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    In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Jane Goodall started attributing personalities to the chimpanzees she followed in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. In her descriptions, some were more playful or aggressive, affectionate or nurturing. Many scientists at the time were horrified, she recalled. Considered an amateur - she didnt yet have her PhD - they contended she was inventing personality traits for animals. Jane, now 83, said in a phone interview from her home in England that scientists thought "I was guilty of the worst kind of anthropomorphism."

    But time has borne out her insights. Chimpanzees in the wild have personalities similar to those in captivity, and both strongly overlap with traits that are familiar in humans, a new study published in Scientific Data confirms.

    The new examination of chimpanzees at Gombe updates personality research conducted on 24 animals in 1973 to include more than 100 additional chimps that were evaluated a few years ago. The animals were individually assessed by graduate students in the earlier study, and in the latest by Tanzanian field assistants, on personality traits like agreeableness, extroversion, depression, aggression and self-control.

    Vivid personalities

    Researchers used different questionnaires to assess the chimps traits in the two studies, but most of the personality types were consistent across the two studies. These traits seen among wild chimps matched ones seen among captive animals, the study found, and are similar to those described in people.

    Jane, who is promoting a new documentary, Jane, about those early days of her research, said shes not surprised. She knew from childhood experiences with guinea pigs, tortoises and her favourite dog, Rusty, that animals have personalities that are quite familiar. "I honestly dont think you can be close to any animals and not realise their very vivid personalities," she said.

    Clive Wynne, a professor and director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University, USA, who was not involved in the research, said the new study offered a "really rich picture" of the overlap among species. "Its backing up and reinforcing a number of things that we assume about animal personality that are seldom established with this degree of security in substantial wild-living populations," said Clive, who concurs that dogs, his area of specialty, also have similar personality traits.

    Robert Latzman, an associate professor at Georgia State University, USA, who was not involved in the study, said his research with chimpanzees in zoos has always left open the question of whether animals in the wild are somehow different. "Whats exciting about these data is theres some suggestion that wild apes look very similar to what we would expect in terms of basic dispositional traits and continuity of those traits - and I dont mean just to captive chimpanzees, but to humans," he said. "The work in the wild underscores how similar these animals truly are to humans."

    Alexander Weiss, who led the new study, said he was particularly interested in examining the personality traits of animals in the wild. His findings were in line with previous research hes done on chimpanzees in captivity. "The fact that were showing this consistency in the wild is nice, because it allows us to draw more general conclusions," said Alexander, a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, UK. "Its not just being in a zoo thats causing these individual traits to be stable." The studys underlying data will be made publicly available so other scientists can use them in their own research, he said.

    Consistent over time

    Although most of the animals tested in 1973 had died by the time the recent analysis was conducted, the study also concluded that an animals personality traits were generally consistent over time. Jane said that fits what shes seen, too. She visits Gombe only twice a year now, and only two animals are still alive from the days when she knew them as individuals. One, a mother of twins named Gremlin, has changed a bit, Jane said. "I think the main difference in her personality is shes become more confident as she gets older, just like people do," she said.

    Jane added that shes pleased that researchers are still finding so much of interest at Gombe, and tapping into the expertise of Tanzanian field workers. And, of course, shes happy that the academic perspective has shifted from the time when she was told only humans had personalities, minds and emotions. "Today you can get your PhD studying animal personality. I think weve come around full-cycle," she said. "It absolutely vindicates all that Ive ever believed."

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  • 11/05/17--17:00: Impact of forest fires
  • This years infernos played a havoc in our tiger reserves, especially in Bandipur. Hundreds of hectares of forest area was burnt. Some animals and birds were also caught in the fire. Various reasons have been put forth as to why the fire happened. For instance, some say that the non-removal of the dead and fallen trees is responsible for this.

    It is but natural to find some dead, dying or fallen trees in all our forests. In the non-protected areas of forests, these are removed by the Forest Department and transported to depots for sale. Tiger
    Reserves also have dead and fallen trees. But the Project Tiger, a tiger conservation programme launched in 1973 by the Government of India, does not allow the removal of standing snags and fallen trees from the reserves.

    Bandipur National Park, which is under Project Tiger, is under strict protection for the last 44 years. In these forests, some dead and dying trees are present. Some are damaged by wild fires and some by wild elephants. Added to this the giant Dowga bamboo flowered and died (which has a flowering cycle of 75 years). All the dead trees are lying in situ, without being extracted. Some Forest Department officials feel that these dead trees, their debris and the bamboos were responsible for the recent infernos. So, some say that they need to be extracted periodically. But many wildlife experts are opposed to this. They say that the Forest Department should ensure effective protection.

    Usually, fires enter the forest through an external source. The funds allotted for fire protection are to be utilised for fire tracing (a tool which helps in reducing the risk of large fires breaking out) and clearing the wild growth in forest boundaries. In addition, fire watchers are temporarily employed to assist regular staff in protecting the forests. Then why the fires are not effectively controlled? Earlier, forests were protected by clearing forest boundaries and other areas. In the winter months, by taking up early burning, one can ensure that the forest fire does not spread. Additionally, Forest Department staff are trained to protect the forests from accidental fires.

    Nowadays, this is not being done in winter, and the staff is not well trained in controlling fires. In fact, many boundaries are now overgrown with weeds and are not cleared properly. These shortfalls could cause fire hazards.

    Instead of overcoming the above in-built irregularities, some argue in favour of removing dead and fallen trees, which involves tremendous disturbance to the environment. The disturbances include causing damage to the forests and animals due to reasons such as cutting dead trees, making roads and vehicle movements.

    In fact, research indicates that retaining snags and dead trees in forests have various advantages. For instance, dead and living trees with internal pockets of decay or broken tops can serve as wildlife habitats for a variety of plants and animals. Apart from these, fallen branches and trees are also able to enrich the soil by adding organic matter. They also help retain the soils moisture during dry periods, provide a seed bed for regenerating trees, and provide a site for nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

    Some also argue that taking up canopy or habitat manipulation in these forests by removing some trees can help in removing the congestion. They feel that by doing so, one can enable sufficient sunlight to reach the forest floor and facilitate the growth of grass. On the contrary, what will happen is that invasive weeds like lantana and eupatorium will be the first occupants of the forest floor, not the grass.

    Perhaps, by implementing some of these preventive measures, forest fires can be averted or minimised in the future so as to provide all wildlife a better home.

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    In the rush towards electric vehicles, automakers are increasingly sparing a thought for the humble delivery van, an often overlooked segment with big growth potential given tightening pollution restrictions in urban areas.

    Given lingering consumer concerns about cost and charging infrastructure, many in the industry expect it will take at least a decade for electric vehicles (EVs) to win over mainstream car owners.

    But as e-commerce begins to dominate the retail sector and cities clamp down on pollution, more vehicle makers see opportunities for faster take-up of EVs as delivery vehicles, taxis and other business uses in dense, urban areas.

    At the Tokyo Motor Show which opened to the public on Friday, Nissan, an early embracer of EV technology and maker of the Leaf, the worlds top-selling electric car, unveiled a concept model of its e-NV200 electric van with refrigeration capabilities, designed to transport chilled food to restaurants and homes.

    "Imagine if you have city access challenges, how will you get food delivered to restaurants, and goods to customers?" said Ashwani Gupta, head of the light commercial business at the automaking alliance of Nissan and Frances Renault. "Theres no other option but to go electric."

    Nissan plans to launch the refrigeration model in Japan next year, Gupta said. Both Nissan and Renault already market electric vans in Europe.

    Nissan is also looking to introduce the e-NV200 series in China in the near term as it expects demand will "explode" as big cities in the country effectively ban gasoline and diesel trucks and vans in an effort to crack down on emissions.

    At the moment, the countrys electric light commercial vehicle market has yet to be tapped by major foreign automakers, although Ford wants to drive its truck-making China partner Jiangling Motors (JMC) more towards electric commercial vans.

    Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, majority owned by Germanys Daimler, has also begun selling its eCanter electric light-duty truck in the United States, Europe and Japan.

    As increases demand for e-commerce creates more work for delivery services, Toyota Auto Body, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp, was thinking about the harried delivery van driver when it designed its LCV D-Cargo concept model.

    "We set out to make the delivery truck more comfortable for drivers," said Ichiro Mukai, who worked on the models design.

    The models futuristic design is based on Toyotas gasoline-hybrid minivan models marketed in Japan, and can be adapted to operate as an all-battery electric.

    Removing the passenger seat entirely, the drivers seat configuration is designed to enable drivers to get in and out of the vehicle more quickly and easily.

    A removable tablet device in the centre of the steering wheel enables drivers to easily locate parcels in the hold, where track shelving units and a wider door opening allows for easy access to parcels from outside the vehicle.

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  • 11/06/17--22:12: Clicking with history
  • Remember the time when the city was hooked to Pokemon Go? You would have then noticed many Bengalureans at Cubbon Park and other locations pointing their phones at random objects to catch Pokemon. Well, that fad has moved on and now its all about having a different view of the city and its landmarks.

    With companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung making most of their products using the virtual reality market, it only seems apt for startups to use their own versions of virtual reality and make an impact. Augmented Reality (AR) is one such concept that
    has been picking up well in Cubbon Park and Lalbagh. Soon, MG Road will follow suit.

    AR is a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, videos and graphics. A startup called FlippAR is one such AR application that is allowing Bengalureans and tourists to explore the city better.

    Vivek Jain, the founder, explains, "AR is a blend of the physical and virtual world. We have been granted permission by the Karnataka government to help use our app and learn more about the city. Right now, we have the trails formed in Cubbon Park and Lalbagh. We are soon opening the trails for MG Road as well."

    So how can one use this? "When you go to these locations, youll notice a yellow patch. You have to stand on it, point your phone at the building or monument. The app will scan it and give you all the details you need to know about that particular point," says Vivek.

    He adds that its a great way to understand the history of a place. You can also add your own story to the pinned location. Vivek explains, "A tourist usually needs a good guide to explain what each place is and what it represents. You might even face a challenge in understanding the language. However, with FlippAR, you can make your visits interactive and explore more."

    Apart from tourists, millennials are also the targeted audience. Pavan Kumar Reddy, a software engineer, goes to Cubbon Park every weekend for a walk. However, for the last three months, hes been learning something new about the place, thanks to AR. He shares, "The yellow patch clearly explains how you can use the app. Its a great way to learn about the history of the place. I can also tag my friends to the place and partake in quizzes and other interactive games available on the app."

    With a powerful phone and a little bit of time, one can learn everything they want and more with augmented reality. After all, its a great way to connect the past with the present.

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  • 11/06/17--22:14: Sweet cravings
  • Ever since I can remember, being a writer was something that I wanted to make a career out of. But soon I realised that I had another passion called cooking. So I decided to make use of both my interests and start a blog called Motions and Emotions.

    I had a full-time job. I started freelancing after I had my daughter. Thats also when I started taking my interest in blogging seriously. I wanted to have a record of my recipes, old and new, and making a digital version of that seemed the perfect idea.

    When I was in school, I just remember going to the kitchen to watch my mother whip up something delicious for me to have. I never thought of making anything by myself. It was after I moved to hostel that I realised the need to learn for my survival. So I started experimenting on a small scale and took it forward from there.

    My husband is a foodie and a good cook too. He often gives me feedback on how I can improve a dish. Ive even learnt a few tricks from him. I make a mix of everything in my kitchen. My hometown is in West Bengal and I usually make Bengali cuisine on a daily basis. I want to try to restore those traditional recipes that my mother and grandmother would make.

    There are days when Im craving for Kolkata street food. Though I dont get the exact taste, I try to make them at home. But my favourite recipe to cook is biryani, Kolkata style. Its a recipe that many of my friends and family appreciate. Its different because of the usage of mild spice and potatoes in it. Even though we have a number of biryani options in the country, no one makes it the way we do.

    The Coconut papaya ladoo recipe is something I created when I was in the mood to experiment. I found some raw papaya in my pantry and thought it would taste great with a mix of coconut.

    Little did I know that Id get so many good compliments for it! Its an easy-to-make sweet that one can have any time of the year. This two-ingredient ladoo is taken to a whole new level with the addition of papaya. It lasts for about four days if kept in the refrigerator.

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  • 11/06/17--22:18: Turbulence in air
  • Some believe that the job of a flight attendant is a glamorous one. The chance to travel around the world, visit new places and meet people from different cultures can perhaps be quite exciting. But with many incidences of passengers misbehaving with flight attendants, the profession has a dark side too.

    The recent report of a 19-year-old engineering student of Bengaluru assaulting an air hostess in an Indigo flight is garnering a lot of attention and youngsters in the city
    are voicing out their opinion.

    Vasundhara Agarwal, an entrepreneur, opines, "It is not too hard to respect an individual and one needs to learn that. Its high time people start respecting women regardless of their job. The increasing incidences of sexual harassment at workplaces against women is indeed a cause for concern."

    She points out that being in the hospitality industry, it is a flight attendants job to be polite to passengers. But this should not be taken for granted.

    "Generally, if a person is getting uncomfortable with your actions or conversation, then you should step back. One should not take a no to their heart. Respect the other persons wishes rather than seeing it as an insult to you. It is terrible to see a youngster doing something like this. Students should have a sense of responsibility towards the society and set a good example for the future generations," she opines.

    It is a known fact that ones way of life depends primarily on the environment he or she grows up.

    Emphasising on this, Dr Ravi Prakash, a psychiatrist, says, "This kind of behaviour is an individualistic trait. There can be many factors that influence ones actions. One of the major factors is the environment the individual is growing up in, during his personality development years."

    He adds, "Perception of the job also has a role to play. Men somehow get an idea that a profession like this will make people servile. This is associated with any job in the hospitality industry."

    With many such events happening around the country, one thing that is clear is that the outlook towards women is still unfavourable, points out Ajay Simha, a finance manager.

    "The fact that there are no stringent laws for crimes like this is one of the reasons why there is no fear among people. This boy should be punished and also admitted into a rehabilitation centre. There should be stricter laws for such actions," he says.

    He also highlights that when one commits a crime, the society instantly points a finger at their family, failing to see that parents always try to impart good values to their children.

    What people need to understand is that rather than playing the blame game, a change should be made at an individual level. And for this, we all need to step forward and do our bit for a safe world for women.

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  • 11/06/17--22:20: When safety comes first
  • Several bars, pubs and restaurants in the city have gone the extra mile to ensure that their women customers feel secure on their premises. From increasing the number of bouncers and installing CCTV cameras to sanitising every nook and corner and launching campaigns to promote the safety of women, these public spaces are leaving no stone unturned to make sure women dont feel unsafe.
    Pubs and eateries located in and around Indiranagar, Koramangala, Brigade Road and Whitefield, are among those who wear their women-friendly tags on their sleeves.
    Recently, The Humming Tree put up a board saying This is a safe space. Another initiative they took to ensure safety of women is called Rumble, which intends to get people to discuss and debate relevant issues.

    "This is a collaborative effort between us and Amnesty International India. This latest effort brings together art and activism through cross cultural conversations. We also wish to convey that any form of abuse or harassment against women will not be tolerated," explains Vidhi Kundan Jain, cultural and creative head at The Humming Tree. Most women in the city say that they would never venture into spaces that are unknown to them and prefer hanging out with a familiar group.

    Ofelia Dey, an employee of Cognizance, doesnt find the city to be as safe as it used to be.
    "I like going to places where the crowd is good. I live on Sarjapur Road and we usually frequent places in and around Whitefield and Indiranagar. I havent noticed a lot of difference in terms of safety measures being taken at these places but thats probably because I dont go there that much," says Ofelia.
    A few like Sharmistha Sikdar, a fitness consultant, agree that it is unsafe for women to venture out alone after dusk.

    "My late night outings are always with my family and friends. I dont try going alone after dusk. Instances of eve teasing are still rampant in our city. So in this context, it is a good move if owners of restaurants are taking measures to secure their premises," explains Sharmistha.

    Aparna Rao Pais, head of CRM department of a Startup, moved into the city two years ago. "I go out clubbing a lot but I have never faced any problem, except for one instance. A man brushed his hand against my back. I made sure that I voiced out my protest then and there," says Aparna, adding
    that the tendency for indulging in eve teasing cuts across class and social barriers.

    "Being literate and being educated are two different things. Sadly, even the educated crowd indulge in eve teasing here. This attitude needs to change," Aparna says.

    She adds that more than restaurants taking precautions, women must make sure that they protect themselves against any untoward incident.

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    Saurav Roy, who hails from Silchar, Assam came to Bengaluru for an interview and was floored by the ethos of the city.

    Though he didnt clear the interview, he was drawn to the citys charm, so much so that he quit his job in Coimbatore and relocated here. Luckily for him, he was able to find a job soon. Thus started his journey with namma Bengaluru.

    He works as a zonal head with Lupin Limited and lives here with wife Tanuja, who works as a travel consultant with Spaceline World Travel. They have a six-year-old son Shomudro.

    The family loves their stay here for multiple reasons -- be it the people or the opportunities that one can easily find here.

    "When I initially came to Bengaluru, I thought it was like Europe in India. This is a great place for marketing professionals," he says.

    The first time he heard of the city was when his sister had come here for an excursion. "The city was on my must-visit places since then. Many of my school friends are here," he says.

    Popularly known as the Pensioners Paradise, Saurav also feels that Bengaluru is where he wishes to settle down.

    "From the people to the food, everything is phenomenal here," pitches in Tanuja. Some of her favourite healthy items include idli and dosa.

    She adds that her son gets upset when she doesnt prepare a South Indian breakfast.

    The elaborate spread at weddings are Sauravs favourite. He says, "Back home, we always have desserts at the end of the meal. But here you often have the sweet in the beginning. My Kannadiga friends told me that the idea behind this is to start the meal with sweet thoughts."

    From his bachelor days to travelling as a couple to visiting places as a family, Saurav has explored a lot in and around the city.

    "Whenever our relatives visit us, we take them to Lalbagh, Cubbon Park and Vidhana Soudha. If we have some more time, then to Mysuru. Apart from this, we love visiting places like Talakadu, Horsley Hills, Big Banyan Tree, Yercaud, Hogenakkal Falls and Wayanad. Nandi Hills is a frequently visited spot," he details.

    Apart from visiting malls during the weekends, the family likes trying out different cuisines.
    "The best part is the variety here," he says. The family loves dining at Bhojohori Manna, MTR and Chulha Chauki da Dhaba and when the couple want to shake a leg, they head to Brewsky.

    The people of this city have made their stay a memorable one, says Saurav.

    He recollects, "Once, I was headed home and forgot my tablet in an autorickshaw. It was almost 15 minutes later that I realised this. I went to the spot where the autorickshaw driver had dropped me and imagine my surprise when he was standing there clueless about who to give the tablet to. There have been many such endearing incidents. Weve met the best people here."

    Tanuja adds that while travelling, Bengalureans have always extended a helping hand whenever required.

    Saurav sums up, "The city has helped us grow as individuals. We cant imagine ourselves living anywhere else."

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    Actor Priyamani says that things have only got better for her after marriage. She says she is managing to divide her time equally between her personal and professional commitments. She has just completed a Bollywood project and has two Kannada films ready for release. The actor also makes sure that she does different things to keep the creative streak in her alive. In an interview with Nina C George, Priyamani talks about her life after marriage and future

    What excited you about Nanna Prakara?

    I really like the way the script has been written. Every character in it has a definite part. I play the character of Amrita and I am cast opposite Kishore Kumar, who is an investigating officer. The concept of hero and heroine is absent in this project. Every character is important.

    What sets your character apart?

    I play Kishores wife but I am not the regular housewife. My character has a mind of her own and at one point, she lends a twist to the tale. Her insights into a particular case, handled by her husband, add a new dimension to the investigation.

    Is this your first film with Kishore?

    Yes it is. I have watched several of Kishores films and I think he is a fabulous actor, but I never got an opportunity to work with him. People have always seen Kishore playing negative roles. Here he will be seen playing a positive character.

    Has marriage changed anything?

    Only my status has changed. I am living out of a suitcase at the moment. Mustafa is busy completing his debut directorial feature film in Hindi and I keep travelling to fulfil the many project commitments that I have.

    Does Mustafa intend to direct a Kannada film someday?

    I dont know if he will direct a film but he has made friends here. He bonded with director Yogaraj Bhat during the promotions of Dana Kayonu. And he is definitely fascinated with the way we go about our job here.

    How is to work in a political thriller like Dhwaja?

    The film is directed by Ashok Kashyap and is a remake of a Tamil film. The script has been tweaked to suit local sensibilities. I play Ramya (it has nothing to do with the Kannada actor-turned-politician) whose only ambition is to enter politics. She will go to any length to come to power. The character also has a negative shade to it.

    Do you give all the characters you play your own flavour?

    I have a definite idea about how I want my character to be and I work towards giving every role a different tone. If I am working on a remake, then I dont copy the original version.

    Any Bollywood films in the pipeline?

    I have wrapped up shooting for a Bollywood project but I am not allowed to give out the details just yet. I play the lead role in it. After Chennai Express, this will be my next big release in Bollywood.

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  • 11/06/17--22:28: Falling behind
  • It is said that when in doubt, pedal it out. Residents of South Bengaluru cannot unfortunately take recourse to this solution because localities there have been left out of the much-touted Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) project.

    Public bicycling infrastructure will be created in a 28 sq km area, covering places like MG Road, Vidhana Soudha, Indiranagar, Banaswadi, HRBR Layout, HBR Layout, Kacharakanahalli, Koramangala and HSR Layout, according to a government order issued by the Urban Development Department. With political machinations said to be the reason behind the exclusion of constituencies in South Bengaluru, this has caused a lot of heartburn to the residents of the area.

    "Places like Jayanagar have some of the widest roads in the city as well as an active cycling community. It is unfortunate that political considerations have led to South Bengaluru losing out on a good idea. Development should not be centered around areas like MG Road and Indiranagar only," opines Sruthy Ram, an MNC professional.

    If high tourist footfalls were a priority for PBS, then Jayanagar should have been a natural choice, says Chidambaram aka Chiddu, a software professional. "There are a lot of shopping areas there, just like in MG Road and Indiranagar. People could travel on the Metro till there and use the cycle for last-mile connectivity."

    Says Debjyoti Mandhata, who works in Bums on the saddle in Jayanagar, "There are cycling lanes in Jayanagar but you wont find people using them because they are being availed by pedestrians or vehicles. Though riding in South Bengaluru is slightly tricky, because of the rolling terrain, there is a good community of riders here. But I guess cyclists are spread out throughout the city.

    Complaints apart, enthusiasts are somewhat sceptical about the feasibility of such a plan. "We need to see how it will be implemented. The biggest challenge is taking care of the cycles. After a year or so, you can find them rusting in the sun and rain. Also, these cycles have to be good quality because public sharing will put them under a lot of stress," adds Debjyoti.

    "It is like a chicken and egg scenario," says Sunil K G, a civil engineer and avid cyclist. " Cyclists are asking for a system to be put in place and then they will support it. Infrastructure experts need to see the numbers on the road so that they can be sure of the feasibility of new projects and their profitability."

    "I feel both the planners and the cycling community has to sit together to avoid such conflicts. The approach should be demand-driven, there should be interaction and it should be localised. A recce needs to be done and there should be a region-specific design, not a general idea. A task force community comprising all stakeholders should be formed to address the concerns of riders, especially about safety," he adds.

    Chidambaram highlights the need to ensure the supporting facilities are in place. "Zoomcar have introduced a system of cycle sharing and it has many takers because it is not too expensive and there are multiple docking stations. That is the key. There should be many docking stations, especially in the Metro stations and apartment communities, where people are more likely to use this facility," he says.

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  • 11/06/17--22:30: 'My son is so unlike me'
  • Shailendra Singh is a known name in the music industry. The social entrepreneur is the force behind some of the biggest events in the country like Sunburn Festival and Guestlist4good. The musical gene has been passed on and he is now the proud father of DJ Shaan, the first Indian DJ to perform at Tomorrowland.

    The duo have now collaborated for a music video for Shaan. Recently in the city to shoot for a song called End of the World, father and son took time off to talk to Rajitha Menon about a life that revolves around music.

    You have been in the entertainment industry for so long. What has changed?

    Shailendra: The audience has become far more demanding and restless. They are getting to see a lot of digital content from the world over so their expectations have gone up. But it is difficult because they dont expect the price to be scaled up. The good news is that in terms of the content, production, technological capability, creativity - it is all scaled up. The kind of show that India can create is at par with any international show.

    What are the challenges?

    Shailendra: The government doesnt have a policy for live entertainment yet. There is no single window and you need more than a 100 permissions to conduct any event in this country.

    Shaan, when did you enter the industry?

    Shaan: I was always into music, right from being a part of the school band. Since I went to a lot of concerts like Sunburn, courtesy my dad, it had an influence on me. I tried DJing once and I felt it was awesome. Then it all sort of clicked.

    And how was the Tomorrowland experience?

    Shaan: It is always incredible to represent your country on a global stage. As the first Indian to play there, it was a proud moment for me.

    How different is the audience across countries?

    Shaan: The Indian audience is more energetic and they have an incredible reaction to the DJ. The international audience is different because of the scene outside; its way ahead in music sometimes. You have to adjust to what they want.

    Shailendra, what is the event that is closest to your heart?

    Shailendra: One of the initiatives that is very close to my heart is Guestlist4good. I get top notch artistes from around the world to come and do a free performance and all the proceeds will go for charity that promotes childrens education. This time, the show will happen on December 2 and 3 in Mumbai. For the first time, the entire lineup on stage will be Indian.

    You are directing a video for the first time. What made you decide to do this?

    Shailendra: I reinvent brands for a living. So I thought I have so much knowledge and experience, why not use it for my son.

    Tell us about the video...

    Shaan: The concept is a romantic one. It is about love and how it should endure till the end of the world.
    Shailendra: We had a phenomenal time shooting in Bengaluru. I discovered my son is so unlike me. He told me he will not kiss or hug the girl in the video. I was like What? Its a romantic video. But I am proud of him, hes got a great character. â†'

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  • 11/07/17--22:12: Bulletin board
  • Bulletin board

    Fine Arts scholarship

    Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is inviting
    enrolments for the
    aptitude test to qualify for the scholarship supported by the Ministry of Education, Government of Singapore. It will take place on November 25 in Bengaluru. To know more, visit

    Education fair

    ELS Education Fair 2017 invites students to attend the fair that will take place in Bengaluru on November 11, 2017 at JW Marriott, Vittal Mallya Road between 11.00 am and 6.00 pm. It is open to students who are interested in studying in USA. For more details, call Shrilekha on +9198840 68322.

    MSc course

    The University of Sheffield, UK is inviting applications for MSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
    programme starting in
    September 2018. This
    programme provides
    training for Bioscience
    graduates to develop
    confidence and independence in their practical skills and knowledge relevant to careers in this area. For more information, email

    NSTSE 2018

    National Level Science Talent Search Examination (NSTSE) 2018 organised by Unified Council is a scientifically designed, skill-based assessment developed in India for Indian schools. The last date to apply is November 15. For more details, visit or email

    Financial internship

    Star Fing is hiring interns for Financial Research profile in Bengaluru. Students with knowledge of Mathematics can apply by November 13. The stipend is Rs 10,000-12,000 per month. To apply, visit

    Fashion course

    Leeds Arts University has launched a new course called BA (Hons) in Fashion Branding and Communication. This programme will commence from September 2018. For more details, visit

    Spa therapy course

    Euro Chroma Institute of Cosmetology announces the admission to Diploma Courses in Spa and Wellness. This course is accredited by Vocational Training Charitable Trust, UK. For more details, call on 01141615040 or email

    Quarter Century scholarships

    Pearl Academy has announced Quarter Century Scholarships 2018 for students. Under this, Pearl Academy will offer scholarships of Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 50,000. A contest to select the scholarship winners will be held on November 18, 2017 and is open to students of Class 12 and undergraduates in their final year. For more details, visit

    Digital Fabrication diploma

    Kerala Startup Missions Fab Academy invites applications from candidates for its six-month diploma course in Digital Fabrication. It is scheduled to commence from the third week of January 2018. The last date to apply is
    November 15. To apply,

    Postdoctoral fellowship

    The Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University invites applications from PhD scholars for the Postdoctoral Fellowship 2018-2019. The Israeli Planning and Budgeting Committee will award outstanding researchers at the postdoctoral level from India and China. The last date to apply is November 11. For more details, visit

    Music course

    National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM), Ireland is inviting applications for a BA course in Music Technology. The last date to apply is February 1, 2018. For more details, visit

    MSc course

    The University of Sheffield, UK is inviting applications for MSc Advanced Electrical Machines, Power Electronics and Drives course starting in September 2018. For more details about the course, visit or email

    Photography contest

    shOObh Group Welfare Society has announced shOObh Photography Competition 2017 for school students. This years theme is Women. The competition is open to students of Class 3 - 12. The last date to apply is November 14. For more details, visit For any queries, email

    JNVST 2018

    Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, an autonomous body operating under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, invites applications from students of Class 5 for admission in Class 6 through Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test (JNVST) 2018. The last date to apply is November 25. For more details, call 0120-2405968.


    The Next Genius Foundation has introduced The Next Genius Scholarship Programme 2017 for outstanding Indian high school students to
    pursue their undergraduate education in North America and Europe. The last date
    to apply is November 10.
    For more details, visit

    PhD fellowship

    The International Max Planck Research School
    for Computer Science
    (IMPRS-CS) invites applications from students who have completed Masters in Computer Science for fully-funded PhD fellowship programme 2018. The last date to apply is November 15. For more details, visit

    Photographer of the year

    CBRE invites entries for the urban photographer of the year competition from
    individuals of age 13 years
    or above. This years
    photography contest has
    the theme of Cities of
    Connections: People, Places, Perspectives. The last date to apply is November 30. For more details, visit

    ACT exam

    The ACT test will be available to students in India with the new agreement between ACT and MeritTrac. The agreement will allow ACT to reach more students in India who wish to pursue their higher education in the United States. For more details, visit

    Video internship

    UpGrad is hiring interns for the video production profile in Bengaluru. Students can apply by November 13. The stipend is Rs. 10,000-15,000 per month. To apply, visit

    Marketing course

    Streamlyn Academy of Digital Marketing has introduced a new course in Digital Marketing. The three-month course will begin from November 15. For more details about the course, visit

    PGDM course

    IFIM Business School is inviting applications for Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programme for the 2018-2020 session. To know more, visit

    Essay contest

    ProBono India, in association with Skillfull India, invites applications from Law students in India to write essays for the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam National Legal Essay Competition. This years theme is Legal Aid and Awareness in India: Issues and Challenges. The last date to apply is November 15. For more details, visit

    PhD fellowships

    The University of Oslo invites applicants to apply for the PhD Research Fellowships in Energy Informatics. The fellowships will be provided for a period of three years. The last date to apply is November 15. For more details, visit

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  • 11/07/17--22:14: Bridging the skill gap
  • The financial services market in India has been in a constant state of flux lately, with the rapid proliferation of technology across the domain only intensifying the situation.

    Moreover, the state of the countrys job market has also added to the anxiety surrounding job security among students and professionals. The IT job market, for instance, has shrunk over the last two years, and is expected to contract even further. Earlier this year, some companies laid off their employees, making the need for skill development more urgent than ever.

    According to a recent report, only 4% of Indias population possesses vocational training. India currently has a vigorous entrepreneurial environment wherein most companies want quick, practical, and technical solutions to organisational and market problems. However, there is an evident lack of vocational and skill-based courses in the countrys higher education institutions.

    Developing crucial skills

    This is a problem that must be addressed urgently since 90% of jobs in demand are purely skill-based, while only 20% of graduates get employed. According to the India Skills Report 2014, less than 30% students entering the workforce meet the job criteria set by employers.

    In addition, only 11% of the 550 million people under the age of 25 are currently enrolled in professional education institutions, in comparison to the world average of 23%. There is a pressing need for graduates to have requisite skills needed to fit into job roles that require technical knowledge in areas like data analytics and finance by opting for job-relevant programmes and courses.

    The argument for revamping the higher education curricula and introducing skill training at a young age is stronger than ever as it will have a long-term impact in exposing students to a wide range of
    career opportunities within any industry. Skill development courses offered at both school level and undergraduate level can help students identify where their interests lie.

    Ensuring more skilled and job-ready graduates demands practical, application-based pedagogy. Employing
    tools like e-learning can enhance the effectiveness of learning. Internships and apprenticeships at the undergraduate level are an excellent way to create an experience-based education system across different levels.

    Over the past 25 years, the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry has consistently contributed to the economys long-term growth and sustenance. A report by the National Skill Development Corporation on the BFSI industry states that few developing countries have integrated with the global economy like India has, amplifying its gains through a high degree of productivity.

    BFSI opportunities

    BFSI companies are creating new products, innovative strategies and ramping up distribution networks - all by leveraging technology. While alternative investment instruments and growing consumer awareness about these products are attracting newer consumer demographics, banks and non-bank financial institutions are
    exploring new business opportunities by collaborating with the burgeoning financial technology sector. As a result, there is a bright future for the sector in terms of jobs. However, facilitating the supply of skilled professionals across these sectors continues to be a daunting task for both the industry and academic institutions.

    With the increasing dominance of technology in financial services like investment, banking and insurance, online skilling platforms present a gamut of opportunities for students to equip themselves with the right skills and knowledge corresponding to potential job roles in the BFSI sector. By collaborating with BFSI industry leaders, these platforms are
    facilitating the dissemination of knowledge through shared resources. Thus, students can meet the industry demand in fields such as data and financial analytics, and have the appropriate certifications and validations from the industry. This way, young graduates preparing to enter the workforce can achieve greater career growth, with higher chances of taking up key leadership roles in organisations.

    With a unified vision for the education system, higher education institutions, industry leaders and public sector organisations can form alliances to promote skill development among students to enable to thrive in a professional set-up. By establishing standards across different sectors and defining the competencies required for each role, they can enable uniformity in the job market and hiring parameters of organisations in the BFSI industry. As a result, students can make a much more focused choice on the career they want to pursue and skills they need to acquire.

    (The author is managing director, Imarticus Learning, Mumbai)

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  • 11/07/17--22:16: For an enriching experience
  • An educational trip to a foreign country is always something to look forward to for students. Apart from higher studies, students also go abroad for internships, research projects and conferences among others. This is an opportunity to work and interact with international experts on globally relevant problems. Additionally, you also get to learn more about the country and its culture. Apart from preparing for the study-related aspects, it is also important to prepare for other crucial details of the trip such as the travel and stay. So, here are a few pointers which you may find useful to make your trip an enjoyable and enriching one.


    This stage is crucial as this is where the story of an educational travel really begins. To ensure a strong application, heres what you need to do:

    Dont spam: Let there be profuse and genuine evidences in the letter of application that you have carefully chosen the places you write to, rather than spending a mass mail. Remember, the professors out there are busy. It would be nice of you if you dont expect them to waste their time in reading letters which have been putting together text copied off the Internet.

    Personalise: Take genuine interest in the work of the organisation or university to which you are applying. Try to align your project to their work. A carefully drafted statement of purpose (SOP) will leave a lasting impression on the selectors mind. Write your applications with the honest conviction that you are going there to offer a value that they cant say no to.

    Preparation and travel

    Once your application has been approved, its time to start making concrete preparations. One of the things which can mar a travel are contingencies like flight delays and lost luggage. What can we do to avoid them? Here are a few pointers:

    Plan early: Preparing for a foreign travel is very complex. Arranging funds, tickets and visa are the most important aspects of this preparation. Air tickets are much cheaper if purchased early. Finding out about the visa application process for the country of visit will help save the last
    moment trepidation. Its always good to get in touch with someone who has either travelled or has stayed in the country you would be visiting to know about details such as the best way to travel and where to stay. Knowing someone who already knows the place and its ways may prove to be an invaluable resource.

    Dont overplan: Early bookings save money, but come with committing to a plan. Doing so rules out certain interesting possibilities. Also, too much detailing makes the plan brittle. Such plans may crumble if one of its components fails.

    Have backup plans: Identifying components of a plan which can fail, and providing backup options, is also a part of good planning.

    Dont be hasty: In crowded areas such as airports, railway stations and bus stands, its best to avoid haste. So, it is best go slow and take your time to do each activity one at a time.

    While being there

    Meeting with people outside ones own country is sometimes a source of anxiety. How should we behave with the local residents, particularly when we arent in the safety of our own country? Here are a few ways that can help:

    Be tolerantly proud: We know of many problems in our country. But theres a thin line between being critical, and being downright disparaging. Being reasonably knowledgeable about ones own country and culture earns you respect. Equally important is to exhibit genuine respect and tolerance for other cultures. There should be a sense of equality and mutual respect in conversations between people from different geographies and

    Things that always work: There are certain attitudes which always work regardless of culture and geography.
    A happy and smiling demeanour is more effective and impressive than immaculate dressing and stylish mannerisms. Politeness, helpfulness and honesty are culture neutral attitudes which will always earn you respect and acceptance. Good work ethics like punctuality are always good in any professional setting.

    Trying to fit in: Trying to blindly imitate someones dressing style and mannerism is not good and it will fail to impress anyone. A decent, clean dress is good enough for almost any place. If the climate demands a particular way of dressing, you should be flexible to change your dressing style. Similarly, faking accent is a useless ploy. Instead, focus on being a good and articulate communicator.

    What to avoid

    Certain things which are acceptable in ones own culture may be a taboo elsewhere. Here are some things that you may want to avoid while being in a foreign country:

    Avoid giving extreme opinions on religion, sex and politics until an environment of trust has been developed.

    Never share photos of people, particularly when it is taken in a private setting, on social networks without express permission.

    Be conservative in your exhibition of affection to people. A handshake to express any form of warmth is quite safe in most cases.

    Stay out of illegal behaviour like driving without license.


    In my opinion, the most fascinating aspect of any place are its people. Ask yourself the question: whats unique about the place? Prior reading and conversing with locals will give you an idea of the country you are in and will help you decide what you would really like to learn and experience in that country. Doing so can help you maximise your experience in the country. However, as it is an educational trip, it is also important to be diligent in your work and focus on contributing and not on impressing people.

    A visit to a new place should be a source of personal enrichment rather than a tick on a map. This happens by taking a genuine interest in the place and its people, rather than posing for photographs in famous places. When in doubt, follow your instincts or the advice of a local friend.

    With these tips in mind, you would be able to make the most out of your trip.

    (The author is assistant professor, IIIT, Bengaluru)

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  • 11/07/17--22:20: Courses should suit you
  • Dear Sir,

    I am a final year BCom student. I have decided to study MBA but Ive no idea about the specialisation. Please suggest a specialisation that has good demand.


    Dear Siddharth,

    More than demand, you need to understand what suits your skills, personality and aptitude. In fact, it is better not to jump into an MBA just after you finish your BCom, because you will not know what to specialise in.

    Most good B-schools insist on work experience to give admission. Hence, you may take up an entry level job in whichever area you have interest in, test out your abilities and
    progress, and then prepare after a couple of years to get admission in a reputed institute for an MBA of your choice.

    Dear Sir,

    I have completed my BE in 2014. But I havent started working yet. Now, I am seeking to build my career. But people are saying that I cant get into IT sector because I dont have any work experience. Right now, I cant do my higher studies because of financial crisis. Please suggest relevant courses that can help me get an IT job.


    Dear Chaitra,

    Though you say that you have a financial crisis, you have not worked or earned in the past three years after graduation. Perhaps you need to look into the psychological aspects why, as a qualified engineer, you did not take up any job at all.

    If you feel you do not connect to your area of study, you can take up an entry level job in any other field such as HR, Marketing, logistics, product development, customer support etc.

    If you are keen on getting only into the IT sector, then you can take up a short-term vocational course in any of the IT fields that are in demand such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and software testing, and then apply for jobs, which should not be very difficult if you are willing to start at a lower level in a smaller company.

    Dear Sir,

    My son is studying in Class 9. He is excellent in Science but hates Maths. Interestingly, he scores good in both the subjects. Is there any course for Class 11, where he can choose only Science but not Maths?


    Dear Rachita,

    Many schools and colleges have started offering Science subjects without Maths, in ISC, CBSE as well as PUC. You will have to check with the individual institutions. Some of the PU colleges you can check are APS PU
    College, Al-Ameen Pre-university College, Indian Academy Pre-university College, and SRN Adarsh
    PU College.

    On the other hand, if he scores well in Maths, see if he is willing to study it for two more years as it will give him a stronger foundation, and then he can move on to a degree course that does not involve Maths.

    Dear Sir,

    My granddaughter is in Class 12. She wants to become an IT professional and has taken up the
    Science stream. She is quite intelligent. However, she now feels that she may not get a merit seat in a good college. On the advice of her friends, she now wants to take up Hotel Management. I feel that the course will not suit her as she is an introvert person. Please advise on the various options available.


    Dear John,

    If she is an intelligent girl with a deep interest in IT field, she need not give up her dream just because she may not be able to get into a top college. There are dozens of reputed colleges in the State that can provide a good education in Computer Science engineering, and then if she is ambitious, she can go for an MTech.

    As you have mentioned, she should not take up a career that does not suit her personality traits and her basic capabilities. Tell her to take advice from knowledgeable people regarding career choices.

    Dear Sir,

    I am doing my final year diploma in electronics and communication. I want to do engineering in the same subject in a good college. To get into good colleges in Karnataka, I can write Diploma Common Entrance Test (DCET). What is the application procedure for engineering colleges outside Karnataka? What other courses can I pursue?


    Dear Maheshwari,

    Since you like your field of electronics, it may be better to get yourself a degree in that subject, which you can complete in three years. It will be better if you aim for any of the reputed colleges in Karnataka since you may not be eligible in some other states, and some of the reputed all-India engineering colleges do not give lateral entry in the second year.

    If you take up other courses when you finish your diploma, you will be able to start off with employment but may eventually hit a glass ceiling since you will not be a graduate.

    Dear Sir,
    I am a second year BCom student. I want to study law after graduation. What entrance exam should I take for Law? Is it necessary to join coaching classes for it?

    A Student

    Dear Student,

    Graduates from any stream are eligible for admission in the three-year LLB course. Admission is mostly based on the marks in the degree and some simple entrance tests.

    Since most reputed institutions like National Law School of India University do not offer the three-year course, you will have to take admission in whichever is the best local college available, and admission should not be very difficult.

    It may not be necessary to join any coaching classes, but if you do wish, you can approach any coaching centre that is offering CLAT coaching for the five-year law course if they are willing to coach you.

    Dear Sir,

    I am currently in the third semester of Mechanical engineering. I wish to work in the Indian Railways. Could you please guide on how I should prepare for it?

    A Student

    Dear Student,

    Employment at the officer level in Railways is the same as it is for other departments, that is, through the Union Public Service Commission exams (see

    Exams for Class I services are held once in a year, and you should prepare yourself not only in your own subject, but also for general knowledge, current affairs, communication skills, and if possible about how the Railways work.

    Dear Sir,

    I hold a bachelors degree in Mechanical engineering. My dream is to establish my own car company but I am not sure how to go about it. Please guide.


    Dear Shafiq,

    The first step could possibly be to work in an automobile company, even at an entry level and where you get an opportunity to explore different aspects of how such organisations work. Within a year you should be knowledgeable about which area of the automobile sector you would like to specialise in.

    You can also consider doing higher studies in your chosen field. Once you have acquired sufficient inputs and skills then you can decide when to launch off your own company. Best of luck!

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  • 11/07/17--22:22: The key to success in exams
  • With around 12 lakh aspirants having appeared for each of the major entrance exams, the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), in 2017, the challenge to excel can be really daunting. Besides, the prospect of having to deal with the vast syllabi may make some students unnerved and confused.

    However, with judicious planning and efficient time management, you can easily overcome these hurdles and breeze through the exams. It is essential to start your preparation early so that you can have ample time to prepare. Keep in mind that any competitive examination will have questions from the syllabus of Classes 11 and 12.

    To ensure productivity, design a time table to study for the exams and stick to it no matter what. Your study plan should have a fair idea of what you need to study and the time allotted for it. To reap the fruits of success, it is advisable to put around six hours of effort outside school hours. Take short breaks of 15 to 20 minutes in between to enhance your retention power. In addition to this, here are some tips that can help you prepare better:

    Seek guidance: While it is impossible to have the syllabus at the start of your preparation, it is best to clear doubts in difficult topics from your teacher at regular intervals.

    Concept clarity: Keep away from learning by rote as much as possible. Apart from memorising formulas, adopt an understanding of the basics.

    Notes: As you complete each chapter, it is important to make brief notes summarising the content and listing the formulae. This would ease your work at the time of revision.

    Sample papers: Although you cannot always predict the changes that may occur, it is necessary to go through the previous years question papers to observe the type of questions to be expected in the upcoming exams. Note that the quality of preparation matters and not the quantity.

    Mock tests: Mock tests help you gauge your abilities by giving you a feel of real exam and boost your performance by
    giving you an extra edge when confronted with the actual exam.

    Time management: This is the most crucial aspect of preparation because you need to give equal time for all your subjects. The paper duration, pattern and the number of questions you need to take up within that given span of time are not something you can afford to decide on your examination day. So, to ensure that you do not waste time on the day of the exam, practice some past papers.

    During the exam: Start and solve the questions in a way you are comfortable with. Stay calm and embrace a systematic approach while dealing with the paper.

    Remember your path of preparation would not be smooth. At times, you would feel impatient and discouraged. Yet the true spirit lies in holding on to your dreams in the midst of all odds that comes your way by sheer confidence and optimism. Your persistence would surely yield desired results. Although these exams are quite demanding, they are not that difficult either.

    With these tips in hand, sailing through these exams will not be as challenging as you may have once thought.

    (The author is chief executive officer, BASE)

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  • 11/07/17--22:26: A learner-centric approach
  • Is it possible to make our education system more democratic? What if there was a school where:

    All the students, regardless of age, had all the rights and responsibilities in the school as given to a citizen of a democratic country?

    Where the students are free to choose their own activities, and are able to practice freedom of expression and association?

    Where students vote on rules that affect them and arrive at a consensus about the consequences if and when anyone oversteps a rule?

    Needless to say, most adults would be sceptical about such a system. Would children and teenagers be able to handle such responsibilities at such a young age? Many of us would be surprised to learn that such schools do exist and some of them have been running for years!

    These schools are known as democratic schools. Such schools are characterised by involving students in the
    decision-making process that affects what and how they learn. While it does sound nice in theory, how would such a school actually function?

    Facilitators of learning

    In a democratic school, children are responsible for their learning and for the school community as a whole. For example, democratic schools often have structured programmes where children care for school spaces and help with farming, cooking or cleaning. Such schools accept students from as young as four to teenagers.

    They do not separate children based on age since it is believed that children learn very well by interacting with others younger and older than themselves. Older children may supervise or mentor younger children spontaneously. In one of the schools, older children act as ombudsmen in disputes between children of all
    ages. This helps them to develop a sense of respect and caring for more than just oneself.

    Often, in such schools, the teachers facilitate the learning rather than teach. They know that the children learn a lot from each other as they interact and work together. Established education techniques such as
    cooperative learning are used to teach, and students learn not only the class material well, but also some valuable skills in teamwork.

    Equal participation

    The classrooms are structured in such a manner to enable students and staff to sit around in a circle. While there may not be a separate desk or position for the adult member, there is equal participation from
    all the members. This way, all channels of communication are open, and students feel more inclined to participate in class.

    Many democratic schools have periodic meetings to discuss and vote on rules to be followed by the school. These rules are strictly adhered to with appropriate consequences for those who do not abide by them.

    In short, as Yusef Waghid writes in his book, Pedagogy Out of Bounds: Untamed Variations of Democratic
    , "democratic education is an educational ideal in which democracy is both a goal and a means to the goal; it is a practice."

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  • 11/07/17--22:48: A ground reality
  • A video surfaced on Tuesday night on social media were an Indigo airline staff was seen assaulting a passenger at the Delhi airport.

    The video showed the passenger being stopped from entering a coach, being pulled back by a ground staff and another employee restraining the traveller. The passenger too fought back and fell on the ground. Though the incident happened on October 15, this video has been garnering attention by others who have travelled on budgeted airlines.

    For a frequent traveller like G Nivedith, this news is not surprising. Narrating an incident that happened to him, the travel blogger says, "This happened over a year ago when the rule to ban battery banks were just rolling out. I was heading to Varanasi and my flight was about to take off in a few minutes. The airlines announced my name on the speaker and said that my bags have not been checked-in because of my battery banks."

    "They had not mentioned anything about it when my bags were initially scanned. Long story short, I had to deboard, miss my flight and had to book another one. The staff was rude and said that its not their problem as I should have paid attention."

    Changing the flight time, delaying the travel and cancellation of flights is something that many budget flights do. What should have been a short trip to Goa for Zany Madhu, a photographer, went on to become a nine-hour flight due to the cancellation of the earlier flight.

    The photographer explains, "I was supposed to be on a direct flight from Delhi to Goa which got cancelled and I was stuck at Surat airport as a layover. I saw there were seats available for a direct flight but the staff was rude and behaved like they were doing us a favour. When I told my friends about this, they reacted like it was expected as this happens often."

    Amitava Bs experience was a traumatic one. The communication professional was flying to meet his father who was in the ICU. He says, "I was waiting in the queue for check-in and asked the staff to let me go ahead. He asked me to wait till my turn. When I reached the counter, they said that the boarding was closed. I had to reach home as my father was in the ICU. The staff argued for 45 minutes. My fathers doctor also spoke to them explaining the situation. However, they didnt bother to help and told me to leave the airport. Unfortunately, my dad passed away."

    Bushra Shariff, a producer at Brave New World, says, "The incident with the staff manhandling the passenger is really unfortunate. Nobodys personal space must be violated. This said and done, Ive personally never had a bad experience with airlines. The individuals who work on the ground and above should maintain discipline at work especially during odd hours and to meet the onslaught of demands from employers and passengers alike. I dont think an employees action should represent an airline that has otherwise always over-delivered on their promises."

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  • 11/07/17--22:58: All eyes this way!
  • Its bigger, its better and its here. The Deccan Herald Theatre Festival 2017, one of the flagship properties of Deccan Herald, has come back to celebrate the finest theatre talent in
    the city.

    Pioneered three decades ago, the brand encourages and promotes the citys talent and provides a unique experience to theatre enthusiasts in Bengaluru through this iconic property.

    This year marks yet another landmark for Deccan Herald with the launch of its much-awaited theatre platform for college students. The launch pad will enable young theatre enthusiasts to showcase their creativity at a professional festival.

    Auditions for participating colleges will take place on November 11 and 12 at Rangoli Metro Art Centre, MG Road. The top three contenders from among these college teams will get a chance to perform on December 4 at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore as part of the festival.

    There is also a stellar lineup of plays that will be performed at the festival this year. The opening act is Quasar Thakore Padamsees Mother Courage and Her Children which will
    be performed on December 3, 7 pm onwards at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleswaram.

    A new rendition of German playwright and poet Bertolt Brechts classic, the play talks about survival, entrepreneurship and the absurdity of war. The cast includes some legendary names like Arundhati Nag, Aseem Hattangady, Asif Ali Beg, Junaid Khan, Keith Sequeira and more.

    Vandana Prabhus A Little Calm Before the Storm will be staged on December 5, 7.30 pm onwards at Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar. Comedy sketch A Funny Thing Called Life, directed by Prashanth Nair, will be staged on December 8, 8.30 pm onwards at BFlats new property in Whitefield. Pawan Kumars The Woman in Me will be performed on December 9, 7 pm onwards at MLR Convention Centre, JP Nagar. Boiled Beans on Toast will be performed
    on December 10, 7 pm onwards at Good Shepherd Auditorium, Museum Road. Prakash Belawadi will be directing this drama written by Girish Karnad.

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  • 11/07/17--23:04: Filter 'kaapi' in Madikeri
  • Adventure couple is what we are generally addressed as. To add to our adventurous experiences, we decided to explore the scenic beauty of Coorg recently.

    The estimated travel time is around five hours by car. We headed towards Mysuru Road. Our first stop was for our breakfast. After a rejeuvenating Filter kaapi and Dosa, we continued our journey. Soon, we entered the dense forest, and could hear the chirping of birds.Even before we could realise, we reached our destination, which was Madikeri.

    We booked at a homestay well in advance and headed to our little abode for the next three days which is located at the centre of the city. The view from the homestay was splendid. We did try the authentic Coorgi cuisine as well. It was flavourful and aromatic.

    On day one, we left for the Abbey Falls. What added excitement to our visit was that we got an instant photograph of us clicked by a photographer who was at the spot. The photograph will the falls in the background now takes a pride of place on the walls of my home. While we were heading back to our homestay, it started raining. The showers made the place look even more breathtaking.

    We sipped on a cup of strong filter kaapi and enjoyed the rain from the balcony of our room.

    On day two, Talakaveri and Raja Seat were on our itinerary. One must be careful while driving to this location as this is situated at the highest peak and the roads are narrow. The view was breathtaking as we stood at the entrance of the Talakaveri â€"the birth place of river Cauvery. It was serene and calm. It seemed like the clouds had engulfed the entire place.

    On our way back, we visited the Raja Seat known for its sunset view, flower garden and the toy train. We had scheduled Dubare Elephant Camp for the next day. Located on the banks of the river we had to take the motorboat to reach the other side of the river. We were lucky enough to see the elephants lazing in the river. We also got an opportunity to feed the elephants as well. Our trip was coming to an end and we were on our way back to Bengaluru.

    (The author can be reached at

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