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With JEE around the corner, aspirants are gearing up with preparations for one of the toughest examinations in the world. To excel at this arduous competitive exam is no easy task; it requires developing a certain mindset, understanding, and stamina, which is different from what students are taught in a regular school. Student needs to have an agile mind that is capable of analytical thinking and understanding of complex core concepts. They need to build a strong and solid foundation of scientific and technology knowledge students, which is possible through deep levels of determination, focus and concentration. This is the reason why Gurukul systems are considered to be the best places to facilitate a sound learning environment.

Gurukul Systems

The concept of a Gurukul system of education is based on time tested values and principles. It believes in developing an innate sense of concentration and involvement while enhancing a child’s knowledge and development of the brain. The wards in the Gurukul are oblivious of outside surroundings, living in close proximity of a teacher, where much emphasis in laid on a young student’s mental, cognitive, spiritual and physical wellness. The system works on the holistic development of a child, inculcating values such as discipline, self-reliance, right attitude, empathy, creativity, and strong moral values. Introducing children to such an atmosphere in the early stages helps them sharpen the analytic skills from the very beginning. This helps them develop critical thinking, giving them an edge over competitors from the start. Hence, students can delve into rigorous preparation for JEE easily, with greater chances of success.

Ambience

Most Gurukuls are located at scenic places wrapped in sheer tranquillity, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is here that students transform into balanced, analytical people, ensuring an ambience where education is balanced and rewarding. Location plays a crucial role as being surrounding amidst nature, devoid of any out-worldly distractions, creates an environment which is most conducive to learning.

The serene ambience of such schools is ideal for JEE preparation.  It is a known fact that preparing for these exams takes a toll on a student’s stress level. Surrounded in a calm and isolated environment helps build the mind and spirit, where they can easily de-stress, and enhance their concentration levels.

Modern infrastructure

Gurukul systems have a significant prominence in Indian history. Today, age-old concepts have merged with modern culture to facilitate a robust learning environment for students. Traditionally, Gurukuls have always emphasised on the importance of practical knowledge. Similarly, Gurukul systems today believe that bookish knowledge and rote learning are not sufficient and thus, provide practical knowledge in a modern infrastructure including practical laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities and technology. The curriculum prepares student to excel in all fields of life, creating a perfect combination of academics and extra-curricular activities. This makes the educational journey remarkable. Traditional classrooms replace digital ones, and teachers ensure individual attention to augment the learning capabilities of the child. Hence, for JEE aspirants Gurukuls provide a stimulant environment and assistance to optimize their time and preparation for the competitive exams.

Preparing for the JEE exam is one of the most rewarding experience, and opens up various avenues in life. It is undoubtedly the stepping stone towards a brighter future.

To conclude, India has always been known as the land of Gurus and Gurukuls. In ancient India, Gurukuls were considered excellent centres of learning and similarly today, they are the epitome of holistic learning and development of a child, ensuring a promising future for the student.


The author is Raunak Jain, the managing director of Tula’s International School.
 
Stepping out of the sheltered environment of a school and a comfortable life at home under the guidance and support of parents, marks a major turning point for every student stepping into a university. Just like every other phase of life, it is not the academic and theoretical knowledge alone that we gather but also incur several practical real-life experiences during the course of time and thus, have our respective take-away lessons from them. Becoming financially independent in terms of handling your own expenses and allocating a suitable budget for yourself, is one thing which comes across as both a responsibility as well as a feeling of growing up as an adult.

It is imperative to create your own financial plan as a student at the very beginning itself. Systematised financial planning will not only assist you to manage your expenses well but will go a long way in letting you strike the right balance in your new independent life. Even though, it may seem like a petty issue, planning an appropriate budget is certainly a necessity for every student to facilitate wise decision-making. Particularly, for those going to a different country for higher studies, this is a matter of concern as almost all universities include an estimated financial plan structure vis-à-vis the available resources as a mandate to be submitted by every such student before the admission.

Here are a few substantial points to be considered while creating your own financial plan:

Allocate a priority-wise budget - While creating a suitable budget in accordance with the available financial resources is a must, it is even more critical to ensure that the budget you set matches correctly with your set of priorities. For instance, your budget allocation for basics such as books and food ought to precede the expense amount for luxuries such as eating out or vacationing with friends.

Monthly Categorisation - Again, this is an extension of prioritisation of your expenses, wherein you as a student should categorise your expenses into varied buckets such as essential, non-essential, immediate or eventual and those which can be reduced by pooling in together with friends. This kind of strategic assessment and pre-planning of expenses can also help to keep the budget stable and refrain from getting oneself into any difficult situation.

Limit your Credit - Though credit cards and other credit options are a great saviour in today’s era and more so for students, but they are also spoilers and often lure one into getting under unnecessary expense and then, debt. It is vital to set a monthly credit limit for yourself and yet, try to have minimal opportunities for relying on it. Rather, one must curtail some of the miscellaneous expenses to limit the credit, if need be.

Pre-deciding a swapping game - Swapping game, as the name itself suggests, would mean swapping some of your requirements of a particular month with others as per your changing circumstances. Your budget must have such discretions, wherein you make space for certain unexpected changes and then, you are able to accordingly swap those requirements, making them fast-forward in return for giving in some of the current things at a later stage.

Awareness to make the right banking choices - At present times, where one is overwhelmed with the numerous banking services available from many different banks, it is critical to have complete knowledge about the relevant solutions and what works best in your situation and then, make a sound decision. Moreover, along with the alluring solutions come a lot of terms and conditions, which must be understood well in advance and considered wisely while making your choices.

Last but not the least, create a secret wish list of things you would like to buy for yourself but are unable to accomplish at the moment due to limited finances. This list will not only motivate you to stick to your budget but will also serve as a constant reminder of the prize which you will fetch by going the saving route.

Interestingly, there are several universities out there, such as the University School of Business, Kajrat, which offer special finance advisory provisions for their students to sail through the unsteady waters of budgeting. The university, being a world-class business school, is an established global platform for students coming from world over and thus, it makes sure to provide the necessary financial guidance and support for budgeting through varied channels. Such unique finance practices of this prominent B-school makes it a perfect example of institutions doing their bit in assisting students to become aware of their financial choices and set their priorities right.


The author is Tarun Anand, founder, Universal Business School.
 
Minerva Schools at KGI, one of the most innovative institutions in the world, announces the commencement of admissions to its undergraduate courses for the academic year 2017-2018. The online application form is free of cost and the selection will be based on merit. The last date for the submission of forms is March 15, 2017, for all courses.

Minerva offers an innovative undergraduate programme that combines four years of world travel with rigorous, interdisciplinary study. Minerva prepares intellectually curious, motivated and driven students, for success in a dynamic global future.

Accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Minerva provides students the opportunity to choose from five different majors – Social Sciences, Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Business.

All classes at Minerva are intimate (with a maximum of 18 students), discussion based and active learning seminars.

Minerva students live in seven major cities – San Francisco, London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Hyderabad and Taipei – during their four years of study, developing the nuanced perspective and understanding needed in the modern global economy. At each of these locations, students participate in site-specific programs that push them to apply concepts learned in class to real-world scenarios.

The programming in each city deepens student’s understanding of the academic material and reinforces practical skills while cultivating vital character traits like empathy, resilience, and accountability.

The annual tuition fee at Minerva is US$ 12,500.

Details of the courses:
Majors - Social Sciences, Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Business. All the majors are highly interdisciplinary and are appropriate for a wide variety of career paths.
 
Each of the six majors further bifurcate into five or six different concentrations for students to choose from. For instance, business majors can choose from New Business Ventures, Scalable Growth, Enterprise Management, Brand Management, Strategic Finance and Managing Operational Complexity.
 
Tuition Fee: $12,500 per annum (does not include living and travel expenses)
 
Last Date of Application: March 15, 2017
 
Founded in 2012 by Ben Nelson and former Harvard University dean and renowned psychologist Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn, the Minerva Schools at KGI was set up to provide an extraordinary Liberal Arts and Sciences education to top students around the world.
 
In a growing technology-driven and industrialised world, increasingly people are forgetting the traditional crafts and moving towards new innovations. Due to this, the artisans are moving to alternative sources of income generation, for instance – daily wage labours and farming; and the art is losing its grip. Preserving and protecting the skills and knowledge of traditional crafts is a growing challenge. So it is desperately needed to revive the art and form and spread awareness about them in urban space. It should be a world where the handmade things are given the respect they deserve and the artisans are also recognised for their talent and effort.

To keep the traditional craft alive it is important for the artisans to understand trade fair and participate in the same, with an all round understanding of the profit and loss and pros and cons involved in the global market. If the artisans want to keep their art alive they need to interact with the consumers and tell them all about their work and meaning to it.

Since the craft sector is the second largest employer in rural India after agriculture, it is a source of supplementary income to the seasonal agricultural workers, who have limited alternative employment opportunities in the villages. According to the research of  students of IMS Design and Innovation Academy, many artisans and crafts act as a secondary source of income in times of drought, lean harvests, floods or famine. Here, the most significant point to note is that crafts provide a large arena for rural women to be gainfully employed and sustain livelihood for their family. An example is the women of Kishinnda Trust in a small village (Anegundi) of Karnataka who are producing “Paper” and other items made by Banana trees and their leaves in their free time.

Craftsmen these days are bringing the mixture of old and new designs to strike a balance between the avant-garde and the traditional. Through this blend of different forms of craft, the traditional craft somewhere has hope to shine. To bring back the art in the market, the craftsmen and the artisans needs to understand the market and its promotion strategies. They need to understand their space in the global market and then fixe the price of their products. Several artisans have lost their source of livelihood because of lack of money and material. In Gujarat, the famed Kalamkari craft is fading into oblivion because of non availability of material and the artisans turning to more profitable avenues of earning their livelihood.

To revive the traditional craft forms and also to solve the problems that are faced by the craftsmen and artisans, serious steps should be initiated. At both the rural and urban levels, workshops should be organised that enhance the skills and also the knowledge of the people such as skill showcase, design education, creative and product development workshops followed up with pricing, marketing, branding, micro-finance etc. These workshops help the artisans to eradicate the communication gap and encourage dialogue. They also help spread awareness on traditional art forms.

These awareness programmes will also initiate collaborations between the artisans and the urban designer and brands to explore opportunities together. Through such initiatives, we can save our traditional crafts and promote them nationally and globally.

The author is Neha Jain, senior faculty in Interior Design Department of IMS-Design & Innovation Academy (IMS DIA), one of the leading Design institutes in the country.