The temple is named Chatur-bhuja, that of the four-armed god. Who was reponsible for the (literal) defacement of the statue is not known to me. – See more at: http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fcarc-india-zero#sthash.JE8LWI1D.dpuf

Feature Column from the AMS.

the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order—luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.

— Amundsen in The South Pole

(Amundsen lead  first successful expedition to south Pole)

Our obsession with English

Posted: August 7, 2014 in india

The current drama regarding inclusion of English in UPSC’s CSAT reminded me of what I wrote few years back:

In an ideal world, we don’t have to force a foreign language on our people, and our children should be able to become doctors, and engineers without ever having to learn a single word of English. Of course, we are not living in an ideal world, and learning English has become necessary to get a decent education in India. However I still don’t see the point of including English in a competitive exam like JIPMER. I agree that certain level of competence in English is required to pursue a career in medicine. The right way to test for that competence is to use test scores in English just to determine eligibility. Disqualifying people who don’t score certain prescribed minimum in English might be OK. But including English scores in ranking tips the scales in favor of  people in the higher end of the socioeconomic spectrum, even though higher scores in English may not necessarily translate to better suitability for the course under consideration.

Currently UPSC is trending on twitter. Here is someone who cleared civil services earlier and joined IRS opining about the current UPSC row:

He is right, working knowledge of English is required for our civil service aspirants. I would repeat my stand here on the matter: aspirants can be tested for knowledge of English. Design the test to disqualify candidates who don’t know enough of the language to do their job. That’s about it; don’t use the English test to decide who the best candidate is. Create a level playing filed. The purpose of the English test should be to make sure students can communicate well in English. Beyond that it should have no business in deciding  who the best candidate for the job is. There is a subtle difference between testing for qualification versus ranking based on the test score. There is no reason to use score in English to rank people for IAS/IPS jobs.Not everyone who clears ‘Civils’ is going to be a spokesperson for the Government.

Coming for you

Posted: July 26, 2014 in abstract, love, poetry, Uncategorized

I am coming for you,
leaving aside everything I hold dear in this life
and the ones to come after
I don’t know if I would ever catch you
I will be here waiting for you
till the end of time
until the last star is put out
and the last atom disintegrates unto itself
until the universe collapses

Toxic substances that fetuses are being exposed to.

Video  —  Posted: June 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
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How to kill sleep

Posted: February 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sleep, like many other good things, needs a routine, a schedule: Go to bed at a particular time everyday; make it a habit. You will automatically feel sleepy at that particular time. This is how you improve the quality of your sleep, and lead a healthy life. It is easy to disturb the pattern, and get sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation leads to all sorts of health issues. It sometimes amazes me to see people invite trouble with open arms: stay late night doing silly things, postponing the onset of sleep. This makes it harder to fall asleep causing further trouble. Eventually this leads one to lose natural, healthy sleep cycle, and it seems impossible to just go to bed, and fall asleep. 

Indian retailing too complex for Amazon?

Junglee, Amazon’s Indian venture can’t even handle simple category based catalogue browsing?

Image  —  Posted: January 18, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Study: BPA Exposure in Developing Prostate Increases Later Cancer Risk | Cancer Network.

Why Your Name Matters : The New Yorker.

 In 1984, the psychologist Debra Crisp and her colleagues found that though more common names were better liked

They found that the “white-sounding” candidates received fifty per cent more callbacks, and that the advantage a résumé with a “white-sounding” name had over a résumé with a “black-sounding” name was roughly equivalent to eight more years of work experience. 

These findings have been demonstrated internationally as well. A Swedish study comparedimmigrants who had changed their Slavic, Asian, or African names, such as Kovacevic and Mohammed, to more Swedish-sounding, or neutral, ones, like Lindberg and Johnson. The economists Mahmood Arai and Peter Skogman Thoursie, from Stockholm University, found that this kind of name change substantially improved earnings: the immigrants with new names made an average of twenty-six per cent more than those who chose to keep their names.

The effects of name-signalling—what names say about ethnicity, religion, social sphere, and socioeconomic background—may begin long before someone enters the workforce. In a study of children in a Florida school district, conducted between 1994 and 2001, the economist David Figlio demonstrated that a child’s name influenced how he or she was treated by the teacher, and that differential treatment, in turn, translated to test scores. Figlio isolated the effects of the students’ names by comparing siblings—same background, different names. Children with names that were linked to low socioeconomic status or being black, as measured by the approach used by Bertrand and Mullainathan, were met with lower teacher expectations. Unsurprisingly, they then performed more poorly than their counterparts with non-black, higher-status names. Figlio found, for instance, that “a boy named ‘Damarcus’ is estimated to have 1.1 national percentile points lower math and reading scores than would his brother named ‘Dwayne,’ all else equal, and ‘Damarcus’ would in turn have three-quarters of a percentile ranking higher test scores than his brother named Da’Quan.’ ” Conversely, children with Asian-sounding names (also measured by birth-record frequency) were met with higher expectations, and were more frequently placed in gifted programs.