Apr 19, 2012

What a colossal waste of paper!

Come April and you begin to see a flood of recruitment advertisements in Indian newspapers for college teachers. Most ads ask the applicant to send the application by post - and this is the important bit - alongwith copies of certificates and marksheets for the educational qualifications mentioned in the application.  All over India there are about 1000 such ads. Every ad has on an average 10 vacancies advertised. Each vacancy receives anywhere between 500 - 2000 applications (say 1000 average).  And each applicant has atleast 5 certificate copies to attach. All this requires good quality clean papers for xeroxing.

Now do the math. 1000 x 10 x 1000 x 5 = 50,000,000 papers wasted annually!
How many trees are sacrificed for this?

This is just a ballpark calculation and the number might be considerably higher if you take into account the fact that the reserved category also has to submit xerox copies of their caste proof. I have also not considered school advertisements here.

When will the AICTE, UGC, Universities and other eminent bodies stop  this colossal wastage by advising colleges to ask for email applications only? If Universities can conduct online examinations and take online applications from students then surely they can ask for online applications from prospective employees too.

Recommended solution: 
# Once  the final selection is complete the selected candidate should be asked to submit the xerox copies and given the appointment letter subject to submission of valid certificate copies.
 # Principals, directors, HR personnel and other administrative staff should be trained in working with emails, opening and saving attachments to enable them to process the applications.

Apr 10, 2012

Is the Madhuri Magic still alive?

Madhuri Dikshit is undoubtedly a legendary actor of her time. She moved out of Bollywood at the right time, at the height of her career (like Rahul Dravid and unlike Sachin Tendulkar).
Then followed a long break with tantalising glimpses of her in filmy functions, brand launches, and the odd interview about her life in the USA.
Now she is back for good, she says. She loves Mumbai. And she wants to do more films. But all we see is her in small advertisements and that sort of thing. So the question- Is the Madhuri Magic still alive or would it have been wiser for her to continue with only the odd but high value assignment?
Methinks Madhuri would be far more respected now if she went in for direction, or donned an entrepreneurial role.

Apr 8, 2012

Productive use of social networks

I keep reading about the how people's lives have been ruined and people- young and old - going into depression due to facebook use.

Well, it depends on how you use facebook. Or any networking site for that matter. Used correctly, social networks such as facebook or linkedin or twitter are a boon for people who wish to find more real life friends. For that you have to understand how difficult it was to get in touch with new people in the pre-internet era.

Simple suggested guidelines for productive use of a social network:
  • Use it to make friends from your city or locality who you can meet in real life or take up common activities with. 
  • Use it to build business contacts or employment purposes. 
  • Apply a bit of common sense, maturity, and a little restraint while building these new online relationships. 
  • Be careful about the kind of remarks you make or information you share. 
  • If it is a forum such as yahoogroup, be polite to its members while posting on the forum.
  • Interact with the person and find out if he/she is genuine and not just a facade or a persona, before agreeing to meet face-to-face.  
  • Do not believe all those fantastic things people put up on FB. That is just 1% of their life story. Much of it is fantasy too. 
  • Be natural and normal in your own responses to others. There is no need to put up a fake front if you wish to move some of these friendships to the real world. 
  • Ideally agree to meet in a small group rather than a one-on-one in case you are not sure of someone.
  • DO NOT neglect your existing real life friends and good relations (if you have any).
There may be more such dos and donts. I have just stated a few top-of-the-mind ones here.

Happy facebooking!