Thursday, May 17, 2012

To Thine Own Self Be True !

by - Madalsa Singh

Some words can send chills down your spine. Contemplate if you may. Of course everyone is well familiar with the above quote extracted from Polonius’ advice to his son Laertus in Hamlet, which well remains to be one of my favourite (well, nothing beats Midsummers nightdream though). It is worth a read !

To Thine Own Self Be True
 Yet here, Laertes! Aboard, aboard for shame!
 The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
 And you are stay'd for.
 There ... my blessing with thee!
 And these few precepts in thy memory
 Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
 Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
 Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
 Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
 Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
 But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
 Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade.  Beware
 Of entrance to a quarrel but, being in,
 Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
 Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
 Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.
 Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
 But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
 For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
 And they in France of the best rank and station
 Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
 Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
 For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
 And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
 This above all: to thine own self be true,
 And it must follow, as the night the day,
 Thou canst not then be false to any man.
 Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!
        ~ William Shakespeare.

Oh please don’t click the cross already! Things’ll flow. Promise.
I have come back home after spending a year in one of the most multifarious places ever. You can find absolutely any sort of people; from the pretentious pseudo-intellects, extremely restrained introverts to the absolutely die hard fans of Shahrukh Khan. And then there lie, lurking in the corner few abysmally confused souls still finding a hue of grey to paint themselves in.

And with a brush in my hand, I ask only one question, Why is making the choice so inevitable?  Why do I have to I have to take either of the roads? Why can’t I just sit at the crossroads and enjoy my gin and tonic; at least for a while? Why the haste?
Hence, I run to the lakeside (the best place in this universe) to find the answers to the running commentary of rhetoric questions in my jumbled head.

All this while, you have been trying. Too hard. For once. You must stop trying. For once, you must. Jump off the boundaries and come out of the suffocating restrictions. And be free.
You are not answerable to anyone except yourself. Do things that please no one, except you. Be true to none, except for yourself. And then you shall be euphoric.
I remember owning the grossest yellow cycle with a green seat when I was 8. Everybody in my neighbourhood simply loathed it. Kids would steal it and throw it near the Shyam Bhaiya’s Puncture stall and everyday I would walk up there and ride it back to the colony. With the head (with cornrows) held high. Why?
I chose the lemon yellow for it fascinated me. The green seat would match my favourite green socks. Because I chose it for myself, not for the kids.
And hence you stupid cretin with the brush, choose for yourself. Make a choice of not making any choice. You can stand and stare into the abyss. It’s okay.

For you shall experience pure ecstasy like the Maynard gull. Embrace it.

Come along then.” said Jonathan. “Climb with me away from the ground, and we’ll begin.”
“You don’t understand My wing. I can’t move my wing.”
“Maynard Gull, you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way. It is the Law of the Great Gull, the Law that Is.”
“Are you saying I can fly?”
“I say you are free.”
                                                                       ~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull

And yes, now that you are true to yourself and free; please ask for the girl’s number and take her for an ice-cream :) (hey we did talk about jumping of restrictions, right? )
If you’re still confused, it’s okay. I am still at the crossroads with the gin and tonic.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

ISEET replaces JEE - Is it a welcome change?

by - Ankur Anal

Aryan was all excited today, he had scored 93% marks in his X Board examinations.
I too, felt happy for the chap owing to the amount of hard work, he had put in.
But, somewhere deep down, I felt a bit sad too. Because, knowingly or unknowingly he had already put himself in the cobwebs of IIT-JEE. His parents would have already started
dreaming of their son as an IITian. And he would finally end up spending the two most important years of his life, at an IIT-Coaching institute somewhere in Kota, Delhi etc.
And the biggest agony is that all this would happen immaterial of the fact whether he wants to be an engineer or not?

This is not only about Aryan, but almost every other chap.

Every year lakhs of students go to various coaching centres all across the country, to fulfil their dreams of making it to an IIT. And just because they were good at Science subjects in class X, it is pre-assumed that they would be equally comfortable with them in Class XI/XII too. But believe me, it needn’t be true.

Coaching centres prepare students at a level which may be as high as twice of the level
which IIT expects. This, in turn, creates a lot of pressure on the students. And, the reason
given is “You never know, how tough a question in JEE, can be”. And yet, the level of
students joining an IIT had come down, as stated by the former Infosys Chairman, Mr.
Narayan Murthy.

This is in fact true, to an extent. Especially the problems in Mathematics which have always been a nightmare for students. Truly, there was a need to change the pattern.

But the question is whether ISEET is a correct replacement or not??

Recently, the committee of Dr. Ramaswamy, proposed changes in the pattern of IIT-JEE, which included giving 40%(can even go upto 100%) weightage to Board exams, 30% to Aptitude test and another 30% to advanced problems in Science subjects, which after a lot protests, was able to get the green signal. The new format has been named Indian Science Engineering Eligibility Test (ISEET). It is proposed to be a replacement for all the Engineering entrance exams in India.

Now there would be a fixed syllabus for students to prepare for, unlike the ocean sized syllabus earlier. Generally, it is seen that quite a good number of students from coaching institutes end up failing in their Board examinations, forget about IITs. So, this too won’t happen now.

Coaching institutes, who earlier used to laugh at Board problems, would now be seen spending most of their time in solving them. The introduction of Aptitude test is an excellent step taken up. If one looks at SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), it too has an aptitude part attached to it. Infact an Aptitude test is an ideal way to check one’s skills.

Yeah true that it won’t be able to shut down the coaching centres, but would surely lower
their business.

At last, I would like to summarise a few advantages of ISEET over the earlier JEE.

  •      It would greatly bring down, the pressure on students.
  •          Students can concentrate more on their Basics.
  •          The need to spell out excess money on coaching institutes would come down.
  •          Students can build better profiles, by improving their Board percentages.
  •      As there would be one single exam, students can save on financial, mental and physical terms.
  •          Students will read their NCERT. (I luv those books)
  •          Aptitude Test won’t be a shocker at the time of Placement in college.

However, there can be a few negatives too and it largely depends on how students take it as we’ve heard that in some CBSE schools, the CCE pattern has been a nightmare for teachers and students are least bothered, that’s mainly because of bad implementation.

But it is highly expected that the new ISEET pattern would prove to be a boon for our system. Perhaps, India is changing.

Let’s hope for the best now..!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Technology in the Classroom..!

by - Vishakha Gopinath

Facebook today has almost one-fifth of world’s population! When it comes to students, it is quite obvious that they all have a facebook account. This social networking site is so addictive that people find it necessary to wish facebook “good morning” every morning they wake up. Would it seem terribly strange to hear that students indeed are doing these things regularly outside of their classrooms? Every day, many students are spending countless hours immersed in popular technologies—such as Facebook/MySpace, World of Warcraft, or Sim City—which at first glance may seem like a waste of time, and brain cells. But these genres of technologies—Social Networking, Digital Gaming, and Simulations—deserve a second, deeper look at what’s actually going on..

You need not be a teenager to understand technology or simply the words used in the earlier paragraph. With the emergence of a generation completely dependent on technology for even the most basic of human communication, it is becoming almost a necessity to include some aspect of technology in every day classrooms. For many teachers, this is exciting and cutting-edge, but for others, especially those not confident in the use of technology, this is extremely intimidating.

This HAS begun, training students in the classroom with the help of technology has begun, the SMART CLASS they call it. Many schools around the globe have implemented such classrooms where the traditional black board and chalk has been replaced by an interactive computer screen similar to the size of the black board. This screen has the ability to show the lessons being taught in an audio visual form, which would help students to register in their minds the crux of each topic. Making games and social networking sites a part of the academic learning process, is no easy task. But this can be made easy if understood well.
Another implementation according to National Teacher Institute, is using videos. This helps students retain more information and also grasp difficult concepts. If you're teaching about the Civil War, you can show video segments that have been put online by PBS.
 If you're teaching about anatomy, you can show your class a video of a frog or worm dissection. Of course, using video in the classroom should not replace any portion of your lesson. Instead, it should complement your existing teaching methodology.  
Blogging has been implemented by a few teachers in the senior classes as it helps students learn quickly. According to a recent study, blogs can do wonders to the minds of students.
  • Blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking.
  • Blogging can be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking.
  • Blogs promote analogical thinking.
  • Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information.
  • Blogging combines the best of solitary reflection and social interaction.
Let’s take the game THE SIMS for example, this game is basically running a household along with building new houses. If you want your students to learn something out of this game, the best thing would be the art of multi-tasking. This is one such talent all most organizations look for in their applicants as they would want their employees to deal with a couple of issues all at the same time. Another example would be the traditional SOLITAIRE, or the card game, the winner in this game would be the one who arranges all the cards in the right order the fastest. What do we learn out of this game? Time management, and to a certain extent crisis management, as the cards would not appear according to the players wish.

The CIVILIZATION IV, allows players to form teams in order to increase collaboration and strategy efforts. In this turn-based strategy game, players must make decisions for their civilization around societal development and diplomacy—including when and where to build new cities, what societal advances in knowledge should be sought (and when), and how to handle adversarial and non adversarial neighboring civilizations. At the onset of the game, players even have the choice of which civilization to play—Aztecs, Romans, Mongols, etc. As time advances in the game, new technologies emerge (such as pottery and nuclear fission) and civilization leaders have the choice to try to capitalize on these technologies or not. This game is a profoundly powerful way for learning about history, and through game-play players can gain advanced terminology and knowledge of geography, principles of history, and generally increase their interest in this area of study.
It is also a fact that most students learn English from playing video games. In a given week, the average eighth-grade boy will play video games for about 23 hours, while the average girl will play about 12—that’s even more time than they spend watching TV. Therefore, one of the most obvious benefits to using these technologies for learning is that students are often already familiar with these interfaces and the “language” of interacting with and utilizing them.
The gaming technology today brings about a cluster of options that would help students to manage time, calculate fast and improve a variety of skills.
I always wondered how it would be if trailers of movies like “The inventions of BIG NOSE” (INVENTIONS OF ISSAC NEWTON), “Drucker's mainframe” (PETER.F.DRUCKER’S MANAGEMENT) or “The Bard of Avon” (SHAKESPEARE) came on T.V saying “in theaters near you”. Students all over the world would be so excited to see & LEARN their lessons that are playing in the movie theaters.

Using social networking sites is also an innovative technique of teaching. When you hear “MySpace”, “World of Warcraft,” or “Facebook” what do they bring to mind for you? What emotions do you associate with them? Have you heard of them before? Students have, and they almost certainly have strong opinions about them.   
It would be so useful for the students if the teachers uploaded a video of theirs on facebook taking a chapter on “Statistics” or “Research methods in marketing” or any subjects for that matter. Students would leave their doubts as comments below the video and the teacher’s colleagues would “Like” itJ.  It would be even more fun and innovative if teachers created a page on the networking site for a particular subject and, updated the students with the syllabus, homework and projects that have to be completed. In that manner the students would not even have excuses in case they have not completed their homework.
Even creating a classroom website has its advantages, this website would help the students more effectively as teachers could upload links of other study material & activities that would help students learn and revise. This classroom website would also help communicating to parents and your teaching colleagues by putting up attractive and appropriate material.
Here are a few examples of classroom websites.
Undoubtedly, without these recent technologies (i.e. digital games, Web, etc.) in the classroom, strong lessons can still be achieved, but there’s a sharp disconnect between the way students are taught in school and the way the outside world approaches socialization, meaning-making, and accomplishment.  It is critical that education not only seek to mitigate this disconnect in order to make these two “worlds” more seamless, but of course also to leverage the power of these emerging technologies for instructional gain.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The X Board Exam made optional : a boon or a curse..??

by - Vishakha Gopinath
No more exam fear, no more tension as the 10th board exam is being made optional in CBSE schools in India. In 2009, Kapil Sibal had announced the landmark decision to make the CBSE X board exam optional in future, this decision was taken to de-stress school students. Thus the board exams today do not bring much of a disturbance to the minds of the students who are presently pursuing their 10th grade in the CBSE system.  The new system will evaluate students on the basis of grades. Sixty percent of the grades will depend on internal examinations, which will be held by different schools using their own question papers. The 10th std. CBSE students would be graded in the following manner:

A-1  : 91-100 Exceptional

A-2  : 81-90 Excellent

B-1  : 71-80 Very Good

B-2  : 61-70 Good

C-1  : 51-60 Fair

C-2  : 41-50 Average

D     : 33-40 Below Average

E-1  : 21-32 Need Improvement
E-2  : 00-20 Unsatisfactory   

The answer sheets of the students will also be evaluated internally. The remaining 40 percent will be based on a ‘continuous and comprehensive evaluation' of qualities, such as, speaking skills and physical education. This is followed to help students zero-in on appropriate choice of subjects/ stream in Class XI-XII; CBSE schools will offer an Aptitude Test at the end of Class IX as well as Class X. The first such aptitude test was held on February 2010. “While there will be no Board examination at Class X in Senior Secondary schools since the students will be entering Class XI in the same school, he/she will be able to appear for an optional board exam in the online or offline assessment format if he/she requires a Class X certificate in case of moving to another state board for any reason or due to relocation of parents,” HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said.

It might seem that the students are freed from the burden of writing the board exam but would this help them in the long run? Would the students not face this pressure later in future? What about when they have to write their 12th board exams?
There are a whole lot of people who think of various factors when it comes to finalizing weather giving the option to the students of writing their board exam is a boon or a bane.
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ambazari, principal CD Grace blasted the decision saying that students and parents will have a casual and relaxed approach and this will further dilute the quality of education. “The grade system is still in place along with marks. However, the competitive spirit will not develop among the students and it would be hard to differentiate between students. I think, the students of Class X are mature enough nowadays to appear for the board exam and decide on their future and there’s no need to scrap the exam,” she said.
Vedvati Albal, who was the second all-India topper in Std X exam conducted by the CBSE, however hailed the move stating that it will help in reducing the stress and discrimination among students.
“Of course competitive spirit will not be there anymore as there will be no merit list, but it would lead to a healthy competition. The craze to top the exam will be diminished, but there is chance to score in later stages,” she states.
Teachers think that it is a sound decision; students are a little confused over what the change meant for them. They said that they support the introduction of grades but are not in favor of making Class X Boards optional as it helps us to be better prepared to face the Class XII examination and competitive entrance tests later on. The concept of being under the scanner all year long has evoked apprehension among students.         
When it comes to answering this question from one set of parents, they believe that the child might feel stressed throughout the year with regular homework and tests. But they feel that the focus on everyday learning is a great idea, provided it is implemented earnestly.

On the other hand there are parents who feel that this change has made their children lethargic and lazy as they are no longer are afraid and don’t make it a point to give in their best for the exams, and when it comes to teaching, parents feel that even the teachers have gone asleep on the job!
This grading system has already been adapted in the United States where the students end up devoting a lot of time in their projects and homework, where in they not only understand the concept but also learn to apply them where ever required. The American educational system comprises 12 grades of study over 12 calendar years of primary and secondary education before graduating and becoming eligible for college admission. After pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, there are five years in primary school (normally known as elementary school). After completing five grades, the student will enter junior high or middle school and then high school to get the high school diploma. In US, high grades are awarded to reward and encourage rather than to single out absolute perfection. Statistics show that educators in US have always been more generous in the award of an A grade than those in Europe. However each state or territory has their own grading system.
As far as the Indian education system in concerned this decision is applied only in the CBSE board and not in the Matriculation system, and as far as the question whether the option of writing the board exam is a boon or a curse? This, only time can tell and will largely depend upon how effectively the schools implement CCE.         

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


by - Jayshrita Bhagabati
When we discuss the various issues associated with education, perhaps one thing we would never argue about is the very importance of education itself. Going to school is probably considered the bane of their existence by almost every kid who sets foot within the confines of that insufferable place (!) but before long an appreciation of the value of formal learning does awaken in the minds of almost every student, so that hate it or love it, we tend to accept the process of going to specific educational institutions as an integral part of this journey called life. This happens to be especially true for countries like India which place an overriding importance on educational degrees over most extracurricular activities, which in turn accounts for the more impressive performance of India in this field vis-a-vis others.
Lesser known is the fact that there are two competing theories on why education is important, one known as the human capital view of education – the better known and easily deducible one- and other is the signaling theory of education.

The human capital view stresses the importance of the development of skills in production activities. When applied to the field of education it says that getting educated is desirable since it raises workers’ productivity and hence their demand by firms and consequently their wages. In short, the human capital theory argues that an educated population is a productive population and increasing the level of formal education though public investment is naturally desirable for greater economic prosperity of a nation. The concept has relatively more importance in labour surplus regions since the surplus human resource can be transformed into human capital with effective inputs of education, health and moral values.
In contrast, the signaling theory of education believes that education does not enhance productivity and firms merely use the educational credentials of prospective employees to distinguish between individuals with high natural ability and individuals with low natural ability. Assuming that there are just these two kinds of people who exist in the world, it would cost the people with high natural ability less time and effort to acquire an education than the latter. Hence if education is sufficiently costly for the low ability individuals (in terms of the above factors) only the high ability individuals will invest in the same, thus signaling their higher productivity to the employers. The concept was first introduced by Nobel laureate Michael Spence who discovered even if education did not contribute anything to an employee’s productivity, it could still have value for both the employee and the employer by allowing ‘deserving’ employees to get their due (though it might not always work perfectly such as when the high ability individuals are unable to afford education or the low ability individuals are able to get private schooling).
The significance of the signaling theory is that the public funding of education, especially of higher education, is questioned. However since one cannot disqualify the human capital view of education entirely since it has been found to hold water under empirical studies and historical evidences and the relative impacts of the two processes are unknown, the main question that remains now is regarding the appropriate level of public funding. 

The loyal Ekalavya

by - Tejaswini Jayanthy

The education system in India and the world today is deteriorating day by day . With  the cover of technology all the schools sell education for a high price . Education today in the school or college system is a race for ranks . The teachers and the environment in the system today just focus on the student’s performance in exams rather than on working on their overall development to face the world of tomorrow . As they are so not concern about student’s life except for their marks and publicity of their brand name ! But this was not the case with ancient education system where there were no exams but the student was great at the subject , no fee yet teachers always wanted their students to make a mark.

In ancient India ,learning deep about their religion also played a major role in the education system. A number of subjects other than religion were taught to students as a part of their occupational study or even general study. These included subjects such as mathematics, medicine, metallurgy, magic, music, art of warfare, sculpting, temple building, commerce, pottery, weaving and so on. Since the occupations were based upon castes, children were initiated into the secrets of their traditional vocations from a very early age.

                                Admission into the gurukula was not an easy process. A student had to convince his guru that he had the desire, the determination and the required intelligence to pursue the studies and had to serve him for years before he was admitted into the school and initiated into the subjects. Students in the gurukulas were subjected to rigorous discipline. They had to live in a very austere environment and practice yoga and meditation under the supervision of the master and also perform many menial jobs for the master's household. On specific occasions they had to undergo fasting as a necessary means of purification and mastery of the body and mind.
                                Sometimes if the Guru traveled to other places, the students accompanied him. Girls were not admitted to the Gurukulas. They were not even allowed to study like the boys. Ancient India had some educated women, like Maitreyi, wife of Yajnavalkya, who were generally related to some seers and sages or wives of some great kings. But it is doubtful if ordinary women in ancient India had any role other than performing household duties and procreation . This was one of the greatest disadvantages of this system.
                                  Ancient India had a number of universities and centers of education, where not one guru but several lived together and taught to groups of students different subjects.
The knowledge in these orders was often related to the tasks a section of the society had to perform . The priest class, the Brahmins, were imparted knowledge of religion, philosophy, and other ancillary branches while the warrior class , the Kshatriya, were trained in the various aspects of warfare. The business class , the Vaishya , were taught their trade and the working class of the Shudras  was generally deprived of educational advantages. The book of laws, the Manusmriti , and the treatise on statecraft the Arthashastra were among the influential works of  the ancient Indian system which reflect the outlook and understanding of the world at the time.

                                    After imparting such knowledge  the individuals attained the capacity to overcome different situations of life . Hence the ancient education system always played a key role in the over all development of a student.
                                                 Let us see a story of the long-gone era as an example. Nearly five thousand years back, lived a boy named Eklavya, the son of a tribal chief in the forests of the kingdom- Hastinapura. Eklavya was a brave, handsome boy. He was loved by all. But he was not happy.
His father saw that something troubled Eklavya. More than once he found his son lost deep in thought when other boys enjoyed the pleasures of hunting and playing. One day the father asked his son, “Why are you so unhappy, Eklavya? Why don’t you join your friends? Why are you not interested in hunting?”.
“Father, I want to be an archer” replied Eklavya, “I want to become a disciple of the great Dronacharya, the great tutor of Archery in Hastinapura. His Gurukul is a magical place where ordinary boys are turned into mighty warriors.”
Eklavya saw his father was silent. He continued, “ Father, I know that we belong to the hunting tribe, but I want to be a warrior, father, not a mere hunter. So please allow me to leave home and become the disciple of Dronacharya.”
Eklavya's father was troubled, for he knew that his son’s ambition was not an easy one. But the chief was a loving father and he did not want to refuse his only son’s wish. So the kind man gave his blessings and sent his son on his way to Drona’s Gurukul.
Eklavya set on his way. Soon he reached the part of the forest where Drona taught the princes of Hastinapur.
A Gurukul (Guru refers to "teacher" or "master"; Kul refers to his domain, from the Sanskrit word kula, meaning extended family.) is a type of ancient Hindu school in India that is residential in nature with the shishyas or students and the guru or teacher living in proximity, many a time within the same house. The Gurukul is the place where the students resided together as equals, irrespective of their social standing. The students learned from the guru and also helped the guru in his day-to-day life, including the carrying out of mundane chores such as washing clothes, cooking, etc. The education imparted thus, was a wholesome one.
Having said this much, let us now return to Eklavya. When the boy reached Dronacharya’s Gurukul, he saw that it consisted of a group of huts, surrounded by trees and an archery yard. The disciples were practicing to shoot arrows with their bows and arrows in the yard. It was an engaging sight. But Eklavya’s eyes searched Drona. Where was he? Will he be able to see the man? Without Drona, all his purpose of coming here would be meaningless. But all his worries soon subsided. He didn’t have to wait for long. There was the man standing near a tree busy instructing a boy, who was none else than the third Pandava prince Arjuna, as Eklavya came to know later. Though Eklavya had never seen Drona before, he put his guess at work. He went near Drona and bowed.
The sage was surprised to see a strange boy addressing him. “Who are you?” he asked.
"Dronacharya, I am Eklavya, son of the Tribal Chief in the western part of the forests of Hastinapura." Eklavya replied. "Please accept me as your disciple and teach me the wonderful art of Archery."
Drona sighed. "Eklavya..." said he,"... if you are a tribal hunter, you must be a Shudra, the lowest social community according to the Vedic Caste System. I am a Brahmin, the highest caste in the kingdom. I cannot teach a Shudra boy."
"And he's also a Royal teacher," interrupted Prince Arjuna. "Our Guru has been appointed by the King to train us, the princes and the highborn. How dare you come inside the Gurukul and seek him? Leave! NOW!" he spat out, looking enraged that Eklavya had disturbed his practice.
Eklavya was stunned at Arjuna's behaviour. He himself was the son of the chief of his clan, but he never insulted anyone below him in such a way. He looked at Drona for some kind of support, but the sage remained silent. The message was loud and clear. Dronacharya also wanted him to leave. He refused to teach him.
The innocent tribal boy was deeply hurt by Drona's refusal to teach him. "It's not fair!" he thought miserably. "God has given knowledge to all, but man alone differentiates his kind."
He left the place with a broken heart and a bitter taste in his mouth. But it could not shatter his ambition to learn Archery. He was still as determined to learn Archery.
"I may be a Shudra but does it make any difference?" thought he. " I am as strong and zealous as Drona's princes and disciples. If I practice the art everyday, I can surely become an archer."
Eklavya reached his own forests and took some mud from a nearby river. He made a statue of Dronacharya and selected a secluded clearing in the forests to place it. Eklavya did this because he faithfully believed that if he practiced before his Guru, he would become an able archer. Thus, though his Guru shunned him, he still held him in high esteem and thought of him as his Guru.
Day after day, he took his bow and arrow, worshipped the statue of Drona and started practice. In time faith, courage and perseverance transformed Eklavya the mere tribal hunter into Eklavya the extraordinary archer. Eklavya became an archer of exceptional prowess, superior even to Drona's best pupil, Arjuna.
One day while Eklavya is practicing, he hears a dog barking. At first the boy ignored the dog, but continuous disturbance in his practice angered him. He stopped his practice and went towards the place where the dog was barking. Before the dog could shut up or get out of the way, Eklavya fired seven arrows in rapid succession to fill the dog's mouth without injuring it. As a result it roamed the forests with its mouth opened.
But Eklavya was not alone in his practice. He was unaware of the fact that just some distance away, the Pandava princes were also present in that area of the forest. As fate would have it, that day, they had come with their teacher, Drona, who was instructing them about some finer points of archery by making them learn in the real-life condition of the open jungle.
As they were busy practicing, they suddenly chanced upon the "stuffed" dog, and wonder who could have pulled off such a feat of archery. Drona was amazed too." Such an excellent aim can only come from a mighty archer." he exclaimed. He told the Pandavas that if somebody was such a good archer then he surely needed to be met. The practice was stopped and together they began searching the forest for the one behind such amazing feat. They found a dark-skinned man dressed all in black, his body besmeared with filth and his hair in matted locks. It was Eklavya. Dronacharya went up to him.

"Your aim is truly remarkable!" Drona praised Eklavya, and asked "From whom did you learn Archery?"
Eklavya was thrilled to hear Drona's praises. How surprised he will be if he told Drona that he, in fact was his Guru!
"From you my Master. You are my Guru," Eklavya replied humbly.
"Your Guru? How can I be your Guru? I have never seen you before!" Drona exclaimed in surprise. But all of a sudden he remembered something. He remembered about an eager boy who had visited his Gurukul several months ago. " Now I remember," said he. "Are you not the same hunter boy whom I refused admission in my Gurukul some months back?"
"Yes, Dronacharya", replied the boy. "After I left your Gurukul, I came home and made a statue like you and worshipped it every day. I practiced before your image. You refused to teach me, but your statue did not. Thanks to it, I have become a good archer."
Hearing this, Arjuna became angry. "But you promised me that you'd make me the best archer in the world!" he accused Drona. "Now how can that be? Now a common hunter has become better than me!"
The other princes remembered their master frequently praising Arjuna that he had immense talent and will be the greatest archer in the kingdom. They waited with bated breath. What will their teacher do now?
Unable to answer Arjuna's question, Drona remained silent. The sage too was upset that his promise to Prince Arjuna was not going to be fulfilled. He was also angry with Eklavya for disobeying him. So the sage planned to punish Eklavya.
"Where is your guru dakhsina? You have to give me a gift for your training," the sage demanded. He had finally found a way to make Eklavya suffer for his disobedience.
Eklavya was overjoyed. A guru dakshina was the voluntary fee or gift offered by a disciple to his guru at the end of his training. The guru-shishya parampara, i.e. the teacher-student tradition, was a hallowed tradition in Hinduism. At the end of a shishya's study, the guru asks for a "guru dakshina," since a guru does not take fees. A guru dakshina is the final offering from a student to the guru before leaving the ashram. The teacher may ask for something or nothing at all.
"Dronacharya, I'll be the happiest person on earth to serve you. Ask me anything and I will offer it to you as my guru dhakshina "he said.
"I might ask something you don't like to give me. What if you refuse the dhakshina I want?" Drona asked cunningly.
Eklavya was shocked. It was considered a grave insult and a great sin if a guru's dakshina was refused. "No! How can I, teacher? I am not that ungrateful. I'll never refuse anything you ask, Dronacharya," promised the unsuspecting boy.
Drona did not wait anymore. "Eklavya, I seek to have your right-hand thumb as my guru dhakshina" he declared.
Silence befell on everyone. Everyone was shocked, even Arjuna. He looked at his teacher in horror and disbelief. How could their teacher make such a cruel demand? That too, from a mere boy?
For a moment Eklavya stood silent. Without his thumb he could never shoot arrows again. But the teacher must be satisfied. "Ok Gurudev, as you wish." said he. Then, without the slightest hesitation, Eklavya drew out his knife and cut his thumb!
The princes gasped at Eklavya's act of bravery. But the tribal boy betrayed no signs of pain, and held out his severed thumb to Dronacharya.
"Here is my guru dakshina, Drona", Ekalavya said. "I am happy that you have made me your disciple, even if I'm a mere Shudra hunter."
The sage was humbled. He blessed the young archer for his courage. "Eklavya, even with out your thumb, you'll be known as a great archer. I bless you that you will be remembered forever for your loyalty to your guru," Drona declared and left the forests. He was moved and grieved at his own action. But he was content that his promise to Arjuna was not broken. The Gods blessed Eklavya from above.

But despite his handicap, Eklavya continued to practice archery. How could he do so? When one is dedicated, one can make even mountains bow. With practice, Eklavya could shoot arrows with his index and middle finger and he became a greater archer than he was ever before. His renown spread far and wide. When Drona came to know this, he blessed the boy silently and begged for divine forgiveness.
And true to Drona's blessing, Eklavya is still praised as the most loyal and brave student in the epic of Mahabharatha.
                  So from this we can realise that if students put in sincere efforts to achieve something , there is nothing which can stop !!