Archive for the ‘India’ Category

English Speakers in India

Image Courtesy: Auroreetthomas

It is an irony that despite being an Indian, we promote a foreign language and sideline our mother tongue, unlike China. However, the bitter truth is that English has become our necessity and we cannot ignore it. We all are desirous of good jobs, interact with international stakeholders, and even want our children to study in decent schools. Arguably, sound communication skills increment our chances to attain a haven to manifold. Various research reports second this very thought as well.

In one such study, which was conducted by three students (Mehtabul Azam, Aimee Chin, Nishith Prakash) of different American Universities, Similar findings were revealed. The report released in 2010 inferred that  people with good English communication skills hold an edge over lesser or non-English speakers in terms of earning hourly wages. The study entitled “The Returns to English-Language Skills in India”, based its findings on India Human Development Survey (IHDS) 2005 data and unleashed the following stats:

Mohammad Atif

Image Courtesy: Ideas for India

On an average, among fluent English speakers in India, males get 34% and females get 22% higher hourly wages. The percentage of kaam chalaau (Okay type) English speakers getting hourly wages however remained  low, at 13% for males and 10% for females.

The statistics are sufficient to depict the necessity of English in our professional life. However, in our social life as well, the impact of English communication has been telling. While the rural areas are still content with communicating in native language, most of the urban areas differ significantly. Specifically in the metro cities, the headcounts of English speaking people are increasing at a rapid pace. However, we are still lagging behind in the overall numbers. Another data posted in 2007 by Jobsite.Y-Axis echoes this thought with the below stats:

Speak English

Image Courtesy: Voxeu

India was the second largest English speaking nation after the US, which was near about 300 million and equivalent to 100 percent of the United States population at that time. Moving over, on an estimated 350 million English users in India, around 100 million were English speakers.

So, what about the rest? The data  depicts the situation that existed 7 years back, wonder what is the current scenario? The below facts from a more recent report  answer the question.

In a Google fusion Table (published in 2012) including the List of Countries by English speaking Population,

India  was yet again only second to the US, with 12.16% English speakers out of the eligible over 1 billion Indians. Though, this ratio was too low as compared to the United States where out of an eligible 280,950,438 populace, 95.19% spoke English. China was deep down the list with, 0.83% of English speaking population  out of an estimated 1,200,000,000 people.

However, Chinese people promote their own language religiously in corporate silos, education institutes, etc., and even want the foreigners to learn Chinese if they wish to do jobs there. Hence, such low percentage is not a matter of worry for them but us, the Indians.

All these statistics are fair enough to give a certain idea of where does our country stand and how far do we need to go from here. We are lagging behind in English communication heavily, and the consequences are obvious – We work on lesser salaries, don’t have satisfying jobs, the kids and the grownups in our society are hardly communicative in English, and so on.

English Speakers in IndiaSome instant and perhaps efficacious steps to improve this situation could be to:

  • Improve our own communication skills; the beginning has to be made from somewhere deep within.
  • Spread awareness about the importance of this language
  • Develop interest for the language among others in our society

Following these points may well acts as the stepping stone toward ensuring a decent growth, both in our personal and professional life.

We can give excuses ranging from education to upbringing to not-so-good company, etc., for our bad communication. However, these reasons are not going to help us at all. Instead, we ought to work on this language, which despite being from the British, rules the roost in India.

The succeeding blog post would enlighten the scene with some interesting yet valuable tips to improve English communication skills. Until then, keep rocking!

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Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

All those who have experienced the ambiance within the Maulana Azad Library, walked down the University Circle Lane, given their eardrums to the lectures in various departments, enjoyed hot patties and cold drinks in the university canteen, or have done enough of hooting in the Kennedy Hall Auditorium, know what it feels to be in Aligarh Muslim University or AMU, as we call it.

The world famous educational hub has today reached far beyond expectations, with its students working at respectable designations in reputed MNCs across the globe and Government Sectors. Some of them are even too smart to have their own establishments, and they are doing well enough in their respective fields. All these ambitions, aspirations, and achievements have been made possible only because of one dignitary, SIR SYED AHMAD KHAN.

The AMU, along with all its alumni community located worldwide are celebrating the much revered Sir Syed Day today to commemorated his 197th birth anniversary this year (17 October 1817 – 27 March 1898). The noble leader, perhaps an institute in himself, envisioned a bright future for India and its citizens. His pain for the miserable plight of his country and community finally healed out in the form of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College on 24 May 1875, which later transformed into AMU. He was a great admirer of Urdu and even promoted the language and as the lingua franca of all Indian Muslims and through his own writings.Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

Sir Syed’s vision got new wings on his visit to Britain. During his stay in England, he opined, “I wish that youth of India should follow the example of young men and women of England who are religiously engaged in the hard work of industrial development of their country”. He found the way they imparted education to the students, very inspiring.

Realizing the benefits of Western-style education for the society, he decided to come up with an identical form of learning, right in his own country. Despite strong oppositions from people from his own community as well as others, he was adamant at improving the education system in India, which ultimately paid off in the form of AMU.

It is due to the commendable efforts of this towering personality that many generations have gained an outstanding form of education. Moreover, the forthcoming generations will continue to flourish under the supervision of people from yester generations. And this entire cycle will continue till eternity.

In the current scenario, we badly need many more Sir Syeds to infuse the feeling of love, piety, and brotherhood among each other . We all may be too successful in terms of our earnings, we might be running big establishments, have lavish houses, our kids might be studying in world’s renowned educational centers. However, amid all this, it is equally important to let other realize their dreams and aspirations as well. The need is therefore to carry forward the vision of our beloved AMU founder, and be the torchbearer of humanity, equality, and quality education.

Sir Syed Ahmad KhanTo conclude, let’s remember these famous words from Sir Syed that he said on Hindu Muslim brotherhood:
We (Hindus and Muslims) eat the same crop, drink water from the same rivers and breathe the same air. As a matter of fact Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan. Weakness of any one of them will spoil the beauty of the bride (dulhan)

Mohammad Atif is a celebrated writer and an IT Geek. He is fond of writing on almost anything that entices him. To get a glimpse of some more of his written works, you can browse through Contentilicious and The Treasure Blogland.

Mohammad AtifToo much engrossed in materialistic things, we have forgotten the essence of life for sure. It is okay to lead the life our own way, but for that we follow each and every method possible in our dictionary blindfolded, whether legal or illegal, decent or cheap, right or wrong, oblivion of the fact that such attitude is slowly but firmly dragging us to the stone age where there was hardly any difference between animals and humans. The worst thing is that it becomes too late before we realize the loss, as the damage has already been done by that time. Blaming others on all the mishaps around the vicinity is pretty easy but in fact, we must start the mudslinging tasks right from our very own existence, for we are also equally responsible for the filth in the atmosphere.

It is not that we are happy doing all those activities but unfortunately it a bit of our retarded mental state that compels us to cross the limits. I might be sounding like a mad person myself having said all those things but by the time you would reach the end of these lines, who knows the plight be same with your mind as well. Here am going through some of our Oops moments just to discover the extent to which we have become uncultured.

Throw it out of the house: We wish to keep our house crystal clear, but do we think the same way for the surrounding outside our home as well? Not at all! We throw the garbage produced through our sources at almost any place other than the dustbin in our home. Though the exceptions are always there, but am talking about a general perception. Spreading filth here and there sends an unquoted invitation to stray animals, diseases and every unwanted thing. Yes, we do care to clean the surroundings apart from our own home but only after someone among us gets caught in the clutch of an infected disease. Can we ever grow up?

Tell him am not at home: We teach our young ones to speak truth and be honest but we forget to follow this golden on our own, what an irony? Asking a family member to say, ”Tell him that am not at home”, while responding to a call some time or the other is but a commonality . Have we gone so weak in our deeds that we simply consider it better not to face the others, not even on call? Seems ridiculous but true! Having said that, I wonder how are we able to face ourselves in front of the mirror.

Me first, me first: Patience, it seems has become an extinct thing in our society. We find it too old-fashioned to wait for few moments for our turn, be it the queue at reservation counter, a multiplex, or almost any other place where patience ought to be the key.  Endurance has unfortunately been replaced by intolerance with restless people making every possible effort to rob the foremost place at the counter and in the run, going way beyond the limitations in ridiculing, abusing and insulting others.

Mohammad AtifTraffic rules…who cares?: Farhan Akhtar, the renowned film-maker from Hindi Film Industry once tweeted, “Until and unless you are driving an ambulance or a fire brigade, you have no right to violate the red light at traffic signal”. I might be missing the exact words from his tweet but this much message is enough to reflect the level of irritation that we come across when we see someone among ourselves violating the traffic rules freely; even the celebrities feel the heat! Yet again impatience rules the roost, we find it useless to wait for the signal to go green and just go on to win the race where we are the only sprinter. But such type of race often ends in the graveyard leaving our near and dear ones only to cry for us for the rest of their lives. I wish we could be disciplined enough to be mature enough in this regard.

Speed thrills but kills: This is a common phrase that we often come across while on the road, but do we really abide by it? I guess not. What is the need for so urgency, I cease to understand. Talking about our teenager friends, they just think themselves to be on the top of the world, there is none to stop them and they have all the license to drive to maximum speed, who cares if they are not even eligible for the license, thanks to their parents. I must say that the elders are not only encouraging their kids in such a scenario to invite danger but are also equally responsible for any kind of mishap caused subsequently, be it a hit and run case, an accident or nuisance on the road due to rash driving.

The Honking thing: We better know that the traffic jam has blocked the road and the person driving the vehicle ahead of us can move on only when the space beyond him gets cleared. I just cease to understand that despite knowing about all the situation why we keep on honking until the others go deaf. I believe, we are either insane or are too much uncivilized. Questions can be raised on our upbringing as well in such a scenario.

Eve Teasing and molestation: This is perhaps a serious shortcoming that is much in discussion in the ongoing scenario, I need not to explain why. I never thought being a Good Samaritan could be that much difficult. We do have females in our home as well, don’t we? Then how come we could be so rude to others around our vicinity – in the college, the working place, a public place etc. Can’t we take a lesson from the good books and express our deep gratitude toward females instead of teasing them whenever we get the chance. Yes, we do raise voice against this inhuman thing but only after someone of our acquaintance becomes the victim. I wonder, how can we be so insensitive to such a serious flaw in the society. Are we really the human beings or merely the ruthless fellows who think women to be no more than an object of amusement? We seriously need to grow up as it is them who indeed teach us how to lead life in a refined manner.

Mohammad AtifI know am too much harsh writing about these uncanny situations. But to my mind, this is not even the promo of the bigger picture, for we know better the extent to which we have adopted the skin of ruthless animals, ready to go beyond any extent to satisfy our selfish motives. I can only hope that we could ever behave like the right way, like humans and avoid the wrong turn.

A Brief Introduction

Posted: September 7, 2009 in India

Introduction:

IIT

India is a nation of varied religions and cultures spread across its length and breadth. Its geographical range stretches from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the top most place to Kanya Kumari in the state of Tamil Nadu , as its lowest  point .

 

History:

India got Independence on 15th August, 1947 from the Britishers, Thanks to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation. However the constitution of India was written three years later on 26th January, 1950 by Mr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

National Insignia:

National Flag: The Tricolor flag with

Saffron on the top indicating sacrifice, Indian Flag
White in the center indicating peace and

Green at the bottom indicating Prosperity.

In the Centre of the White band there is a

Blue  circle with 24 spokes to indicate the Dharma Chakra,

the wheel of law in the Sarnath Lion  Capital

The ratio of the length and the breath of the tricolor flag is 2:3.

National Anthem: Jana Gana Mana adopted in 24 Jan, 1950.

National Animal: Tiger

National Bird: Peacock

National Flower: Lotus

National Sports: Hockey

National Emblem: A replica of the Lion of Sarnath, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.**

** visit http://www.freeindia.org/national_insignia/national_insignia/page2.htm

Political Background:

Father of the Nation:   Mahatma Gandhi (Moham Das Karam Chand Gandhi)

First President of India: Babu Rajendra Prasad

First Prime Minister of India: Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru

First Woman Prime Minister of India: Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Mr. J.L.Nehru

Cultural and Religion Background:

People here follow many religions and all the Festivals here are celebrated with pomp and glory. We Indians irrespective of our cast, creed, Religion etc., participate in these festivals.

Among the Prominent Religions and the Festivals celebrated here include:

Religion                                                                     Festivals

Hinduism                                                                     Diwali, Holi, Dusshhera, RakhshaBandhan, Jnamashtmi, Durga Pooja etc.

Islam                                                                             Eid, Eid-Ul-Zuha, Eid E Milad-Ul –Nabi

Sikhism                                                                         Guru Nanak Jayanti

Christianity                                                                 Christmas, Good Friday

Buddhism                                                                     Buddh Purnima

Zoroastranianism(Parsism):                               Pateti

Languages and Dialects:

India is very rich in languages. . A minimum of 30 different languages have been identified along with 2000 dialects. Though, due to rapid industrialization, English has become the most common language, Hindi, being spoken all over the country is still our National Language. Hindi is spoken by 337 million people in India. The second most spoken Indian language is Bengali, being spoken by 70 million people.

Geography:

Delhi is the capital of India ,apart from it the other Metro cities include Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. We have 28 states and 7 Union Territories. Delhi in itself is a Union Territory.

Area wise Madhya Pradesh(MP) is the biggest Indian state.

Population:

Population wise as you must know India is only next to China. As per 2008 census, the population of India was 1,147,995,904.

Uttar Pradesh(UP) is the biggest Indian state in population. It is so big in population that only 5 countries in the world have people more than it.

Tourism:

India has many tourist attractions. Tourists from across the globe visit throughout India to enjoy its beauty, flora and fauna. Some of the nice places to visit are:

DELHI:                                                Red  Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, Delhi, India Gate, Hazrat Nizamuddin Shrine

AGRA:                                                 Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri Agra

HYDERABAD:                                  Charminar

MUMBAI:                                           Haji Ali Shrine , Marine Drive

AJMER:                                              Ajmer Sharif Shrine

Economy:

Indian Currency is Rupees also known as INR.

1US Dollar = 48.6301 INR

Bottom Line:

The wide and rich cultural heritage of India is hard to be encapsulated in a single mail. I might have missed out lots of important things. But this is the most i remember for now from my knowledge.

Ramadan Mubarak

Posted: September 1, 2009 in FESTIVALS

Iftaar

The holy month of Ramadan is observed all round the world among Muslims. The followers of Islam observe their fasts continuously for 29-30 days. People start their fast after eating the meals at the time of suhoor before the sunrise. They break it after the sunset with the meals at the time of  iftaar. Muslims in India too offer fasts in Ramadan Mubarak with due respect and regards. They follow all the desired conditions for their fasts to get completed successfully. Apart from the abstinence from eating, people offering fasts are prohibited to harm others, involve in any sexual act, and lying etc. People spend most of their time in prayers called as ibadah during Ramadan. A special type of prayer called taraweeh is offered at the night time in addition to the regular daily 5 time prayers or salah. This peaceful momentum continues for the whole month of Ramadan after which the much awaited Id-Ul-Fitr is celebrated.

INDIA: Through My Eyes

Posted: August 31, 2009 in India

Hi All.

With this first post, I am making my entry to the world of blogs. Through this blog I want to travel across the length and breadth of India and depict its eternal beauty.

India is a nation of varied culture and rich heritage, having a history of almost more than 5000 years. This blog is dedicated to all those people who have India in their hearts and invites all those who want to explore India. To summarize, there is something in it for every one. I am sure this blog will  inspire each of us to share their part of  India with all its reader.

Keep on visiting this blog to know more about India. Wish me best of luck.

Thanks

Atif