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The Psychology of Voting – Indian Elections 2019 Special

Indian Election 2019Reading Time: 3 minutes

We all have voted at one point of our life. With the elections running in India, this article looks at the psychology behind voting behavior. Read on.

 

 

The election season is active in India as the voters are exercising their right to elect the next Prime Minister of India. While the Lok Sabha elections are proving to be a feisty affair as the election campaigning reach fever pitch, but how does a voter make a decision?

This article talks about the psychology of voting behavior and how research has tried to analyze elections, especially voters.

 

The Altruistic Act of Voting

 

Voting in itself is one of the most altruistic acts that a person can do. A person takes out time and makes an effort to cast his/her vote, in which he/she may not even get the reward. It is an act for the hope of greater good of society.

So, it is always interesting to know what motivates one to vote. Research over the years has tried to answer by analyzing various data sets over the years in the context of western nations. Let’s see what they talk about.

 

Party Identification

 

The most powerful indicator of a voter’s preference is his/her identification towards a particular political party. If a person, for example, has over the course of his life has always associated with one party, he/she is more likely to vote for that party.

Research has shown that this association usually strengthens as the voter gets old. So, this is a fairly strong predictor of a voter’s motivation.

 

Perception of the Candidate

 

Studies have also shown that the voter’s perception of the candidates plays an important role in their voting behavior. Election campaigning plays an important role in creating and maintaining perceptions about the candidates.

That is why most campaigns save their advertising money for the last phase of the campaign to try to have a last impression before the voter votes.

 

First Impression is the Lasting Impression

 

However, research has shown that first impressions are very powerful. It usually informs the voter early on about the candidate. So, ideally, it would be best if the candidate used his campaign money on early advertisements.

 

Excited About Newcomers

 

Another assumption among political observers is that people are cynical about politicians and often expect the worst from them. But interestingly research has shown that people are actually eager to learn about new and upcoming candidates in elections.

They actually approach the new politician with optimism and hope for someone, to be honest about his/her work. For example, when the Aam Aadmi Party came, it was earlier accepted by all as a party that would bring change in politics in India.

 

Ill-Information Works Best

 

Studies have shown that voters are especially attuned to unfavorable information about political candidates. If a voter learns a bad thing about a candidate which damages his reputation, that information is more likely to stick.

On the other hand, any good information learned by the voters about the candidate doesn’t have that much influence. So, that is why we see during election campaigning negative advertisements everywhere criticizing the opponent.

 

The Primary Effect

 

There are also various voters who remain unaffected by all the campaigning and remain undecided till the voting day. They make their decision on the voting day itself. It has been found that sometimes the undecided voter, often makes the decision based on what’s the name of the voting list.

As a result, it has been found that candidates who have the first name in the voting list, end up getting 2.3% more votes on average than other candidates. And that small percentage matters a lot in close election races.

 

To Conclude

So, no matter who you vote for in this Indian election, remember all of these ways that you, the voter is influenced into voting. Happy voting everyone, till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Braindpundits!

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Tips and Tricks of Social Networking

BrainpunditsReading Time: 3 minutes

Do you feel you don’t have that many friends? Do you feel uncomfortable approaching people? Do you want to increase your friend circle but don’t know how? The answer to these questions is already with us. This article will talk about the tips and tricks of social networking. Read on to know more.

 

When we think of our circles of friends, we normally think of our close friends. Close friends being who we share most of our thoughts, troubles, and things with. They are the ones who we know we can trust with everything.

But the number of those close friends is usually low. And while the extroverts out there are great in networking skills. People who are introverts are less so skilled. In fact, they often get anxious about reaching out to people they barely know.

Do not worry as in this post we will talk about how to keep in touch and also maintain a layered level of friendships. In order to talk about different layers of friendship, we’ll use a reference from the chemistry of S-P-D-F orbitals.

 

S-P-D-F of Friendship

 

In chemistry, the S-P-D-F orbitals represent the behavior of atoms in their sub-shells. And each sub-shell, in a way represent the stability of an atom. Let me take the liberty of using ‘SPDF’, in the context of social networking here.

Let’s consider the S-P shell as representing your close-knit friends. Few people who are close to you. Now, these are the people who introverts don’t find any hesitation keeping in contact with. And this kind of social networking is also not taxing on the self.

 

Weak Connections

 

However, it’s the other two orbitals of friends or acquaintances that we need to think about. These are people you meet but don’t have a regular touch with. You may feel at a certain point that you don’t have connections at all.

But you’d be wrong in thinking that way as we always have these connections. These are connections you know people slightly or may have met in passing. They may feel to you people of not much import.

But that is not the case as experts say that these weak connections are more likely to have different social circles. It means that you are more likely to find new ideas and opportunities in these weak ties.

 

Keeping a ‘Loose’ Touch

 

But how to keep these weak connections intact? There is a way and it can be called keeping a ‘loose touch’. It implies that you drop a casual ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ to such weak connections once in a while.

The objective here is to keep in touch them and let them know that you do have in mind their lives. You may ask what good can come out of this?

There are several reasons for this, for one in case of any setback in life – career wise for example – we tend to just focus on our strong ties. But the best way is to go to our weak or dormant ties. The reason being you are sure of your strong ties and the opportunities or help that they can give, and may not necessarily help.

But the weak ties or connections may have better opportunities or may be in a better position to help. Also, a random re-connection with a weak tie also makes you feel good about yourself.

 

To Conclude

 

So, whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, you should go about reconnecting with those weak connections of yours. You never know, when you can need help from such ties. So, grab that phone and send a ‘hi’ to a person to whom you have not talked to in a while. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits

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5 Things to do This Summer!

BrainpunditsReading Time: 3 minutes

Summer is almost here and with them come the summer holidays. If you got no clue how to spend them in a productive manner, then this post will help you. Check it out.

 

June is almost here and many of us are gearing up to face the sultry summer heat. Many of the students would have just got free from exams. So, the summer break is not only the best time to unwind but also time to learn new skills, explore new places or just pick a new habit.

 

In this post, we will talk about some of the things that you can do this summer break. These are activities which require a considerable amount of time so that is why the summer break is the ideal time do it. So, let’s have a look at them.

 

Tripping

 

One of the best ways to deal with sultry summers in the break is to go on a trip. So, pack your bags and go tripping! It is preferable to go to a hilly area to go away from the heat. There are many hill stations in India. From Shimla to Dharamshala to Manali and many more.

The ideal way is to go with your friends but if that’s not possible then a trip with your family won’t be bad either. The thing is to go out and explore new places and new experiences this summer.

 

Internships

 

For those who want to get experience in the industry then you could also join a short summer internship programs that various companies offer. You could search websites like internshala etc to apply for.

Internships are a good way to acquire new skills and learn about the corporate experience at a young age. Intern jobs could range from writing to data entry to various others. It also adds to your CV, which is a boost for you.

 

Volunteer Work

 

You could also think of doing some volunteer work in various social work centers. Volunteer work is also a great way to spend your summer time. Working with NGO’s to help other people is a noble thing to do. One not only feels grateful but also learns a lot from other people’s experiences.

There are various social work organizations in the city, where you may live. You could volunteer in old age homes, or for PETA and various others. Just do some research before going to know the goals and objectives of that particular organization.

 

Develop New Skills

 

Another thing that you can do is learn and develop new skills this summer. You could attend a summer school or a summer workshop offered by various institutions throughout India. The focus of these schools is varied and it could range from photography, photoshop, painting and much more.

These short-term courses offer you the opportunity to acquire new skills. And in today’s highly competitive world, the more skills you have the better the chances of having a good career later on. So, start planning now!

 

Focus on Body

 

Apart from working on acquiring new skills this summer, you could also put some focus on the body. By that I mean, start jogging, eating healthy and making a fit body. These things may seem trivial but a healthy body is a way to feel good about yourself and keep your mind at peace.

You could also learn swimming, which is the best way to feel fresh and healthy this summer. In the process, you will not only learn a new skill but also improve your physical shape.

 

To Conclude

 

So, these are some of the ways you can spend your summer this year. Summer holidays are best utilized when making a plan and trying to fit most of these things in. So, get on the drawing board and start planning right away. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.

 

 

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6 Tips to Cope with Bullying

BullyingReading Time: 3 minutes

Do you have kids who are facing the problem of bullying at school or at the workplace? Bullying is a very common thing in almost all spheres of spaces. In this post, we will talk about how you or your child can tackle it. Read on.

 

We all experience some form of bullying in almost all the spaces. It is a common phenomenon which if not tackled well can lead to psychological issues later in life.

Constant bullying can lead to having traumatic consequences, especially for a child. It can lead to abnormal behaviour, anxiety, to poor school performance as well. Hence, it is important to face bullying and the bully head on.

 

Definition

Now, first try to understand what bullying is all about. It is a repeated and an aggressive behaviour. It normally involves real or imagined power imbalance. No matter whether intentional or not, it ends up delivering physical and psychological harm to the other person.

It is mainly of three types. First, is by name-calling. It is the most common forms of bullying. It often is a rude taunt and also threats of violence. Second, is the exclusion of one from activities and embarrassing in front of others. And finally, there is physical bullying which includes slapping, hitting etc.

Now, the act of bullying can be done by anyone – a woman, a man, boy or a girl. It can happen anywhere – at the home, at the school, between siblings or even at the workplace. So, it’s not strictly a phenomenon of the school.

 

Tips

 

Being Confident

Confidence

The source of a bully’s power is the other person’s lack of confidence. They will lose their grip over you if stand up and be confident. If you speak with self-confidence to them, they might start respecting you and also change their behaviour around you. Be as firm as possible and that may do the trick.

 

Stay Connected

Friendship

A mechanism used by the bully is to make the victims feel alone and powerless. So, the best way, especially for a child, is to make more friends and stay connected. It helps as with more friends one feels safe and also gains self-confidence to face the bully.

 

Use of Language

 

Experts also suggest that it is advisable to use an assertive tone and an unemotional one. This means to let the bully know that you are affected by his/her behaviour but you do not intend to remain a victim of his/her bullying.

 

Set Limits

Also, the trick is to remain calm and polite when dealing with bullies but also setting right limits. Do not let the bully get under your skin as that is what he/she wants. You can try practicing your response so you are prepared the next time you face your bully.

 

Act Quickly and Consistently

 

The power of the bully depends on how long the bully has power over a victim. As time grows, the power of the hold grows. So, it is advisable to confront your bully as early as possible. Usually the bully starts early by name-calling or teasing, so confront him/her here.

 

Be Cool and Bide Your Time

 

In some cases, it is also better to avoid the bully altogether and just wait till he/her gets bored. As exchanging hostilities might just result even harmer responses. So, it is better to have a cool head and try to meet the bully in a calmer environment and have a normal conversation.

 

 

To Conclude

While these tips are good and can help you but in case if they do not, then you need to step up and contact a person of authority. As continuing being bullied can lead to disastrous consequences.

These tips also do not address the person that is the bully. What situations and circumstances have made him/her the way they are? These questions are also important to ask as they are a product of our society. But this post cannot answer such questions. So, till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

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The NIIT University Experience: Campus Visit

NIIT UniversityReading Time: 3 minutes

We are starting a new series of articles. Especially focusing on campus experiences. In this post, we cover our experience of NIIT University, Neemrana. Check it out.

 

Recently I and Bikram, the co-founder of Brainpundits, were lucky enough to be invited to visit the NIIT university campus. This post is about our experience there in the wonderful campus.

 

Beautiful Campus

 

As soon as you enter the vast campus of this recently built university, the first thing you notice is the vast number of trees around it. We are told that the whole land was once barren. And it has been an initiative by the campus itself to make it a green campus with trees all around it.

It is a sprawling campus full of passion and a vision of a strong future. The university, for now, mainly has programs related to engineering and management. As the courses range from B.Tech. to an integrated M.B.A. but after a conversation with teachers, there are plans to bring in later courses revolving around social sciences.

 

Seamlessness

 

The whole ethos of the campus revolves around one idea: Seamlessness. It means rediscovering the symbiotic relationship between nature and humanity. Not only the architecture of the campus signifies a reconnect with nature, as boundaries seamlessly mingle. But also, the spirit of seamlessness is within the faculty and students.

The infrastructure of the university is strong as it boasts hostels for both boys and girls. It is a residence university as the students have to live at the campus during their courses. A well-stocked library is complemented by curious students.

The university’s vision also features the seamless assimilation of students from NIIT campus to various big companies in the industry. It aims to fight the state of higher education in India. In a recent report, it was found that almost 80% of Indian graduates are unemployable.

 

Making things Right

 

The university aims to amend this by making the students industry ready right from the start. Courses here are research-driven, right from the start which makes it a unique place. Then there are individual research projects being headed by various faculty members on various topics.

At dinner, we meet and interact with some of the students of the university Their faces and thoughts are on the same plane with that of the university’s goals and vision. They are full of bright ideas and looking forward to their individual futures. But also mindful of the environment and how their actions affect the nature around them.

 

A campus to remember

 

Next morning, we wake up early for a little trek. The beauty of the campus is further magnified as one watches it from a hilltop. There we also plant two saplings, symbolising our connect with the place for futures to come. It is a tradition of NIIT University that every visitor plants a tree. It is a heart-warming gesture and one that we will remember for a long time.

If you happen to have some time from your busy schedule, then try visiting the university. It’s around 100 km away from Delhi and nestled around the Aravali hills. Your visit will definitely change the way you think about life and this world. Also the importance of sustainable living and education.

This is a first of kind blog post and we will cover more as we visit new and different campuses. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

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Rise of Liberal Arts Courses in India: All You Need to Know

RISE OF LIBERAL ARTS COURSES IN INDIAReading Time: 4 minutes

Do you feel like doing something different in your Undergraduate course? Want to explore various disciplines in degree? Then this post is for you as we will discuss the rise and scope of Liberal arts courses in India. Read on. 

 

There has been a rise in Liberal Arts courses in India. Various new universities are coming up, specifically focusing on courses around liberal arts. In 2015, the govt also initiated to invest more in research universities, liberal arts, and social sciences to improve the rankings of Indian universities.

 

What is Liberal Arts?

But let us first explain what Liberal arts is all about. The focus of liberal arts courses is having an interdisciplinary bent to it. This need arose because of various reports arguing that almost 80% of Indian graduates are unemployable. Hence, the focus is now shifting towards a more holistic education program in India.

The idea is to hone a student’s reasoning, basic mathematical and writing skills – in every aspect. With this, the student is able to do any kind of job irrespective of what actual content one is taught. These skills are the main focus of these interdisciplinary courses.

 

Benefits

Students, who have done these courses have actually stood out in their workplaces. This happens because being taught through different perspectives and lenses, they approach problems from various vantage points. They also end up having strong interpersonal skills and these all are attributes of a strong liberal arts education.

The students improve upon their soft skills, leadership skills, communication skills and gain a more holistic lends towards life. With the focus being more on the expression of ideas – in the form of academic writing, ethics, and environmental studies.

 

Top Universities Offering Liberal Arts Courses

 

Now, let’s have a look at some of the top universities that offer Liberal arts courses in India.

 

Ashoka University, Delhi

Ashoka University is a unique institution in India. It is largely a philanthropic institution with over 40 founding members. Also, One of the most promising institutes for higher education in India. It is largely famous for its Young India Fellowship (YIF) program, which we covered in an earlier post.

But there are other courses in this university, especially Undergraduate and Graduate courses focusing on Liberal Arts. The structure of the course is similar to courses abroad, with having three elements: minor, major and certain foundation courses.

Students have options to pick from a range of subjects – from maths to political science, sociology and much more. The focus is on flexibility for the students. There are courses on History and International Relations, B.A. in Politics, B.Sc. in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship and much more. The annual cost comes around 6-8 Lacs. For more details: www.ashoka.edu.in

 

FLAME University, Pune

Another famous university is in Pune. FLAME or Foundation for Liberal and Management Education is one of the oldest institutions focused on liberal arts in India. It is an autonomous university and offers a multidisciplinary course similar to Ashoka University.

The unique thing about this university that it offers courses on music, dance, entrepreneurship, film and tv studies and much more. The average cost comes to around 5-6 Lacs. For more details: www.flame.edu.in

 

Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Delhi

This is a very recent school and is part of the OP Jindal University in Haryana. At present, its intake is very focused and hence not that many get admission in this place. The curriculum covered are all the fundamentals of a good liberal arts course.

It offers a range of interesting range of courses from the political economy of and natural resources to the course on desire, law and popular culture and to urban space and much more. They have also started a unique program of residency, called ‘artist-in-residence’ program for their students.

The students also have the option to finish the second half of their 4-year degree program in Florida. The average cost comes around to 6-8 Lacs per year. For more details: www.jslh.edu.in

 

Azim Premji University, Bengaluru

Azim Premji University or APU was initially set up in 2001 as part of the Azim Premji Foundation with a purpose to enhance learning. Its objective was to help students becomes outstanding professionals in the domain of development.

To realize this, the institution has taken an interdisciplinary approach in the makeup of its courses. Apart from standard Undergraduate courses, the university offers courses on combined humanities. The students also have the option of selecting minors from sciences, economics, development studies, and data sciences.

The key objective of the university is to contribute towards making India a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The average cost comes around to 2-4 Lacs per year. For more details: www.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in

 

Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune

Another very famous school of Liberal arts is the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts or SSLA. The school offers the students to do a four-year fulltime Bachelors in Liberal Arts. It is a structured program and based on international models.

Its main is to bring to students a wide range of courses to pick from and choose minor and majors according to their liking. For example, a student can have a business major with an anthropology minor and various contrasting combinations.

The average cost comes around to 2-4 Lacs per year. For more details: www.ssla.edu.in

 

To Conclude

 

There is a changing trend in Indian education and these universities have taken a step towards initiating change. By focusing on interdisciplinary courses, the trend is now towards a more holistic environment. So, if you want to do a more comprehensive Undergraduate course then these are some of the most lucrative options. Till then cheer and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.

 

 

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9 Productive Ways to Start Your Day 

9 Productive Ways to Start Your Day Reading Time: 3 minutes

Want to start your day the best way possible? Here are 9 productive ways to start your day! Read on.

Ever woken up feeling lethargic or with a bad feeling how the day will pan out? We all wake up sometimes on the wrong side of the bed and feel unproductive. And then our whole day ends up being feeling like a waste.

Here to help you with the morning blues, we are to give you 10 productive way to start your day. And in the process have a productive and fulfilling day. These tips are sure to get you started on the right foot.

 

Keeping Your Shades Open

 

via GIPHY

One thing that you should do before sleeping is keeping your window curtains open. This is because when morning comes you will get the bright positive rays of the sun. You will feel energized and start your day with a positive mood

 

Stretching

 

via GIPHY

The first thing you should do after you get up is stretch that lethargic body of yours. Stretching helps in getting your body ready for the wear and tear of the day ahead. It is essential to loosen up your muscles and tendons so that you can move effectively throughout the day.

 

Meditate

 

via GIPHY

Apart from stretching you can also meditate for a little as 10-15 minutes early in the morning. With meditation, your brain becomes focused and determined to face the challenges of the day. This helps your mind reboot after the previous day’s baggage.

 

Drink Lemon Water

 

via GIPHY

You should also before your breakfast has a glass of lemon water or lemonade. Lemons are full of nutrients like potassium, vitamin c, and antioxidants. Drinking lemonade spikes up your energy levels, both physically and mentally. Drink it on an empty stomach and before any kind of workout.

 

Journal Entry

 

via GIPHY

You should also maintain a journal every day and in the mornings update it with the goals of the day. By doing this you not only keep a check on the things to do during the day but also keep yourself updated. It also helps you in keeping yourself at check so not to digress from the day’s set goals.

 

Exercise

 

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Apart from all these things, if time permits, do take out some time to do some exercises. Maybe do a little jogging for 10-15 minutes. Even that goes a long way to get your body feeling fit and ready for the long day ahead.

 

Avoid Screens till Breakfast

It’s also advisable to avoid using mobile phones extremely early in the morning. So, set yourself a rule that no looking at the phone unless required to, till you have your breakfast. It is a much healthier way to start your day.

 

Have a Proper Breakfast

 

via GIPHY

As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is one of the most productive ways to start your day. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese as they have more stable blood sugar levels. A healthy breakfast gives you energy and improves your short-term memory as well

 

Listen to Music You Love

 

via GIPHY

Starting your day with the music you love is another positive way to start it. Listening to your favorite music brings you positivity. It is the perfect way to start your day and gets your pumped up to face the day ahead.

 

In Conclusion – Go to Work with a Positive Frame of Mind

 

With all these things did you sure are to go to your workplace with a positive frame of mind and have an extremely productive day. These are just some of the ways as you can personalize them to whatever suits you the best. So, hope these tips help you! Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

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Taking a Break: Why ‘Dropping’ a Year is Not a Big Thing

Why ‘Dropping’ a Year is Not a Big ThingReading Time: 4 minutes

We are told from everyone not to ‘drop’ a year if we fail to get into that esteemed institute or university. But in this post, I argue that taking a break in life is not only a good thing but also an essential thing. Read on.

 

Ever since we start going to school from our early ages, we never stop. From kindergarten till 12th, we are on a continuous march. And after 12th class, we have to make a decision about college and then our college life starts.

After that, we usually get a job, which usually goes on till we are in our late 50s or early 60s. In between, we get married and have kids and our own family. Everything seems planned, and more importantly, fixed. And any sense of deviation is frowned up on by the society, your peers and even your family.

In this post, I will argue the opposite and talk about ‘dropping’ a year and how it can actually help you in various aspects. Let’s try to see first why the idea of ‘dropping’ a year is seen as something negative.

 

‘Dropping’ a Year – What Exactly are We ‘Dropping’?

One of the reasons why dropping a year is looked down upon in the society it is because of the expectations attached to each age bracket of our lives. Society – an extension of our peers and families – has standardised expectations of how our lives should go, which I mentioned earlier.

Any person who seems to step away – intentionally or unintentionally – from this set track faces a backlash of an emotional kind from the nearest kin or friends. This leads to self-questioning and even depression at times. As we, seem to have, fallen under the eyes of our peers.

Also, look at the way the phrase is coined – Dropping a Year. What exactly are we dropping? We don’t have the ability to drop time, literally. Some even call it ‘wasting time by not being on the set path’.

 

Pausing Life to Know Yourself Better

 

I would like to offer an alternative way to look at the same thing. Our lives have become so fast-paced that we sometimes lose track how fast things pass by us. From our school days to our college days and then our work life – all seem to fly past us without us noticing.

And during all these phases we fail to see how we, as a person, change. We do not reflect on what we are doing and how it may be affecting our lives. And in the process, we end up doing things which we might not even want to – prime example choosing a certain stream which may not be right for you. Or even doing a certain job which is not right for you to begin with. Which often leads to discontentment among the people.

I argue that it is important – imperative even to take a break, or pause life for a bit. Pause life so you can reflect on what you are doing, why you are doing it and what does it mean for you. Take a break to reassess your life, your wants and needs, and your passions.

 

A Personal Anecdote

Just to give you an example, I will narrate my story. In class 12th I had taken the subjects PCM or ‘non-medical’ as commonly known. I didn’t know why I took them but I guess I was just following the herd at that moment.

Lo and behold, I ended up failing 12th, unsurprisingly. After that, I took a break, paused my life for a few years. Yes, years! I didn’t take the 12th board exams for another couple of years as I felt it was not what I wanted to do. Sounds blasphemous, right?

Instead, I did other things – I read literature, some philosophical in nature, watched a lot of world cinema, traveled and had new experiences. In all, I went on a journey to discover myself in order to know myself better.

After this break, I found myself reinvigorated and more confident about what I wanted to do. Roughly 10 years later, I am on my way to do what I want to do and feel at peace about it. And yes, I did clear that 12th eventually.

 

What You Can Do

Well, I am not saying everyone takes a break of 2-3 years and start wandering around. For those students who feel comfortable and know that they want to do what they are doing, then you don’t need to.

But for those who feel things are moving too fast and you feel confused about yourself and what you want to do. Then taking a break is always a good option. Take that trip or do some volunteer work or read that novel you’ve been putting off or start reading literature if you haven’t or start learning a musical instrument – whatever floats your boat.

The idea is to explore other avenues that life has to offer. And in doing so you will explore yourself – which is the main objective. The period of break depends on you and your comfort level.

At first, your peers and family members will strongly object to it but it is something worth resisting. But its always better to stop and explore the things you feel like doing rather than going with the flow and doing things you don’t want to do.

 

To Conclude

Now, what I have said is a very personal opinion about life and how to explore it. It doesn’t that is a right way or ‘the’ right way. But it is one of the ways as there is no right way. As in the end, life is all about trying to be the best version of ourselves. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

 

 

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Options after 10th: What is Humanities all About?

Humanities Stream in DetailReading Time: 6 minutes

With the board exams going on, we get busy with them. But after the exams, we are faced with a tough choice of choosing between streams. In this post, we cover the stream of Humanities and the core subjects of it. Read on.

 

We all have that moment when someone asks us the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. At that moment, our imagination to think about jobs is limited and often driven by the two most talked about jobs. Yes, you know what I am talking about. Either a doctor or an engineer. These are the two ideal jobs that every parent or uncle or aunt talks about.

 

What if you don’t want to be a doctor or an engineer?

 

But what if you realise, by the end of your 10th class, that you do not want to be a doctor or an engineer? And you feel you are not comfortable with numbers or dreaded maths! So, you begin to think, out of all the options arts and humanities is the only available option.

But you, like some of the students fresh out of 10th, feel confused what after arts and humanities? What are the job opportunities in this stream? What are the subjects in this stream all about? As most of your life you have only heard of jobs that fall either in the science stream or the commerce stream and subjects like psychology or political science may feel alien to you!

Fear not! I will ease your stress and help you by explaining the subjects in this stream and future job opportunities that each subject has to offer. But first, you have to get the notion of your mind, and believe me when I say this, that arts and humanities, or social sciences, is not an inferior choice. Rather, it is one of the most challenging fields out there and if one excels in this field the sky is the limit!

 

What is it all about?

So, what is it all about? Social Sciences or arts and humanities is a major category of discipline that studies societies and human relationships within these societies. It includes subjects like Economics, Political Science, Sociology, History, Geography, and Psychology.

You should note though, that is not an exhaustive list and there are other subjects as well but for now, we will focus on these as these are the options available when you enter 11th class. Another thing to note, all these subjects are interlinked as they are all trying to understand the human society from various perspectives.

 

Economics – Or How Money Works?

 

Economics as a branch of social science is concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of a country. It studies how individuals, companies, governments, and nations make decisions on allocation of resources to satisfy their wants and needs and also studies on they should do it in a better and organised manner. You will get to learn about the economy of the country and how it works. Do note however that if you do not like maths that much then you may not like economics, as maths is an integral part of economics.

Job opportunities after doing your graduation with economics, one can do a masters in economics and become a data analyst, a stockbroker. One can even do a Ph.D. in economics later on and become an Economist and do research with companies or even advise the government on economic policies.

One can also become a Professor of Economics at a college or a university.  Some of the most famous economists from India have been Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate) Kaushik Basu, Jagdish Bhagwati, Arvind Subarmanian (former Chief Economic Adviser) and Raghuram Rajan (former IMF chief)

 

Political Science – Is it all about Politics?

 

Most of the students when they hear the term political science they think “arey mujhe politics main nahi jana hai” as they feel the subject just revolve around elections and parties. But it is much more than that as political science as a field is about studying the relationship between flows of power and how it affects human relationships in a society.

A student of political science will not only learn how the institutions of the government work or study about elections and voting behaviour but you will also learn about how power operates within the society and even in the household. It gives you the tools to understand the workings of a society.

Job opportunities after graduation and masters in political science, one can do a Ph.D. and become a research analyst for various research institutes in India, like CSDS (Centre of Studies of Developing Societies). One can also become a political commentator for media outlets.

Apart from that the prospect of teaching, political science is a good subject to have if you’re considering for UPSC exams, especially clearing IAS. Some of the biggest names in political science. Some of the biggest names in political science in India have been Rajni Kothari (founder of CSDS), Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Current VC of Ashoka University), C. Raja Mohan (an expert in Indian Foreign Policy) and various others.

 

Sociology – A Study of Society

Sociology is a field of study concerns itself with the study of structures in the society. By structure, I mean like family, caste, gender, religion, class etc. A sociologist tries to understand the relationship between these structures and how they work and influence human relations.

Job opportunities in the field of sociology are of research analyst, after doing your Ph.D. Apart from that one can also work with NGO’s after one’s masters in sociology. One can also work with ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research) in their funded research projects as a research associate. Some of the famous sociologists from India have been M.N. Srinivas, Dipankar Gupta, Meera Kosambi and various others.

History – More Than Just Dates

We all have that idea about history that it’s filled with dates (oh how we dread the dates! Battle of Panipat anyone?). But I am here to tell you that the subject of history is more than just dates that you had to cram at school.

History as a field of discipline deals with the study of the past events in society. It tries to tell a story, in as many details as possible, to not only describe what might have happened but also try to explain why it may have happened. Domains within history range from economic to social histories of nations.

Job opportunities in the field of History, apart from teaching, after graduation and masters range from being a historian and working with ICHR (Indian Council of Historical Research). One can also work as an archaeologist, which comes as an option later on, and work with the Archaeological Survey of India. Some of the most famous historians from India have been Ramchandra Guha, Bipan Chandra, Satish Chandra, and various others.

 

Geography – The Study of the Earth

Geography is the scientific study of the earth and its physical features and how humans interact with these features. It seeks to understand where things are found, why they are here and how have they evolved.

Geo- means earth and -graphy means to write, meaning to write about the earth. One also learns about the relationship between these features and humans and both influence each other.

Job opportunities in this field range from being a cartographer (geographers who makes maps, graphs, charts, and models), to being surveyors. Specialisation in geography also means jobs in Urban or Rural planning.

Other jobs in this field concern the area of Remote Sensing, that is experts who study floods, earthquakes and other natural phenomena like these. If interested, consider taking admission in Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun, which is a premier institute in India.

 

Psychology – The Study of the Human Brain and Emotions

Psychology as a science tries to understand the way humans behave and ask why they behave the way they behave. The field of psychology is broad and has various aspects to it, ranging from cognitive, social, neurological etc. It is the scientific study of the human mind and its behaviour.

Job opportunities in this field after masters are one of Clinical Psychologist, that is dealing with people who have serious mental disorders and working with them in either hospitals or rehabilitation centers or NGOs.

Another aspect is of Counsellor or Psychiatrist, where one has to meet and give counsel to people to help them with either their internal issues or interpersonal problems. As a counselor, you can work either in therapy centers or in your own clinic, schools or colleges.

If you are interested then you can after graduation getting admission in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), Bengaluru as it is premier institute for further research in the field of psychology.

 

To Conclude

So, here you are friends. The Humanities stream explained in detail, alongwith its subjects. In an upcoming post we’ll explain other streams in detail as well. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

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Fighting Fake News: 8 Tips to Navigate Information on the Internet

8 Tips to Fight Fake News onlineReading Time: 4 minutes

Do you find it hard to trust the information that you get online? Do you get weary of scores of fake news that gets spread with such ease? In this post, we will give out 8 essential tips on how to spot fake news and navigate information on the internet. Read on.

 

This is the age of instant information. We are bombarded by news, information of various kinds from different spheres – especially on the internet. But this has led to the rise of false information and fake news being propagated easily to rile up people’s sentiments and fooling them.

Hence, it is very important to know how to sift out the real from the fake. It is important because misinformation leads to false beliefs and false realities. While there’s always room for subjected ways of living but false information, which is actually leading to deaths in certain cases is extremely wrong and doesn’t bode well for democracy.

So, it is not only our duty to be a well-informed citizen but also imperative for us to expose false information. Here are 8 tips to navigate information on the Internet.

 

Fact-Checking

You might have heard this phrase “fact-checking”, it is a very recent phenomenon. There are actual people who are working as full-time fact checkers. These fact-checkers debunk every false misinformation that gets viral on the internet.

In India, you can check out sites like “Alt-News”, Boomlive, “Smhoaxslayer”, which conduct through fact-checking and help expose misinformation. So, whenever you get that forward on your WhatsApp about something that seems odd, better to fact-check it first.

 

Lateral Reading

 

One key method you should adopt while navigating the internet is the concept of Lateral Reading. Lateral reading simply means that whenever you want to search for any kind of news on the internet, do not focus on one source of information. Rather, open up another site on a new tab and search for more credible sources of information on the same thing.

For example, if you want to know about climate change in detail, don’t stick to just one website for information rather open up more websites. This helps you in sifting out what is being said across the board on an issue, in this case, Climate Change.

 

Going to Trustworthy Sources

 

You also need to have a bunch of trustworthy sources for news and information that are credible. Although almost everyone has some kind of bias involved despite the prevalence of bias there are certain news websites and news agencies that you know you can trust.

For example, my trustable sites are – The Hindu, Indian Express, BBC, New York Times, Reuters.

 

Using Wikipedia

 

Now, we all have heard it from almost everyone – that we should not use Wikipedia for our source of information. Their reasons come from the fact that Wikipedia can be edited by almost anyone.

But that’s not really the case. Wikipedia is actually a pretty good source of information of one thing as a lot of contributors contribute to it. You should use Wikipedia as a part of the lateral reading we suggested. There are various pages in Wikipedia, that are actually locked that can’t be edited by anyone and is moderated by moderators.

The trick of using Wikipedia is to check the sources, which every page has at the end of it. The credibility of the sources gives credibility to that particular wiki page.

 

Evaluating Evidence

Now, suppose if you were to find some information about Climate Change which says that is not happening and it gives certain evidence. The best way to check is to verify that evidence – by doing a lateral reading.

You open up other credible websites to see if that information or evidence is credible or not. So, by doing this you will eventually find out that the evidence given is fake.

 

Evaluating Photos

 

So, you encounter a photo on your WhatsApp or Facebook which seems highly implausible. How do you check the veracity of it? How do see if it is a fake or not?

Well, the simplest way is to do a reverse google search of that image. You take that photo and go to Google images and upload it and search it. It will reverse search to see where that image has been previously used or not. This way you can check the veracity of that photo.

 

Evaluating Data and Infographics

 

You often hear or read on the news about some research conducted on chocolate being healthy for your body. Then you try to find things on the internet to check and you find various kinds of data and infographics. How to know what is reliable?

Well, this is the trickiest part to do but there are ways to check it. First, you will need to go the study cited in that news or in that infographic. Second, after finding that study – go through their methodology and sample size. You can also check it by in which journal is it published and the level citations.

Now, these all are rather tricky to for a normal individual but if you can follow this technique then you can see the way people use statistics to fool people. As it is said there are “Lies, then there are damned lies, and then there are damned statistics”.

 

Click Restraint

 

Finally, you need to practice Click restraint. This means don’t jump to clicking every salacious websites out there. The google search that you do has a lot of options on the page, and we have a habit of clicking the very first two links.

Which is a wrong way as just because they are the first links, doesn’t mean that they are the most reliable or even worth the click. They have sensational headings or sub-headings made in a way to make you click them. These are called Click-baits.

The best way is to go through the entire first page of google search and then decide on what to click and what not to. You can also go to the second page, although I know you may have never done that.

 

 

To Conclude

 

So, these are 8 essential tips to use while navigating information in the age of the internet. It is very important as we all need to aware of actual information and need to stop falling to fake news and false information online. This is a battle we all must face and fight. Till then cheers, and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!