Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reduction of child labour and out of school children - A success story at Krishnagiri district

Normally, around 10 percent of the school going children get dropped out from the schDr Santhosh Babu IASools in rural areas, for various reasons, and mainly due to poverty. Such children are being exploited as child labour and their talents get wasted. Every District Administration in India has been empowered with various schemes and enough funds.

In addition, Sarava Shikshya Abhyan, National child labour project and UNICEF also support the district administrations for sending these children back to school. Many such programmes are not implemented well due to lack of initiatives from many of the District Collectors across the country.

In this edition, we are bringing out an exclusive interview with Dr Santhosh Babu, IAS, presently the Managing Director of Electronic Corporation of Tamilnadu ELCOT. In his earlier assigned as District Collector of Krishnagiri district, he ws very successful in reducing the child labour and school drop outs to the extent of 95 to 97%. According to Dr Santhosh Babu, (i) identification and tracking of such children (ii) offering convergence package of schemes to such families would solve the problems for ever. They have also developed a new website for this purpose.

Rural BPO at Krishnagiri district
He also brought e-governance initiatives in the district for improving the administration and to reduce the corruption. The initiative like ‘Rural BPOs’ was also hailed by the various media
. He was honoured with the ‘Best Collector Award’ in 2007 by the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu. Indian Express also recognized him as one of the 5 ‘Pride of Tamilnadu’ in 2008. Data Quest honoured him with ‘e governance champion’ of South India in 2006. In an exclusive conversation with me, Dr Santhosh Babu describes the success story of Krishnagiri district.

Please click to play to listen to his interview (20 m). The audio streaming will be smooth, if you have a broad band of minimum of 100 kbps. If the streaming is not smooth, please download the audio in mp3 format and then play..

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

'None of the above' option to be included in the voting machine

T S Krishnamurthy, former chief election commissioner of IndiaIndian citizens are expecting the announcement of General Elections soon. Probably within three or four months, all the Indian voters will be electing the new Federal Government.

All the Indian voters are concerned with (i) criminalisation of politics, (ii) Politics-Bureaucracy nexus, (iii) educated middle class apathy towards election and their lack of interest in election process, (iv) Election rules 49 (O) and (v) Electoral reforms like inclusion 'None of the above' in ballots, etc.

You may also download the Voters' Guidelines issued by Election Commission of India from the following link. Scroll down to listen to Mr T S Krishnamoorthy.

PodUniversal - Edition 54

In an exclusive interview for PodUniversal, Mr T S Krishnamoorthy, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India shares his views on the above issues frankly. When he was the Chief Election Commissioner of India, for the first time, he introduced Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in all the Parliamentary Constituencies, successfully. during 2004 General Elections.

Please click 'play' to listen to his interview - 10 m. (The audio streaming will be smooth in a broad band of minimum of 100 kbps. If your streaming is not smooth, please download the file in mp3 format and play)

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tough laws like Patriot Act needed for combating terrorism in India

Shreyans Foundation organised a seminar to combat terrorism at chennai - dignitaries on stage After the Mumbai terror attacks on 26/11, Indian citizens across the Nation are organising events and seminars to show their anger and solidarity to combat terrorism. Shreyans Foundation, organised a seminar on 7th December 2008 at Chennai with eminent people talking on this serious issue. PodUniversal brings out an excerpt from the speech of Mr B S Raghavan, well known personality.

B S Raghavan, speaking on combating terrorism
Edition 53

Mr B S Raghavan is a retired Senior IAS officer of the Government of India (1952 batch). He has held high positions in Government of India, Government of West Bengal and Tirupura. He has also served United Nations on behalf of Indian Government. While, he was serving Home Ministry in Indian Government, he has handled security policy of the Government. He has authored six books. He is one of the sought after person by all the media for his views.

In his speech, Mr Raghavan emphasises two points: (1) the need for a tough erlaw like Patriots Act of United States and (2) the role of Indian citizens in combating terrorism.

Please listen to his powerful speech by clicking 'play' button. (The streaming will be smooth, in the broad bands of 100 kbps. If you find any difficulty in smooth streaming, you may download the entire file in mp3 file and then listen) - 10 minutes

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Angry Chennai citizens come together! It is time for change!!

citizens for change at chennai
After the Mumbai Terrorist attacks on 26th November, angry educated middle class Indians are coming together in all the Cities showing their anguish. Some of the Chennai citizens have now started an initiative "Citizens for Change". In a rare gesture, on Sunday the 7th December 2008, around ten thousand middle class and upper middle class citizens and their family members assembled at the Marina Beach and signed a pledge for solidarity and to save the Nation.

citizens at chennai marina beach signing the pledge(both photos - Courtesy - Swaminathan Narayanaswamy)

PodUniversal Edition 52

On behalf of PodUniversal, we interviewed Dr Pasupathy, Convenor of this initiative. Please listen to his interview by clicking 'play button' (To get uninterrupted streaming of audio, you need a broad band of minimum 100 kbps. If the streaming is not continuous, you may download this audio in mp3 format and listen) - 4 minutes and 54 seconds

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Young students organise mega media events in 22 cities of the country

Footprints Chennai team with dignitariesSymbiosis Institute of Media and communication, pune popularly known as SIMC, a reputed media and communication school of Asia is arranging events called ‘footprints’ all over India since 1999 to promote media and communication awareness amongst the students during November and December every year. All the events are organized by their own students as part of their on the job training.

Footprint 2008During 2008, SIMC had organized this Footprint event in 21 Indian Cities and one at Dubai, with uniform theme of Citizen journalism. The entire mega event is organized by 364 PG and UG students, by dividing the cities amongst themselves. During this year, more than 15000 young media students had participated in all the 22 footprints. They have involved more than 260 eminent professionals across the country as speakers. These footprints events generated more than 500 media reports across the country, besides social media write ups. These events involved an expenditure of around 75 lakshs, which was generated by the students through various sponsors.

From this year onwards, they have also instituted two awards for the young professional achRuhi Jhunjhunwalaievers in the media line in each center. They have honoured 34 such young achievers in the current year throughout India. These events helped all the students to have an hands on experience on marketing the events, sponsorship, public relations, photogrpahy, videography, advertisement, event management, etc.

When they had organized the footprint event on 5th December 2008 at Chennai, I spoke to Ruhi Jhunjhunhwala, a first year PG student of SIMC and the team leader of the Chennai Footprint team. Please listen to the interview by clicking 'play' button (12 minutes). (If you have a broadband of atleast 100 kbps, the streaming will be smooth. if the streaming is not continuous, you may download this file in mp3 format and listen)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A day with Dr Abdul Kalam - How he manages the day?

V Ponraj with Dr Abdul KalamPodUiversal - Edition 50

We have always been wondering, how Dr Abdul Kalam spends his day. After coming out of Rashtrapathi Bhavan, he has become too busy. If you look at the site, you will find his speeches on a daily basis. He tours length and breadth of India and also frequently visits various countries.

Every speech he delivers is fully packed with so much of new information, data, etc. These speeches are now preferred documents for many students, researchers, corporate houses, etc. How does he manage the preparation of speeches?

In an exclusive interview for PodUniversal, Mr V Ponraj, Advisor to Dr Kalam gives the first hand account of a day in Dr Kalam's Office. Mr Ponraj is a scientist working in DRDO and is also part of the Technology Interface Group in Dr Kalam's Office. Mr Ponraj spends most of his day working with Dr Kalam and also travels along with him within and outside the country. He is also the Editor of 'Billion Beats' epaper published by Dr Kalam's Office through their site.

Please listen to his interview by clicking 'play' button. (The streaming of audio will be good in broadband of 100 kbps. If you find streaming flow is not continuous, please download this audio in mp3 format and listen) - 19 minutes

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Learning disability and Dyslexia - Role of parents, teachers and NGOs

Madras Dyslexia Association for learning disability childrenIndian former President, Dr Abdul Kalam is always talking about 'school drop outs' and is campaigning for developing their skills. Lack of awareness about 'learning disability' or 'dyslexia' is one of the reasons for not identifying great talents and potential in the children.

It is generally reported that around 10 to 15 percent of the children across the world suffer from learning disability or what is known as Dyslexia. These children find difficulty in managing the academic works. They may also be slow learners. They would score poor marks. In most of the cases, these children are branded as 'useless', 'poor performers', etc. by the teachers and parents. They are also given punishment.

These children are not intellectually weak. They possess different skills like music, sports, art, acting, innovation, drawing, craft, driving, etc. Many eminent people like Winston Churchill, Einstein, Issac Newton, Thomas Alva Edison and many popular hollywood actors were dyslexic during their childhood.

If these children are not identified and remedied, we will be guilty of losing great men of eminence for future. Many times, because of the punishment given by teachers and parents, such children use their skills in different way and may turn out to be criminals and anti social elements.

Edition 49 - PodUniversal

Laksmi Radhakrishnan, Chairperson, Madras Dyslexia Association
Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) is a non profit voluntary organisation started in 1991, by the parents of such children to create awareness about this disability and to train the teachers to handle such children. In an exclusive interview for PodUniversal, Ms Lakshmi Radhakrishnan, Chairperson (Academic) of Madras Dyslexia Association speaks about this disability and the role of parents and teachers in handling such children. Ms Lakshmi Radhakrishnan is one of the pioneers in India and has handled thousands of such children and also trained hundreds of teachers. MDA is also willing to offer guidance to the NGOs who are working in education and rural segment.

MDA has their website and they can be reached at

Please click to play the podcast interview with Ms Lakshmi Radhakrishnan in audio format. (For smooth streaming of audio, you need a broadband of 100 mbps. If you do not get streaming properly, you may download this audio to your desktop and listen through any mp3 player) - 16 minutes

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Moving towards second green revolution in India

Mr C Subramanian, former Union Agriculture Minister
PodUniversal - Edition 48

In the early 1960s, when India was facing acute food crisis, the then Union Agriculture Minister Mr C Subramanian, popularly known as CS, (picture) took serious initiatives in bringing together many scientists and brought in the 'Green Revolution'. CS is now considered the architect and the father of Indian Green Revolution. Recognising his contribution to the food security, Indian Government honoured him with the highest civilian award 'Bharat Ratna'. The first Green revolution was focusing on "Seed to Grain". That means production was given more importance to manage the difficult food situation then.

CS did not stop with this. Till the his 90th birthday, he was thinking over the next green revolution, to remove the negative aspects of first green revolution. In the year 2000. on this 90th birthday, he started his initiative towards second green revolution and started a trust "National Agro Foundation"(NAF). He roped in many eminent people and scientists to 'institutionalise' the movement. Dr Abdul Kalam is also associated with this movement, from the inception. After the death of CS, Dr Kalam became the Chairman of the Board of Governors, till he became the President of India. Now many eminent scientists and visionaries are governing this foundation.

The second green revolution focuses on "soil to market" as against the earlier "seed to grain". The initiative is to help the farmers to understand their soil and then finally to help them to get a good market for their products. Dr Abdul Kalam visited the adopted villages by this foundation on 15th October 2008 and celebrated his birthday with these villagers. Through this gesture, Dr Kalam showed the importance of agriculture and rural segment to the youngsters.

Following the foot steps of Dr Kalam, the representatives from the partner groups of 'India Vision 2020' also visited these villages on 1st November 2008, to understand the importance of second green revolution and to take it forward., terming this as 'Rural Tourism'. In this exclusive podcast, Mr Rajsekar, son of Mr C Subramanian and presently the Managing Trustee of National Agro Foundation talks about the activities of NAF and how they plan to take it forward to the entire nation. Please listen to him (click to play) - 14 minutes

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) - India's pride

PodUniversal - Edition 47

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), is a Research and Development organisation set up by the Government of India. They have been contributing to the National Technological development silently. They are pioneers in building Super Computer PARAM in India, Garuda Grid Computing. They are also promoting open source softwares. They have released a Desi operating System BOSS, Indian version of Linux. They have also developed forensic software to help the Police officials to investigate cyber crimes.

In this podcast, we have interviewed Mr S Ramakrishnan, Director General of C-DAC. Mr S. Ramakrishnan, popularly known as Ramki is a pioneer in India in computer newtworking and grid computing.  Even before the internet concept came to India, as the Project Director at National level, he was mainly responsible for networking educational institutions as 'ernet'.  Now he is also closely associated with the PARAM PADMA, the next generation Super Computer.

Please listen to his interview by clicking to play (13 minutes)

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cyber crimes - protecting your computers and network

Cyber Society of India (CySI) organised a two day-seminar at Chennai on "Cyber Security and Assuirances" in 24th and 25th October 2008.  Mr Scott from Consultant General of USA at Chennai and Mr N Vittal (Former Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India) inaugurated the seminar and delivered key note address.  Many experts across the professional and IT sector participated and shared their views. 
Please click to play to watch the podcast of the extract of the inauguration ( 10 minutes)
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Catholic Syrian Bank launches 'Marvel', Core Banking Software

Catholic Syrian Bank launching core banking software - L to R - B Suresh Kamath (MD of Laser Soft), R Venkataraman (Chairman of Catholic Syrian Bank), V P Iswardas (Chief General Manager of the Bank)PodUniversal - Edition 45

Catholic Syrian Bank, a Kerala based leading Private Sector Bank has launched an unique core banking software on 20th October 2008, in an impressive function held at Chennai. This software was developed by the Bank jointly with Laser Soft Infosystems Limited, a well known Chennai based banking software product development company. This is the first time, a bank is developing a software product jointly with a vendor in India. The Bank has already networked 100 branches and will be networking all the remaining branches before the end of March 2008.

In this podcast, we bring out excerpts from the launch function. Please listen to Mr R Venkataraman (Chairman of the Bank), Mr B Suresh Kamath (Managing Director of Laser Soft) and Mr Anand (CEO, Wipro Infortech Limited). Please watch the podcast, by clicking 'play' ( 9 m 39 sec)

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rights and responsibilities of banks and customers - RBI Dy. Governor speaks

Ms Usha Thorat  Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of IndiaEdition 44 - PodUniversal
Indian Banks' Association (IBA) and Consumers Association of India (CAI) organised a seminar on 6th October 2008 at Chennai jointly on the 'Rights and responsibilities of banks and customers'. In this edition, we bring to you an excerpt from the speech of Ms Usha Thorat, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India. Ms Usha is handling the customer grievances at RBI against all the public sector, private sector and multinational banks operating in India. She is appellate authority for all the banking ombudsman in India.

In her speech, she has touched the very important issues like loan recoveries, penal interest, service charges, credit cards, ATM cards, drop boxes, etc. She has explained the various rights and responsibilities of the commercial banks (including private sector and multinational banks) and the customers.

With the permission of Consumers Association of India, we are publishing the ppt presentation of Ms Usha Thorat in full and excerpts from her speech. The ppt presentation may be downloaded from the following link (157 kb)

Please watch and listen to her speech by clicking 'play' (15 mts). (This needs a minimum of 150 kbps broadband for smooth streaming. If you find that streaming is not fast, please download the file in wmv format and play in windows media player)

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Unresolved customer grievances against any banks in India may also be referred to Mr Desikan, Founder, Consumers Association of India to their email id

Sunday, September 28, 2008

National Media Conference 2008 - A Roundup

A National Media Conference and Exhibition 2008 was organised by Brahmakumaris (a well knwon spiritual organisation) and Global Forum for Public Relations (GFPR) at Mount Abu from 20th September 2008. Around 2000 media and PR professionals across the country and Nepal participated.

Many eminent professionals shared their views on the current trends in media and communication. Please watch the podcast on the National Conference- Roundup. Rajayogi B K Karuna, Vice Chairman of Media Wing of Brahmakumaris and also the President of GFPR explains the purpose and the proceedings.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Floating stone used in Ram Setu - Scientific validation

Ramayana and other Indian scriptures mention about the floating stones used by Hanuman and other Vanara Sena to build Ram Setu connecting India and Srilanka, from Rameswaram. Recently, we came across two such stones picked up from the Ram Setu. Please see them floating in water and also listen to the scientific validation by Dr S Kalayanaraman, an eminent researcher.

Please click to play (6m 21 s)

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dr Sangeetha Madhu, Clinical Pshychologist speaks on 'challenges of working women"

Edition 41

Present day working women face lot of challenges. They find it difficult to manage the work pressure both at work place and at family. A survey was conducted online to study the various perceptions of challenges faced by women. The results of the survey were discussed with Dr Sangeetha Madhu, Clinical Psychologist and Consultant. In an exclusive interview with Shvetha Sridhar, Dr Sangeetha Madhu speaks about the various challenges faced by the working women and also gives solutions to cope with them. Please listen to her interview: (15 m )

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Interview with Young Screen Entrepreneur Award winner Prathibha

Edition 40

Ms Prathibha Sastry, Publisher and Editor of South Movie Scenes, Bangalore has won the coveted 'Young Entrepreneur Award 2008' from British Council. In an exclusive interview with Shvetha Sridhar, PodJockey, Prathibha talks about various challenges faced by her when planned to start a magazine and also she explains as to how she managed the challenges.

Please listen to her interview: ( 7 m 29 s)

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Indian Medical equipment manufacturers showcase their products in MEDICALL 2008

A three-day medical equipment exhibition titled 'MEDICALL 2008' at Chennai was inaugurated by Tamilnadu State Health Minister Mr M R K Paneerselvam on 1st August 2008. Around 200 exhibitors have displayed their products. Dr S Manivannan, CEO, Medicall has been organising this for the past three years with the intention of bringing together all the Indian medical equipment manufacturers and the medical professionals under one roof. This exhibition is also integrated with seminars on different themes to update the medical professonals with the latest developments in the health care industry. This is the largest such exhibition in India.

Presently, it is estimated that around 65 to 70 percent of the medical equipments are imported from various countries. Medical equipment industry is growing at 15% annually from the 10,000 crores at 2006 level to 22,000 crores in 2012. As the Minister said during the inauguration, Indian medical equipments are highly cost effective and qualitative.

Please listen to the exclusive podcast on MEDICALL 2008

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dr Abdul Kalam's exclusive message to Indian youth

PodUniversal Edition 38

Eight partner organisations of India Vision Group (Suyam Charitable Trust, India Sudar, Dream India, Manam Malarattum, Nandanar Trust, Team Everest, SIGM Foundation and Young Helping Minds), Editorial Board of Vandemataram ezine and Moderators of India Vision Group met Dr Abdul Kalam on 24th July 2008 and briefed about the various projects undertaken by them. Though the meeting started at 12 midnight, Dr Kalam was looking cheerful and fresh, after a day long hectic activities. He spent nearly one hour with the team and gave various suggestions for the development of the Nation.

Visit India vision site to know more about their activities.
At the end of the meeting, the members wanted his message for the Indian Youth. His message was recorded immediately. Please listen to his messge by clicking 'play' button

The podcast may also be listened from the following link

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

International Association of business communicators - IABC

June 2008 issue of our ezine features International Associatin of Business Communicators, who functions in more than 70 countries through 100 plus chapters. Mr Todd Hattori, Chair 2007-08 is the Guest Editor of this issue. You may download the ezine in pf format (410 k) from the following link

Please scroll below to listen to their podcast interviews:

Podcast of Todd Hattori, Chair 2007-08 - Edition 36

Click to play 8 m 30 s

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Podcast of Ms Julie Freeman, President, IABC - Edition 37

Click to play (9 m 40 s)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Do Non Resident Indians involve in Nation building?

PodUniversal - Edition 39

In the recent years, lot of educated youngsters migrate to United States and Europe for better prospects. There are two type of Non Resident Indians (1) people who are living there even prior to 1991 and (2) people who migrate to foreign countries post 1991.

During 1990 when India was facing acute financial and political crisis, during Prime Minister Chandrasekar's period, gold reserve was pledged to meet the day to day balance of payment. At that time, fearing collapse of Indian economy, many Non Resident Indians repatriated their investments from the Indian Banks to their living country. At that time, it added further financial strain and crisis to India. Rajiv Gandhi assassination lead to further political crisis. During 1991, Narasimha Rao took over as Prime Minister and with the help of Dr Manmohan Singh (then Finance Minister and present Prime Minister) liberated the Indian economy.

Economic liberalisation opened up our economy and lot of opportunities. Indian economy started booming. Lot of educated youngsters started moving to US and Europe for better prospects. Now the young Indians have started building up the Image of the country across the globe. What was considered by developed countries as the 'land of snake charmers and beggars' is now being seen as 'technology savvy country'.

In this background, few questions arise in our mind: (1) What is the attitude of NRIs towards the development of India (2) How far, they will raise to the occasion, if another crisis is faced by India (3) What is the role of NRIs in developing the Nation.

Sudarshan Venkatraman, Chairman, Zylog Systems LimitedWith these questions, we approached Mr Sudarshan Venkatraman, Chairman of Zylog Systems Limited, an Indian Multinational Company for his views. He has been operating the business in many countries. He belongs to the 'post 1991 group of NRI'. He has been taking active interest silently in various social welfare activities, particularly towards education of dalit and downtrodden children. You can listen to his views by clicking to play (13 minutes)

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Monday, June 23, 2008

How to select University courses - Tips to parents and students

PodUniversal - Edition 38

Now this an admission season. The parents of the students who have completed 12th standard are in a confused mood. There is a notion amongst the parents and students that only Engineering Courses in Information Technology are best suited for future prospects. Arts and Science courses are not preferred. Is the hype of IT Engineering courses a 'myth' or 'reality'?
Prof. R Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor, Anna University, Coimbatore
On 22nd June, 2008, we telephonically interviewed Prof. R Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor of Anna University, Coimbatore to clarify on these points and to guide the parents and students. Anna University is one of the leading technical Universities in India with more than 100 affiliated engineering colleges. This podcast interview will be useful for the students who are seeking admission in University courses and also pursing various education in different colleges in India.

Prof. Radhakrishnan suggests that a minimum basic degree with computer skills are sufficient to get placement and to develop future.prospects. He even goes to suggest that students with 10th standard qualification can also learn the skills that are needed by the industry and can go for jobs. Then they can earn more qualifications through distance education. He also says that students should improve the English language communication skills.

Prof. Radhakrishnan suggests that after completing the Schooling, the students should (1) self evaluate themselves and find out their interest with the help of their parents and teachers and (2) identify the field of education, based on the interest.

Please listen to his interview by clicking to play (17 minutes) - Gist is given below for convenience.

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Gist of the interview by Prof. R Radhakrishnan

1. Hype for in IT related engineering courses has been created more by the industry. People relate the IT and ITES related jobs only to the engineering subjects. Hence, people want to admit their children in engineering education.

2. In many Universities, B.Sc courses are also offered in computer related subjects. Currently, no education is complete without computer skills.

3. There are enough job opportunities for all. Even a student with 10th standard qualification with good academic record and communication skills can acquire the skills needed by the industry. After getting into the job, he can acquire more qualifications.

4. Information Technology is integral part of all the subject.

5. Presently, we do not have proper counselling system to help the students.

6. After completing 12th Standard, students from South India, prefer to pursue in Engineering and Medicine; Students from North India prefer Arts and Science.

7. After completing the Schooling, the students should (1) self evaluate themselves and find out their interest with the help of their parents and teachers and (2) identify the field of education, based on the interest.

8. Even if they pursue Arts and Science courses, they can go for MBA. Even engineering students go for 'diversified education' and go for MBA courses. Now 'Integrated or Inter-disciplinary approach' is taking place.

7. Last year 1,00,000 engineering seats were allotted by the authorities in 300 colleges / deemed universities in Tamilnadu. Out of this 75% went to IT and IT related courses. Only 25% were allotted for other engineering courses like Civil, Mechanical courses. Out of 75,000 students, how many would get jobs? There will be a tough competition. But competition in the other 25% like civil, mechanical engineering courses are less. There are more employment opportunities for these subjects.

8. Industries want only basic degree and minimum computer knowledge. The students should choose good educational institutions.

9. Bio Technology and Nano Technology have great future in the next 10 years.

10. Industry is insisting on soft skills. They insist on 'English language communication skills'

11. We fail in arriving at the level of language communication knowledge of the students. At the end of the course only, we realise that they lack in language skills. In Anna University, Coimbatore, we have started assessing the newly joined students for their language skills and they are graded accordingly. We are going to support them for improving their language skills, to suit the International standards.

12. I advise the students not to be carried away by the trends or hype. They should choose any branch whether engineering or arts and science. Also improve the computer skills. Definitely they will get the job. They should also think as to how they would contribute to the Nation. Whichever course, they choose, they can contribute to the Nation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Unsung Heroes - Young Helping Minds

Kalam Nagappan, Poornima, Sathiyan and Ponmudi, Trustees of Young Helping MindsPodUniversal - Edition 35

Many times, the elders blame the younger generation including students for their behaviour and changes they bring about. But seldom we recognise them for their silent contribution to the society.

Nagappan, Sathiyan and a dozen young students used to celebrate their birth day parties in hotels and enjoy the dinner. Suddenly four years back, Nagappan and his friends decided not to spend lavishly the money for their birthdays in the hotels and instead pool the money to help poor students. A physically disabled junior student hailing from a very poor family was the first beneficiary of their gesture. They paid his college fees.

The smile on the face of the poor disabled boy motivated Nagappan and others to mobilise more number of students, who can contribute around 20 to 25 rupees every month. All the amount so collected were pooled for supporting more such poor and disabled students for their education., by way of fees, books, etc.

The encouragement given by the fellow students made Nagappan and Sathiyan to form a trust in the name of 'Young Helping Minds' and they registered the trust deed with authorities and also with Income Tax Department. They have around 250 students / young people contributing their small share towards the noble cause of educating the poor and disabled children. Presently, they support 35 such students for their education.

Inspired by Dr Abdul Kalam, Nagappan also changed his name as 'Kalam' Nagappan. They want to increase the contributors to 1000 and to increase the beneficiaries to 100 by 2010. Nagappan, Sathiyan, Poornima and Ponmudi, the trustees of this Young Helping Minds met me last Sunday.

I asked them : "Now you are all students. You are happily involving yourself in the social activities. Some of you have completed and now working in companies. What would happen if you all get married and enter the family life?" Without hesitation or even blinking of the eye, they responded together, "We will look only for like minded partners".

When they sought an appointment with me to meet, I was happy that i was going to motivate them further. Finally, after having had three hours of discussion, I ended up in getting myself motivated by these young boys and girls. I saw them off from my office with all hope that India's future is in the safe hands.

They can be contacted at
Their website

I also recorded their interview in podcast. Please listen to the podcast by clicking to play. (8 mts)

The podcast may also be listened from the following link

If you want to download the podcast in mp3 format: - Right click this link and save to your desktop

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