string of new courses at PU
habit of spanking
string of new courses at PU
It is a blend of the traditional and the innovative at Panjab University this forthcoming session. For, the fund-starved university with one eye on increasing its resources and the other on offering fresh courses to the students has introduced a range of new courses in 2004-05, many of which are with a visibly huge price tag.
Acting on the long-pending demand in the city for integrated five-year law course, the university has come up with integrated BA LLB honours course for the students who have completed their senior secondary in any stream. With 100 seats open for students of all categories, including the NRI/NRI-sponsored candidates, the university will conduct an entrance test for admission next month. In fact, a separate Law College is mooted for the course, which will be headed by the Law Department's faculty member Prof R.S. Grewal.
"The course had been in demand for a very long time especially when other universities in the region, including Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, had been offering a similar course for some years now," remarked a senior university professor.
However, on the down side, it is the hefty fee charge to the tune of Rs 65,000 per year that awaits the students, which is considered out of reach by many.
In fact, a long debate ensued on the fee structure in the last Senate meeting that took place in March this year, where senators, including Charanjit Chawla and Prof P.P. Arya, demanded enhanced scholarships for meritorious students who joined the new course.
Close on the heals of popularity are the two new branches added to the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), which offer 30 seats each to the undergraduate engineers. The traditional courses in otherwise "novel institute" include a Bachelor's in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. With the addition of these two courses, the UIET now offers six branches in all with more than 300 seats.
With each seat giving PU more than Rs 55,000 per year, the UIET has emerged as one department whose contributions towards PU coffers are increasing with each passing year.
Taking the issue of introducing integrated education a little further, the university think tank, at its meeting in the last academic council in April this year has given a go ahead to the five-year Honours Degree in Social Sciences (three years BA and two years extension of MA social sciences) with 30 seats initially. Though the ambitious project — the cash-strapped university has agreed to rely only on its existing resources, including faculty members, from the core department — has got a green signal this year, the course may take another session to actually get started.
Unsure of its ranking on the popularity scale among students, the university has decided to play it safe by keeping a lower fee structure, which would be a little higher than its existing undergraduate degree programmes in humanities. In fact, once the course is introduced, with the setting up of integrated social science honours school, the PU would become a pioneer in offering the degree.
Maintaining the high reputation that it enjoys in pure sciences and its emerging areas, Panjab University will also extend its gamut for the postgraduate science students this session. The university has decided to offer two-year postgraduate courses in Biotechnology and Computer Science.
With 30 seats each, MSc (Biotech) and MSc (Computer Science) are being offered to the students promoted from the existing honours school system in the PU and also through the entrance test for those outside the honours school system.
the habit of spanking
"Spare the rod and spoil the child" may no longer hold true if one goes by the findings of a new study which states that children who are spanked before the age of two are more likely to have behavioural problems later in the life as compared to children who were not spanked.
Striking an association between the number of times and the age at which the child is spanked, a study published in the recent issue of "Pediatrics", states that children under age two, who were spanked five times a week had a 4.2 times greater risk of behaviour problems that required a parent-teacher meeting four years later when compared to children who were not spanked.
However, some children may be more affected than others, it says.
Validating the findings of the study, mental health professionals here say latest scientific research also confirms that spanking teaches children to use aggression as a means to achieving their ends and leads to behavioural problems in them at a later stage in life, thus affecting studies.
"Parents or teachers often beat up children only out of their inability to do anything else, quite oblivious of the fact that spanking perpetuates violence in children. We can say that spanking is directly proportional to defiant and aggressive nature of a child, which in later years leads to serious behavioural problems", says Dr Jitendra Nagpal, consultant psychiatrist, Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, New Delhi.
"It may not be the only reason for onsetting of the behavioural modification in a child but it surely initiates the process of modification. Children among themselves discuss how they were spanked and what they did to avoid it. In this process, they often conclude that probably spanking is the means to get their work done," Dr Nagpal adds.
Experts say spanking may be more stigmatising, and frequent spanking stems from factors like high parental stress.
"Spanking is an outcome of environmental factors rather than genetic factors and in most of the cases parents who are stressed out or angry are more likely to expose their children to that anger," says Dr Aruna Broota, clinical psychologist, Department of Psychology, Delhi University.
Significant behaviour problem early in a child’s school career is a risk factor for school failure, the need for special educational services, mental health problems, and other adverse outcomes, says Bhavana Gandhi, a school counsellor here.
What disturbs a child most is the physical punishment given to him, and that too if it is given frequently. This leaves a bad impact on the child which can result in his becoming a truant at school, losing all interest in education. We have seen some drop-outs because of this too, Gandhi adds.
"Estimates show that about 30 to 40 per cent of children who are victims of injudicious spanking have increased chances of experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence. All this is basically a search for a coping mechanism for these children,"Dr Broota adds.
Confirming the tendency, another study, "Parental Influences on Adolescent Problem Behaviour", published in an American journal states that parents who interact with their children rather than resorting to spanking or regulating their children’s behaviour are less likely to have children with drug and alcohol abuse or behavioural problems.
The age at which a child is spanked is of utmost importance, experts say, adding that speaking a child at a young age in a way which does not leave a sense of ridicule on the child’s mind is not harmful. But injudicious spanking at any stage of growing years can make a child rebellious and full of resentment.
Experts advise parents to look at the
circumstances that lead to physical punishment. "Parents need to
use their judgement about how spanking is used in their family and is
able to achieve the behaviour they are looking for", says Dr
Nagpal, adding that teachers and school administrators must also avoid
spanking the child for pity mistakes. — PTI
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