Sanskrit course a hit with students from India, abroad
James Madaio, a PhD candidate at Deccan College, Pune, considered Sanskrit a dead language until last year.
His opinion changed shortly after he saw his college teachers converse with their students in Sanskrit.
Later, he landed up in Delhi and joined Samvadshala, where a 14-day Sanskrit speaking course draws students from all parts of country and abroad, such as US, Russia, China, Germany, Canada and others.
The residential course follows a unique methodology to teach the ancient language through songs, jokes, lectures and by offering the right environment.
"Students are mandated to interact only in Sanskrit. Not even informally are they allowed to speak in Hindi," says Manju Shree, who teaches at Samvadshala.
She spoke in Hindi only after this reporter pestered her to violate the sacred rule of conversing only in Sanskrit.
"We don't let any other language pervade this environment in our quest to keep it as clean and pristine as Sanskrit," she adds.
Currently, the 22-student batch comprises students from different corners of India. Ghanshyam Shukla, an IAS aspirant, 28, is from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, while Dundu Lal Atre, 65, a retired rural development officer is from Khairlanji, Maharashtra.
Shukla, a postgraduate in physics from Delhi University finds the teaching methodology at Samvadshala scientific.
"At the outset, they make you hear Sanskrit, then you are encouraged to start using it in daily conversations and eventually, you learn grammar. Every evening, we listen to a lecture in simple Sanskrit by an eminent scholar," says Shukla.
"A lot of words are common to Hindi and Sanskrit. Even the script (Devnagari) is the same. On top of it, when you get an environment where you have to communicate only in the same language from five in the morning to 10 at night, learning takes place faster," Manju Shree adds.
At Samvadshala, the complete dependence on Sanskrit is taken very seriously by teachers and administrators alike.
There are some staff members who don't understand any language except Sanskrit and if a student is found talking in Hindi, he/she is issued a green card, followed by a red card, on committing the mistake the next time.
On the third instance, he/she is sent out of school.
In this batch too, one student had to face dismissal for a similar reason.
This strict rule makes students such as James decide to stay quiet when at a loss for Sanskrit words. "Several times, I just stay quiet," quips James.
Even though Mohali district rose by two spots from last year's ranking in the PSEB Class 10 exams, its pass percentage dropped from 99.91% to 99%. Last year, Mohali was placed 17th among the 23 districts. This year, it improved its standing to 15th, with Gurdaspur district bagging the top spot. As many as 9,401 students from 109 Mohali schools appeared in the exams and 9,307 passed.
A 32-year-old doctor allegedly ended his life by injecting himself with a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia at his rented accommodation in Phase 2 on Monday night. The doctor, who hailed from Rupnagar, was living alone in the rented house for the last three months and worked at a private hospital in Sector 34, Chandigarh. The autopsy will be conducted at the Phase-6 civil hospital on Wednesday.
A local court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Kalyani Singh, an accused in the murder of national-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, alias Sippy Sidhu. Lodged in Model Jail, Sector 51, since June 21, Kalyani, 36, was produced in court via video conferencing. On Monday, she had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8.
The UT administration's decision to appoint 33 medical officers (MOs) on deputation from Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, and none from Haryana has not gone down well with the Haryana government. Highlighting its displeasure through a letter, the Haryana government has urged the UT administration to maintain the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana while filling up the vacant posts of MOs and dental surgeons. Till then, Haryana had not sent any panel of doctors.
In a major decision, the Panjab University senate on Tuesday approved the proposed fee hike in its teaching departments, regional centres and affiliated colleges for the 2022-23 session. A 5% increase in fee will be implemented for students of the ongoing batches. The fee hike, however, was met with opposition by some senators. The fee hikes over the past years have never gone down well with students.