Options open up for students
What are the latest choices available for students? Well, they now range from those on nano-techonology to the Pali language. Lalit Mohan, Varinder Walia and Kanchan Vasdev report on the new courses that have been introduced by Punjabi University, Patiala, Guru Nanak Dev
University, Amritsar and Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana

Brain scans,  reading skill tests a good combo
Researchers in Washington have found that functional brain scans and tests of reading skills when taken together are better at predicting which children will have ongoing reading problems.

Campus Notes



Options open up for students
What are the latest choices available for students? Well, they now range from those on nano-techonology to the Pali language. Lalit Mohan, Varinder Walia and Kanchan Vasdev report on the new courses that have been introduced by Punjabi University, Patiala, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana


Professional courses, including science and technology, are the future of higher education in universities. The universities should quickly adapt to the fast-changing job scenario and redraft courses as per the requirement of students. Employability should be the main focus of universities, rather than just imparting education, says Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai

Many new courses had been started keeping in view the market demand. On the suggestions made by a committee, seats in various departments of the university were rationalised as per the numbers of applicants.

Thereafter, stress was laid on technical and professional education. A traditional engineering college was started at Patiala. Later, an engineering college was started at Talwandi Sabo to impart technical education to rural students.

He said a new concept of 'neighborhood campus' was started at Rampura Phool on a 53-acre plot donated by the locals. In neighborhood campus, 50 per cent seats had been reserved for those students whose families had donated land for the institution. Five-year MBA, MSc (IT) courses and a diploma in agriculture marketing are few of the new courses that had been started on the neighborhood campuses.

The university is going to start an MBA course in collaboration with Wilkis University of the US from this session. In this course, the students would complete first year on the campus, while the second year would be completed on the Wilkis University campus, he said.

Talking about the traditional courses, the Vice-Chancellor said many courses in Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic, French and German languages were already being run successfully. To make these courses more attractive, he added, the students doing the Masters degree course in languages would be given free education in certificate language courses. The university has also become the first university to run a course in an ancient language, Pali. All Buddhist scripts are written in the Pali language.



Today, Guru Nanak Dev University is the best option for students seeking admission to various professional and vocational courses, says vice-chancellor Jai Rup Singh.

To meet the global educational challenges, the university has started certain need-based courses from the new academic session. This year, the university has introduced MPhil courses in zoology, botany, environmental sciences and physics. In addition, the Master of Computer Application course has been introduced at its regional campus, Gurdaspur. Similarly, the university has introduced MA (public administration), PG Diploma in Computer Application at its University College, Jalandhar, to meet the educational needs of the area. It has sanctioned 20 seats for MA (public administration) and 30 seats in PGDCA. NRI/NRI-sponsored seats are also available in these two courses as per university rules.

The university has also reintroduced B.Pharmacy course from the current academic session with 14 seats, while the M.Pharmacy course was added to the list of university courses with six seats.

In order to utilise the available infrastructure on the university campus, he said, the university had sanctioned one section each for BTech (computer science), MCA (three-year) and MBA (two-year) with additional specialisation on the campus. The university has also decided to award the MSc (Hons.) degree from this academic session, he added.

The university has also started a high profile course of M.Sc. (nano-technology) in the Department of Applied Physics during this academic session with 10 seats. The students having BSc (non-medical) degree with at least 50% marks in aggregate or any other examination recognised as equivalent are eligible for this course.

To fulfill the requirements of private hospitals, the university has started a one-year PG diploma course in hospital management, keeping in view the national demand of trained hospital managers. The university has tied up with the Escorts Heart and Super Specialty Institute, Amritsar, to train the students. There are 10 seats for this course. The university may introduce another important course of PG Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence from the next session.

Deserving, poor and meritorious students are provided financial assistance to carry on their study. The students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other economically backward classes are also awarded scholarships to pursue education.



With an Indian-born US scientist and educationist at the helm of affairs, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has started a unique “sandwich” course in water management for the select students of three disciplines, who would get a chance to study the second year of their degree at a university in the US.

All these expenses would be borne by the university. The students of Civil Engineering, Soil and Water Engineering and from the Department of Soils would be eligible for the selection.

PAU registrar V. K. Sharma said this was the second time such a sandwich course had been started. The course would involve the students of three US universities and three Indian universities under the special Agriculture Knowledge Initiative Programme.

Fifteen students would be selected from J. B. Pant University, University of Agriculture, Banglore, and PAU. A committee of vice-chancellors or their representatives would select the students for this course.

IOWA State University, the University of Illinois and Purdue State University are the three US universities. The students would get degree from the Indian Universities only. Dr Sharma said water management was the major challenge to the world. “Mankind has put utmost pressure on water sources and it is high time the next generation gets specialised training in managing the resources well.”

Earlier, PAU had a similar “sandwich programme” with British Columbia University. The programme did not succeed to the level of expectation, as the students were required to meet all expenses themselves.


Brain scans, reading skill tests a good combo

Researchers in Washington have found that functional brain scans and tests of reading skills when taken together are better at predicting which children will have ongoing reading problems.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Fumiko Hoeft at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

As part of the study, researchers examined 73 Pittsburgh-area children of ages 8 to 12, who were identified as struggling readers, ran for a school year.

The researchers administered standard tests at the start of the year, for early literacy skills, including word identification, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, efficiency and phonological processing, the last a critical measure of how well children process the sounds of letters and letter combinations.

The study also involved functional MRIs to depict how the children’s brains worked when they had to read two words and say whether they rhymed, a test of phonological awareness and to make these tests more sensitive to differences among children, the researchers analysed the images using a method called ‘voxel-based morphometry’ that uses the density of the brain’s white and grey matter to zero in on activation patterns in specific parts of key brain regions.

The children’s ability to decode text was tested by using the Word Attack subtest of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, a standardised measure of decoding. And it was determined which test method (either or both) predicted reading skill more strongly.

Researchers found that the model combining the behavioural and neuro-imaging measures predicted future decoding significantly better than either of those 
methods alone.

Researchers suggested that although MRIs might not be suitable as widespread screening instruments, they might be considered for use in children showing early reading problems, especially to differentiate children who have a true language disorder from those who simply need time to mature.

The findings of the study appeared in Behavioral Neuroscience, published by the American Psychological Association. — ANI


Campus Notes
Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak
Registrar appointed

Dr Vazir Singh Nehra, a lecturer at Department of Commerce, University College for Professional and Basic Studies, Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak, has been appointed the Registrar of Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa. Dr Nehra, who has remained president of the MDU Teachers Association, is the second teacher of the erstwhile University College to be appointed university registrar in the recent past. Before him, Dr S.P.Vats, who was serving at the same college, was made Registrar of MDU.

Interestingly, while two lecturers of the erstwhile University College have been made university registrars, nearly 50 continue to suffer humiliation at the hand of university and state authorities.

These lecturers, who had been repatriated to MDU after the Haryana Government took over the reins of the college, have not been assigned any work, nor have a place to sit, ever since the university reopened for the fresh academic session. Even those colleagues of theirs, who had been accommodated as faculty members in university teaching departments, are a dissatisfied lot as they have been adjusted on a temporary basis.

Members nominated

The MDU Vice-Chancellor, Prof R.S.Dhankar, has nominated two members to the university court under the provisions of Statute 9 of the MDU Act. Those nominated to the MDU court are Dr Jyoti Juneja, Principal, GVM Girls College, Sonepat, and Ms Shakuntala Singla Principal, Vaish Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Rohtak. Their membership will be valid for a period of two years with effect from July 6.

Meanwhile, the VC has appointed Prof A.S.Chillar from the Department of Commerce as professor in charge of the university library. Dr S.H.Ansari, Reader, Department of Geography, has been made head of the department for three years from July 3.

GND University, Amritsar
Rs 75 lakh grant for ASC

The Academic Staff College (ASC) has received a grant of Rs 75 lakh for the construction of its separate guesthouse in the university complex to provide reasonably good accommodation to the participants during orientation programmes and refresher courses organised by the college.

A communiqué to this effect was received by Dr Jai Rup Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, from Dr P. Prakash, joint secretary, UGC, recently.

Dr H.S. Bhatia, director, ASC, said the grant would be provided by the UGC during the 11th Plan period. He said at present the accommodation provided to the participants was extremely inadequate and not conducive to independent academic work. Besides this, the UGC has also agreed upon to allocate Rs 1 lakh for purchasing books for the library, while Rs 5 lakh has been allocated for the purchase of equipment under its upgradation scheme for the library. The honorarium for the resource persons has also been increased to Rs 500 per session, he said.

Dr Bhatia said the UGC had also agreed upon to create a post of computer assistant for the maintenance of computer labs in all Academic Staff Colleges under the 11th Plan period.

— Contributed by Sunit Dhawan and P. K. Jaiswar




Fragrance & Flavour Development Centre, Makrand Nagar, Kannauj 209726 (UP) (M/o SSI, GoI)

Training Programme on "Cultivation & Primary Distillation of Aromatic Plants"

Training dates: 16-21 July 2007

Application Form: Download from website

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 12 July 2007

Armed Forces

Indian Navy, Post Box No 4921, Safdarjung Enclave PO, New Delhi 110029

Sailors for SSR – 1/2008 Batch

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian males; 10+2 (with Maths & Physics)
DoB: 01 February 1987 – 31 January 1991.

Selection: Written Test; Physical Fitness Test; Medical Test.

Application Form: Download from website

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 30 July 2007

Civil Services

Punjab Public Service Commission, Baradari Gardens, Patiala 147001 (Punj)

Deputy Superintendent of Police Examination, 2007

Eligibility: Bachelors degree

Age: 21–28 years (on 1 January ’07)

Selection: Preliminary Test: 23 September ’07; Main Exam; Physical Test

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 20 July 2007


Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, Chandigarh 160012 (Punj)

PG courses leading to ME

Application Form: Send Rs 300/- by DD favouring "Director, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh", payable at Chandigarh at the above address / download from website. At select SBI Branch: Rs 250/-

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 16 July 2007


All India Institute of Speech & Hearing, Naimisham Campus, Manasagangothri, Mysore 570006 (Kar)

1) Diploma in Hearing Aid & Earmold Technology (1 year)

2) Diploma in Hearing Language & Speech (Distance) (1 year)

3) Diploma in Training Young Hearing Impaired Children (1 year)

Eligibility: For 1: 10+2 (45% with Physics as a subject) / Diploma in (Electronics / Electrical / ITI in Electronics / Electrical / Dental Technicians)

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 16 July 2007


M/o Culture, NAI Annexe, Janpath, New Delhi (GoI)

Financial Assistance for Preservation & Development of Cultural Heritage of the Himalayas

Fellowship: Upto Rs 5 lakh (in proportion to the reference and content of the Project.

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 July 2007

Teaching & Education

National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT), Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi 110016

Diploma in Guidance & Counselling (6 months)

Eligibility: In-service Teachers / Untrained Guidance Personnel / Educational Administrators / Teacher Educators Teaching Psychology / Educational Psychology in teacher training Institutions; Bachelors with Teacher Training degree, 50% / Masters degree in Psychology / Social work / Child development / Special education / HRD (50%). Those who have no teacher training must have minimum 1 year experience in Guidance & Counselling.
Age limit: 40 years

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 July 2007


Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 136119 (Har) /

MTech: Computer Science & Engg.
MLib & Information Science
French / German / Reasoning / Mgmt of Development & Service

Certificate: French / German / Yoga / Urdu.
7PG Diploma: Fish Farm Technology / Forensic science / Nutrition & Dietetics / Yoga

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: For Med & Med (Spl. Edu): 20 August 2007
For 2,5,6,7 & MLib & Info Sc: 31 July 2007

Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical & Technological Sciences, Distance Education Wing (Sikkim)

1) IT
2) Management
3) Allied Health
4) Hospitality
DTHM / ADTHM / BSc (Hospitality, Catering & Tourism)
5) New Age courses
MBA in (Retail Operations / Health Care Services) / BSc in (Biotechnology / Fashion Design) / MSc in (Bioinformatics / Clinical Research & Regulatory Affairs) / BA & MA in Journalism and Mass Communication / PG Diploma in Travel & Tourism Mgmt

Details: Website.

Alagappa University, D/o Distance Education, Karaikudi 630003 (TN)

UG Programmes (3 years)
Bachelors of Library & Information Sciences (1 year)

PG Programmes (2 years)

MCA (3 years)

Masters of Library and Information Sciences (1 year)

PG Diploma Programmes (1 year)

Certificate Programmes (1 year)

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 31 July 2007

More information on Admission Deadline is available online. Please visit

The Tribune website at: and click on “Education” in the “Weekly Specials” section.

— Pervin Malhotra