Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Funny Mistakes in Resumes


Being the Head of the Department of Civil Engineering in my University, I have to shortlist for interview from hundreds of resumes that we get when we advertise for a Faculty position. Some of the resumes are written so badly with so many mistakes that it does not even take a minute to reject them. Some of them are so funny that you will have a good laugh before disposing them off to the trash. Here are few of them.
The post advertised is Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering where ability to handle undergraduate class is the main requirement. See the objective written by one of the candidate. Does it have anything to do with the job advertised?
 Now another candidate was writing in his resume about the past experience. He was writing about his salary in his previous job. See what he has written. What is this “Concern”?
The another interesting salary drawn by another candidate in one of his previous job. Rs 10,00,000 /km; Since when one started earning his salary in kilometer?
You are applying for the post of Assistant Professor; since when ability to drive a two wheeler a criteria for selection?
These are just samples. I can easily write a book compiling the mistakes I see in resumes. When will people realize the importance of writing an error free resume that suits to the job profile?

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is Kamal Haasan being Victimized for Praising P Chidambaram?

Updated on 30/1/13: My views are now shared by so many others including former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi; I wonder where is freedom of speech in this country?

Written on 29/1/13:
The way Tamil Nadu government banned Kamal Haasan movie “Viswaroopam” and the way government defended the banin high court makes everyone feel that more than law and order it is other motives that led to the ban of this movie. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is known for her arrogance and everyone knows that she will go to any level to satisfy her ego. Does the speech (see the video below) given by Kamal, praising Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, whom Jayalalitha considers her enemy No 2 after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi reason for banning Viswaroopam? Knowing the way this lady has behaved in the past this can very well be the reason.
Let us not play politics over a movie, that too a movie of such a big budget. It needs someone with courage to invest 95 crores in a Tamil movie and let us give him a fair chance to showcase his product to the world. Let us stop playing politics.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Biogas Plant - A Success Story from Trivandrum

Last couple of times when I visited my house, I noticed one distinct thing – the number of crows and stray dogs have reduced considerably. I realized that this was possible due to the installation of 1m3 capacity biogas plant in my house. Biogas plant not only provides part of the energy that is required in our house, but it also helps to keep our house clean. I am publishing an interview with my parents who have installed this plant in our house and making it run successfully since then so that it can serve as an inspiration for someone to install the same in their house.
When and why did you decide to install biogas plant in your house?
First thought of biogas plant came when government increased the price of cooking gas and imposed a restriction on number of cylinders. Our passion for use of non-conventional energy also played a role. We have long back installed solar panels in our house that is used to heat the water we use daily in our house.
These days Kerala government is encouraging people to install biogas plant so that solid waste generated in the corporation/municipalities can be treated at source itself. Did you get any help from the government for installing this biogas plant?
The plant was installed by BIOTECH – a Government of India company. The total cost of this 1m3 plant is Rs 23,000/- and the government gave us a subsidy of Rs 5,000/-. The installation is free and has a warranty of 20 years.
Can you enlighten us more about this biogas plant in your house – details such as how much gas it generates in a day, what type of waste needs to be used and any other important considerations?
The 1m3 plant is ideal for a nuclear family of four members. Almost all the waste from kitchen generated from vegetables, fruits, food, fish and meat can be used. The liquid generated during initial washing (without soap) can also be used. Thus 3 kilogram of solid waste and 20 liters of wastewater (coming out of washings) is required every day for the optimum generation of biogas. Make sure that you do not put in any dry leaves, waste from lemon related fruits, onion peal, hard materials that is not easily biodegradable.
Our idle time can be used to fill the plant. No technical know-how is needed. Once these waste materials are fed, methane gas will be produced 4 hours after application till 24 hours and under optimum conditions, a single stove could provide gas for 3 hour duration.
How many hours a day you spend on a day to make this biogas unit work?
It just requires 30 minutes of your time daily.
So all the waste generated in the house (other than of course plastic) goes into your biogas plant. Now can you tell me any other advantages you have observed using biogas plant other than three hours of cooking fuel it generates?
Cleanliness of the surroundings is the main advantage. There is an appreciable reduction in the stray dogs wandering in our house. There is also huge reduction in crows or rats or houseflies around compared to the time when we did not have a biogas plant.
You told that you are getting three hours of cooking fuel from this biogas plant. Obviously the consumption of LPG cylinder you use to buy regularly could have reduced considerably. Can you please tell us how many cylinders you use before installation of biogas plant and now in your house?
Earlier we used eight cylinders per year and also we used induction cooker daily for an hour. Now we don’t use induction cooker at all. From the point of view of electricity we are saving close of 45 units per month. Earlier LPG gas cylinders were purchased almost every 45 days but after installation of biogas plant, LPG cylinder last for close to 75 days. We now require only 5 gas cylinders per year instead of 8 we used to have when we did not have biogas plant in our house.
What do you do with the slurry (waste) from the biogas plant? Is it easy to dispose off?
The slurry obtained is a good source of organic manure. The concentrated liquid obtained can be diluted and is ideal as manure for banana plantation and various vegetables. We believe if waste from vegetable market and hotels are used in biogas plant, the manure will be more efficient. We use these manure in our backyard and we are seeing a appreciable improvement in the growth of all the vegetables and banana plantation.
Any advice to anyone thinking of installing a biogas plant like this in their house?
Anyone can install this in their house if one person can spend about 30 minutes a day in preparing the feed for the biogas plant.  
Do you mind if others contact you for details?
Interested people can contact us over phone or visit us to understand its working, space required to install it and other technical aspects of this biogas plant. We are more than happy to help them out. Our phone number to contact is 0471-2384950.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Belling" the CAT Exam…

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(This blog post is written by final year Civil Engineering student of VIT University and my student Mr. Kunal Kishan, narrating his preparation for CAT Exam and his experiences on the day of exam. This was written as a note by him in his Facebook Page and I thought it was written well; with his permission I am publishing it here)
Floodgates from the skies had opened and it seemed as if rain gods had decided that this was the last time earth would receive a rainfall and were intent on blessing us as much as they could.. It was  9.03 am , 22nd of October ..and I was running for my dear life..

It all started on 31st July , on the dinner table
Me : I’ll write the CAT..
Sumit (aka Masoom aka LKD ): Are you nuts?? No preparation..
Me : I just want to know where I stand.. it’ll fun..
Masoom(in all masoomiyat) : Duh!! Give a mock test.. Give us a treat worth 1600 bucks.. that’ll surely be fun..

Well, let’s not make it over-dramatic… I was running, true, but I was in no immediate mortal peril, so that’s that!!!  Now , as I waddled through knee deep water on the busiest road in Poonamallee ( a stone’s throw from Chennai , if the Great Khali threw that stone) , I could not resist admiring the talent of  the CIVIL ENGINEERS who somehow had managed to construct a highway that can be converted to a swimming pool within 15 minutes of rain… I ran with all the strength I could muster , my back pack swaying and hitting me on my back with each step as my hotel loomed into sight .. Nearly there... I panted even in my thoughts... My hair (damn those straight hairs, hair salon visit a must) got into my eyes and poked with more excruciating effect than that random irritating guy who keeps poking us on FB.. I turned just in time to see and avoid a bus whose driver definitely thought that sounding the horn was so old school and it was better to knock the dumb guy off the road... 

To better explain the reason of my ordeal, I would have to revisit the details of what transpired in the last 2 hours of this marathon effort of mine…
As many intelligent people among you must have guessed and that too guessed correctly… I did put my plan of writing the CAT to work… The other spectrum of this fact remains that during my preparation, starting right from the process of filling the form, I remained as confused as a child in a topless bar.. we’ll get to this later… I promise..

For now, let me begin at the events that began at 7:20 am that very fateful day…  Me and Sam set out towards the centre from our hotel… As the time to reach was 8:30 (although the exam starts at 10), we had our breakfast and set out early… As it happened, in our haste to reach early I somehow managed to forget my College ID card inside the hotel room.. Luckily, as we stepped out of the hotel, I remembered that I was not carrying it… 

Me : Shit!!! I left my ID card…
Sam (who thought that I left my ID at college ) :Any other document??
Me : Only this Passbook.. which is worthless without the ID.. Arghhh
Sam tried to comfort me and said, “Don’t worry.. That won’t matter..” 

Now, you and I both know that’s utter bullshit… Sam knew it too… It does matter… But it worked… And I thought, “What the hell , why go back to the room for the ID” . Let’s go… Big mistake… 

The inevitable happened… As the gate to the centre opened… Sam was the first person to enter and yours truly had to face the ignominy of being the first to be kicked out… It sucked… 

And to those who are wondering... Yes I did plead… I did beg... And that too desperately… But all I ever got in response was a monotonic “we’ll have to talk to the supervisor”… Even Pakistani Cricketers know more English than that… It was not until 8:47 am that I decided that if I hurry, go back to my hotel, hurry some more, take my identity card and hurry even more, I should make it back in time... Finally the gatekeeper uttered more words… “9:45 is the deadline… Don’t bother coming back after that”. I thanked him and started running back shouting all the obscenities I could in my mind… 

Of all things going wrong, the overpriced hotel room ,  the horrible breakfast , the miscommunication about ID, the arduous journey , the kicking out , and fully clothed shower .. Some good finally happened as I reached to my hotel room well within time (a stray dog standing in front of the door took 2 and half of my precious minutes)... I took the ID card, stuffed my bag with extra pair of clothes and rushed back hopeful of reaching back in time… 

Half a dozen crossing vehicles decided that being drenched in rain was not enough and sprayed as much mud on me as they could with much gusto… It felt like being a one-legged person in a bum kicking competition... everyone takes a free hit at you...  How could my ordeal have ended there... No sir... This time around there were no buses or autos available to take me back… Damn this rain... 2  bike lifts ,3 mini heart attacks and a lot of running later I reached back at 9:43.. just in time.. Wished for no more surprises and entered…The last person to enter…

How we wish that our wishes come true.. but… they seldom do.. I looked for a washroom to change into dry clothes.. none found.. Ergo had to change behind the green hospital ward type curtains kept for checking of girls... (No girl was present.. It was me and only me there)... The dumb gatekeepers didn’t even let me carry my handkerchief inside... I was wet and the freaking AC was on… The water retaining structure to my patience almost broke and I almost yelled.. WHY ME??  .

Sam saw me across the hall gave me a thumbs up and I sat down quietly… 
Saw a pretty girl next to my seat , said to myself, there goes my chances of writing the CAT seriously.. Just kidding , this bit never happened.. Thankfully :D 

P.S. – I compared my preparation for the CAT with the predicament of the kid (the one in a topless bar.. remember.. yes, I knew, you certainly would)
* I had a full cumulative total of 8 hours of preparation ahead of me
* Had to go for a job interview the evening of CAT
* Before all this , asked Sam that morning.. How many questions are asked and how many minutes are given to solve??..
P.P.S – 85 percentile… after all this.. not bad.. eh!! :D :D
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Sunday, January 06, 2013

State of Indian Cricket Team – In Software Language

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Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina go on a victory runMost of the time I follow cricket match in Cricinfo website. Their live commentary is too good and the best part I like about their commentary is that they publish interesting comments from the people following cricket from across the globe. During the third one day match between India and Pakistan played in New Delhi, there were some interesting comments published that analyzed the state of India cricket using software language. I found it very interesting and here are few of those comments. Most of them are very imaginative.
 "I think the problem of India is most likely a programming error. The coding "IF (VS SRI LANKA, WIN, ELSE LOOSE)" should be recoded," says Ameega. Is there a BREAK for the loop they are currently stuck in? 
Zeeshan: "@Ameega: I think there is a problem in import fletcher.coach file. Its throwing illegal reference exception." 
Osama: "@Zeeshan, unfortunately for Indians, there's no appropriate catch handler for the exception thrown."
Hammad: "the only solution is - fletcher GOTO Exit; ' 
Karthik: "/* Everything we say about the Indian team are 'comments', and it doesn't really alter the program. */" 
Danny: "@ameega I think you need to re-boot team India
Uzair: "I think there is a virus in Indian Cricket System that needs to be removed." 
Salman: "oh gosh comments took over by IIT people how a IIM guy can comment now have to make some STRATEGY to divert" 
Arshath: "@ Zeeshan: Our new PM Ganguly would try to handle by merging the class " 
Ali: "@Usama: reloading the earlier dump of import Kirsten.Coach file might work. But did they take any back up for it at that time?"

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