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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sinecure ... retirement jobs - interesting Qs in Kerala Staff Selection exam !!

Have never heard of this musical instrument – ‘Ukulele’ (not that I know many other insturements !) -  is a member of the guitar family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings. The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete.

Somewhere in the stream, life has changed – in my school days were people joining, working and retiring from small shops and Private companies – job hopping was not much – people might not have earned high – but retired and spent their lives peacefully .... compare to the modern times – people talk of retirement at a young age (burnouts !) – dream of leading a life of leisure – not many succeed in doing so – either because their savings are not enough; savings have vanished; not properly saved or needs not properly calculated. – and clearly even for those retirees, there is no succour from inflation and tax payment. Added to this is the hanging sword of ever increasing cost of medical treatment.  

A sinecure (from Latin sine = "without" and cura = "care") means an office that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service. Sinecures have historically provided a potent tool for governments or monarchs to distribute patronage, while recipients are able to store up titles and easy salaries. A sinecure can also be given to an individual whose primary job is in another office, but requires a sinecure title to perform that job.  For some there is easy life (of getting salary and other perks in employment which may not require much of hard work)..........

Bureaucrats often get plum posts – post-retirement and perhaps they aren't the only ones to continue in government post-retirement. Of the 21 judges to have retired from the Supreme Court since January 2008, 18 got jobs in different government commissions and tribunals. A majority still continue in these positions. – wrote Indian Express way back in 2012…….  Today, there is shock and dismay … Justice Katju, who is currently chairman of the Press Council, has levelled allegations that cannot but show the higher judiciary in poor light. The only interpretation one can give to his claims is that the CJI of 2004 was willing to bow to political pressure to keep the UPA in power, even going to the extent of allowing an allegedly corrupt judge to remain in office and ultimately even promoting him.  Justice Katju's blog is likely to create a storm because it raises questions about the independence and/or integrity of at least three former Supreme Court chief justices - CJI RC Lahoti, who okayed the extension to the additional judge in Tamil Nadu, who was said to be favoured by a key UPA ally from Tamil Nadu. This ally can only be the DMK, for in 2004 the DMK was part of UPA-1 and critical to its survival. November 2004 was when Katju became Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.

Next time you fuming at how inefficient most government offices in India are and wonder some of its employees even landed those jobs, Kerala has an answer for you. According to an article on The Times of India, the Combined Graduate Level Exam conducted by the Staff Selection Commission thought it was appropriate for aspiring public servants to know who is the tallest among Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Huma Qureshi and Preity Zinta?

Given that these women are mostly spotted in stilettos, answering the question, you can say, needs sharp deduction skills. The writer, Sukanya Satyan wryly notes, "Well, I ruled out Preity right away but the remaining three posed a problem. Maybe the guys answering the test, with a keener eye for vital stats, had a better chance of answering the question but I, for one, was ruing the fact I didn't watch the bikini scenes — remember that paparazzi photo of Katrina and actor Ranbir Kapoor on a beach holiday — more closely. Bare feet, unlike stilettos, hardly lie."

However, that was not the only absurdity in the paper. There was also a question in the logical reasoning section which asked the following: "All women are cats. Second: All cats are rats. Therefore the two possible conclusions are: (a) All women are rats or (b) All rats are women." Interesting to say the least ….

Concluding with a news from California, that a 97-year-old man was evicted from his retirement center in Napa, California and he claims it's because he played the ukulele too much. An anonymous donor helped Jim Farrell, 97, find a new home after being thrown out by Redwood Retirement Center with no place to go but the homeless shelter.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

22nd July 2014.

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