Study from Home vs Work from Home

Study from home and work from home have become a new normal in Covid-19 pandemic. There are mixed reviews on both of them, with some pressing on the opening of educational institutions and offices, while others prefer the continuation of the new normal even after the pandemic. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of these two new normal lives.

Study from home is an unavoidable situation in Covid-19 times when all the educational institutions are closed following Government rules. Most students fail to follow up on what is taught in schools. They have to rely on private tuitions and Google or Youtube to learn the concepts well. Assignments and homework have increased drastically which have started interfering with the time a student used previously for revision or making notes. Many students have also become slow at writing, which will greatly impact their performance in exams in offline mode. Online exams are not the best way to test a student’s knowledge or development unless it is a competitive exam.

One major advantage of studying from home is that the journey time to school or college is now saved. Also, studying for competitive exams is best done from home so that we can focus more on academics or work. There is a third advantage for the teachers that now there is less interference by talkative students.

Work from home is an optional situation that is given to most employees who work on computers in digital platforms. The hospital sector is the most required sector at this time, hence it is operated fully as work from the office. Other offline service sectors like hotels, retail, transportation also have no choice but work from the office or centre. However, employees have been allowed far greater flexibility in schedule due to lack of transportation, leading to employee satisfaction.

India’s largest industry, the IT industry, operates almost entirely in online platforms and requires little presence in offline mode. Hence, almost all IT employees worked from home in the pandemic situation. IT requires skill development with growing skills in the Indian digital market. Hence, the time of journey to the office can be utilized better by working from home. The business team, sponsor or sales team, and management team can also operate from home in most sectors. Audit works, on-site monitoring works, and also works involving a lot of printing, photocopy, or scan have employees following a mixed or hybrid pattern of work.

The current scenario is fruitful for most businesses and many companies are looking forward to applying such a pattern even after the pandemic. Save on electricity bills, resources, journey hours, accommodation costs, and also involving more employees at work are the most common pros for work from home. Lack of interaction between team members and leads, lack of gossip after work, and lack of participation in activities outside of the offices are some cons of working from home. A hybrid model can do away with the cons, and include most of the pros except accommodation costs for people living far away from offices.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Qualitative Learning versus Quantitative Learning

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice”

It is truly said that education is the most powerful tool to enlighten and empower the mind and to change the world. It is an effective way to fight poverty & illiteracy.

Education dispels ignorance & darkness from minds and stimulates us to think better. We must stress good quality, sound education. One must pay attention to the individual needs and impart knowledge as every person is unique so that he can be a champion in his field of passion. As a society, we can only prosper if encourage and nurture individual talents and interests and not force things upon people.

Quantitative education involves voluminous academic material, but awakening & stimulation of the mind is not in proportion. It encourages rote learning and massive course without thinking about their relevance and practicality. It promotes ‘herd behaviour’ which results in people learning things they don’t want to just because they are being told to. Education and learning become burdensome and monotonous after a period of time. Rote learning results in students mugging things up a few days before the exams and then letting it all out on the examination day resulting in them forgetting all the information once and for all. This defeats the purpose of learning itself! All students should be discouraged to do role mugging and initiate the process of original thinking.

Effective learning is only possible when attention is paid to quality & not quantity. Education is made interactive and interesting by stressing qualitative learning by talking about it in a fun and interactive way, making it relatable and easy to remember. THIS is what true learning is! Learning is a lifelong process and this truly justifies that.

Written by – Radhika Ahuja

India at 75: A Nation Marching towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Better late than never. It took us 75 years, but we have finally begun our journey towards self-reliance. An ongoing pandemic overflowing with uncertainty, Covid-19 has impacted lives and livelihoods across the globe. Even as the best minds in the world race towards finding preventive and curative solutions to combat and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the current crisis has been an eye-opener to several opportunities that have presented themselves during this time. To this end, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi made a much-needed call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat or a self-reliant India that would be a source of local ingenuity creating global impact. He exhorted fellow citizens to utilize this time of crisis to be vocal for local and be self-reliant. Atmanirbhar Bharat is the vision of making India a self-reliant nation.

The first mention of this came in the form of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharata Abhiyan’ or ‘Self-Reliant India Mission’ during the coronavirus pandemic-related economic package announcement on 12 May 2020.[1] This self-reliant policy does not aim to be protectionist in nature. It does not mean isolating away from the world. Foreign direct investment is welcome, technology is welcome, self-reliant India translates to being a bigger and more critical part of the global economy. He eloquently identified five pillars on which Aatmanirbhar Bharat would stand and on which a New India could pole-vault to an era of sustainable economic prosperity and societal good, bridging the financial as well as digital divides between the haves and the have-nots. Creating a nation of job-creators and not just job-seekers is the key. And central to this is the need for extensive collaboration between corporate industry, academia, and governments at the village, district, state and central levels. Such synergies have indeed gained momentum with the Covid-19 crisis and need to be further capitalized on. We begin with the pillar of demographic dividend. With over 65% of our country under 35 years of age, more than 1.4 million schools and 10,500 engineering and related institutions, a whopping 39,000 colleges and universities, India enjoys a demographic dividend like no other in the world.

We must enable the channelization of this youthful energy towards nation-building activities by focusing on developing vocational, technical and managerial skills while fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at the school, university and industry levels. The recent announcements of private sector participation for innovations in space and defence sectors open up a flood of new opportunities for the MSME industry. Any solution developed for 1.3 billion people can also be a possible solution for the 7+ billion people on the planet. The recently launched Bharat App Innovation Challenge by MeitY, MyGov, and Atal Innovation Mission is a welcome step to identify and create world-class apps that can be used by the rest of the world too. India has the perfect environment. It has over 1.3 billion people, a youthful population, a growing middle class, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and affordable, available advanced technology to re-imagine new solutions to existing and emerging consumer needs. An ideal situation for thousands of startups and companies to capitalize on and fulfil pent-up demand for new solutions and consumer- or citizen-centric services in every vertical— agriculture, healthcare, education, water management, clean and renewable energy, affordable housing, defence, space, transportation, or retail. The following few examples prove the need and efficiency of a long due movement which will go on to rake supreme growth for our country:

1)The growth of India’s personal protective equipment (PPE) sector from zero before March to 1,50,000 pieces a day by the beginning of May, is considered a fine example of a self-reliant India. The PPE industry in India has become 7,000 crores (US$980 million) in two months, the second largest after China.[9]

2) The largest fund in the country worth 21,000 crores (US$2.9 billion) was set up by the IIT Alumni Council with the aim of supporting the mission towards self-reliance.[10]

3) India’s own ‘Made in India’ 5G network was also announced in July 2020 by Reliance JioMukesh Ambani announced in mid-July that “Jio has created a complete 5G solution from scratch, that will enable us to launch a world-class 5G service in India, using 100 per cent homegrown technologies and solutions”.

4)For the first time, in July 2020, it was announced that Apple would manufacture one of their premium iPhone models in India.[12]

5)August 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the Defence Ministry is “now ready for a big push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative” by imposing an “import embargo on 101 items” in a staged manner over a period of 5 years. 

 Aatmanirbhar Bharat provides a truly watershed moment in our history to ignite the innovative entrepreneurial spirit of New India by focusing on strengthening the above pillars, which will ensure an unprecedented wave of long-deserved growth, prosperity and well-being that can serve the interests of the rest of the world as well.

Written by – Radhika Ahuja

Success stories without education

There are many success stories that had been ideal without formal education.

One of the greatest examples is Steven Paul Jobs popularly known as Steve Jobs, co-founder of one of the most demanding and popular MNC- Apple, a great activist, and successful entrepreneur. He dropped out of Reed after just one semester but created the first successful computer and over the years helped introduce numerous revolutionary products such as Macbook iPod, iPhone, and iPad all along with its own operating system -iOS.

Another noticeable example we have is Albert Einstein. Yes, the man whose name now equates to genius, who published more than 300 scientific papers, the man behind the theory of relativity ‘E=mc2’, and the man who won a Nobel prize was in fact a high school dropout. He attempted to get into university but initially failed the entrance exams. He eventually made it to college but the simple fact of the matter is that the greatest mind of the twentieth-century was in fact a high school dropout.

Few other examples are:

1.

Abraham Lincoln, former US President is more or less self-educated but is a political prodigy.

2.

William Shakespeare produced some of the best-loved works the world has ever known, from Romeo & Juliet to Macbeth. But he never received much by way of formal education.

3.

Henry Ford- the owner of the US automobile industry Ford, who left at age of seventeen without any formal education and became an apprentice with a machinist in Detroit which later led to the formation of the company ‘Ford’.

4.

Mark Twain, most beloved American writer, and humorist in history.

5.

John D. Rockefeller, a famous billionaire. And the list would go on.

All these people had put the age-old belief that education or certification is necessary for success in life to shame. They stood as an exception to the popular myth.

Deepali K.

The state of Education, Today!

Education is no more a noble cause. It has become a business or we can say it has become commercialized now. Educational institutes have now grown up in every nook and corner just like weeds. With the advent of a large number of private institutions, the agenda of education has become more privatised. The education system has become a commodification in recent times.

Our state education system, as well as the country’s, is lacking in vocational education which is important for student’s learning and doing. Our current system of education is based on stiff competition resulting in a mental depression in the student’s mind. Careful planning for systematic education for all the children irrespective of gender, caste and creed is the need of the hour. Higher education should be accessible to all. The sad part about today’s education system is that it focuses more on the students’ grades than their learning process. The teachers, being impartial should open up to each and every student in class whether they are good or bad in studies. Students should be encouraged not discouraged. If we can make the educational institutes a better place for learning rather than making it a field of competition then we can bring the change. Today’s students are tomorrow’s future in our country.

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Written by Sukanya Chanda