Monday, 23 February 2015

5 Ways to Stand Out in a Group (Discussion)

Group Discussion is a platform used by recruiters to evaluate aspirant's personality, their ability to communicate with peers and work in a group, to check their subject knowledge and most importantly their social skills. 

Whatever be the nature of job or the position, it demands working in a group and the ability to communicate your views to the group and accept the inputs from the members of the group. 


Here is a 5 Step Process to present yourself effectively in a Group Discussion and also to Stand Out from the rest of the group.

1: GRIP YOUR AUDIENCE

Hold the Group members and the panel’s attention intellectually. The manner in which you present your point, the choice of words, your logical thought flow and the appropriate tone should set the pace. Don’t make light of the tone part as most people tend to lose out even if they have a strong point because they are inaudible. Taking on the role of a facilitator adds to visibility. Don’t be aggressive in your body language and learn to counter the points put forth by your peers intelligently.

2: RECIPROCATE TO ENGAGE

Reinforce the meaning of a discussion by reciprocating to your peers point. It is logical to respond either through positive acknowledgement or reinforcement. A simple, ‘that’s a valid point’ or if you are contradicting then, I'm afraid that is not in line with what we were discussing at hand. Support your peer’s point by adding information or examples. Some form of response is critical for the discussion to have vigor and succession. Avoid expressing only points that you have prepared and ensure there is a link to the previous point mentioned.

3: ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS

Always be clear in your head with what you want to say, learn to think on your feet, listen carefully to your peers and respond appropriately and in a timely fashion. Ensure your points are supported by clear and factual examples. Even better, provide famous examples. Something familiar registers easy and fast. Use transitional words and phrases like ‘in other words’ or ‘to rephrase it’ when you want to clarify or t ‘on the other hand’ or ‘on the contrary’ for contradiction. When you want to compare a point, ‘in the same way’ or ‘likewise’ works and ‘to illustrate’ or ‘for instance’ for illustration. Avoid incomplete sentences and don’t be ambiguous jumping from one thought to another.

4: UPHOLD THE GROUP

You can uphold the group by encouraging the shy ones or candidates who struggle to present their points. Many people find it challenging to complete a sentence or are inaudible while others may not get an opportunity to present their points. Step in as a facilitator and give them a chance to share their opinion. Pay attention and keep track of time, remind the team of time left and set the group in preparation for the conclusion. Be assertive but be courteous, do not interrupt another members point but wait to let them finish and then intervene at the right time. Watch your body language and at any point of time do not point fingers or raise hands at a member for the sake of emphasis.

5: PREPARE TO EXCEL

Start by acquiring information. Read voraciously, research relevant points on various current topics. Look at examples and explanations to help support your points especially needed to counter contradictions. Participate in mock group discussion to understand the group dynamics better.

Learn to identify your key skills:
  1. Are you good at listening and drawing points from peers to enhance discussion?
  2. Are you good at being a facilitator?
  3. Are you good at retention and are able to recollect points and present it at the right time, for example, summarization?
Record yourself and see how you articulate.
  1. Are you maintaining the right pace and volume?
  2. Are you comprehensible?
Preparation is a must and the right time is now.

On the whole, be yourself, show receptivity, think before you speak and use facts, quotes and statements to express a clear chain of thought. 


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Friday, 6 February 2015

Current Affairs: Not in One Day but Everyday

    “Current Affairs: The latest and updated news available for preparation in Competitive exams”. I’m sure you’ve see this headline as you search for the latest news online. The sources vary. We are aware of the many sites which guide us with questions and answers, The Hindu publishes a separate segment on Current Affairs. There are magazines that offer in-depth analysis of issues and events in India and around the World. There are even groups on Face book where discussions happen on various news posts. While these may be excellent sources to rely on how does one still take time to prepare on such a vast topic.  50 questions, 50 marks  - How to take advantage and score maximum marks in this section.

To begin with make ‘Reading a Lifestyle’.
    Habituate reading news to become more knowledgeable not just for the exams. The attitude must change from solely focusing for the purpose of examination but rather make it a habit that improves not just your general knowledge but your reading comprehension and speaking skills. The more information you become aware of and retain, you become knowledgeable and it enhances your communication.

Let us explore some strategies to retain information we read.

Strategy 1:
For a particular issue, do gather prior history or events pertaining to the issue.  For example, Republic Day Celebrations just got over recently. Read up facts and history of this event.
  1. This was the 66th republic day celebrated across the nation.
  2. The First republic day was in 1950 when India became a Republic with Constitution of India coming into force.
  3. The main theme of 2015 Republic Day parade was “Women Empowerment”.
  4. U.S President Barack Obama was the Chief Guest at the 66th Republic Day parade and this was the first time The President of United States attended such a celebration.
  5. The first Chief guest of Republic Day Parade was President of Indonesia Sukarno in 1950.
When you explore the history and events of a particular event or issue, your knowledge is expanded and it improves recollection and retention.

Also make note of the important developments on a daily basis. This allows room for progressive knowledge check.

Strategy 2:
Skim through headlines quick and decide what to read.

Identifying what to read is also an art because it involves a lot of self discipline and an eye for detail.

In a page filled with advertisements and various news headlines, how does one focus and narrow down on the most essential one without wasting time on the irrelevant ones.

For example, if the headlines on a page were such that
  1. Let nation debate the Preamble: Ravi Shankar
  2. Jaishankar is Foreign Secretary
  3. Cabinet goes by HC Tax relief for Vodafone
  4. Now, German help for smart cities
  5. No more din in this tiger’s lair.
  6. Bedi woos Muslims
  7. Bardhaman Blast
So, which ones do you read and which ones do you overlook. Ideally, one should spend time on the second headline which specifically addresses the competitive exams and the third one maybe for Group discussions and the likes.  Most importantly do not get distracted by petty news, gossips and political hullabaloo and spend less time on state level and district level news. Ideally one needs to focus on the First Page, the economy section, Sports and International News. To get the best ensure you also follow a good newspaper or magazine and TV news hour.

Strategy 3:
Develop scientific ways to read the news paper in less time.

In order to do this one must increase their reading speed. First analyze how many words per minute (wpm) you can read. The average adult reads prose text at 250- 300 wpm. The idea is not to understand every word or get stuck with difficult words that hinder comprehension but to get the overall message of the text.

While reading, one tends to regress, ‘ conscious rereading’ and back-skipping (subconscious rereading via misplacement of fixation). This happens when you lose focus, daydream or just read for the sake of reading without paying attention to the content. This is when you do not comprehend and waste time rereading. So, it is important to eliminate regression and back skipping to increase speed. Learn to test yourself with reading for comprehension. Condition your mind to focus and register what you read.

Strategy 4:
Try to focus on the language as well.

There are many advantages while you take time to update yourself with the latest news. While you definitely expand your knowledge this also helps improve your reading comprehension skills and is a sure - fire way to expand one’s vocabulary. As a post reading activity, revisit the unfamiliar or new words and understand the application and usage of the word in various contexts.

Strategy 5:
Try discussing with friends.

There is nothing like a good discussion on a topic or news event that aids in retention.  Because it’s active participating learning, it’s more engaging and easy to remember.

Create forums or join a discussion forum, ask your friends and family views on the latest news and share yours too.

Current Affairs does cover a wide range of subjects. It builds language, vocabulary, reading comprehension, critical thinking, problem solving, oral expression and listening skills. It provides a ‘writing model’. Is a source to open up communications and offers ideal opportunities for group discussions and debates. Most of all it makes you a competent lifelong learner.

So, what’s stopping you from picking up that newspaper or magazine?

Read Away and Read Everyday!


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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Improve your Vocabulary for Bank Exams

Most bank exam aspirants find Vocabulary challenging especially when asked to identify synonyms and antonyms for a given word from the options without any context.

There are various methods one can employ to improve their vocabulary.


Let us explore 3 important and effective methods in this blog

Method 1: Reading

The one method that will never run out of fashion and always remain efficient is ‘Reading’. Recognizing words through context helps retain their meaning and for this, one has to read and read extensively. The only difference is, your reading style needs to be focused to identify any new word and immediately apply context clues to assist with inferring the meaning. The ideal approach to learning vocabulary through reading would involve 3 steps viz.

Step 1:  Context: One needs to understand the context and find out if it is suggesting a positive or a negative meaning, are there any contrast clue words or cause and effect clue words etc.

Let’s look at this example to understand how context clues can come handy in identifying the meaning of an unfamiliar or new word.

“Mallery’s mom thought that the new outfit that she had bought for her was modish. Mallery did not want to break it to her, but it was totally out of style.”

In the above example, you have a contrast clue word ‘ but’ that tells you that the underlined word has to be opposite in meaning to the clue phrase ‘ out of style’. And that would be stylish. So the meaning of the unfamiliar or new word  Modish’ is ‘stylish’.

Lets take one more example.

Father was ecstatic because Joshua decided to go to the college that he wanted him to.

From the above example, we realize the hint word ‘ because’ which brings in a cause and effect relationship and answers the question ‘ why? ; explaining that his son’s decision to go to the same college that his father decided made him very happy. So, the meaning of ‘ecstatic’ is ‘happy’.

Step 2 : Word Class: by this I mean understanding the various forms that one word can take up.

Word Class – Let’s take the word ‘ Exhaust’

The verb form is exhausts ( simple present), exhausted ( simple past) & exhausting (continuous).

Ex: I exhausted my funds before the month was out.
The noun form is ‘Exhaustion’. Ex: He collapsed from exhaustion.
The adjective form is ‘exhaustible, exhaustive, exhausted and exhausting.
Ex: They did an exhaustive search or I had an exhausting day
The adverb form is exhaustingly, exhaustedly, exhaustively
Ex: They finished the project exhaustedly with many elements sloppily completed.
So, understanding the different forms that one word has shows the functional meaning that word creates in a context.

Step 3: Practice: Create your own sentences after you know the meaning of the given word to reinforce retention.

Let’s use the example word from Step 1, ‘Modish’ and create our own sentences.
Her black gown was modish.

He wore a smart brown suit with modish shoes that stood out enhancing his looks.

Method 2: Root Words

The second method is a good knowledge on the suffixes for different word class which will also be helpful in understanding the meaning of those words. And of course don't forget 'root words'

For ex: take the word " Ludicrous" - The suffix is ous , other words -, advantageous, courageous, dangerous, delicious, humorous etc...all these are describing words and therefore are adjectives.

So you know that Ludicrous is an adjective too. Now, ' Ludi' comes from the latin root word ludus that means play, make sport of, jest; sportive; pastime...something that is probably silly and not serious because it’s unreasonable or inappropriate

If you look up the meaning of ludicrous, it says; “absurd or incongruous to the point of provoking ridicule or laughter".

Method 3: Word Games

The third method is Word Games. There is nothing like a game that stimulates your brain cells, keeps track of your progress and rewards you for the same. The best part about Vocabulary games is that it recognizes the words that you are yet to master and encourages you in a quick and intelligent way to improve vocabulary.

There are so many sites that you can explore to master words essential to academic and business success. Listing a few that you can get started with.

In order to improve your vocabulary, ideally, you should use a combination of all the above 3 methods together. Of course, one may be better at one of these methods, but what we have seen is that someone who uses all the three methods together learns faster and retains the learning for a longer duration.

I am sure, you will, using these methods, find learning vocabulary lot more simpler than what you may have experienced so far.
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

TWO TIER IBPS EXAMINATION


IBPS has decided to hold two-tier examinations for recruitment from 2015.

As such, this change is neither a surprise nor a challenge. Since this calendar came in, we have received various questions from our student community. Through this blog, we share our views on this two tier structure to answer some of the top questions posed.

1.    Is 2 Tier examination beneficial to you and if so why?

Yes, it is beneficial to you. The key reasons are
  • The focus on each of the Tier is very clear. Tier I is to qualify and Tier II is for getting selected. This clarity can prove very useful in your preparation. Your objective for Tier I should be to qualify and beat the competition, In Tier II your objective should be to showcase your fit to the Banking Industry.
  • All those who qualify in Tier I stand equal chance of selection. In the earlier structure those who scored more had the competitive advantage over those who scored less (even if shortlisted for the next round). But in this case, everyone starts at ground zero for selection as only Tier II marks will be taken for the final selection process.
  • Having a 2-3 weeks time to get ready for Tier II on a focused manner improves your chances. You can define your success by your focus during this period.
  • The fact that the calendar is published 10 months in advance gives you sufficient time for  preparation
2.    Who will succeed in Two Tier system?

Out of  20-25 lakh aspirants who would be preparing for the banking opportunity, the one who is committed, hard working and starts ahead of the competition tends to succeed. Looking to succeed, start now to have the edge rather than wait for the notification.

3.    How do I prepare for Two Tier examinations?

We believe that Tier I will test the breadth of knowledge and Tier II depth of knowledge in line with the requirements for one to succeed in a banking career.

However here are a few pointers for you to get started.
  • Though the number of questions may be fewer with shorter duration in Tier 1, it is still an integral round for you to clear. Brush up your basics. And as this is expected to check your breadth, be ready to get questions from wide range of topics across all the sections Quant, Reasoning, English and General awareness
  • While the marks obtained in Tier I will not be considered for selection, remember, you should still be shortlisted for Tier II. Hence, you should prepare for Tier I with as much seriousness as you currently do for a single tier exam.
  • With respect to Tier II, this would be far more serious and will be higher on the scale of difficulty. Hence, covering key areas and being thorough on those will help you a lot. Further, in addition to preparing and practicing from now, you should also be willing to commit to the period from Tier I exam to Tier II exam  in order to succeed against the high competition you are expected to face. We believe that tier II might focus on areas like DI, critical reasoning, reading comprehension and economy and banking in addition to other basic topics.
  • As always be prepared for surprises, the question pool might change.
The mantra to succeed is “Be an early starter”. With focus, commitment and hardwork, two tier system will be much more useful to you as you would have taken a ‘practice match’ in Tier I before facing the actual test in the form of Tier II.

4.    Will there be surprises in the type of questions asked?

Being a competitive exam, one of the key aces the examiners hold is surprise. This ace will be used periodically irrespective of whether it is a single tier or two tier exam. Hence, you should be ready for such surprises.In Tier I we expect the breadth of topics to widen and in  Tier II  the difficulty levels to be higher than current levels. Hence, do not spare any effort. Make every possible effort and use every possible source or resource. We are working towards increasing the topics and content across various sections in order to enable you to be ready for such surprises.

5.    Will there be a focus in Banking domain knowledge in Tier II?

Eligibility for the exam being any graduate, it is the general skills necessary in Banking viz. Analytical skills, Data analysis and comprehension skills that will be tested more than banking domain.

In light of the above, we do not expect major focus on actual banking domain, except what one is expected to know as a typical banking customer.

However, related topics like Economy, Finance and developments that happen in the Indian Banking Industry may get additional focus in the general awareness section.

As an aspirant banker, we advise that one should learn basics of Banking Operations and the Services Offered by the Banks. A bi lingual (English and Hindi) content is accessible for our students to understand the basics necessary

6.    What is the impact of Two Tier examination on my chances of success?

We believe that it will work in your favor, if you believe that you are having above average intelligence and willing to put in hard work with commitment.

In fact, this two tier structure will eliminate ‘flash in the pan’ or ‘by luck’ players from the equation and will have better impact on those who are actually capable and committed to succeed.

Yes, this new structure will test your basics as well as speed and accuracy. Hence, in the remaining time for preparation, if you could invest in laying a strong foundation with consistent and committed preparation, you will not only clear Tier 1 but also reach your goal of getting your dream bank job.

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Details of the new PO/MT and Clerk Exam Pattern

The IBPS calendar for 2015 has been released last week. The first recruitment of the year would start with RRBs in September, followed by Probationary Officer in October and Clerk Common Written Examination in December. The Specialist Officer is scheduled for the month of January in 2016.


The much-awaited notification did come with a surprise. IBPS authorities have put forward a 2-tier examination for selecting candidates for PO/MTs and Clerks from CWE-V 2015 onwards. As per the notification released on Jan 16, 2015 a series of two examinations are conducted before a candidate appears for the interview.

The step-by-step procedure is as follows:
  • Register under CWE PO/MT-V and CWE CLERK-V
  • Upon successful registration, candidates will receive a call for the first exam called the Preliminary Examination. This exam is a mini version of the actual exam with few questions and shorter duration. It decides the candidates’ entry into the IBPS PO or Clerk recruitment process. Under certain rules and guidelines set for the authorities, performance of the candidates is assessed and those who fulfil conditions will proceed for the next level. Here ends the purpose of this exam as the marks obtained here are not considered for final merit list.
  • Candidates who successfully clear the Preliminary Examination will be called for the second exam called the Main Examination. As the name suggests, this would the actual final examination.
  • Based on the scores in the Main Examination, the recruitment procedure moves ahead towards the ‘Interview’ round.
As per the IBPS schedule there is a time duration of 20-30 days between the Preliminary and Main Examinations.
 
This unexpected change in the pattern of CWE-V PO/MTs and CWE-V Clerks came in as a shock to many bank exam aspirants. But you can switch off your panic button. Because the repercussions of this measure allows to:
  • Bring in more transparency to the recruitment procedure
  • Select the best of the knowledgeable candidates
  • Strike off the possibility of ‘luck’ with the double-examination
  • Reduce the competition to half after the Preliminary Examination
The 2-tier examination procedure might however make the selection process slow, but it may even become the curtain-raiser to a new mode employee recruitment in India. The official website of IBPS would present a detailed notification in the due course. And meanwhile, all you need to do is Study Hard, because Hard Work Always Pays!
 

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Aptitude Test - The Key Differentiator In IT Job Recruitment

Whether it is Infosys, TCS, CTS, Wipro, Deloitte, or for that matter any software company you are aspiring for, they will test your aptitude even before looking at your technical knowledge to consider your appointment.


As the recruitment process typically commences with the ‘Aptitude Test’, this serves as the rejection filter. Historically, around 82% of the applicants fail to go to the next stage owing to lack of proper guidance and preparation, both in long and short terms.

A typical Aptitude Test covers Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal Abilities. While broadly all the aptitude tests have similar syllabus, each company adopts a pattern best suited for them. For example Infosys conducts the test in 2 sections - Verbal Ability (40 questions) and Problem Solving Ability (30 questions). The sections have to be solved in 35 and 40 minutes respectively. And Wipro’s Aptitude Test consists of 50 questions spanning Verbal, Technical and Quantitative Aptitude fields to be solved in 50 minutes. And TCS conducts an online exam with 35 questions from the above pool of topics.

But why is Aptitude Test given such high importance in the hiring process? What do the employers seek from these results?
  • Most activities that one needs to do as an employee is to understand a problem and find solutions. Hence, reasoning ability is tested.
  • Similarly, logical reasoning tests how spontaneously and rationally a candidate can provide solutions to various problems.
  • Organizations work on huge amount of data, understanding them and interpreting them for various purposes. Hence, the ability to understand, interpret, analyze and present data is critical which is covered in the quantitative aptitude section.
  • As the business language is English, strong English aptitude is necessary to survive in the corporate world. Hence, Verbal Aptitude.
Well, that’s why the company tests you in aptitude. In order for you to succeed in this, here is the list of things you should focus on:
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Build on your strengths and neutralize your weaknesses by learning necessary techniques and methods.
  • Improve your Speed and Accuracy. Learn new techniques and acquire a competitive advantage.
  • Choose which questions to answer. It is always good to answer ‘some’ questions correctly, rather than answering ‘all’ questions wrongly. But, the ability to choose the right questions to answer is a key strategy necessary to succeed.
  • Effectively decide how to approach answering a question. Like most things in life, it is our decisions which define our direction. Choose the most efficient way to answer questions so that you can avoid doing lengthy calculations and get smart by learning short cuts.
Tips apart, it’s your commitment to prepare with professional support that defines your success.

TalentSprint serves as a launch-pad with a course that equips you with all the inputs needed for you to crack the Aptitude Test in an IT job recruitment. The curriculum of this online course is designed to match the industry standards. A never-before ‘Free Trial Access’ facility is provided to young IT aspirants with one week free limited access to the course content.

To succeed in your very first job aptitude test, check our IT Placement Readiness Programs on Aptitude and Communication Training. We wish you all the best!!
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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Youth Employability through Skill Development - CONFLUENCE 2014


Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam rightly said India’s biggest crisis is not unemployment but unemployability. Well, this was said a few years ago, but the situation hasn’t changed much. However, a handful of organizations are turning the course of Indian education in their pursuit for perfection. They are exploring new options, channelizing challenges and identifying solutions that raise the quality of education to match the standards of today’s corporates.

In the wake of need for such a strategy, TalentSprint along with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is conducting CONFLUENCE 2014, a seminar to discuss the strategies and best practices that promotes the profile and increases the popularity of Academic Institutions in the eyes of the industry and employers. The theme of this event that will be held in Chennai is RISING EMPLOYER EXPECTATIONS: A CRISIS OR AN OPPORTUNITY.

TalentSprint and NSDC have been working relentlessly to improve the ecosystem of Skill Development and Youth Employability in the country. With huge number of college graduates entering the workforce every year, India has the potential to provide workforce for the world by 2020. And yet here we are today with awfully low employability rates in metropolitan cities like Chennai, Delhi and Bengaluru. The reasons for such low employability rate are lack of language skills, outdated syllabus, insufficient practical sessions and absence of career counselling facilities. To deal with such a situation, IITs across the country have tied up with various organizations to improve their students’ soft skills and hard skills.

Given this scenario, CONFLUENCE 2014 strives to create a common platform for industry experts, college representatives and policy makers to discuss, share and improve the approach of academia towards employability skills.

CONFLUENCE 2014, offers a platform to hear the views of people who are shaping education in India.  The eminent panel of speakers include Dr. C Rangarajan, Chairman, Madras School of Economics, Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education, Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director & CEO of NSDC, Anupam Pahuja, GM Technology of PayPal Asia Pacific, Yogesh Agiwal, General Manager - Corporate Human Resource Development of Wipro and KV Vishnu Raju, Chairman of Sri Vishnu Educational Society.

If you are a part of the employability ecosystem as an academician, policymaker or someone responsible for hiring talent in a corporation, you just cannot afford to miss this event. Be a part of CONFLUENCE 2014, one of the most high profile event for anyone associated with either imparting or learning employability skills. So, block your calendar from 10 AM TO 1 PM on Nov 1st to be a part of this seminar that will aim to not just discuss but arrive at a solution for the great employability challenge faced by millions of graduates every year.
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

An Introduction to Python Programming Language

On the sidelines of the PyCon, an annual event conducted by the Python Developer Community, Sridhar K Sr Vice President at TalentSprint, chats with two masterminds from the Academic Community behind the ongoing Python revolution in India, Professor Prabhu Ramachandran from IIT Mumbai and Asokan Pichai, the Head of Learning and Development at TalentSprint. PyCon innovatively named by combining Python and Conference aims at using and developing the Python programming language. Pycon India, 2014 was held in Bangalore.

Kenneth Gonsalves is the man behind PyCon India. Kenneth was instrumental in forming the Indian Python Software Society and served as director of the society for the first year. His work and efforts have considerably shaped the community and in his memory, the ‘Kenneth Gonsalves Award’ is instituted to honor and celebrate the efforts of people in popularizing and evangelizing Python language. This trophy for the year 2014 is awarded to Prabhu Ramachandran. He is the alumnus of the IIT Madras, Department of Aerospace engineering  and is presently a professor of the same field at IIT Mumbai. When asked about his feeling on achieving this award, Prabhu says, “It is an honour to be recognized, especially from an academic perspective as it increases the awareness among the students thereby helping the goal of Python community take a step ahead by popularizing it.” Prabhu was associated with Pycon from the very first conference and was also the Keynote Speaker at the conferences held in Argentina and Singapore.

In academics, the most commonly used softwares are MATLAB, Mathematica etc. They seem all perfect for the purpose they were designed for; but there on the flipside there are some limitations too like high costs etc. This is where Python comes into picture. A broad language and open source like Python is very useful to fill those gaps. Speaking about the Scientific Python community, Prabhu says, “Python is a broad language and its usage is not just limited to computers. It can be used in scientific community. A vibrant community of scientists are on the way to create a “Scientific Python Ecosystem”. The most popular projects in the history of Python like iPython Interpreter, Notebook are from Scientific Python community, he quotes.

Free & Open Source Software for Science and Engineering Education (FOSSEE) project  is the initiative of  Ministry of Human Resources and Development in India under umbrella of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology. It aims at minimizing the use of commercial tools in academics and improve the educational quality in the country. The goals are set in the view of expensive academic tools like MATLAB etc which be accessed only through purchasing their licenses. To make the students aware of the open source tools like SciLab, Python which are useful in college and even beyond.

Asokan Pichai with his experience as a methodological teacher, mentor and instructor was as a part of this project for 3 years. He mentored the teams, helped in instructional design of the workshop material and also played an advisory role. The unique feature of these materials is that they are Recipient-driven, which means the material enables the trainees to use the concepts immediately after grasping them. They have conducted 30 workshops to colleges across in the country including professors and students.

A whole new software project the team is working on is called OSCAT which is the replacement of OrCAD for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). Different groups are dedicated to different branches like the OpenFORM, Simpy, Coin-OR optimization toolbox and many others. This huge government funded project aims to increase the use of this open source software not just in science but in ‘education’.

Speaking on the impact made by this project on Indian educational system Prabhu says the team has started off with workshops, but the approach seemed restricted. And obvious solution to increase the spread of this project is to launch it online. The FOSSEE project after initiating online has taken up two initiatives:
  • 1000 teacher course which aims at honing the skills of the faculty across. Prabhu along with Asokan Pichai and Professor Madhu Belur have successfully trained 1000 teachers in the course ‘Software Engineering for Engineers and Scientists’ across India at one-go. This was semi-online course which included live video classes to teachers located at various parts of the country and was supported by the trained coordinators at all trainee locations. After the session, there would be an online chat session for the clarification of doubts. An online assessment tool was developed to test the effectiveness of the course. 
  • Development of learning material which enables self-learning. The main aim is to make the material amiable to the learners. Also, the Spoken Tutorials have reached many students across the country. Lakhs of people are getting trained through the online courses of FOSSEE project.
A series of international conferences called, SciPy are held all across the world. The US gathering is called SciPy and the Europe variant is EuroScipy. Scipy India was initiated in 2009 and was managed by Prabhu ever since its initiation in 2009. The Scipy India is held from Dec 5-7 this year.

There is a significant increase in the number of people who are aware of Python and online courses are behind this. SciPy India sees good number of interested individuals who are from non-IT background. They explore the opportunities, learn their features and fit them into their fields giving a form to their ideas.

On a commercial side, even companies like Enthought have started using it. Enthought is a company which develops Python related toolkits and provides high-end training programs in this field. So, FOSSEE provides these classroom trainings which have been very successful because of the availability of highly knowledgeable faculty. But again due to its less approach, an online version was launched. Called as the “Training on Demand” it can be purchased online. However, the courses are available for free of cost for academic purposes. Prabhu said the course content is not a simple slide show but a congregation of illustrations, graphs. The USP of these courses is that they are provided by scientists and engineers with profound details. The courses that are targeted for specific categories of scientists are in pipeline.


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Thursday, 9 October 2014

SBI PO 2014 Results Declared



The long-awaited results of SBI PO exam held earlier this year are released. Click here to check your results. The Central Recruitment and Promotion Department of the Corporate Center, SBI has declared the results. This marks the end of Phase I in the Selection Procedure of Probationary Officers, 2014.

The qualified candidates who have passed the acid test i.e., Written Exam seem content and happy. They are now just 2 levels away from their dream job. Having cleared the 250-mark exam, the next hurdles in this race are Group Discussion and Interview, accounting for 20 and 30 marks respectively. The qualifying marks in both these rounds will be decided by the Bank. The Phase II i.e., Group Discussion and Interview would begin from 8th Oct, 2014 according to the notification. The shortlisted candidates can download the Call Letter for GD and Interview along with the Bio-data Form at SBI website starting 15th Sept, 2014. The qualified candidates would be intimated about the same through SMS and email. For more updates the candidates are recommended to follow the SBI website regularly.

The shortlisted candidates have to carry a set of certificates while attending the interview. To know the list of certificates click here.  Failing to submit them would lead to the cancellation of the candidature.

The Final Selection demands the qualification of a candidate in both Phase I and Phase II. The whole of 300 marks in SBI PO Recruitment Process are condensed to 100: Written exam marks are converted to 75 and GD & Interview marks to 25. The final merit list is made based on the marks obtained by candidates out of 100. The list of candidates qualified in Phase II and the list of candidates finally selected will be presented on the Bank’s website.  The Final Selection List will be published in Employment News/ Rozgar Samachar.




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