• Dolphin POD launches Asia’s first 21st century life skill centre for kids in New Delhi

    10:23 AM, 13 Oct 2017

    Dolphin POD launched Asia's first 21st century life skill training centre for kids in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, on Saturday, September 23, 2017. The centre was launched with an objective to make kids ready for 21st century challenges. The concept is based and inspired from Dr. Shimi Kang’s book “The Dolphin Parent”. The centre enrolls kids from 1.5 years to 16 years. It spreads across 12,000 sq. feet with a play area of around 7,000 sq. feet.

    The centre aims to provide a fun, interactive and inspiring education unlike anything children receive anywhere else. By utilizing the latest neuro-scientific methods for Innovation, Social Leadership and Wellness, Dolphin POD teaches the key 21st century skills of Consciousness Quotient (CQ) - Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Contribution.

    The Dolphin POD method consists of 3 unique experiences - Play (play and exploration): Coach-facilitated play through uniquely sourced stations of hands-on games, puzzles, gadgets, technology, art, drama, and music and body movement; Others (social connection): Communication and collaboration leadership social skills training through breakout sessions, teamwork exercises, role-play and public speaking; Downtime (stress management and wellness): Attention/ focus training, mindfulness and cultivation of positive mental habits such as grit, gratitude and optimism. The duration of the session is 90 minutes, twice a week.

    Commenting on the launch of the centre, Shobana Mahansaria, co-founder, Dolphin POD, said, “We are delighted and proud to launch Asia's first life skill training centre for kids. With this launch we are looking ahead to provide a solved, successful and easy life to the 21st century kids which will nurture every child’s innate intelligence for the life changing skills of Consciousness Quotient to connect socially, think critically, express creatively and contribute purposefully. Our main motive is to create an inspiring learning community, which is to stretch, challenge and excite a child’s thinking".

    In the near future, the centre also plans to collaborate with NGO's for the upliftment of underprivileged children.
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  • Education bubble: Are you getting value for the money you’re spending for a college degree?

    10:22 AM, 13 Oct 2017

    Everyone wants to go to the same top B-school or college, everyone wants to gain credibility through a system which has been feeding the previous generations.This has created the education bubble
    Is there real value in what we are getting from the education system or has it been artificially created in the minds of the people who see education as their way of buying security? (Getty Images)
    Is higher education a bubble or do people realize the intrinsic value of going to college for higher studies, and see this as a step towards the future? Do we really have a future in mind while thinking of college? Think about it – how early do we start pushing this aspiration in the minds of our children? There are coaching institutions that have now started penetrating the market even when children are in classes 6 or 7. We have started turning the heat on our children way before they are mature enough to understand what will the future look like.
    One of the characteristics of a bubble is that things cost more than they are worth and we definitely have a bubble in real estate. When it comes to education, one has to be concerned about the inability of the people to be imaginative enough to identify what alternative future they can choose to break the existing trends and patterns. Everyone wants to go to the same top B-school or college, everyone wants to gain credibility through a system which has been feeding the previous generations.This has created the education bubble, which is not only becoming bigger but getting heated up as well considering the price at which it comes. It has become common for students to pay more than Rs 1 crore for an international education without really trying to evaluate the inherent value of that education.
    The absolute cost of higher education has gone up by 400% since the 1980’s (adjusted for inflation). I can justify a 1000% increase in the price of a machine if it helps me do the same job with 1/20th the cost of an old machine. I can justify an increase in the price of technology because with every generation of technological innovations, we are able to do more with less, and hence don’t mind paying more for it. However, I do not seem to understand the value of the innovative changes in the education system in the last 40 years. Is there real value in what we are getting from this system or has it been artificially created in the minds of the people who see education as their way of buying security?
    If you look at the reality, the education system is largely decoupled from what actually exists in reality. I am referring to the growing number of new MBA programmes in the country, new medical colleges in various states, and various other new higher education institutions mushrooming in various suburbs of the major cities, and the ever growing domination of these institutions on the minds of the consumer. It is not surprising for a parent to start thinking about the higher education of a child when he or she begins Class 8 and is many years away from actually realizing the true purpose of why he or she would need that higher education in the first place. I am not against education, and in fact I am a great proponent of people educating themselves. However, when you leave the rationale behind and start running behind a system without knowing why you want it or out of fear, I call it a bubble.
    Let me compare the education and the real estate bubbles. A?lot of people do not realize that real estate is a bubble and they bury themselves under loads of debt to possess an asset that does not have the inherent value to justify the amount of work and burden they would take on in the first place.
    A lot of top institutions have a great power as they are strongly supported by endowments, and they will not let this system to change unless there is a push from the outside. Also, globally the thought of gaining credibility through higher education is deeply ingrained in the world’s social fabric as well. A lot of us get educated to buy a brand for ourselves instead of acquiring the actual transformational skills we really want to experience to add value to what the future has for us. These are the exact characteristics of a bubble. It is not forward looking and has more resources thrown at it because of a trend or a pattern that may not hold true for everyone. Think about it this way - we have experienced a bubble in medical sciences with plenty of colleges across the country willing to accept the masses not on the basis of merit but because of hefty fee they can pay for their studies. This fee is not needed as much to run the infrastructure of those institutions as to create a balance in supply and demand, and people are willing to pay for it.
    What we need to focus on is research on how we are creating better educated professionals than we were four decades ago. With the current state of mind, it would be easy for some higher education institutes to continue with the blatant racket which dominates the minds of this generation.
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  • Civil Services Mains 2017 and 2018: Subject wise preparation strategy, sources and booklist

    10:20 AM, 13 Oct 2017

    The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is more of factual in nature, while on the other hand, the main examination requires deep analysis and comprehensive evaluation of questions, as answers written by a candidate in the examination represents the overall personality of a candidate.
    In the recent years, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has made comprehensive changes in the pattern of the mains. In light of these changes, a robust strategy is required to score high in mains.
    Every year, a large number of candidates fail to clear mains due to poor preparation or lack of right strategy. As there are 20-25 questions in each of four papers of GS, a student has to answer within a time limit, and therefore, answer writing practice is important along with coverage of the syllabus of each subject of CSE Mains.
    For candidates, who are going to appear in Mains 2017, the focus should be entirely on revision, solving previous years’ question papers and answer writing practice at this moment.
    Students, who are planning to appear in CSE Mains 2018, will get ample amount of time to reconcile and recollect information relevant to the UPSC, to utilize the existing skills and acquire relevant knowledge, in-depth understanding of each subject along with clarity of thoughts and expressions.
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