Architecting Successful Career – Dr. Nomesh Bolia, Prof IITD

Prof. Nomesh bolia, IIT Delhi

Areas of Interest:

Operations Research, Stochastic Modeling, Application of MDP to various control problems, Application of OR to logistics and Economics

Education

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Aug 2005-Aug 2009
  • B.Tech. , IIT Bombay

Nomesh2

Winner of multiple awards in the areas of his interests and research; Nomesh has also been involved in the areas of policy making, especially initiated the movements of Vision India foundation, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

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It was refreshing to see a young, 35+ something young gentleman who rose to address the parents and youth who are stepping into class XI at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya. Indeed, Nomesh, as he introduced himself humorously, he looked more like a fellow youth than a Professor at IIT D.  But, I must tell you, he is awe inspiring, by his vision, outlook and thoughts towards life.

Nomesh started by saying that it is very important to go by your instincts and not to follow any one else. It may be a struggle initially, to understand self, to figure out, but go through it to

– Get your fundamentals of life clear
– have a colorful, enjoyable journey of life
– Appreciate the diversity within and without

Pyramid
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Kindly look at your career and life as a pyramid, working from bottom to the top to have a meaningful and purposeful life.

Nomesh Pyramid

– What ever you pick up, the following are must

  • Be Focused and give everything
  • Put in your hard yards of work
  • Be analytical
  • Think out of the box

Nomesh went on to share the stories of youth, who discovered their calling, irrespective of where they started. I have known a few of them. I tried finding their talks and works on youtube to add some flavour to Nomesh’s sharing. Here they are. Will add the rest as soon as I find them.

Pranav misery – Sixth sense, working in the R&D of Samsung. An alum of an engineering college from Gujarat, goes on to work in cutting edge research and evolved sixth sense.

khurshed Batliwala – art of living

Lekh Bajaj – managing stress, IITM

nikhil raj – artificial intelligence, rest of life need not work

Nitin dhakad – jhabua – agriculture market

k subham – policy professionals, govt programs
Hamsa/Bhav – fighting elections
Ankit/me – Vision India – policy decisions related

So tell yourselves

– I do what I want to do
– you choose your pace and place

Nomesh went on to take a few questions from the parents towards the end

Q. What does one go for, if one wants to get into policy making?

Almost all the policy makers emerge from humanities. They understand the contexts and humanity
Economics and subjects from humanities in Class XI will be an ideal choice

Q. How do I find the Aptitude of my child ?
What they like and don’t like
Kindly observe and be aware
Read, read

Nomesh can be reached at nomesh@iitd.ac.in

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Humanities gives skills to face the new world : Dr. Kranti Saran, Ashoka University

Prof Kranti Saran was one of the speakers of eminence to address the students who are stepping into class XI at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, and their parents. Here I tried to reproduce his inspiring Kranti Sarantalk, to the best of my abilities.

Kranti Saran, currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka University and a Research Associate at Harvard University, also a visiting faculty in JNU.

His research interests trace a progression of questions about the nature of bodily sensations and bodily spatiality to the nature of introspection of them. From introspection, his interests generalize to the nature of attention. Finally, he is interested in how practices of attention to bodily and mental states can school a subject’s affect in a morally salutary direction.

———————————————- My Journey —————————–
What does a philosopher do?
Most people talk about being super successful
Most of us are not, but still will lead a happy life.

I had scored a 70% in my school, never like today’s 95%+
In school, I was never interested in what we were studying, because of the way we were studying.
I used to read a lot; though disconnected with contextual reality, I always felt thing will work

I had to get into a college. what to do? Never got what I wanted.
Accident happened….philosophy happened.
This was what I was waiting for the whole life.
I fell in love with.
I started liking and doing well in acads
It was a wonderful feeling, but disconcerting too as I was doing well.
….went to Harvard and a few other places too..
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Three things I want to share from my learnings.

1. Be prepared to be surprised – in class x, I would have never imagined what I am doing today. Acads? I ran away from it then. It is now rich and rewarding

2. Play to your strengths
A. In our school, if you were smart you did science. I discovered, I had no aptitude for science. 52% in class XII. DO NOT PUSH THE CHILD INTO AN AREA THAT YOU FEEL THEY OUGHT TO BE.

3. what special talent do you have? What is that one thing that you are disproportionately blessed with. Nurture and develop. Disproportionate rewards will come your way.

CAREERS OF FUTURE

careers different from undergrad training? How many here? About 30 odd parents stood up.

When the concept of car was introduced they were called horseless carriages. Now we see Teslas of the world bring in rapid changes

What do we need now?

We need to be flexible to bring the skills to the market place
We need to be adaptable, agile and nimble in the market place

Once upon a time Music industry – was worried about piracy etc. Napster etc happened then.
Apple introduced music service and the music industry has never been the same again.

We do not have models of the world, that the world will change to. Everything is abstract.
Have skills that are nimble, and help you to adapt quickly.

Skill set to have – How Humanities equip you.

What are the particular skills that you learn in classroom?

  • Reasoning and analysis – how do you put the argument
  • Communication to get your ideas and thoughts across
    You are with people all the time, how do you use persuasiveness is the key
  • Feeds into capacity of being a team member, building a team

All these three will help you connect the dots. Helps to think out of the box.

How does it translate into a real world?

1. Jeff bozos of AMAZON

  • Asks subordinates to write a detailed memo In advance and share
  • Everyone reads, be prepared before they come to the meeting

Why?
– clear writing shows clarity of thought
– well thought-out ideas emerge

2. Have you ever read any IPO document?

  • IPO document of Twitter will tell you details
  • Founders are not techies in under grad
  • Almost all of them are from arts, humanities,…

So, select Class XI subjects such a way that they make you flexible and adaptable.

You can get in touch with Kranti Saran at Saran@ashoka.edu.in
Thanks to the web for photograph of Kranti Saran. The rights belongs to the owner.

On the Himalayan Trail, over Mt. Everest and more

 

 

Are #Educational #institutions ready for Industry 4.0. ?

It was a pleasure #addressing, #interacting and #learning with a presence of over 25 educational #leaders, mostly #Chancellors, #Vicechancellors, #Directors of #universities from #India and also #Tech #evangelists from around the #world

The discussions were around #tech enablement and facilitation of educational institutions including #faculty and #students.

#AI #ML #Drone #3Dprinting #IOT #Blockchain #VR #AR #storytelling #DeepLearning #NLP #Alexa #Markteching

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One of the exciting things around the conference was the Himalayan trail by flight. We all assembled at 5am to head to the Tribhuvan airport to board the flight. All the edu leaders sounded like school children, excited to see the himalayas from a different perspective, flying over it.

The domestic wing of the Tribhuvan airport was like a market place, crowded, people huddled, interacting, shouting. Only difference was the market is of taking flights.

Thankfully the sun emerged to the utter relief of everyone. The morning sky was more or less clear. Many were circusmpect, as cloudy days are not great for the Himalayan trail.

Finally huddled into the bus, and the tarmac was littered with smaller aircrafts, max 40 seaters. Buddha air, Tara air…entire pantheon of Buddhism could be found on the tarmac, as flight operators. It took some waiting on the tarmac, before we boarded the flight. I managed to capture a few minutes with my mobile cam and here are the clips.

On boarding, every one tried to grab the window seat on either side. I got into the aircraft last, as filming took priority and I was grabbing the visuals on the tarmac littered with these small aircrafts. Thankfully the first seat was empty and I grabbed it. Carrying three cams, Nikon 700, Yashika 4K and Samsung Mobile, I was keen to be at the pole position as anyone there, wondering which side of the flight will be the Himalayan ranges. Once the flight took off, the excitement in the aircraft, with over 25, fifty-year-old youngsters was palpable each trying to peep through those peepholes trying identify which peak is which on the himalayan Map dished out by the airhostesses. The young ladies were kind enough to help each identify, going from one bunch to the other.

Midlfight we were even allowed to get into the cockpit to have a glimpse at the the pilot view of the ranges. The flight started from the western range in the Nepali Himalayas and moved till the east where Sagarmatha, as is everest called, and the flight took a steep u-turn now going over the ranges, half way on the flight. Mt. Makalu, Mt. Everest, Shiva Parvati,….. every one was excited to identify their own peaks and debating which one is the correct one. Mobiles flashing, selfies taken through the flight windows.

In an hours time, as we moved away from the ranges, on our descent, the youngsters settled down on their seats to have a chat with thy neighbours on the magnificent range and the peaks and what a view it was through those tiny peep holes of the dornier!

Back on ground, into the bus, chatting away about the sessions that is ahead of us that afternoon.

It was a memorable trip to Himalayas, once in a life time. Now that I have seen all the peaks, I should head to the tallest one, Mt. Everest, on foot, soon 😉

Reading and its impact : This four-year old exemplifies

As a facilitator and mentor I invest time with children and youth. I urge and beseech them to be curious and inquisitive. The first step is to read and read, as many variety of issues, subjects as they come across. That is the only way to enrich oneself and in the process gain confidence to face people, interact, engage and enthrall.

I have been sharing with 20+ year olds that I shall chaperon my 7 year old daughter, whose felicity with language and articulation is far beyond mine, to their class to interact and also address them the importance of reading every day. Thankfully both my young daughters are passionate about reading and it has enriched me too.

Here I came across an amazing ambassador of reading. I love to share this short video to inspire each one of you. Thanks to one who recorded it and shared.

Hope this video initiates a few youth to be more keen about reading!

The greatest gift any parent can give a child is to invest an hour every day to read a book from the very early childhood. A pictorial story book with a toddler to amar chitra kathas and so on. Read in as many languages as possible – at least in all those that any adult at home can speak and read. The process will not only stoke language skills, but also imaginative and creative skills when you discuss.

Happy reading.

Barahvi ke baad kya : What after class XII – On Zee Business, 26.5.2018

Class 12 board results were announced this afternoon, so Zee business carried this post result show with call ins from students and parents on the road ahead. Sreenivasan R, Co-Founder, Career Launcher (CL Educate) was the panelist addressing all the queries.
This episode had questions from students across the country on various issues ..
a. What are the prospects for a commerce with maths student after class XII?
b. I have been selected for IHM (hotel management), is it worth pursuing? How do I convince parents who do not want me to work in hotel industry?
c. What does the future like for those who chose humanities?
d. Since the number of seats in DU is less, does it help if one chooses to go for distance-education?
f. What are the other choices for science students apart from Engineering and Medicine?
g. What is the relevance of maths, important in pursuing higher studies?
h. what kind of careers are in offing in the near future?
Keep coming to this site for more such articles that can help you excel in career and life.

Classroom Expectations: Positive management for the productive growth of students

I got a questionnaire from edinbox.com to respond to. Though the brief is to write answers in a couple of sentences for each issue/question raised, I feel unless we do not understand the very evolution of a human being, cognitively and behaviorally, we cannot find solutions to any of the issues raised here. Hence, I am giving the context before I address each of the concerns raised in the questionnaire. My answers for each of these questions could be dramatically in variance with the conventional wisdom that is prevalent around most adults. Whatever I am sharing here is an outcome of over two-decades of hands-on experience of being with children and young-adults, setting up schools, creating learning environments there in; and also seeing over a couple lakh students excel in career and life. Quite a few of those grown up adults bring their children to us, to seek help now!

Phases of learning in the evolution of a human being.

Phases of learning in the evolution of a human being.

Fig 1. Evolution of the human being, cognitively speaking.

 

The above conceptual framework is self-explanatory. Various empirical studies observed that the rate of cognitive evolution is exponential in the first eight years of life, reaching almost to 90% of that of an adult; about 80% by the age of three. We have been using the above nomenclature – Ananda, Jigyasa and Sadhana – in our language for almost two decades now. They evolved over a few years of observing and introspecting as the children evolved.

 

  1. A child in the initial phase of one’s early childhood evolution, Ananda, involves all senses in absorbing one’s context. The slate in the early phase is clean. It is all about joy of discovering the contextual existence. The child is like a sponge, soaking everything that exists in the immediate environment. It is incumbent upon the adult around her – a parent, grand-parent, family or a teacher, the school – how rich we can make the immediate contextual environment forthe child to thrive. Learning happens at a pace unimaginable, all without any agenda. (The Howard Gardner’s Multiple intelligences is in full bloom – kindly google to understand this concept of Multiple Intelligences)

 

  1. The primary and middle school years – age 8-14 – Jigyasa phase, is all about observation, introspection, analysis, synthesis to consolidate thus far imbibed experiences, into a solid knowledge through active questioning and embarking on finding answers to those questions through further experimentation and exploration. Greater the exposure, the higher is the learning. So as an adult in the environment, a parent can help the child experience a variety of spaces and activities in the arenas of all intelligences. During this period, a lot of likes, affinities, interests develop in every child that may start shaping the thought process that eventually may play an important role in choice-making and decision-making, about what one wants to pursue in career and life.

 

  1. If the adults at home and school have been taking note of the likes and affinities that are evolving in the Jigyasa phase, one can proactively facilitate the child to make well informed choices by exposing the child to a variety of literatures, activities, events, people of eminence etc. so that the child will listen, engage, interact and evolve. As the child moves to higher classes the family and school can facilitate the access to all the avenues that can shape a child’s chosen area of interest, probably positively impacting the career too.

Now I would like to answer the following questions with the above frame work as a reference. I also need to add here that I have clubbed questions together, where I have found them to be closely related, and I shall addressthem in a logical way.

What should be an expectation level of a teacher or a parent from the student?

  • One of the secrets to bring about the expected outcomes from a child is to be EMPATHETIC first. Talk to a child the way you would talk to an adult, in calm, eager and understanding way. As I said, the cognitive evolution of a child is almost that of an adult beyond age three. So, keep your emotions at bay.
  • The first requirement of an institution – family or school – is to take responsibility upon oneself to create age appropriate learning environment and experiences even before they have expectations from the child.
  • So, my expectation is directed more towards the adults in the child’s context, asking, what exciting environment have you created for the child to explore, experiment and learn.
    • Can I be with the child, whenever I feel the child is struggling? Can I walk with the child and not just talk?What inspires the child is your walk, and not the talk!!
    • Everything boils down to a good, open communication with the child. Only when the child feels that you are understanding, will the child be open to hear and see your perspective.

Does over expectation from a bright child deteriorate his performance and self-esteem?How behaviour of a student can be modified with simple learning and how can we help him in developing his self-esteem?What are the methods to develop behaviour modification among students?How to motivate a child to perform better in the class?

    • The secret, as I shared, is open communication and facilitation. Understanding the child, in the given context, is paramount. Help the child gain confidence to be open with you, to share her fears and needs.
    • An adult should not talk from 6ft. Get down to the child’s level. That means, your eyes and that of the child must be at the same level! Make the child feel that you are her friend and facilitator.
    • Every child is unique and let us not compare one with the other. Acknowledging the child’s interests, way of thinking, strengths, weaknesses and evencurrent  prioritiesis very important. Being open is the key. That is the only way to stoke self-esteem. Every positive thing we say or do, adds to her self-esteem.
    • First,believe and help yourself to help the child understand that he or she is good enough; and it is just a question of getting more comfortable in the subject or topic or issue that we are concerned about, and give a message that by understanding the concepts and practicing more she would be good. And that you are with her in the process. Walk, walk, walk with the child, do not talk.
    • I have seen the transformation in many a child, including my daughters. Building trust and stoking the self-belief is the key.

Is there a model or a technique to deal with discipline referrals?

  • Most of the root causes of the discipline issues emerge from the child’s immediate environment. The behavior of the child has its origin in the way an adult or two is behaving in the child’s environment – How is the adult dealing with the child. The adult’s ‘walk’ may be inducing the behavior.
  • For instance, if the child is very energetic and active in the school, then you may soon realize that his energy does not find any vent at home. His home environment could be highly restrained and over disciplined. And that pent-up energy finds a volcanic outlet in the school. Similarly, a child shouted at or abused at home, may vent his frustration at his fellow learners in school.
  • My questions for institutions, are, “How open are we to integrating homes with school? How much do we know about the child’s home environment? How much of interaction between the school and home have we institutionalized beyond the formality of PTM (parents teacher meeting which most of the times is unwelcoming for the schools. It is just an item in the check-list)
  • When the home and institution will be seamless, most of the behavioral deviancies will be easily taken care of. In the technology-enabled world of today, institutions can really create that seamless communication channels to bridge to two.
  • Even after having amazingly cordial and proactive engagement with home, if we find the child’s behavior still beyond our capability, then we need to seek the help of a psychologist/specialists in diagnosing any other eventuality, like ADHD etc.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) affects the child’s ability to focus and control his behaviour. What steps to be taken to address the children suffering from ADD?

    • ADHD is the term that we usually use for affected children and adolescents, while ADD is used for adults. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children, more prevalent in boys than in girls; diagnosed based on the child’s symptoms and behavior.
    • Inattentiveness, impulsiveness or hyperactivity are the symptoms of a child with ADHD. It is a genetic-disorder and child has no role to play in acquiring it; one of the parents has contributed to the cause. Brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, don’t work the same in children with ADHD; Certain areas in the brain may be smaller or even less active in children with ADHD than those without the disorder. Most of the times, a parent feels guilty of even acknowledging the presence of ADHD, especially do to the social stigma it may carry. Hence, we as adults, both teachers and parents need to be proactive, yet very patient in dealing with the child.
    • Timely diagnosis is very important. If not treated in time, ADHD continues into adulthood. However, by understanding the child, working on and channelizing his strengths, facilitating a conducive environment, and using medication timely, a childwith ADHD can grow into a responsible and productive adult who is socially invaluable.

 

How show we improve the school environment so that it helps students to perform better?What are the key points to be kept in mind which helps in developing a cordial environment for students and teachers?How can a teacher build an environment that can help students struggling with serious academic deficiencies, lack of support, language barrier, or any other challenges?

 

    • Most of the times I see the really issue lies with institutions – School and Homes – and adults within. I measure the adults by exploring their attitude towards these three questions –
      • Do your really love children?
      • Do you love learning?
      • Are you excited about creating rich, stimulating learning environments and experiences?
    • We need to understand that the institution exists for the child and need to bring about changes in our environment and the way we conduct ourselves and our learning processes
    • As Charles Darwin says, the human being as an organism is programmed to thrive – survival of the fittest. Unfortunately, we adults control the environment, at home or school, in such a way that the brilliant mind, amazing body and soul is not excited to flourish. We shackle the being.
    • It is very important that the learning environment, pedagogy and engagement be conducive with the evolutionary phases of a human being that is illustrated in Fig. 1 above. The coordination of the school and home, along with the curriculum engagement need to be rich and stimulating. Homes need to help the child experience the real world beyond the classrooms and curriculum. Parents must be thinkers and doers. Expose the child to experiences in every dimension of intelligences that Howard Gardner talks about.
    • Does the outside world come into your classrooms? Do your classrooms go to the outside world? If the answers these questions isin affirmative, soon we would have found solutions to all challenges.
Evolving child being facilitate by family, school and the experiences in the world

Evolving child being facilitate by family, school and the experiences in the world

Hope, I have been able to address all the issues raised in the questionnaire. I apologize for writing a lengthy article to address your questions. I strongly believe, there is no short-cut to facilitate a parent, teacher or institutions toenable every child that is playing in our aangans, corridors or classrooms.

Where is that imaginative, creative, energetic, vivacious child lost?

Smita, a teacher from one of the sought after schools in Dwarka, N K Bagrodia public school, has been chasing me for the last couple of months to visit her school. She confessed that, ever since she heard me speak at an education leaders conference conducted by ITIHAAS, she wanted to invite me to her school. She would call me to grace one function or other, as a guest. Most of the times, I was on the move. One thing about Smita I always felt when she spoke to me, is her energy and enthusiasm; that transcended the medium of phone. Last week when she called, I acquiesced to be the guest for their annual festival of creativity – Trishna, wherein about 30+ schools from across Delhi were participating.

The real pleasure being in a school lies in the children’s space.  On arrival, I was ushered into the Principal, Dr. Rajee N, Kumar’s room to meet her and a few more school leaders were called too. Dr. Rajee was sharing her experience of watching the children pushing boundaries since morning, in one creative activity or the other. Here I was, so keen to see the children in action, more than distributing the prizes, I was feeling incarcerated, though the interaction with the leadership was invaluable. The real learning is in experiencing the process, not in seeing the final product. I insisted on watching the children in action. The principal was graceful in facilitating me to watch a couple of activities.

Albeit it was at the fag end of the day, I could experience the theatre / acting performance, wherein the students were given 30 minutes to conjure a scene, write a script, select the performers, prepare and present. The students were from classes 7-9 and it was a delight to watch how they went about presenting. Children observe everything, absorb like a sponge and synthesize making meaning out of every action around them. This activity gave me one more opportunity to watch their thought process; how well they could project their learning. Needless to say, I really enjoyed every presentation, reinforcing my beliefs about children and their infinite capabilities.

IMG_20180505_134719_752

Post the event, I was now keen to interact with the school leadership. Thanks to Dr. Rajee, she too was keen to. I was sharing that the ingenuity of children that we witnessed in the activities of the event can be stoked every day, in every class and home; and who are we to restrict to one event or two in a year.

Very unfortunate that in most of the schools in India, in general, the child comes last. Schools need to exist for the child; she must be the center of all activities that schools plan. It is far from being so, the way we operate – the curriculum designed, the courses offered, the syllabus, the pedagogy, the planning to finish syllabus….. the list is endless. Everything is designed to help the school and the teachers to have peace of mind and to enable ease of execution. An imaginative, creative, energetic, vivacious child, bubbling with ideas ends up being a morose, thoughtless, aimless, fearful youth devoid of confidence and self-belief by the time he or she ends schooling.

If only each one of us, every adult – teachers, parents, schools, universities, educational leaders – can believe in every child, put the child first, acknowledge the needs of the child, really bring the openness to create exciting learning environments at schools, universities and home, I think the world will be a far, far better place to live in. The children and youth will be keen to solve the problems that the society in their neighborhood is facing. Every education institution can be at the fore-front of transformation of the society. Alas!

I am a culprit too. It takes immense effort to be open and facilitating. I am trying and have been on that journey for quite some time. Still short-comings come to the fore. I still need to keep my EGO aside. Working on being humble, pleasant, purposeful is still a huge ask, even with all good intentions and awareness of the outcomes.

My personal endeavour has been to be conscious and work towards making every child’s space an exciting one. To this effect, we, leadership at CL Educate, have been proactive to work with schools, institutions, universities to stoke jigyasa (curiosity, inquisitiveness) among children and youth; create an environment to help them explore, research in areas or subjects of their interest; have belief in their capabilities. Over the years the outcomes have been rewarding as we see the Ananda (joy) among children and youth. This facilitates the institutions and families to also realize where the inclinations of the child is and this has lead to remarkable breakthroughs for the progress of children and youth ahead in their careers and life. Many a child has presented his research and innovations in the global conferences, got her work published in prestigious journals; has had confidence to present oneself for an interview to reach the portals of a world class institution or university. The quest is to enable every child, irrespective of the outcome, gain a great deal of belief in oneself for one’s life. The process makes them so.

I welcome anyone who is keen to facilitate his child or children in schools, and youth in college, to write to me. We will be more than happy to facilitate.

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