Merit gone to the Dogs

This is a topic which has started a debate everywhere. The whole country is voicing its opinion for or against the increase in reservation at IIMs and IITs to 49%. So how can yours truly keep mum about it?? :D

Well, I have always been opposed to the concept of such reservations. It’s the best way to make meritorious people feel unwanted in their own country. This is the last thing India needs at a time when She is just beginning to prove her potential to the world. Be it in sports, science, technical field, management, finance, fashion, entertainment, you name it. India is emerging in all these fields. And obviously it is only possible if the right people are at the right place.

IITs and IIMs have been always looked up to as the pinnacle of education in their respective fields. Half the reason that they maintained such high standards is because of the quality of incoming students. It’s a give and take kinda relationship. The students gain from the name of the institute and the institutes maintain their standard because of the students. You better not mess with this balance, else everything falls apart.

Enough of beating around the bush. Lets get to the point. In case of such reputed institutes, MERIT IS EVERYTHING. I have known cases where a guy worked his ass off during 12th Std and CET to get a good rank and get a free seat in a good engineering college [poor guy couldn’t afford payment seat AND dint belong to any of the “quota” categories]. He went there only to see the more than half the people around him have got seats because of reservations. One of his friends had got a rank of 30,000+ and during “studying” for CET, his only intention had been to pass all subjects in 12th. “Why should I simply put all the effort? Its enough if I pass in 12th. I’l easily get a seat in a good Engg college because of my quota”. And mind you, this person was not even as economically needy as my friend.

The point I’m trying to make is: Reservations, if ever they are required, should be on basis of FAMILY INCOME ONLY, not caste, creed, religion, sub-caste [or population of the vote-bank :-/ ]. Here is an argument I frequently hear to SUPPORT the reservation system, and my counter-arguments : -

People from backward classes have the right to quality education too.

  • Oh Yeah, they do. So, let them put effort and get a good rank and gain entry into such prestigious institutes. If you are meritorious, then you WILL get a seat, nobody’s gonna deny a meritorious student a seat just because he’s from so-and-so caste.
  • “Backward caste” IS NOT EQUAL TO “Poor”. In many cases, a person’s parents would have (justifiably) taken advantage of the reservation system to come up respectfully in society. They would be financially well-to-do. So then [according to me] the child doesn’t qualify for the quota.
  • I don’t think any of these pro-reservation crowd give a damn about the large number of meritorious people out there, who neither qualify for any of the quotas, nor are financially well-off. Such people will feel like aliens in their own motherland if the quota system kicks-off.
  • If a person IS admitted to such a prestigious institute by disregarding his [absence of] merit, then the standard of that institute will be brought down [Imagine, almost half of the students in IIMs and IITs will be unfit to be there!!]. Also, the non-merit person will not be able to cope with the curriculum and is likely to drop out before course completion.

I strongly feel the Govt would be better off improving the reach and quality of primary and secondary education. This would make more students fit for such quality higher education. Also, provide benefits and concessions for the economically backward. But, say no to reservations.



Great Man, Peaceful End, Violent Farewell!

Dr. RajKumar. He was the “Darling of Kannadigas”. What is it that endeared him to lakhs of ppl across the state?

Obviously his acting has to be one of the reasons. To say he was a versatile actor would be the understatement of the century. He portrayed Gods, kings, Detectives, Police officers, Common man, beggar, villain … all with equal ease and grace. But was that all??

No. He was a very principled man. Statistics speak for themselves. He acted in over 200 movies in his lifetime. And..

  • Not a single of these movies had any smoking or drinking scenes
  • No vulgarity whatsoever
  • ALL OF THEM WERE KANNADA MOVIES (well that sets a new definition for “Love for your Mother-tongue”). This doesn’t mean he hated other languages. He just had utmost respect or his own mother tongue
  • He never entered politics. Make no mistake : had he wished, he could’ve become CM of Karnataka without beating a sweat. But he dint. He was miles away from politics

I doubt there is any actor in India who can boast of such principle. All this from a man who only studied upto 3rd Standard.

RajKumar also died a peaceful death. Not much suffering or pain. Thankfully. Just a sudden cardiac arrest and he was gone.

Then why the violence during his funeral? A man who stood for peace throughout his life dint deserve all this. His soul must have been shattered to see all this. Obviously it was not his “fans” who did all this. His family dint get to spend one single private moment with his corpse. Did they deserve all this?

This brings us to the topic of mob mentality. My heart bled to see innocent people being tortured the way they were during those 2 days. Cars being smashed and burnt, buildings and petrol pumps damaged so badly, they were unrecognizable. Policemen being dragged from their vehicles and being beaten up. And then the crowd (supposedly “mourners”) celebrating their act of bravery by whistling in front of the TV cameras.

All this brings a bad name to Bangalore and worse to RajKumar. People watching from outside would be cursing our greatest hero of all time. Little do they know what a peaceful man he was and that all this is diametrically opposite to his values.

I was really stunned by watching all this on TV. Ever since watching RDB, I had had a confidence that it is possible to change the country. This incident has kind of shaken my confidence. Rulers can be changed. Politicians can be changed. The system can be improved. BUT NOT THE PEOPLE. They will remain the same. You cant change the mentality of the masses.

I fervently hope this is a one-off incident. I fervently hope that what we saw on Black Wednesday and an even darker Thursday was the handiwork of only a minor percentage of the public and not representative of the public in general. I eagerly look forward to a country where people respect the law and respect others’ right to a peaceful life. It feels good to finish off your blog on an optimistic note :). Jai Hind.

Lik me, Like my mobile (Slim)

I finally got my new mobile on Monday. Motorola L7. Obviously was upbeat about it. Thought its time for a preliminary analysis. So here goes…

When I opened the box (cool design I shd say about the box, slides out both ways :D) and saw the phone, my first thought was WOW!!!. Its really really slim and all that..perfect eye-candy. Then I held it and again was impressed with the light weight.

Inserting the SIM, memory card and battery was not too much of a problem. Time to switch it on. WOW!!! Again. Excellent screen. It took me quite some time to explore the features. Then suddenly remembered that my PC@home was down (old chap.. gotta perform plastic surgery on him). So had to wait till next day to install the PC software on my laptop and connect it.

Next day at office, downloaded some stunning wallpapers and a few songs and transferred them to the phone. Took few pics and a video recording, but discarded most of them cuz wasn’t satisfied (not with the quality but with the content J ). Tried out bluetooth. Then used the PC software to cut a couple of MP3 ringtones and then had to turn my attention to work L. Was really happy with the quality of MP3. Hadn’t expected much from the camera, but it dint disappoint [the pic is a snap i took of my laptop wallpaper]. Also searched for free applications to download. Found one but not free, so decided to write it myself ;) [it’s a fuel efficiency calculator.. started working on it already].

Now started rummaging through the box to check out what else is there. Other than the 128 MB memory card, my phone came with the earphones-cum-handsfree, PC-cable, PC software CD,and obviously the charger. Incidentally all of these connect to the same slot on the phone, which means you cant use the earphones while charging or when connected to the PC. However, the phone charges when connected to the PC, so no probs here. Miscellaneous accessories include the “tag” and extra sponges for the earphones.

Suddenly realized that hadn’t found the Guarantee/warrantee form. Immediately pinged Ashish and asked him about it (he had got his phone through the same offer as I did). He said he had got a booklet and a form which he mailed to them. Again dug into the box only to find an instruction book, a booklet which lists the authorized service centres, a kind-of quick-start guide and a 2-page “terms and conditions of guarantee”. But dint find any form. My friend at Moto tells me that from the IMEI number they can find out that this phone was from this particular offer. So for the time being I’m keeping this aside.

By this time I had started getting lotsa SMS’es. As expected, the phone is not very SMS-friendly. Typing is very un-intuitive compared to my 1100, both because of the keypad and because iTAP is used instead of T9. I now realized that my phone has a limit of only 10 messages (that compared with Nokia 3310/5!). Thought it might be something to do with phone memory/SIM memory or card memory; but after playing around with the options for a while, I gave up. I’l ask at the service center if its possible to upgrade the ROM or anything.

There were 2 pre-loaded games (both Java) – a car race and a cricket. Pretty decent I should say. But while playing these games I came across a horrible design layout blunder in the phone. Its like this: The GREEN button (to make or accept calls) is on the left and RED (power/disconnect/cancel) is on the right. But, in almost all applications, the button with OK semantics is assigned to the right soft key (above the RED button), and the BACK/CANCEL semantics is assigned to the left soft key (above the GREEN button). So u can imagine the consequences of pressing the RED button instead of OK button in some application (not to mention the confusion during usage.. like we normally associate one side of the phone with OK and the other side with CANCEL, but here everything’s everywhere).

Other observations are the finger smudges that appear all over the phone. But its not that big an issue. Volume buttons on the side, a camera button on the right side, and another programmable button on the left side are really handy. Speaker phone feature is pretty good too.

All said and done I really liked the phone. Had never expected it to be so good. I think I’l conclude with a summary of the adv-diasdv.


  • LOOKS!!!
  • Excellent screen display.
  • Battery back-up.
  • Very good mp3 sound quality, especially if using headphones.
  • Pretty fast operation, like accessing the card memory etc.
  • All those buttons on the sides.
  • Some very useful tools and applications
  • Its JAVA-enabled, so I can write my own applications.


  • Everything related to SMS (number, typing etc).
  • The design layout blunder I mentioned earlier.
  • No infra-red (if u consider that as a disadv :D).
  • Single slot for earphones, charger and PC-cable.

Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. All the views and opinions expressed on this blog are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer, organization, relatives, friends, acquaintances or any other person/entity.