The India we are all Proud of

It’s the week of 15th August, a day when all Indians, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, pay homage to Mother India and feel proud at what we have created over the years. As a learning and development firm, we have tried to put together here some interesting facts about India and its contribution to the world of learning and education at large. Here is some food for pride…

  • When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization)
  • Chess was invented in India.
  • The ‘Place Value System’ and the ‘Decimal System’ were developed in India in 100 B.C.
  • The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
  • The Art of Navigation & Navigating was born in the river Sindh over 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘NAVGATIH’. The word navy is also derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nou’.
  • Bhaskaracharya rightly calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the Sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. According to his calculation, the time taken by the Earth to orbit the Sun was 365.258756484 days.
  • The value of “pi” was first calculated by the Indian Mathematician Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century, long before the European mathematicians.
  • Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus also originated in India.Quadratic Equations were used by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10*53 (i.e. 10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 B.C.during the Vedic period.Even today, the largest used number is Terra: 10*12(10 to the power of 12).
  • Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Over2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries.
  • Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient Indian medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism,physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.
  • Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
  • Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.

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Teaming for Winning – Lessons from FIFA 2014

Before I start writing, let me declare that I am neither a sports fan nor a sport analyst. So when the whole world was consumed by the ‘FIFA 2014 Fever’, I frequently got the updates by my facebook friends’ status messages. However, there is one thing that I couldn’t stop myself from doing – looking for lessons from the game and relating it to my work. Business Leaders, Managers, coaches very often draw inspiration from sports to understand and apply management lessons.

When the game started, the only word which kept hitting my ears from all sides was ‘Messi, Messi & Messi’. Being a novice that I am (in sports!), I started reading up about this gentleman who seemed to have made his way through the minds and soul of people the world over with his sheer talent, tact and triumphs. I got knocked out by the staggering statistics on his awards. This iconic figure was slated to make history this time around. What then happened is the question worth pondering! Where did Germany go right and Argentina with a ‘superhero’ go wrong?

It seems that Messi’s talent alone was not enough. In fact there were other teams with individual STAR players but they couldn’t take their teams to win the Championship. One popular sports analyst quoted ‘ Portugal had Ronaldo, Brazil had Neymar, Argentina had Messi but Germany had a team’. My explanation lies in the question itself ‘When it is a team playing against a team, how can only one individual counter a highly  synergized and cohesive team?’ While Argentine team was banking on the talent of one individual, German team worked liked a well oiled engine where each part perfectly complemented each other and moved like magic.

It is worth giving a thought then, what could be the factors which propelled Germany to greatness. Firstly, the good old mantra of ‘hard work’ seemed to pave the pay for their victory. Working hard is as relevant for the team as it is to the individual for the team to succeed. Each member of the German team was carefully handpicked and groomed over years at the young age to be the best. The second and the more important point in making a team great is its ability to use each member’s ability to its best. Each team member was prepared to play their roles perfectly. They had the best goalkeeper, outstanding defense, powerful midfield and attack second only to Argentina. Their team was most complete. The third, and often overlooked point is that of maintaining strong bench strength. When you are up to achieve a mighty task, you need to be prepared for all contingencies. Mario Gotze, who finally hit the spectacular goal, was a back up player and proved fatal for his opponents!