Saturday, October 12, 2013

A mosque in Chennai which helps students crack IAS

A mosque in Chennai which helps students crack IAS

Written by J Sam Daniel Stalin | Updated: September 20, 2013 12:39 IST

ChennaiThe Makkah Masjid on Chennai's busy Anna Salai road is like any other mosque as you approach it. But enter and walk up the stairs and you find 40 young men listening to a lecture or thumbing through reference books. 
They are all preparing for the civil services examination. 
The mosque doubles as a coaching centre for the Indian Administrative Services or IAS exam, to help bright young men from the community become bureaucrats. 
"This is our way of really empowering our community as we are only used as vote banks by political parties. The tokenism has not empowered us," says Moulana Shamsudeen Qasimi, the chief Imam. He says no Muslim candidate from Tamil Nadu has cleared the IAS exam in 18 years and his effort is to reverse that unfortunate statistic. 
It costs thirty lakh rupees a year to coach 40 people and the Moulana has set up a trust called Alagiya Kadan for this. 

The community, he says, generously supports the cause. "Only honest and god-fearing IAS officers can end corruption in India. They could also help the Muslim community. These are our aims," the Imam says.

Over the last two years, the trust has conducted awareness campaigns in Muslim colleges across Tamil Nadu to get more young people interested in the IAS. 
There is a selection process and those who qualify are given free food and accommodation as well. 
The Moulana says this programme has not been extended to women for now because there is a shortage of accommodation, but he hopes to include them very soon. 
The mosque has tied up with two leading coaching centres to help aspirants prepare for the IAS main exam. Two candidates from their first batch have already cleared the preliminary exam. 
One of them, Mohamed Meera Sahiv, an Engineering graduate, says, "IAS officers have so much of power to help anyone. This attracts me. Of course I would be able to help Muslims, but it's not right to say that I would help only Muslims"

Muslims account for 13 per cent of India's population. This year, only three per cent in the civil services are from the community, with only about 30 Muslims clearing the IAS exams. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Haj Pilgrimage to the Centre of the world, Makkah

As I am writing this, thousands from all the countries of the world are heading towards Makkah, to perform Haj pilgrimage. Look at the picture to see how Makkah is centrally located in our normal world map.

During the five times prayers we turn towards Makkah (Kaa'ba) in much wider circles. Once in a lifetime it is a must for an able Muslim to be part of the closer circles as you can see in the picture.

At this occasion let us pray to Almighty to ease the haj for all the hajees and make it an acceptable good deed from all. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Now, schools take lead to mould future entrepreneurs

KOCHI: Kerala may have few business leaders who dominate the national scene. But the scenario is likely to change in the future with many state schools tapping the children'sentrepreneurship skills and encouraging them to be job-givers, instead of job-seekers.

These schools are picking up children with potential and grooming them to become successful entrepreneurs. The students are being trained to take up business activities like running the school cafeteria, making innovative products like herbal soaps and selling various products made by them in popular malls. Besides, the schools also arrange interactive sessions between the students and entrepreneurs.
"Instead of 'education for jobs', we are now focusing on 'education for generating jobs'. Instead of going after well-paying jobs, we want our students to create jobs by setting up their own enterprises," said P V Abdul Wahab, the founder of Peevees Public School, Nilambur. The school has also started a student entrepreneurs' club. The club's objective is to conduct continuous entrepreneurship programmes for learning, experiencing and training for students of classes between VIII and XII.
Authorities at the Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Thrissur, are in the process of helping their students create a quality ayurveda product that can be marketed. "We have a good herbal garden and want our students to produce a herbal soap," said Jayalakshmi K, a teacher.
This is being done to unlock the students' potential, make them aware of the business opportunities by infusing creativity and encourage them to conceive, plan and run ventures on their own.
"Our children are being trained from class VIII and they are encouraged to deal with people and develop business skills. They make items like imitation ornaments and bakery items, sometimes with help from parents, and sell them at prominent city malls. Children of our school have performed exceptionally well in this area and have made profits too," saidPriyaPramod, enrichment programmeco-ordinator, Global Public School, Kochi.
Welcoming such initiatives, the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ksaid that they are keenly looking to work with schools to develop future entrepreneurs. "Entrepreneurship skills should be inculcated at a young age and schools can go a long way towards this. In Kerala, majority of people want to take up government jobs and very few are eager to set up their own business," said KCCI chairman K N MarzookKCCI is at present training young graduates to become entrepreneurs.