Studying Punjab the scholarly way
Roopinder Singh

Participants of the 13th Summer Programme in Punjab Studies with Prof Gurinder Singh Mann (sitting, centre) in ChandigarhA group of student-scholars comes to Chandigarh every year in July for a six-week summer program on Punjab studies. They come from all over— North America, Europe, Australia—for an intensive course that brings them in touch with eminent Indian academicians and experts, and takes them to places that they would normally not have access to.

Participants of the 13th Summer Programme in Punjab Studies with Prof Gurinder Singh Mann (sitting, centre) in Chandigarh

Demand for foreign language specialists on the rise
Neeraj Bagga

THE rise in number of multi-national companies in the country and turning of Indian companies into multi-national ones have triggered the demand for foreign language specialists, said Abhai Maurya, Vice-Chancellor, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

Memory exam better than IQ test
Testing students’ working memory is better than IQ test for assessing their learning potential, according to a study. Scientists say that “working memory”—the ability to retain and juggle information for brief periods —could be as much a measure of modern mental abilities as traditional IQ tests.

Campus Notes

Admission Deadline



Studying Punjab the scholarly way
Roopinder Singh

A group of student-scholars comes to Chandigarh every year in July for a six-week summer program on Punjab studies. They come from all over— North America, Europe, Australia—for an intensive course that brings them in touch with eminent Indian academicians and experts, and takes them to places that they would normally not have access to.

Many are foreigners; others have Indian roots that they seek to connect with, since they are expatriates like Ajeet Singh Matharu, who studies at Columbia University after a stint at Cambridge University. “I like the way in which Punjabi was taught to us. My grandfather used to try to teach me earlier, but he would get irritated at my pronunciations and we would not make much progress. I also used to see Punjab as more of a Sikh space, and now I have been exposed to other Punjabi traditions like Sufis and Ahemadias.”

Everyone has to learn Punjabi, and out of their need has emerged a new book, which is due to be published by the Georgetown University Press, Washington DC, says Prof. Gurinder Singh Mann who conceived the programme and has steered it with remarkable focus and steadfastness over the past 13 years. Prof. Mann holds the Kundan Kaur Kapany Chair in Sikh Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.

Harjinder Kaur Sandhu from the University of British Columbia, Canada, works as a school principal and has “returned to academia after 2002. It is refreshing to learn things I would not have otherwise”.

Julie Vig of the University of Montreal is still on an endeavour to fine-tune her area of study ... and has narrowed it down to working on Punjabi women. She is among the 182 scholars from 71 universities in 10 countries (USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, India, New Zealand, and Sweden) who are alumni.

“I like to learn different things—I am all for cross-cultural dialogue and I feel that this programme is a role model for others to follow,” says William Cullinan of Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.

Satjeet K. Nayar, a student of New York University, USA, points out that the diversity of the group, in terms of age, backgrounds, universities and areas of interest, was in itself a great learning experience. “After studying about Punjab, I feel that it has not been given as much credit as it should have been.”

Simaran Jeet Singh of Columbia University, New York, has developed a healthy respect for Indian scholars who are not recognised by their Western counterparts.

Participants also appreciated the flexibility of the programme. “When we enrolled, we gave our individual interests and they were worked into the programme,” says Nayar.

“I am working on a Ph.D programme and Prof. Mann offered to mentor me,” says an admiring Peder Gedda of Gotheborg University, Sweden.

Access to a fresh area of academic study, information about primary sources and mentoring—no wonder alumni of the summer programme have gone on to occupy faculty positions at 16 universities abroad.

“I am profoundly grateful to the cooperation he received from local scholars and also from Prof. Shinder Thandi, head, economics department, Coventry University, England, who has shared the responsibility of overseeing the work during the past years,” says Prof Mann.

Many of the alumni, who this writer has met over the last decade, say that they are grateful to this unassuming man who has put his heart and soul into the programme that provided a unique opportunity to them and exposed them to the region.

Punjab, its people, religions and scriptures are now being studied internationally, thanks in no small measure to the role played by the Summer Programme in Punjab Studies, Centre for Sikh and Punjab Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Demand for foreign language specialists on the rise
Neeraj Bagga

THE rise in number of multi-national companies in the country and turning of Indian companies into multi-national ones have triggered the demand for foreign language specialists, said Abhai Maurya, Vice-Chancellor, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

Abhai Maurya
Abhai Maurya

Maurya, who recently participated in a convention at Guru Nanak Dev University, said software and other companies of international repute were approaching them to train their officials in certain foreign languages through capsule courses. He said his university was flooded with requests from various companies to train their officials in a particular foreign language. Recent among the request was from Infosys for initiating crash courses in Japanese, Spanish, Russian, German and Chinese to help its executives gain working knowledge of these languages.

The multi-campus university, earlier known as the Central Institute of English, which has jurisdiction all across the country is currently running courses in Korean, Japanese, Persian, Turkey, Italian and Portuguese languages apart from English on its Hyderabad campus.

“Since executives of MNCs are to visit various countries, they require knowledge of the languages spoken there to establish rapport with people,” Maurya said. In order to increase their operations in foreign countries and augment their business objectives, companies are competing with each other to initiate its centers in as many countries as possible. The need for our own people with proficiency in the language of that country comes handy to initiate business, he added.

Maurya, who taught Russian language in the Department of Foreign Languages in Delhi University for nearly 33 years, said learning a foreign language acquainted the learner with history, culture, lifestyles, traditions and customs of that nation. Besides, it opened horizon of the students, increase their exposure, provided depth to their thoughts and help in developing holistic view.

The university has carved out a comprehensive expansion plan to cater to the rising demand of foreign languages. The multi-campus university is in the process of setting up two more campuses in Haryana and Kerala. Apart from its main campus at Hyderabad, it already has campuses at Lucknow and Shillong.

Maurya said prominent national languages of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries would be taught on the Shillong campus. From the current academic session, Burmese, Thai, Bhasa Indonesia, Chinese languages have been introduced, he added.

Elaborating the future plan, he said efforts were being made to study these languages on cross-cultural plain by placing Indian languages, culture, history and literature in juxtaposition. Gradually, more prominent languages of ASEAN would be introduced, he added.

The central university has also submitted a proposal to the Centre for the setting up of an offshore campus in Kualalumpur (Malaysia). Besides, it is set to add another offshore centre for English language training in Kandy (Sri Lanka) while the already operational centres are at Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The university stresses on research projects for which it has signed MoUs with various reputed universities in the world. It has arrangement for carrying out research with five universities each in the US, France and Russia, three in Germany and one each in Venezuela and Spain, while a pact with British universities is on the cards.

Maurya advocated internationalisation of Indian educational institutes to attract foreign students. He said this would not only provide opportunity for earning revenues but would be a way to reap a spirit of goodwill in foreign students.

“Once the foreign students return to their native countries after attaining education, they become goodwill ambassadors of India,” he said, citing the examples of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Ang San Su Ki of Myanmar. Besides, there were many instances when Indian diplomats received enormous assistance from the high-ranking bureaucrats and leaders who had once received education in India, he added.

Memory exam better than IQ test

Testing students’ working memory is better than IQ test for assessing their learning potential, according to a study. Scientists say that “working memory”—the ability to retain and juggle information for brief periods —could be as much a measure of modern mental abilities as traditional IQ tests.

Psychologists, teachers and employers have long relied on IQ tests, which measure problem-solving ability and a person’s capacity for abstract reasoning.

But now, scientists have suggested that short-term or working memory is a better and simpler measure of the skills modern youngsters will need in school and in their eventual careers.

Tracy Alloway, director of the centre for memory and learning at Stirling University, UK, is all set to release the latest research suggesting that tests of children’s working memory helped predict their grades more accurately than IQ tests.

“Working memory measures our ability to process and remember short-term information. It’s about how well we juggle different thoughts and tasks,” Times Online quoted her as saying.

She added: “There is a great deal of variation between different individuals and it is becoming clear that it is a much better way of predicting academic attainment.” The findings could be controversial, especially as Alloway has claimed that testing working memory also avoids the cultural bias built into IQ tests.

Such bias has been blamed, for example, for the way different racial groups achieve significant variations in their average scores.

In the latest research Alloway gave working memory and IQ tests to 98 children aged 4.3 to 5.7 years in full-time preschool education.

Recently, six years on, she revisited the children, now aged 10 and 11, and asked them to take a battery of tests to measure working memory and IQ.

She said, “Critically, we find that working memory at the start of formal education is a more powerful predictor of subsequent academic success than IQ.” While many think that psychologists’ newfound interest in short-term memory is because of the rise of the Internet and other electronic databases which makes the ability to juggle facts and figures more important than remembering them for long periods.

However, Alloway believes that there are other factors at work too.

“Working memory assesses people’s ability to process information and keep track of complex tasks, so it is relevant to many aspects of modern lifestyles,” she said.

The study is due to be published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. — ANI

Campus Notes
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
VC exhorts teachers to impart quality education

The newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, Professor A. S. Brar, while unfurling the National Flag on the occasion of Independence Day exhorted the teachers to stress on quality education, research and character-building of students, which was the need of the hour in the competitive world. He said the teachers should understand their responsibility towards students and society.

Addressing the teachers and students, Prof. Brar said the present generation was forgetting our martyrs and advised them to remember the sacrifices made by them for the nation. He said all teaching and non-teaching employees of the university should put their best efforts for imparting quality education replete with moral values to the students for their overall development. He said students should attend their classes regularly and develop best quality and character to meet the global demands.

The Vice-Chancellor said universities should understand the international market and update their curriculum accordingly so that the students could get jobs immediately after the completion of their courses. He said earnest efforts would be made to decentralise the university administration and transparent examination system would be encouraged.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor set an example by taking classes in the Chemistry Department and asked the head of the department to fix two-three lectures per week.

This is perhaps for the first time in the history of the university that a Vice-Chancellor has taken up the task of teaching students besides handling the university affairs. It is pertinent to mention that the Vice-Chancellor had earlier shown keen interest in this regard saying that being a teacher it was his main obligation to teach the students. Teaching fraternity while appreciating the initiative taken by Vice-Chancellor pointed out that this would help encourage the teachers to give their best.

Varsity to fill vacant posts

For streamlining the functioning of the university, the Vice-Chancellor has ordered to fill various posts which fell vacant after the retirement of employees. At present, senior professors are heading various departments. Besides the posts of registrar, dean colleges, finance and development officer, the departments that are running by senior professors include press and publications, public relations, academic staff college, controller examinations, etc.

According to sources, the university has advertised the posts of registrar and controller examinations. The interviews for these posts will be held in few days, while remaining posts will be filled in the near future.

Contributed by P. K. Jaiswar

Admission Deadline
Armed Forces

Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS / Dental), Room No. 9, ‘L’ Block, M/o Defence, New Delhi 110001

Short Service Commission in Army Dental Corps

Eligibility: Indian, BDS (55%) / MDS. 1-year rotatory internship, medically fit, Permanent Dental Registration Certificate
Age Limit:
45 years (December 31 ’09).

Selection: Merit in BDS, Medical Exam, SSB Interview.

Application Form: Send in prescribed format with required documents, a self-addressed postcard and a stamped (Rs.6/-) self-addressed envelope (23 cm x 10 cm) to the Director General at the above address.

Details: Employment News (08 – 14 August 2009)

Application Deadline: 31 August 2009

Indian Navy, Post Bag No 04, RK Puram PO (Main), New Delhi 110066

SSC Officer in Air Traffic Control of Executive Branch – January ‘10 Course

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian men and women, BSc (Physics / Electronics / Maths, 60%) / PG in Science (Physics / Electronics / Maths, 55%)
DoB: 02 January ’85 – 01 July ‘90.
Height & Weight: 157 cm (Men) & 152 cm (Women) with correlated weight.
Eyesight: 6/6, 6/9 correctable to 6/6, 6/6 with glasses. Should not be color / night blind.

Selection: SSB Interview; Medical Exam.

Application Form: Send application by ordinary post in prescribed format to the above address. Superscribe "Application for SSC (ATC) Jan 2010 Course Qualification…… Percentage……%"

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 30 August 2009

Diving School, INS Venduruthy, Naval Base, Kochi 682004 (Ker)

Commercial Diving Course (10-week, conducted by Indian Navy)
(Recognized by the International Marine Contractor’s Association)

Eligibility: Indian males; Class 10 (50%) / 10+2. Fluent in Hindi / English
Age: 18-28 years (on 01 January 2009).

Selection: Vetting of Application; Aptitude Test; Screening.

Application Form: Send in prescribed format with attested documents, self addressed envelope (12 cm x 27 cm) and crossed DD of Rs 4800/- favoring "Officer-In-Charge, Diving School, Kochi" payable at Kochi by registered post to the Officer-In-Charge at the above address. Superscribe "Commercial Diving Course" on the envelope. Mention your name and address on the reverse of DD.

Application Deadline: 11 September 2009

Arts Performing

Indira Gandhi National Open University, School of Performing & Visual Arts, Block B, Room No. 201, New Academic Complex, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068

1) Master of Performing Arts: Dance (Bharatanatyam) / Hindustani Classical Vocal / Theatre Arts (1 Year)
2) Master of Visual Arts; Painting (1 year)

3) Certificate Programmes (in Open & Distance Learning Format)
Certificate in Performing Arts: Dance (Bharatanatyam / Kathak / Kuchipudi / Mohiniattam / Odissi) / Hindustani Classical Vocal / Theatre Arts

Certificate in Visual Arts: Painting / Applied Arts / Sculpture

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 20 August 2009


Advanced Training Institute, Sion, Mumbai 400022 (Mah) (M/o Labour & Employment, GoI)

Supervisory Course in "Operation & Maintenance of Chemical Plants" Commencing from 1st October 2009 (6 months + 1 month in-plant training)

Eligibility: Diploma in (Chemical / Mechanical / Electrical Engg) / BSc with Chemistry as the principle subject / National Apprenticeship Certificate in Chemical Trades / AOCP / MMCP / IMCP / LACP.
Age: 18-40 years

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Employment News (08 – 14 August 2009) / Website

Application Deadline: 28 August 2009

National Institute of Secondary Steel Technology, Post Box No 92, GT Road, Sirhind Side, Mandi Gobindgarh 147301 (Punj) (M/o Steel, GoI)

Job-Oriented Certificate course on Rolling / Steel Making Technology (18 months)

Eligibility: 10+2 (PCM); Diploma in Mechanical / Metallurgy / BSc preferred.

Application Form: Send Rs 400/- by DD favouring "NISST, Mandi Gobindgarh / Kolkata / Nagpur," to the respective centres / Download from website

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 30 September 2009

The Institution of Civil Engineers (India), Career House, Bindra Complex, Model Town, Ludhiana (Punj) (GoI) /

Degree & Diploma in Civil & Architecture Engg

Eligibility: For Degree: 3 yrs.Polytechnic Diploma for Sec A & Sec B and AMIE (Sec A) / BTech / BE other than Civil / Arch, for Sec B.
For Diploma: 10th for Diploma Part I & Part II and 10+2 (PCM) or ITI for direct admission in Part II

Application Form & Details: Website


NSIC Technical Services Centre, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi 110020 (GoI)

1) Advanced Diploma in Software Technology (2 years)
2) DOEACC ‘O’ Level / Computer Hardware & Advance Networking (1 year)
3) Core Java / Advance Java / MS-Office & Internet / C, C++ & OOPS / MCP + CCNA / Mobile Phone Repair (1 month)
4) Net Technologies (3 months)
5) Linux Administration(2 months)
6) Repair of Electronic Gadgets (6 months)

Selection: First-come-first-serve basis, submit bio-data along with copies of certificates.

Details: Employment News (08 – 14 August 2009)


University of Madras, Department of Legal Studies, Chennai 600005 (TN)

ML Degree courses (under Private Study mode) in: International Law & Constitutional Law / Business Law / Criminal Law / Property Law / Intellectual Property Law / Human Rights & Environmental Law / Labour Law & Administrative Law (under Private Study)

Eligibility: BL / LLB

Application Form Send Rs 250/- by DD favouring "The Registrar, University of Madras, Chennai-5", payable at Chennai / Download from website.

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 30 September 2009


Management Development Institute (MDI), Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Sukhrali, Gurgaon 122001 (Har) /

PG Programme in Management (3 years, Part Time)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree; Min 3 years of work experience (On 30 Sept. ’09).
Engg, CA, CS, Cost Accountants, Architects, Doctors preferred

Selection: Test: 30 August ’09

Application Form: Send Rs 1750/- by DD favouring "Management Development Institute", payable at New Delhi / Gurgaon with a self-addressed (with telephone no) stickers to above address. Mention name of programme on envelope / Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 22 August 2009

Indian School of Mines University, Department of Management Studies, Dhanbad 826004 (Jhar) (Deemed University) /

MBA (2 years)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree (50% or equivalent CGPA)

Selection: CAT 2008 scores, GD & Interview

Application Form: Send Rs 1500/- by DD favouring "Registrar, Indian School of Mines University," payable at Dhanbad with 2 self-addressed stickers to the Assistant Registrar (Academic) at the above address / Download from website.

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 07 December 2009

Apeejay Institute of Technology, 1, Institutional Area, Surajpur-Kasna Road, Greater Noida 201308 (UP)

PG Diploma in Management: International Business / Real Estate

Eligibility: Bachelors degree (50%)

Selection: Entrance Test; CAT / MAT / XAT / Apeejay Entrance Test); GD & Interview

Application Form & Details: Website


Govt. Medical College, College of Nursing, Patiala 141001 (Punj)

Post Basic BSc Nursing Course (2 years)

Eligibility: 10+2 / Certificate in General Nursing & Midwifery, Registered Nurse / Registered Midwifery; bona fide resident of Punjab / Medically fit
Age: 17 years

Selection: On merit / Counseling: 29 August 2009
Application Form: Send Rs. 1000/- by DD favoring "Registrar, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot" payable at Patiala at the above address.

Application Deadline: 20 August 2009

Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar (Har)

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (4 ½ years)
2) Master of Physiotherapy

Eligibility: For 1: 10+2 (PCB with English, 50%).
For 2: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (55%)
Selection: Entrance Exam: For 1: 24 August ‘09
For 2: 25 August ‘09

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 22 August 2009

Composite Regional Centre For Persons with Disabilities, Sundernagar, Distt. Mandi (HP) (M/o Social Justice & Empowerment, GoI)

1) Diploma in Education - Special Education (Visual Impairment) (2 years)
2) Certificate Course in Prosthetic & Orthotic (1 year)
For 1: 10+2
For 2: Certificate from ITI in any trade of Fitter / Carpenter / Leather / Class 10 with 2 years practical experience in a recognized P&O workshop / centre under P&O professional.
Age: 17 years

Application Form: Send Rs 150/- by DD from any Nationalized Bank favouring "Director, CRC" payable at Sundernagar, Distt. Mandi (HP) at the above address.

Application Deadline: 25 August 2009


SAARC Secretariat, M/o External Affairs, Room No. 807, Akbar Bhawan, Chanakya Puri, New Delhi 110021

SAARC Award – 2009
Offered by SAARC Secretariat to honour exemplary work of individuals and organisations based in the South Asia region in areas e.g. as peace, development, social service, cultural progress, environment protection, improvement of condition of women and children, poverty alleviation and regional co-operation)

Award: Citation, Gold Medal and cash prize of US $ 25,000

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 14 September 2009

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, (CSIR) Anusandhan Bhawan, 2 Rafi Marg, New Delhi 110001

CSIR Diamond Jubilee Technology Award - 2009

Objective: To recognize and honor outstanding technology development that creates a new market or contributes to the existing market and benefits a large cross section of users and consumers in society. Is internationally competitive market in terms of novelty, price, quality, functionality and reliability or helps raise capital and enhances brand equity or image of company / organisation. Promotes employment and benefits the community in general by improving the standard of living.

Eligibility: Any Indian team or a company / organisation with more than 50% shares owned by Indian citizens. Technology should have originated in India or if developed elsewhere, it should have a significant Indian component

Award: Cash prize: Rs One million.

Proposal: Send in prescribed format.

Details: Website.

Application Deadline: 10 September 2009

M/o Environment & Forests, 1st Floor, Room No. 116, Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road , New Delhi 110003 (M/o Environment & Forests, GoI)

Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra Awards 2008
(For outstanding work in areas of afforestation & wasteland development)

Award: Rs 2, 50,000/- with medallions & citations

Application & other Details: Website

Application Deadline: 25 September 2009

Sciences Biology

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

1) Industry Programmes: (Distance, 1 year)
Clinical Trial, Research & Admin / Drug Design & Patenting / Pharma Regulatory Affairs / Pharma Quality Assurance & Quality Control / Pharma GMP / Forensic Science / Bioinformatics
2) Advance Programme in Clinical Trial, Research & Data Mgmt (6 months, weekend)

Eligibility: For 1: Bachelors degree

Details & Application Form: Website

Application Deadline: 30 September 2009


Punjab Technical University, Ladowali Road, Jalandhar 144001 (Punj)

Distance Education Programmes (IT & Mgmt):

Application Forms: Download from website


Micro Small & Medium Enterprises Development Institute, Okhla, Shaheed Capt. Gaur Marg, New Delhi 110020 (M/o MSME, GoI)

Specialized Training Program on Export Mgmt (31 August – 04 September ’09 & 14- 18 September ‘09)

Eligibility: Class 12; Entrepreneurs, Promoters, Manager, involved in export activities of SMEs
Age: 18 - 40 years.

Selection: First-cum-first serve basis

Application Form: Send Bio-data (mention course, your name and address, Tel no, father’s / husband’s name, DoB, qualifications, caste certificate) with 2 passport size photos to above address. Superscribe "name of course" on envelope.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 26 August 2009

Pervin Malhotra, Director, Career Guidance India (CARING)