EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, January 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India

Hands off, this is history
Swati Jha
he government’s action in excising certain portions from history books can be seen as a move to impose a particular viewpoint in order to mould the character and thoughts of members of society. 

Where can I study port management in India?

Admission deadline



Hands off, this is history
Swati Jha

The government’s action in excising certain portions from history books can be seen as a move to impose a particular viewpoint in order to mould the character and thoughts of members of society. This move is going to take our society to the primitive stage where all members must act and think alike. India is a vast country with diverse religious and social groups co-existing for centuries. While it is important not to hurt the sentiments of various communities, it is not the task of an academic or a historian to constantly worry about this factor while writing history. If they do, it would mean, a distortion of facts to suit the needs of a section of society.

The function of history is not merely to record past events, but to evaluate these. History studies change and inculcates a sense of critical enquiry in the reader and the writer of history. History is an incisive study of man and its function is to present a holistic and rational picture of society, not to ignore unpalatable truths for the sake of vested interests.

The historian’s task is not to help the establishment in the process of indoctrination of any kind. His or her task is to present the past in a factual and historical perspective. A historian while writing history is influenced by his own position in society and his work mirrors the society in which he works. Any particular historical work cannot lay claim to total historical truth and represents the interpretation of a particular stream of thought.

But at the same time the historian while writing is bound by his sources and rules of history writing. His work is open to healthy and mature criticism, after a study of the sources which he has used. Any important historical work, therefore, cannot be summarily rejected on flimsy grounds, as it represents an important shade of opinion and is based on historical facts.

Certain fundamental tenets of civilised societies like equality, liberty, freedom of thought, rational and scientific thinking have evolved over centuries. History writing is based on these very principles and should be rational and secular in its approach. Take the example of caste system and the objections raised by the government that this topic should not be a part of school syllabus, as it depicts Brahmins in a negative light. It shows that the government’s attitude is not wholly rational since caste system is one of the most widely debated and important subjects of study in ancient India and is basic for an understanding of the Indian social order. Thus it is unrealistic to remove it from history books.

The role of government in a modern society should be limited to governance and administration. It should not try to inhibit the freedom of expression and the right of intellectuals to explore the truth. The move to rewrite history books can be viewed as the object of a group of individuals to promote a social environment favourable to it. Every group has its own values which are part of history.

Every group protects itself against the intrusion of alien and inconvenient values which challenge its own and calls these by various names like un-Indian or un-Hindu. The standard of judgement which is used by the Prime Minister when he calls history one-sided is as much subject to historical investigation as any other aspect of history.

The need of the hour is to promote a secular outlook. While teaching about the defeat of Prithivi Raj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain (1192) by Muhammad Ghori, this teacher found that a number of students took umbrage and pointed out that Rajputs were very brave warriors. This reaction reveals a lot how the outlook of a section of the student community is influenced by the mythic tales of bravery and courage of Hindu Kings against Muslim rulers and about the oppression of Muslim rulers on the Hindu population.

We must strive to maintain the cultural bonding between various communities and promote writing of non-partisan history which will not patronise a single religion or community and attempt at distortion of facts.

Lastly, it has to be pointed out that history writing is a continuous process. New sources are discovered and reinterpreted, fresh evidence comes to light and history is revised and rewritten. With the passage of time, new developments in society take place and these inspire a new interpretation of the past in the light of the present. Thus, there can never be ultimate history or ultimate truth in history. With new scholarship fresh debates are generated and the never-ending process of writing history goes on.

The writer is a lecturer in History



Where can I study port management in India?

Q Where can I study port management in India? I have five years of experience in the merchant navy with a German cargo liner.
Ramesh Kalra

A: A good institution to look at would be the National Institute of Port Management, East Coast Rd, Uthandi, Chennai 600119. Ph: 044-4491454. E-mail:

Well equipped with infrastructural facilities including hostels and libraries it offers training for Port and shipping personnel in South Asia.


Q I am doing BSc (Gen) in industrial microbiology. Please tell me the job prospects in this field. Would combining industrial microbiology and MBA offer better prospects?

Arvind Jhingan

A Industrial Microbiology has important applications in the pharmaceutical and food industries, in medicine and agriculture.

Industrial microbiologists work with micro-organisms or microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and their metabolism to produce such products as antibiotics, amino acids, citric acids, Vitamin C and alcoholic beverages. This technique finds wide application in food, dairy, alcohol and agro-based industries and those involving fermentation processes, Besides enhancing the value of natural foods it is used for developing artificial fibres with the help of enzymes and in manufacturing oils, paints and plastics .

Biotechnology (the control of biosynthesis through genetic engineering) is a development of industrial microbiology, and has made possible the production of new chemicals and drugs and special membranes used in micro-electronics.

The nature of work in the field of microbiology is essentially scientific and research-oriented.

With a postgraduation/doctoral qualification in microbiology, you can work in pharmaceutical companies, chemical industry, wine manufacturing and food industries as well as in research laboratories run by the government and corporate sector. Prospects of a career in this field are very bright.

Combining MBA with your degree in industrial microbiology will certainly be an asset.

MCA via correspondence

Q I am a commerce graduate working as an accountant. I would like to do MCA through correspondence. Could you please tell me which universities offer this course?

Ujwal Grover

A Here are some of the universities that offer MCA through distance learning:

Madurai Kamaraj University, Directorate of Distance Education, Palkalainagar, Madurai 625021 Eligibility: BSc (55%) or Bachelor’s degree with 3 years work experience.

Bharathiar University, School of Distance Education, Coimbatore 641046. Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree (with Maths). Admission is through entrance test.

Bharathidasan University, Centre for Distance Education, Tiruchirapalli 620024. Eligibility: BSc (Maths/Stats/Phy/Electron/Chem/Computer Sc/App Sc with Maths) BCom/BBA/ BE/BTech/AMIE.

Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068. Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree (with Maths at 10+2) and completion of DCO or CIC from IGNOU.

Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University, Shivaji Nagar, Bhopal 462011. Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree (with Maths) and completion of PGDCA & APGDCA (Advanced PG Diploma In Computer Application) of the university.

Mother Teresa Women’s University, School of Distance Education, Kodaikanal 624102. Eligibility: BE/BTech or BSc/BCom (Ist class) with Maths/Stats/Computer oriented subjects.

University of Madras, Institute of Correspondence Education, Chepauk, Chennai 600005. Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree (with Comp Sc/Maths/Stats)/BCom/BBA/BE/BTech/MBA.

DOEACC’s ‘B’ Level course is also considered equivalent to MCA.

B.Sc (H) Chemistry

Q I have done BSc (H) in Chemistry. Is there any specific course related to my field in the area of management or marketing?

Vinod Kumar

A Yes, there is. Jiwaji University, Gwalior (MP) offers Master of Chemicals Sales & Marketing Management 2-year (Full-Time/Distance).

Eligibility for the course is B Sc with Chem/Agri/BPharma (2nd div).


Q I have completed my MBBS. I am keen on going to the UK for higher education and training. Please give me some details about the qualifying PLAB tests. Do I have to take these in the UK and what is the cost?

Dr Gagan Chaudhary

A The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test which is now conducted in India at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. India is the first country outside Britain where these tests are being conducted.

The General Medical Council (GMC), the main professional body that licenses doctors and regulates their standards in Britain, conducts the entrance exam in India in partnership with the British Council. These tests can be taken by any doctor residing in India. The examination fee is £ 145 (about Rs. 10, 000/-).

However, the final part of the PLAB exam for clinical and communication skills still needs to be taken in Britain.

There is an acute shortage of medicos in the UK as several hundred doctors of Indian origin have just retired. Although there is no call for fresh recruits, it may still be worth trying.


Q I am a student of BTech (Mechanical). Could you tell me which of the following fields offer maximum scope if pursued at the MTech level: Aerospace Engineering, Automobile Engineering or Robotics. I have good knowledge of IC engines and automobiles.

Ashish Arora

A Considering your interest in automobiles and IC engines, and the increasing prospects and scope of the automobile industry in India with so many new international brands having entered the frey, specialising in Automobile engineering may be a good idea. While the other two fields, namely Aerospace engineering and Robotics are hot fields in the West, presently the work essentially relates to R & D in India.


Q I have completed BSc (Med) and BEd. I am interested in doing MSc in botany or chemistry through correspondence. Could you give me the names of universities offering this facility?

Suneet Chauhan

A MSc in Botany or Chemistry is offered at:Annamalai University, Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalai Nagar 608002. Eligibility: BSc in the concerned subject with 60%. Working teachers and researchers are preferred.

Kakatiya University, School of Distance Learning & Continuing Education, Warangal 506009 (Karn). Eligibility: BSc in the relevant subject BSc in the relevant subject. Vidyasagar University, Directorate of Distance Education, Midnapore 721102 (Only Botany).

Eligibility: BSc in the relevant subject BSc in the relevant subject.Top


Admission deadline

Coast Guard

Feb 9 Coast Guard Headquarters, National Stadium Complex, New Delhi 110001.

Recruitment of Diploma Holders in Mech Engg as Yantriks (Tech Sailors)

Elig: Indian male Matriculates with 3 year dip in Mech Engg (50% min).

Age: Below 22 yrs (on 1 July ‘02). Physical standards as specified.

Selectn: Test/Interview.

Appln F: Send on plain paper in prescribed format, to the Director (HRD), Recruitment Cell, at the above add under "Postal Cert Only".

Details: Employment News (29 Dec - 4 Jan).

Feb 9 Recruitment Cell, Coast Guard HQ, National Stadium Complex, New Delhi 110001.

Recruitment of

1) Matriculates as Naviks (General Duty)

2) Non-Matriculates as Naviks (Domestic Br)

Elig: Indian males with physical standards as specified. For 1: Pass in Class 10 (55%). For 2: Pass in Class 8 (55%). Age: For both: 17-22 yrs (on 1 July ‘02).

Selectn: Written test, interview & medical exam.

Appln F: Send in prescribed format, with unstamped, self-add envelope

(22 cm x 10 cm), to the Director HRD, at the above add. Superscribe "Application For Navik (GD/DB) 02/2002 Batch" on envelope.

Details: Employment News (29 Dec - 4 Jan).

Art & Design

Indian Diamond Institute, Katargam, GIDC, Sumul Dairy Rd, Surat 395008 (Guj).


* PG Diploma (1-yr)

Diamond Tech, Jewellery Des & Mfg

* Higher Diploma (3-yr)

Jewellery Des & Mfg (at SVJDM Centre)

* Certificates

* Correspondence Courses

Diamond Grading, Jewellery Costing, Gemmology, Gems & Jewellery, Import-Export Mgt

Appln F: Send Rs 200/- by DD, to the above add.


Corporation Bank, PB No 9706, Borivili (East), Mumbai 400066


Jan 21 Probationary Officers

Feb 4 Specialist Officers

CA, Financial Analyst, Marketing Officer, Forex Officer, Computer Officer

Selectn: Written exam (24 March for POs, 7 April for SOs) & Interview.

Appln F: Send in prescribed format with Rs 135/- by DD favouring "Corporation Bank, Recruitment Project - Officers" payable at Mangalore and relevant certs to the Deputy GM (Personnel), at the above add. Write your name & add on reverse of DD. Separate appln for each post.

Details: Employment News (29 Dec - 4 Jan).

Jan 28 Corporation Bank, PB No 9707, Borivili (East), Mumbai 400066


Clerical Cadre

Selectn: Written test (31 Mar) & Interview

Appln F: Send in prescribed format with Rs 85/- by DD favouring "Corporation Bank, Recruitment Project - Clerks" payable at Mangalore and relevant certs to the Deputy GM (Personnel), at the above add.

Details: Employment News (29 Dec - 4 Jan).

Jan 29 State Bank of India, Local Head Office, 4th Fl, Sector 17-B, PB No 139, Chandigarh 160017.

Website: www. statebank ofindia .com

Recruitment of POs in Associate Banks of SBI

Elig: Bachelor’s degree. Age: 21-30 yrs (on 1 July ‘01).

Selectn: Written Exam (21 July) and Interview.

Appln F: Send in prescribed format with Rs 125/- by DD, favouring "State Bank of India" payable at Ch ‘grh and relevant certs to the AGM (Per & HRD), at the above add. Write your name & DoB on reverse of DD.

Details: Employment News (29 Dec - 4 Jan) or website.


Feb 9 International Institute of Information Technology, EC 96, Salt Lake, Kolkata 700064. (constituent college of Visva Bharati Univ)


Screening Test for

BTech (Info Tech)

BE (Software Tech)

(affiliated to Visva Bharati Univ)

Elig: Class 12 (PCM).

Selectn: Screening test (16 Feb), Main test, GD & Interview.

Appln F: Send Rs 800/- (by DD) favouring "International Institute of Information Technology", to the above add by 5 Feb. At select UTI Bank branches (also at Jaynagar, B ‘lore): Rs 800/- (cash).

Government Jobs

Feb 8 Staff Selection Commission, Block No 3, Ground Fl, Kendriya Sadan, Sec-9, Chandigarh.

Combined Preliminary Examination for Matric Level Posts, 2002

For Recruitment of: Clerks Grade, Grade ‘D’ & ‘C’ Stenographers

Exam: 5 May at (all India).

Elig: Matriculation. Age: 18-27 yrs (DoB: 2 Aug ‘75 - 1 Aug ‘84).

Appln F: Send in prescribed format with Rs 50/- by crossed IPO favouring GPO Ch ‘grh/CRFS, to the Dy Director (NWR) at the above add with stamped (Rs 6/-), self-add envelope (12 cm x 25 cm) and stamped (Rs 3/-) post card (mention name & year of exam on PC).

Details: Employment News (29 Dec - 4 Jan).


Jan 20 Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti, Rajghat, New Delhi 110002.

PG Dip in Gandhian Strategies in Mgt (1-yr)

Elig: Bachelor’s degree.

Appln F: Send Rs 250/- by DD favouring "Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti" payable at New Delhi, to the above add.

Details: Employment News (29 Dec - 4 Jan).


Jan 14 Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006.


MBBS (2001-02)

(at Vardhman Mahavir Medical College)

Elig: 10+2 (PCB, 50% & Eng).

Selectn: CET (Jan 27) at Del.

Appln F: Send Rs 150/- by DD favouring "Registrar, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University" payable at Delhi with a self-add envelope (24 cm x 30 cm) by 10 Jan or download from website.

CARING (Career Information & Guidance), New Delhi



1. Name the three EU nations that have not yet adopted the euro currency.

2. Name the BBC’s ex-correspondent for South Asia who was recently conferred knighthood by the Queen of England.

3. With which field was Prof Satish Dhawan associated?

4. Who is the President of Argentina?

5. Name the venue of the 89th session of the Indian Science Congress.

6. Expand SMS.

7. Where will be the 12th SAARC summit held?

8. Which Hyderabad-based organisation is working on preserving the gene pool of vultures?

9. What is the capital of Zambia?

10. After how many years did Australia recently record a complete Test cricket series victory against South Africa in Australia?

11. Which country was recently crushed to defeat by Sri Lanka in the latter’s biggest Test cricket victory?

12. With which sport is Hopman Cup associated ?

13. Which player recently broke Sir Richard Hadlee’s record when he became the first bowler in Test cricket to bag 10 or more wickets in a match 10 times.

14. Name the country that occupies the top spot in the latest FIFA rankings.

15. When is the FIFA World Cup going to begin?

School address.........

Winners of quiz 147. The first prize by draw of lots goes to Amandeep Singh, roll no.1,7th Standard, Holy Child Senior Secondary School, Sector 13, Urban Estate, Kurukshetra-136118.

Second: Vikram Jeet Singh, IX, Shimla Public School, Shimla-171002.

Third: Preetinder Singh, VII-S, Shivalik Public School, Phase-6, Mohali.

Answers to quiz 147: January1, 1976, Vijay Nambiar, Common man, Four, Seven, Leaning Tower of Pisa, 58, Sana’a, Sikkim, December 16, Peso, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Michael Owen, India.

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

Note: Answers to the questions should reach the Education Tribune within 10 days of the publication of the quiz.

Tarun SharmaTop