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Total Recall

February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013

As students prepare for the exam season memory training expert Shalu Bhambri provides tips




Speed reading


Reading is the basis of all learning. Move your index finger as you read. This increases reading speed and enhances concentration.

Every sentence has two to four key words which contain the essence of the topic. Circle these words. They draw your attention to the gist and act as memory ticklers during revision. Key words save 60per cent of your revision time.

Pinch yourself every time your mind wanders. The moment you realise you are day dreaming, start read aloud and make tiny margin notes.

Avoid thinking about results, holidays or career options while studying.


Revising a chapter


Use the above steps and run through the headings and sub headings to get a broader picture.

Speed read the paragraphs, focus on key words.

Recall/ recite the points loudly. Silent reading is faster but difficult portions must be read out loud. Use all your senses while learning i.e. eyes, ears, hands, mouth and the mind. This hammers the material in your memory. ‘Read-mark-recall-reread’ strategy can work wonders.


Fast and Frequent Revision Technique (FFRT)


FFRT means speed reading through the material while focusing on the key words followed by recollection. This is to be done same day, next day and end of the week. By following this religiously, you will develop a strong memory.


Stress v/s positive time pressure


Stress reduces productivity, but positive time pressure enhances learning. Always set 40 minute targets. This gives your brain a job at hand and a deadline to complete it. This will help increase learning speed and concentration.


Brain diet


Oxygen is the super food for your brain. Slow and deep breathing for five minutes with your eyes and ears closed enhances concentration. Practicing anulom vilom pranayam will keep you relaxed and focused.

Physical exercise or outdoor activities for 20-30 minutes is a must.

Popping some vitamins, almonds etc also help.


Keep it simple


Oral/ mental recitations — clear concepts and make learning solid.

Mock tests — show your level of preparation and bring out weak areas.

Use the internet for studying — since picture format sticks better to your memory.

Avoid new notes — switch to mind maps and 3D notes.

Take short breaks —every 40-50 minutes and switch subjects twice a day.

Bedtime revision — flip through the key words at the end of the day.

Lastly enjoy your studies. Learning is not a punishment. Stop dreaming about the future too. Live in the moment and make the most of it.


Be Confident

February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


Source –

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013


With the CBSE board exams on March 1, Geetanjali Kumar, CBSE counsellor, offers last-minute tips to students on how to cope with stress and be best prepared.


All set for the show. That should be the right spirit. You have been studying hard, so you must be well-prepared for the exams. Do not let stress or fear have any impact on your confidence level. If you have any negative thoughts, do not bottle up. Rather, confide in someone you trust. The board exams may be the all-important thing right now, but in the bigger scheme of life, it will play a smaller role.


Last-minute revision

•    Find a quiet and a comfortable place to study, with minimum distractions and minimum background noise

•    Keep everything you need, ready in hand

•    Ensure enough time to revise

•    Use technology – Record the important points, definitions, formulas, dates and listen to them as and when you feel

•    Work on a time table so that you can track and monitor your progress

•    Allow time for fun and relaxation

•    When you notice that you lack concentration, take a short break

•    Do not waste time in reading the entire book. Just scan through the important points, examples, diagrams, tables and charts, etc

•    For last-minute revisions, use memory aids, which are quick and easier to memorise. Use numbers, acronyms, mnemonics, stories, flowcharts, spider webs, etc.

•    To retain information, while reading, follow the text with a pencil and whisper the text to yourself to ensure progress

•    Frequent mock tests with sample papers may be helpful

•    Take adequate rest between two study slots – a brisk walk, a game of basket ball or badminton or a stroll in a nearby market to relax and unwind

•    A healthy diet with fruits and fresh liquid ensure active learning. Avoid experimenting with new dishes in the last few days so that you don’t fall sick

•    Light breathing exercises or listening to music, reading few pages of a book or catching up with your favourite serial for half an hour are all positive stress busters

•    Sleep adequately in the days just before the exams

•    Studying in groups can also help validate one’s preparations, apart from clarifying certain doubts

•    Do not ignore diagrams, tables or graphs or maps given in your text books

•    Practice for a legible handwriting by writing big and bold. Devise a personal strategy and put it to practice in the last lap before the exams:

•    Scan the test paper

•    Start with the easiest

•    Move on and come back

•    Allot time to each question

•    Neat and clean answer sheets

•    Revise


Do not pick up a new book or a new topic in the last few days. Make sure you keep all things — admit card, pens, pencils, scale, etc — you need to carry on the day of the exam in one place. Confirm and visit the examination venue before the exam. Discuss the transportation time and mode with your parents.


As told to Aaditi Isaac



Writing Section

February 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


Even as India gallops toward First World status with its booming economy, roaring stock market and rapid progress in autos and steel–it is still a giant back-yard sweatshop to the world, full of underage boys and girls working to earn a living.

The Menace of Child Labour
• “Government says that I have a right to live. I want to go to school and to achieve something in life. But the situation in my house makes it compulsory for me to go to work,” says 12 year old Mukesh. This is a common plight of India. Innumerable children being deprived of their childhood inspite of the fact that our political leaders make tall promises to alter the situation.

• The government says that it should provide for the physical, mental and social development of children. But what has the government actually done about this? A large number of children are mentally and physically challenged. When will the government provide the best for children’s health? Will it take one, two or three years or twenty years or what????
• Apparently the fact remains that Child labour is widely practised in almost every part of the world.
• Child Labor is referred to as Child Abuse. This is because the Child needs the energy to grow up but all the energy is spent in the work leaving no energy to grow up physically, mentally and socially.
• The disadvantage of child labor is that you are taking the short lived time out of a child’s life when he should be getting a good education and having fun with his peers.
• Every time you buy an imported handmade carpet, an embroidered pair of jeans, a beaded purse, a decorated box there’s a good chance you’re acquiring something fashioned by a child.
• “There are many, many household items that are produced with forced labour and not just child labour,” says Bama Athreya, executive director of the International Labor Rights Forum in Washington, D.C. It’s a fact of a global economy, and will continue to be, as long as Americans incomes in emerging economies remain low. If a child is enslaved, it’s because his parents are desperately poor.

• The first cause is illiteracy where some parents never went to school thus they find it very difficult to educate children since they do not know the importance of learning.
• This causes children to be helping parents in doing home activities alongwith earning a livelihood.
• Young girls who are forced into early marriages have to work to fend for themselves.
• In cases where both parents are dead, the orphans usually lack some support which is vital in their upbringing, so they end up doing jobs while they are still very young in order to survive.
• Poverty is another cause for the parents not attaining basic needs or school fees for their children, the children then decide to get employed somewhere in order to earn a living.
• Lack of employment due to which parents lack jobs and are unable to support their families. Thus forcing the children to look for jobs so as to increase the family’s income.
• The government spends crores of rupees in conducting surveys about the number of children involved in Child Labour. But the fact remains that the money wasted on the survey can be spent more usefully on their basic problems.

Ways to combat the problem
• If the rights of children are protected – from the village level to the national level –the situation will change.
• They should get education which is appropriate and which will help them in their life.

• Working children cannot be abruptly pulled out from work. Before that, alternative arrangements have to be made because all children have a right to survival.
• If the government carries out all its work keeping the good of children in mind, children will automatically realise their right to social security.
• Child labour can be eradicated if parents would send their children to schools to get education which will be of use to them in future in getting jobs.
• Children should be encouraged to have a positive attitude towards education.

• The Government should assist those in need and should encourage people to work hard to reduce poverty.

• Orphaned children should be assisted and brought up by their relatives so as not to go to waste.

• Parents should work to cater for their family needs and not send young children to work so that they can assist them.

• Early marriages should be banned especially in cases where the girls are still schooling.

• Job opportunities should be availed to reduce lack of employment especially to people who have families to cater for.
• Teaching people (and especially parents) the disadvantages of child labour through mass media,
• Making strict laws concerning child labour and punishing severely all those who try to disobey the law or are found employing kids should serve a heavy punishment
• Improvements should be made on the economy and free basic education should be offered.

• The gap between the poor and the rich should be minimized. This can be done by eradicating poverty by creating more job opportunities.
• Also it should ensure that the economy of the country goes up so that even the common citizen can manage his family well.
• It should also ensure that expenses for school are not so high to enable the lower class man to send his son or daughter to school instead of sending them to look for jobs.
• Non-governmental organizations should also give a helping hand by collaborating with the government to educate the nation about the dangers of child labour .


Writing section

February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized



Tourism has become a flourishing trade around the world and the prime source of earning foreign exchange. Some of the countries are thriving only on tourism. It also gives an opportunity for cultural exchange and generating employment.


Drawbacks of Tourism in India:


  • Lack of infrastructure.
  • Inadequate ways of reaching hotels.
  • Unhygienic conditions.
  • Paucity in the number of cars and coaches -especially air conditioned ones.
  • Ill-maintained roads.
  • Less number of tourist sites.
  • A visitor feels uncomfortable the moment he gets off a plane as he has to deal with a surly airport staff and touts.The taxi driver cheats him. The hotel he checks into charges him inflated rates if he is a foreigner. Not only this, while shopping or going to an eatry he is overcharged by unscrupulous shopkeepers, taxidrivers, and others.All this scares away many a tourists with sad memories which has negative effect on the future tourists.


Suggestions on how to improve:


  • We must identify the requirements of tourists regarding boarding and lodging.
  • The tourist department should endeavour to improve the facilities provided by its lodges and bunglows and make access to these tourist spots from these lodges convenient.
  • The tourist spots should be properly maintained.
  • A nodal financial institution should be maintained catering to the specific needs of tourism industry. It should be established to advance loans to hotel owners at competitive rates of interest.
  • Publicity being the backbone of tourism, the state tourism bureau should put sustained efforts to promote tourism.
  • Cultural events, such as celebration of national days, festivals should be given wide publicity.
  • Detailed information regarding venue, timings of celebration, hotel, airways and linking bus, train, taxi service should be provided.
  • Conference, cultural exchanges, leisure trips, educational trips or business trips should be segregated and facilities available be publised as an attractive package.
  • The need for standard hotels, food and lodging is a must at all tourist places.
  • A foreign tourist generally wants air-conditioned, chauffeur driven car, continental food.
  • Tourists are more interested in ethnic Indian art, dresses and culture. So, all these things should be taken care of. Folk songs and dances by renowned local  artists can make the evening colourful and enjoyable.
  • Proper sanitation and cleanliness will add to the beauty of the tourist spots and will encourage visitors.
  • Indian Railways play a significant role in the promotion of both inland and international tourism. Particular mention may be made of the special tourist trains operated by the railway ministry.
  • Tourists visiting India may not be able to spend more than two or three weeks in India and it would be desirable to formulate package tours for them, like programmes that help the visitors to see the best of India in the shortest possible time covering as many possible places. places.


The time has come for India to realize its own great potential and stop sleeping over its hidden wealth. Every state has something to offer by way of its scenic beauty, historic sites, folk arts and festivals, religious centers etc. India can be a great force to reckon with in tourism if we provide the right direction, hospitality, connectivity and infrastructure. 


Important Literature Ques.

February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Enemy


Q. What appears strange to Sadao at the end? Why?


  • At the end Sadao is not able to understand why he could not kill the stranger.
  • He makes him escape without letting anyone know about it as he was facing a dilemma throughout regarding the POW.
  • Also he felt very restless after having done the settlement with the General regarding the assassins.( Optional… write if it is a long answer )
  • Even though he saves the American he does not feel anything positive about him… remembers the other Americans in a very negative light … considers the face of the white man to be very repulsive … hence feels surprised why he could not take any action against the stranger and behave like the other Japanese.


Q. Explain the dilemma faced by Sadao and his wife.


  • Both feel the tinge of patriotism and want to act like the other Japanese.
  • Wanted to either put him back into the sea or hand him over to the officials.
  • But Sadao and Hana both could not accept the viewpoint of the servants even though they are troubled at the white man being at their place.
  • Kept on mentioning the fact in a very vocal manner that they hate the Americans and are true patriots… yet they faced all difficulties and did all that was possible for them to make the POW as much comfortable as possible.
  • The dilemma continues till the end when Sadao is not able to understand why he could not kill the stranger.



The Tiger King



  • Dewan can be called as the right hand man to the Maharaja.
  • He facilitates him in possible ways … whether it was saving the kingdom from the British officer or arranging for a bride and the kingdom having a large number of tiger population for the tiger king or making available the hundredth tiger … he is a man who can make everything possible..
  • But he does not seem to be a man who trusts the king as the king has not done anything to be trustworthy for anyone.
  • Also he cautions the king as and when possible.
  • At the same time he proves to be one of those minions of the  king who are enjoying, thriving and flourishing at the expense of the king who is not bothered about the well being of the kingdom. (give examples).



The Last Lesson


Q. How does telling the story from the point of view of young Franz affect the readers’ reaction to the story. How does this point of view help build suspense at the start of the story?


  • The story is about a very serious topic i.e. the Franco-Prussian war. It depicts the passing over of the French districts ofAlsaceandLorraineinto Prussians hands.
  • But the author Alphonse Daudet chooses to present it through the eyes of young Franz rather than a mature grown up protagonist.
  • The reader is as unaware of the situation as Franz is ….
  • When Franz enters the classroom and is surprised to see the elders sitting at the back benches and M. Hamel dressed very formally we are also keen to know the reason… thus the suspense is being built up.
  • When M. Hamel makes the announcement it is a thunderbolt for Franz as well as the readers.
  • The otherwise dull and monotonous, historical topic becomes very touching when it comes through a small child… feelings and emotions of Franz makes the situation very heart-rending.


Writing Section

February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


  • The India that we have today was never thought of by our Leaders. It is so because we are still an imperviously sovereign, incompetently socialist, illiberally secular and an immaturely democratic republic of India. We are a country of 1 billion but a nation of only 500 i.e we have a huge unutilized capacity to become a full fledged democracy, what we presently lack is the ability.
  • There are many misconceptions which breed in today’s societies and are percolating down to the younger generation. That is why politics is shunned in today’s world.Ask any 10 year old about what he wants to become when he grows up??? He would say, Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Police Officer, Cricketer but never a politician. Why so???
  • The future of a nation lies on in its polity, the citizens and thereby its youth. Today the reign of our nation lie in the hands of many incompetent politicians who are the evening of their lives.
  • On the other hand the young generation seems too pre-occupied with pressures of daily life such as education, environment, livelihood, luxury and indulgence.
  • According to them politics is that bog (marshy place) which no one would like to step into as their conscience would not allow to do so.
  • Therefore the demand of a good leader does meet any supply curve with the end result that there is no interaction as their exists no market.
  • But the fact remains that the youth has a tremendous role to play in politics.
  • As of today it might seem as uncharted territory but given time, things will improve and someone has to make a beginning. Youth has a creative outlook, a positive attitude required to face the ills of the country and yet move ahead and tackle them squarely instead of making speeches and polite conversations.
  • Youth has the zeal, enthusiasm and energy to work for various issues of our country instead of masquerading under the banner of ‘India Shining’.
  • Youth is the future of the country. There are many more issues to be dealt with than are apparent in the day to day life.
  • Our govt. machinery is unnecessarily loaded with vile bureaucrats with deep pockets always waiting and wanting to be filled endlessly.
  • So as the common but aware and educated citizens of the country we should put our hands up and take responsibility and impose our rights in this democratic land. We should get together and raise our voice in unison for the betterment of the country and for a better TOMORROW.


Writing Section

February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized




  • This is the so-called Blessing that any newly wed Indian woman gets from the elderly people in the present day society also.
  • Since times immemorial sons have been considered to be the family heirs who shall carry the family name forward.
  • Why does such a preferential treatment for the male child exist?
  • In the present scenario Gender Equality remains to be big phrase we keep talking about all the time but are yet far from achieving it.The urban areas where people are more progressive may have shown significant improvement but in rural areas where the maximum number of  Indians are settled the situation has changed a little.
  •  Families that are illiterate and in a melancholic state of poverty consider sons would be the breadwinners for their family and help increase their family income.
  • The old belief still exists that the amount of income is directly proportional to the number of working hands forgetting the fact that they
  •  also increase  the financial burden of basic necessities on the family with little job guarantee.
  • Our country’s old superstitions also profess proudly the son preference theory and are a big hurdle in breaking away from the shackles of this barrier. Such reasons have slowed our country’s  progress.
  • Sex ratio varies from 822 onwards per 1000 depending on the state.



  • Brings in additional responsibilities. History is replete with examples where girls have been kidnapped and put into illegitimate businesses such as begging, prostitution etc. and the families have been unable to track them.
  • Also the marriage of a girl child brings with it a lot of expenses  especially in areas where practices like dowry are quite prominent which still exist in plenty in this land.



  • Rather than indulging in shameful acts of burying them alive or killing  them in the foetus, we need to exterminate the factors that make a woman’s life end before it starts.
  • We need to understand that it does not matter whether we have a boy in the family or a girl. What is more important is that he/she imbibes the right values and becomes a wise person.
  • History provides us the example of the hundred Kauravas who were defeated in the battlefield by the Pandavas.
  • So what is more important is not that it is a boy or a girl but that he/she should imbibe the right values become responsible, wise and intelligent.
  • Therefore we as the responsible citizens need to resolve disparities between men and women if we want our country to rank neck to neck with the Developed countries of the world.


Let Us Change Our Mindset

February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


The gang-rape of a young woman in the national capital shook urban India.

In the surcharged atmosphere there was more anger and less reason. Impatient young people demanded not only instant justice but also the death penalty and chemical castration, which were clearly out of sync with the spirit of modern times and democratic and human rights traditions.

Forced to act to quell popular discontent, the government set up a three-member committee to look into possible changes in criminal law to ensure quicker trials and severer punishment for sexual assault of women.

The committee comprising Justice (Retd) J S Verma, former chief justice of India, Justice (Retd) Leila Seth, former chief justice of Himachal Pradesh, and Gopal Subramanian, former solicitor general of India, submitted its report within 30 days. Also Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised that his government “will be prompt in pursuing“the committee’s recommendations.

But I strongly feel – No matter how good laws are on paper, they mean little if it takes years to punish a person accused of rape. The committee has rightly pointed out that existing laws are enough; they just need to be implemented properly and quickly.

We need to understand that it was not just the failure of the government and its police and legal system. It was a collective failure of the Indian people. Those who commit offences are from this society. They are growing up in a system which has been unjust to women. Everyone wants someone else to fix the problem. No citizen wants to take the responsibility for doing his bit. The committee was pained to note that no one came forward to help the injured victim as she lay bleeding on the road.

I feel that there is a great dependence on government and laws to solve social problems. At best the laws can enable change. Laws are tools for change but they cannot on their own bring about change. The need of the hour is to take steps to change the mindset of the people of our country.

The committee’s recommendations include drastic changes in what is being taught to children in schools. There is a need to catch them young. Give the right inputs and gender sensitive values to children so that they grow up to be good citizens who respect women and do not indulge in sexual violence of any sort.

In the short term there is an urgent need to fix the legal and judicial problem. Change the laws where necessary to make them effective and change the judicial system and courts so that there is no delay in punishing the guilty.

In the long term there is a strong need to change the mindset of the people. That has to start from schools. Citizens cannot leave everything to the government and the laws.

It is the people who run the government, its police departments and its courts. It boils down to people – citizens like you and me, our parents, relatives, friends and acquaintances around us, political leaders, police officers, judges and, of course, teachers.