Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reservation in TamilNadu - My Opinion

This was my toughest post ever. On one hand, it is the first time someone(Karthi) requested me to write on an issue. In the other hand, I fear my opinions may hurt a few people including a few friends of me. That was one of the reasons I consciously avoided posting on the Reservation issue on my blog. (Even this post has been there in my blog for more than a month for want of publishing) Another constraint is that - the only demographic profile that i know of is TamilNadu making me ineligible to comment on the whole of India. So restricting the reservation issue to TamilNadu to make it much more meaningful for the people who read this.

Is the reservations really bad?
I have studied four years in a college which has around 60% caste-based reservation but none of us cared or gave a damn for this issue. We accept it as a reality and found a way to live with it. A few things I observed from my U.G. College is
  • The policy of having around 60% reservation in my U.G. college ensured a very good representation of students from rural, semi-urban and poor families. This diversity in Anna university really benefited me as a person since I was exposed to certain hard realities of life[like how important 50 paisa is to a few people with economical constraints - have waited with my friends for hours in bus stop to climb a white board bus & leaving all the yellow board buses just because they were a few paisa costly]. This even made my transition from 'poor' CEG to 'rich' IIM a bit difficult
  • Most of the students who entered the college through General Quota came from the developed urban cities
  • Most of the students who went to M.S. for higher studies belong to the forward caste since Exposure & Networks that a forward caste student had was greatly superior to that of other caste students
  • My Class Topper entered the college through the quota
  • But I am also sure that the average of the SC/ST students will be much lower than that of other forward caste students.
  • If somebody says that caste does not play any role in TamilNadu. Just think why Arvindaswamy & Madhavan are favorite actors for Manirandhanam. If you say it is only in Cine-field, then read this. In 2005, a retiring HOD of a well known Government supported Engineering college in central TamilNadu filed a FIR under TN anti-conversion bill[Only case of under that bill in the state] against his successor since he does not want someone who did not belong to his caste to occupy the post(that has belonged to his caste for ages)

Ok. But what does the sons and daughters of the FC people had did to deserve this punishment of caste based reservation?
The network and exposure that their parents had developed is a very important advantage for them. For example, if my parents had ever lived in North India, they would have ensured that I learnt Hindi in my young age itself. (My children would surely learn Hindi!!). Similarly the learning & experience effects and also the network built is a big advantage to them which can be offset by reservation. But still I believe there are lot of other better ways of affirmative action.

My Personal Stand - I don't welcome reservation but I don't oppose reservation too...

P.S: I am more a socialist than a capitalist... And expecting my arguments to be shredded into pieces in the comments section.. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CFA exams cancelled for Indian students!

You won't get to see this headline in any newspaper. But for more than 7000 Indian students who were slogging day and night for this particular exam on June 3rd, it was a huge shock & disappointment.

If you have never heard the word 'CFA', the following paragraph is for you :

CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. First awarded in 1963, the CFA charter is the designation of professional excellence within the global investment community. The CFA Program offers a truly global educational challenge where you'll build a fundamental knowledge of investment principles that is relevant in every market around the world. Employers and investors know the CFA charter is the definitive standard for measuring portfolio management and investment analysis competence and integrity.
[Copied from the CFA institute website]

It is a must-do, in the calendar of MBA students whose career interests lie in financial analysis, research, marketing, or investment banking. Most of the students take it, not willing to lose the competitive differentiator every other Finance Student in the college has.

Why the exams were cancelled?

You will understand it once u read through these events
  • On 4th August 2006, the Delhi high court ordered Hyderabad-based Icfai University to stop using the Chartered Financial Analyst and CFA trademarks.
  • On the petition of the Icfai through its university in Tripura, the Guwahati High Court directed AICTE to determine whether CFA Institute must seek approval for its CFA Program from the AICTE. [See the Icfai went to Guwahati knowing that the representatives from this Global institute would think twice before coming to such a far away location]
  • AICTE, just 2 weeks before the June 3 exams[for which students were preparing for a year] has asked CFA institure to cease operations in India. Read the letter sent out by AICTE to CFA institute.
As usual, Neither the CFA global institute[which has more than a lakh students appearing for its exams every year] nor the AICTE were affected by this cancellation of this exam, but it was only the students who are taking the impact of this cancellation.. As my friend aptly put it - 'None of the Politician's children nor any VIP's children are going to take these exams, then who in this nation cares for it' - Incredible India!!!!

Update: Surprisingly, this news found itself in the front page of the Economic Times - "AICTE asks CFA to stop executing"

Another mention on CNN-IBN about this issue - "CFA course ban hits students hard"

Thank God! That atleast Indian media is not sleeping. :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Heard about twitter??

Are you someone who regularly feel the need to update your friends & relatives - "What are you doing at that particular moment". 'Twitter' is the right thing for you.

A global community of friends and strangers are answering one single question: "What are you doing?". You can update using your phone, messenger or right through the web itself. I joined it today and was really excited by the concept. You can access my personal twitter at Just access to sign up for this new social networking website.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Displeasure of D(MK) with Maran

When I read about the tiff between the Maran family & M Karunadhi's, never thought that it was worth a post . But on seeing fellow blogger's coverage of the events - Asif and Badrirag, I also decided to come up with my own version of the events.

Few Key things to know - to understand the whole controversy:-

  • Stalin is in firm grasp of the DMK's party structure with very high loyalty to him running among its ranks
  • Though Azhagiri claims that he is in charge of the southern part of TamilNadu, the reality is little different. Except for Madurai, it is Stalin's supporters who control the party. [Remember, I belong to southern part of TamilNadu]
  • Stalin after the entry of Maran into political picture, started seeing him as his major competitor rather than Azhagiri Especially because of his dynamism and popularity with the common folk

So Stalin used this golden opportunity to get Maran out of the place from which he gets all the attention and fame. His argument was since MK already warned the Maran family not to publish the result, it is their fault. For this reason(not to allow Maran family to rise up as his competitior), he has even patched up with his half-sister Kanimozhi (soon-to-be the Delhi arm of DMK).

Hmm Politics! How exciting it is!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Interview with President of World Vision - Excerpts

One of the few things I know about my career is that
- after five years of corporate life, I will be taking a moment and re-evaluating whether I really want to stay there. So now itself, started short-listing things I can do if i decide to quit corporate world.

One Evergreen Option is to become a Professor in some well known college [There is nothing more exciting than entertaining 60+ students for a hour but still managing to add some value - that too, not for a single day, but for a whole semester.. Hmmm.. Looks tough enough for me..]

Another option - To join some social service organization and 'World Vision' heads that list of social organizations I would like to join. So I was very much interested on seeing the heading "Ten (or so) questions with Richard Sterns, President of World Vision" in Guy Kawaski's Blog - "How to change the world". Worth a read for anybody who wish to leave the corporate world and 'go out and change the world'.

Certain Excerpts I liked from the interview -

"..... Today, we live in a world that tolerates extreme poverty much like racism was tolerated fifty-plus years ago. We can all become people determined to do something to change the world. We can speak up, we can volunteer and we can give. Ending extreme poverty will take money, political and moral will, and a shift in our value system. When enough ordinary people embrace these issues, things will begin to change. Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. ...."

Question: What's the biggest obstacle to get rich people to care about poor people?

Answer: The obstacle is that poverty is often not personal. If your next-door neighbor's child was dying and you could save her for $100, you wouldn't think twice. But a child 10,000 miles away whom you have never met, that's just different.

About 29,000 kids die every day of preventable causes--29,000! These kids have names and faces, hopes and dreams. Their parents love them as much as we love our kids. We've got to make poverty personal. Stalin once said: "A million deaths is a statistic, one death is a tragedy." We must try to see the face of the one child. "

Hope poverty in a far-away land also becomes personal to each one of us.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chennai Autos Have Competition! Finally!!!

It has always been a habit for Chennai Bloggers to have a dig at Chennai auto wallahs. For example, Read the recent post on Kiruba's page - 'How an auto driver helped my marathon practice' especially, the comments page where people want some kind of Internet protest to be organized against Chennai autos. These kind of posts coupled with my few bad experiences had made me to nurture a thought that 'Chennai auto drivers are the worst in the country'.

But everything changed once I set foot in Pune.

Truly, Chennai auto wallahs are 'angels' when we compare them to their kind in Pune - especially the ones near the IT parks. Even the word ' exorbitant' is a too kind a word to use for the amount they charge you. Pathetic Public transport ensures that this is the only mode of travel. Chennai Bloggers! Please remember that the auto drivers in Chennai are not so bad as they are made to look like.

"Yeah! Mushrooming of IT parks is ensuring that Chennai Auto rickshaws have competition for their fame from other parts of India too."

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cricket World Cup is finally Over

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 rather than making the cricket fans ask for 'dil maange more' made them feel happy that the long event is finally over. What a pity for the event of that caliber!!!!

Also it is the right time to analyse my very own 'Predictions about Cricket World Cup '07' - which were very very wide off the mark...

Photo: Australia - World Champions Again..

Analysis of my predictions:

Scotland, The Netherlands, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Kenya, Canada, Zimbabwe Ireland:
None of us would have ever expected any of these teams to qualify for the next stage. But Bangladesh & Ireland teams, thankfully brought their own surprises to this world cup.. But this ultimately made the super-eight matches a drag without any real excitement.

My prediction that Zimbabwe as the only team with a chance to proceed to super-eight stage was based on the apparent weakness of the Pakistani team rather than on the strength of the Zimbabwe team. Now I rue my decision not to collect any information about Ireland team.

If not for Bangladesh pushing out India from qualifying to the next stage, I would have been feeling good about my own predictions. But alas! it brought down all my calculations to naught.

As I predicted it correctly, it went out in the first stage of the world cup itself. Hope it comes out strongly in the next world cup. As i mentioned, 'Bob Woolmer' occupied the front pages of the newspaper & magazines for a very sad reason.

Another team for which my prediction went completely wrong. Again never expected a Srilankan middle player to strike form as C. Silva did. What he did was convert the one of the weak spots of Srilankan team - Weak Middle Order to its major strength.

West Indies:
Hurrah! At least my predictions about West Indies was correct. Farewell Lara.

New Zealand:
As I predicted, Shane Bond took the team to semi-finals where it lost to Sri-lanka

The world champions!! I heeded to my heart rather than to my mind while making the predictions... Hmmm!

Another team that disappointed me. Yeah! Again putting my heart over the mind!

South Africa:
Unlucky! to meet Australia in the semi-finals. If they had met Sri-lanka/New Zealand that would have at least been an interesting match.

No comments about my predictions that were completely off the mark. Importance of a camp before any important sports event to boost the fitness of the players was underlined to BCCI. Also, Indian team missed a strike bowler.

In short, My 'predictions for Cricket World Cup '07' was nothing short of a disaster. :-(

Hope at least I learnt the lesson - Not to make any predictions for any sports event. Since I always would be heeding to my heart rather than my mind. Waiting for the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Harrows".. Hope at least some of the predictions about the book cis correct.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Another Air Strike By LTTE

Another Air Strike by LTTE in the heart of Srilanka. Another empty(regular) statement from the Indian Government stating that 'India is monitoring developments'. Read about my views regarding the growing aerial power of LTTE in LTTE's Air Strike.

What else other than this attitude of 'waiting for the problem to be solved by itself' can be expected from our very own great Indian Government?...

My Angels in Pune

I recently read an article where the author calls all the people who helped or guided in his journey to an unknown land as 'angels'. Similarly, this is a photo in honour of My own Pune Angels

P.S: I don't believe that angels can be grouped under a single gender only