Writing their way for a better tomorrow: Pune authors who made an impact in 2018

About the book: If you ever thought that women in their 50s must lead dull, boring lives, Feisty At Fifty busts your myths and shows you that life, indeed begins at fifty. Join this witty fifty-something woman who is pursuing middle-aged sexiness, nailing the work-life balance, taking on the FOMO (fear of missing out), celebrating mid-life discoveries and generally feeling great about ourselves. Hilarious yet poignant, Feisty at Fifty, is both a moving personal story and the ultimate guide to making the fifties the most fabulous decade of your life.…

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Campus connect: E-learning gets thumbs up from Pune’s student community

However, in the midst of increasing e-learning centres in the city, many have raised concerns about the challenges posed to the traditional methods of learning. “The education sector is changing everyday and in a few years, it is bound to experience a drastic change when students can literally shop online for the courses they want to study. That can pose a threat to traditional forms, but the paradigm shift in the scenario needs to be adapted to,” said Swati Mujumdar, director, Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning and principal director of…

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SNDT university opens distance learning programmes for transgenders

While applying for a Masters of Commerce course at the University of Mumbai in 2008-09, Sonalee Chaukekar, a programme manager at Kinnar Maa Ek Samajik Sanstha, a group representing the transgender community, marked the gender column in the admission form as female. This year, when she registers for the post-graduate diploma in Human Resource Management (HRM) at SNDT Women’s University’s distance learning programme, she will have the option of ticking the ‘others’ box. Chandrakant Puri, director, Centre for Distance Education, SNDT Women’s University, said only transwomen (male to female) will…

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Burari’s Nirankari Ground: A not-so-central park for many amusements in Delhi

On a bright December afternoon Shristi Sharma and her friend Asif Rihan were riding to Murthal along the Outer Ring Road near Burari when, on their left, they came upon a vast open, low-lying ground. Except that it wasn’t empty. In their own words, it was like a circus. Children and adults flew kites, some were learning to drive, others were playing cricket, or cycling, or jogging. Around them, cows, buffaloes, and a few horses galloped gaily. “We had never seen a huge open space like this in the city.…

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NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft zips past most distant world known to mankind

A NASA spacecraft on Tuesday flew past the most distant world ever studied by humankind, Ultima Thule, a frozen relic of the early solar system that could reveal how planets formed. “Go New Horizons!” said lead scientist Alan Stern as a crowd cheered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland to mark the moment at 12:33 am (0533 GMT) when the New Horizons spacecraft aimed its cameras at the space rock four billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away. “Never before has a spacecraft explored something so far away.”…

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Illegal mining case: UP govt unaware of IAS officer Chandrakala’s whereabouts, CBI believes she’s at her Noida flat

Indian Administrative Services officer B Chandrakala, who has been accused of corruption in the illegal mining case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is on education leave as she had enrolled herself as a student of MBA in IIMT University, Meerut in August last year. A university official, on the condition of anonymity, said that Chandrakala got enrolled in the two-year MBA course in August last year after approval of her study leave. The official claimed that she was a bright student and attended classes regularly till…

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B Chandrakala: How a ‘dabangg’ IAS officer landed into illegal mining quagmire

Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer Bhukya Chandrakala, 38, who has been accused of corruption in the illegal mining case being probed by the CBI, was known as a ‘dabangg’ (fearless) officer popular on social media before her fall from grace. The alleged scam dates back to 2012-16 when the Samajwadi Party was in power under Akhilesh Yadav. Chandrakala, a 2008-batch IAS officer, was best known for taking action against her subordinates, mostly due to her widely-circulated videos in which she went on surprise inspections, pulling up civic officials over lack…

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Finally, varsities are addressing some of the hurdles to distance education

Being a distance education student in India, particularly with a government-run university, is not as easy as it should be. Communication is sporadic; multiple campus visits are required; admission dates, exam schedules and results can be shrouded in mystery, confusion and delays. In the absence of something as simple as a WhatsApp group, students are forced to depend on informal networks of their own. “We talk to each other on the phone regularly and compare notes on things like study material, results and admissions dates,” says Nilesh Samant, 23, a…

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