Monday, 20 March 2023

On Writing an Impactful Concept Note! A Sample ❤️

 Panel Discussion on Indian Economy and Climate Change: Issues and the Way Forward 

Thursday, 23rd March 2023 

9.30 am – 1.00 pm

Adiseshiah Auditorium, MIDS

[On a personal note: I am in real awe with the way this Concept Note has been framed so beautifully! Just browse your way through the article, by reading through the signpost words highlighted in yellow, and you will feel the reading so breezy!]

Concept Note 

The pandemic had devastated the economies around the world.

While most of the countries were struggling to recover from its impact, another shock has come in the form of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Developed countries such as the USA and many European countries are still struggling to recover from the impacts caused by the aforesaid events.

India is among the very few countries that continues to recover steadily from such impacts.

In recent years, climate change accompanied by natural weather pattern changes, such as El Nino effect, are predicted to have a significant adverse impact on India’s economic growth in the coming years.

In the past, heat waves in northern parts of India significantly reduced wheat output, leading to food inflation.

Similarly, heat waves and drought are also expected to hamper agricultural growth in the country; this will have its own cascading effects such as low demand for agricultural machinery, leading to job and income loss in allied and manufacturing sectors.

In addition to slowing down economic growth, climate change leads to a general deterioration of human well-being.

The central, state and local governments in India are taking up several initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts.

However, it is found that India will need an additional investment of USD $1 trillion by 2030 to meet its national goal on climate change; in the absence of financial contribution committed by the developed countries, India will need to find more financial resources which appears to be a difficult task.

Similarly, achieving ‘net zero’ by 2070 requires economic growth, especially through industrialisation, to be adhering to sustainability principles (such as ESG).

This is because of the fact that the economy is already experiencing a significant amount of environmental damage cost imposed by existing environmental problems such as air and water pollution.

In the absence of indicators (e.g. green GDP) to measure if the economy is moving on the sustainable path, formulating evidence-based policies to deal with climate change and other environmental problems becomes a difficult task in the coming years.

In this context, the proposed Panel Discussion to be jointly organised by the RBI and MIDS will bring eminent experts working on various aspects of climate change to discuss the current issues, progress made, and the future course of action under the broad spectrum of the Indian economy and the environment.

More specifically, the Panel will focus on the following:

What are the sector-specific impacts of climate change in India?

What measures are in place and what progress has been made on achieving the climate-related goals?

What additional measures are required to enhance the progress?

What are the emerging areas which need more focus?

What are the issues with climate finance and how do we generate resources?

Are there cost-effective local solutions to deal with the climate change issues in the Indian context?

Everyone is Welcome!


"Add a 'sense of purpose' to any Event that you design and make sure it maps with the core values of our Institution"

Study Abroad Seminar | A Report

The Study Abroad Seminar organized by the Deanery of Student Affairs in association with MCC Placement Cell today in the Martin Hall Auditorium, MCC, proved a very enriching and rewarding experience to all participants.

Speaking on the occasion, our Principal Dr. P. Wilson observed that,

Students who wish to go abroad, have been making their own, personal efforts to go abroad, which gave them a lot of difficulty, as they were confused about choosing the right course of study, the right university and the right scholarships. This subsequently led to a considerable loss of time, money and effort on the part of the students.

To ameliorate this situation, the College decided to step in, and arrange special orientations for students who wish to go abroad.

We had 225 students registering for this event from both Aided & SFS. 85% among the registered participants, have expressed their desire to do their Postgraduate programme abroad, while the remaining 15% wanted to pursue their research programmes abroad, he observed.

Added Excerpts from our Principal’s talk -

The Placement and Higher Education Ecosystem should be created by the students themselves, where it is owned by the student. This ensures sustainability of the events, by passing on the legacy to subsequent batches of students.

If you try to take this ownership and promote this ecosystem among students, we will give you full support from our side. This is part of student autonomy.

I’ve been periodically meeting with students in clusters, to curate their grievances. If a strategic consultancy is created in our College, in the near future, it can focus on addressing the needs of students who opt for entrepreneurship, placements and higher education.

One of the core values of our College – Academic Excellence – will become a meaningful and rewarding endeavour, by curating information from students themselves.

We have been taking up lots of events without any purposefulness to them – events that do not map with any of the core values of the college. In many Tier I institutions, the whole culture of the institution is tuned to be in sync with academic excellence.

In 90 working days in any given semester, we have a host of events like Department events, Hall events, College events, Sports events, etc, and so students are distracted on all sides and find it difficult to negotiate this pressure, and thereby do not have the time to cultivate academic rigour and excellence.

So when designing an event, it should not only be fun-based, but make sure you add a rider to it – some meaningful purpose to it – like cultivating leadership – for which your event would act as a prototype.

You should always remember that, we’ve been given these core values by our forefathers that we’ve to comply with. Only then can we sustain the heritage and the legacy in tune with the founding principles and core values of our great Institution,

said our Principal.

The Resource Person Mr. Anand Manohar who spoke next, had a very interactive session with the students.

He started his first session by highlighting on the array of information needed for students who wish to pursue their higher studies abroad.

Stating that, while our students found it a prestige to work part-time, when they study in Universities abroad, in India, they were embarrassed to work part-time, he therefore urged and encouraged students to take up some part-time work at least on one single day during the weekends, to gain part-time work exposure, which would be an added reference for higher studies abroad.

Stressing on the importance of setting a clear goal for their lives, he said that, when it comes to planning for studies abroad, it is best to start preparing for your admission requirements at least 12 months prior to the start date (usually September).

He also detailed on the tuition fees in Western countries, that may be in the range of Rs.14 lakhs to Rs.18 lakhs per year approx.

While in European countries, it could be anywhere between Rs.10 lakhs and 15 lakhs per year, approx.

In Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, South Korea etc, the tuition fee was in the range of Rs.2.5 lakhs to Rs.6 lakhs per annum, approx., while in Germany, it was literally free tuition in many public universities.

Students are given the freedom to work part-time 20 hours per week in most of these countries, he added.

He also outlined on the scholarships, and the documents required for overseas education.

Dr. Annet Pearl, the Dean of Student Affairs, welcomed the gathering, and Prof. Tony Thomas, Associate Dean of Student Affairs [SFS], gave the College Prayer, while Dr. Rufus Associate Dean of Student Affairs [Aided], introduced the Chief Guest. Dr. Alexander Raymand, Placement Cell-In-charge, delivered the vote of thanks.

Acknowledgements: A heartful of thanks to Prof. Udhayaraj, Dept of English (Aided), and to Dr. Chinnamuthu, Dept of Commerce (Aided), for their noble suggestions, support and guidance in designing this event. 

Thanks are due to Dr. Alexander Raymand for the excellent hospitality rendered, and to Ms. Madhivathini, for her meticulous help with the Registrations.

We immensely thank Dr. Ananthi Rachel, Warden, Martin Hall, for gladly consenting to provide us with all the facilities in their lovely Auditorium.

Friday, 17 March 2023

"I am on a journey with a mind full of thoughts to make a change. . ."

A Thoughtful Journey | Maanini Jayal

It was not just a normal routine day. I walked out of my old college with nostalgia and inspiration as I had met my professor to discuss about my research.

With a random aspiration to become the principal of the college, I headed to Tambaram railway station. On my way to the platform to board my train, I saw this man dragging a huge heavy suitcase through the last few steps of the platform. 

Initially, I was hesitant to help as I thought it would be too heavy for me to carry, and I was wondering about his difficulty to drag it.

My stereotypical mind popped out to question his strength as a man. Before I could change my mind and help him, he landed it. He had another bag which he was struggling to pick up. When I helped him to pick it up, I discovered his little physical disability in his right leg and hand.

I walked along with him asking him if I should help him to carry it along. He didn’t mind me much as he looked worried.

He asked me, “Where is the train that was here? They announced it was here. Where is it?” with much anxiety.

I asked him about the timing for which he said, 5: 05. But the time was 5:12 when he reached. I showed him the time and said the train must have left, unable to help him.

I walked past him with a heavy heart thinking about the incident that happened in my life.

My husband, the pregnant me and my ailing father-in-law reached the station an hour prior the journey.

As my father-in-law cannot climb the steps my husband went to enquire about a wheel chair. He was directed to fifth platform to get one.

After a while, he came running asking for my ID card (he forgot his wallet) as it is available only for those with an ID. The wheelchair is to be returned in the same fifth platform to get the ID card back. I and my father-in-law are waiting at the entrance anxiously as it is getting late.

My husband comes all wet with sweat and a wheel chair. I, carrying a few luggage, and my husband pushing the wheel chair take the longest route through the rail tracks and rough paths to reach the platform as there is no provision for easy accessibility for elderly or the disabled.

With great ordeal my husband left my father-in-law in the eighth platform and ran to return the wheel chair while there was only five minutes for the train.

Both of us wait there for him perplexed as the train reach.

Hopeless, we sit there looking for his arrival.

I see him coming running asking me to board the train while he managed to board with my father-in-law through the other door.

Unable to believe the fact that we are in the train, I call him to check if he is really inside. I come to the other side wondering about the people crowded around both of them. With a gut feeling that something has happened, I walk towards them.

I cry out loud seeing my husband bleed from his toe. I for once thought he was caught between the train wheels. People were helping him out but I couldn’t bear seeing him in pain and the blood that was split on the floor.

He had jumped through the tracks to catch the train while he hurt his toe in iron fence. We were grateful that people in the train helped to call for medical support and he was given first-aid at Chengalpet station.

We got down in our relative’s place as he needed stiches and treatment as quickly as possible.

I still wonder how he bore the pain for eight hours. Later, he had around eight stitches. Our journey was terrible but always thankful for the people who helped us.

I regret that I didn’t help that person today.

And, I write this to tell you not do the mistake that I did. Please, be considerate and helpful to people no matter who.

If someone had helped him with the luggage, he may have boarded the train. He was just ten minutes late. I can imagine the difficulty he would have faced to drag it all the way from the first step with his disability.

And if the station had the provision for easy accessibility for wheel chairs and the elderly, my husband wouldn’t have gone through that pain.

I am on a journey with a mind full of thoughts to make a change. . .             

Saturday, 11 March 2023

"Friends are a gift from above! Friends are devoted and true..."

Our ‘Whatsapp’ 😉 | 1990s

#memoriesfromletters ❤️

#II UG Days

Well, you see, I’ve got this quaint little habit of preserving some lovely memories. Be it from students, or colleagues, or friends, or family, I’ve had this little fascination for preserving and cherishing and reliving memories. 

Today, from my kutty little Letter Archives, I chanced upon this lovely Post Card, [15 paisa Post Card] which also doubled up as our SMS, our Whatsapp and our Gmail in the 1980s and 1990s.

The only downside to the Post Card, was that, the message reached us one or sometimes even two days later. But that wasn’t a bother anytime to us!

This particular letter was sent to me by my dear buddy George P. Mathew, who was doing his BA History alongside us.

He was [and is] my trusted friend for all seasons, much akin to my bestie Wesley. Yes, close friends addressed me as Sam.

When our exam schedule was announced, he so thoughtfully and sincerely went to the Post Office, bought a 15 Paisa Post Card exclusively for his lovely friend, copied the Entire Exam Schedule on this Post Card – something that I so delightfully cherish all these years - and then he went all the way to the Post Office, and dropped it in the Letter Box kept there, so as to reach me at my Residential Address on time!

That’s being a lovely friend!

I remember this lovely number we used to sing on the guitar back then.

[Yes! The song has that special feel, that beautiful aura and that lovely charm, only on guitar-mode, that’s that’s that’s…. simply timeless! Else, the only other option would be - try it out on acapella mode!] 😉

Excerpts from the cute and meaningful lyrics for y’all, here –

Friends!!! love one another

Friends!! sisters and brothers

Friends!! all in the family of God

Uoh oh oh!!

Friends!!! love one another

Friends!! sisters and brothers

Friends!! all in the family of God

Friends are a gift from above

Friends are devoted and true

Then when the goin' gets tough!

They're lovin',


And prayin' for you

Dedicated to all of us who believe in such lovely friendships that last for a lifetime and beyond! ❤️

Just in case you want to listen to this lovely number, please grab a cup of your dream coffee, plug in your ear phones, close your eyes, stay still, and start listening to this song HERE on YouTube. Happy listening! 

What if Hamlet did not know the aftermath of his actions?

‘What if?’ | A Lovely Literary Take on Hamlet

S. K. Vishnu Prasath, II BA English

A small glimpse into the greatest Shakespearean tragedy HAMLET -

Hamlet maybe a nobleman for the audience but for Ophelia, is he a good man?

Who on earth would betray his love and kill her father?

But Hamlet can be justified for his action as he was suffering from hallucinations and voices haunting him day and night.

But does that compensate for the death of Ophelia?

What if Hamlet did not know the aftermath of his actions?

What if Hamlet never thought that Ophelia would drown herself?

So here I present a snippet from the inner self of Hamlet, not as a prince but as a lover.

My Ophelia, this is for you

What it feels like to let my love die?

How cruel it is to let my love die , not in this cruel physical world but losing the magical emotion from my mind too.

There lie the worn out letters and flowers you sent me.

Now, with my hands stumbling to pick up a feather left behind in my terrace and my heart taking refuge in your memories life seems really hard.

But after all the pain, there lies the truth, the hidden truth,

Ophelia, you are the knife I turn inside myself; that is love.

That is love.

Pic: Video snap shot from a lovely videoshort created by Vishnu Prasath & Priyadarshini

Saturday, 4 March 2023

'I personally feel that, teachers [or professors] who exploit students to do such menial works are a blot on the entire vocation...'

On Exploitative Teachers | On Vanaspati | On prosopis juliflora

04 March 1995 | Some Ruminations



Upma, back then, was my kinda ‘odious approximation, a haunting conscience, a preposterous shadow’, my Achilles heel, in short, my nemesis. 😊

But wait… I’ve always loved the original, savoury, flavoury, Upma done by Amma at  home, for our breakfast sans vanaspati. However, this particular Upma, was an aversion to all of us, because of the huge overdose of Dalda (vanaspati) that was chaotically shot into the Upma, 😉 that made it both inedible and uneatable! [Vanaspati ghee was used as a cheap alternative to cow ghee].

By today’s market price, one litre of vanaspati ghee costs Rs.140/- while one litre of desi cow ghee costs Rs.620/- (Aavin), vanaspati being almost five times lesser in price]. Hence an aversion for the ‘vanaspatified’ Uppuma 😉 Quite intriguingly, vanaspati seems to have been introduced into India by Dutch traders, as early as in 1931, as a cheap substitute for the highly expensive desi cow ghee.

[On an aside, this is much akin to the highly invasive prosopis juliflora [or seemai karuvelam] that was introduced into India as early as in the 1870s, as a cheap ‘fuel substitute’.

Quite interestingly, in 2017, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had ordered the Govt of Tamil Nadu to completely weed out and eradicate the species from the state. However, sensing that nothing much had happened, in 2022, the Madras High Court, [also highly dissatisfied with the Govt’s measures], directed the government to immediately frame a policy to eradicate the plant. Hence, the state on 13 July 2022 framed a policy to eliminate the invasive species].

Coming back to 04th March 1995, into the morning -  

The unthinkable had just happened! We were all tricked into coming to school on this particular day, under a pretext!

Pretext, btw, means, ‘a pretended reason for doing something that is used to hide the real reason.’ [Cambridge Dictionary]

That’s exactly something our Physics Teacher did to all of us – his ‘students’.

He had set us all a trap!

On the pretext of giving us all, our Physics Practical Marks, he made us all [all the 50 of us] to come to our respective classes, and made us varnish our desks – that too on a holiday!

The varnishing process went something like this: First, we had to apply sand paper, and then wax was given to us, to varnish the desks. Headmaster was also there to inspect it all. After a forenoon filled with varnishing, much to our chagrin, our pants and tee shirts were smeared with wax all over.

Now, when I look back on this episode, I feel so bad at students having been asked to do menial jobs like these.

MCC School Hostel was one among the most expensive hostels in the City back then. And we had come to School to study, not to do menial jobs that someone else was employed and paid to do.

I personally feel that, teachers or professors who exploit students to do such menial works are a blot on the entire profession.

I repeat, a blot on the vocation!

If only we had had the guts to complain to our parents, and help lodge a complaint against such exploitative teachers who forced us into doing such menial works, things would have been better atleast for the subsequent batches of students.

Such criminals – wolves in sheep’s clothing – who double up as teachers interestingly, also earn a hefty and huge government salary, and warm their bottoms in comfy chairs, while using pretexts and pressurizing tactics to exploit such gullible students to their advantage.

Teaching, it is said, is the noblest of professions, nay vocations. If a teacher gets guideship to milk money from their wards by the lakhs, it’s a shame, a blot, and even a curse!

A ward is not a money-spinning ATM or a Bench Cleaner, or a Table Cleaner. They are the pride of their parents. Their sweetest bundle of joy. The apple of their eyes! The cynosure of their lives!

I’ve known at least a hundred instances of wards having had to grease the palms of their guides, to help them wrap up on their PhDs. Else, extensions by the dozens, await the trespasser!

Sadly, a professor from our own Institution was victim to these exploitative tactics of an RP [Research Supervisor from another Govt College] and we all appreciate her boldness for deciding to call it quits with this mammonish guy – mainly because of the abominable ways in which he exploited her economically all through her period of study. One signature from this perverted professor costs a minimum of ten thousand rupees, we are told!

A Supervisor is meant to guide not to exploit the ward entrusted under their care.

So dear students be very cautious while choosing your guide as well! Don’t fall prey to exploitative guides who use this ‘opportunity’ to milk their wards.

A teacher, who exploits a student for their own benefit, is a blot on the teaching community.

If at all a teacher wants to exploit a student, I have a small suggestion: let the teacher concerned, pay at least 50% of their salary to the student whom they intend / wish / desire to exploit. Else, the government should enact laws to make such teachers arrested / fined and even prosecuted.

How much of a huge trust does the parent have on the institution, with such beautiful dreams for their kids.

But here, their kid will be lamenting and languishing – not able to speak out also – for fear of being ostracized and punished.

This unholy exploitation is a huge blot on the vocation in itself.

I’m sorry for venting my indignation.

But even today, when we get complaints from parents over anonymous emails, we are not able to do anything about it, because of the very nature of their anonymity. The student is shell-shocked and even traumatized beyond measure, to even think of giving a complaint against a particular teacher who exploits her, day in and day out.

If only the parents can boldly write to our Principal with their designation and name, specifying the instances, immediate action can be initiated against such erring teachers. That’s because anonymous complaints don’t have legal backing and so don’t stand any chance of the criminal being prosecuted.

Personally speaking, if only such teachers could make use of the valuable time and ‘services’ of their own children to do all this varnishing, polishing etc!

Else, treat the children who are entrusted under their custody as their own, and make use of ‘paid labour’ to do all these menial works, and just allow the student to study!

I personally feel that, these golden years for the student are the formative years that shape and sculpt and mould and carve their blessed future for them. With high hopes the parents send their sweethearts to school, spending a fortune on their hall fees, oops… hostel fees, with such golden dreams for them.

Hence, it is a huge criminal offence to prevent students from studying during their golden, formative years, especially during their precious study time! As a student who has stayed in the hostel/hall for many years, I’ve known the exploitation that these voiceless kids undergo at the hands of these ‘devilish’ teachers.

Students have enrolled themselves in a school/ college to study! Not to spend their time varnishing, cleaning, polishing etc, and working for the hostel –  which is just a a temporary, makeshift shelter/ rental abode for their period of study! Nothing more! Nothing less!

Teachers should be sculptors of the students / wards entrusted under their care and guidance.

Not spoilsports!

"People said I was crazy. But there are quite a lot of things a mountain could teach you..."

A Trip to Mighty Mountain 

Saru Krishna R | I MA English

Admired and visited by people who seek solitude and by pilgrims, also known as Himadri the land of Lord Shiva, you might have guessed it by now…!

Yes, it is!

“The Mighty Himalayas.”

As an avid rider I have always fancied mountain roads. Though I never dreamt of riding to the Himalayas, my own ride experience turned out to be surprisingly pleasant.

I didn’t bother to take a sweater with me and managed to survive the 3° cold with just track pants and hoodies.

People said I was crazy. But there are quite a lot of things a mountain could teach you.

I was terrified when I heard of the leopard attacks happening in the Himalayas.

But the words of the locals comforted me. They believe to trust the mountain and says that the mountain does not forsake pure souls. They consider the mountain to be a superior power which made me realize the impact nature has on them.

The entire journey paved a way to feel and take in nature.

The purity of Mother Nature is epitomized by the Himalayas.

The cold mountain wind caresses the soul. The woods and valleys kindle something deep within you.

The feel of the mountains cannot be contained in words. The entire ride on hill covered a distance of 714 km on more than 50 mountains of the Himalayas.

The tough terrains and challenging roads are perfect for a 20 years young adult to learn from.

My legs were tiring, hands shivering and heart pounding; But the spirit of the mountain kept me going.

I consider this experience as my achievement.

Have you decided what yours is?

"The feel of the mountains cannot be contained in words..."

Friday, 3 March 2023

"Go to class, read, eat, chat, play, sleep, REPEAT..."

The Argument over Mt. Everest 😉 | Hostel Days


#HSC Days


In Chemistry Practical Exam on this particular day, I got Copper Carbonate. Now, please don’t ask me what I did with this chemical back then. It’s almost close to three decades now, yaar.

With the approaching summer heat, which, as usual, is unbearable, our HM was discussing the possibility of fixing ceiling fans to all our cubicles. Some good news for us, back then.

A note on short forms: 😉

Well, Ray is short for Raymond, Karups is short for Karuppiah [the most intelligent guy in our class].

Please don't be harsh on a teenager's diary entries that contain a few random spelling mistakes

Gowtham, Ranjan and Arun were all assembled in Bhaskar’s room for some casual conversation time.

The discussions veered around the controversial depiction of Mt. Everest as part of China in the Manorama Year Book 1995. Karups was arguing that Mt. Everest was NOT in China.

Bolyn from Manipur was the most humorous guy around. It was a real delight to have him around us, since his humorous facial expressions and gestures alone were enough to make us rofl. Guys always wanted him around, because he always made others around him happy, with his good-natured humour!  ;-)

Daniel Ponraj was nicknamed Phoolan Dev(i) by Riyaz, and Riyaz was ‘cross’ with his Phoolan for leaving him behind when he went for his tea and snacks. Girish [who did his schooling – upto grade X - in Indian Language School, Lagos, Nigeria] was also a renowned chess champ amongst us. He would deliberately tease us for a game of Chess and have that cute, impish glee on him, when he checkmates his opponent each and every time. Yet another connoisseur of the game was my bestie Sunil, and you may want to read about a game of chess that I had had with him, HERE on our past post. 😊

Girish loved playing chess with me. He had a few books on the game with him as well. On this particular day, after our casual chat, he slept in my bed. I waited for long, for him to get up, but sensing that he’d gone overboard to snoring mode, I had to gently wake him up at around 12.45 am [midnight] to help myself at my bed. 😉

Hostel days, were in short, the most unforgettable days in our lives, when, without an iota of care or a worry, you just had to go to your classes, read, eat, chat, play, sleep, REPEAT! read, eat, chat, play, sleep, REPEAT!!!  😊