Sunday, August 17, 2008

CAT's Discriminatory Tactics !!

Why is the CAT tailored for engineering students? This question has plagued my mind ever since i heard about the exam and found out the statics regarding the students who get into the IIMs. If you don't believe me then maybe you should attend a few of the classes held by institutions like T.I.M.E., IMS, Career Launcher etc. Or you can even speak to the teachers over there who will tell you for a fact that more engineering students crack the CAT then students from a non-engineering background.

The fact still remains that if your an engineering student with excellent English skills there is no way you will not crack the CAT. Surprised? well don't be. Being an engineering student automatically guarantees that you have very good math skills this combined with excellent English skills and common sense will ensure that you crack the CAT. 70% of the paper is Math which includes DI and Quant. 25% is English and the remaining 5% is Logical Reasoning. The math is more of pure math with topics like Logs, Trigonometry, Permutations + Combinations, Indices + Surds et al comprising of the "syllabus". Math is a subject used in such intensities predominantly by the engineering students rather than students from arts background, who do not study math when in college. Therefore, how do you expect people who have lost touch with maths to suddenly rise up to the challenge and excel in this exam?

For a person who does not use math (except the common operations like +, -, div, x ) in daily life, it is impossible to recognise the twists built into the questions and figure out a way to solve them in 60-90 secs. And with the amount to cover, understand and learn, remembering everythin is a herculian task which very few people (from non-engineering background) can do.

Next your going to ask: but there are so many engineering students who also do not get into the IIMs. I repeat we're talking about cracking the exam which most of the engineering students do. Even if they don't top they do score well atleast better than most of the arts students. I suggest you go through the statics and figure out that most of the engineering students get very good marks in Math and DI. If they do not score well then you'll see that they lose out in Logical Reasoning and/or English.

CAT markets itself as an aptitude test and boasts that it tests the analytical skills of a person. I don't think anyone has ever critically examined the CAT paper. Either that or Indians have a very skewed sense of what an aptitude test is. The GMAT or the GRE exams are much more analytical and aptitude test like than the CAT. To judge a person's aptitude you need to judge his understanding and way of thinking and not how much he knows or does not know. The later forms a test of knowledge, an aptitude test is NOT a test of knowledge. I presume Indians mostly do not understand the difference else there would have been atleast one voice against the CAT exam. Its difficult to understand how finding out the number of powers in a number formed by 1004 x 1005 x 1006 .... x 2009 indicates how analytical my mind is. The math section atleast is nothing but utter nonsense with tonnes of irrelevant questions being asked. Twisting the logic of a question is absolutely fine, but the CAT architects do not know where to draw the line. They have become obssessed with twists and insist on putting so many twists in the question that it stretches into the 5th dimension. I think their moto is:

"When you can catch your nose from around the back of your head, why catch it from the front"

I have always believed that everyone should be given a fair chance at every opportunity, but i think the people who grant the PG Diploma and MBA degrees want to discriminate against the non-engineering students. India has always been a country where engineering and science is given greater importance but such open discrimination is atrocious, and that to from people who should know the meaning of spoiling a young person's career at the beginning of his/her life.

--> SJ

Friday, August 15, 2008

Independance Day!

On any day of the year if you walk down the streets of any Indian city you will see people rushing about their businesses, kids running around enjoying their carelessness so on and so forth. There would be the sounds of men shouting on the street, cars honking, sounds of machines running etc. But what you would never hear on a day like that is music, specially patriotic music or the national anthem, being played loudly in the open for all to hear and the Tricolour being brandished from every possible nook and corner of the city around you.

Its quite surprising how Indians wake up to celebrate their Independance Day and showing off their patriotic fervour only on 15th August. Every home, car and person would be brandishing the Tricolour on this day. You'll see kids running around waving the flag high and people paying a lot of respect to the flag and even saluting the flag like military cadets. You will notice a very strong love shown by the Indians towards the national flag, but the very next day if you go out for a walk you will notice people rushing about their businesses walking on and stamping on top of the flag devoid of all love and patriotic feeling.

On a normal day if you abuse the country in front of any Indian nothing wud happen, most probably he would agree with you and abuse the country rite back. But dont think of doing this on 15th of August. You'd certainly get hammered by a 100 or so people around you. The patriotic zeal of an Indian is a very strong emotion. But surprisingly it emotes only on one day of the year.

To the Indians, show off is everything. Its the clever people who show the rite kind of feelings at the rite time and manipulate dump citizens who do not understand enough to look into the depth of the situation. For e.g. a criminal who wants to go into politics would show the rite patriotic zeal on 15th August and with a few cleverly drafted words would convince the people that he is a true patriot and should be allowed to rule the country. The Indians like always, will be dumb, they will ignore all the newspaper articles and accusations against the clever criminal and vote for him and thus he becomes a part of the government and works for his selfish gains rather than the citizens. And thus we solve the question of how criminals get into politics.

Hail India! Hail the Indians! Happy Independance Day!

Satyameva Jayate


p.s. Lets just hope that Indians wake up to realise their hypocrisy and come to realise that its the individual citizen's credulity and integrity is what matters and makes a nation prosper and respected.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quote Blast

The depths of your heart are obvious to all those who care about you. But when was the last time you showed yourself unconditional love? Before we can find true romance with others we must learn to cut ourselves some slack and be cool with who we are.
- Unknown
To add on to my previous post.. i really dont think i'll ever understand how to be friends or keep friendships, coz its always me who ends needing and interacting with people not them who'd want to speak to me.

Its always me who has a dearth of people around me, everyone else seems to have too many people around them to notice or remember me.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Its quite surprising how a dearth of ppl around you can effect your mind. While at Shaw i always had people to talk to and spend time with. I was never short of friends. whenever i needed to talk, someone or the other was there and all i had to do was go upto them and start speaking and my need of human interaction wud get fulfilled. But now that i'm back in Bangalore its quite surprising how after a time of being alone the need to speak to people comes up pretty strongly. I have some good friends from college in this city or rather i shud make it had coz one year of being busy and not being able to keep in touch has probably made them think "What an arogant ass this guy is"

I really don't blame them and i really don't blame myself also :). Its just coz of being so far away and being so busy that i wasn't able to stay in touch and its not like i'm the only one completely at fault, so its a situation where noone can do anything. We can just forget it and move on. I can, i just hope my other friends can too.

--> SJ

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Corrs

Three amazingly HOT sisters and one brother. This band is one of the most talented musicians on the planet. Although, The Corrs were never extremely popular their music is one of the best i've heard till now. Below are 2 videos of one of their songs. The tune is simply mind boggling and extremely catchy. Check out Caroline Corr's solo with the percussion instrument (sorry i dont know the name of the instrument) and then on the drums in the 2nd video.

Awesome! simply Awesome!

What i wouldn't give to have dinner with these guys and hear them play live, up close and personal!


Monday, August 4, 2008

After a long long time i was going through my profile on a popular networking site. As i was looking through, updating and editing stuff, I happened to stumble onto the set of testimonials i've received from my friends. All of them talk about how nice a guy i have and how much potential i have. Someone even went as far as to say that i was a thinker and a potential manager. I don't mean to brag but what people see me as seems to be so exaggerated than what i see myself as. i mean when i was reading all those testimonials i couldn't help thinking that these people thought so highly of me: how in god's name will i ever live upto so many expectations.

I know my limitations and really dont see myself doing as well as these people say i will do. Even though i want to be the best of the best i know that however hard i try i will never be the best of the best. Your probably thinking that this guy is impossible and wrong in thinking like that. But this is something i can not explain. Its like one of those unexplainable happenings in nature which can not be explained. It just something which happens and you can trust it to happen whatever you do to try to overcome it. My 23 years of life have proven this without doubt, over and over again.

For example i'm studying for MBA entrances rite now and i know that however hard i study or try to top the exam i can not. Like Randy Pausch said that karma takes care of a part of life. Its like that, my karma will just not allow me to top however hard i try. Even if i dream to get into one of the IIMs i know i can not and will have to settle for one of the colleges i wud not even dream of stepping into.

Sometimes i even wonder why i ever dream at all. Its not like it will ever get fullfilled. And even if it partly does get fullfilled i still have to settle for something i wud prefer not to in the beginning. I guess its difficult for people to understand that my life, unlike others is just full of disappointments and unfullfilled dreams.

--> SJ

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dumb Indians?

"The fundamental issue that India has and not easily solvable is average IQ being low. India's average IQ is 81, while that of most progressed countries is above 97. China surprisingly has an average IQ of 100. India being a truely democratic country, the government is represented by majority, and majority has an IQ below 70 (IQ distribution is vast in India). Hence you get a government elected by morons, representing morons, and full of morons. And since these morons govern justice system, education system, healthcare, you name it, a person with an enginerring degree, or a doctor, or a lawyer from India on average has an IQ of 81 as well. While the requirements of becoming a doctor, engineer, lawyer, are way high in most developed countries. Hence, although the economy is flourighing, I have serious doubt if it will sustain. I have concluded that no matter who I deal with in India, i am dealing with an idiot. There are exceptions, and those are the ones who are raising average IQ to 81, otherwise India is no different than Ethiopia. I wonder how long these exceptions can put up with the rest and not give up like I did."

This was commented on an article in The Economist. A truer statement u will not find. The only problem with this is that this statement generalizes. We need to remember that an individual is intelligent but a mob/crowd is dumb. Yes its true, that the Indian crowd is dumber than the crowds present in China (read the reports following the recent earthquake |Link| the victims were helped with surprising speed and efficiancy, I bow down to the rescuers) or elsewhere for that matter. But what everybody in India, including the policymakers as well as its citizens fail to realise is that the fundamental problem of this country is only one and not many. This problem is the lack of EDUCATION.

Yes, education will in itself take care of all other problems like poverty, health, AIDS etc.
It is the onset of knowledge which actually changes the mindset and creates something/someone better as various avenues open up to people and they see the light at the end of the tunnel. As the human mind broadens and increases its scope, people turn to better avenues and learn to better their lives. Thus, the solution to all our problems is simple and is within us: "Spreading knowledge and Education". The government obviously hasn't been and isn't doing enough to eradicate illiteracy (and it doesn't look like it will). It is now left to the citizens and the existing schools to do something about it.

It is only with education that the overall views (including the IQ) of Indians will change and we will have younger politicians who will actually give a damn about the country rather than some old geezers and criminals who just care about gossip, drama in the Parliament and making money rather than the good of the country.

Another great shift that will take place as a result of the spread of education is the imprtance of the individual.
The greatness of the western nations is in their libertarian outlook. They trust the individual virtue over the collective virtue of the state. Gandhi understood this when he said: "I look upon an increase of the power of the State with the greatest fear, because although while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality, which lies at the root of all progress. We know of so many cases where men have adopted trusteeship, but none where the State has really lived for the poor. "

Learning to trust the need and virtue of the individuals will be the next revolution for Indians as humans. We need to realise that Humans are a species which thrives more on individuals rather the collective. We may give the most important to "family" and "society" but we need to learn to draw the line where we start differentiating with the "self" and the "individual". Once this happens, Indians will get the space they need to grow. They will have the power to Dream. Dream of entering fields right now forbidden to them. Indians will come out into the world as the leaders of the world. With renowned individuals in every field and every profession, ranging from artists to techies to farmers to inventors. The talent of the Indian is vaste and unlimited, India just needs realise that this exists and to learn how to tap this talent.

Spread knowledge, Help one and all.

--> SJ

Quote Blast

The true greatness of the west is the west's libertarian outlook which trusts individual virtue over the collective virtue of the state. Gandhi understood this when he said: "I look upon an increase of the power of the State with the greatest fear, because although while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality, which lies at the root of all progress. We know of so many cases where men have adopted trusteeship, but none where the State has really lived for the poor."

Think about it.!


Friday, August 1, 2008

CAT CAT and more CAT :(

Its been a long time since i actually wrote something. I've thot of a lot of topics like the action packed scene in the Indian Parliament and another on CAT and its syllabus and how its useless like the rest of the syllabuses in India. I've had the topics in mind but have not been able to write anything yet. Sometime in the future, I hope to write at length on these topics.

As of right now i'm still getting into the flow of studying for the CAT and GMAT. It all seemed terribly easy to me but its only now that i realize that though easy its the time and speed combined with accuracy that matters more. Even if i know how to solve all the questions it is the speed which makes the difference. If i'm not able to finish the paper i will not score marks and thus fail yet again.

CAT verbal is easy and simple and has a very low level of english. Verbal has never been the strong point in CAT exams. The english section has always been very easy. DI is also manageable and not that difficult. What worries me more than than anything is the Quant or math section. This has been specially designed for engineers and people from the technical field as it is they who use Math more comprehensively and more often than us "lowly" commerce pass outs. Thus giving them an enormous advantage. Advantage or no advantage, learning concepts and formulae for topics which we know we'll never use after and MBA is most definitely the biggest waste of time, but then there is nothin that can be done about this as Indians are dumbos who will never understand that One man/woman does not need to and can not learn all the knowledge in world.

CAT tests have this horrible habit of testing all that is taught over a period of 21 years and the test conductors expect us to learn all that in 6 months! Seems to be a ridiculous demand. One that approximately 2.5 Lakh Indians comply with every year (including me) and have never raised a voice to question the authenticity of these demands.

Well anyways... there is nothing that can be done right now. We can not declare a war on a system which we believe in. To change the system you have to be a part of the system. I hope to replace all those stupid and brain dead policy makers sitting in the IIM and make this exam into more of an aptitude test (which it is supposed to be) rather than a test of all cumulative 21 years of study.

--> SJ