2nd Winter School in Humanities (Foreign Languages) Organized by ASC, 23rd December, 2013 to 11th January, 2014
The Academic Staff College, JNU initiated by the UGC was established in JNU in 1989, and has since emerged as one of the major centres of excellence in the academic life of the country. It has been successfully carrying out the objectives laid down by the UGC in understanding the significance of education in general and higher education in particular, in the global and Indian contexts. By regularly organizing orientation and refresher courses in different disciplines, it is making us, as participants attending the course, understand the linkages between education and economic, socio – economic and cultural development of the society, so that as teachers, we keep abreast of not only the latest developments in our specific fields and subjects, but also orient our students to meet the challenges of life, to become not merely trained professionals, but also better citizens.
It is with this vision in mind that the ASC had run the 'Frontiers in Humanities' as the 1st Winter School and this was the 2nd Winter School dedicated to Foreign Languages. Foreign language teaching presents the maximum challenge to professional excellence. Therefore, ASC as an institution provided an ideal setting for this with its inherent institutionalized understanding of the issues in pedagogy and socio – cultural linkages associated with teaching at the level of colleges and universities.
In accordance to the data received by the UGC, it was decided to hold the course this time in winter so as to make it convenient for teachers from outside Delhi to attend the course in large numbers. Moreover, free from the teaching load the resource persons could fully concentrate on this. The structure of the Winter School in Humanities dedicated to Foreign Languages differed from the other refresher courses, since it dealt simultaneously with about 8 foreign languages, each having its own frame work and resource persons. So it was more like conducting 8 refresher courses under one roof. The inaugural session was chaired by the Rector, JNU, Prof. Sudha Pai and the inaugural address was delivered by the Secretary, National Foundation for Communal Harmony and former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia, Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar. The Dean, SLL&CS, Prof. M. A. Islahi and the Director, ASC, Prof. R. N. Menon also addressed the participants. The coordinator of the course, Prof. Meeta Narain welcomed the participants and appraised the audience about the structure and the functioning of the course.
The course tried to bring to the participants the very best of Indian scholarship from varied fields. Our resource persons for both, common and language specific lectures were specialists in their respective fields covering eight languages – French, Russian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Arabic. In each language we had two lectures everyday including Saturdays, making it twenty-four lectures in all. The themes covered by the specialists were in the fields of language pedagogy and linguistics, literary and culture fields, teaching methodologies, translation techniques, cultural transformations to literary theories. Besides this, the course tried to cover the areas of politics, literature, economics, theatre, films all of which contribute to foreign language teaching. The resource persons, were invited from JNU, DU, Jamia Milia University, IGNOU and other related institutes dealing with communication studies, developmental studies, ministries and cultural centres. They covered aspects of language pedagogy and linguistics, multi lingual pedagogy, translation theory and practice, literary theories, cultural transformations, use of multimedia and writing of research proposals.
The common lectures, more than a dozen in number, were spread over a period of three weeks. They covered the interdisciplinary aspect across languages. We had representation from the Ministry of External Affairs, senior diplomats and former Ambassadors (Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar), speaking on their vision of India and the world in the 21st century, former Vice Chancellor EFLU, Hyderabad (Prof. Abhai Maurya) speaking on the theoretical aspects of literature, noted historians (Prof. Bhambri & Prof. UP Arora) covering globalization and culture and dialogues between civilizations, Prof. Indrani Mukherjee speaking on Latin American studies, established figures in cinema studies (Prof. Rashmi Doraiswamy), art and theatre (Dr. Kavita Sharma from IIC & Dr. Angelie Multani from IIT, Delhi), experts in literature like Dr. Ranjana Saxena speaking on contemporary women's prose, Prof. S. A. Hassan and Prof. Ritoo Jeirath on Persian and Russian literature respectively. As such, we were able to cover a wide range of fields covering not merely the language aspects but all aspects, which together go into the making of any foreign language.
The course concluded with participants making presentations in their respective languages which were very informative in nature, thus projecting the hard work put in by the participants in preparing their presentations. The valedictory session was chaired by the Hon'ble Vice Chancellor Prof. SK Sopory. Eminent writer, academician and former Member, UPSC, Prof. Purushottam Agrawal delivered the Valedictory address, in the presence of the Dean SLL&CS, the Director ASC and the Deputy Director Dr. Rakesh Batabyal.
The unflinching support of the Vice-Chancellor, Rector, Dean, Director, ASC and its entire staff along with the Chairpersons of the respective centres of SLL&CS and the resource persons from JNU & outside contributed to the success of the course. The course accomplished the aim of the 2nd Winter School dedicated to Foreign Languages - to update our knowledge and expertise so as to convey and transfer the sense and sensibility of that language and country to the language learners in a justified manner. With the continued support and suggestions from the committed JNU community, we hope to organize more enriching courses in the future too.
Meeta Narain, Professor
Centre of Russian Studies, SLL&CS
Gopalkrishna Gandhi Delivers National Science Day Lecture on Fostering Scientific Temper
The Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP), JNU in collaboration with the National Council for Science & Technology Communication Division (NCSTC) of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India organized the National Science Day Lecture on 26 February 2014 at JNU Convention Centre. The Lecture titled "Fostering Scientific Temper" was delivered by Shri Gopalkrishna Gandhi. This lecture is organized annually by DST on 28th February every year across the country to commemorate Sir CV Raman's discovery of Raman Effect on 28th February 1928. Professor Raman won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for this work. The objectives of celebrating NSD are to create enthusiasm among the people, to popularize science & technology, and to strengthen scientific temper among the masses. Professor Pranav N Desai of CSSP welcomed distinguished speaker and guests. Professor SK Sopory, Vice Chancellor of JNU, then formally introduced the speaker. Shri Gandhi is a prolific author, social thinker, and former Governor of West Bengal, former Ambassador and former IAS officer. At present, he is the Chairperson of Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla. DST Secretary Dr. T Ramasami then formally introduced the NSD lecture theme 'Fostering Scientific Temper'. He informed the audience that the concept of scientific temper was articulated first by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946 in his book Discovery of India, referring to it as "a way of life, a process of thinking, a method of acting and associating with our fellowmen". The term, 'scientific temper' is a wonderfully succinct way to describe a broad concept. By speaking of a nation with a 'scientific temper', he wanted to speak of the people of a nation who would be able to think independently, understand and practice the scientific method in their daily lives, analyse and not take statements at their face value, and avoid simplistic reasoning.
Shri Gandhi, briefly discussed the devaluation of scientific temper in the society since independence although we are achieving higher scientific progress and higher educational enrolment in the country. There has been significant increase in irrational thinking in the minds of men and women, since many religious television channels have proliferated in the last decade – propagating astrological beliefs, religious dogmas and superstitions. He opined uncertainties in modern life lead many to irrational thinking. He emphasized the need to inculcate 'scientific temper' in young minds, particularly children, students and young adults. Nehru's quest for scientific temper should also be highlighted to today's children. Children should be encouraged to do scientific experiment-ations and innovations keeping rational minds open.
After his lecture, Shri Gandhi interacted with JNU scholars in the Q&A session. He later distributed prizes of NSD Poster Competition 2014, organized earlier in that week on the lecture theme Fostering Scientific Temper. The first three winners of this poster making competition received cash prizes. The event concluded with vote of thanks given by Dr DK Pandey of NCSTC. Audio recording of this lecture is now available at www.mixcloud.com/cssp_jnu/, an open access audio channel maintained by the CSSP.
Anup Kumar Das
Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS
Workshop on Biomedical Innovation and the Public
The Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP), in collaboration with King's College, London organized a two day workshop on Biomedical Innovation and the Public on 13-14 March 2014. The two day workshop invited experts from different sections of society to deliberate on the issues of linkages between biomedical innovation and governance with a focus on the consumers. Experts for the meeting international and national scientists, policy makers, medical practitioners, Non Governmental Organizations, and academic researchers.
In the inaugural address, Prof. Pranav Desai, Chairperson, CSSP, JNU explained the aims and motives behind the workshop as well as the larger context of the CSSP-King's College, London project on State strategies and governance in global biomedical innovations: the impacts of India and China. Prof. Desai contemplated the need for a broader outlook on the issues of transnational governance of these innovations with a focus on transparency, affordability and inclusiveness, funding structures, regulatory bodies and consideration of socio-economic disparities. Prof. Alex Faulkner, project representative from King's college, London presented the agenda and project report.
In the session "Responsiveness of Biomedical Innovation Models to Consumers", participants deliberated on the strategies envisaged in various biomedical innovation models in order to address the question of responsiveness to health consumers. Dr. Parthasarthi Banerjee, National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), Prof. Alex Faulkner, School of Global Studies, Sussex University, presented their papers in this session.
The session "Open Access and Biomedical Innovation: Trends, Issues and the Way Forward", discussed the meanings, trends and issues in open access innovation models from the perspectives of industry, academia and policy makers. Zakir Thomas, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, Mamta Mishra and Prof. Hari Babu, , Central University of Hyderabad, Dr. Anup kumar Das, CSSP, Mr. Manoj Vimal, Central University Gujarat, presented their papers in this session.
This session in the open discussion phase contemplated on the issues of free ridership, motivation for the participants of the OSDD initiative, and the elements of nationalism, gender, and inclusion being associated to it as a moving forward vision.
The third main theme entitled "Role of Patient Organizations/ Stakeholders in Governance of Biomedical Innovation" explored the space, role, representation and advocacy strategies of patient and civil society organizations in the governance of biomedical innovation. Dr. Poonam Bala, fellow at Cleveland University, Dr. Parvathi Iyer, CSSTIP, Central University Gujarat, Dr. Duraiswamy Navaneetham and Prasanna Kumar Shirol, from the Foundation for Research on Rare Disease and Disorder (FRRDD), Bangalore, through various case studies, illuminated the need for R&D and Investment for drug discovery and diagnostics on rare diseases.
The second day of the workshop began with the session on "Public/ Private Partnerships in Biomedical Innovations: Trends and Issues". Dr. Bhaskar Vyas and Dr. Rupa Dave from Total Potential Cell, Vadodara, Gujarat, Dr. Harpreet Singh, ICMR, Delhi, Prof. Indira Ghosh, School of Information Technology (SIT), JNU, Nimita Pandey and Prof. Pranav Desai, CSSP, Rahul Mongia, CSSP, presented their papers in this session The fifth theme of the workshop, "Case Studies of Regenerative and Personalized Medicine" emphasized on the specific cases of biomedical innovation and the challenges these specific cases highlight for the broader governance of emerging technologies in society. Dr. Geeta Shroff of NU Tech Mediworld, New Delhi, Prof. Dinesh Abrol and Nidhi Singh, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), New Delhi, Prof. Alex Faulkner, Sussex University, Rajesh K. and Prof. Pranav Desai, CSSP, JNU presented their papers in this session. The session touched upon many ethical and social aspects of stem cell therapy through open discussion.
The session "Cross-Cutting panel discussion" engaged the experts and other participants to take a detour of the two-day workshop and think out loud on the main emerging themes to be taken further for policy suggestions. Professor Aditya Bharadwaj, chaired the session Dr. Yatish Agarwal, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, Prof. Dinesh Abrol, visiting Professor at CSSP, Prof. Pranav Desai, CSSP, Prof. R.N.K Bamezai, School of Life Sciences, JNU, Prof. Alex Faulkener, University of Sussex, Dr. Geeta Shroff, New Delhi, and Dr. Bhaskar Vyas, Vadodra participated in the discussion. Participants agreed on the need for mobilization of larger public on issues of biomedical innovations (such as stem cell therapy) in order to combat power relations and hierarchies in developing of these innovations for larger social good. In the concluding session, Prof. Pranav Desai and Prof. Alex Faulkner extended their thanks to the participants, with the wishes to take the dialogue of this hybrid forum further in the form of policy suggestions which can play a significant role in shaping the landscape of biomedical innovation in India and the United Kingdom.
Pranav N. Desai, Chairperson
Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS
Innovation in Higher Education: Indo-U.S. Collaboration – Round Table Discussion
The Communication and Information Services (CIS), JNU in collaboration with the National Knowledge Network (NKN) organized a Round Table Discussion on "Innovation in Higher Education: Indo-U.S. Collaboration" on 20 March 2014 at JNU Convention Centre. Dr. Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations, chaired the session. The panelists included the Presidents, Vice Presidents, Chief Information Officers (CIOs), and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) of U.S. Universities and select Vice Chancellors and Directors from Indian universities. Dr. Sam Pitroda, in his lecture, briefly discussed several national missions and initiatives undertaken as outcomes of recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC), 2005-2008. As India has entered into the highly enlightened club of emerging nations, there were concerns related to availability of world-class infrastructure across the country. NKN became operational in 2009 to provide high-speed internet connectivity and world-class infrastructure to educational and research institutions across the country. Both NKC and NKN are designed to contribute to 8-10% economic growth in the country. NKC recommended certain measures to address the problem of skills shortage that hinders high economic growth. He also observed that sets of NKC recommendations are not yet implemented due to lack of political will. Many bills are stuck in our parliament. He recognized that the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) had become the right tool for empowering common citizens.
The U.S. delegation was led by Indiana University President Prof. Michael A. McRobbie. In his lecture Dr. McRobbie informed the audience that U.S.-based Internet2 Network is entering into an advanced networking partnership with NKN for enabling "American and Indian scientists to collaborate in major new ways and use it to drive new growth and research innovations for generations to come. Indeed, it promises to have an enormous impact in a wide range of areas that enhanced the quality of life for people in both of our countries and around the world." He further said this knowledge partnership will enable "major transformation through innovation and support for globally shared research, education and communications".
Indian discussants talked about promises and optimal utilization of resources available in NKN, whereas U.S. delegates talked about their experiences in implementing advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their respective universities. They also shared their experiences in implementing MOOCs, open courseware (OCW), and digital learning channels for connecting millions of lifelong learners. NKN Board Member and Mission Director (e-Governance) Dr. B.K. Gairola informed the audience that NKN will bring major transformation and enhance innovative potentials of Indian universities through the next generation online networking. At the end of this Round Table Discussion a working group was formed involving top educational administrators of both sides for preparing action plans to move this partnership forward. The lecture concluded with vote of thanks given by Mr Sanjeev Kumar, Director CIS. Audio recording of this event is now available at www.mixcloud.com/cssp_jnu/, an open access audio channel maintained by the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP), JNU.
Anup Kumar Das
Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS
Centre of Persian & Central Asian Studies Celebrates Nourooz Festival
The 21st day of March every year marks the beginning of Persian New Year and it is called the Nourooz the New Day which is celebrated as a grand festival in Iran and all the Persian speaking countries.
Students of the Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies celebrated the traditional Persian festival of Nourooz at the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University on 21st March this year. They made their best efforts to showcase the Persian literature and culture in Room No. 214 of the School by creating a colourful Persian ambience and the recitation of poetry. The Haft Sin traditional table of Nourooz comprising seven items: coin, apple, vinegar, fish, garlic, halwa and wheat to symbolize the seven different elements of the Earth. All the faculty members, staff and students of the Centre and Professors Qasmi and Khaliq Rashid were present on the occasion. Prof. Khwaja Mohd. Ekramuddin, Director, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, came in person to attend the Naurooz festival and host lunch at the JNU Convention Centre. All the guests and audience were warmly welcomed by the M.Phil students Rifat Mehdi Rizwi and Ali Mousavi. Other students of the Centre Hasan Jafri, Suman, Stuti, Sunita, Meenakshi, Khurshid, Reza, Wasi and Dheeraj – sang a Persian song to inaugurate the event. A documentary giving a brief description about the Nourooz was shown to the audience UNESCO has declared 2014 as the year to celebrate Nourooz Festival all over the Persian world.
The Chairperson of the Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies, Prof. S.A. Hasan delivered his inaugural address in which he recited his beautiful Persian and Urdu poems to show the humane and secular nature of the festival of Naurooz. He was thankful to the guests who came all the way to participate in the Nourooz celebration at the Centre. He said the he was highly indebted to the Director of NCPUL, Khwaja Mohd Ekramuddin for the support extended to the Centre to host the event in a befitting manner. Prof Sharif Husain Qasmi of D.U., while praising the efforts of students and faculty members of CP&CAS for organising the festival of Nourooz in an exquisite manner spoke on the ancient history of Nourooz celebration in Iran and it's development in India during the time of Balban and Babur. Prof. Siddique Niazmand of Kashmir and Mr. Mohammadi Alavi of Afghanistan present on the occasion expressed their gratitude to the organisers for inviting them to join the Nourooz celebration in the Centre. Prof. Khwaja Ekramuddin in his remarks applauded the Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies for the endeavour to organise the first ever grand celebration of Nourooz at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He also expressed his indebtedness to the Centre for allowing the National Council for Promotion of Urdu language to be a part of this gala day celebration. Prof. Khalique Rashid from the embassy of the I.R. of Afghanistan at New Delhi spoke on the cultural linkages between India and Afghanistan and added that it was the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan who set the trend of celebrating Nourooz in India.
At the end, Dr. Syed Akhtar Husain was invited to propose a vote of thanks and on behalf of the Centre, he sincerely thanked the audience individually and collectively and particularly the Chairperson and students of the Centre who made this idea of celebrating Nourooz a reality. He also requested the faculty members and students to make the Nourooz celebration an annual event of the Centre in the years to come. He proposed to Prof. Rashid to invite all the students and faculty members of CPCAS, JNU to Afghanistan in the coming year to witness Nourooz celebration at Mazar Sharif.
At the end of the programme, beautiful Nourooz gifts were distributed among all the people present in the audience.
Nadeem Akhtar, Research Scholar
Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies