ji Ki Thullu!!

Article Written by Adithya N

Freedom of speech in India

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we be led, like sheep to the slaughter” -George Washington

Article 19, Part III of Indian constitution envisions the Right to freedom of speech and expression. Since, the inception of the constitution, the scope of this freedom has been expanded by the Supreme Court. Recently, Section 66A of IT Act was scrapped to promote online freedom of speech. But, this freedom of speech is only utilized by few sections of the society.

Due to the emergence of social media around 30% of the total population are able to air their views. The remaining population is still looking for the mediums to raise their voice. So, the ultimate question is not whether freedom of expression is fair or unfair but to whom it is fair? Sedition laws and defamation suits are randomly filed against the citizens in many cases. For example there was a huge hue and cry against the arrest of a famous cartoonist and an editor. Also, minorities in India, both social and economic, were worried about the emergence of the fringe elements after Modi took over as Prime Minister. Fortunately all the worries were proved wrong.

Arsene – Is he the Right Man for Arsenal

“Learn as you live forever and live as if this is your last day.”

One of the best quotes by the father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi, echoes the way Arsene is living his days at Arsenal. He is giving his best everyday by working his sweat out for his club.

The Arsenal Manager arrived at the Highbury in September 1996 from the Far East to North London on the request of former Executive David Dein. The success that he has furbished is formidable. The over-throwing the fantabulous Manchester United from the Throne as soon as taking over the club was astonishing. He also made the ever boring High-bury football style into one of the most “sexiest” styles of football, called the Arsenal Way. He is amazingly shrewd as we all know and adding to that, he loves nurturing young talents from the nascent stage till the matured stage.

Given his inimitable feat of “Invincibles”, the expectations from the football fraternity is bouldering on Wenger. The recent span has not been that ecstatic. Arsenal has become a mammoth in the game of football and so have the expectations. The recent drought of EPL from 2004 has been the black spot in the Professor’s CV. Along with the empty trophy cabinet, the transfer policy has also been wholesomely criticized.

Critical points:
  1. The recent acquisitions have not been stellar except for Ozil, Cech and Alexis. The rest of the signings have not transformed Arsenal into a robust “Championesque” Club. The club still does not have a prolific striker and a rock hard defence.
  2. The recent 2016-17 has been quite negative. The team has not been able to perform against the bigger opponents such as Bayern, Barca, Dortmund, Chelsea and many more. This has continuously haunted the fans and Wenger. The stubbornness of Arsene has come into the fray. The dynamic mentality in terms of strategy of the game is not witnessed. On the whole, the results haven’t been up to the mark.
  3. The loss of trust among a section of the fans is becoming an epidemic as more numbers are joining the “Wenger Out” army.
  4. Emergence of Tottenham as a “big four club” has constantly shaken the North London and the shift of bragging rights might take please anytime now. Arsenal fans would withstand trophyless season but not finishing below Tottenham in EPL.
  5. The players who played under Wenger also believe that it is a time for a tweak at Arsenal F.C. The statement coming from the players who have first-hand experience seals the deal.

Given that he has built the club from limited resources, including the construction of Emirates Stadium and clearance of debts, he would be the “Father of Arsenal Way of Football”. But the club needs to decide whether Wenger fits in the current scenario of the game, where the term “loyalty” is becoming a mere commodity and “money” the replacer. Today, loyalty is more performance driven than time. The Pandas think that Arsene has to move into the board and get someone youthful & energetic so as to bring about a change in the mentality of the club (players).

So, what do you think? Is Arsene the Right Man for the Job?

Article Written by Adithya N

Byju’s Classes – A Step Ahead of the Rest

The colloquial quote “Do what you love and love what you do” is not taken seriously by many. Rather many believe it is an irrational, infeasible and a maniacal thought. Byju Raveendran, an entrepreneur of different aura has showcased that the quote is not a dream, but a reality.

I, being a Byju’s student can imagine his words “Do not read for CAT exam. No need of any preparation. It is just common sense.” These are his usual words whenever he handles quants session. Coaching/Tutoring business in India pretty magnanimous, ranging from school tutoring i.e., from class I to IAS exams.

The way Byju made his entry into this business strategically is commendable. He started CAT classes in early 2000s after he found out that he was excellent in topping these exams as he could solve the aptitude questions very well. The aspirants quickly recognized the opportunity and started to enroll under him to learn the concepts in a totally different way. He is mostly known for Online Teaching, which is a whole new ball game altogether!
Online Teaching in India even today is not highly prevalent. But the astute ability shown by Byju to put across the importance in preparing for CAT/XAT/other exams by sending the recorded lectures via tablets has created a new dimension in Coaching Business. The entire Byju’s Classes has grown into a full-fledged education hub. He realized that there is a “Blue Ocean amidst Bleeding Red Ocean” of off-line coaching. The first mover advantage into online learning and his reputation expounded into a huge success. He made sure that students find it attractive as well. All the faculty are experts and connoisseurs of the respective fields. This makes the learning curve more exponential.

The Inducement of Capital by Investors like Sequoia Capital and Facebook’s subsidiary indicate the fact that Byju’s Classes will revolutionize the learning process in the country. He is able to reduce the fixed costs in this manner as he need not purchase Land for his classes. Thus, managing a mammoth strength of students is not an issue. The visualizing of mathematics via tablets by Byju is laudable. The premium charged by him as compared to others is a fee paid for enhancing common sense along with learning! I am a testimony of that !!
He is a disrupter in the market-place as he has efficiently carved out a niche for himself amidst the likes of Time, Career Launcher etc. The further question is that, what is in store for the students as the classes received a further 50 million dollars from Sofina (Facebook Subsidiary). Will Byju’s use Virtual Reality to teach? Will they head in for a one on one online coaching? Will they go brownfield? Will they enter into academia themselves? Will they go for a buy-out of another player?

Lot of questions to ponder every time Pandas see the poster of Byju’s on a TV commercial, or on a Bus or other digital Ads.

Article Originally Written by Adithya N

Trump governance vs Modi Sarkar

With the raising right wing populism across the world, there is no wonder that Donald Trump and Narendra Modi got elected to the top position. Modi cashed in on the incompetence of Congress to eradicate policy paralysis. His stand on the implementation of Uniform Civil Code, prohibition of Bangladeshi immigrants on Indian soil, eradication of black money gets him closer to Trump’s policies. Trump is specific about his policies. He wants to prevent illegal immigrations from Mexico and other Muslim majority countries which are threat to U.S. economy. Improve the ease of business by reducing the corporate tax, protect and promote American culture.

The policies of both the leaders stems from the political party they belong to i.e., National Democratic Party (NDA) and Republican Party of U.S.A. Both the parties are Nationalists, neo-conservatives and anti-elitist. They could be brought under a larger umbrella of Right wing populists. Liberal in their economic policies and conservatives in their culturally conservative, both the parties, are in sync, in broad terms. However, there is an enormous difference between ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make America great again’ as propagated by Modi and Trump in their campaigns. Modi’s focus is on increasing Foreign Direct Investments by establishing business friendly environment. On the other hand Trump is inclined towards protectionist measures by imposing ban on Chinese goods or hiking VISA fee. So, Modi is probably getting it right compared to Trump.

The Future of Climate Change

Till last year, efforts to mitigate the threat of climate change were in full momentum. The landmark climate change agreement concluded by U.S.A and China in September, 2016 was hailed as the major breakthrough. Both the countries joined the Paris Agreement through this pact. However, with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of U.S.A, the future of climate change looks bleak. Irony is that the result of USA presidential elections were just released during the Marrakesh Treaty negotiations.

Rise in right wing populism across the world is also a major threat to climate change. The ideology prefers a Nationalist approach to solve the solutions whereas climate change mitigation requires global mindset. According to NASA, 2016 was the warmest year and the temperatures may surge exponentially in coming years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that future risk involves ocean acidification, significant eco system shifts and species extinction. This will undermine food security and may also provoke global wars.

The tangible solution is to get the world together to implement all the treaties agreed upon and not to sign new agreements. Otherwise, the Paris Agreement, Kyoto Protocol and other significant treaties will remain only on books. Recent strides in technology such as Big Data Analytics has to be leveraged. With increasing global concerns, political consensus is the need of the hour.