Thursday, February 2, 2017

Driving Skills

For safe driving, just follow these principles. Prepared list over time based on driving experience in Kanpur, India.

  1. Keep distance with the vehicle in front and both left and right side. Other vehicles have tendency to stop suddenly stop, or sway sideways.
  2. Accelerate slowly. This allows to keep you within comfortable speed limit depending on road environment. Also less braking will be needed. Thus you can achieve more fuel efficiency and less vehicle wear and tear.
  3. Go slow over uneven surface. More the uneven surface lower will be your speed limit. This is important due to bad condition of roads in Uttar Pradesh.
  4. When approaching turn and crossing, let your vehicle slow down. Other vehicle has tendency to cross or turn without any warning specially in Kanpur and all other cities in Uttar Pradesh.
  5. When changing lane, do look into both the left and right rear view mirror once. In UP, there are high chances that someone might try to overtake you from left.
  6. Do not worry about time. So, never look at your watch while driving. One should be willing to spend time in driving for being safe.
  7. Do not look at speedometer. Your speed should be decided by the surrounding driving condition.
  8. While reversing ensure to look into all three rear view mirrors. Have a rear camera in your vehicle if possible.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Misc Information.

State Bank of India

For savings bank - maximum free debit entries in six months - 30
six month period - Jan to June and July to Dec
Electronic transfer, ATM withdrawals at SBI ATMs, debit card based payments, service related bank charge debits - not counted.
ECS debits (e.g. to mutual funds SIP), cheque withdrawals, cheque based transfer, Withdrawal at other bank ATMs - counted.
All additional debits charges at Rs.5 per transaction with service tax. For n additional debit entries
round off to nearest rupees (5n*1.145) is charged as "Fee excess drs".

Rs.15 every quarter for sms notification service charges.

In a year 50 cheque leaves free of charge. Further leaves at Rs.2 per leave plus service tax of 14.5% rounded off the nearest Rs.

Vehicle registration information.

For sale of old vehicle
- Form 28 (NoC) need to be submitted to current RTO
- Pencil print of vehicle identification number from chassis is needed on three copies of form.
- original RC
- photocopy of RC
- insurance certificate
- PUC

Should get the NOC and transfer forms 29, 30 from old authority first and then these should be submitted to new authority by the buyer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How to prepare for entrance examination?

One of the question which I get from the stufents is about how to prepare for entrance examinations. So decided to put down my thoughts on this.

In entrance examinations, the outcome simply depends on how many correct answers you have given. The correct answers depend on your memory i.e., whether you can memorize the stuff, or whether you understand the concept. Most of the examinations need both skills.

A student should only bother about maximization of the performance. In order to ensure that you can maximize, it important to equally emphasize the entire syllabus. You should be ready for any kinf of question distribution in the paper. Key principle for preparation is to study those topics more which you understand/remembet less. A simple technique could be what is given in next para. Itvbecomes possible due to availability of large number of older questions paper and questions banks.

First of all, get the questions papers and questions banks from last few years. Now, start solving the questions. If you remember/understand and can give the correct answer, move to next question. In case you cannot, go the the book or other reference material and read at least the section completely related to the question. If you can give the answer now, you have added to your memory or understanding. By the time, you finish few question papers, you must have revised quite a good stuff which you were not remembering/understanding well. The method ensures that you do spend your time judiciously on refreshing your memory/understanding of the portions where you need to. Whatever you already remember/understand is skipped saving you critical time.

Basically you are strengthening your memory/understanding of your weaker spots. This leads to more uniform learning and your chances of getting success in the examinations is far higher by spending much shorter time in preparation. The more you do, the better you become. Only initial few questions papers will be tough as at that time you will be ironing out all your deficiencies. Later by practice you can build speed.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The art of nonlinear reading - How to read research notes/papers/books?

Reading a text can be linear - you start reading from page 1 and go to 2, 3, and so on till you finish the text. Novels, Stories etc. are read in this fashion. The sequence does matter as they represent the evolution with time.

When we read a paper, book or notes given by a student, our objective is to understand what the text wants to say. For this kind of technical content, there may be paragraphs which we need to read twice or more; some of the paragraphs need not be read as we already understand what is written in them. Reading the content in an order decided by us is what I call Non-linear reading. It is suitable for studying the research papers, books, notes. I found it very useful for studying the notes/papers given to me by students.

There exist a third category of reading - skimming. In this we just skim at fast pace through entire content just to get an idea of what the text is all about. This does not help in understanding it,  but to decide that whether I should spend time in reading it.

Since the text is usually organized in paragraphs, we can decide the read a para at a time. One can repeat a para if needed. Viewing the index at the beginning is very helpful in deciding what section to be read first. Within a section, we can use skimming to identify which para to study first. I found that this technique allows us to understand the content in perspectives. I could find lot of flaws in papers written by my students when I used non-linear reading, as it seems to allow us to also have a big picture of what we are discussing in the paper.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Every mistake, flaw identified is an opportunity to improve.

In my posts, I have talked about various tips to improve performance. All these can be arrived at by almost anyone by using simple principle. This most important and should have been mentioned first. On daily basis, whenever you find something wrong, or an error, or make a mistake, try to find what can be changed in your habits, procedure, mechanisms so that such wrong/mistake will not happen. This makes you agile and adaptive to continue improve oneself for a desirable life.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meditation

I thought of writing about it after observing that how people under perform due to stress, take non optimal decisions in given situations. The technique is simple. One need to spend some of the time with himself or herself. One can sit at any location, any stable posture and close the eyes. In fact, the idea is that the environment around you should not stimulate any of the sensory organs. Thus, a peaceful place (no sound), closed eyes (no visual info), any fixed posture (usually padma-asana or any other stable posture will be fine, no spatial awareness through compound functions of senses, no touch and taste), environment devoid of smell is desirable. One need to observe what is going on in mind without interfering with the chain of thoughts. Sometimes, thoughts ceases to exist, that is also fine. This provides the time to your mind to relax and give an opportunities to process the thoughts and ideas which cannot be focused upon in normal routine. It is like clearing backlog. This detachment exercise helps your mind to observe the better options in a given situation and decide a better option than what you can normally do. In order to keep the mind in this better state, doing the practice at regular intervals is advisable. The interval can be adjusted based on the stress levels and lifestyle.

One can also observe the breadth inhalation and exahalation without trying to control them, in their natural form. Idea is basically, do not try to control anything but become aware of whatever is happening.

Another form of meditation is where we do'nt let loose the mind to have its own chain of thoughts. When you want to focus on some work, you can be interrupted by sudden urge to finish something else. When you shift your focus on the other work, you forget to come back and the original work is left unfinished. One need to discard the signals/request for doing something else when you are doing primary work (the work on which you want to focus). You can do it by saying it that you will do it later. If you realise you are doing something else other than the primary work, you can stop and tell yourself that it will be done later, and shift yourself to primary work. An example of this is when you are studying and a phone call comes. You can either continue with the study and tell yourself that phone call can be taken up later. Most of us will take the phone call and then forget what we were doing. Usually the moment you realize that study is your primary work, you can abort the call with reminder to take it later and move back to study. With practice, one can learn to divert the distractions and keep focus on the primary work (in this case study :-) ).

Friday, February 28, 2014

Effective way of discussion.

For quite sometime, during discussion with my students, I used to listen to them. When I am not clear, I used to ask questions about it. I was not comfortable with this method. Usually as the students are not experienced, and sometimes they are working on a problem, which I have not been involved deeply, it was difficult to comprehend what the student wanted to say. This usually will lead to situation, when  the comments and suggestions, new ideas will take more number of discussion meetings on same aspects. During discussions, taking one's own notes - scribblings, which indicates what is discussed, specific question, their relationship with each other, is useful. These notes allows oneself to get a snapshot of the whole discussion. One can de-focus from details and form a bigger picture, ask better questions. One can identify the missing links. Once these are easier to identify, it is simpler to decide on what should be done next. This allows the students to get much better feedback. So, the key is take your own notes and use them for quick recaps at various stages for an effective discussion. One can identify also the undefined stuff, missing links, vague arguments also in this fashion. These inputs once given back to students, can provide better guidance to the students' research.