Saturday, December 2, 2017

Personal Development – What, Why & How?

What is Personal Development?

Personal Development is to improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.

Why it is needed?

A Personal Development Plan provides a framework that will help you identify the areas of your strengths and weaknesses and come up with a guide that will optimize and capitalize on your existing skills and capabilities. It is a snapshot of where do you stand at the time of the assessment that lets you reflect on your next steps. Start with “Why do I want to create this personal development plan?”

The same is true for professionals with many years experience in the workplace. Continuing professional development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional's career.

Benefits of Personal Development:

1. Self Awareness, 
2. A sense of direction.
3. Improved focus and effectiveness 
4. More Motivation 
5. Grater resilience 
6. More fulfilling relationship
7. Satisfaction of Self-actualization

Personal Development is a term much used but less practised. At times it is confused with Personality Development. Personality Development deals with personal traits, temperament, behaviour, appearance, body language, communication skills, etiquette, etc while the Personal Development deals with one’s furtherance of hobbies, acquiring new skills and honing old skills, further education, strengthening public rapport, etc.  then It is about taking the time and, making the commitment, to invest in your greatest resource – you. When you put the effort in to developing yourself, the rewards are amazing.

However, the greatest achievers in life know that the key to success is the ability to manage you in a variety of situations. That ability comes through personal development.

We should always understand that choosing the right career and flourishing in it, depend to a large extent on your level of passion in the field we chose. Rather running after something which is not your forte and you are not passionate about it, can spoil your career. Lay your hands where your heart lies and your head will follow it. This is why it is fundamental to know your passion, so you can make a living out of it, and be happy and successful. Your run for the bread becomes a fun and not a job.

What is passion at work?

In the simplest of terms, passion is doing something that excites you every time, and makes you feel happy and contended at the end of the day. It is a feeling that enthuses you to work more in a field because you find happiness doing it. This passion can be different for every individual, and can be just about anything from sweeping to sculpting, and everything in between.

Why is passion important?

If you want to be truly successful in life, you will have to follow your passion. When you are enthusiastic about something, you will automatically find ways to overcome all the obstacles that come in the path of your success. Also, when you love what you do, you're more likely to do it better. Further, you'll be more willing to learn at work because your interest will drive you to do it.

There are many examples of people who have been highly successful simply because their driving force at work was their passion.

For an example Bill gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard McDonald, Kevin Plank, Walt Disney, Dr. Seuss and Jim Koch. For each of these successful entrepreneurs, passion has been their driving force, and this is what has propelled them to where they are today.

If you want to achieve similar success, the first step is to chart out your Personal Development Plan and act on it. If you are a habitual offender of breaking New Year Resolution, think twice before charting out the plan.

Anyway, consider the following points while preparing your Personal Development Plan:

•    Your motivation for pursuing for Personal Development Plan? (Motivation can be just self-satisfaction, financial benefit, promotion in career, promotion of business, advocating a social cause, etc.)
•    Fix quantifiable goals to be achieved in a given time frame (so that you can evaluate your progress).  Your vague goal to reach “Some Where” will land you “No Where”.
•    Goal should be realistic and achievable.
•    Its relevancy to my present job and how much it will improve my productivity.
•    Availability of resources (time, money, health, etc) to pursue the plan? Mind well, no gain is without pain – pain may be physical or may to be to your pocket.
•    Your past record of achieving self-declared goals.
•    Support from the family members, employer, Government, Non-Govt Organisations, Philanthropists, etc

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019”
- Shri Narendra Modi, Honourable Prime Minister of India

Mahatma Gandhi had been advocating and practising the cause of cleanliness all along his life. His maxim “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” epitomizes the great soul’s concern and priority for cleanliness.

The SBA is a movement or a campaign (Abhiyan) for cleanliness drive launched across the country. As the name suggests, it is an initiative where the involvement of people is cornerstone for its implementation and success. War against open defecation (ODF) is the main plank of SBA, and rightly so, but it is not the only culprit contributing to uncleanliness of our surroundings. 

Rural areas are not immune from the curse but in urban areas the health, hygiene and sanitation have become a major agenda for local bodies eating large chunk of fund. Most of our big cities have accumulated mounds of garbage (in some cases as high as a hillock) on their periphery belching out foul smoke. 

The issue of uncleanliness is not just associated with esthetic beauty of the habitat but it is also an economic issue (particularly for the poor) as it invites illness leading to medical expenses and loss of work days and income. This is a one of the major reasons trapping the poor in vicious circle of debt.

We have improved our infrastructure and services, and some of them can well compete with developed countries; to attract overseas tourists but where do we stand as a nation when it comes to cleanliness? Would the level of cleanliness of our holy places and monuments come any close to the level that is expected by overseas tourists? 

Though the motivation for clean and tidy surroundings may be different but the poor, the middle class and the elite are unanimous in demanding the same from the local body and the State, and this common demand without contributing their mite is the crux of the whole problem. 

This is more so, as the efforts and the cost of “prevention” of the uncleanliness is “huge” when compared with those of its “cure”. Reminded of the exaggeration? No exaggeration. Just think of someone spitting in a swanky premises after chewing a betel wine leaf (paan) and another Good Samaritan cleaning after the delinquent.

The cleanliness is more about contributing one’s mite for cleanliness and less about demanding for cleanliness from the “other one”, local body or the State if the cleanliness is to be sustained for a long period. 

Every citizen has to inculcate it as habit. This not difficult as we have ingrained the habit for own home, just we have to extend its benefit to public places and our workplaces.


Saturday, November 4, 2017


One of the penalties for refusing to vote is that you will be governed by inferiors.
- Plato, Philosopher in Classical Greece (Born 427 BC, Died 348 BC)

The epigrammatic sentence quoted above, succinctly convey the message of importance of voting. Voting in election by a voter is the heart of democracy. 

By casting your vote, you are conveying  your choice who should govern the constituency – may be a village or upto a country. The turnout percentage at various elections indicates that voters are not serious in exercising their right or preferably, one should say, in performing their duty. At national level the turnout percentage in General Election varies from 55.27% in 1971 to 66.40 % in 2014. 

Day by day, election process is becoming voter friendly, technology based and trustworthy, still seriousness of the voters is not showing any marked and consistent improvement. We are bestowed with the gift of universal suffrage (voting rights to all adult citizens) on silver platter by our constitution while citizens of many western countries have to agitate on streets for decades to get this right. This may be one of the reasons why we do not value the gift.  

Though no statistical study is analyzed by the writer of this blog, it can be safely inferred that ‘higher the education, poorer the inclination for voting” and one more concomitant inference is “richer the person, lesser the propensity to vote”. The voters are indifferent to their duty of voting inspite of SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation) initiatives by Election Commission of India (ECI). Hence, days are not far when a rule, for compulsory voting may be introduced as prevalent in many countries.

Why should I vote?

·        Your vote is your expression of your choice to change or not to change the people who form the Government.   
·         Remember, “Ballot is more powerful than bullet”. Election is a silent revolution which brings changes what the voters want without shedding a drop of blood.

·        Every vote counts. Have you heard the story of residents pouring a liter of water in a hose when they were ordered by Akbar to pour a litter of milk during dead dark night?

·        If you vote, you have a moral right to ask your representative for the account of performance, though you might not have voted for that person.

·        It is an effective weapon to keep the legislative branch of Government sensitive to public demands as the representative has to return to voter at periodic interval. If voter does not use the weapon, it will degenerate into a forgotten article in constitution.

·        Voting is a process of your voice being heard. You have heard the rhetoric of candidates and their party leaders for weeks together during their election campaign, now let them hear you through your voting.
·        Investing your valuable time once in a 5 year for casting the vote is more effective to bring the changes voters want as a nation than spending time on sending loads of WhatsApp videos and texts on “Save the Democracy”.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Selfie tips to be considered before you share on social media

Selfie is aptly defined by Oxford English Dictionary as “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media”. 

The definition implies the sharing as an important aspect of selfie.  Practically, all the “How to’s” are dealing with taking a selfie but hardly any “How To” on important  aspect of cares to be taken before sharing a selfie on social media. 

Sharing aspect is equally important as “A picture is worth thousand words” and more so, as the saying goes, “You are a slave to your spoken words”. 

One would do well to take care of the following tips before sharing a selfie on social media:

  1.  Selfie would not just be viewed by intended audience but also by unintended audience, may be known or unknown to you.

  2. Viewer will gaze the selfie and evaluate it as per his/her mental frame and would perceive you as he/she wants to perceive you rather than what you intended.  

  3. Definition of “Propriety “is highly fluid depending upon culture, religion, education, age, social relation, etc. However, there are certain basic standards of behavior universally accepted as “good” or rejected as “bad”. Who would love a selfie depicting a person beating a dog mercilessly? 
  4. Many persons have an impulse to show off their material possessions. Adopt a “decent” way of showing off your material possession. Your selfie with a car dealer with your car in back ground will earn you more Likes than your selfie flaunting you astride on the hood of the car. 

  5. There is a scope (though very little) of your image being morphed or mimicked and misused. Keep in touch with social media to check whether your selfie is abused and boomeranged. 

  6. “Ati Sarvatra Varjayet” (refrain from excess of anything) says a proverb in Sanskrit (the language of Indian scriptures and sages). Do not share too many selfies. Do not share too often. 

  7. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share any selfies which includes any person without his/her wish in your selfie.  

  8. Do not share any selfie which insults Nationals Emblems/ insignia or offends the elders, the aged, kids, pets and animals.

  9.  Barring a few sad incidents, a smile is a universal ornament to liven up your personality. For sharing, prefer a selfie with a genuine brimming smile.
  10. Sharing a selfie is a serious action. Do it after careful consideration otherwise it may earn many “Likes” from unknown people and “Dislikes” from your known people.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to Save Tax through National Pension System?

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."–Albert Einstein

If the brightest brain in the world had the problem in understanding the income tax, let alone lesser mortals like you and me. However, let us discuss how one can save income tax by saving in National Pension System (NPS) and what EXCLUSIVE AND ADDITIONAL benefits are extended by NPS for saving the income tax.

NPS is a Central Govt sponsored system providing for income security after retirement. Detailed information on NPS is available on

Tax payers are familiar with various savings schemes for reducing the liability of paying the income tax. Each scheme has its own features in terms of:

·        return (interest rate, yield),
·        lock-in-period,
·        liquidity,
·        lienability (for availing loan),
·        convenience and investor services,  
·        risk and risk appetite,
·        age of the investor
·        appreciation of the capital
·        Post-retirement income plan
·        tenure (maturity period),
·        entry-exit-maintenance load (charges), pre-mature exit and its cost,
·        stages /time of income tax exemption (EEE, EET and ETE : At the stage of Investment, Interest earning and Withdrawal at the time of exit. E=Exempted, T=Taxed)

When weighed (compared) against all these features, the NPS ranks at the top amongst all the tax savings schemes. Moreover, investment in NPS is not just saves your income tax but it also provides for regular pension after your retirement. Not only the salaried employees but also the self-employed, professionals, businessmen, etc are also eligible to join the NPS.

In case of employees, there are two relevant Sections under which NPS deductions fall:

1. Deduction under Section 80CCD(1B):


First and foremost used route for Tax Savings scheme is under Section 80C which covers popular instruments e.g. NSC, EPF, PPF, Life Insurance, Contribution in NPS a/c (upto 10% of Basic + DA), Repayment of Housing Loan Principal, etc. The maximum limit under this section is Rs. 1.50 lakhs. 

However, under section 80CCD(1B), contribution in NPS upto Rs. 50000/- (or upto 10% of Basic+DA, whichever is less) by the employee has EXCLUSIVE additional  deduction benefit thereby one can get deduction upto Rs. 2.00 lakhs. No other tax saving scheme affords this additional benefit upto Rs. 50,000/-.

2. Deduction under Section 80CCD(2):

Employer’s contribution in NPS a/c of the employee up to 10% of the basic + DA is, in ultimate analysis, not considered as taxable income. Unlike Section 80CCD(1B), limit of Rs. 50,000/- is not applicable under 80CCD(2).

Where to open the A/c:

The PFRDA has appointed POPs (Point of Presence) who are the interface point for the subscribers want to open NPS account. Gujarat Infotech Ltd is one of approved POPs. Contact details of Gujarat Infotech Ltd:    



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