Learning Curve
Creative learning is the newest buzzword on the curve, writes YOSHITA SHARMA

MOST modern educationists have their apprehensions about rote learning: Some consider it out of style, ghastly boring and mindless while others look down on it and compare it to a form of child abuse!

“A child is born creative. It explores nature and sees and believes in the environment that surrounds him, but this creativity does not continue for long. It ends when he enters school and is forced to leave his innovative techniques, kill his creative skills and to learn whatever is taught in the class and reproduce the same whenever required, Says Pradeep Kumar, director of Magical Methods, a learning concept based on Vedic Math.”

Many educationists the world over believe that when a child is forced to mug up the lessons, it makes learning tedious and ultimately results in losing the charm.

Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, Guinness Record holder for strongest memory in the world, swears by the laws of imagination and association. “Both these are foolproof techniques and can be used by students, professionals and just about anybody in the ages of five to eightyfive!” says the brain behind Memory Labs, which aim to make learning simpler and quicker using memory enhancing techniques.

Traditional methods

THE major practice involved in rote learning is learning by repetition. The idea is that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the more one repeats it. “Rote methods usually train the child in memory work but unfortunately, can also turns the child off from learning, as these can be rather monotonous and often fail to engage the child’s right brain, which governs creative abilities” says Pradeep.

Rote learning is widely used in the mastery of foundational knowledge. Examples include, phonics in reading, the periodic table in chemistry, multiplication tables in mathematics, anatomy in medicine, cases or statutes in law, basic formulas in any science. “You need to read several times to memorise which is time-consuming process. You also need to revise every few days or the information will vanish. Many times recollection is confusing since the in rote learning we learn through hearing sense which is very weak sense of memory,” says Biswaroop.

Creative learning

WITH changing scenario on a global scale, things are changing on the educational front as well. “In creative learning we create our own logic which may be imaginary and ridiculous but the logic helps the information to stay together and with the reference of the logic not only we will be able to retain the information for long but also the recollection will be easy,” says Biswaroop. Now sample this: Say you want to remember that cement is produced in Katni. Imagine that your knee got cut and a doctor is putting cement on it to heal. You’ll never forget this as long as you live! “Anything which is ridiculous or odd or humorous is leant better. So go on, make tour own associations,” encourages the author of 25 books on creative learning.

Tool kit

CREATIVE tools are being designed to combat problems related to concentration among children and making learning simpler, quicker and consequently, enhancing memory. Pradeep teaches concepts of geometrical shapes to children between five to seven years and applied geometry to children between 12 and 15 years using a mathematical hat. He says: “Geometrical shapes are first taught in childhood but as pictures in books. Pictures are 2-D whereas in real life, most things are in three dimensions. This is why kids find it hard to recognise shapes when they actually see them.”

Children learning with the mathematical hat can actually feel shapes. They can wear mathematical hat on their head. They can dismantle and join it again. This lets them learn about triangle, rectangle, square, circle, cylinder, pentagon and hexagon. And when they manipulate things themselves, they remember these concepts for life.

Says Biswaroop: “Whatever we imagine we remember 20 times stronger than whatever we hear. Since the nerves which goes from brain to eyes are 20 times stronger than the nerves which goes from brain to ears.”

Specialised colour labs, games-based learning and other stuff that would help the child to visualise things and then develop mental image making. These exercises would help in improving the power of concentration, memory and imagination. Many schools are making use of such interactive teaching materials as they believe in the theory that students learn better when they can visualise, manipulate and explore rather than passively listening to the teachers. However, there is no substitute to concentration, warns Biswaroop. “Concentration is directly proportionate to the interest in the matter you want to learn,” he signs off.


Do it yourself

Task: Say you need to learn the random list of words/object in the given order: Photo frame, scooter, window, butterfly, snake, sword, Michael Jackson, sofa, gold, tiger, chocolate, pot, tubelight, bird and key.

Rote: To learn the above, you might have to revise it at least 25 to 30 times and you may still not be able to recall in the given order after few days.

Creative way: Visualise the photo frame, there is a scooter in the photo frame and from the window one butterfly comes inside, on the floor a snake holding a sword in his mouth can be seen. Michael Jackson is afraid of the snake and hiding himself beneath the sofa which is made of gold; a tiger is sitting on the sofa holding a chocolate. It is also balancing a pot on his head. In the pot is a tubelight, a bird is sitting on the tubelight holding keys in its beak.

Now, visualise all the pictures carefully in your mind and try to memorise it. You’ll be able to fill up the 15 blanks in no time!

— Courtesy Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury



Career Hotline
Go for hardware technology
Pervin Malhotra

Q. I have completed my first year BCA. What kind of jobs will I get after completing my course? I want to become a computer software or hardware engineer. Please suggest some job-oriented courses I should do.

— Ramit Ahluwalia

A. By itself, a BCA will only get some data entry, page-making type of work. To get you into hardcore software programming, you need to do an MCA from a good university or a course in advanced computing or database management or specialise in certain computer languages such as Java, .Net etc. If you wish to get into networking, you need to do a basic course in hardware technology and acquire relevant certifications such as MCSE, MCSD or CCNA.

Q. I am an aspiring IT professional. Could you please tell me the difference between a database programmer, a database administrator and a database architect?

— Arvind Purkayastha

A. Although each of these positions typically requires more or less the same academic qualifications, they vary in job content, hierarchy and salary (larger companies pay more).

Database programmer: Responsibilities include writing efficient/optimal code to communicate with the database; writing server and user interface programs to handle business logic.

Qualifications: MCA/ BTech etc with 0-3 years.

Database administrator: Optimises the database, tunes applications, takes backups and ensures security.

Qualifications: 1-2 years work experience on Sybase, SQL Server or Oracle DBA after BTech/BE /MCA/MSc (IT)/PGDCA.

Database architect: Consults with project teams, designs optimal and efficient databases, suggests database configurations and security schemes (5-8 years).

Qualifications: BE/ BTech/ MCA for all. Knowledge of Oracle and Oracle Apps/Sybase/MS SQL/Mainframe DB2 / UDB DB2 etc.



The world is your oyster

Q. I am a student of class 12. My favourite subjects are computers and geography. What good opportunities can I get in these subjects? Please guide me.

A. You are lucky. There is a field that combines your love for both subjects: Geographical Information System (GIS). It is a high-tech computer-based system capable of capturing, assembling, storing, manipulating and displaying locationally defined geographically referenced data. GIS is used for digital map making, site selection, finding the best route, solving environmental problems, exploring natural resources, urban planning and solutions for other problems.

Application of GIS in India has matured with GIS software being used in various mission critical national projects including those pertaining to the environment, forestry, land records, and utilities.

Map and satellite information sources can be combined in models that simulate the interactions of complex natural systems. GIS allows planners to calculate the emergency response time in the event of a natural disaster like the floods in Bihar. It also helps the police track down criminals.

The Department of Space, National Informatics Center, state forest departments, the Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Geological Survey of India and educational institutions like IITs, IIMs, universities and their affiliated colleges use GIS software.

GIS is becoming indispensable in business. Recently, corporate giants have made significant investments in this technology. For instance, Reliance Digital World deploys GIS as a strategic IT tool in their network planning and execution. Besides utilising its potential in operations and maintenance, they are extensively using GIS in various projects including Infocom, retail outlets, hydrocarbon exploration and gas pipeline execution.

Remote sensing is yet another related area of specialisation you could consider at the postgraduate level. 



Q. I started working 10 years ago (I am 30) after completing my B.Com. Although I have picked up considerable know-how and managerial skills, I feel I need an MBA to move up to the next level in my career. But if I start working towards an MBA now, I will be 32 when I am through. Won’t that be too late?

— Rohan Soin

A. You’ll be 32 in two years anyway. So the only question is would you rather be 32 with an MBA or without one? Moreover, you’re never too old to learn so your age shouldn’t stop you from pursuing an MBA.

The only question you may need to consider is whether you need a full-time MBA or will a part-time program fulfil your requirement. With your varied experience, even a good part-time or 1-year Executive MBA like the ones offered by the Indian School of Business or the IIMs would be a good bet.

You could even consider an online programme of the kind offered by some of the top B-schools like the IIMs, SP Jain and XLRI for instance. Not only will it “propel” you to the next professional rung, but it will also give you a valuable edge over the 26-year olds who are already eyeing your current position.

Besides, what’s age got to do with learning? It may comfort you to know that internationally, the average age of top B-school graduates is 28 plus and that of those enrolled in executive MBA programmes is 38 plus.

Indians, unlike their western counterparts, traditionally prefer to acquire the right qualifications before stepping into the job market. But business management is essentially a functional hands-on science, not merely an academic discipline. Your extensive work experience will be a positive asset to help you make the most of the course. You will be able to relate to what is being taught and discussed as compared to the freshers who opt for the course straight after graduation.

I am not saying that an MBA degree is the only route to success in the corporate world. But if you can manage to pack in one without wasting too may years, it will certainly be a great value addition. An MBA is an investment – even if it doesn’t provide you immediate financial or career returns, a few years down the line as you wade through an increasingly complex and competitive business scenario, the fact that you are armed with an MBA degree will give you tremendous confidence



Money no bar

Q. My son is doing B.Tech third year. He wants to do MBA after B.Tech but I can’t bear the high expense. He got 72% in 1st year and 78% in 2nd year. Please tell me how much it costs in Delhi University or Lucknow University or any deemed university. Is it right to do the course from a deemed university?

— Harsh Bidani

A. I would advise your son to work for a couple of years before going for an MBA. Besides gaining valuable work experience, which is an asset for pursuing a good MBA, it will also help him earn and save some money to pay for his MBA programme. Not that lack of funds should be a problem for getting into the IIMs or FMS or LU.

Every year, almost half the students admitted to IIMs apply for loans. Banks like State Bank of India, Allah bad Bank and PNB come to campus for offering loans. Some banks may require you to have (or make) an LIC policy of the amount applied for and a couple of other things. Overall, the banks are quite helpful with the loan sanctioning procedure. The loans cover your fees and mess bills and an optional computer.

Moreover, you can easily get an unsecured loan of up to Rs 4 lakh from any nationalised bank in India. Collateral is only required for higher denomination loans of Rs 7 lakh.

While private B-schools do not offer financial aid, IIMs have a policy of not denying any deserving candidate admission due to lack of funds. However, it is still easy to get financial aid for doing an MBA, especially if you are going to any of the top AICTE-approved B-schools. Banks are willing to give student loans to aspiring MBAs. The loan has to be repaid only after your son starts working. Considering that your son will be going to a top B-school, finding a high paying job should not be difficult at all.

The fee payable at the time of admission to FMS, Delhi University ( is Rs 9950. Similarly, for Panjab University, the fees would be equally modest as compared to other B-schools. The exact figures are listed on their respective websites.



Stand Out!
The résumé is your first impression on a prospective employer and could open and shut many doors. Here’s how to make it lasting 
R.C. Sharma

IN today’s stiff competition in the field of employment, it is difficult to track down the right job. It requires tremendous hard work and methodical planning. The first and foremost point in searching your desired job is the creation of appropriate curriculum vitae or résumé .

Broadly, a résumé is the summary of your education, skills, accomplishments and experience. It is the first impression and a ticket to an interview that can help you secure a job. If you wish to be amongst those shortlisted, your résumé should stand out and compete successfully with the others. During the interview, the only source of information the employer has about you is your résumé . Many of the questions posed to you will be based upon this document. Be sure to know what you have put before the employer.

The layout

YOUR résumé should be organised into three major sections: experience, education, professional affiliations and awards. List your objectives. Everything in your résumé should support and expand upon your objectives.


THERE is no standard format for an ideal résumé and the pattern of an appropriate résumé can vary from situation to situation. Do a spot analysis of the job profile you are applying for and then decide the contents of the résumé . Include all appropriate information relevant to the job highlighting your abilities and skill set are complementary to the needs of the job.

Use a computer to write your résumé and take printouts on good quality white or cream paper. Sometimes companies may specify that they want a hand written covering letter, but the résumé should always be typed.

Remember, quality of presentation should never be ignored. It is important to keep things concise. For it, intelligent formatting is required. Keep the following important points in mind that identify the basic structure of a résumé.

For starters

BEGIN the résumé with a section on personal particulars. Mention your name, address, age, languages known and contact details. Nationality and travel document details need to be given only if applying for a job abroad and could be mentioned as a separate section at the end. If you want to apply for more than one post, prepare a résumé for each position and carry copies for each one.

The objectives

THIS section is often quite important as the reviewer might decide at this stage if he or she needs to read any further. This section should present your short-term and long-term goals. Give, in brief, you background and career objectives. Include professional as well as academic achievements. List your key personality traits that best complement your objectives, preferably tying in with skill requirements of the job applied for.

Make sure that the things that need to stand out are on the front page of the résumé . Choose appropriate heading that reflects the message you want a prospective employer to receive.  Summarise your background describing your strengths using concrete examples from past achievements and enumerate precisely what you can do well.

Honesty pays

ALWAYS be honest. Do not write anything in you résumé which may put you in an awkward position in the interview. Employers will feel more comfortable hiring you if they can verify your accomplishments. There is a difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified résumé can cost you the job later.

Work skills

PROSPECTIVE employers are looking to carefully determine your skills and how they fit into the job requirements. List out work experience in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. If applying for your first job, include any part-time experience, apprenticeship or projects that you may have undertaken.  In each job, responsibilities and significant achievements and how you delivered them need to be detailed.

The wonder years

KEEP the section on educational qualifications very brief. Begin with the most recent qualification and work in reverse chronological order.  Mention the programme of study and highlight the courses taken, practical work and experience, special projects completed as research work and presentations.

Include a small section to highlight awards, scholarships, workshops attended, membership of professional bodies as well as interests and hobbies together with special achievements — both in academic and professional life.  You must describe the computer skills you possess.  It is a key requisite in every job today.

Employers are keenly interested in activities that enable you to develop skills or effective ways to working.  However, do not include a long list, instead list fewer activities.


MOST organisations ask for references. It is advisable to give the names of two individuals known to you personally, people who can vouch for your character, competence and commitment. Obtain their consent before giving their names. Care must be taken to mention the correct address and office and residence telephone numbers, in case the prospective employer wishes to check with them.

Once the contents are in place, turn to aesthetics. Format the résumé — segregate each sub-head into a separate section, align paragraphs and use bold lettering to highlight points that reflect the message you want to employer to receive. Read and re-read the résumé to ensure there is no spelling or grammatical mistake. 

If your résumé is appropriate and up to the mark, it would surely get you short-listed. Good luck! 



How about more Hindi, mate?
With 70,000 Hindi speakers in Australia, Indians in the country are demanding that the language & its literature be given the recognition it deserves in educational institutions 
Neena Bhandari

THE number of Hindi speakers has doubled since 1996. An increasing number of Indian origin students in Australia are choosing Hindi as a subject for the High School Certificate (HSC) or Class 12 exam to improve their overall percentage and seize the opportunities offered by India’s economic growth.

But while the demand for it is growing at the Class 12 level, some Australian universities are cutting down courses, citing lack of interest and funding cuts. “Learning Hindi has opened up many opportunities. It will be of great help if I choose to work in India as I can now interact with different people with ease,” Jasmine Sodhi, who migrated here at the age of eight, said.

In Sydney, most migrant children attend the Sunday Hindi classes at The Indo-Australian Bal Bharathi Vidyalaya. The school has come a long way since its inception in 1987 when a group of mothers — some with teaching backgrounds — started the Hindi classes.

Mala Mehta, the honorary founder, coordinator and teacher at the Vidyalaya, said: “I used to teach Hindi to my daughter at home, but she kept winging and found learning by herself a chore. So, a group of mothers got together to set up the school and make learning Hindi fun. We started with 35 students and now have about 150 students and 11 trained teachers.

“The way Hindi is taught here is very different from the ‘learn by heart’ concept followed in India. Here, we do a lot of listening tasks and translation, which tests one’s command over Hindi and English. The text is interactive and contemporary, based on current affairs and topical events,” Mehta added.

The Vidyalaya also has classes for adults. For example, some medical students are learning Hindi to gain clinical experience in India and a few Australians are learning the language to live up a dream in Bollywood.

While private community schools offer Hindi at all levels from kindergarten to Class 12, a Hindi teacher for the past seven years, Rekha Rajvanshi, feels the department of education and training should introduce Hindi in the mainstream school curriculum alongside European and Chinese languages.

Various Australian universities have been offering Hindi at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, some since the 1960s. But recently the University of Sydney decided to axe the Hindi language from its undergraduate course. “We will not be offering courses in Hindi-Urdu for new students commencing in 2009. Unfortunately, there is very little demand from students for these languages - there are currently 10 students enrolled in 1st year, one in 2nd year and one in third year,” a spokesperson said.

The grim situation is said to have been compounded by two factors: “The Australia National University withdrew from a collaborative arrangement and funding promised by the Indian and Pakistani community to supplement the costs has not been forthcoming. The university has been left with a growing deficit,” the spokesperson said.

It was the establishment of Hindi Samaj that pioneered the cause of the Hindi language during the 1980s. The Samaj’s Shailaja Chaturvedi says: “Unfortunately, our foreign missions have not been the true ambassadors of our culture, heritage and progression of our national language. There is no convincing evidence on the part of the government to maintain the prestigious position of Hindi at least in Australia.”

With new Hindi-speaking immigrants arriving on the shores, cultural and religious organisations are taking up the cause of keeping the language alive.

For the first time, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia recently organised a nationwide celebration of `Hindi’ to recognise people who have made a significant contribution to the language here.

As president of Bhavan Australia, Gambhir Watts said: “All individual groups and organisations engaged in teaching and promotion of Hindi need to pool their resources together to make a critical mass of action. We at Bhavan Australia are endeavouring to act as the catalyst.”

Almost 400 different languages are spoken in homes across Australia. In the 2006 census, 34.4 per cent of Indian-born people spoke English at home followed by 19.9 per cent speaking in Hindi. — IANS



Bits & bytes
Go Global 

Frameboxx Animation & Visual Effects has partnered with international job portal for CG artistes to open global work place for its students

Frameboxx Animation & Visual Effects, a versatile conglomerate with a focus on high quality animation and visual effects training services in India, has announced a partnership with, the world’s largest and fastest growing global career network catering to the animation, visual effects, television, film, video gaming and related industries has a network of 28 top editorial sites and reaches a community of more than 20-million creative professionals each month.

With this partnership, Frameboxx students will have instant access to hundreds of global job opportunities, and also receive a tremendous amount of exposure to their work from studios in India, Asia, North America and beyond!

Students will now be able to create an online portfolio that will include free hosting of demo reels and art assets, allow them to search and apply for jobs, as well as track the status of all of their applications, and set up multiple profiles for different creative industries, according to Naveen Gupta, Executive Director & CEO, Frameboxx. will be providing their employer clients with access to these Frameboxx profiles at no charge and promoting this access to their vast database of tens of thousands of studios from across the globe.

“This online service will be free for Frameboxx students and be in addition to the integrated campus placement services which are provided at the end of the course. We recently expanded into the online services domain and the tie-up with is an exciting addition to the portfolio of services provided to our students.” informs Sachin Bhatnagar, VP - New Media, Frameboxx.

Paul Cunningham, CEO, said, “The partnership with Frameboxx is a very important part of our strategy to help build the emerging CG, Animation, VFX, TV, Film and Video Game industries in India and Asia, provide jobseekers and companies in these related creative industries with one comprehensive job board resource, and establish as the leading job board in these markets.”

“Frameboxx is committed to providing the best and most innovative services and we’re excited to work with to open up the globe to our students. We look forward to working with on many more joint initiatives in India and Asia. Our students have always demonstrated an upper edge and are employed by some of the top studios in India. With this addition, our students would be able to reach across geographical boundaries and be employed by the very best from across the world”, remarked Naveen Gupta.

Many of the top production houses and studios advertise their jobs on the 28-site Job Board Network. This list includes Disney Feature Animation, LucasFilm, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Pixar, Aardman, Animal Logic, CafeFx, Blue Sky, The Orphanage, Tippett Studios, Digital Domain, Rhythm & Hues, Café Fx, Framestore CFC, Double Negative Visual Effects, WETA, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Midway Games, Sony Computer Entertainment, Apple, Adobe, Intel, NVIDIA, Autodesk and many more.


Frameboxx Animation & Visual Effects offers skills specialization based training programmes across a strong network of 38+ state of the art academic centers across India and is the only Indian animation training brand to foray into online training. Some of the unique initiatives by Frameboxx include the Incubation Centre which aims to provide a real world production experience to students before they step into their professional careers.

CREATIVEHEADS.NET is the largest global career network catering to the Animation & VFX / TV & Film, Video Game, Software Tools, Mobile/Wireless, Multimedia/Web Design and Marketing/Advertising industries. Its network currently includes 28 editorial sites and reaches a community of 20-million creative professionals each month! These “Right Brain” professionals consist of artists, animators, Compositors, Programmers, Producers, editors, directors and designers. Its primary objective is to provide employers with a highly economical, effective tool that streamlines their staffing and recruitment process, and offer jobseekers access to thousands of job opportunities from top companies in the related creative industries. is not just a job board, but rather a conduit that facilitates communication and the rapid exchange of information between Employers and Jobseekers. The mission is to allow people to be as creative in their career and business choices as they are in their work!

HED: Short cut to success

THIS one is for all you budding Spielbergs out there. No one doing justice to your films? Here is your chance. Zee Studio gives all aspiring filmmakers an opportunity to showcase talent with its latest contest, Get Shorty. All you need to do is send your short film of about five minutes on a DVD and the best five will be played on national television.

With no specific theme to stick to, no rigid framework to operate within, you can pick a subject that’s close to your heart — be it a film that’s wickedly funny or shocking and provocative, lightly entertaining or awe-inspiring. Language of the film has to be in English or Hindi. If a regional language is used, subtitles for the same should be provided. The same person can send multiple entries provided each is registered separately.

So, let your creativity work wonders and produce a film you’re proud of. Last date for submitting entries is September 30. For more information, log onto 



Fortnightly Quiz-319

1. Which US investment bank recently filed for bankruptcy?

2. On which river is India building the Baglihar dam in the state of Jammu and Kashmir?

3. Which two rivers’ exclusive rights, as per the 1960 Indus Basin Treaty, are with Pakistan?

4. What is the full form of NIPER?

5. How many years ago did Jack Kilby develop the world’s first integrated circuit or microchip, the foundation of the entire digital world?

6. Which gadget won a public vote to get the annual Gadget of the Year award, announced in London recently?

7. What is the capital of Yemen?

8. In which state did India’s first tribal varsity, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, dedicated to education and research on tribals, start functioning recently?

9. Name the film dealing with the story of an eight-year-old child suffering from dyslexia that will be India’s entry to the foreign language category at the 81st annual Academy Awards.

10. Name the only Indian woman badminton player to have won two Grand Prix tournaments.

— Tarun Sharma

Winners of quiz 318: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Punisha Chhabra, class VII-A, Holy Angels School, Rajpura, pin code-140401

Second: Vishnu Kalra, VIII-D, O P Jindal Modern School, Hisar (Haryana), pin code 125001

Third: Gurmandeep Singh, IX Rose, Baba Farid Public School, New Harindra Nagar, Faridkot, pin code 151203

Answers to quiz 318: India; 45; Kosi; Majuli (Assam); Asif Ali Zardari; Dr Duvvuri Subbarao; 1894; Serena Williams; 151; 99.94

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

Note: Kindly mention the pincode of your place to facilitate the delivery of the prize money.

Answers can also be sent at