Archive for March, 2012

zeppelin coverage

The word cultural lights up many faces in our college and I was one of them. As usual we had a pre cultural meet to decide on who will be what for the various cultural events. We brought in a lot of changes this time around like a brand new website, online registration, creative events to name a few.

For a change we even renamed our cultural from live wire to zeppelin. With all this in place and much more, we kick started our intra college cultural on 14 of March.

With around 25+ events all the department geared up to be the best. The registrations were sky rocketing. So we were forced to conduct prelims for many events. As an example to mention, antakshari prelims created so much of drama that the principal cancelled it for the first years. Till 14 to 23 the entire college buzzed about one word zeppelin relentlessly (they did at least for the OD’s they got in the name of zeppelin).

On the final day, that’s on 23 march we witnessed the artistic side of kcgians reaching new heights. The day kick started with solo dance performances. Kayalvizhi and Paul shared the first prize. A well deserved prize for both of them. The second prize was given to Helfina. She had the attitude for dance which got her the prize. The third prize went to Subashri for her brilliant bharatanatyam performace. Kudos to all the performers.

This was followed by battle of the music bands. With a wide variety of songs, they entertained and en thrilled the audience.

Now comes the much awaited part in zeppelin. The Choreo. This time around we had some of the best dance performances.

First performance was from the final years as a host performance. Watch the video and enjoy the sheer mass in their performance.

In the years to come this would be such a memorable moment not just for them but for the audience as well.

After watching that most of us thought we reached the saturation point where no one else can match up to this standard. We were proved wrong. With every dance performance the expectation kept growing and the competition got closer. The audience was on the edge of their seats and some of them even fell from their seats and started dancing off the dais. Most of the teams choice the popular numbers which got repeated again and again but who cares, we all enjoyed.

On the whole, Zeppelin was an awesome experience. We could not have had a perfect closing for the year.

On a personal note, it was during the course of zeppelin that I managed to make a few new friends and got to know more about my old friends. My organizing skills also got bit improved. I also taught an important lesson to myself to Stop organizing/volunteering and start participating.

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HYLC – The Trend Setter

I am not going to narrate in detail on what happened in every council because Rohit has already done a brilliant job on that. You can check out his blog post for all the council stories.

I am just going to share my experience as an observer and a blogger of hylc.

For benefit of the readers, HYLC is the Hindustan Young Leaders Conference which is more or less a simulation of the Modern United Nations. HYLC had 6 councils, out of which 3 councils (United Nations Security Council, G20, World Intellectual Property Organization) were simulated from MUN and the other 3 councils (Rio +20, Builderberg, Indian council) were simulating the powerful councils in real world which arrives at constructive conclusions to problems faced by the world.

All the councils discussed and debated on the agenda and functioned like how the real councils work. The idea to have a crisis situation as part of the agenda was impressive. Because this demanded an impulse response from the delegates with regards to the crisis. The councils handled the crisis situation really well and arrived at a draft solution.

The insight to have councils beyond the traditional MUN style needs a great deal of experience from the organizing team of hylc. Hats off to Secretary General, Balaji and Under Secretary General, Aravindan for the efforts put in terms of the selection of the councils and the agenda for this conference.

Day-1 saw a lot of learning as the amateurs outnumbered the seasoned MUN’ers in hylc. The Chairman’s of the councils started their sessions with the rules and procedures which have to be followed during the council proceedings. They also explained the agenda and clarified the doubts of the delegates for the same.

On day-2, every council started seriously discussing on their agenda. Some of the councils were given crisis situations which were related to the topic of discussion. By now all the delegates actively participated in the discussions and voiced their views for the nation/personality they were representing.

On the final day the councils arrived at a conclusion for the agenda on which they discussed and debated for the past 2 days.

I personally liked the UNSC council because most of the delegates in UNSC were impeccable. The part I liked the most about this council was that the chair made sure every single delegate in UNSC shared their opinion when a consensus was arrived on a particular issue. Even on day-3, after the formal session was over he gave feedback’s to every individual on points which they have to work on. He also encouraged them to attend more and more MUN’s and lobby more when they attend conferences of this sort.

HYLC is a trend setter. I say that for the 5 reasons which i have listed here.

1. HYLC simulated 3 councils which were not MUN councils. This has not been done by any other institutions/MUN before.

2. HYLC saw diversity in terms of delegates/chairman’s of the councils. School kids from Dubai debating with the experienced MUN’ers in councils like UNSC were a great deal.

3. The Inauguration and valedictory function was remarkable. The dais of the Mirza hall was graced by the presence of eminent speakers  Ms. Jennifer McIntyre, Mr. T.P. Sreenivasan, Ms. Sheela Rani Chunkath, Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi who awe-struck the audience with their mesmerizing speeches.

4. The Woman power behind the HYLC team. From the Director, Ms. Annie Jacob, to the faculty Ms. Anita Manuel and Ms. Georgina, to the members in the organizing team Ms. Nia Sam, Ms. Beryl Natasha, all of them showed an outstanding show case of woman power.

5. The Logistics of HYLC was very well taken care of by the organizing team.

I thank the HYLC team because if not for this event i would not have known what a moderated and unmoderated caucus is (those are the terms used in the councils for a moderated and unmoderated discussions) and many such things.

An event of this magnitude requires immense support from the management. Special thanks to Mr. Anand Verghese for the support which he rendered for the hylc team without which this would not have been possible.

I just cannot wait  for the next edition of HYLC to experience this awesomeness again.

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This is just the beginning

Being a night owl has its own advantage and disadvantage. Take this for instance. I finished my pre-hylc blog post in the night but that was at the expense of missing the inauguration of hylc the following morning.

When I landed up in the venue around 2pm, the organizers were discussing about the interactive session that happened during the inauguration of hylc. They were overwhelmed by the quality of questions that were put forth by the audience to the chief guest Mr T.P.Sreenivasan. As they were busy organizing they were unable to brief me on that session. So I decided to be on my own.

I spend most of my time listening to discussions in the UN Security Council. I also managed to catch up with 3 other councils. They were the Indian council, G20 and Builderberg. It was a good experience as a blogger. The councils in hylc discussed and debated on various issues ranging from Palestinian statehood bid to Implementation of ACTA as a treaty if it’s ratified. After witnessing some fuming debate in the councils I travelled back home with regret that I missed the inauguration.

The first thing I did after reaching home was to check in Facebook and twitter if any bloggers had blog posted on the inauguration and found this one by Mr.Dorai

Snippets from the key note and other speeches. I sat there mesmerized. Here is a man who breathes UN in every breath. I think every little memory, every little incident has been permanently etched in this amazing mind. He has the capability to look at UN critically from India’s point of view, philosophically as a Global citizen and even though he is tree in the UN forest, is able to separate forest from trees. I would love to read his book “Words, Words, Words”. He got me interested in world bodies and their dynamics immensely. Previously the talk of UN, IMF, G20 would bring out a yawn. Not any more. There is no way I can capture the breadth, depth and spirit of his speech. I just caught a few fragments. Enjoy.

By participating in hylc, you join several traditions around the world
You need to be a good student of history
hylc is a simulation. You learn a lot by modeling and simulating world organization

Goal of UN was to rid the world of scourges of war
Yet, after UN was formed there were more than 800 wars. So UN really did not do what it set out to do. However, they argue that they stopped the Third World War. Only history can prove that.
We need UN. It is the only truly global organization to look at world problems. It started with 52 nations. But now it has 193 nations.
The participating nations feel that it is a symbol of sovereignty. We need that.

How does India look at UN?
– Taking Kashmir to UN was one of the biggest mistakes
– Since its initial idealistic model of UN, India has reset its expectations of this world body

– Centers of power in the world are changing. The current permanent members have to rethink their position
– US pays 22% of UN expenses while India pays only 0.4%. So we cannot justify being members based on our financial contributions. However, India’s contribution to UN has been enormous. It has been part of every peace keeping force UN has ever formed

On the future of UN
– Unless the power structure of UN changes, UN will not be relevant in future

This is just a beginning. I will try to blog post in detail about the day-1 of hylc.

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Pre-Hylc blog post

Before I get started with the blog, let me brief on what hylc is and why and how I got started blogging for hylc.

HYLC stands for Hindustan Young Leaders Conference. This event will give you a unique chance to discuss and debate real time problems in an energy charged environment. To know more about the event you can check the website hylc.in.

I was informed by a faculty to join the hylc blogging team at the i-cell room by 3.20. At 3.25 i walked into the room to find a junior guy (apparently he is one of the coordinator of hylc) talking seriously to his friend about delegates dropping out in the last minute. As an organizer myself (not for hylc though, luckily or unluckily) I was able to figure out the trauma he must be undergoing from the look of his face. I gave him a comforting smile and took my seat.

Minutes later a bunch of guys turned up and glanced around the room. It was very evident that they were utterly clueless about hylc (like most of us). If only I had asked why they came here, “We were told that someone was going to explain us on blogging about hylc, and that’s why we are here” would have been the reply. I just didn’t trouble them with such queries and stayed quiet in my chair.

Things slowly started going out of control. That’s when Mr. Dorai, I-cell mentor came to rescue. He briefed us on what has to be done for blogging on hylc. The basic idea was to form a blogging team and get them started with this event. Since most of us were in a hurry to catch the bus we dispersed once we got a rough idea.

Dorai was kind to create a FB group. He posted the general set of rules for blogging and also other links which would help the bloggers. He also promoted it on other KCG FB groups (It was so nice of him).

Since then so much has been happening there in the FB group . Join there to know more.

PS: The scope of the FB group is beyond hylc.

That’s it for now. Will write a blog post on hylc – day1 tomorrow (or may be day after).

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When education weds entertainment

Every school going kid on a Monday morning walks into the school as if they are walking into a funeral hall. With that big bag full of books, the kid compares entering the school as to entering the jail where he/she is educated to grow out of creativity and rational thinking.This kind of mind set is not so predominant in college because a college kid get accustomed to the system or grows out of it by the time it enters college.

Why is that so?

When the kid can watch a film of 2.30 hours duration with so much interest and enthusiasm why is the kid not able to concentrate in its subjects?

When they religiously follows an actor/actress who actually enacts some one else’s story(with exceptions of course), why don’t they do the same for the educators?

When they tap their feet and get involved whole heartly while listening to music, why is that whole heartedness missing when it comes to listening to subject lectures?

When they can read and finish a novel in a day, why is hard for them to spend the same amount of time in reading their subject books?

When they can spend endless hours in social networking sites with great interest, why is it hard to spend the same amount of time in school/college with that interest?

There are two answers likely for this question. One, the subjects does not interest the kid. Two, the way the subjects is taught is not interesting.

So, how to interest the kid into education rather than out of it. Imbibe the entertainment which they religiously follow into education. Try out ways to wed education and entertainment. If that wedding happens successfully, there will be countless number of wonders in this world.

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Robots that can fly and co-operate

I am patriotic about India and that’s the reason which made me watch this TED talk. Because this TED talk is by Dr.Vijay Kumar. His name in itself intrigued me to know more about his talk and his creations.

Mr.Vijay Kumar talks about agile, autonomous robots in this video. His creations are something beyond my understanding but i just cannot help myself watching it again and again. It’s awesome.You should also enjoy the awesome visual treat by just not watching the talk but by experiencing it. He explains the functioning of these robots and its applications in various fields. The most interesting aspect is that these robots can function like ants when it comes to carrying a payload which is beyond a single robot’s capability. They can co-operate with the other robots and finish the given task. These robots can even map the area in which they travel.

The high light of this video is the musical finish[14.30 onwards]. I cannot end this blog post without mentioning the creators of these robots Alex Kushleyev and Daniel Mellinger. OMG, the music is still lingering in my head.

Have fun watching the video and get inspired to build or use such robots.

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Power of introverts

I am an introvert, but there are moments in my day to day life, i wish i were an extrovert. I always liked them and wondered what it takes to be like them. For me to be an extrovert is a lot of hard work.Turns out, being an introvert is one of the best things which can happen to you. Here it is Susan cain’s TED talk on “The power of introverts”.

We live in a culture that is biased against a constellation of straits namely shyness, seriousness, introversion and this leads to a colossal waste of talent, energy and happiness.My belief, my sense, my hope that when it comes our attitude to introversion, quiet and solitude, we truly are placed in the brink of dramatic change.

Here are some of the things which Ms.Susan came up with in her talk and i loved them all.

We encourage introverts to act like extroverts and spoil the attribute of introversion and their real surprising powers.

For few people solitude is the air we breathe.

Deep thoughts comes only when you work on your own.

We need more autonomy, more privacy and much more freedom.

So, stop the madness for the constant group activities. Go to the wilderness and have your own revelation.Take a good look of what’s inside your suitcase.

PS: I watched this video thrice(may be more than that). That was mainly because of two reasons. One, my concentration level is at an all time low. Two, she is just awesome and her talk is so full of inspiring introversion.

I also bumped into another interesting video of Ms.Susan for Forbes about her book “Quiet” and in that interview her answer to the question who is an introvert and who is an extrovert is neat and clear.

What’s the difference between an introvert and an extrovert?

Introverts are people who like more quiet, less stimulating environment.where as extroverts create more stimulation to feel at their best and this is an important thing to see because people often assume that being an introvert means being anti-social. But its really not that at all. It’s just differently social. So an introvert preferring a stimulation where often they prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as supposed to go into a loud party full of strangers.

It’s told that more than half the world’s population are introverts and most of them have a secret sense of shame to be one. It’s time to enjoy who we are. Celebrate the you, no matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert.

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