Conducting an online MUN and Presiding over the SC.

This weekend, I had the opportunity of presiding over a simulation of the Security Council and being Secretary General of our school’s and my city’s first ever online MUN. I made a commitment to organizing a conference way back in August, at the start of my tenure as MUN Club President. COVID-19 provided me with a unique opportunity, the chance to conduct a virtual conference unlike other MUNs in how effective I wanted it to be and the fact that all committees would be working together to come up with solutions for the current pandemic. We had crisis updates in the General Assembly impacting proceedings in the Security Council, speeches PM Modi being broadcast in the GA, and the Security Council and WHO having a joint crisis on the basis of Iranian bioweapons allegedly supplied by China. It was truly a wonderful experience.

I had the idea of conducting such a conference over a month ago. I immediately reached out to my peers and teachers, and got the planning underway. We made a team, divided all the work, and got everything done very quickly. In fact, the hard work each team member put into the event, whether it was our logistics heads texting every single delegate, or our Vice-chairs who were tasked with working on Background guides, is commendable. Now, more about what I did.

As President of a Security Council meeting that was investigating COVID-19’s origins and evaluating the possibility of it being a bio-weapon, the fact that it was a simulation did not draw away from how serious the situation was. Debate started with the Russian Federation introducing a verified, reliable research paper that clearly proved how COVID-19 couldn’t be artificial. I then urged our committee to investigate some more pressing prospects such as COVID-19 being a natural outbreak intentionally allowed to get out of hand and it being a sort of evolved form of SARS for which a vaccine already existed (concealed by the Chinese). After a round of statement speeches, I introduced the first crisis of the day, a video of a worker in the Wuhan virological center stating how the virus was laboratory made and intentionally released. Not soon after, one of our MUN mentors who has now graduated high school joined as the guest delegate of Japan, accused China of approaching him in informal session with an offer to trade the formula for the vaccine for economic and financial support, and abruptly left; committee had just livened up. Allegations flew across the floor during formal session, and insults during informal session. China became a sort of punching bag for the rest of the committee, soaking up countless jibes and taunts and resorting to reminding the other delegates about what I said and the source Russia provided.

I then took it a step further by releasing another video made by a resident in Wuhan claiming they were receiving ‘magic medicine’ from the authorities, and that all who refused to take it were being welded shut into their homes. This effectively meant that the Chinese had a vaccine, or had discovered an accidental cure. In either case, it meant China was concealing something important from the rest of the committee. This marked the end of the first day. However, at midnight, the General Assembly convened for a midnight crisis (a fascinating aspect of MUNing I saw happen for the first time), and witnessed PM Modi deliver a speech on how an Indian lab had created the vaccine. We then received an informal tip-off hinting upon a US-India partnership involving the US and India distributing the vaccine to their civilian populations before the rest of the world, and reaping the economic benefits of selling a highly demanded product to 189 countries at a very high price. I took this opportunity to text all members of my committee with a midnight update, alerting them to what had just transpired.

Committee convened again at 8 am in the morning. We debated on the draft resolution at hand for the first two sessions, cut away more than 80% of it and ultimately vetoed it, so 5 hours of effort went down the drain, not because we failed to pass a resolution, but because I failed to engage delegates in the resolution drafting process. Judging the results of an informal vote and what I believed to be best for committee, I decided to have a series of crisis updates for the last two sessions.

The first of these was an announcement by the Indian chief of army staff, detailing how the sole laboratory with the cure for COVID-19 had been blown up via a terrorist attack, and that the delegate of India to the Security Council had been assassinated. Dealing with the fact that the only verifiable vaccine was gone, and that China had a potential vaccine, all blocs split apart as China, Russia, and the US faced a series of allegations. This was followed by an announcement by the Russian Federation detailing how they had obtained the vaccine and were prepared to sell it to all other countries at subsidized prices, but would mass produce it in the public sector and not distribute the formula so as to reap colossal economic benefit.

So, that’s how committee ended. While we certainly didn’t have any progress towards satisfying our agendas, we had that kind of accusation-abundant, intense debate where blocs don’t really matter that brought out the best in our delegates. It was incredibly interesting to see our delegates handle incredibly absurd and riveting crisis updates, and do so while coping with incredibly arcane unmods. Conducting eJPISMUN was a brilliant experience, and the way our conference turned out exceeded the aspirations I had for it when I came up with the entire idea.

One Category To Rule Them All

As temperatures, water levels and scarcity rise tenfold across the globe, from the vast plains of the Savanna to the frosty woods of Alaska, we humans seem to be stuck in a race that’s just getting out of hand. Alarmingly, surprisingly little is being done to counter this development of a sinkhole – sucking us in slowly but surely.

Fortunately, history has proven, again and again, that change starts small. As Walt Disney said, “It all started with a mouse.” Even more, luckily, the modern-day internet age means that ideas can diffuse across society at breakneck speed. The driving forces behind the climate control movement, today’s multi-billion dollars businesses are crafting the ladder we must climb to save this planet. Firms like Google and Tesla have successfully shown the effectiveness of driving yourself towards a goal. However, it is time another corporate monolith – Apple, took charge. Sure, Apple has moved towards manufacturing environment-friendly products, yet it still wastes tons of resources.


Boasting astronomical sales north of a couple hundred million dollars, one can’t even begin to imagine the sheer number of white boxes, user manuals and worthless apple logo stickers that have been discarded by today’s iPhone savvy society. It’s time Apple made up for its mistakes.

The most effective way towards beginning this rejuvenation process would be to change its outlook and start prioritising the future. An ‘environment’ category on the App Store may catalyse this change.

Now, this wouldn’t just be a goodwill measure. For a long time, developers and businesses, especially environment-based NGOs, have looked for platforms upon which they can spread their influence. Creating a new, separate environment category would mean creating a whole new market. Like a bacteria stumbling upon a picture-perfect culture, the entire sector of environmental benefit and climate awareness will boom. Moreover, doing this would also transport stories, news, and action directly into the lives of millions of customers. If Apple executes this to perfection, the sky’s nothing but the first rung in the ladder.

Furthermore, creating an environment category wouldn’t just mean promoting the climate control movement, but would also translate over into a more satisfied consumer base. Consequently, Apple would gain a mammoth advantage over its rivals around the globe. It could also prove to be the key to unlocking the vast wealth of China and India.

Significantly, an environment category would also give Apple much-needed bargaining power. If the environment project takes off successfully in the US, governments might have to think twice before placing limits on Apple, given how it would indirectly mean imposing a limit on a firm that is creating and shaping the future by preventing a calamity.

Lastly, the world sorely needs an environment category. It is the key to truly unlocking the potential of technology. Children growing up alongside such apps – planting trees with their parents, earning green points and respecting the beauty and allure of nature would heal deep-set wounds in mother nature. It could result in the rise of a generation that knows the importance of the environment and can thus help ameliorate it. Over the last few years, I’ve experienced seeing fewer trees, listening to fewer birdsongs and smelling fewer flowers, while suffering soaring temperatures. Later generations don’t deserve to see nature in its culmination. It’s time Apple went from being just a brand to a messiah.

The WIMUN Experience

Hey, long time no see. Last month, I had one of the most wonderful trips of my life. WIMUN was a brilliant experience for not just me, but the surely the thousands of delegates who went there. The venue, New York City was also a huge goodie in the bag. WIMUN forced us to abandon our earlier MUN mythologies and beliefs and practices, and indulge ourselves into the actual United Nations format, saying that WIMUN was a life-changer would be an understatement, it taught us how to be a delegate, the morals and values that you hold close and the procedure with which you act for your country.

Normally, MUN delegates are spurred on by the promise of awards and glory and fame but at WIMUN, we were forced to abandon those sentiments and work together to actually try to achieve global parity. In fact, the format made it extremely hard to compete, we were forced to switch block leaders and establish consensus with everyone, the committee was based on mutual agreement and diplomacy and co-operation. WIMUN taught us how to actually transcend ourselves from delegates to competitors and how to connect with the issues at hand at their core, to understand them and crux of the problem they pose.

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A trip through the official headquarters of the United Nations made it even more special, sitting in the very seats where delegates from countries around the world sit, looking at the podium where great people have spoken and walking down the same corridor as the secretary general of the United Nations made it feel transparent, too good to be true.

WIMUN wasn’t just a MUN, it was a life-changing experience, one which every delegate will be sure to remember. Having the amazing skyline of New York City as a backdrop made it even more special, as delegates, our hopes and aims went higher than the skyscrapers themselves!

Finally, the MUN wouldn’t have been what it was without the presence of an amazing and inspiring committee staff who pushed us to achieve the best possible result, they constantly motivated us and guided us to bring out the best in our ourselves.

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In all, WIMUN was a student’s dream, and in case you’re one, wondering whether or not to go, I would surely recommend going, the experience will change your life like nothing else!

Social Media: Boon or Bane?

Today, in the modern era, social media rules all. Hanging out with a friend? Post it on Facebook. At a cricket match? Make a snap. Want to express your views on last night’s match? Tweet it. Social media has completely engrossed itself into our lives. Friendship isn’t measured in how many valuable moments you share, its measured in how much you tag each other on Facebook. is old news,

As they say “Online is old news, online in social media is today’s news, social media is not a subset of the internet, social media is the internet.” This saying looks false on paper, trust me, it is not. Facebook is the world’s second-highest earner of money through online advertising, it contains millions and millions of profiles and enough data to know you better than your wife. In fact, Facebook knows what to serve to you according to what pages you visit, what posts you share, what you like, what you comment on, what groups you join and what you search for. It collects mountains and heaps and oceans of data, and it doesn’t stop there. Facebook and it’s biggest subsidiary, Instagram, share data too. If you like a post of mangoes shipped from India on Facebook, you might encounter an advertisement for the same on Instagram. Facebook traces you across the internet, it doesn’t leave you, it sticks to you.

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However ‘sticky’ social media may seem, it actually has a lot of benefits. Recently, Mark Zuckerburg introduced a new feature into Facebook’s armada of features, he made helplines available for people in disaster zones. Facebook would track disasters, by looking at social media posts and activity of people stuck in those disasters, then it would give that data to relief agencies and governments, in order to carry out better search and rescue missions. This, at the surface, shows how Facebook can manipulate data in order to commit actions that are optimistic and helpful and humane but under the hood, it shows how much Facebook tracks you. Business wise, social media is great for advertising, businesses can promote their products and get far better outreach. Not only this,  but social media promotes a new kind of feature, awareness, you get to know about the latest, most exclusive news as soon as it is released. This may sometimes be undermined by hocus-pocus, such as fake news stories and pointless rumours but mass and promoted and targeted advertising has its benefits. Social media solves the problem of instant communication, you can chat away with your friends on Snapchat without having to wait for even a second, a feat which would’ve been considered impossible twenty years ago.

Social media is now a public phenomenon, as said by Erik Qualman, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media the question is, how well you do it.” People are judged on the basis of what they do on social media, social media determines how wide your social circle is. It is indeed a wonderful way to determine whether or not you should follow this or that but why involve it so much into your routine that it determines who your friends are?

On the contrary, there are some negatives to social media, and plastered at the forefront of those negatives is data management by the social media hubs we love so much. Did you know that employers go through your social media activity? A habit that was introduced after social media became a massive point of discussion worldwide. In addition, Facebook adds every single click to its massive library of pointers which helps to determine what makes it to your wall, if you click on a link with the tags, football, Messi, Barcelona, you will find posts with those same tags making it to your wall across multiple social media engines, and did you know that any potential pessimistic link or post on your profile, any malicious thing associated with it, any sort of trouble at all, and you might suddenly find yourselves rejected for your dream job, and oh, don’t forget that universites may soon establish social media parameters that applicants must fall under, not only does social media dictate your daily life, it affects your future in a way that is set to be unrivalled.As said by Erin Bury “Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want to be plastered on a billboard with your face on it.”

The non-social person has a pretty strong argument, and that is: Social Media wastes time. Frankly, it does. What personal goal or level of achievement do you achieve by scrolling through millions of posts relating to music, cooking, sarcasm, pets, sport and just pure distractive and attractive stuff.

Also, you can argue that social media might just dictate too much of your private life, not every part of your life needs to be on social media, not every selfie you took with your best friend needs to be posted on Instagram and not every but of your opinion regarding Ronaldo’s haircut needs to be tweeted. Snapchat isn’t your personal daily life compiler, please don’t upload photos and stories about every single thing ranging from hair dryers to how many burgers you had yesterday. Don’t give so much data to the internet, one post a month is more than enough, according to me. I don’t even have Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat accounts, in sharp contrast to the everyday high-schoolers who spread themselves on their phones the moment they get them. What is so decent and ‘social’ and post-like about you clicking photos of random people and at random moments, why do you want to post it on social media and reduce their lives to mockery, apart from letting social media flood you, you’re allowing to be a means for you to post weird photoshop edits that sometimes go on to ridicule people, sometimes even drastically increase their stress levels and push them to depression, perhaps even suicide.

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In the end, how successful you will be can perhaps be measured in how much you can resist the pull of social media.

“I see Twitter, and I see my physics textbook, I see Instagram and then there’s my cricket bat, I see snapchat and my latest test score an all-time low, everything in the balance but there’s something else, it’s calling to me, its name is Facebook, it’s powerful, I can see it going through millions of lines of code and manipulating people and data, it’s strong, I can feel it and it’s calling to me, pulling me, it’s going to destroy me.”

Exams, GCI, and Books

Woohoo! The examinations are finally over! These examinations involved more time, more subjects and more work than any before them. Firstly, I have no idea about how much I’ll score, which is obvious given that its the first time I’ve given exams for the IGCSE curriculum with 10 subjects. As of now, I’m happy just because of the exams getting over, i get an opportunity to fruitfully waste time, knowing that it will have no pessimistic consequences, unless i allow that carefree-ness to seep into my daily routine.

Good News! Google Code-In starts on November 28th. Unfortunately, I’ve decided to give myself a break for 5 days and then go ahead with full stack development and algorithm design. Surprisingly, i did some research regarding the prestigious competition and it doesn’t involve that any programming skills, instead, you have to showcase your abilities as an all rounder, you have to research, develop, program and along with that, go through thousands of lines of code and try to find errors, design posters, contribute to the brand image and do group projects.

Now that the exams are over, i can finally switch back over to reading books. Currently, i’m on the black hole war by Leonard Susskind, its a thrilling read, especially after going through a semester of IGCSE chemistry and physics. Although the book is altogether awesome, it escalates onto the bestseller list as it seemingly evaporates that line between ‘normal’books and oh-god-confusing-physics-books. It also provides accurate and awesome explanations of concepts such as quantum tunneling, stretched horizons and space-time.