Sunday, October 21, 2018

$7 Million XPrize - Transforming the live of low-literate adults

Adult Literacy XPrize is a global competition challenging teams to develop mobile applications that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills among participating adult learners in just 12 months.

There are five participants who are selected & winner will be announced on 1st Jan 2019.

Get it on Google Play

AUTOCOGNITA, Hong Kong S.A.R., China:
Get it on Google Play

CELL-ED, United States:
Get it on Google Play

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Learning isn't a competition...Learn for life...

Learning shouldn't ever be a competition! Singapore has taken a crucial step for the greater good of the students.

Great posters created as well:
1. Pay attention to what they say.
2. Set goals together.
3. Don't compare.
4. Tell them it's ok to do mistakes.
5. Don't focus only on results.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Exploding dots

A sample attempt made by us can be found below:

Really impressive & simple for kids to visualize and correlate! Checkout teaching guide for conducting Exploding Dots with students.

Refer FAQ for more questions.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

A Joyous approach to Maths facts!

Was listening to Jo Boaler's talk given at The Global Math Project event. It is really creative to build those worksheets!

The worksheet can be found here. See a sample output by a student.

Start at 1hour 16mins to find Jo Boaler's talk.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Why travel to meet friends & family?

A deep topic for me. I've been pondering about this. This came in one of the lunch table discussions with my colleagues. One asked about the right vacation choice, where he had an option to stay back at his rented home near work or accompany the family to in-laws place near his hometown. Another person whom with I'd a chat himself was indicating that he has started visiting home often these days & he feels happy. Realized that I'd started written this post & kept it in the draft!

Why do we travel to meet one in person? 

Every single time I've thought about it. It reminds me of the visual I'd when I was waiting near the causality of Calicut Medical College when one of our dear friends passed away & the doctor crew was trying hard to pump up the heart! I could also imagine how my distant relative's brother passed away & he was carrying his body asking if someone could wake him up!

The breath is really valuable! There are times when you wish if someone would have taken a single breath. Even when a body is put inside a ventilator there is at the very least a hope!

Yes, the feeling which you get when you're with someone is because of a ton of things but for some reason, I feel the magic breath has is amazing. You could feel the other person from his rhythm of breath without even disclosing a ton. Even when you start at different rhythm both of you might end the discussion with a synchronized breathing rhythm. Someone told that every breath inhale is life and exhale is death so it could be that you both live and die together for some time. Sounds like time and time well spent together!

There are a lot of other aspects but breath alone stands out for me as that makes that in-person visit so intimate! Cease the moment & feel it when you meet the family and friends!

The future is faster than you think!

Few areas which Peter has been talking for some time.

Moore’s law: The growth of transistor in a defined area has grown exponentially.
Time abundance: With better tech time required for tasks are coming down.
Capital abundance: Capital can be raised across the globe now with crowdfunding.
Demonetization: The quality of items is way superior with the money you spend.
Communications Abundance: People can communicate easily now across the world.
Increased Genius: A lot of people across the world will start participating in the value creation by leveraging the genius.
Increased Longevity: People are going to extend the lives for longer duration.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Tradition is dead! Look at her as if you see her first time!

Watch - Prof. Mitra's The School In The Cloud

Been writing about education for some time now! Professor Mitra's The School in the cloud was a really interesting experiment as he detailed in his Ted Talk. I loved his talk! Winning the TED Prize in 2013 enabled him to test his theory on a much larger scale & over a shorter timespan.

Sugata’s wish was to build a School in the Cloud that would "help design the future of learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their innate sense of wonder and work together”. By bringing SOLEs into the mainstream, Prof. Mitra has introduced new ideas about how children learn.

Just watched "The School in the cloud"! Definitely, I think this will be a huge huge success! It isn't trivial but as he said it is that single step that we take towards the destiny that matters. I wish Prof. Mitra all the luck.

Being is suffering, but you not only can deal with that but can improve it. You are a way more tougher than you think. By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail but they are not afraid!

This documentary touched my heart! Kudos team!

Future is going to be faster than past can ever catch up! Recently I'd written about reservation & basic income. That fast-moving world will give at least some chance for the unfair a democratic chance! Yeah a great hope! The Internet is supreme & a true democratization!

The School In The Cloud (available India only) from Met Film Production on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Why reservation? Or Why not reservation?

Note: Will be updated as I learn. We both will explore this together, so share comments after reading.

The topic of reservation came in while discussing with my friends & I felt I couldn't convey thoughts due to the lack of time. So thought of penning it down.

Before I start, we should consider a broader context of how caste has played in India since 400AD or earlier.

A backward family should only get one round of reservation benefit. 

People generally don't dig deeper to understand why caste based reservation came in India. There was a huge caste based social injustice against the minorities & Dalits etc. for many many years, in fact, few dates back to 400 AD. Few of those injustices I can recollect are slavery, untouchability, no right for education or enter school.

Think of a race (life as a race?) where the socially forward caste enjoyed the benefit for many years & generations. Now to get those who were socially left behind (for many years) to same speed & same position as that of the socially forward it will take many generations.

Will a rich family give up all riches and everything for equality then start fresh from next generation? No, everyone keeps the lead and it has resulted in a huge imbalance.

So I can't blame reservation system at least now compared to injustice those socially backward caste suffered which dates back since 400 AD & we're talking about reservation for the last 70 years.

Another argument is we should give reservation based on the financial capability. 

So many lawyers, businessmen etc hide a majority of their income. Many of them would become eligible for 'reservation' if the basis was one's financial capability. So doing it on a financial basis alone will result in a huge corruption. Currently once a family is in wealthy income range most of Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation doesn't apply but due to the corruption that doesn't get honored much as people still procure OBC certificates either by giving bribes or hiding true information.

First we need to offset caste based injustice which prevailed then start on financial backward reservations with proper tools and systems in place.

Another dimension other than offsetting the centuries of a injustice is to establish the equality. 

Reservation ensures that those minorities get to represent themselves rather than someone else represents them like the cases in the cabinet for Dalits, Women, and LGBTQ. Isn't that how we get equality? Think of someone else choosing the bride or groom for you.

Is the world fair? 

The world is an unfair place & a kid born in a well-placed family has a ton of advantages in the world right from inception time health. It will take many more years to offset the social caste injustice happened centuries before & have an huge impact. Say, if economics is about skill/advantages & politics is one of means to distribute power. Both are biased in favor of well-placed family born kids. All powers are moving towards economically strong ends. The destiny is pretty unbalanced & it takes a miracle to balance this out!

Ironic, the awareness is needed among the well educated socially forward castes to realize the importance of reservation while they enjoy what they have which are the end results of the privileges from the past. Does the privileges for centuries take of the compassion or love or is it need of power or greed in human? If we consume only what we need that can bring in equality.

Finally, why is this concept of the socially forward caste of the family? How about socially forward class breath better fresh air than poor? Why can't we live or survive with the basic what we need? Why don't we generate only what we need?

Needs more data & research:
  • Reservation always existed. The new age reservations are to offset the old age reservation! For eg: Only high-class caste folks were having the reserved right certain privileges like entering temple, school & doing certain tasks. Whereas low-class caste was reserved to only do cleaning of the drainage etc.
  • I'm still collection more data points which can be relied to understand the impact and spread. Some of the data point presented in Tedx AIIMS presentation by Mr. Yogendra Yadav points few things that there is a huge imbalance still in the society in education sector.
  • Creamy layer: There is an argument against the creamy layer it was a well thought out move to ensure that no one gets the reservation hence forth socially forward caste regained back the allocation. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

To elect in 2019

Note: I'm not a great economist, analyst, genius but a common man with limited knowledge. But I'm learning & this post is to capture those thoughts to reflect and improve as I learn.

Election is approaching & the country is discussing about the leaders, reforms & policies. I thought it would be a great idea to document what I feel.

A friend of mine asked me how did BJP governance impact me?
  1. I fear to express my support to an ideology. Who knows I might become a Maoist in jail?
  2. I fear to express I'm Muslim.
  3. I fear to express I eat beef. 
  4. I fear to keep the money in Indian rupee because who knows if it will value much.
  5. I fear to deposit money in the bank as it is uncertain if my money will be there. Esp. Lost the trust in banks & what financial institution can do for me like demonatization.
  6. I don't bother to raise questions against BJP/RSS as they attack people ideology than addressing the problem.
  7. I fear what more tax reform will get enforced without any planning or execution capability. 
  8. I fear extreme steps taken towards neighboring countries. This is where we needed diplomacy.
  9. I fear my groceries will cost more as petrol is skyrocketing. 
  10. I fear about hospital & education expenses in Bangalore or major cities. 
The list continues but there are few states where "I feel" some of these aspects are decently under control. The feel can be converted into fact only by seeing the data.

We're getting to a point where we need to talk about the options as a common man we've. BJP vs. INC will go on & on. 

What are the implications of a government on this nation? 

A nation is represented by a government. I get that but I would like to know apart from a marginal and/or seasonal effects does government legislation create any major impact to Indian economy? 
  • The government administration workers like the officers, admins, IAS, IPS, etc. mostly are the same. They work on a day to day basis on problems or work based on the regional needs. The employment in these areas doesn't grow drastically.
  • The private sector is mostly driven by business, CEO, CFO etc. They work towards sales, profit. If you create a product which has good demand it will sell. So value generation happens like that which provides more employment etc.
My basic question is if there are millions of people who are working hard to create the value for their customers. This contributes significantly to our economy. That will decide the economic fate of a country. 

Political parties are execution engines of focused agendas or goals. Hence if execution of certain schemes or agendas or goals is not done well it will seasonally impact on economy. But those impacts might be seasonal & limited to a few sectors but on a long-term that will get stabilized

Political parties generally postpone key legislation roll-outs post-election. There might be other shocks which a political party can infuse like Demonetization or Good & Service Tax (GST). This will definitely pull the growth down but long term it will grow due to the common man's efforts. Isn't it?

Why is there so much of disconnect?

We elect these governmental bodies and still there is a huge disconnect in expectations. The concept of a single leader or party solving the key problems is highly unlikely.

Administration & economy has self-running systems in place which won't go terribly bad if we have a miserable governance. But it will definitely pull us back a bit. That miserable governance is what has been pulling India back in spite of the growth which common man contributed.

So it is crucial to understand the problem, its root cause and device something to address that. 

Hoping for a 3rd party to solve is like we look for gurus. One guru after the other. But I never think someone else will solve these problems for me.  So my thoughts are formed with a strong sense of contribution which I can make. That too in a practical way,
  1. The key to injustice or corruption is in human. But why that gets formed? Everyone thinks in their own ways. 90% of us who elect these governmental bodies are not educated hence making actions that results in injustice & corruption. By educated i didn't college or degree but understanding the key problems, facts & root causes. So it is crucial for all of us to start writing (a blog which can be published in a mins) about these issues in a comprehensive manner, keep discussing these problems with data+facts then it will enlighten us & others. Eventually, resulting in a great social movement leading to many solutions. We need it to be comprehensive as none of the short chat or debate formats has ever worked to provide solutions.
  2. Even with present and earlier leaders (Pinarayi to Manmohan to Modi or Rahul) there is a lot of talking points ideas but seriously lack execution in achieving the goals. They don't have tools! Neither they plan to build tools or build strategy to roll-out these plans really well with no or minimal causalities. Before we cast our vote, can we help voters to demystify this for them? As a group, can we build tools or frameworks that help society?
  3. I think the key for us to do is to ensure that kids are really keen on economics & knows how to "elect". തിരഞ്ഞെടുക്കുക (To elect) is such a great skill even electing a class, electing a life partner, electing a leader or electing himself to lead. 

Does the above fit into the need of citizen governance?