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Friday, January 30, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

II British Literture Mid-semester Portion and Question Paper model

Mid-semester Portion
Poetry: all poems upto and including 'Second Coming'
Novel: Hard Times and Animal Farm
Drama: No drama (Hope my sweet JPEng students will forgive me for this!)

Question Paper Model



Code: OEN 231 Max.Marks: 50

Sub: Optional English / British Literature Duration: 2 Hrs

Section A (Short Notes)

I Answer ANY FOUR of the following in about 150 words attempting at least two from the Novel. (4x5=20)

(Ten questions are given)

Section B (Essay-Type Answers)

II. Answer ANY TWO of the following in about 250-300 words: (2x15=30)

(Five questions are given)

Type of Questions
1. Poetry and novel questions will be around techniques, characterization, style, and loction of the texts in their historical period.

All the best.
(Posted on request by Abey and IJPEng through Aishwarya)

Slumdog Millionaire

Saw Slumdog Millionaire last night. Some quick observations
  • The film captures the interlinked complex social history of Bombay, Bombay slums, Bombay's economy, Bombay cinema of the last two decades in a way I have not seen before.
  • The narrative style is unseen in this part of the world.
  • Use of music and music in itself has a lot think over
  • Editing students can feast over techniques
  • I was particularly happy to see the acting of Irfan Khan whose acting skills and professionalism I have always admired.
  • The film is out-and-out androcentric with no visible attempts of departure.
  • My die hard fan-friends of Dark Knight are taking out their anger of not seeing it on Oscar noms on Slumdog Millionaire
(Pictures are taken from Roger Ebert review and Foxsearch.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Alexander Solzhenitsyn Nobel Lecture - Notes for III PSEng & FEP

1. The Nobel Lecture
2. Wiki on Alexander Solzhenitsyn
3. Another version of the speech in Nobel Prize website
4. Nobel Prize website on Alexander Solzhenitsyn
5. An analysis of his lecture along with his work August 1914

Note I: The spirit of Munich perhaps refers to the activities of The White Rose - A non- resistant movement of a few university students under Nazi Germany. For details click here. However, I am not too sure I am right.

Note II:
1. If you come across any other interesting site which analysis the Nobel lecture, please email it to me. Will post the link in this post.
2. If you have any specific questions please post them here. One of your classmates or I will respond.

Look Back In Anger-Notes

1. Study Guide From E-Notes
2. The Literary Encyclopedia
3. Article1
4. Article2
5. Detailed Summary Of Each Act
6. Study Guide From Answer.Com
7. Analysis1
8. John Osborne
9. Essay1
10. Themes

Sunday, January 18, 2009

National Conference on New Areas of Research in the ELT

(3rd & 4th March 2009)

The Department of English, Maulana Azad National Urdu University is hosting its first National Conference on 3rd and 4th March 2009. The theme of the Conference is New Areas of Research in the English Language and Teaching: Challenges and Perspectives.

The Conference
The conferences and seminars that are commonly held in ELT all around the world undoubtedly help advance methods and techniques to teach English in native or non-native context. However, in this conference the endeavour will be to discover the untrammelled and new areas of research in both the English Language and Teaching, which is why this is just not an ELT conference but an EL&T conference. The themes and sub themes of this conference succinctly mirror the objectives of conducting it (on top of academic necessity and research activism). It is positively held that the conference shall be effectively helpful to research scholars and supervisors who are looking out for
new fields and disciplines to proactively carry out their study and make some contributions to the fields of language and teaching.

New Areas of Research in the English Language & Teaching: Challenges and Perspectives

Sub Themes
1) Teaching English to the Urdu Speakers: Challenges
2) Comparative Study of Urdu and English phonetics/ phonology/
3) Computational Linguistics and English
4) Machine Translation
5) New Methodology for the Second Language Research
7) Translation as Research Method
8) Culture as a Teaching Tool in the Language Classroom
10) Guided Research in Second Language Teaching
11) English and Call Centers
12) Neutral English
13) The Use of Technology in the Teaching of English
14) Variations in English Pronunciation- Implications for the Classroom
15) SMS Language
16) Theory and Methodology in the Classroom
17) New Methodology for Research in English Language Teaching
18) New/Creative Techniques of Teaching Poetry/Play/Novel to the Students
of MA in English

Call for Papers

English Teachers, Scholars, Researchers can present the papers on any topic related with the sub-themes. The candidates who wish to present their papers are required to submit the abstract electronically at in about 250 words before 30th January 2009. On 2nd February 2009 they would be informed about the acceptance or rejection of the paper. In case of acceptance, the candidates are required to electronically submit the full paper at by 20th February. The papers will be published if accepted in MAJELL’s second issue. No paper should exceed 2000 words. The candidates are required to bring along with them in the Conference at least four sets and a soft copy of their paper. The paper must be written in MLA style sheet.

Please send your application form with a DD or cheque of Rs. 200 payable to:
Professor Amina Kishore
Head, Department of English,
Maulana Azad National Urdu University Gachibowli, Hyderabad

No TA/DA will be provided.
Closing date for receipt of application: 15the February 2009.
Registration can be done electronically at

'India's Shame' - Notes by Nitya Druve

Following is the presentation notes on Perspective IV Semester lesson 'India's Shame an essay by Annie Zaidi. The presentation was made for II year JPEng class by Nitya Druve in December 2008.



Annie Zaidi

Notes by Nitya Druve, II JPEng

India’s Shame’ is an investigative article by Frontline reporter Annie Zaidi about manual scavenging. It reveals the hardships faced by scavengers, the measures taken to improve their situation and just how ‘effective’ the government has been in dealing with the issue of manual scavenging.

To gain some perspective on this lesson, we must first familiarize ourselves with certain terms:

MANUAL SCAVENGING-is the manual removal of excreta from public and private dry (non-flush) latrines.

  • Manual scavengers may also be engaged in underground sewage work, disposal of dead animals or cleaning faeces from the railway systems.
  • The practice of manual scavenging started in Europe in 1214, when the first public toilets appeared.
  • It was introduced during British rule in India in the late 19th century, when municipalities were organized.
  • It still exists in parts of India and is performed almost exclusively by Dalits (95% of scavengers are Dalits).
  • 33% of the population uses dry latrines and another 33% do not have toilets in their houses leaving them to defecate in open spaces.

THE EMPLOYMENT OF MANUAL SCAVENGERS AND CONSTRUCTION OF DRY LATRINES (PROHIBITION) ACT 1993-entails punishment of up to 1 year imprisonment or a fine of Rs.2000 or both, for the employment and /or construction of dry latrines.

· All the Union Territories and States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal have adopted this Act.

· In its 15 years of existence, there has not been a single prosecution, despite the fact that an estimated13 lakh people continue to manually remove excreta.

SAFAI KARAMCHARI ANDOLAN (SKA) – is an Andhra Pradesh based group dedicated to the cause of manual scavengers.

  • It was started in 1986
  • It is headed by Bezwada Wilson (who belongs to a backward community himself) and S.R. Sankaran, an IAS officer.
  • It conducts surveys, files petitions, works with scavengers, creates and spreads awareness about the plight of manual scavengers.

Let’s start with the lesson:

Ø ‘SHAMEFUL’, ‘DEGRADING’ and ‘DISGUSTING’ are just some of the words the writer uses to describe manual scavenging. It is a practice which de-humanizes not only the scavenger but the person employing him/her.

Ø Some States (like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland) refuse to even acknowledge the existence of manual scavengers despite evidence to the contrary.

Ø When such is the attitude of the government, the problem becomes difficult to solve as there is no acknowledgement of the problem in the first place.

Capital Falsehood

It comes as a shock that a city as forward and prosperous as Delhi has manual scavengers but the fact remains that they do exist and in a pitiable condition at that: Take the accounts of Meena (Pg.281, 3rd para) and Sharada (Pg.282, 2nd and 3rd para).

Moving from Delhi to Gujarat, an emerging industrial State, about which Ratan Tata once said, “If you are not in Gujarat, you’re stupid.” It is one of the most vibrant States where progress is quick but even it is not free from the menace of manual scavenging. There exists in Gujarat, according to the Navsarjan Trust, 55,000 scavengers.

Though Haryana has declared itself ‘scavenger-free’, we come across Bhagwati (Pg.283, 2nd para) and Bala (Pg.283, 3rd para).Punjab, where the Green Revolution took place is the last place one would expect to find manual scavenging. From denying the existence of manual scavengers, Punjab has acknowledged the presence of 500 odd scavengers---- a grossly underestimated number.

The Railways are the biggest culprits. The construction of the railway tracks using ‘sleepers’ (wooden planks) creates an uneven surface. Therefore when excreta is dropped by the open discharge system of passenger bogies, it cannot be washed away instead it must be cleaned manually.

It is ironic that a department of the government is not only violating but is the biggest violator of the Act. The Railways claim that there is a lack of money or that “various technologies shall be tried out.” Neither have they set a deadline for themselves nor have they taken any action. None of the Railway Ministers so far have allocated funds in the Railway Budget to implement the Act.

Challenges Ahead

Ø Section 17(2) of the Act stipulates that no prosecution for any offence under the Act shall be instituted except by or with the previous sanction of the executive authority. In many cases the executive authority is the violator of the Act and it makes no sense to make its sanction mandatory for prosecution.

Ø The government set up the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis and the National Safai Karamchari Financing and Development, both of which failed to produce the desired result.

Ø The National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers (Pg.283, 5th para) too failed because of a misappropriation of funds to the tune of 600 crores.

Ø Sanitation is a State subject and the Centre can do little about it.

Ø It is not a ‘vote issue’ therefore is not of much importance to the government or the public.

Ø Health concerns: Majority of the scavengers fall prey to anaemia, diarrhea and vomiting. Quite a few suffer from skin and respiratory diseases. Continued exposure to septic tanks and open gutters makes them more vulnerable to malaria, dengue and so on.

Ø Manual scavenging also takes a toll on their psychological well-being----they feel helpless, have a lowered sense of self-worth and are unhappy with their profession. Thus it is not surprising to note that a huge number of manual scavengers suffer from alcoholism.

At the end of the article, the only solution indicated to end scavenging is the destruction of all existing dry latrines. It is not as simple as that. The commissions or organizations set by the government should be given more power to take appropriate action. Apart from putting pressure on the State governments to take action and training scavengers in alternate professions, what can be done is

* The MEG (Minimum Employment Guarantee) scheme can be introduced, whereby a person is guaranteed 10 months employment in a year.

* A twin-pit latrine system can be introduced. It consists of a simple toilet, which empties into a composting pit. When the sewage has composted, it is used as fertilizer, removing the need for manual collection and disposal.

* The government should convert all existing dry latrines into low-cost flush latrines.

It should be noted that the above mentioned are a means to an end and not the end itself.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gender and Culture Session

The second session of the Gender and Culture Course will happen as scheduled at 2 pm tomorrow in the same venue.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

International Conference on Generative Linguistics

International Conference on Generative Linguistics
At EFL University, Hyderabad

February 25-27, 2009

For more details click here

IV Semester General English 'Perspectives' Material by II yrJPEng Students

Business and Society

1. Rocking Horse Winner: DH Lawrence
2. The Rhetoric of Advertising: Stuart Hirschberg
3. Writing a Curriculum Vitae : Wislawa Szymborska
4. You will be Hearing from us Shortly: U A Fanthrope
5. Once Upon a Time: Gabriel Okara
6. Bankers are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer: Ogden Nash


1. Politics and the English Language : George Orwell
2. The Politics of Failure : SV Srinivas
3. Toba Tek Singh : Saadat Hasan Manto
4. India's Shame : Annie Zaidi

Note: The idea of making all the posts on different lessons available in one post was given by Roshan from I yr JPEng. Thank you Roshan.

'Politics and the English Language' - Notes by Shwetha

Following is the presentation notes on Perspective IV Semester lesson 'Politics and the English Language' an essay by George Orwell. The presentation was made for II year JPEng class by Shwetha D in December.

The presentation ppt is also available in a pdf format. Please click here for the file.