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Thursday, November 02, 2000

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Sonia's walk down memory lane

For the Congress(I) president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, the visit to Delhi University this past Monday to preside over the inaugural ceremony of the recently elected Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) was an occasion tinged with nostalgia. After all, the last time Ms. Gandhi set foot on the main campus of the Capital's oldest and largest Central University, she was with her then to- be-husband Rajiv Gandhi.

And, memories seemed to get the better of her as she broke away from her prepared text to take her audience down memory lane with her. Apparently, her own memories were jogged by the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Deepak Nayyar's query as to whether she had come to Delhi University before.

This said, she went on to recall in front of a houseful crowd how she had visited Delhi University in the second half of the 1960s with Rajiv Gandhi. ``Before our marriage, we used to come here to meet some friends of his and I have some fond memories of those visits.''

However, since then she has never returned to the campus despite the fact that both her children are products of Delhi University. What's more, her son, Rahul Gandhi, studied on the main campus itself.

* * *

The Progressive Student's Union of Delhi University has decided to celebrate this educational session as ``campus renaissance''. A number of programmes like talks, discussions, seminars and conventions will be organised from November this year to February 2001.

The main programme under the renaissance campaign is starting of ``Udghosh lecture series'' in the University. ``We are committed to fight against all anti-student and anti-Government propaganda through our campaign,'' Mr. Pradeep Singh, President, PSU, says.

* * *

Rapid urbanisation, particularly tourism development, is accompanied by major changes in the social, economic, environmental and technological areas. Such unprecedented urban growth is having unintended and negative impacts on the traditional land use, water resources, environmental quality and management practices.

Realising their immense importance as well as contribution towards successful implementation for Chapter 7 and 13 of Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, the Department of Geography of Delhi University and the Delhi School of Economics has undertaken a comprehensive research programme supported by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) Partnership Project in collaboration with the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Apart from discussing and disseminating findings relating to land and water degradation, solid waste management, provision of basic amenities and grassroot level urban initiatives, over 250 experts, policy-makers, researchers and NGO representatives will find answers communicable to policy making towards sustainable urban development in a two-day workshop on November 3 and 4.

A high-level Canadian delegation headed by Prof J. S. Gardner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba and Dr. John Sinclair of Natural Resource Institute, Winnipeg, will participate in the workshop.

* * *

Neckties and lapel pins are not something one associates with students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Even now, when the political ethos of the campus has swung in many directions, it is the ``kurta-jhola'' culture that comes to mind at the very mention of JNU.

But the fact remains that JNU is no different from other universities when it comes to memorabilia. And that's were neckties and lapel pins come in. Available for a price, the neckties with the JNU logo are ``self-woven''. As for the lapel pins, they are available in different colours and sizes with the JNU logo.

While the neckties are priced at Rs. 85 each, the lapel pins can be picked up for Rs. 35 per piece. Marketed as ideal gift items, they are available at the office of the Public Relations Officer of the University. And nostalgic as the alumni of JNU are of their alma mater, these are probably some globalised items that even the hard-core critics of globalisation among them might not mind possessing.

* * *

Career Launcher India limited, a provider of web-based education projects and services, has announced that it has received funding from Intel Capital.

Career Launcher will use the investment to further develop a web platform to deliver structured content for schools and colleges, increase the number of training programmes for corporations and expand career launcher's local presence by opening up additional study centres throughout India.

Founded in 1995, the company operates 18 study centres based mainly in India's major cities and currently offers products and services targeted to schools and colleges and customised programmes for senior managers in various industrial sectors. --K. Kannan

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