Friday, December 21, 2012

Online Exam Experience

In this post I shall talk about my experience of the online exam. :)

I was in Bangalore when the "forms" were being distributed. They were being distributed as usual in a bank.. We were made to stand in a queue. And it was almost a 200m long queue, OUTSIDE THE BANK!!! :o seriously!! It seemed as if everybody in Bangalore were there to buy the "application form".. Anyhow, after almost 2 hours I got to enter the bank and buy the "form", which turned out to be a "SCRATCH-CARD"!!

After getting the scratch-card, we rushed to the nearest cyber café to fill the form.. The plan was to get a seat in Bangalore.. But alas!! No seats! We started at around 2 p.m. and at around about 10 p.m. we successfully filled the form and registered ourselves.. Pathetic server speed.. Actually the fight for centre made the students rush on the first day itself; and the severs crashed.. But I'd say they were quite stable..

Thankfully I got a centre at my hometown, Jamshedpur..  :D and I was happy to have a centre where my home was. But the happiness was short-lived.. I went to see the centre before the day of exam and I was surprised!! There it was.. Amidst mud houses.. A college, that had around 60-70 computers in its computer lab.. And to reach this college you were needed to travel around 3 kilometers on the highway outside Jamshedpur and then  for the next 3 kilometers take a 3m broad road!!! What a discovery!! I donno how they found that place in the whole of Jamshedpur…!! :-\

Anyways we entered the centre and got ourselves checked.. And they took everything we had in our possessions, except our clothes I think.. The best part was that they were taking our handkerchiefs saying they were "strictly instructed" to do so, BUT let us take our purse!! Some logic!!Next we were registered.. Fingerprint scanners and what not.. Anyhow.. We sat in our respective seats.. And the exams started..

Then something happened.. The bright screen was giving me a headache.. And the monitor in front of me was new to me and I didn't have the nerve to experiment. So I asked the invigilator to decrease the brightness of the screen.. After 5 minutes or so, this guy comes.. I ask him to decrease the brightness.. He stretches his hand for the monitor console and lo! Switches off the monitor!! :o Then he switches it on.. Then makes the screen go long broad trapezoid and what not! And in the end he successfully decreases the brightness!! What a fight! Lol! :D I had an "in-exam entertainment".. :D

All-in-all it was a good experience.. Errors like marking the wrong answers on the OMR sheet has been totally removed.. You can change your answer any number of times.. Apart from that there was an option for marking the question.. On the review page, you could selectively review the "Incomplete" questions, the "Marked" questions or all in sequence.. At the end of the exam, Prometric had given a feedback form to fill.. Next we were allowed to leave.. We were given our possessions back.. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012


Everything was going digital.. And so has exams.. 2011 was the last year for AIPPGME.. Now it is being conducted by a different body, NBE. The exam now is called NEET-PG.. Even AIPMT has become NEET-UG.. And there's a NEET-SS for super specialization.

Prometrics is conducting the online adventure. The same company that takes another National exam -- CAT -- for business students (MBA).

After a lot of struggle, this dream of online exam for MBBS students has been realized.. As far as I remember, I had been hearing rumors of online exam since 2009.. But every time it was cancelled. 2012 was the year..

It was my first online exam experience. Of course, apart from DNB-CET.. This is a post related to my experience.

DNB-CET and NEET-PG were conducted by the same board, i.e. NBE. NBE used to conduct just DNB-CET before this. Now they are conducting both.. And what a mess they have made for both.. There were so many rumors about the expected pattern. But looks like things went totally unexpected. Let me tell  you in brief..

AIPGMEE used to be conducted by AIIMS. It had a question pattern very close to AIIMS, but simpler.. It consisted of questions that were fact based and some that were analysis based. But as the years passed by, the questions became weirder and weirder..  DNB-CET is known for its weird questions.. No logic.. One liner questions.. No analysis.. Not much. The dictum is solve the last few years questions and you can crack the exam easily.. But with AIPGMEE and AIIMS a bit more preparation is needed than just blindly solving last few years questions..

When the new pattern was published for NEET, everybody got quite scared.. The proposed pattern included questions with graphs, X-Rays, Diagrams and a lot of analysis questions..

And then something funny happened.. After all the apprehension and hard work behind the said pattern, we encountered a pattern that was like DNB-CET, i.e. one liner questions without any analysis.. And the questions were either kid easy or senseless tough.. And since it was taken over a week for around 7days, question sets differed.. Some students got more of kid easy and some got more of senseless tough…

It was my first online exam experience… and it was satisfactory.. I shall write about my experience on a different post…

See ya all.. :)

Friday, September 28, 2012


Dreams have always been mysterious.. Some say they are just fairy tales without apparent logic; some say it tells about our past; some say it tells about our future; some say it tells about our present; and then some don’t say at all.. I have seen dreams vary from person to person. And then they make their own concept about what they see.. But some things are common..

Dreams have always intrigued me.. The way the brain works.. All the mysteries.. It's all so alluring.. My interest in psyche and psychology has been from childhood.. Isn’t it fascinating?! As a child I used to wonder why I dreamt what I dreamt.. Some dreams were recurrent.. Most didn't make any sense!!

As I grew up I did some reading, not much of a research you could say; just light reading.. And I was fascinated all the more! The other day I started reading "The Interpretation of Dreams" by Sigmund Freud. But I just started.. :P I was soon reminded that I had my whole life for reading such books, as for now I needed to concentrate on my academics! Yeah, right! You hear that so often, right!?? Lol :D .. Anyhow!

In a documentary I came to know that sometimes you dream about your work. Your mind perfects yourself when you sleep and dream. It's said, anyhow, that REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is needed for consolidation of memory, mostly the memory of skill. You don’t believe all these humbug till you actually see it, do you?

But then it hits you like an epiphany! It's not that you don't see; you just don't realize! I remember while I was posted in Medicine ward and was assigned to take innumerable blood samples of all the patients that the world could offer, I ended up having dreams wherein I saw myself taking blood samples from all the patients that the world could NOT offer! :D Unless you realize it, you'd say, "Man I'm so vexed doing this stupid work, that I even see it in my dreams now! How pathetic!" But when you realize, you understand that after that dream you actually became good at it.. You understand that you have been practicing it in your dreams! Amazing how the mind works! I poked so many careless needless into virtual patients in my dreams, only to make me good enough to do careful poking on the real ones! :D

But then some dreams are not related to work.. You cannot place the dream.. And if anyone asks you what you saw, you have no answer! Because it's not what you saw that mattered! It was what you felt!! That feeling.. That old familiar feeling.. That sways you. And it's stuck with you even when you are awake! Maybe your conscious and logical mind tells you, "C'mon! it was just a dream, not real", you can’t reason with yourself at times, can you? You are stuck with that "feeling"! Could be good, could be bad. As they say, dreams open the door to your subconscious mind. All those feelings of guilt, hatred, love, sadness, longing, etc. just comes out like that and gets you right there.

I used to listen to dreams of my friends. I had this idea of a dream. An analogy. I never came across such an analogy at the time I made it, so it was interesting how I made it.. :P And I am here to share. Our brain's a kitchen! And everything we see from day to day consists of all the ingredients we need, even sometimes without our realizing it. Now when you sleep, your subconscious mind comes to life with all the ingredients it has, and it being the chef, of course! It starts cooking and offers it to you.. And it's a wonderful chef with an uncanny sense of humor. It may take visual data from some and feelings data from some and mix it into a nice dish. That's when you wake up seeing that you had gone on a date with some lovely movie actress (say Kate Winslet) whom have u seen a nice romantic movie (say Titanic) or being bashed by your most feared villain (say Amrish Puri) for not doing your homework. :D Though at time your chef actually takes proper ingredient with proper feelings and makes them so real, that at times you can't tell apart dream from reality. Isn't it? :) So, as I used to listen to the dreams of my friends, I used to ask them questions, and always found some link or the other.. But you may still ask WHY?? Why dream some things at some times and some at other. I guess some do have answers, while some don't. I want to know so much more about dreams, don't you? Readers, you are free to comment with suggestions of some good books or documentaries that you might have come across.. :) I'd go through them when I'm done with "academics" :-\.. :D Thank you for reading. :) See you soon. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Independence Day or Interdependence Day?

Happy Independence day to all my Indian patriots.. :) A day to cherish the freedom we fought for, and we got! But this day has always left me wondering -- what is freedom? What is India? Who are Indians? What is patriotism? And many more… most of them unanswered or, well, debatable…:) I'll share some of my thoughts here on this auspicious day.. :D

15th August 1947!! Learn it!! Memorize it!! INDEPENDENCE DAY!! Believe me, I still at times get confused between Independence Day and Republic Day (26th January)!! And don't give me a weird look! I promise you there are many who do, mostly as kids though, but still they do.. :P It's not like what's 2+2, and u blurt 4!.. "15th august!" and you say, "Happy Rep..amm.. Independence.. Day!".. Lol .. :D

Jokes apart, it's a very important day! :) Many gave up their lives in making India free.. From?? Well, it's taught British Rule.. So the Imperial Rule was over, and India was declared free!

Now, as children we are also taught in history all sorts of things the British rulers used to do. Now when you do that, it does has deleterious affects. To quote and example, there are still people who despise the English language and label us traitors.. They urge us to use Hindi (National Language) instead of that! There was a time I despised them too. Not as an extremist though. But, then, soon, I found a pattern!! I found some dots! And I wonder what connects these dots!!

The dots are as follows:
  • Indian subcontinent was a part of Africa, which drifted and collided with Asia, forming Himalayas;
  • Just south of the collision there was a civilization around the confluence of the Indus river system almost 5000 years ago (3300 BC- 1300 BC), known as the Indus Valley Civilization.
  • Around 1500 BC Indo-Aryan migration to India from the Central Asia.
  • Mughal invasion and subsequent Mughal Empire in India from 1526 to 1757
  • Happy Independence Day (1947)

It looked to me the fertile plains of India has been fought for over the centuries!! So whose is India? What connects these dots?

Dravidians, that is what the original people in India were known as, and now consists of what's known as South India. History says during Aryan invasion, the Dravidians were pushed to the south. So the North Indians mainly consisted of Aryans, while the "original Indians" became South Indians.. It's said Dravidians were pushed as far as Sri Lanka! And to present day, South Indians don't have much of a liking for North Indian.. Call it hate, but they don't speak Hindi, and might hate you if you spoke in Hindi to them! They prefer English to Hindi!! :o So much for the National Language!

Aryans divided and ruled.. I don’t even remember the number of dynasties! Lol! There was a Mauryan, a Gupta, etc., etc.. And the predominant religion at that time was Hinduism.. Thanks to Gautama Buddha, there started Buddhism, although I don't think he wanted idol worship!

Soon after Mughal invasion, Muslim became a predominant religion. And thanks to Aurangzeb, the great (being sarcastic in every sense of the word), he forced conversion of Hindus to Muslim!! No wonder Hindus hated Muslims!!

And then came British!! And they were hated as well..

Few more dots:
  • South Indians (Dravidians) hate North Indians(Hindus), because they were pushed down;
  • Hindus (North Indians) hate Muslims (Mughal), because of Aurangzeb the great perhaps;
  • Hindus hate English (British), because of the heart warming British Rule;
  • Muslims hate Hindus (if I hate you and do bad things to you, you'll hate me too).

So much for Love!!!

And I wondered what connected all the dots! And if you have been patiently reading through all this humbug, tell me, whose India is it? Why should I or you hate or have a grudge for any religion, language or country? I call to all Indians.. Tell me.. Who are you? Dravidian? Aryan? Hindu? Muslim? English?

If you don’t know, let's see.. According to me, Dravidians should have darker skin like South Indians or Sri Lankans.. Aryans had fairer skin, as they came down from Central Asia. Aryans (fair skin) push Dravidians (dark skin) south.. Muslim (fair skin) invade Aryan (now perhaps semi dark! Lol) and take control! British (fair skin) invade and push Indians (darker skin).. So to me, basically it's the fight for India's rich soil and wealth between dark skins and fair skins.. And the fair skins ruled until they became dark skinned, and if they failed to become dark skinned (like British), they were overthrown!! Lol!! Sounds funny!!?? But that's the bottom line!! Religion comes next! Of course, if I am fair skinned, and larger (because I came down from a temperate climate), and I am stronger than you, who is smaller and dark skinned (because from a Tropical or Equatorial climate), my religion is "obviously" better than yours! Laugh on that!

Independence Day is good, but are we actually free? We can never be free!! It's a delusion.. Everybody will be dependent on each other! I liked the idea of Interdependence Day spread by the Zeitgeist Members.. :)

I acknowledge the things the leaders have done for India to give India it's long deserved freedom from Imperial rule. But, India still has a long way to go before it's actually free.. And not just India! The whole world… One world, one country! Peace and Love! No boundaries. Just Harmony! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Satyamev Jayate

Hello.. Sorry I have been away.. Being a medical student isn’t an easy job. Not enough free time. Moreover I have shifted to a new city, so it takes time to settle down and stuff.
Moreover, it wasn’t just being busy that kept me away, I had nothing to post on.. Nothing very interesting.. Yeah you guessed it, now I do..:D
A new show has started on Star Network. It’s called “Satyamev Jayate”. It’s a show produced by Aamir Khan and his team. Aamir Khan himself is the show host. He takes up topics related to things that are prevalent in the society.. Like on the Sunday before the last Sunday, he took up the topic of dowry, and all the problems associated with such a practice.. The shows are brilliant and it strikes straight at the viewers heart.
Last Sunday his topic was doctors and the malpractices they do.. It was a brilliant show as ever, bringing tears to everyone’s eyes and stuff.. And he’s not absolutely wrong.. The malpractices that happen in India are obnoxious!
After the show medical students like us had our discussions. I even talked to non medicos.. And they were pretty scared! One even suggested that we should start going to Ayurveda doctors instead! The reason was that the program was biased..
Doctors form a community which is respected by all Indians. Every doctor who can heal a patient is treated with respect. Some are treated like Gods! And then there are some who are the cheap stuff. They’re in for the profit and play with people’s lives.
The point is whenever you are in for profit, you play with people’s lives.. With most professions it’s indirect, with doctors it is direct! So if a building falls down and 100s are killed, you don’t know who to blame! The engineer, the contractor, the cement guy, the metal guy, blah blah.. But if a guy loses his life because of a doctor, well, u know who to kick!
In the show Aamir Khan talks about the number of licenses cancelled in the UK to those in India.. In India no license has been cancelled in the recent past.. This fact amazes the audience because that would mean that all doctors in India are either so good that there license hasn’t been cancelled or the system is corrupt!
It’s true that license in India are not cancelled as strictly as they are in UK.. But did he miss a point?? YESS!! He did!! And did the audience miss the point?? OF COURSE THEY DID!! But did they ask the question? UK is a “developed” country and India is “developing”. To most it is a difference of attitude, but basically it is not ATTITUDE that makes us a developing country and UK a developed country! It’s STATISTICS!! I won’t go into much details of it as you may find enough on the net already. But there are few points I’d like to emphasize.
Let us talk about the Doctor to Patient ratio.. I got this on the net. Click here. It’s an old statistics.. But u can still see the difference! Great Britain has 1 doctor for 400 patients and in India there is 1 doctor for every 1,700 patients!!! I couldn’t find the recent statistics of UK, but for in India as of 2012, there is 1 doctor for every 1953 patients.. Reference. it’s not just poor, it’s abysmal!! More so when u compare the salary!! For UK I got this on Payscale (Click) and for Indians (Click).. Comparing the lowest salary on both the charts Rs. 165,703 for Indians and £ 34,258 (Rs. 3,004,464) in UK!! Can u see the difference!! A doctor in UK gets over 15 times the salary for 1/4th the patient load when compared to an Indian doctor!! Also try comparing the least of UK and highest of India. See the difference? Can Indians afford to lose doctors!! NO WAY!! If Indian government starts to cancel licenses like UK, the already abysmal number will go down further more!! So what does the intelligent government do?? Lets not cancel license, at least the statistics will show proper!!! But is that a good thing?? I think not! But yeah, it’s the best thing that they can do right now considering the resources and corruption prevalent in the country!
Very truly put by Dr. Gulati.. The doctors are not to be blamed totally.. It’s the government and the whole social system, if you ask me! Doctors are said to do a noble job and it’s called a noble profession.. But are doctors paid right? The priority of health in this country does lie at the bottom! Are not doctors human!!?? Don’t they deserve to live properly and enjoy!!?? One may say that doctors earn the most in the country! True! But did u calculate the number of hours a doctor puts in to earn that much?? I have heard my non medico friends bicker that they were made to work for over 8hrs in a day!! Doctors have to work 36hrs at a stretch in India!! No sleep no rest!! And still earn as much as any other non medical guy!
PEOPLE SHOULD BECOME DOCTORS NOT FOR THE MONEY!! Yeah right! If a patient dies, the attendant kicks us; work for inhuman hours per day and get paid less; and when all’s tolerated, people come to you after watching a show and tell you “doctors are pathetic!” ARE WE NOT HUMANS!!! When somebody is treated badly, they give that in return. And it’s not just for doctors! But if a doctor becomes bad, the society suffers more than ever! So doctors should have a good moral of conduct.. Well, I say, give them enough money to have a good conduct. Make health a priority in this country. Make a proper education system so that those who want to become doctor to heal, and not to profit, become doctors.
Aamir Khan did an excellent show highlighting the evils of the medical institution. What he didn’t realize that what he has done is made his audience panic! Now everyone who has seen the show will be afraid of getting treated by a doctor. All they will think is that doctor is profiting! But I ask you, are the doctors to be blamed for what’s happening or is it the government and the social system? And I didn’t even take up the pharmaceutical companies and their way of work here! Hahahaha! Try this for instance (click).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sieving My Thoughts

couldn't take a pic on the day related to the post.
 this was taken  on another day
Just another day, I was standing by my terrace room door. There's a construction going on the opposite side of the road. There's this man. He's sitting with a 1m by 2m sieve and a garden spade.. The sieve is inclined against the outer wall of the building. There's a heap of sand just half a meter away from where the man was working.

Using a bigger spade he throws some sand on the sieve. He sits down on one side of the sieve and uses the garden spade to sieve the sand. The coarse particle remains on his side of the sieve and the finer particles of sand form a small heap on the other side of the sieve.

On the other side of the sieve, mimicking his dad, is a 3-4 year old boy, around 2 feet tall, looking all cute and adorable. On his countenance is the expression of a man who's doing the most important thing the world could offer. I watch them work diligently sieving sand.

After sometime, the man got up, strolled away from their work area, took out a packet of guthka (chewing tobacco) and swallowed it down. His son, meanwhile still sieving sand, looked back at his role model just at that precise moment, but got back to sieving quicker than he had turned to look at his dad..

The man picked up the spade picked up some sand on the spade and asked his son, who was having the time of his life STANDING on the sieve and sieving the sand, to move from the sieve, as he was about to throw the next packet for sieving. The kid shows his hand to his father, asking him to stop, removes the coarse particles of the sand with his garden spade from the sieve, and then motions with his hand to his dad as if giving a green signal..!! The man waits patiently for his son to move. He's too tired even to scold him it looks from where I stand. Or, perhaps, he was different from other dads. His son moves, and he gets back to his work.

Within few minutes, the man stands up and strolls inside the building being constructed. His obedient 3yr old diligently sieving the sand.

The kid stands up and looks around to see his dad missing.. He gets apprehensive for a while. That's the first time I see a "child" on the countenance of this 3yr old. He looks as if he's about to cry. But that countenance disappears quicker than it appeared. He goes to the heap of sand, throws his spade (like his dad had done just a while ago) on the sand. He looks around and sees a spent guthka packet lying on the ground. He picks it up. I cross my fingers. "Don't!", I want to shout. My voice stifled by the cold northwesterlies that hit me. He looks inside the packet, turn it over in his other palm and gulps the contents. He throws the packet with the attitude of self-importance; picks up the spade he had thrown into the sand; goes back to the sieve and starts sieving again…….

I close the door, the wind still in my veins chilling down my spine. I sit on my bed and close my eyes……

How do you think this child will grow?
How do you think Raja's 2G scam gonna affect him?
How do u think 20% off for burgers at McDonald's gonna help him?
How do u think home loans and education loans will help him?
What will his psychology be like?
How do you think he'll perceive this world to be like?

I had so many questions in my head.. I felt so lost inside.. Am I the only one feeling so?