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While filling out a passport application, I filled the wrong police station. The application is granted by the Passport Seva Kendra. Will there be a problem in the police verification?No!Officer from your respective (read correct) Police Station will do the verification rather than the Police Verification filled by you in the Application.During my Passport Application, I filled Police Station X assuming it to be my Police Station as it was near to my house. Same was accepted by the PSK too. But I was called for verification by Officer from Police Station Y which was quite far from my house but address of my house was in vicinity of Police Station Y.So, even if you have wrongly filled the Passport Application wrt Police Station, you need not to worry.Hope it helps.
When should I start filling out applications for grants and scholarships?Assuming you were going to pay for college entirely yourself:You should start saving money from jobs, grants and scholarships now. Additionally, you should gain any college level credits you can in high school, they will save you money later. You can wait until senior year to fill out Fafsa and apply for school specific scholarships.
How is the experience of obtaining an Indian visa on arrival?I used the Indian E-Visa four times to visit India with a German Passport. It takes few minutes to fill the application, very easy, then upload pictures and passport. Be careful by filling out the application and controll the data formats / sizes you are downloading for passport, photos. Because a small mistake can cause a rejection. Then the money you’ve paid is gone and you need to start all from begin again. The working time depends, but none of my four E-Visas take more than 12 hours for decision. After you get the ‘’Granted’’ mail, print it out and take the next flight. I land one time in Mumbai and three times in Delhi. Its on both sides a separated check point. In Mumbai the officer asks me some easy several questions like ‘’ How long you will stay ‘’ or ‘’ Which hotel ‘’ etc. In Delhi not a single question, just a stamp on passport and OUT. Be aware that you can use the E-Visa just two times in 12 month period. You can travel out of the country and apply immediately again for the same Visa type, no time restriction. I would suggest you, if you have the possibility for an E-Visa, always apply for this one and never go to an Indian Embassy anywhere. I speak with experience. I see many countries embassies from inside, even much more underdeveloped countries than India and i’ve never seen such employees. So slowly working, never smiling people, sorry, you’ll feel yourself there like in an old communist state. For example, what is in todays world the ABC for getting easy Visa for many countries is, that you travelled there before without problems, but for India thats a dangerous point. They will ask you millions of questions why you are travelling again, mostly reject or will give you less than expected Visa time. So words like ‘’ I love your country ‘’ is absolutely not important for them, dont care. Sadly i paid also several times bribery for employeers to getting earlier appointment dates. I write about that issue to many government responsibles and foreign ministries, nobody cares. If you want to be comfortable take the E-Visa and thats it. One great point on the E-Visa is in comparing also with the normal Tourist Visa, even when they reject it for any reason ( mostly because a mistake in any document etc. ) you can easily apply again and get it granted. But of course, for every application you need to pay the fee again. Hope i could help you in the issue.
How does one get started as an independent researcher?Some important things:Having a good webpage is important. Make sure that you have some familiarity with SEO (and try to capture some of the rare academic terms that only scholars will search for). An active online presence is far more important for independent scholars than it is for scholars in most universities - and increases the chances that someone will chance upon your page and find you interesting enough to contact (and to possibly advocate for you for in the future). If you don't know HTML well, consider WordPress (as an example, http://bioteaching.wordpress.com). I've also asked a question here: What is the best WordPress.com theme to use if I want to use a WordPress.com page as my personal homepage?Consider doing computational research (especially modelling/simulations) where lack of time holds research back more than lack of funding. There are simply a huge number of unsolved problems in many computational fields, and many people appreciate any additional effort that's put into them (which is why Crowdsourcing is becoming so important in science. In many cases, university departments have unused computers most of the time (this is especially true for the Atmospheric Science department here), and they may be able to provide you with a computer account.Ask for advice from academics who seem to be digital natives (academics who are active on Twitter/Google+ but who aren't too popular yet are the best ones to ask)Also, consider emailing undergrads/grad students, and ask for advice on which professors are the most approachable professors. This could really go a long way.Consider Crowdfunding: What are some concrete examples of science being crowdfunded? Not realistic for most right now, but definitely has future potential.
How do you patent a product in India?Consider it as a four part process:-Part A: Preliminary patent research - To understand whether your invention for which you wish to patent is novel. If it is a reinvention of the wheel, you are most likely to get a rejection of your patent leading to all your investment in filing a patent going down the drain.Part B: Preparing and filing a patent application at your local patent office (say India) and then internationally, if you want to transcend your IP rights beyond India. The application will be describing your invention along with filing your claims on the invention.Part C: Convincing the patent examiners in India and countries where you file your patent that your invention is novel by providing suitable arguments and evidences during examination. If you have gone into part A, you can pre-empt this part C.Part D: Issuance of a patent and maintaining it. Renewals or maintenance is important.It is advisable to engage a patent attorney as the entire process is complex. Do let us know, if you need any assistance.Do let me know if you need any assistance. My firm, GIP India, specialises in obtaining and protecting intellectual property rights worldwide. We work on a unique onshore and off-shore models giving unique price point for our customers. Please feel free to contact us for more pricing details.
What is it like to be a professor?TL;DR: It's varied and requires a lot of different skills that I didn't learn in school.I get to work on what I want to work on. I get to choose my own hours. But there are a lot of responsibilities beyond simply doing research and teaching. What these are depends on the University and field of study.My life as a junior professor at Stanford (up for tenure in the fall) consists of the following.TenureStanford is a research university. All tenure decisions are based off your research reputation in your respective community. You have to be competent in the classroom, reasonably collegial to your colleagues, but in the end the cliche of "publish or perish" is true.Tenure is an up-or-down decision. You get it and you have a job for life or you don't and you must move after the following year (i.e. you're fired). Stanford's tenure system is a real review - they go out for 15 to 20 unsolicited letters to senior members of your community (i.e. you don't get to pick the writers) and these letters ask about your standing in the community and if you're up to Stanford's standard. Based upon how those letters come back, this will determine if you're fired or not. You never get to see the letters or respond to them.ResearchSo life as a junior (untenured) professor is really trying to build a record that will get you tenure. If you see young professors looking tired and stressed, that's why.Writing research papers to be first published on preprint servers (see http://arxiv.org ) and then in proper journals is a major component is the primary product of research. What goes into that research obviously varies a lot by field. Since I'm a theoretical physicist, there are a lot of pen & paper calculations, numerical calculations with Mathematica, and numerical Monte Carlo calculations (these last ones produce huge amounts of data and is why you'll see me asking lots of programming questions).There's a lot of variation in the rate people publish. I tend to be between 6 to 10 articles per year. Most research projects take between 6 and 12 months to finish, so I tend to have 4 to 6 projects going at once. Making them all move forward smoothly is a major challenge. I tend to spend more time editing papers than doing calculations now. I don't think I would have thought that when I was in school and eschewed English courses.When you submit a paper to journal, it gets sent out to be refereed (i.e. reviewed for quality). This can be trivial or a pain depending on the situation. Sometimes, the anonymous referee rubber stamps a paper, other times, they give valuable feedback, and frequently they give their own opinion. Recently, I had 3 month battle with a referee over frequentist vs Bayesian statistics. I eventually got frustrated and sent it off to another journal (equally prestigious) which accepted the paper without complaints.You also have to be a referee. The general rule of thumb is to wait for one or two rounds of harassment before you respond, otherwise you'll get more and more reviews to do.Ultimately the research is evaluated by overall impact which is measured through the above letters and through the more objective (though overly simplistic) citation count (see http://inspirehep.net ).TravelOne major component for building an international reputation in my field is traveling. You travel to give seminars and colloquium and also go to conferences and workshops. I spend about 3 - 4 months a year traveling on a shoe-string budget. I'm about to hit 1M miles on American Airlines.On any given day I may fly into London, go to Oxford to give a seminar, then fly to CERN (in Geneva) for a meeting, drive to the Alps for a workshop and then fly to a summer school in Italy and be home in a week to 10 days. Repeat several times a year. It was glamorous when I was going to places for the first time, but most places I've been to multiple times and it all blends together.I carry my passport and 5 currencies (USD, JPY, EUR, CHF, GBP) on me at all times as well as a filled up CharlieCard, OysterCard and MetroCard -- this is so that if I forget about an international flight, I can go directly to the airport and buy clothes and toiletries when I arrive.I pack for a 3 week trip in under 30 minutes and only use a carryon.I often don't remember which flight I booked until I check the night before -- simply can't fill my brain with non-urgent information.My Facebook feed is filled with 3 letter IATA codes to let people know where I am.This isn't to brag, but to demonstrate how draining/disheveling building/maintaining an international reputation can be.Public SpeakingPublic speaking is huge factor. Giving concise, entertaining presentations is important. I spend a lot of time editing Keynote presentations. I tend to give about 20 hour-long presentations per year on recent research projects and another 5-10 special topic presentations. I spend a lot of time making figures and simplifying the research to make the work presentable. Summarizing your work well in person is one of the key components to getting more citations. As a kid, I would have never thought I would spend so much time speaking before audiences, but I've really grown to enjoy it.GrantsGetting money is a big factor in tenure. So you apply for a lot of grants. Government grants are typically 30 to 50 page applications filled with budgets, descriptions of research, etc. You have to follow the rules to a T -- think of it as filling out your taxes -- the language is obtuse and confusing and not getting a specific grant could sink your career or cause you to lay off staff. Grant applications usually take 100 to 200 hours the first time you apply and then 50 to 100 hours the next time. They're due at random times during the year and you typically have 6 weeks notice to fill them out. I don't know anyone who likes filling out grants, but when you get one, you're on a high for a week.Mentorship and Personnel ManagementYour research is the raison d'etre for your position at most professors in the sciences at research universities. So you have to be performing research constantly. Most people develop a team around them consisting of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, technical staff (all of whom you're paying off of the grants you've received). Depending on the funding situation, you could have 1 to 2 people up to 20 (if you're very well funded). This means that you're a manager now. You're also a mentor for these junior colleagues.This aspect of the job requires a lot of hiring. When positions for postdoctoral positions become available, we get 400-600 applications and we're filling 1 to 3 positions. You have to read and scan through applications. Postdoctoral positions are very expensive when you include overhead and typical 3 year position runs between $300k to $500k, so postdoctoral hiring is taken very seriously.Letter WritingIn order to get the best people you have to develop the existing researchers -- which means getting them jobs. So you have to spend a lot of time writing letters of recommendation (usually in the fall). I currently write about 15 to 20 letters per year in a matter of 3 months. These letters are scrutinized and if you say the wrong word it can cost them the possibility of getting faculty positions (thereby destroying your ability to hire the best people in the future).Graduate Student MentorshipGraduate student researchers are important for most professors' research. You have to bring them from knowing next-to-nothing to being independent researchers over 3 years. This requires a lot of mentorship. Graduate students are pretty young and need to develop their philosophy of research. This means a lot of long conversations usually. Many are foreign and so there are frequently cultural issues and language is frequently below-par and has to be improved.Graduate students typically aren't very professional when they start and you have to deal with their individual quirks in delicate ways. You have to tailor projects to their abilities and find out how much they can do before they become overwhelmed. You have to lift them up when they hit a wall and don't feel like they can go on (it happens to every graduate student at some point and frequently multiple points). You have to keep them excited when they get burnt out on a project even though they're only halfway through it and they don't necessarily see the point.Most graduate students get livable stipends these days ($35k at Stanford). That means more grant money. At Stanford we have to pay for their tuition for 4 years which brings a fully loaded student up to $80k/year.It's funny the types of things you have to teach students:I gave driving lessons to one (it would have eliminated a sizable fraction of their post-doctoral opportunities)Taught programming to severalTaught statistics to all the studentsEducating graduate students really is a multi-faceted apprenticeship program.Local / National / International Committee WorkThere are also committee work and meetings to do. Once you become faculty, you are a manager of the department and wider university. You have faculty meetings, committee meetings, etc. I'm on a few fellowship selection committees (both local and for the US government). I also am on the graduate admissions committee frequently (a major time-sink in January). I've been in charge of space renovations on my floor. I'm also a pre-major advisor this year. There are also faculty hiring committees which are very political and can drain a huge amount of time.As faculty you also become a member of the national / international community in your respective fields and are called upon to be part of panels and reviews. The longer you go, the more you get called upon.(I just got reminded by a foreign funding agency that I'm late in turning in a grant review.)Other Academic ActivitiesOne aspect of an active academic environment is seminars. In my specific subfield, there are 4-hour-long seminars per week on average. There are another 3 relevant hour-long seminars I sometimes attend. There are additionally 2-hour-long colloquia per week. I usually attend 2 to 3 hours of these per week.The speakers at the seminars and colloquia have to be entertained and so there are a lot of dinners that I have to go to. At one point, I'd been to almost every restaurant in Palo Alto. By in large these are relatively enjoyable, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.TeachingFinally, there is teaching. I teach one to two quarters per year. I've taught a mixture of graduate and undergraduate classes. Teaching is fun and I think a fair fraction of faculty would love it, but the limited time available to prepare a course really prevents most of us from spending as much time as we would like on it. I find it fulfilling to be up in front of the classroom, writing lectures and designing problem sets, but unfortunately, I only can put in 10 - 15 hours per week into a course.
What is the most soul-satisfying thing you have ever done in your life that left you with a sense of contentment and peace within yourself?I've seen this guy at Starbucks in Marin City several times. Every time I’d see him I'd tell myself that I would take him to lunch but always found an excuse not to. Today was different. It might have been selfish but I was lonely. I didn't want to spend the whole day alone. I walked up to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said “ do you want to have lunch with me?”Tarec Atkinson was born and raised in Jamaica. When he was a kid, he dreamt of being a famous futbol (soccer) player. He was recruited to play in school but never got the opportunity because of some trouble he got in as a teenager. He moved to the states 8 years ago and has spent the last 12 months living in a tent by the side of the freeway. Tarec goes days without eating, sometimes living off of the berries he picks, he spends 90% of his time alone and has no friends and no family in the states.After hearing it had been a month since he bathed, I brought him back to my apartment so he could enjoy a hot shower. Because of all these hardships, trying to get a job is impossible. How can you fill out an application when you haven't eaten in days? I told Tarec that I would drive around with him next week and help him fill out applications and even speak on his behalf to help him land a job so he can get back on his feet. We agreed to meet that Friday at 9:30 AM at Starbucks.If we were going to make this happen, I knew we had to get Tarec some new clothes. We stopped at Ross so he could pick out a shirt and some slacks. I was blown away at the immediate change in his demeanor. His smile was radiant, he stood up straighter, and even walked with a swagger.I couldn’t convince him to tuck in his shirt. I guess you win some and you lose some haha.Next step was to hit the streets. We spent the next two days going door to door to see who was hiring. We went to Walgreens, CVS, Safeway, Home Depot, Molly Stones, and Starbucks just to name a few. I would walk in with him so he knew he wasn’t alone. It can be overwhelming to walk into a business and ask for a job. I was very proud of him. We had a few positive responses but the majority of business’s told us that applications were submitted online. Easy enough right?Wrong.Tarec doesn’t have a computer. So we went to the local library and began filling out applications. And let me tell you something. We take our computer literacy for granted. Watching him struggle to fill out an application put so much into perspective for me. Some people judge our homeless. We’ve all heard someone say “why don’t they just get a job?” or “they’re lazy”. I saw firsthand how the “system” is set up to fail people like Tarec. There is no way he would have been able to do any of this without my help. Just like there are many things in my life I have needed someone to help me overcome an obstacle. We all need a little help.After week of phone interviews Tarec landed an in person interview at Safeway. I remember driving to Safeway being nervous. I looked over to him and asked how he was feeling. He looked back at me and said “I got this”. I believed him.I dropped him off, wished him luck and waited. 20 minutes later, I see him walk out of Safeway with a big smile and a thumbs up. I let out a Rick Flair sounding “WOO!”. We had accomplished a lot together in two weeks. It was an incredible moment.Obviously we had to celebrate with a little ice cream! :)Like we all are, Tarec is searching for a purpose in life. He yearns for happiness. He craves for a woman to love and to feel the love from a woman. He wants to create a better life for himself so he could one day have a family and stability. He is just like you and me.My hope in sharing this story is that it will inspire others to spread LOVE. We all need help in one way or another. Sometimes all someone needs is a friend. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.