TAPMI MODEL UNITED NATIONS: Day 2

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue which counts.”- TMUN 2019

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On 25th January 2019, day two of the General Assembly commenced, with the discussions of issues from the previous day. The earliest of the motions raised revolved around the recently debated GDPR. Delegates of France, Saudi Arabia and Iran put forth meaningful insights as to how EU can help other nations with the understanding and implementation of GDPR. “ATM jackpotting”, “ransomware” and “cyber crime and armaments” were other hot topics that were brought forth by the delegates.

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The Human Rights Council discussed the agenda – “Elimination of violence against women and girls in the digital context.” The student participants who assumed the role of delegates of member countries at the TMUN, debated and discussed over the issue of cyber-crime, inadequacy of judiciary bodies and technical infrastructure which are present in underdeveloped and developing nations. A question and answer session was held among the delegates of the member countries to pass a resolution to Eliminate  Violence Against Women and Girls in the Digital Context. The discussion concluded with an amendment session, followed by the resolution being passed with a majority vote of the participating countries. The delegates also discussed about misinformation and disinformation prevalent in the cyber world. They pressed upon the importance of a uniform law across the world to tackle cyber crime.

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TAPMI Model United Nations came to an end with a ceremony that began with an enlightening speech by the Chief Guest Prof. Ishwar Haritas. This was followed by a speech by the Guest of Honor Mr. Brijesh Balakrishnan. He gave his insights on the whole concept of a Model United Nations and wholeheartedly appreciated the efforts put in by TAPMI Toastmasters in making it a grand success. The session ended with declaration of the best performers in each of the councils.

In the General assembly category of awards, Christina Rachel Jacob won the best delegate award. A special mention was given to Ananda Kannan, high commendation was received by Agraharam Rinda Vishnu and honourable mention were given to Mihir Dixit and Amulya N Bhatkal.

In the Human Rights Council awards section, Rashi Agarwal won the best delegate award, high commendation was received by Sonakshi Mehrotra, a special mention was given to Soumya Khanduri and Heena Attry,  and honourable mention were given to Anvita Balakka and Apeksha Guru.

In the Security Council, Anik Dutta won the best delegate, high commendation was received by Vishnuteerth Havaldar, a special mention was given to Russell Mathias and Shruti A. Sastry,  and honourable mention were given to Shwetank Mishra and Prashant Nair.

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TAPMI MODEL UNITED NATIONS: Day 1

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The second edition of TAPMI Model United Nations (TMUN), organized by TAPMI Toastmasters Committee, commenced on 24th January 2019. Students from Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal Institute of Technology, St. Aloysius, Kasturba Medical College, and TAPMI participate as delegates from different countries to discuss issues related to the governing theme – ‘Behind The Curtain: A Cyber World’. The Chief Guest Prof. Madhu Veeraraghavan, Director, TAPMI, encouraged the participants to enhance their public speaking, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills through active participation in TMUN. Prof. Happy Paul, TAPMI, urged them to immerse themselves in the learning process and reflect on themselves. The Secretary-General of TMUN declared the event open.

3The topic of the general counsel was “Behind The Curtain: A Cyberworld” where threats to international peace and security caused by cyber-crime for example promotion of fake news, meddling elections, hacking government websites were discussed. In the second half of the session, there were discussions about uniform data privacy regulation across the world, the importance of stopping data privacy breaches and financial losses. The session concluded with discussions about other issues that could arise as a result of cybercrime as human trafficking, murders and child pornography.

 The Human Rights Council discussed the agenda – ‘Accelerating efforts to eliminate violence against women’. Delegates engaged in enriching discussions on some pressing issues of modern day – #MeToo movement, triple talaq, and the impact of societal violence on the online behaviour directed towards women. The discussion also addressed the increasing concerns over misuse of anonymity over social media platforms, invasion of privacy and importance of data protection through the motion, “Monitoring internet in the context of online harassment”. The discussion concluded with delegations expressing their stance on online violence perpetrating against women and their countries’ proposed course of action in dealing with it.

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The Security Council (UNSC) was the other UN council selected for simulation in TMUN. The agenda for UNSC was ‘Transnational Organised Crime: Online Trafficking of Arms and Wired Weapons’. The UNSC comprised of 15 member states out of which 5 were the permanent members (USA, UK, Russia, China and France) and the others being non-permanent members. The day was marked by intense debates and discussions as the delegates deliberated on the appropriate course of action and tried to reach a general consensus on critical issues. It was an enriching experience for the delegates, many of whom had participated for the first time in a Model United Nations simulation.

Event: HRiday Launch

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On 21st January 2019, TAPMI launched its first HR magazine ‘HRiday’. The event started with Mr. Vatsal Surotia welcoming the Chief Guests Mr. Ganesh Chella and Mr. V.J. Rao to the event. He also welcomed TAPMI’s director Professor Madhu Veeraraghavan and HR Program Chair Mr. Srinivasan Tatachari, who was then invited to speak on the stage about the magazine and the domain of Human Resources. Ms. Sonakshi Mehrotra spoke about the idea behind the magazine stressing on how important it is to be adept with current HR trends, which are a part of the magazine, for potential HR professionals.

Professor Madhu Veeraraghavan, an encourager of initiatives such as this one, asked the team to not just circulate the magazine, but also to distribute it externally.

Mr. Vatsal then concluded the event by thanking the faculty which supported the brainchild of the HR Forum, the administration of TAPMI, and the committees involved in making the event a success.

Winter School 2019: Day 6: Workshop – Behavioural experiments in Decision Making : Mr. Sumitava Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Psychology, IIT Delhi

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On 19th January 2019, at the TAPMI-MAX PLANCK SOTON Winter School, Prof. Sumitava Mukherjee conducted an involving workshop on designing an experiment. He presented in a comprehensive manner, the ground rules of designing an experiment. He started with the definition of behavioural economics and its goal of how it incorporates new assumptions and methods to the established theories, and not necessarily build a radical alternative. Behavioural experiments incorporate naturally occurring settings in lab experiments.

He then touched upon the problem of ecological validity with lab experiments and how it can be addressed by naturally-occurring settings. The class was introduced to the terminologies used in an experimental design. Moving further, he delved through the concepts of self-reporting, response times, neural imaging and stated preferences.

The class worked in pairs and performed the task of designing a behavioural experiment for a non-monetary domain to test whether people weigh losses more than gains. The session ended with the presentation of the task by the groups. After the presentation, a debriefing session was conducted to clarify any questions. The session was both engaging and inquisitive and all the participants enjoyed it thoroughly.

Winter School 2019: Day 5: “Ecological Rationality” by Dr. Özgür Simsek, Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath, UK

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On 18th January 2019, at the TAPMI-MAX PLANCK SOTON Winter School, Dr. Ozgur Simsek talked about how ecological rationality can be used for decision making. Ecological rationality studies humans in real-world domains and explores which heuristics are promising in which environment. The first part of the talk on ecological rationality showed that heuristics like lexicographic decision making can give better outcomes as compared to complex models like random forest.

She focused on two basic questions – 1) what type of environmental structures enable decision heuristics like lexicographic decision making and tallying to be effective and 2) how often do we encounter such an environment. It was shown that heuristics can make decisions identical to those of linear decision rule. In simple situations of dominance, cumulative domination, and non-compensatoriness, this is true. Using a study, it was shown that in 90% datasets, heuristics gave useful results. When cues were dichotomized, results improved to 97%. There can be situations when heuristics using cue orders and cue directions different from linear regression can give better outcomes.

Lastly, she addressed the question of the use of heuristics in sequential decision problems using the example of Tetris. Current data did not support the argument. If Tetris is a special case, it remains an open question. The session ended with a Q&A where she addressed the queries of the audience with expertise.

Winter School 2019: Day 5: Workshop by Dr.Konstantinos Katsikopoulos,Associate Professor of Behavioural Operations at the Southampton Business School

Dr.Konstantinos Katsikopoulos conducted an engaging workshop as a part of TAPMI-MAX PLANCK-SOTON Winter School, on 18th January,2019.

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All the participants were divided into 8-10 teams with 3-4 members in each team. They were presented with three problems in decision making- risky choice, inter temporal choice and ultimatum game. Their task was to create a theory or a heuristic for one of the three problems, which would predict the behavior of people in the different tasks. Each team then presented it and got feedback from the class.

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In the last segment two teams combined together to test the accuracy of their theories. The workshop gave the participants a good idea of how to model theories scientifically to predict behavior. It was a fun yet knowledgeable session which the participants thoroughly enjoyed.
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Winter School 2019: Day 6: “Rethinking Monetary Loss Aversion”- Mr. Sumitava Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Psychology, IIT Delhi

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On 19th January 2019, Mr. Sumitava Mukherjee, Professor of Psychology at IIT Delhi, headed a stimulating discussion on “Rethinking Monetary Loss Aversion” at TAPMI as a part of TAPMI-MAX PLANCK-SOTON Winter School.  Mr. Mukherjee began the session by highlighting the nuances of subjective judgment, prospect theory, and loss aversion through a brief introduction. Pointing out that loss-aversion is magnitude dependent, he substantiated the same by showcasing some evidence for loss aversion. Finally, he gave some further thoughts on the phenomena and its interesting implications.

Elucidating the subject matter, Mr. Mukherjee stated that loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains. It is universally accepted in law, medical decisions and other social fields. However, he pointed out, some research provided evidence that did not support loss aversion.

McGraw defends loss aversion by suggesting that those studies could not capture loss-aversion in judging feelings due to the method. Giving an example, Mr. Mukherjee said that according to the research on JDM 2017, it was found that we should use unipolar rather than bipolar measurement so that the scale makes people judge gains and losses on a similar scale at the same time, and this is necessary for evaluating loss-aversion. Furthermore, it was found that magnitudes influence the intensity for predicted gains and losses. He insisted that loss aversion is not observable when one has a large reference anchor. These illustrations together suggest that loss-aversion is contextually dependent on the magnitude, which points to the magnitude-dependent loss-aversion hypothesis. These may be really useful for explaining some real-world phenomena. It was a fun yet inquisitive session which all the participants enjoyed thoroughly.