Panjab University at crossroads
Rajesh Kochhar
HE status of Panjab University is being animatedly discussed in official correspondences and newspaper columns. The debate reminds one of the 19th-century European fetishes for classification. First rigid categories were created and then realities were twisted out of shape to somehow fit into them.

Teachers should talk in English
HE students are talented but there is need for good infrastructure at educational institutes to bring out the hidden talent in them and to make them capable of achieving their goals in life.

Obsession with results harms children’s education
HE publication of this summer’s GCSE results is expected to show another increase in the number of children who have achieved decent grades. The weight of evidence suggesting that the public exam system, as a whole, has become corrupted is now impossible to ignore. 




Panjab University at crossroads
Rajesh Kochhar

THE status of Panjab University is being animatedly discussed in official correspondences and newspaper columns. The debate reminds one of the 19th-century European fetishes for classification. First rigid categories were created and then realities were twisted out of shape to somehow fit into them.

It has been Panjab University’s luck to be governed by a legislation drawn up in haste. When the university was set up in 1947, the conditions were far from normal. The regulations of Panjab University, Lahore, which were based on the Indian Universities Act 1904, were simply copied and validated. Similarly, when the Punjab was divided, there arose a host of major problems that needed to be addressed. Panjab University was not one of them. Once again the extant regulations were revalidated with minimum possible tinkering—Vice-President as Chancellor in place of the state Governor.

The most important feature of the university is that it caters to the region as a whole. When young men and women, drawn from different cultural and social backgrounds, study together in a congenial atmosphere, their mindset becomes healthy and outlook broad, which in turn fashion their decisions and conduct when they later occupy the positions of responsibility. It should, however, be borne in mind that historically the university is older than its present campus. This important fact can be easily grasped from an examination of the terminology. The university has a post of Dean of University Instruction (DUI). The term was coined with reference to the pre-existing government post of Director of Public Instruction (DPI) who was assigned the task of looking after the colleges. The university instruction was thus seen as complementary to collegiate instruction. In fact, in the early years, the Vice-Chancellor himself doubled as DUI.

While conducting a debate, vocabulary should be chosen carefully. Sometimes, the use of terms that carry fixed connotations leads to unnecessary posturing. When we discuss the status of Panjab University, we must always keep in mind that there are two distinct issues involved: the basic character of the university and its finances. The basic character of the university is that of a state university because that is what it was when it was established. The affiliated colleges located in Punjab and Chandigarh look up to the University for the conduct of examinations, oversight, guidance and academic control. This arrangement has worked well so far. There is no pressing need to change it.

Globalisation has ushered in an era of knowledge economy. The job market today is far more demanding than ever before. At the same time, the cost of imparting skills has gone up because of technological advancements the world over. If the universities run by the government are forced to generate their own resources, they can do so only by catering to children whose parents are already well off and by offering only bookish courses. The universities may be tempted to lower their standards to draw in more students. They will be forced to bow to the fashions of the day and pander to the demands of the market rather than meet the requirements of the state. On the other hand, if the state is concerned about ensuring equitable development and meeting the nation’s manpower needs in industrial and government sectors , it must endow its universities sufficiently well, so that they can take a long-term view and plan accordingly.

Today, what Panjab University needs immediately is reworking of its financial arrangements. A high-powered committee should be appointed to apportion afresh the share of the Punjab government and the Cente. If the latter offers to foot the entire bill, the offer should be examined in depth. There can be no doubt that the university needs to be financially secured, so that it can worry about the next generation rather than the next fiscal year.

Teachers should talk in English

THE students are talented but there is need for good infrastructure at educational institutes to bring out the hidden talent in them and to make them capable of achieving their goals in life.

Oxford University students made this observation after interacting with the students and the teachers of Khasla College and Standard Public High School at Dhulka village, Amritsar. They were in the city under the United Sikhs Oxford University Tavel Aid English Language Teaching Programme.

Manupriya said she found students little hesitant to converse in English. The government should introduce more exchange programmes so that the students can be trained in spoken English, besides acquainting themselves with cultural knowledge of the UK and other Western countries, she said.

Jaswinder Kaur, a pharmacist, said teachers should interact with students in English so that they could speak the language fluently. Visits to other countries by these students would definitely help them improve their English, she added.

Venessa from the USA, who is studying at Oxford University under the exchange programme, said their group tried to engage the students in open dialogue and posed many questions. She said the students here had lot of potential but due to lack of proper infrastructure, they were finding it difficult to make best use of it. She said regular exchange programmes would surely help bridge those gaps and make the students self-confident.

Richard from London said initially they found it difficult to interact with the students, but were able to convey their message with the movements of their hands. He said he was amazed to see that the teachers here never appreciated for the good work done by the students and reprimanded them on small mistakes. He said there was need for changing this attitude. He was very much impressed with the architectural marvel of the Khalsa College building, for it resembled with Keble College of London.

Emma, a student of medicine, said she was impressed with the students because they were more disciplined and gave more respect to their teachers. She said they were also wary of the world around them and were ambitious, too.

The programme coordinator, Tejinder Pal, said the Oxford students were also learning yoga and meditation. When she told them that they would not be able to learn complete yoga techniques during such a short span, Venessa expressed her wish to extend her stay in India for completing the course. — Sanjay Bumbroo

Obsession with results harms children’s education

THE publication of this summer’s GCSE results is expected to show another increase in the number of children who have achieved decent grades. The weight of evidence suggesting that the public exam system, as a whole, has become corrupted is now impossible to ignore. A report by the think-tank Civitas is the latest study to suggest a growing number of schools are ‘gaming’ the exam system in order to flatter their performance in Government-published statistics.

This is done in a number of ways. The simplest is for a school to omit to enter a student for an exam if they are unlikely to get an A-C grade (which has become the benchmark of a ‘good’ GCSE). Another is ‘teaching to the test’, where teachers relentlessly drill students on how to spot exam questions and ‘improve their scores.

But another gaming method has been creeping in too. Students judged less likely to do well in traditional academic disciplines are being encouraged to sit for vocational qualifications instead. Such qualifications, which are awarded the equivalent ‘points’of four GCSES by the government, make an institution look more impressive when the statistics of each school is performance are published centrally. The problem is that this trend is being driven by the interests of schools, rather than their students. Civitas argues that, if it continues, the old grammar/secondary modern divide could be resurrected as schools in poorer areas increasingly specialise in ‘easier’ vocational qualifications and the richer ones focus on academic subjects.

So why are schools going down this road? One reason is likely to be their lack of independence, which has diminished teachers’ self-confidence and encouraged them pay a disproportionate amount of attention to raw exam results. But the main driving force behind the malign trend is the very fact that details of each school’s overall exam performance are published annually by the Department for Education and turned into league tables by the media. While league tables exist, there will always be a strong incentive for schools to manipulate the system.

The Education Secretary, Ed Balls, is right to defend the right of parents to access information about how the schools in their area perform. We cannot go back to the days when it was deemed impertinent for people to request such information. Yet Mr Balls makes a mistake in jumping from this laudable concern to empower parents, to a justification for the existence of league tables and all their malign influence on educational priorities.

— By arrangement with The Independent


Arts Performing

SRM Sivaji Ganesan Film & Television Institute, SRM University, SRM Nagar, Kattankulathur, Kancheepuram Dtt. 603203 (TN)

1) Bachelor of Film Technology (3 years)

2) Diploma in Film Acting (1 year)

Eligibility: 10+2

Application Form & Details: Website

Home Science

Government Home Science College, Sector 10, Chandigarh (Punj) (D/o Child Development)

Advanced Diploma (Child Guidance & Family Counselling), 1 year

Eligibility: Bachelors degree with teaching experience / PG

Selection: Interview: 28 August ‘08

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 26 August 2008


Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), B 30, Institutional Area, Sector 62, Noida 201307 (UP) (GoI, M/o Communication & Information Technology / D/o IT)

1) PG Diploma in Systems & Database Administration
PG Diploma in GIS & Remote Sensing

For 1:
BE / BTech (Computer Sc / Electronics & Comm / IT / Electronics & Instrumentation / Electrical / Electronics) / AMIE / MCA / B Level / MSc (Computer Sc / IT / Electronics)
For 2: PG / Bachelors degree (Geology / Geography / Planning / Forestry / Environmental Science / Disaster Mgmt / Agriculture / Botany) with Computer knowledge / BE / BTech in (Computer Sc / IT / Electronics & Communication) / MCA / MSc (Computer Sc / IT / Electronics)

Selection: Entrance Test: 06 September 2008

Application Form & Details: Download from website.

Application Deadline: 29 August 2008


The English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad 500605 (AP) (Deemed University)

Preparatory Course in Russian (10 months)
(mandatory for admission to academic progrannes in Russian Univs)

Eligibility: Class 12

Application Form: Send Rs 500/- by DD favouring “Coordinator, Preparatory Course in Russian, EFL University,” payable at Hyderabad to the above address / Download from website.

Details: Employment News (16 – 22 August 2008) / Website

Application Deadline: 25 August 2008


NIIT Imperia, GF 1 & 2, Chiranjiv Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019

Executive Management Programs from IIM Lucknow, IIM Calcutta & IIM Indore

1) Executive Program in Applied Finance (IIM-C, 1 year)
PG Certificate Program in Family Owned Business & Entrepreneurship (IIM-I, 1 year)
Executive General Mgmt Program (IIM Lucknow, 1 year)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree (50%)+
For 1: 2 years work-ex

For 2: 1 year work-ex
For 3: 6 years work-ex

Selection: For 1 & 3: Prog Aptitude Test: 30 August 2008
Application Form
& Details: Website

Application Deadline: For 1 & 3: 29 August 2008
For 2: 05 September 2008

IIM-Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad 380015 (Guj)

PG Programme in Public Mgmt & Policy (1 year; Full Time).

Eligibility: Bachelors degree with 7 years work-ex or legislative experience of 1-5 years by March 2009; CAT / GRE / GMAT scores.

Selection: Interview. Those who have not taken the above-mentioned tests must take a special test.

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 03 November 2008

SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Munshi Nagar, Dadabhai Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai 400058 (Mah)

PG Diploma in Management in (Marketing / Finance / Information Mgmt / Manufacturing / Operations Mgmt) (2 years)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree; CAT 2008 / GMAT 2008 / XAT 2009

Application Form & Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 30 November 2008

IIT- Bombay, Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, Powai, Mumbai 400076 (Mah) /

General Mgmt Programme for Technical Professionals (1 year)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree with work-ex / Diploma (Tech)

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 05 September 2008

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, B 21, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi 110016 (Deemed University).

Certificate Programme in Export Management (4 months)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree / Diploma with 2 years work experience (on 31 October ’08)

Selection: Interview.

Application Form: Send Rs 250/- by DD favouring “Indian Institute of Foreign Trade,” payable at New Delhi to the above address / Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 12 September 2008

Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana 141004 (Punj)

MBA (2 years)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree (BSc / BE / BTech / Agriculture / Agricultural Engg / Veterinary Sc / Home Sc / BCom / BBA / Mgmt / Computer Appln), 60% or OCPA 6.00/10.

Selection:  CAT 2008, GD & Interview: 02 March ‘09

Application Forms: Send Rs 775/- by DD favouring “Comptroller, PAU,” payable at any scheduled bank at Ludhiana at the above address / Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 10 November 2008

Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, Shastri Sadan, Shri Venkateshwara Mandir Marg, Sector III, R K Puram, New Delhi 110022

1) PG Diploma in Management (2 years)
2) PG Diploma in Management (Finance) (2 years)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree (50%)

Selection: CAT 2008 scores; GD & Interview

Details & Application Form: Send Rs 1525/- by DD favouring “Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management,” payable at New Delhi, to the Admission Coordinator at the above address / Download from website.

Application Deadline: 15 November 2008

ICFAI School of Public Policy, # 38, Nagarjuna Hills, Punjagutta, Hyderabad 500082 (AP)

PhD in Public Policy

Eligibility: PG in Social Sciences (including Public Policy) / Environmental Sc / Commerce / Business Mgmt / Engg / Law)

Selection: Interview: 12-13 September 2008

Application Form: Website

Application Deadline: 30 August 2008


National Aviation Company of India Ltd, PO Box No 76, GPO, New Delhi 110001 /

Recruitment of Trainee Cabin Crew (Male & Female, unmarried)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree / 10+2 with 3-year Degree / Diploma in Hotel Management & Catering Tech from govt-recog Institute / 10+2 with minimum 2 years work-ex in the service / Hospitality industry.

Height (Minimum): For Female: 154.5 cm, For Males: 163 cm

Weight: In proportion to height.

Age (for both M & F): 18 - 25 years (on 01 August 2008)

Vision: Normal eyesight without glasses / corrected with contact lenses

Language Proficiency: Fluent in English and one or more Indian languages. Working knowledge of Hindi

Selection: Group Dynamics & Personality Assessment Test, Written Test & Personal Interview(s).

Application Form:  Send Rs 300/- by DD favouring “National Aviation Company of India Limited.”, payable at New Delhi at the above address / Download from website.
Superscribe, “Application for Female / Male-Trainee Cabin Crew (as applicable) for………. region” on the envelope.

Details: Employment News (16 – 22 August 2008) / Website

Application Deadline: 05 September 2008


Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Education Section, 216 H, D Wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi 110115 (GoI)

Post Matric Scholarship for SC / STs for Commercial Pilot Licence Course (10 scholarships)

Eligibility: SC/ ST candidates, 10+2 with Maths & Physics; Parents / Guardian’s income not exceeding 1.08 lakh pa

Selection: Written Test

Scholarship: Compulsory fees and allowances payable through the concerned State Govt / UT Admin

Application Form: Apply on plain paper with required documents and send to the Joint Director, at the above address / Download from website

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 September 2008

Department for the Welfare of SC/ ST / OBC / Minorities, IInd Floor, B Block, Vikas Bhawan, IP Estate, New Delhi 110002
E-mail: /

Post Matric Scholarship for SC / ST / OBC students studying in Delhi or outside Delhi but within India

Eligibility: Class 11 or 12 / Bachelors degree / Diploma; Family income not exceed 1 lakh pa (for OBC: Rs. 44, 500/- pa); Caste Certificate issued by Govt of NCT of Delhi.

Application Deadline: 31 October 2008

Sciences Biology

Bioinformatics Institute of India, C 56 A/28, Sector 62, Noida 201301 (UP)

1) Industry Programmes: (Distance, 1 year)
In Clinical Trials, Research & Admin / Drug Design & Patenting / Pharma Regulatory Affairs / Pharma Quality Assurance & Quality Control / Pharma GMP / Intellectual Property Rights / Bioinformatics
2) Advance Programme in Clinical Trial, Research & Data Mgmt (9 months, weekend)

Eligibility: For 1: Bachelors degree

Details & Application Form: Website

Application Deadline: 30 September 2008


Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar 143005 (Punj)

(In Botany / Environmental Sc / Economics / English / Hindi / History / Molecular Biol & Biochem / Music (Vocal / Instrumental) / Philosophy / Physics / Political Sc / Punjabi / Psychology / Sanskrit / Religious Studies / Sociology / Zoology)

Eligibility: Masters degree (55%)

Selection: Entrance Test: 03 September 2008

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 01 September 2008

Karnataka State Open University, Manasagangotri, Mysore 570006 (Kar)

BA / BCom / MA / MCom / MBA / BLISc / MLISc / BEd / BEd (Special) / MEd / PG Diploma / Diploma / Certificate Courses / IGNOU adopted Programs (Dist)

Application Form & Details: Website.

Pervin Malhotra,
Director, Career Guidance India (CARING)


Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan
Major relief for left-out employees

WITH the university finally acceding to the long-pending demand of the employees for the grant of a second opportunity to opt for the GPF-cum-gratuity scheme, nearly 108 employees have been benefited.

Non-Teaching Employees Welfare Association president O. P. Thakur, while thanking Chief Minister P. K. Dhumal and Vice-Chancellor K. R. Dhiman for accepting their genuine demand, said it would go a long way in promoting their welfare.

The left-out employees who could not avail its benefits earlier will now be able to opt for it within three months from its date of notification. Even the interest of those falling under its purview but having retired after the initial date of notification of February 25, 1997, have also been allowed to opt for this option, provided they surrender the CPF university contributory scheme along with interest at the rate of 10 per cent compounded on an annual basis. This would be applicable from the date of final payment from the university. Even the families of the deceased employees have been given an opportunity to avail this option.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor has given his assurance to those employees who have been awaiting promotions for as long as 16 to 18 years in certain categories of non-teaching staff that he would take up this issue at the highest level.

He said it was unfortunate that such a stagnation had happened in the university but such matters would be taken up on priority. He was speaking at a thanksgiving function organised by the Non-Teaching Employees Welfare Association in the wake of grant of a second option for the GPF-cum-gratuity scheme.

Vacant posts

WITH as many as 98 posts of various categories comprising teaching, non-teaching, technical, etc., lying vacant for the past several years, the university now is trying to get some posts sanctioned.

As per the norms, if a post remains vacant for two years, it lapses automatically. As a result, a large number of posts have lapsed. Each lapsed post requires a fresh permission from the Finance Department for being filled up. Now, the university is trying to get the crucial posts of Director Research and Director Extension filled up on a regular basis. Since these two posts are being held on an additional basis, the occupants are unable to devote full time to these significant responsibilities.

Dr S. D. Bhardwaj is officiating as director research while being a regular Dean College of Forestry and Dr A. K. Verma is holding the additional post of Director Extension Education along with the regular charge of Dean College of Horticulture.

— Contributed by Ambika Sharma