Monday, June 20, 2011

Get Inspired

"Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama

Everyday Pravs J sends its subscribers (yours truly is one of them) an inspirational message. [Now a days they are a bit erratic, though]. Recently, Lord Richard Layard, professor of Economics at LSE and his co-founders created a movement called Action for Happiness in UK.  Its members try to create more happiness in the world and less misery - at home, at work, within their community - through the way they approach their lives. The website mentions following 10 things as keys to happiness - 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Example of an efficient social media communicaton

I am a long time Standard Chartered bank customer. A couple of days back I found out from the bank's net banking website that they had launched a mobile banking microsite. The mobile banking facility can also be availed from Android phones using the App called 'Breeze India', available in the Android Market. The equivalent App for iPhones would come shortly. I was delighted at the prospect of using the App on my HTC Wildfire Android phone.

Use social media to your advantage survey found that more than one in five employers use social media in the hiring process. Some of the information that employers look for in the candidates' Facebook or MySpace profiles are related to alcohol or drug use, inappropriate photos or contents, poor communication skills, bad mouthing about past employers or fellow employees, inaccurate qualifications, unprofessional screen names, notes showing link to criminal behavior etc (See New York Times blog). Not only at the time of hiring, but many companies also keep a tab on their employees' social behavior. There are firms like Social Intelligence Corp,Tandem Select etc who performs social media background checks for their corporate customers. Social media background check is not limited to US or other developed countries only. Even in India there are firms like Seth Associates which provide employee background check service including search in the candidate's social networks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

12 June: World Day Against Child Labour

The owner of the garage where I take my bike for servicing employs a kid as his hand. While the owner of the barber's shop I visit cut the customers' hairs, his underage child do the shaving for his father. UNICEF statistics shows that India has 12 million child labour (2001 data). National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) puts the current figure much higher. Yesterday(12 June) was World Day Against Child Labour, launched by International Labor Organization(ILO) in 2002 to highlight the plight of the children. But I doubt how many knew about it. (I didn't know myself; found it out from today's newspaper only). Incidentally, the Bollywood movie 'Stanley ka Dabba', which highlights the issue of underage children being forced into manual labor released just a month ago, on 13th May.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Troubled Teens

Today's teenagers are ahead of their ages. Thanks to TV, mobile and internet, teenagers of even small towns and prosperous villages know more than what their parents knew at that age. They challenge the grown-ups in knowledge and skills. Most of us were introduced to mobiles and computers in colleges. But now a child is born to parents with mobile phones and if she is lucky, in a home with a modern computer! Parents are now more conscious about wholesome education and development of their children. They encourage the kids to participate in extracurricular activities and competitions. The result - smart, educated and suave teenagers. So far so good.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My take on Ramdev

Few years ago Ramdev was known to be the person curing diseases, some severe and life threatening, through Yoga.  People flocked to Haridwar, his abode. At that time news kept on coming that by practicing yoga people with even cancer got themselves cured. His popularity increased. Mesmerized by his charisma, some people went and learnt the techniques from him and opened Patanjali Yoga centers in local neighborhoods through out the country. Don’t we remember the early morning loud laughter practiced by his followers? Kapal Bhati became a household term. Doctors got nervous as people practicing yoga apparently fell sick less. Ramdev started traveling around the country and other international locations to organize Yoga Shibirs and his Aastha channel kept on broadcasting it every morning. My parents also got on board thanks to one of their friends.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Surviving the Information Age

Is it not wonderful to witness the flurry of events happening in and around us at micro and macro levels? By micro I mean at our personal lives, whereas macro indicates at broder global social, political, economic levels. Just count how many big-bang events happened from the beginning of the year - civil war and unrest in the middle-east countries, India winning the world cup cricket, Indian political leaders going into jail for scams, IMF head Dominique Strauss Kahn's sex scandal, killing of Osama Bin Laden, 75 years of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, end of 3 decades' communist rule in the state of West Bengal, hunger strikes against corruption by Indian social workers and gurus, sky-high inflation in the emerging markets, death of legendary painter M F Hussain - it's a long list. Events in our individual lives are happening continuously. The most surprising thing is most of us are cognizant of most of these external and internal changes.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Are we too old to acquire Emotional Intelligence?

I just finished reading a book on Emotional Intelligence by the famous psychologist Daniel Goleman. In the book he questions whether EQ (Emotional Quotient) is more important than IQ (Intelligent Quotient). He sites many studies which show that people with average IQ but high EQ have outsmarted (in study and career) those with high IQs but below average EQs. The corollary, therefore, is that Emotional Intelligence is as important if not more as Intellect.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Another dimension of human evolution

We burnt up half of the fossil fuel and then realized that it was in short supply. The realization gave rise to a new business opportunity - producing renewable energy. A substantial portion of the power sector is now after solar, wind, hydroelectric and nuclear energy.