Random Thoughts

September 5, 2012

There is no Limit. Dream On !

Filed under: Inspira, Life — Tags: , , , , , — Vivek R @ 3:22 AM

Dream on, my friend. It’s an endless possibility out there !


You can also check my “What are you going to do with this life of yours” viral post, Reflective, which is similar to this.


September 4, 2012

Success rates of different streams in UPSC Exam 2009

Filed under: Inspira — Tags: — Vivek R @ 4:32 PM

Success rates of different streams in UPSC Exam 2009

What to choose ? A job with a Bachelors or A masters in Humanities ??

July 28, 2012

CSAT is changing, O , Indain Aspiring Souls !!!

Filed under: Inspira — Tags: , — Vivek R @ 2:04 AM


In case pattern changes in 2013

(There is a speculation that optional subjects might be removed and replaced by compulsory papers)


You must read our article on ‘Expected Changes in IAS Mains Exam‘ analytically and try to figure such subjects (or subject knowledge) which will retain their importance and prominence even in the revised pattern. For example your knowledge in General Studies, Public Ad, Pol Sc, Geography, Sociology, Economics, etc would not go waste even in the revised pattern. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time on acquiring knowledge (by learning such optional subjects) which you feel UPSC might not be interested to check/test you on in the revised pattern and the pattern changes, then you will end up wasting that much time.


How to prepare for Civil Services 2013 exam?
What and exactly how the Mains pattern will change in 2013 is unclear. UPSC is expected to announce the changes by or after September 2012. Till then, I suggest, you keep your focus on (start your preparation in) Prelims (GS and Aptitude) and Mains (General Studies and Essay writing) but do not focus on irrelevant optional subjects.


Level 1: Self study (laying foundation)
The basic guideline at the start of the preparations for both Preliminary and Main Examination is to read NCERT books on related subjects. There is no substitute for them. One should refrain in the beginning from reading guidebooks, as they load you with information, but with very little concept.


Reference material at Level 1
NCERT Books: Social Studies
• Civics: 6th – 10th standard
• Political Science: 11th and 12th standard
• Geography: 6th – 12th standard
• Sociology: 11th and 12th standard
• History: 6th – 12th standard
• Economics: 9th – 12th standard (latest edition)

NCERT Books: General Science
• Physics, Chemistry, Biology: 9th and 10th Standards


For Current Affairs and General Knowledge (make a habit of reading newspapers and magazines regularly and analytically. The events of National and International which effect human lives at large are important from General Studies point of view)

• The Hindu, Times of India, Frontline, The Economist, Pratiyogita Darpan


Level 2: Targeted Study (structured approach)
Once you get familiar with the basic concepts of General Studies, have refreshed your memory with basic knowledge acquired in various disciplines of Social Studies and General Science (in school), it is time for you to adopt a targeted and structured approach towards the Civil Services Exam. When you enter this level, you must start your preparation in at least General Studies (Mains and Prelims) + CSAT (or Aptitude test). The syllabus of General Studies of Preliminary and Mains stage is not different. Instead, the list of contents is more or less the same, only the pattern of questions asked is different. The Preliminary exam, which is objective type, requires careful scanning of option choices and arriving at the right answer choice (using the elimination technique) in the least possible time, whereas Mains exam requires you to write an analysis or a descriptive-essay type answer (based on the facts) for a question.


Therefore, you must start preparing for General Studies of both Preliminary and Mains together and in an integrated manner. Also, you must start preparing for Aptitude Test/CSAT alongside. This is because Aptitude test is a practice based paper and therefore you should spread the contents of this paper across the entire duration of General Studies preparation and practice them regularly.


Reference material at Level – II
At this level, you must follow:
For General Studies
• Rau’s IAS study material + focus on notes and lectures delivered in class + Substantiate this by going through the special editions of Pratiyogita Darpan in Geography, History, Indian Economics and Indian Polity.
• For Aptitude (CSAT)
Rau’s IAS study material+ Wren and Martin Grammar book

Be careful to what you might pick and study in the area of Aptitude testing from the market. The CSAT is an Aptitude Test modified to test the competency of a prospective IAS officer who ensures social justice and takes decisions under the shadow of ethics. All Aptitude Tests are modified Intelligence Tests (IQ Tests). Under the axiom that human intelligence is a function of two skills – Ability to express thoughts better and understand what others have to convey, and Cognitive Ability, all aptitude tests check for Verbal and Numerical Ability, with a smattering of Reasoning questions.
Apart from this CSAT, being a test of recruitment to Civil Services, will test whether a candidate can handle the kind of Decision Making under the shadow of Ethics that an ideal IAS is capable of.


For Current Affairs and General Knowledge
• You must make a regular habit of writing at least one page on current affairs and contemporary events, issues and affairs every day, of what you observe from newspapers/news, magazine, etc. Besides regularly reading Frontline and Pratiyogita Darpan you must refer to Manorama Year Book + India Year Book (GoI).


Copied form here.

October 7, 2011

iTribute to Steve Jobs.

Filed under: Inspira, Life, Tec — Tags: , , — Vivek R @ 12:08 AM

His Last para in his Stanford Speech (one of my ALL time Favs ).

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

That reflects his true self. I am honoured to be the one, who saw him passing by. Here are some responses by so called eminent people about Jobs:

John Sculley, former chief executive of Apple, said: ‘

Steve Jobs was intensely passionate at making an important difference in the lives of his fellow humans while he was on this planet. He never was into money or measured his life through owning stuff. The world knows Steve Jobs as the brilliant genius who transformed technology into magic. A part of Steve still lives within all of us through his beautifully designed products and his no-compromises media experiences. Steve Jobs captured our imagination with his creativity. His legacy is far more than being the greatest CEO ever. A world leader is dead, but the lessons his leadership taught us live on.’

Larry Page, co-founder and chief executive of Google, said:
‘He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it.
Dick Costolo, chief executive of Twitter, said:
‘Once in a rare while, somebody comes along who doesn’t just raise the bar, they create an entirely new standard of measurement. RIP SteveJobs’.
Tony Blair :
‘His memory will serve as a symbol of what the human mind can achieve.’
(This is my Fav again !!) Obama :
“And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”
RIP Steve Jobs. And Everyone Out there , Stay hungry , Stay Foolish !
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