AFCAT Results Cancelled

Indian-Air-Force5

Looks like this is not the year for the Air Force aspirants. India’s second largest defence service just made an announcement stating the results declared for the Air Force Common Entrance Test (AFCAT) 02/2012 are null and void. Technical difficulties is the reason stated by them for this failure.

A week before, the results of AFCAT are published and the shortlisted candidates are asked to select their AFSB and time slot by logging into their official career website careerairforce.nic.in. But hours later the login to the website was disable citing technical reasons.

A week later, a notification has been put up on the website stating that the results were cancelled and a fresh list of shortlisted candidates will be announced shortly. Seriously this looks more than just a technical difficulty. The list of candidates has been there for about a week before they could pull it off.

This frankly raises a lot of questions and Air Force must come up with a reply for the queries!

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The DLF Gate!

It seems that Arvind Kejriwal always wants to top the headlines. And the scam he exposed today was perfectly planned. Not the scam itself, but the way he exposed it. Besides letting the media know about the press conference on Friday evening, the team let the people directly know what’s going to happen. A text message was sent to all those who have registered with the “India Against Corruption” movement later in the afternoon of Friday. The text message said

Arvind Kejriwal and Prashanth Bhushan are going to reveal the corruption of a most POWERFUL person at 5pm today. Watch it live at http://www.iaclive.com. Fwd

And then, the rest of the day was a top story! Looking at the speed at which the Congress responded, it looked like they have already smelled this coming their way. Every top leader was ready with their own responses for the scam. The only setback for the yet-to-be-announced political party is that, the amount of scam, estimated to be around Rs.300 crore, is pretty much low compared to the recent CWG, 2G and Coalgate scams.

However, media has got something to chew for the next few days..

Google ignores Indian Independence Day

It’s August 15 –  a day celebrated by a billion people as something close to their heart. It is the day, the country of India got out of the hands of the British empire. It is the day, where Ahimsa and Gandhi conquered the entire world. For the people around the country, it is something that is more than just another celebration.

Google – in its traditions of celebrating major events with a doodle – has always come up with a great ones for the Indian national festivals such as the Independence day and the Republic day. The previous doodles of the Red fort, traditional kolam have created a lot of buzz and positive response from the country. It has created such an impact that a few (including me) wait till the midnight to see the Search engine’s way of celebration.

But this year Google gives us a complete shocker. After a series of awesome doodles for the London 2012 Olympics, expectations were huge on Google’s forthcoming doodles. This August 15, they have completely ignored the Greatest day of Indian history to praise an American chef and TV show anchor “Julia Child”

 

Today (Aug 15, 2012) is Child’s 100th Birth anniversary and there is definitely a reason to celebrate. But when we have a festival for a billion people (and a few thousands more in other countries), this should not have been the case. Google could have easily done with a separate doodle for India and the Child’s doodle for Rest of the World. They have did similar things in the past and should be an easy go one for them.

Instead Google went on to hide the Independence day of the country to celebrate the birthday of just a chef. This is something that I (or we) never expected from Google and they should offer an open apology to everyone of the country.

UPDATE: Google has changed the doodle around 0500 IST that puts up a beautiful peacock design and Indian flag colour

World Series Hockey : Why It Matters?

World Series Hockey (or) WSH, as it is popularly called, is a league type hockey series organised by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sports, in a country where hockey never got the respect it is supposed to get.  The series was supposed to revive the lost glory of the National Game of India. But it has a lot of hurdles to face.

World Series Hockey

World Series Hockey

The primary concern for this tournament was the fight between the country’s top governing bodies of the sport, The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI). While the Government of India haven’t clearly stated which of these two will control the future of the game in the nation, the International body for governance of the game, FIH, has clearly mentioned Hockey India as India’s sole controller of Hockey. There arises the problem. Since the tournament is organised by IHF, it was approved neither by Hockey India nor by the FIH. This brings us in relation with the most infamous sporting controversy in the country, the short-lived Indian Cricket League (ICL).

After India’s early exit in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Zee television network announced of organizing a private Twenty 20 league cricket tournament, almost similar to the WSH. The tournament as expected was not approved by the country’s top cricketing body, the BCCI and virtually by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The players were threatened that if they took part in the league, they will not be picked for the International games. Despite the threatening, it had the likes of many top cricketers of the world such as India’s world cup winning captain Kapil Dev (who also acted as the Chief mentor for the tournament), Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-haq and West Indies’ Brain Lara, to name a few.

Kapil Dev at ICL

Kapil Dev, Chairman of ICL

The league, in fact took off, with its first edition, crowning the “Chennai Super Stars” as champions, was a partial hit. This forced BCCI to announce its own “Indian Premier League” (IPL). The cash-rich BCCI hit the right chords with IPL to make it a multi-billion dollar tournament.

WSH also shares most of the characters with ICL. The Pakistan and Indian Hockey Authorities already announced that the players of WSH will not be allowed to play for the national teams. Even FIH has issued notices citing that the players signed for WSH will be suspended from International matches. But the story of the World Series Hockey cannot be similar. Primarily because, Hockey doesn’t have the craze that cricket has in this nation. Second, Hockey India is not as rich as the BCCI. Even if HI or FIH comes with similar league, as BCCI did, it is difficult to get the sponsors.

The experiment was already done a few years back, when ESPN Star, in association with the Hockey federation started the Premier Hockey League (PHL), which was shut down after 2 seasons, for the lack of sponsors. These private leagues, will however serve for the betterment of Hockey in the country, if it was approved by the sports’ governing bodies. As it was proved time and again, that league based sports are the most attractive form to reach a wide audience.

One interesting difference between ICL and WSH cases are, the salary paid by the ICL and by BCCI are almost the same. So it was easy for players to pick nation over ICL. But the case of WSH is entirely different. Players of WSH are paid multiple times the amount they are getting for playing international games. So players with real talent from poor backgrounds might easily choose WSH over Hockey India. If that happens, it means India is losing its Hockey talent and we could never rise up again in this game.

Since Hockey India is designated as the official authority of Hockey in India, it need not fear about the rise of IHF. Instead, it should go on to recognize the WSH as an official domestic tournament for nothing else than the welfare of Hockey itself. This is the best tonic that could be given for the otherwise dying sport. Let sport be sport and leave the politics aside.

Yes! It’s here…

The much much awaited product of the Google+ ecosystem has finally arrived. Yes! Starting right now you can follow brands or “Google+ Pages”.

Google+ pages
The Google+ pages logo

The G+ pages, for now, is half-baked. It neither offer good admin controls as Facebook does not it has the ability of a two way interaction. Fans or followers cannot post into the Page or even directly contact them in any means. But hours withing the launch Google’s product manager of the Google+ project, Dennis Troper posted to his G+ profile that every feature will be up very soon.

There are a lot of pages to follow right now and every one can create a new page as well.

And it seems Google+ is changing its logo too. The official Google+ page on G+ shows “g with +” in red background which is also the favicon of profiles and pages. But still the favicon of the homepage is the “+ in black button”

Google+

New logo of Google+

The one thing I love about Google is their creativity. And they have done it very well in making their pages. Google has used its scrapbook images to a greater extent in designing their pages. For example, Google’s official page have G as the profile picture and the remaining letter are in each photos each taken from a different doodle. Google Maps page the scrapbook photos combined to give a complete map.

Google's page on Google+

Google's page on Google+

Here are a few Google pages to add to circles on Google+:

UPDATE:  Google totally changed the logo of Google+ in all its pages. Now Google+ is all red.