Idea Caravan: Innovative Ideas Towards a Brighter Tomorrow

At the bottom of every human thought, deep down the volumes of reflection communicated and beneath the contemplation of any genius, there lies an idea still waiting to emerge, a unique viewpoint, which is nothing else but a union of beliefs that was not perceived to have any existing relation till that point in time.

The only people who can ever make this sudden marriage of ideas happen are those who care about them like a mother does for her child. When you meet such a person, who values his idea above everything else, question him why is that something supposedly so important to him, just ask him to explain. He will tell you about his experiences, moments of revelation and facts about reality that doesn’t matter to anyone who isn’t him. He will describe in infinite details deep personal stories, and it will all be autobiographical; he will simply let you know that who he truly is,  by discussing something completely unrelated to his life. Something that happened to him and changed his whole life. This is what a True Idea, whose time has come does to a mortal soul.

If Newton never told anybody about the law of gravity, if Edison would have only lit his own house, the world would have remained untouched by their brilliant ideas and minds. Powerful ideas of today are the true investments for a better tomorrow. Franklin Templeton Investments had partnered with the TEDxGateway in Mumbai December 2012, with this very belief.

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These ideas of today evolve, get refined and modify with the passage of time to become the reality in future. After watching videos of 18 such path breaking ideas from a variety of domains, it was real hard for me to single out which one to elaborate on.  So, I ended up choosing the one, which relates in some way or the another to the life of every student. The Concern of Exams.

The fear and anxiety of being judged is inevitable in life and the burden of scoring high marks that our current examination system has build upon students has added to this. It takes away from them the privilege of choosing their own direction in life since the amount of time a Class 10th or 12th student spends towards his school, coaching etc bereft him from the pleasure of pursuing his dream.

All what I can recollect from my Class X days is constant babbling of my peers, parents and teachers that how important is the Board Examination and my hectic schedule from school to “so-called” tution classes to ace in the rat-race. 6 Years hence, I realize how much over-rated it all was. Being somewhat smarter than peers, I performed academically well, but that year was really burdensome for a few of my close friends. With CBSE changing course books, complex marking schemes and a mammoth syllabus for each subject, children are unsure what to study, how to study and from where to study. Adding to trouble is the constant pressure from aunt’s neighbor’ son who scored 94 percentage last year 😛

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With the integration of technology in almost all aspects of our daily lives, pedagogic education is an area which is merely coping up. Though advent of Smart Schools and making Life-Science subjects more pragmatic is widely praised as a leap for the crippled Education system, yet the ground level reality has hardly changed. Concern of performing exceptional during those 3 hours is still intact.

To tackle this problem, the need is to focus on productivity. Study the topics which are more important and practice the problems which appear more often  than others. This need of the hour was well identified by Angad Nadkarni, a 4th year student at BITS Pilani who used Supervised Machine learning ( an emerging field in Computer Science) to analyse large volume of question papers to identify patterns in them, cutting out the noise.  Check him out, presenting the idea at TEDxGateway in the video below :

To me, this video comes as no surprise. As a computer engineer, I am aware of the expanse of data mining algorithms and its array of implementation in the industry for several purposes. These Machine Learning techniques are practiced even by Stock brokers, for analyzing trends of fluctuating stock prices. The idea is not new but the implementation definitely is. Almost every one leaves out the part which is tougher to grasp; when in graduation the number of exam skyrockets. Going through previous year papers and then narrowing down to conclusions manually is a tedious task in itself, digitizing this labor is a praiseworthy effort. The statistics that show which questions are relatively complex by integrating the viewpoint of other users, can help save a lot of time as the students now know what all topics are not to be devoted attention to.

Angad is currently working on an idea focused on removing the information imbalance in the current education system, and creating a tool and platform for every student in India to get access to the best intelligence and resources in one click of a button.In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm while in the real world all rests on perseverance. Angad has come a long way making his idea realistic. In Jan 2013, along with Samudra Bhuyan ,a 28-year-old GMAT instructor as co-founder, he started his exciting entrepreneurial journey, calling it “Examify“. Balancing his duties as the CTO of a web company while juggling with academics in one of the finest Engineering College of India, is a live example of how immensely has the idea affected his own life.

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Current Examify team

It is easy to walk the ordinary road but it does take something to walk the road less traveled. These 5 Bravehearts of Examify have chosen to spend their valuable time in developing a product that will soon be an innovative reality to assist weak students who don’t have terabytes of memory in their brains and lightning fast processors to assimilate and understand generally esoteric theories and conventions.

On the other hand, It proposes a rather interesting and challenging task for the teachers/exam setters to end this trend of cramming books for securing the passing marks. This belief, of a reform being necessary now among the education authorities might lead to a revolutionary change in our education system.The intellectuals would begin to design more innovative and out of the league exams to surprise students that would rather invoke their thought process, hence again rendering the exams unpredictable. 

Irrespective of how this idea affects the people, the implementation of this concept will only make our society a better place.

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Recommended Reads:

 1) http://www.nextbigwhat.com/bits-pilani-successful-startup-machine-297/

2) http://blog.examify.com/why-studying-for-more-time-is-actually-useless/

3) http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Online-app-that-hacks-your-exam-with-just-a-click/Article1-989263.aspx

Tchao !!!!

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