Archive for January, 2009

Is this a general trend in Nifty ?

January 30, 2009

Here is a plot of action on Nifty in last 5 days taken from 

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5ENSEI&t=5d&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

There seems to have a strange trend

Whatever  trend (going up or down)  emerges  within first half and hour seems to persist for whole day. Last week this happened on 4 out 5 days.  On Wednesday this did not happened. However, it is clear that on Wednesday, there was no trend in first  half an hour. 

 The same first half and hour effect was also visible on Nasdaq.

Is this just a coincidence or a general rule of stock market?

 

 

snifty

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He who learns must suffer

January 30, 2009

I don’t know why I  felt attracted towards a  quote from ancient Greek poet Aeschylus,  used by  Robert Kennedy on death of Martin Luther King. Here is the quote

He who learns must suffer

And even in our sleep,

the pain we cannot forget

falls drop by drop upon our heart,

and in our own despair,

against our will,

comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

An interesting take on genocides

January 26, 2009

There is a nice compilation of  major genocides in last century on this site

http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html

I wonder why in India we still treat  Mao or Lenin as legitimate great leaders.   I look forward to a day when  our school books will treat all criminals be it Hitler or Mao on same footing.

IIT-JEE are they worth it

January 26, 2009

Recently, I came across a number of nice  blogs from  IISc. 

http://nanopolitan.blogspot.com/

http://giridharmadras.blogspot.com/

http://iisc.wordpress.com/   

         One constant discussion  on these blogs is usefulness of  IIT-JEE.  Both Prof. Giridhar Madras and Prof. Abi  seem to agree with current discussion in media  that  it is  a  highly flawed exam.  One main criticism of JEE is that it is destroying our high school education system.   However, I am afraid that  this criticism is only partially true.   Another criticism against JEE  which came via RTI in last two years is that  a minor change in selection criteria leads to huge alteration in final result.   

Let us look at both of these criticism in more details .  

Yes! I completely agree that  it is a flawed exam. However, we should remember that  any  admission system is inherently  flawed.   One main problem with entrance exam system (be it GATE/SAT/JEE) is that  while top X% will qualify under any change of rule, while typically bottom 20-30% will change widely depending on which  system we chose to filter.   so at this level criticism is fair and one can say easily that there cannot be one metric for selection in whole courses.  For example, a score of Chemistry=100, physics=10%, Math=50% might be still ok with courses such as chemical engineering or Material Engineering  but is definitely bad for  Physics related courses.    My question is “why there should be one size fit all” kind of rule at all?    Furthermore, another way to judge between two students having very similar average marks but having  very wide variation in marks  in individual subjects  could be looking at their background. Like how they performed in their +2 or introducing some kind of affirmative action  at this level. 

Regarding second point that it is destroying our schooling system,  I would like to put forward an alternate view point in this blog.  Although, the current system has lot of flows, but from my past experiences, I can conjecture  that this is the only way people from interior of India can catch up. At least they know the rule of the game.   Yes, JEE is destroying schooling system of urban India. However, it is also providing a level playing situation for people in rural or semi-urban India. 

Regarding Kota, I know for sure that lot of students from extremely poor background goes to Kota, Bokaro, Patna to prepare for this exam. Most of these kids get such a bad schooling that if IIT-JEE was based on 12th marks, they will never get in to it. It is not the fault these students that we have two tier schooling system. The solution  suggested by Prof. Giridhar or Prof. Abi  will simply make sure that people who have bad schooling will never get into IIT’s. Just check the economic background of an average BITS Pilani student and you will know. Our problem is that schooling system in rural and semi-urban India is for most of practical purpose collapsed. Furthermore, IIT-JEE’s are nothing but economics of scarcity. Why a country as big as India is allowing only 4000 good quality undergrad engineering students? If I add NIT’s there we allow for may be another 10000 student. The ratio of demand vs supply is absurd. If the demand is for good quality engineering and medical universities why do most of Indian universities keep on having big social sciences departments? The same is true for medical studies. It is a cruel joke on Indian students that AIIMS can take only less than 100 students.

Media Gems

January 25, 2009
So, now we know that slum dwellers  in India are so poor that they never manage to watch a movie -:)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7847573.stm
    I wonder from which planet BBC hired this reporter.