I have a Solution that will reduce pressure on IIT aspirants but do not know how to get this across to HRD Minister of India. Suggestions are welcome. - Ram Krishnaswamy

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

From Blue Whale to TikTok, online threat looms large

From Blue Whale to TikTok, online threat looms large

Even as Blue Whale suicide cases went down, complaints against TikTok videos began to rise.
The Madurai bench of Madras High Court in September 2017 took the case suo moto following reports of death of a college student after playing Blue Whale.
 The Madurai bench of Madras High Court in September 2017 took the case suo moto following reports of death of a college student after playing Blue Whale. 
Two years ago, Blue Whale challenge claimed the lives of youngsters driving the Madras high court and the police to ban the online game after marathon hearings and detailed advisories. This month, the court had to step in against the increasing use of Chinese TikTok app.  It voiced concern over “pornographic and inappropriate content” made available through such platforms.  
The Madurai bench of Madras high court in September 2017 took the case suo moto following reports of death of a college student after playing Blue Whale. During the hearing of the case, the CB-CID police said links to Blue Whale Challenge had been blocked and it could not be downloaded from play store. However, cops said social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were used to obtain the links.  The bench directed the Central and state governments to explore possibilities of banning the game.   It also asked that IIT-Madras director be impleaded in the case to offer suggestions to ban such online games.   The police also issued an advisory to parents asking them to keep tabs on the children's online behavior.
Even as Blue Whale suicide cases went down, complaints against TikTok videos began to rise.  The petitioner, who sought a ban on TikTok, alleged that the online game encouraged paedophiles and the contents were very disturbing. The Madurai bench of Madras HC, hearing the plea, said people were making cruel humour against the innocent. It also raised concern over teenagers playing pranks and enjoying duet videos with strangers. It also objected to TV channels telecasting TikTok videos.
The court, as an interim measure, directed the authorities to prohibit the downloading of the app.  It also asked if the government can enact a statute, like Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, in the US, to prevent the children becoming cyber/online victims.
Interestingly, when TikTok was banned, there was a demand to ban online game PUBG in some parts of the country.
However, the bench, hearing a plea by Chinese company ByteDance which owns TikTok, on Wednesday, lifted its ban on the condition that the platform should not be used to host obscene videos.
The  company stressed on protecting the rights of legitimate users while pleading to lift the ban. But 'legitimate users' can be a misnomer when the app can be downloaded and used by all.   Online games and task-giving challenges are not only addictive, but also become a threat to one's life.  
People with low self esteem and those who feel insecure seek the attention of others by playing such life-threatening games. Some are also driven by peer pressure. Doctors and experts say discussions on such games and challenges and their promotion on social media platforms must be discouraged.  Also parents must keep an eye on attention-seeking behavioural pattern of youngsters which can make them more vulnerable to such online games and apps.  Keeping a check on their online behavior,  limiting their screen exposure and restricting their gadget use at nights  will help parents to ensure the psychological health of their children.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Man suffocates to death in car, he was in depression after losing job - Millennium Post

Man suffocates to death in car, he was in depression after losing job

Man suffocates to death in car, he was in depression after losing job Team MP10 April 2019 4:01 AM Gururgam: 

The body of a 37-year-old man was found in his car, parked near Aravali Biodiversity Park, in DLF-3 area on Sunday morning. A passer-by, who noticed the body, made a PCR call, following which cops broke open the car and brought the body out. With the help of the documents, he was identified as Sujoy Manekar. "The cause of death seems to be heart attack due to suffocation. We have initiated a viscera examination to help us determine the exact cause of death," said Dr Deepak Mathur, who conducted the postmortem. Read This - Major fire at Delhi showroom, no injuries reported "We are from Ranchi and have been staying in Faridabad from the past few years.
 Around six months ago, Sujoy lost his job. Since then, he had been suffering from depression and started drinking heavily. On April 3, Sujoy left home for an interview but did not return in the evening. I spoke to him over the phone, but every time he sounded heavily drunk. On April 5, I spoke to him the last time and asked him to come back home. But he never returned," said Devshree, wife of the deceased. Read This - Hot morning in Delhi The body was later handed over to the family. "We found an empty liquor bottle from his car. He must have dozed off in an inebriated state and died due to suffocation," said inspector Ram Kumar, SHO of DLF-3 police station. There is a need to tackle depression which is now beginning to take a deadly turn. To make sure that no such action takes place, a family must be in constant touch with the people who are mentally disturbed," said Dr Ranjana Yadav, a city psychologist. There have been several occasions in the past when peopel facing depression have taken extreme steps. Last year in 2018, Mehul Priyadarshi, another resident of Ranchi, who was an IIT and IIM graduate committed suicide as he was depressed due to professional reasons. In another disturbing incident reported from the same year in Pataudi, a 28-year-old man committed suicide by hanging himself. What seemed to be more shocking, he filmed the entire incident of his death on Facebook live.


Monday, April 8, 2019

The Shortest Route to your Goal

Q. My son, in Std 4, has developed a bad habit of telling lies. He is not interested in studies and just wants to play. We are thinking of putting him in a hostel, but he is refusing to go. Should we put him in a hostel or bring him for counselling? We stay near Amravati and can come when you say. 
Ans. The primary thing to do is to find out the nature of the problem and make a diagnosis of causes and effects.You have mentioned two issues- one that he is not interested in studies and two he has started telling lies. Both these things could be related to each other. It is important to find out the reasons for the disinterest in studies first and foremost. There could be a number of reasons, such as, levels of intelligence (IQ), specific area difficulty in subjects or tasks (reading, writing, comprehension, languages, arithmetic etc), hyperactivity and attention deficit (ADHD), ineffective methods of discipline at home and such areas of concern. Any problem in studies can lead to telling lies that helps initially as an escape route to studies and later becomes a habit. Now let's discuss issue of putting him in a hostel- if he has learning disorders or has low intelligence, it will become worse in a hostel for whatever little care you take at home will diminish in hostel. His lying will worsen too as will his studies. Secondly, since he will take going to hostel as a punishment to his bad habits he will bear resentment towards you. If we send him for betterment by saying that school is good and takes care of children with learning problems it might help. But where will you be assured of a residential school that takes care of such problems? So first bring him for a diagnosis and then decide best course of action. Packing him off to a hostel will be like passing on your troubles to another's shoulders. R T 
Q. My mind often goes blank with irrational fears. I overthink things and feel depressed and suicidal. But I am afraid of doing that as I am a coward. I cannot fit into this system. I don’t like many people and hate mixing with a crowd. I am a good student, but am losing interest in studies. Please help. 
Ans.You need professional counselling as soon as possible. Either request a family member to accompany you or a friend or come alone if you can. You should not allow yourself to suffer due to depression and fears of any kind. You should not think of suicide and dying at all. Remember if there are problems there are solutions as well. Like any other physical disease the mind also gets ill and falls sick. Then illogic takes over and such silly thoughts begin to bother you. Do not think much about your problems- just seek help as soon as possible and you will be fine. Have faith that there is a remedy and that you will be fine. T S 
Q. I have appeared for Class 10 exams and I am certain that I want to pursue Law as a career. My parents may allow me to do Law after Std 12 only if I do not get into IIT! I find it crazy that I have to study science and appear for JEE and get into IIT, when I don't want to become an engineer? Please help! May be they will read this and get convinced that I am right.
Ans. This is truly funny and illogical. For if I want to go to USA, why will I take the route to China! I will take the shortest route to my destination. If you want to do law and are very sure of your interest and aptitude, then please enrol for humanities or commerce in junior college and also enrol into coaching of CLAT. You would need to score well in 12 Std as well as in CLAT to get into the best/ good law schools. There is no need to do science and to appear for JEE and then switch for law. The choice of career should be done immediately after 10 Std and the relevant subjects should be chosen. It becomes a waste of time, money and energy to experiment and try multiple options first before coming to a decision. The time to decide is actually NOW. Taking the aptitude test and career guidance may be another way to convince your parents if they do not read this column. 

By RITA AGGARWAL (Consulting Psychologist) Take shortest route to your goal The columnist can be reached at 201, Paramount Heights, 40 Cement Road, Shivaji Nagar Nagpur 440010 or on 9156582334, 2220250 and 2223322. She can also be reached at rita_aggarwal@hotmail.com and can be visited at www.rita-psychologist.com)

Friday, April 5, 2019

Suicide is the mind throwing your body away like old clothes: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at IIT-BHU

Suicide is the mind throwing your body away like old clothes: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at IIT-BHU

The humanitarian, spiritual leader and ambassador of peace also spoke about educational reforms, peace and motivation — as students protested against his being invited to IIT in the first place
Prajanma Das 
Edex Live
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Representational Image
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar equates suicidal tendencies to not being able to fit into your kurta. Speaking at IIT-BHU on April 2, the spiritual guru who runs the Art of Living movement said that the mind experiences the same feeling of suffocation that you feel when your kurta no longer fits and thus wants to throw away the mortal body.
Sri Sri's speech included everything from peace (which he is an ambassador of), time-management, motivation to spirituality to the purpose of human life — anything a life coach talks about. And he was excellent on the job. He included the audience, made jokes and avoided any concrete answer, according to the student body Students For Change (SFC) — who had protested against his delivering the talk, prior to it happening. He gave a quick tip for those suffering from depression and it was way more revealing than Deepika's heartfelt personal account. "When you want to do something for your country no depression can touch you. You can drive out depression if you think about how you can contribute to the society," he said.
The talk organised by Student Counselling Services run by the IIT-BHU admin and students was titled 'Bringing Excellence in Action' but Sri Sri crowd-sourced his topic and won the audience in the first minute. What is unsettling though is that not one single person asked if he has anything close to a scientific explanation to any of it, given that the talk was at one of the Institutes of Excellence in the country.

The humanitarian, spiritual leader and ambassador of peace also spoke about educational reforms, something the whole country talks of but does not do anything about. "I studied about the French Revolution in school and never used that knowledge ever again," he quipped. "We need to update our curriculum and the educational system. You shouldn't invest time thinking about what will happen to you — this is the mantra to avoid depression — and start thinking about what you can give. When you want to do something for your country no depression can touch you. You can drive out depression if you think about how you can contribute to society."
"Ssshhhhh....Do you know what this is?" he asked the stunned and silent audience. "This is a universal language that asks everyone to keep quiet (a joke perhaps). We are in the quantum age — it's all about vibrations. All of us give out vibrations — of rage, of love and every other emotion. Everybody has a unique vibration. And now your phone also opens with your fingerprints," he said.
Some students did protest about the fact that an IIT asking a spiritual leader to speak is not just ridiculous but preposterous. "How is it even logical?" asked Vandana, a fourth-year student of the Ceramic Engineering Department and the Secretary of Students For Change (SFC). "He claims that poverty alone is not the problem for the farmers but what makes it worse for them is that they lack spirituality. I don't understand how the administration can even think of asking him to speak at an IIT." But her logic did not change anything. The university thought it would be apt to give studies a break for spirituality though and classes were called off for the second half.