Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In The News

A leading daily newspaper of Orissa, Dharitri (the Earth), carried three stories about the visit of the American University (SIS Intersession Study Abroad India) students to India. Here are brief summaries:

The main story headlined: “American Students Visit Ravenshaw”, says that the Registrar of Ravenshaw University (Mr Malay Mohanty, fifth from left, the photo also shows Mr Subrat Singhdeo - who was the India coordinator- to the extreme left) received a delegation of students from American University who are in India as part of a course on human security. They first spent a week in Delhi and then visited several places in Orissa: including Bhubaneswar, Puri, Konark before coming to Ravenshaw University. The delegation is guided by American University Prefessor Amitav Acharya and includes seven students (all the names in Oriya language are given). 50% of the assessment of this course will be based on interactions and site visits.

The next story (to the right) is headlined “Acharya Chamber Very Attractive”. It describes the donation of some 330 books on international relations made by Prof Acharya, an alumnus of Ravenshaw and currently professor at American University, since 2007 to the Kanika Library of Ravenshaw University. These books are part of a special collection which the newspaper calls Acharya Chamber of International Relations Book, which is housed inside the Library. According to students, from this collection of books on international relations, one can get much information about other countries of the world. On this visit, Prof Acharya made a further donation of 20 books which included Barak Obama’s bestseller, “Dreams of My Father”, as well as Prof Acharya’s own recent book, “Asia Rising”.

The inset news item quotes American University students saying that Orissa is very calm and quiet compared to Delhi. It is very hard to do research in Delhi because it’s so crowded. There is no such problem in Orissa.

As background, Ravenshaw University ( traces its origins to 1868. It was founded as a college by the then British Commissioner of Orissa, T.E. Ravenshaw, who was concerned about Orissa’s development after a major famine struck the region, killing hundreds of thousands of people. It has since evolved into one of the oldest and most famous educational institutions in India. The University is where almost all the political, academic and administrative leaders of Orissa were, and still are, educated.

What a fitting backdrop for educating ourselves on human security! Famine, education, achievement, all come together at this institution.

P.S.: Professor Acharya studied here for his BA from 1976 to 1980 and lived in the East Hostel, which is adjacent to the main building.

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