Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A career guide for an Indian ECE UG fresher aspiring to join a top school for higher education.

In response to a A2A on a question titled “I am a first-year ECE student. What should I do to get into MIT?”, I ended up writing a rather long answer, based on my experience and learning so far. I thought it may be useful in general to any Indian ECE student at the start of their engineering, and so putting it down for all here. Previously, I had written a generic guide when I was myself in final year, Abhinav Dhere's answer to What should a 4th semester ECE student be doing right now? . Anyway, so here we go:
  1. Till about your 5th sem, focus on learning and getting good at your subjects.
  2. Work well on core subjects, read from standard books and courses of OCW/edX when available.
  3. Try things practically and think about why it works like this. If you can do it in your college labs, good enough, otherwise use simulations in MATLAB/Python.
  4. Also, solve problems from standard books. It will be good if you can solve the problems in one standard book for each subject by end of your 6th sem.
  5. Try to get a research internship at a reputed research institution after 6th sem. If you can get a peer reviewed publication (not paid journal), it is good, but don’t waste too much time for that.
The steps so far would help you in any case, and make you a better engineer with much more scope ahead. Now here onwards, my suggestion is to attempt applying abroad, but also not let go for M.Tech/MS opportunities in India. I understand it is difficult to manage both, and practically speaking, at that point you may decide on your intuition then, where to give more weightage. Ideally one could go this way -

→ Take GRE in August, and send applications in September. Thereafter forget about it.
→ Assuming you would have followed the steps 1 to 5, you would have crystal clear concepts and have solved problems in standard books. Now from September onwards, solve GATE previous year questions and join a test series. Continue preparation this way till Feb and appear for GATE.
→ By April/May, you would have an idea of which universities are giving acceptance. You would also have your GATE score. Now, don’t go for any random university just because it is in US. Choose the best option you have then.

This requires patience, persistence and a bit of luck, but if you enjoy the science and logic in your subjects, it would be fun in a way, and also take you far ahead.

Also note that this assumes you would be willing to go for higher studies at a top school and wouldn’t get diverted due to peer pressure or societal pressure. Also remember, if you are doing your best, the result in the end would be good for you. As Steve Jobs says, you can only connect the dots when looking backwards. So focus on your efforts and don’t care about the results.

All the best..!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Why people of different communities eat what they do?

I’ve been an early adapter of web trends and hence started blogging around 2007 and continued for some years, making 3–4 different blog websites. However, seeing no response I eventually stopped updating those and started using Facebook for expressing opinions. Then Quora came and captured most of my writing time, but I ended up writing more answers in specific topics and based on A2As.
With this post, I am trying Quora blogs feature first time while also pumping back my original blog on Blogspot. This is so as to cater to the Quora audience in a post blogging era while also catering to any invisible audience on the blog (and also for legacy purposes). I shall update this blog and Blogspot simultaneously. How frequently or for how long is a mystery even to me!
So coming to the subject matter, a small observation few years ago led me to a conclusion (which may be obvious to many people) - the reason people of different communities eat different kinds of foods may be more because of geographical conditions of their place of origin or occupation of their ancestors.
The event that brought me to this conclusion was that on a trip to Dubai desert safari, at evening it was very cold, yet I had a cold drink and it didn’t hurt my health. On the other hand, having a cold drink on a cold night in India made me sick. So what was the difference? My dinner that night on Dubai was mostly chicken, in India it was veg. The heat generated by eating meat keeps you fit in cold conditions. Pondering on this I realized some points. Pls. note that following are the conventional trends. I do not imply that everyone of these communities follows these today.
Case 1: Muslims eating halaal meat — Islam originated in middle east where
a) Desert region used to be really cold at night and the heat generated by eating meat helps survival
b) There was scarce vegetation and hence no many vegetarian options.
c) In desert day, normal meat would quickly go bad due to heat. Halaal involves draining all blood from the meat which increases the shelf life of the food.
Case 2: Sikhs eating meat —
a) Punjab is a cold region and eating meat helps. Similar for alcohol consumption.
b) Punjabis are known for being hard workers and for that physical output, non veg helps in building physical strength.
Case 3: Brahmins being fruitarians/strict vegetarians while kshatriyas consumed non veg food —
Now here, some vegetarians tend to think of eating non-veg as being impure from a religious point of view and hence brahmins being pure vegetarians. This doesn’t make any sense. God made everything in the world, how is anything pure or impure in his eyes? Also, god made us omnivores, and also gave us the survival instincts which made us most powerful beings. So the evident reason why brahmins actually did not eat non veg food, in my opinion, should be:
a) Conventionally, brahmin dharma was to engage in worship, teaching and research. All of these activities are such that not much physical activity is involved. In such a case, digestion of meat is difficult. This brings obesity and a lot of problems.
b) Since a lot of intellectual work was needed, simple satvik food with high vitamin concentration helped.
On the other hand, kshatriyas were warriors and needed to be physical strong and active. The high proteins in meat helped them build physical strength and it was also not difficult to digest because of their regular physical training.
So I suppose if we look at customs with a logical perspective, we may end up finding things like these.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Alternate meaning of our flag

Hi! :-D
We have learned in our school, that in our flag, Saffron stands for Patriotism, White for Peace & Truth, Green for Greenery.
However, when I understood the meaning of a song from movie "Chak de! India", called "Maula mere le le meri jaan", it had a slightly different interpretation. The lyrics say:
"Teeja tera rang tha main to, jiya tere dhang se main to
Tu hi tha maula, tu hi aan"
Here it is refers to the third color of flag, Green. Since Green is also a color of Islam, and Shahrukh Khan played a Muslim called Kabir Khan, he is saying here to India, that I am third color of yours, I consider you god!
When I thought more upon this, I found a great hidden message in our flag. Saffron is for Hindus, and is first color. Green is for Islam, and is third color, and in between there is white, which stands for peace.The Chakra of course stands for progress.
So the hidden message is that
"Saffron (Hindus) and Green (Muslims) should live with White (Peace) and work like the Chakra (for progress) of 24 spokes (24 hours, time)!!"
I wish we realize this noble message in reality!
For now,
Adios! ;-)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Why should we care about politics?

I recently had this chat with a friend of mine, when the friend said about not being much interested in what is happening in current politics. I gave an explanation, after which my friend agreed with me. That person is quite aware and intelligent otherwise, and understood my point exactly.
But there are many people who write things like "I hate politics", "**** politics". These people do not vote and this is what gives our politicians the freedom to do anything.

Consider a situation where there are 100 voters. To get elected, a person would need 2/3rd i.e. 67 votes and would thus have to convince 67 people to vote for him/her. But if out of these 100, 90 don't vote, then only 10 voters would remain, and just 7 people need to be convinced! Isn't it easier to appease 7 people than to appease 67?
This is why we get many unrighteous legistlators and MPs.
Our chat was however, limited to taking interest in what is going on in country, it is as follows:

Friend:m really not much interested in politics like u...its ok till sm xtent.

Abhinav Dhere:"No citizen is apolitical; as a citizen, by definition, has to take interest in public affairs" - Dr Mohammad Hamid Ansari (VP)a highly educated ex Indian Foreign Service(IFS) officer, and current Vice President has said this

Friend: i told till sm xtent m fine wid it.

Abhinav Dhere: accha ye baatao, ye right 2 recall ke baare me tumhara kya opinion hai?

Friend: i support it.

Abhinav Dhere: and why so?

Friend: we should have that much right to reject the elected candidate who is not deserving

Abhinav Dhere: and what about the ill-effects of this bill?

Friend: elaborate

Abhinav Dhere: does this bill have any problems?

Friend: i don't have much idea on this subject

Abhinav Dhere:
ye to vahi baat ho gayi na jo main kal bol raha tha, regarding Lokpal bill. We reach to conclusions too fast

Friend: i don't reach to conclusions if i don't have any clue wat that thing is.

Abhinav Dhere: but u just did. U said u support it then u said i don't have much idea on this subject

Friend: :P

i had just read about anna hazare in the newspaper n his ideas n i liked it..dats y i said dat dnt know how they said there are ill effects too

Abhinav Dhere: ryt...that's what happens...we believe on those media sources which give news like Minister's cat missing and who blow news for their publicity but we don't try to analyse ourself and this is exactly the drawback with RTR.If a news gets spread about a political party or politician it will spread like a wildfire. Most ppl wud believe it without verifying and go ahead to remove them. Result? Instability, share market crashes and no govt getting enough time 2 even do anythingWhat is election? Isn't it right to recall? Didn't Biharis recall Lalu Yadav and appoint Nitish Kumar?

Friend: yeah they did

Abhinav Dhere: phir?
aur kuch time to milna zaruri hai na isliye constitution me 5 saal ka time diya gaya hai so that the govt has a chance to work if they have intention to do so. And if they don't work in even 5 yrs, we can be certain to remove them in elections. Now, do you see the trouble? Do u agree with me?

Friend: hmmm..politics join kar lo 

Abhinav Dhere: kyu?

Friend: itna knowledge h ye sb k baare me or sbka bhala b chahte ho toh achhe ideas formulate karoge hi 

Abhinav Dhere: itna knowledge to saari general public ko hona chahiye jabi to hum democracy ko sambhal payenge maine abhi quote kiya tha na no citizen is apolitical agar nahi chahiye democratic rights to KSA ya PRC chale jaovaha sab govt ki chalti haiu won't have to think about politics then
P.S. KSA= Kingdom of Saudi Arabia     
PRC= People's Republic of China

Friend: not everybody share similar interests... its good dat u take interest in knowing bout all this.. many ppl don't. I just know which party is doing good work and which is not. I don't go in too much depth. U can call it being ignorant. but i really can't b too much involved in this.. no offence

Abhinav Dhere: No need 2 be "too much involved"...but jo log humpe rule kar rahe hai, vo kar kya rahe hai ye dekhna to zaruri hai na? Agar hum nahi dekhenge to kaun dekhega? batao?

Friend: i know... but itne corrupt h ye log ki har din scandals, bribe k baare me parh k sb hate karne lage k politics ko..or kisi pe vishwaas b nhi rha. so ppl have stopped taking interest. specially youngsters.

Abhinav Dhere: aur yahi to problem create kar raha hai suppose u own a firm aur tumhare employees kaamchor hai corrupt hai to tum unko nikal doge, right? aur agar dusre candidates bhi sab vaise hi chalana bhi zaruri ho to what wud u do?keep an eye on them and ensure that they work,hai ki nahi?


Abhinav Dhere:bas yahi baat desh ke case me bhi hai they r actually employed by us don't we pay them through taxes? we appoint them, we pay them, they work for us! So aren't they our employees? And we have seen that they all are corrupt and kaamchor So we have 2 ensure that they work by keeping an eye on them and scolding them (through protests)and finally through sacking them in next elections...and there are so many owners, so the decision has to be unanimous and all must participate

Friend: hmmm

Abhinav Dhere: Of course ur studies r more imp but jo time waste hota hai yaha vaha, usme kuch time in cheezo ke liye to de sakte ho na?no need to focus on scams or crime news but parliament me kya ho raha hai kaunse laws ban rahe hai kaunse politicians actually useless hai aur finally most imp hum kis tarah democratically change la sakte hai!
 Are we in agreement finally?


P.S. The chat has been edited only to remove name of my friend (for obvious privacy reasons), and to correct spacing, punctuation marks etc.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Guidelines for basic protection of FB accounts

Hello World!

This post is for all Facebook users.

Well, using a new feature, we can copy all info on our facebook accounts with a single click. So that makes it even more important to protect our facebook accounts from being hacked.

Here are some guidelines for basic protection:
1) Don't put sensitive info on FB and don't put your own pics as profile pic.
2) Use a good password, long & with combination of numbers, special characters and alphabets.
3) DO NOT add people whom you do not know...
4) Take care that you download stuff from trusted websites only or you might fall pray to keyloggers which track keyboard activity.

5) Use a good anti-virus, anti spam ware and if possible, anti-keylogger.

6) Prefer broadband over wireless connections.

And most obvious, as well as most important… DO NOT SHARE UR PASSWORD WITH ANYONE!

Merry Christmas! :-)



Friday, December 10, 2010

Political Views

A stupid poem for those who can tolerate it!!

Neither I am a Nehruvian, nor I am a Gandhian
Neither I am a communist, nor I am a socialist like Bhagat Singh
Neither I support BJP, nor I support Congress
Neither I support Hindus, nor I support Muslims
Neither I support Liberals, nor I support Conservatives
Neither I support Democrats party , nor I support Republicans

I am just a secular Nationalist Indian human who wants to go to any extent for development of his nation and for spreading harmony and peace all over...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spread happiness, live life!

Hi World!
I have been wondering since many days...what is the meaning of life? Why live?All arguments that came to my mind were proving wrong at some I realized..probably life just means maintaining this beautiful world by spreading a smile on all faces...
So for all people who brought a smile to me or helped me anyway...thank you from my heart!
For those who didn't...doesn't matter to me...God bless you too! For those who do not make anyone happy...get well soon ;)
Guys! Life is too short to hold grudges and fight among ourself...we already have too many challenges to face...
Let us live together peacefully and happily, and this world would become a great place to live..
As the king of pop Micheal Jackson has rightly said..
"Heal the world, make it a better place
for you and for me and the entire human race
there are people dying, if you care enough for the living,
Make a better place for you and for me"


Abhinav :-)