Thursday, February 18, 2016

No, it is not just about nationalism…

I am a BJP supporter who loves Hinduism/ Sanatan dharma not for the gods but because of the way of life it propagates. It is a way of life that asks you to question each and everything and in reality, do NOT bans anything and is pretty much open about how one should live his life without imposing anything. Do not confuse it with what is followed in India which is the amalgamation of several cultures viz Vedic, Manu Smriti, Islam and victorian - last 3 of which are significantly repressive and centuries old traditions - which are still followed without ever being questioned. Now before you dismiss me as another Hindu nationalist, I would like to mention I (my family) follow one Islamic prophet to such an extent that anyone new in our family is first introduced to that concept. To put things into perspective, once in awhile - equivlent to how much i pray Hindu Gods, I pray in the Western direction (Mecca/ Medina). I do not want to write more here but I hope I have convinced you that I am not anti-Islam.

Why am I writing this: because I want to improve my writing skills and am hoping that one day I can write on the 21st-century topics rather than the 19th-century ideas (religion, nations etc.).
Now coming to the topic at hand, reasons behind “Hindu” nationalism or anti-JNU sentiments is not really people becoming nationalists all of a sudden. It has to do a LOT with what has happened over hundred of years and still happens regularly.

Hindus “in general” fear Islam’s regressive (perceived, if you may) nature: It may be historical baggage of Islamic rule or how this country was created but to me fear is an apt term. Compound it with the narrative around the world where the majority of terrorist belong to one religion which no secular wants to name. Yes, it is a battle of perception that Muslims are losing but you cannot blame me for this - the reform comes from inside - and if people are not ready to accept that something is wrong - what can one do!! How different countries/ cultures have been destroyed by radical Islam is not hidden from anyone. Even in India, Hindus, in general, have no problem in visiting a 'mazaar' but one will rarely find Muslims visiting temples. No, I do not want a Muslim to prove his/ her 'liberalism' by visiting temples but this is where "we vs them" comes into the picture - people think Muslims are 'radical'. Compare that against the history of India (Hinduism) which had resulted in charvaga like materialistic philosophy to prosper or saved different religions from persecution (Zoroastrians) or coexisted with various religion (Jews/ Christians in early Kerala, Islam, Jainism etc) for the major part of the 1st millennium. Once you rationally analyze the condition of different religions under Hinduism vs that in Islam - you can understand why people fear radical Islam.
One recent example is Kashmir: People cry oppression but army moved in a big way after 1989 - when ‘kashmiriyat’ converted into ‘wahabism’ - If it can happen in Kashmir - can I expect anything better in places like Hyderabad/ UP??
There is a saying in Hindi “gehun ke saath ghun bhi pista hai” - and unfortunately, that is holding true here.
Selective outrage of Muslims/ Secularists: Malda is nothing but Gujarat will still remain a problem. Beef eating is freedom of expression but bull fighting is NOT!! Kamlesh Tiwari’s freedom of speech is a problem, if someone publishes a cartoon on a certain someone no one - I dare not a single Muslim friend - will say this is freedom of expression but as soon as it comes to abusing/ making fun the nation or Hindu Gods or anything not related to Islam - everything falls under FoE. I couldn't care less but this frustrates people who see different yardstick for different incidents. And in a ‘democracy’, everyone has the right to put forward their point of view (the way they want) which brings me to the 3rd most important point
The power of social media and change in power equation: A medium to connect people has become a place where any tom, dick and harry can write anything (just like me smile emoticon ). It gives “some” voice to people who see things going wrong around them and are frustrated when they are not resolved. And this - the great social media - gives them a place to vent out their frustration sitting behind their laptops and writing 144 chars of sh*t. No one now wants to be told what needs to be done - if I think some Sardesai is being a hypocrite, I do not need to discuss the same among my group - I can simply write this to HIS face. This has changed some “power equation” and whether the erstwhile ‘power brokers’ like it or not, it is here to stay. They just cannot blabber anything behind the 4th wall. And, for them this is “INTOLERANCE” - as the majority or general public without sophisticated linguistic tools (spoken or written) can express themselves freely/ speak their mind and show them the mirror. Probably, people exaggerate a few things but essentially it is their way of choosing what they want to support
Flow of knowledge and Internet: This has resulted in people starting to question the biased history (IMO: leftist) that we have read in schools - I won’t put many people in this category but still there are people (at least I am) who believe a better education system, a true history and knowledge would have helped society more than hiding the sins of past like Mughals were not really great (just like German don’t hide WWs from their new generations)
To summarize people, psychologically, are not being anti-JNU just for the slogans that were raised but it has to do with disdain for radical Islam and outdated leftist ideals - which got combined here in a big way along with the frustration of regularly seeing hypocrites on national TV channel.
Side note:
BJP (slightly) sucks in governing: A few leaders in BJP are good, but a lot of lower/ middle tier and probably, a few top tier ones are buffoons or are playing their own dirty games. Narendra Modi has transformed into a statesman with only a few bad days (eg Bihar election speech where he was giving money like a 3rd rate politician) but same cannot be said about several others. They somehow end up screwing a good situation. Case in point JNU - after the anti-national sloganeering they could have easily cleaned this leftist institution but no, they had to make a big case out of it that too without any concrete proofs against the accused. There were enough anti-JNU sentiments which have now probably reduced (improved) slightly. According to me, it was a blunder unless my tiny brain does not understand games BJP masterminds are playing...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

MF Hussain - RIP: Who cares!!!

I might be called a religious fanatic if I try to justify why I, a Hindu, was offended by MF's paintings but who cares - my answers to the liberals

- The painting were drawn in 70's - why such hulla in the 90's? Information spread quickly in the 90's as compared the 70's. People were better educated, more aware of their rights and probably, had more sense of swabhiman!!

- See you backyard - what is Khajuraho - isnt it a pornographic description? 1st I personally believe indian society was much liberal and it amalgamated due to coming of the Islam and Victorial culture (let it leave for some other topic). Now on question of Khajuraho - whatever pornography they have carved out of stone do not depict Nude goddess or deities!!!

- Artistic freedom of expression - shouldn't he be allowed to express himself? Yes he is and on should express but shouldn't he also think about the feelings he might hurt. I condemn the Danish cartoon drawn because of insensitivity towards the Muslims but shouldn't I, by the same yardstick, condemn this great artist?? Did MF Hussain ever supported the cartoonist saying that he should be allowed 'freedom of expression'? Did he tried to depict any Muslim symbol as nude?

- Nude goddess are pure - but then why all the of his muslims drawing clothed? If he was an out an out 'Nude painter', I won't have any problems with his nude paitings of goddesses but he seemed to have selective nudity in mind.

P.S. I, seriously, do need feel offended by the paintings (who cares - I am more of a spiritual atheist and believe real hinduism, per se, do not care about these things) but the reason that liberals will abuse conservatives for all India ills without knowing the facts made me write this short post!!!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

My Wedding Card


Though a bit late I wanted to make my presence felt on the web as a creative - funny person :P



Sunday, May 15, 2011

A dirty party and how it distorted history - 5 points you forgot and 3 questions you should ask!!!

Today, after a long time, an article caught my eyes which took me back almost 6-7 years when I used to float around a mail (mostly fact, some fiction) when BJP unfortunately and unexpectedly lost in 2004 elections. The mail was something which contained fact and (probably) fiction about Mrs. G and how humiliating it will be if that piece of foreign **** becomes Indian PM just because an old political party has distorted history in in such a way that every good thing in India has happened because of some foreign educated Mr. G and Mr. 'krishan kanhaiya' N. At that time it was more of a young blood boiling who cannot accept the fact that in a population of 1 billion , because of this old party, we will again be ruled by a foreigner and this time it's more from a guy who though wants to do something for the country but has a much better things to take care of - roti, kapda, aur makaan - because, unfortunately my dada-pardada didn't leave swiss bank accounts for me.

People while voting for congress sometimes justify it by saying that the family gave its life for India and Congress has done a lot for the country. My question is what the hell has Congress done for India other than distorting the history so that I am always indebted to them and less I say about the great family - is better.

A few of the things which were done, probably, were the best option at that time and lot of people were inspired by the organization but the fact is INC and the Father do not deserve as much credit as is being given to them

Mr. M.k. Gandhi and his contribution to Indian Independence:

1919: If India takes part in WWI, independence will be given? Was it given... No!!!

1942: Did Quit India movement achieved what it should have?... No

What made British leave

Their own dirty war..

SC Bose & INA

AND

The Indian Navy rebellion of 1946 (search for it...!!!) which is mentioned in 1 line in class 7th/ 8th history text books.

It's a no brainier what happens if a country's force is not with the rulers but this fact has been conveniently and deliberately forgotten.

The X, Y & Z generation is too happy with the holiday on the 15th but the fact is that the true story has never been told and hopefully, soon credit will go to the right people and not to some money hungry politicians and their legitimate/ illegitimate children. Who rules might not matter to you now because you have all the resources but who knows you children can be affected.

History is there so that we can learn something and its a golden opportunity, we, the people of India, have to use the means of communication and knowledge which we never had to learn the truth and analyze where we have been wrong!!!

If MK Gandhi is that great as is being told since yours-my-or your fathers nursery class - why it took him 40+ years to get a country independent... what an efficiency rate?

If congress and its policies were that great why was it that even after 40 years of unopposed rule majority of population was poor/ illiterate. Germany or Japan were in no better condition - destroyed by the war and paying war costs to the Allies for years to come.. but their was a marked difference between them and India after 40 years!!!

Who first supported those because of which Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were killed? Both have respectively supported Bhindranwale and LTTE and ultimately both were the reason of their killings (similarly like Osama was made all powerful By US and he made them bleed) - so I do not think they laid life for the country and I am not indebted to them

Monday, March 22, 2010

Prometric reply

1. If you see at my 1st RTI you will realize that I never asked to recheck my marks and my question were very different. This is the exact reply these guys have sent to umpteen other students who mailed them regarding knowing their actual scores. If they are not even reading the questions how can they be trusted to answer them correctly.
2. In my 1st RTI I have asked about my actual scores and data based on that which I have been denied. Now I wish to ask you how such a data can be ‘propriety’. The reason given is ‘Public disclosure of the questions, its contents, answer keys and specific scoring procedures for each candidate compromise validity and subsequent use of the questions.’ Now the idiots (mind my language) but it is a collective frustration of so many days, so many students who have been cheated and the way authorities are treating students – now coming back to the point – they are saying that content, answer keys etc. cannot be disclosed – but how on the earth these idiots can say ‘specific scoring procedure’ compromise validity. How can disclosing scoring procedure compromise validityty. Or it is because of the reason that the scoring itself is so screwed they are bloody afraid of disclosing each and every step? I am really sorry for using swears words but… this is the state of the nation and the professors and the nexus between academia and the corporate.

Dear Shubham Lahoti,

This is with reference to your mail to IIM requesting for certain information under the RTI Act, 2005. We have carefully reviewed your responses, rechecked your scores and have found them to be absolutely correct. You will be happy to note that they are exactly the same as reported to you on www.catiim.in.

To safeguard certain information which is proprietary to Prometric and IIM and to ensure the integrity and security of CAT, it will not be possible for us to disclose the additional information that you are requesting for. We continue with this practice which has been followed all along in CAT and in all other tests of other educational institutions. You will understand that the purpose of the test is to assess a candidate’s aptitude and skill in a domain. Public disclosure of the questions, its contents, answer keys and specific scoring procedures for each candidate compromise validity and subsequent use of the questions.

The above policy is consistent and based on the academic work done in this filed, the references for which are given below:

1. Principles for the Validation and use of Personnel Selection Procedures, 4th Edition, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. (2003).

2. Standard for Educational and Psychological Testing, American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education (1999).

We wish you all the best in your admission process.

Sincerely,
CAT Candidate Care Support
Prometric Testing Pvt. Ltd.
http://www.prometric.com/iim-cat/contactus

Friday, March 05, 2010

Professinalism of Prometric

So, in a very (un)important announcement where Prometric tried to explain the marking scheme they wrote -1 points for question answered correctly...!!! Kuch bhi...!!!

Open Letter: More play of words from Prometric and IIMs

Development

The CAT test development process was conducted in alignment with the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. The exam was designed with three sections: (1) Verbal Ability, (2) Quantitative Ability, and (3) Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. These three sections are consistent with the knowledge domains historically assessed by the IIM and are also aligned with the content areas covered in equivalent global admission examinations that measure performance along similar scales.

Yes who doesn't know this...?

Content of the examination was developed and confirmed by individuals with high levels of expertise in each of three content domains (Verbal, Quantitative, and Data Interpretation). Post-administration analysis was conducted by credentialed psychometricians to confirm the validity of the examination scores and to ensure that every candidate was provided a fair and equal opportunity to display their knowledge.


Has this psychometric ever been applied to previous CAT exams? What is the proof the this so called "credentialed psychometricians" is valid for the CAT exam? How much variation is there?

Scoring
Prometric employed an industry-standard, psychometrically-sound approach to the scoring process for all IIM candidates. The three-step process is outlined here and is supported by the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and the ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness.
Step 1: Raw Score is Calculated
Your raw scores are calculated for each section based on the number of questions you answered correctly, incorrectly, or that you omitted.
Correct X Incorrect Answer 0 Omitted
+ 3 points for questions you answered correctly -1 Points for questions answered correctly 0 points subtracted for questions you did not answer
This scoring methodology ensures that candidates are only awarded points for what they know. Candidates are not awarded inappropriate points for random guessing. This is a standard process in the testing industry and is a methodology employed in scoring similar admissions tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Step 2: Raw Score is "Equated"
Equating is a statistical process used to adjust scores on two or more alternate forms of an assessment so that the scores may be used interchangeably. Industry standard processes were used for equating, such as those outlined within the ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness.


I will come back to the point I made earlier i.e this tested on earlier CATs for benchmarking or was there a dry run for the same? Why were students not told about this 'Equated' part when they were sitting for the exam? Was it decided after the exams were over that such a 'equated scores' need to be awarded? Who were the people involved in this decision and why was it done after the exams? If you are so confident of your industry standards why are you shying away from sharing the same? Why are you just playing with words and buying your time? You won't gain anything by bringing fancy terms like psychometric analysis etc...? This is what we know you have done... can you please explain how you have done this and how much is the variation between the original percentile with the one you awarded?

Step3: Equated Raw Score is "Scaled"

In order to ensure appropriate interpretation of an equated raw score, the scores must be placed on a common scale or metric. A linear transformation was used for this scaling process, which is an industry standard practice (Kolen & Brennan, 2004).

The IIM scaling model is as follows:

Section Scores = 0 to 150 Total Exam Score = 0 to 450

Four scaled scores are presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and three separate scaled scores for each section. As the three sections evaluate three distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores do not correlate across sections. A high score in one section does not guarantee a high score in another section. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.


So, whats new in this...???

About Test Difficulty

The CAT exam was developed to accurately identify top performing candidates and that design makes use of a scaled score range of 0-450. In order to appropriately identify the top performing candidates, the CAT exam was, by design, very difficult. As would be expected with the more difficult CAT exam, no candidate answered 100% of the items correctly and no candidate achieved the top theoretical score. The exam design accomplished the goal of identifying the top performing candidates who were, indeed, ranked at the top of the list. If the exam were designed to be substantially easier, it would be theoretically possible for a candidate to achieve a score of 450. However, an exam constructed to be that easy would not serve the distinct purposes of the IIM.


Again don't people over the ages know this. But still I would like to be enlightened why people who attempted only one section in 2 hours (and I can assure you there are people like that) and have answered all the questions correct didn't get high percentiles. You may ask me how I know it...? Well, there are teachers who do it and what is stopping you from disclosing actual marks to prove me wrong?

References

American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). (1999). Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Washington, D.C.: Author.

Educational Testing Service (ETS). (2002) ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness. Princeton, N.J.

Kolen, M. J., & Brennan, R. L. (2004). Test equating, scaling and linking: Methods and practices. 2nd Ed. Springer.

I am going to read the pdfs and will put my comments by weekend. Meanwhile if someone can give some views it would be great...!!!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The tail of a CAT

Though the RTI submitted contains most of the question here is the much broader version, mostly based on the writeup of some good guy. Below it I have also mentioned how I would personally like the way it should work on from now.

The CAT 2009 scores were released on Feb 28th 2010, but the student community have a lot of questions regarding the methodology used to obtain the results as well as the marking scheme. Quite a few students have resorted to the Right-To-Information Act to seek answers.

Our Issues:


The student community has largely echoed the lack of transparency in the marking scheme and lack of access to the details of the papers as one of the main issue. Even after repeated queries Prometric and the IIMs did not to respond to our mails.

Prior to the CAT 2010 examination, IIM authorities had categorically stated that the difficulty levels across papers in all slot were consistently maintained by generating a large number of questions of equal difficulty to establish equivalence; but have now introduced a vague term in the scorecard “ Psychometric equivalences to adjust for the difficulty levels". This seems a contradiction! We students are confused to see such a marking scheme introduced without prior notification before the exam and till now no explanation has been given from the IIMs or the Prometric.

As students we would like to bring to your notice few important points:

1. CAT 2009 – is a Computer Based Test, ((please note not a Computer Adaptive Test ) where all questions (complete 60) are downloaded from the internet at the start of the exam and the students are allowed to review and answer any question they want. The set of questions are all predetermined. It is just a shift from shading an OMR to using a computer mouse.

GRE and GMAT are Computer ADAPTIVE Tests where the candidate answers different questions of varying difficulty level based on the candidate’s performance in the previous question. Psychometric equivalences in GRE and GMAT is time tested and justified after many revisions.

But CAT2009 was a computer based exam similar to the BITSAT. Question sets were predetermined and large number of questions with equal difficulty were prepared by the IIM authorities and so scaling across different slots was unnecessary. Psychometric scaling does not seem to fit this type of testing! BITS, Pilani conducts similar computer based system where no psychometric analysis is done.

This gives a reason for the large number of anomalies in the expected and actual scores of candidates.

2. GRE and GMAT have world wide takers and therefore a huge database on performances over the time can lead to generalizing psychometric patterns. These tests have been there for years.
CAT is confined to India and this is the first time it has become computer based. No prior experience and from where and how was the database created to generalize psychometric patterns or any marking scheme.??


3. There are rumors of differential marking scheme based on weightage to different questions. It is the right of the candidate to know about the changes in marking scheme if any, prior to the examination. None of the IIMs or the Prometric informed us regarding differential marking. IIMs were following only equal marking all this while.

Candidates who have attempted the questions that had higher weightage incorrectly have got a reduced score.

In the absence of the appropriate information regarding the changes in the examination and evaluation pattern, many serious candidates are now in a state of shock and disbelief. At the same time many high scoring candidates have expressed their surprise on the high scores.

4. We would like the Prometric to enlighten us about the veracity of this international system that has been introduced in an Indian environment when the system of testing differs widely. How can application of psychometric expertise be called fair here?

5. Easiness and difficulty are relative terms, how can an absolute scoring system be used here? IIMs said they had prepared question papers of equal difficulty across all slots, if this is true, a simple normalisation (wrt to the slots) as done by the IIMs all these years should be sufficient. This is the only way we will get to know our true scores.

6. How do the IIMs decide that a particular section on a particular day was difficult? It is something that is riddled with a barrage of subjectivities.

7. If the IIMs and Prometric are very sure of their methodology and calculations, please make the detailed scores of each candidate public, Let there be no doubt in the minds of the students by making each parameter of CAT 2009 transparent.

8. It seems the IIMs and Prometric were deliberately delaying the result so that student can’t resort to RTI’s and petitions and they can publish whatever result they wish to publish. I personally believe it is simply the arrogance of IIMs which is not letting them accept that they did a mistake.

9. Why did IIMC want to revert back to paper based & other IIMs rejected? Now, why IIMA wants to revert back to paper based format and IIMC doesn't. The statment coming is 'earlier they didn't accept what we said'!!! So naive and simple... huh.
Isn't it just the ego of the IIMs which is jeopardizing future of many.

10. It might be true that CBTs are the future but was any study done or any analysis done that how that change can be brought about in India before taking such a big decision. If the answer is YES... I am definitely interested in knowing who did it?

11. IIMs should understand they are just poor man's Harvards, Whartons et al.

What I wish:

1. Best option is scrapping, which I strongly doubt will happen. So here are some wish-list.

2. Make actual scores and percentiles public (both overall, day wise and slot wise) available, asap

3. Institute show some logical thinking and use these percentiles too in their shortlisting. Rethink about the shortlists you have done. Its simply a humble request because in the end I strongly believe its their Institute and it depends on them how they want to take students (pun intended) but that too without transparency... is sick.

4. If large selection not possible, try squeezing a small screening round in between to give those deserving candidates some chance.

Personally, I hate the idea of studying for MBA entrance and too much dependence on the marks of the same for shortlisting, but this is the case right now so... atleast give the options to the people for correcting the mistake you have done.

Btw an interesting graph by some PG guy/ gal (nice work though) (its roll number vs selection graph). though i doubt it says anything as roll number given were in order of the student registering on the site or the slot they chose is something I don't know. If it is as per the slot they shose... then to.. bhagwaan hi malik hai (why I didn't take the first day ;))

RTI submitted at IIMA

SO here goes my first RTI...!!! Hope to receive a reply from their side soon.