Few weeks ago I had attended a seminar on the topic of structural changes in curriculum for enhancing employability through skill development in PLM conducted by a reputed company. As our state technical university was the co-organizer, members of all the Board of Studies were invited to attend.
A conversation between colleagues that I witnessed :-
Senior Colleague (Male) say B :- Ahh! No. My wife doesn’t let me teach our daughter because she thinks I am not strict enough. See, my ideology is when she wants to study she will. But my wife is always making her study like when she wants to go out to play, when she is watching tv…
Senior Colleague (Female) say C :- Sir, which child “wants” to study? We have to make them study.
B :- Hmmm..Few days back my wife asked her to write few words in small, capital and cursive. She mixed up and my wife slapped her. But I feel it is unfair to expect a child of 5 yrs to write all that correctly.
C :- Sir, in today’s world of competition, we have to prepare them to fight. Otherwise they will end up as losers and will blame us only that why didn’t we make them study.
Another incident at a bookstore that I witnessed :-
A lady placed a very thin book on the counter and proceeded to pay for it. The book was – Unsolved C.B.S.E. Question Papers for Class 1.
Today was Teachers’ Day in India and I was on leave from college. So I have no inspiration to blog anything today But if I don’t post something today, my identity as a lecturer and a blogger will be tarnished!! Maybe I will come up with a better post on teachers and teaching job next time. At present I will leave you with some images.
Viva-voce is an essential and integral part of any professional curriculum. Its supposed to be just as scary as a theory examination and sometimes even more as its an oral examination. Though I had given viva voce at school level I don’t remember anything about it. You can read Ishmeet’s experience of a school viva here. In a field like Engineering or Medical, practical knowledge is much more important than theory. Viva-voce tests just that.
I don’t know about all but in many private engineering colleges viva-voce serves as a source of entertainment and frustration for the external and the internal examiners respectively rather than an ordeal for the students . The increasing disregard in students for studying before practical exams and the decreasing sincerity and quality of students in engineering can be attributed to cropping up of engineering colleges like mushrooms and the trend of not failing anyone in viva in private engineering colleges.
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This is a special post. After reading whole of it you will come to know what is special about it. Right now here is my blog “My Random Thoughts” inventory.
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I recently became the faculty in charge of the departmental student body i.e. EETA – Electrical and Electronics Technocrats Association. It is basically of the students, by the students, and for the students. Some students are made office bearers by voting and hold the post of President, VP, Secretary, Jt.Sec, Treasurer and so on. The body’s objective is to organize different extra curricular events in an academic session. A teacher is made in charge for supervision and management of finance. So the first event organized by me and my team of EETA members was Jhoom 2008 – an inter branch group dance competition on 27th Sept. Sadly only 5 teams participated but it was quite successful without any major obstacles. As the budget was low for this sort of event we didn’t hire a professional videographer. I didn’t have my digital camera then. So the videos I share with you here were taken by a student on his handicam. Also he shot only the first round of the competition. There were 5 judges. 1st round was retro or folk round and 2nd was free style. Out of 5 teams, only 3 were to make it to the second round. In second round there was a first prize and a runner up prize. Who won? That you will be guessing in your comments and I’ll verify your guesses. Here are the videos (Let them load fully one after one and then enjoy!!) :-
Brahmaanandham Parama Sukhadam
Kevalam Jnaana Murthim
Dhvandhvaa Theetham Gagana Sadhrisham
Tathvam Asyaadi Lakshyam
Ekam Nithyam Vimalam Achalam
Sarvadhee Saakshi Bhutham
Bhavaatheetham Thriguna Rahitham
Sadhgurum Tham Namaami.
Meaning/Translation: This sloka tries to describe the qualities of a true Guru. A real Guru experiences the supreme Bliss of Brahmaananda (transcedental divine bliss). He enjoys and confers changeless supreme happiness. He is beyond space and time (there is nothing higher than him). He is the embodiment of wisdom which is the basis for all types of knowledge. He transcends the pair of opposites (such as happiness and sorrow, gain and loss). He is more Omnipresent than space itself. He is the very embodiment of the Divine principle, which is the inner meaning of the four great pronouncements Prajnaanam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi, Thath Thvam Asi and Ayam Aathma Brahma. He is One without a second (ekam). He never changes under any circumstances (nithyam). He is without any type of impurity (vimalam). He is steady and motionless(achalam). He is the witness of everything. He transcends mental comprehension and verbal explanation. He is beyond the three gunas (sathva, rajas and thamas). I offer my humble salutations to such a Guru who possesses all these qualities.
Yesterday Vishwakarma Puja was celebrated in my Department of Electrical Engineering. Lord Vishwakarma is a Hindu deity known as the divine engineer and architect in Hinduism.
Hindu mythology is full of Vishwakarma’s many architectural wonders. Through the four ‘yugas’, he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In “Satya yuga”, he built the Swarg Loke, or heaven, the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the ‘Sone ki Lanka’ in “Treta yuga”, the city of Dwarka in “Dwapar yuga”, and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the “Kali yuga”.
Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated on Kanya Sankranti day which comes after Ganeshotsav. All engineering and architectural community celebrate this day and worship Him. Craftsmen worship their tools in His name. He is supposed to provide excellence and quality in work and blessing for proper working of machinery and tools. Though the festival is mainly celebrated in factories and industries with much grandeur, we have the tradition of celebrating it in our engineering college’s laboratories and workshop also. Here is a photo feature of the whole event. Place the mouse on the photos to read the captions.
Its been two months since I again became a student to do my second Master of Engineering in my core branch i.e. Electrical Engineering. The first day of M.E. (Power Systems Engineering) was a portent of what lay ahead. Getting up at an unholy time (6.45 am), bathing so early in morning, attending class from 8 to 11 and taking classes after that till evening are totally draining me out mentally and physically. For those who remember my earlier post on categories of students and those who were curious to know my classification, nowadays I can be classified as
# The First Bencher :- One of my Professors in M.E. writes on the board in such a small cursive handwriting that it is not resolvable or readable from the first bench even with a pair of binoculars. Though I admit I haven’t tried using a binoculars yet. Maybe I would one day. When I was the class monitor in school, then only I’d learnt that one has to write for the audience not for oneself on board. Another speaks in low voice and another’s subject is so boring that I have to sit there to avoid sleep.
# The Yawner :- Just as the Professor turns his back to us, I yawn and stretch. 6.45 am is like dawn to me.
# The Stimulator :- In all the 5 subjects, there are only two which really interest me and I’m active in that class. Whether I’m fun to teach or not , that only my professors can tell.
Children emulate many people in their growing years, often those who leave a strong impression on their minds. I was quite impressed by my teachers and used to play teacher-student at home with my sister. Another profession I was impressed with was that of vegetable sellers (sabziwalis). After my Dad had brought weekly groceries, I used to pretend to be a vegetable seller and go to each family member to sell my vegetables. Thankfully after doing my B.E. I chose to be a teacher or rather a lecturer as they call in technical field. After more than 3 years, I’m still loving it!! I’ve seen lecturers shake head to toe before their first class ever. But since the day I stepped in to take the first class of my life and to teach a subject like Network Analysis which was one of the scariest subjects during my student life, I felt totally at ease. And after leading a dual life i.e. a student as well as a teacher for a while now, I have been able to observe both sides closely. I have already written about students from teachers’ point of view and the professional hazards of being a lecturer. Time to pass on some more pearls of my wisdom based on my experience. Now I have classified students of a class in some categories. I may have missed one or two categories. A student at a given time may belong to one or more category.
The duties and responsibilities of a technical lecturer comprises of teaching, instruction in laboratory, students assessment and evaluation, assisting in departmental administration and so on. Some may think teaching is a boring and dull profession but the truth is that the nearer one is to the youth, the more exciting life/job is. Now before I narrate an incident you must know that I work in a private college and many influential people’s sons & daughters study on management quota. Few days ago, over a girl; boys of two different streams (IT and Mech) had a fight which led to serious injury to one of the boys (Mech). Police came to arrest the main accused (IT) and our Jt.Director of college is said to have slapped him too. But the student turned out to be the nephew of a big politician and somehow construed the slap as politically motivated. So on 6th Aug around 100-150 boys (goons??) came to college and wrecked the administrative building. They even hit the Jt.Director with stick and manhandled the Chairman and Director. We all thought the repercussion had ended there.
In the coming college session 2008-09 of Engineering, around 10 new colleges will add to the existing 19 colleges in the state of Chattisgarh. Also the number of seats in the existing colleges will go up. That would mean around 10000 seats for engineering admissions. Similar conditions exist in other states too where day by day new colleges, technical or otherwise, are coming up. Education is the one of the biggest investment areas now in India. Big parties are pooling up their legal or illegal money and setting up colleges. Just by showing basic fulfillment of norms, they are getting approval from the AICTE too. Students getting absolutely any rank or even no rank in the state’s entrance exam can now get admission in Engineering easily. The fees of this state is more than Rs.50000 per year, not taking into account donation money for management quota seats.
The question that arises is whether this education boom is actually a boon or bane? Will it prove useful in the long run for India or will it spell out the doom of Indian technical workforce? These are the important points to be considered before deciding the answer to this question.