Create, introspect, improve – insights and tips for harnessing your creative edge, from the Akanksha 2019 artists

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 345 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

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The Akanksha 2019 exhibition, held recently at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, featured over 500 artworks by 55 women artists, showcased for six full days. In Part I of our photo essay, we interviewed curator Shyamala Ramanand on the mission and journey of the exhibition; see also Part III for more artist insights.

The artist lineup includes Anusha Reddy, Tanu Gupta, Sunitha Krishna, Saroj Revankar, Pareejat Gogoi, Sindhu Rani, Aakriti Agrawal, Ahila C, Suvidha Bolar, Vedha Sreeram, Yamuna Padmanaban, and Sangeeta Agarwal.

Saroj Revankar has a range of artworks reflecting her upbringing in rural India. “Art is a never-ending learning process for me. A few workshops have helped, but I believe we learn from our mistakes and from regular practice. Art is my passion, and gives me peace and happiness,” she says, in a chat with YourStory.

Her artworks feature the tribal people from her village, and are priced in the range Rs 2,500 to Rs 25,000. “View art not only from your eyes but also from your heart,” Saroj advises audiences. “Don’t be afraid to take the ideas from your mind and put them on canvas or paper. Keep practicing and follow your passion,” she offers as tips to aspiring artists.

Self-taught artist Pareejat Gogoi specialises in realistic and semi-abstract art. Her works are priced from Rs 3,000 to Rs 25,000; at the exhibition, she displayed paintings titled Bodacious and Devotion. “Akanksha is a great platform for artists, and has set a benchmark of excellence. There is so much history at the venue itself, Chitrakala Parishad,” she explains.



Sindhu Rani showcased her landscapes and traditional paintings like Kerala murals and Madhubani painting, priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000. She sees success coming from developing a unique style and getting recognition for it.

“I would like to make audiences feel that presence of self inside my paintings, and experience the depth in each,” Sindhu says. She advises artists to spend time planning before starting to paint, in order to get a clear idea of how to compose the artwork.

“Art to me is happiness that I can share with the world without saying a word, by living my dreams, by creating little things in nature that I so love, on canvases. Art is therapeutic and has the power to cure any ailment in this world,” says Ahila C.

Her artworks are priced in the range Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000. She is working on creating some authentic Kerala mural artworks. She advises audiences to enjoy the sheer creative energy of art. “Art is a planet of thoughts you can transport yourself to,” Ahila enthuses.

“Love what you do and do it with utmost sincerity, absolute hard work and pure thoughts! Don’t go after sales and fame. They will pour on you anyway, if your work has the purity and the power to speak to the world,” she adds.

“Have you seen people go through old photographs to relive moments of the past? I use art to do the same,” explains Suvidha Bolar. Success for her is seeing art taking form as she imagined, and receiving genuine appreciation or constructive criticism. The ability to do artwork as per the needs of a customer is equally important. Her artworks are priced from Rs 7,000 to Rs 9,000.

“There is no failure in art. Everything which didn’t turn out the way you want teaches something and there is always the chance of a beautiful accident,” she evocatively explains. She says she is not sure if she wants to stick to a style or have her unique signature as yet.

“Sometimes I do things which convention or many art schools would say are not to be done. One of them is the predominant usage of black in my paintings in order to break the cliche that black is associated with something dark, bad or negative,” Suvidha explains.

For Akanksha 2019, she featured works with the theme ‘Colours of Prayer.’ She hates being repetitive, and is also working with clay and learning techniques of blue pottery under the guidance of Gyanesh Mishra.

She urges audiences to turn out in large numbers at galleries and studios to support art. “Artists need viewership to thrive,” Suvidha emphasises. She advises aspiring artists to keep learning. “The attitude to learn is very important. As artists, we cannot be stagnant and should never cease to learn. Learn, practice and stay positive,” she sums up.

Yamuna Padmanaban sees art as a medium to create ripples of positive vibrations while taking the audience on a mystical journey. Success for her comes from seeing viewers immersed in her art.

“Through every work, I try to paint a gentle story that has touched me in some form and is a joy to share,” Yamuna explains. With the theme ‘Positive Vibes,’ she created works titled Innocence and Fairy for the Akanksha exhibition. Her works are generally priced from Rs.3,000 to Rs.50,000.

She advises audiences to approach art with an open mind, take time to observe and interpret it, and communicate their thoughts to the artist. “We are always glad to hear back,” Yamnua enthuses. She advises artists to explore without constraints and stay original.



Vedha Sreeram practices and conducts workshops on Mandala art, combing her passion for painting and teaching. “Mandala art is mainly for inner exploration and achieving meditative effects through radial symmetry and intricate patterns,” she explains.

For the Akanksha exhibition, she featured works titled Sahasrara, Aishwaryam, Anantham, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient, with variations of ruby, emerald, gold, sapphire, silver, and hues of blue, yellow and purple. Her works are priced from Rs 500 to Rs 18,000.

Artforms like Zentangle and Mandala attracted Aakriti Agrawal. “A year back, I was having a tough time both in my personal and professional life, I was becoming negative, prickly and sour to the world. I started doing art as a distraction to fight stress and depression, but soon it became a passion and a sacred practice that I try to do daily,” she explains.

Her artworks are priced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000. Aakriti sees success as attaining the ability to innovate and be creative. “I try to include many patterns in one object, making it more appealing and beautiful. Regular practice and being up to date with the ongoing trends in art motivates me to develop and work better each time I do it,” she adds. Her mantra is to never hesitate to try new things.

For the Akanksha exhibition, she prepared works inspired by Mandana, a traditional form of art done on the floors and walls of central India. “Being from Chhattisgarh, I was always attracted to this traditional artform,” she explains; it is very similar to rangoli. Her other projects centre on the Chakra Mandala.

Aakriti urges audiences to appreciate the hard work and patience that go into artworks, enjoy their beauty, and derive positive energy. She advises aspiring artists to practice and innovate regularly. “I follow the cyclical process of Create – Introspect – Improve, it helps things fall in place,” she signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, introspect on your creative side, and achieve your true potential?

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Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at [email protected]!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

[“source=yourstory”]

View: India needs to improve its educational outcomes to catch up with China

Education

Both China and India started building their national education systems under comparable conditions in the late 1940s. Different policies and historical circumstances have, however, led them to different educational outcomes, with China outperforming India not just in terms of its percentage of literate population and enrollment rates at all levels of education, but also in terms of number of world-class institutions in higher education, and greater research output.

The roots of China’s successful education system date back to the Cultural Revolution(1966-1976), which unintentionally expanded access to the primary education through democratising the schooling system, which was previously elitist in character, thus addressing the problem of mass illiteracy.

In contrast, India continued to focus on its higher education system since independence and only realised the importance of basic education in 1986, keeping it behind China and many other countries in Asia in educational development. In terms of enrollment, China reached a 100 percent gross enrollment rate (GER) in its primary education in 1985, whereas, India attained that level only in 2000.

In terms of secondary school enrollment, India and China both started at the similar rates in 1985, with about 40 percent of their population enrolled in secondary schools. However, due to a wider base of primary school students, the rate of increase in China has been much faster than in India, with 99 percent secondary enrollment rate in China and 79 percent in India in 2017.

India is closing in on the Chinese rate in terms of access to education, but on the literacy level front, there is a huge gap in the percentage of literate populations in the two countries. In the age group of 15-24 years, India scores 104th rank on literacy and numeracy indicator, compared to China’s 40th rank.

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses after every three years the domain knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, science and finance, revealed that students in China performed above the OECD average in 2015. Moreover, one in four students in China are top performers in mathematics, having an ability to formulate complex situations mathematically. Further, China outperforms all the other participating countries in financial literacy, by having a high ability to analyse complex finance products. For India, the comparable data is not available as it was not a participating country in PISA 2015.

However, in India, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 provides data for rural youth, aged 14-18, with respect to their abilities to lead productive lives as adults. According to this survey, only about half of the 14-year-old children in the sample could read English sentences, and more than half of the students surveyed could not do basic arithmetic operations, like division. For basic financial calculations, such as managing a budget or making a purchase decision, less than two-thirds could do the correct calculations.

With regard to the higher education system, both India and China dominate the number of tertiary degree holders because of their large population size, but when it comes to the percentage of the population holding tertiary degrees, only about 10 per cent and 8 per cent of the population possess university degrees in China and India, respectively. By contrast, in Japan, almost 50 per cent of the population holds a tertiary degree, and in the United States, 31 per cent of the population hold a tertiary degree.

In terms of the international recognition of universities, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking for 2019 places seven of the China’s universities in the top 200, compared to none for India. The global university rankings, which are based on various performance metrices, pertaining to teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industrial income, shows progress for several of China’s low-ranked universities, largely driven by improvements in its citations.

In fact, the Tsinghua University has overtaken the National University of Singapore (NUS) to become the best university in Asia due to improvements in its citations, institutional income and increased share of international staff, students and co-authored publications.

While India has progressed in terms of massification of education, there is still a lot which needs to be done when it comes to catching up with the China’s educational outcomes. China’s early start in strengthening its primary and secondary education systems has given it an edge over India in terms of higher education. Moreover, Chinese government strategies are designed in line with the criterion used in major world university rankings, especially emphasis is on the two factors which weigh heavily in the rankings — publications and international students.

The relentless publications drive, which is very evident in China, is weak in India and has led to a growing gap in the number of publications contributed by the two countries. Further, China enrolled about 292,611 foreign students in 2011 from 194 countries, while India currently only has 46,144 foreign students enrolled in its higher education institutions, coming from 166 countries. The large number of international enrollments in China is a reflection of its state policies granting high scholarships to foreign students.

To catch up with China, India needs to lay emphasis on improving its educational outcomes. Massification drive for education has helped India raise its student enrollments, but a lot needs to be done when it comes to global recognition for its universities. Further, it needs to focus on building the foundation skills which are acquired by students at the school age, poor fundamental skills flow through the student life, affecting adversely the quality of education system.

[“source=economictimes.indiatimes”]

TRAI to Improve MySpeed App, Publish White Paper by Month-End

TRAI to Improve MySpeed App, Publish White Paper by Month-End

HIGHLIGHTS

  • TRAI will improve its MySpeed app after evaluating telcos’ methods
  • It said will soon come out with a white paper on underlying methodology
  • Ookla and other data speed measurement firms have been contacted

Telecom regulator TRAI plans to strengthen its MySpeed app, which measures mobile data speeds, and will also make its evaluation method more transparent after consultation with operators, its chairman R S Sharma said.

Some operators had complained about methods and results of the TRAI’s MySpeed app, and the regulator will soon come out with a white paper on underlying methodology and algorithms used by the said app for calculating data speeds of various service providers.

“We have also contacted Ookla and others. We are trying to understand what their methods are … We would like all stakeholders to sit together and come to a conclusion over most appropriate methodology,” the TRAI chairman said.

The regulator will also take suggestions from operators on the issue, he said.

“We will sit together with the operators and take their suggestions as what should be an agreed methodology so there are no such complaints,” Sharma said on the sidelines of the TRAI’s open house discussion on ‘data speed under wireless broadband plans’.

After strengthening the service quality norms for voice calls, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is now focusing its attention on benchmarks for data experience of consumers.

TRAI hopes to finalise, by month-end, views on parameters for measuring data speeds for wireless broadband.

“There were large number of quality of service (norms) for voice (offerings) like call drops. Data has recently started becoming prominent, and voice is now an application on top of data. So there is a need to have much better grip on the QoS in the data world,” he added.

Sharma said that both TRAI’s views on the data speed issue and its white paper on MySpeed app will be out by the month-end.

“Work on both the aspects will happen simultaneously,” he said.

While operators had previously stated that having a minimum guaranteed data speed would be difficult in the wireless world, TRAI is looking at suitable parameters, say average speed, that could serve as a benchmark.

In its consultation paper on wireless broadband data speeds, TRAI has also sought industry’s views on whether information on wireless broadband speeds currently being disclosed is enough for consumers to make informed choices.

It has asked if average speed can be specified by service providers. The consultation also touches on other related issues such as the need to revisit service quality parameters or existing benchmarks stipulated in the regulations.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

IB diploma results improve this year, Mumbai topper scores full points

Mumbai city news

Mumbai students did well in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) exams, which are equivalent to the Class 12 board exams, held in May. The results were declared on Wednesday.

Rahil Bathwal from Jamnabai Narsee International School, Juhu, bagged the perfect score — 45 out of 45 points — the highest in the city. The IBDP results are given in the form of grade points. Pranav Khemka came second with 43 points. Of 103 students, 12 scored above 40 and 32 scored between 35 and 39.

The overall performance in Mumbai schools was much better than last year’s, said principals. At Podar International School in Khar, Ritik Chopra was the topper with 44 points. Last year, their top student scored 43 points. “This year’s results are one of the best in the history of our institution,” said Vandana Lulla, director and principal of the school.

Of 52 exam takers, a majority of the students scored above 40 points, and bagged six and seven points in individual subjects. “We had opted for new subjects such as environmental studies and Spanish, which help drive up scores,” said Lulla.

Similarly, the highest in SVKM’s JV Parekh International School, Vile Parle, this year is 40 points with 65% out of 37 students from the school receiving 33 points. Around 39% of entries scored 6 and 7 grade points.

School principal, Swaminathan said 60% students from the batch received admissions to top universities in Toronto, British Columbia, California, Edinburgh, Illinois Urbana Champagne and King’s College London.

 

[“source-hindustantimes”]