Mumbai grammarian eyes Guinness record
Tenses in 30 seconds, punctuation in just over a minute and the entire English grammar in less than an hour may sound like a child’s fantasy, but a city-based grammarian claims to do exactly this.

We often undervalue our skills

Q I am an average girl with no particular skills or aptitude. Since I will be completing my graduation this year, I am very confused about what career to pursue.




Mumbai grammarian eyes Guinness record

MUMBAI: Tenses in 30 seconds, punctuation in just over a minute and the entire English grammar in less than an hour may sound like a child’s fantasy, but a city-based grammarian claims to do exactly this.

Mr Sanjay Kumar Sinha, who has already been certified as the fastest grammar teacher in the country by Mumbai University, is aiming to get his name listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest grammarian.

Mr Sinha has devised quick learning techniques and recently gave a live demonstration of the technique in front of more than 600 school students.

Children present at the demonstration appeared to easily grasp the techniques. Even other teachers were seen jotting them down.

"I used to be very bad in grammar when I was 16 and never managed to get the right answers. That’s when I decided to do an in- depth study of this subject. The rest is history, "Mr Sinha said.

His record to teach grammar looks something like this: tense in 30 seconds; change the voice in 50 seconds; indirect speech in one minute and 20 seconds; punctuation in one minute and 10 seconds; clauses in one minutes and 25 seconds; simple, complex and compound sentences in one minute 55 seconds; figures of speech in three minutes.

Mr Sinha has authored 14 books on grammar — the most popular being "The Queen’s Grammar".

"I have already sent my application to the Guinness people. But I first need to show my abilities here in India on one of the news channels to go international and prove what I’m saying is possible," Mr Sinha said. — IANS



We often undervalue our skills

Q I am an average girl with no particular skills or aptitude. Since I will be completing my graduation this year, I am very confused about what career to pursue.

Pooja Bhalla

A What is an "average" girl? And how did you arrive at that conclusion? Each one of us is unique – in our own special way. And while the most important voice is always your own, sometimes other people — your family, teachers or friends may be able to discern certain qualities you may not have recognised or valued in yourself — qualities that will give you a clue to selecting a career that’s right for you.

We often tend to take ourselves for granted and undervalue our skills. At such times an objective assessment from someone who knows you well could give you an insight into your natural talents and what you may be likely to excel in.

Of course, you could also take an aptitude test to help you identify your strong points. But ultimately go by what really interests you and what you feel you will be most happy doing. Nine-to- five jobs are a thing of the past. Today even a top honcho in a multinational company or a software programmer in an IT firm works close to 12-15 hours. It’s therefore very important that you enjoy the work you do so that you can do it well — day after day. As far as skills are concerned, they can even be picked up or honed along the way.


Q I am presently in B.Com, (second year). I want to know whether I can enrol for the CFA programme along with my graduation. Please tell me about other courses like CA and CS. I also want to do a short-term computer course related to this field. Please advise.

Silky Kukreja

A Yes, as an undergraduate student you can enrol for the foundation courses of all three programmes: CA, CS and CFA while still in college. In fact, this is a more time saving route if you are pretty sure of what you want to pursue subsequently. All these courses are typically of 9-10 month duration with an exam at the end.

In terms of status and remuneration, they are equally comparable professional qualifications. However, chartered accountancy is a good stand-alone qualification and CAs have a somewhat wider scope in terms of being able to set up their own independent practice. The CFA is a full-fledged course and it also makes for a good add-on qualification along with an MBA, CA, CS or CWA.

As far as compatible computer courses are concerned, any decent short-term course that teaches you the basics of database management and spreadsheets e.g. MS Office or Excel should suffice. Depending on your area of specialisation, more advanced or work-specific courses can always be picked up as you go along.


Q I want to do MCA. Please tell me about the AIMCET exam.

Gurcharan Singh

A The all-India test for admission to Master’s in Computer Application programme (AIMCET) is a common entrance platform to admit students for MCA programmes offered at nearly 300 universities across the country. In addition, states have also been given permission to conduct state-level common entrance tests for MCA programmes. The eligibility for taking this exam is a three-year Bachelor’s degree with mathematics at the 10+2 level. The three-hour exam will carry 200 objective-type questions. Of these, 100 questions will be on maths, 40 on computer awareness, 40 to test analytical ability and logical reasoning, and 20 on general awareness. Each question will carry four marks and one mark will be deducted for every wrong answer.

The first AIMCET is being conducted at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.

For details, log on to:

B.Sc (Home Science)

Q What is the eligibility for admission to BSc (Home Science)? Are students of Arts and Humanities eligible?

Tejender Atwal

A Most undergraduate home science courses, particularly BSc (Hons), Home Sc, require 10+2 (PCB/PCM). However, there are an equal number of courses (BA/BSc (Pass) in Home Science/Home Economics) which are open to Arts and Humanities students as well. For instance, students from the Arts stream who have home science as a subject in 10+2 can also take BSc (Home Science) in Choudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University’s College of Home Sciences.


QCould you please give me some information about the new TAST which Indians and other foreign students planning to pursue studies in the US have to take as part of TOEFL?

Harneet Kaur

A The TOEFL Academic Speaking Test (TAST) evaluates the English speaking proficiency of students whose native language is not English. While writing and reading skills are assessed using paper and computer-based tests, TAST, which is conducted over the telephone, measures your ability to speak English clearly and fluently.

You could practise taking the TAST privately using a computer and telephone. You will find sample questions, test-taking tips and registration information online at www.toefl. org/tast.

You can register online, then phone into the TAST system and respond in English to the questions asked. Your test will be digitally recorded and stored in a secure database where it is accessed and graded by specially trained ETS raters.

Phone access to the TAST will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The test contains six questions, takes about 20 minutes to complete and costs $30 per test. After you take the test and it is rated by the ETS, you will receive your results online.

by Pervin Malhotra

Please send in your query, preferably on a postcard, along with your full name, complete address and academic qualifications to: Editor, Query Hotline, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160020, or at



1. Name the three Indians who figure in the Time magazine's latest list of 100 most powerful and influential people.

2. Name the Navy's training ship that recently docked at the Kochi port after a 15-month cruise circumnavigating the globe.

3. Name the two survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy who were recently given the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for actively working towards the cause of the survivors of the disaster.

4. Name the $14 million musical extravaganza by A.R. Rahman that has become the first Indian play to make it to the Broadway in its 110-year history.

5. Name the Indian film director who is making a film on Nelson Mandela.

6. Expand SIDBI.

7.What is the capital of Senegal?

8. Who led Argentina to Football World Cup victory in 1986?

9. What is the lowest one-day international score by any team?

10. By what popular name is Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan's mysterious delivery that turns in the opposite direction to his normal off-break known?

11. Name the Indian cricket captain who has won the maximum number of Test matches.

12. Name the Indian batsman who has scored the maximum number of double centuries in Test cricket.

13. Name the French midfielder who has been named as Europe's top soccer player of the past 50 years by UEFA, the governing body of European soccer.

14. What is India's latest FIFA ranking?

15. Name the countries that occupy the top three positions in the latest FIFA rankings.



School address.................

Winners of quiz 205:The first prize by draw of lots goes to Archana Kohli, XII-A, Commerce, O.S. DAV Public School, Kaithal.

Second: Shaina, VII Rose, Baba Farid Public School, Harindra Nagar, Faridkot.

Third: Tushar Chopra, 10-B, St Lukes Sr Sec School, Solan-173212.

Answers to quiz 205:Infosys; Brian Lara; Odissi dance; 1799; Ingvar Kamrad; Major non-NATO Ally; 'Road safety is no accident'; Mahinda Rajapakse; Port Louis; 7o million pounds; National Highway Authority of India; India; England; 373; Two.

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.

— Tarun Sharma