The big buzz this week is how the Diwali release of 2 big Bollywood films are setting a new bar for revenue generation in the region of Rs 200 to Rs 250 crores. One of them was screened at about 2500 screens and grossed around Rs 15 crores in the same period that the other one on about 2000 screens grossed Rs 11 crores. It is of course a neck and neck race. The arithmetic is quite simple. Multiply the number of screens by the number of shows per day multiplied by the size of the hall finally multiplied by the price of the admission ticket. And you know this makes the big stars.
How did this happen? From street corner nukkad actors to performing at Ramlila and other leelas to moving theatre groups to theatres such as Broadway was a long journey. The Indian film industry which is about a hundred years old did not have very well paid artistes for quite some time, because both the production and distribution systems were quite constraining.
And for the first time, we heard of a petition to the competition commission about the stranglehold of the distribution system.
So imagine a wold where almost anyone, or a small group of persons could present a story and distribute it to millions of people and somehow get paid for it by every viewer of the story. This is the world that is at the intersection of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Garage Band, Moviemaker and so on. You had Justin Bieber, Kolavari D and the recent Gagnam style.
So who would be the beneficiaries of this space. Extremely unlikely as it may seem at first sight, it is educators who will emerge as the next celebrities, after politicians, sportspersons, actors and business leaders.
Did you know that the Physics Professor Walter Levin of MIT has been a number one on YouTube and that too for teaching Physics. Nitin Gupta, an IIT Mumbai alumnus is also very poplar, and I have had the opportunity to see him perform live at a recent event at Allahabad. You can see Prof Levin at: http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=AaALPa7Dwdw&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAaALPa7Dwdw.
Another very popular course is one from Gilbert Strang of MIT on Linear Algebra,
which is a basic course on matrix theory and linear algebra. Emphasis is given to topics that will be useful in other disciplines, including systems of equations, vector spaces, determinants, eigenvalues, similarity, and positive definite matrices. The number of students registered for this course is about 7.3 million.
Coursera, an upstart company working with selective universities to offer free online courses, had reached one million registered students by August 2012. Another company, Udacity, which also offers what have become known as Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s, says it has more than 739,000 students.
As popular as our celebrity Bollywood actor Salman Khan is the Maths teacher Salman Khan of Khan Academy, which has a library of over 3,500 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, is on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.