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Editor's Desk

Editor's Desk

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The Hindu Hub (Singapore) has launched an academic wing, called the World Institute for Hinduism (WISH), it aims to be the world’s premier learning centre that provides exceptional education in Hindu Faith.  WISH is a non-profit progressive educational institution. A vision that was conceived in 2014 and realised in 2016. It has multiple departments covering areas such as Philosophy, Yoga, Hindu Psychology and Counselling, Sanskrit, Vedic Management and Leadership and Vedic Sciences. Most of its courses will be delivered via an online platform as this will enable the students to learn from any location around the globe. There will be courses from certificate levels all the way up to doctorate programs. 

WISH has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hindu University of America (HUA) from Florida, USA (www.hua.edu) to provide the latter's programs in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia. With this partnership, passionate individuals can obtain Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Hindu related subjects at the comfort of their home without compromising on the quality of the programme.

The MOU, signed by the Directors of The Hindu Hub and the President of the Board of the Hindu University of America is the first formal agreement signed by HUA with an organisation in South East Asia. The MOU also provides a framework for collaboration in teaching and joint research.

For further information contact http://www.wishedu.org 

 

Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja falls on fifth day of Magh Shukla Paksha, corresponding to 12 February 2016 this year. The festival marks the end of the winter and ushers in the spring time. Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom, is the Goddess of this festival. She embodies the different facets of learning such as the sciences, arts, crafts and skills. She rides on a white swan. Her white dress is a symbol for purity. During the Vasant Panchami festival, in India crop fields are filled with the colour yellow, as the yellow mustard flowers bloom at this time of the year. People send their toddlers to school first time on this day. Pens, notebooks, and pencils are placed near the goddess Devi's feet to be blessed before they are used by students. 

 

The annual festival of Maha-Ganapathy Homam (Havan) will be performed on Sunday 31st January 2016. This special ceremony is performed and offered to Lord Ganesh, who is the remover of all obstacles and Hindrances and begets happiness, prosperity and good health. 

The Homam is a public event and open to all devotees.

The Homam will be followed by a special Pooja to Lord Ganesha.  

If you wish to participate and take part in the event please contact the temple directly.

If you are unable to be physically present for the Homam, than you can still participate by way of sponsorship.

Prasadam (Vibhuti and Kumkum etc) will be sent to you via post after the event.

For further information please check the website: www.ghanapathy.co.uk

Ganapathy Temple  125-133 Effra Road London SW19 8PU, +44 (0)20 8542 7482  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Just 40 km away from industrial town of Ankleshwar in south Gujarat lies the vast abandoned cavernous Vastan lignite mine spread over 1,500 hectares towards the edge of Cambay basin colloquially referred as Khambat.

It is here that a team of scientists extracted a treasure trove of over 200 teeth and bones of an animal which is the ancestor of all horse breeds including the finest -- Akhal-Teke, Appaloosa, Mushtang and even the Arab horses. Christened Cambaytherium thewissi - the ancestor is proudly a Khambati that lived 54.5 million years ago in the Eocene period of earth.

This was revealed by a nine-member team of researchers John Hopkins University, HNB Garhwal University, Rowan University, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Ghent University, Panjab University and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

Sajid Javid, UK secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, has said there is no cap "at all on number of foreign students" visiting Britain for studies. He has said there is misconception in INDIA about student visas given by UK and added, "I want to see more and more INDIAN students coming to UK for world class education."

He said almost 90% of INDIAN applicants who study in UK get their visas in 15 days. "Records speak for themselves. I also want to make it clearer to students about the variety of choices on offer. We have four of the top 10 universities of the world and 30 in the top 200," he said, adding that great opportunities exist in areas like science, engineering and humanities which have growing importance in Bharat. Javid, who met HRD minister Smriti Irani to announce 2016 as the UK-Bharat year of research and innovation, said UK's Chevening Scholarship is worth £3 million, the highest anywhere in the word.

He also clarified about job opportunities in UK for INDIAN students studying there, a question repeatedly asked in Bharat. "Yes. First you can work during the holiday period between semesters. Once you graduate, you are welcome to stay in a graduate-level job and there is no limit to that either and that is good for students for building their skills. Eventually when they decide to return to UK, the practical experience helps and it is good for UK economy," he said.

An Indian-American couple has gifted $4.4 million to the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) of Berkeley to establish and endow the first Centre for Dharma Studies in the US.

Ajay and Mira Shingal chose the GTU for their historic gift because "This is a school that incorporates both deep scholarship and interest in the practice of religion".

"We understand the need for accredited scholars that can speak about Hinduism with authority in this country," said the San Jose residents.

Both have studied the sacred texts of Hinduism all of their lives and wish for others to be able to explore in depth the treasures of its sacred texts and philosophical principles. They believe the gift of education is one of the greatest gifts one generation can create for future generations, according to a media release.

The Centre will focus on leading edge, multidisciplinary, graduate research and teaching in Hindu Studies and Dharma Studies. The GTU currently offers a graduate certificate in Hindu Studies, MA and PhD degree concentrations in Hindu Studies, and courses in Jain Studies.

Rita Sharma has been named the first Director of the Centre for Dharma Studies and Associate Professor of Dharma Studies. She taught most recently at the University of Southern California as the Swami Vivekananda Visiting Faculty in Hindu Studies. Sharma is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Dharma Studies.

Sewa International inaugurated its first school in a remote village, Chhinka, in district Chamoli (Uttarakhand) on December 5, 2015. It is a co-ed school with 148 students receiving education till 8th class. The old school was badly damaged during Uttarakhand floods in 2013 and needed to be re-built. After inspection of the damaged site in 2013-2014, its new construction was sponsored by the benevolent donors of Sewa International UK. The occasion was graced by Harish Bhudia, Executive Director, Sewa UK, and Lalit Goswami, All India General Secretary, Vidya Bharati, along with many other dignitaries including ADM (Chamoli), District Education Officer etc., who all were full of praise and gratitude for the noble effort. About 300 people attended the function.

A US couple, D Jyothi Reddy and Sammi Reddy, arranged the marriage of an orphan girl Saraswati and performed her 'Kanyadanam' at Warangal. A police officer, V Kiran Kumar found the girl abandoned at Hanamkonda bus stand in 2004 and handed over her to Mallikamba Manovikasa Kendram. Since then the orphanage is looking after the girl, who hails from Srikakulam district.

A private company employee, Ch Narender, who is also deaf and mute, came forward to marry the girl. Learning this, Jyothi Reddy volunteered to organize the marriage bearing all expenses. The grand marriage ceremony was held in as per Hindu tradition. Warangal (West) MLA D Vinay Bhasker and others blessed the newlywed couple. The parents of Narender, Ch Upender and Sushila, Kendram's B Ramaleela and others were present.

To boost solar energy in developing countries, Pradhan Mantri Modi launched an International Solar Alliance of over 120 countries with the French president, Francois Hollande, at the Paris COP21 climate summit and said that as fossil fuels put the planet in peril, hopes for future prosperity in the developing world now rest on bold initiatives

UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, placed the initiative in the context of the body's sustainable development goals, particularly a related target, set in 2011, of achieving universal access to sustainable energy by 2030. "To my long cherished dream of an international alliance of solar-rich countries, President Hollande responded with keen interest and immediate and full offer of support", PM Modi expressed his gratitude.

Pradhan Mantri Modi during his address at the launch of the International Solar Alliance COP 21 in Paris said that since ancient times, different civilizations have given a special place to Sun. In the INDIAN tradition, Sun is the source of all forms of energy. He mentioned that as Rig Veda says, Sun God is the Soul of all beings, moving and non-moving.

Many in Bharat begin their day with a prayer to the Sun.

Modi said, "We want to bring solar energy into our lives and homes, by making it cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to grid. We will collaborate on research and innovation. We will share knowledge and exchange best practices. We will cooperate on training and building institutions. We will discuss regulatory issues and promote common standards. We will attract investments in the solar sector, encourage joint ventures and develop innovative financing mechanisms. We will partner with other international initiatives on renewable energy"

NEW DELHI: Being christened after a cab company is unusual. But this is exactly what Babli, who delivered her baby boy in a Uber cab, wants for her child.

The woman hired the cab after repeated emergency calls for an ambulance went unanswered on Thursday night. Shahnawaz, the driver, said the woman from Devli in south Delhi called him asking to be taken to a government hospital. She was with two other women.

"I had asked them to call an ambulance, but the women said that they couldn't get one," said Shahnawaz.

He drove the trio towards Safdarjung Hospital, but had to halt soon after. "The woman was writhing in pain and her friends did not know what to do," said Shahnawaz. The trio made a labour room of the cab and helped the woman deliver the baby. "I pulled out the towels from the seats and poured some drinking water into a bowl. The child was born within minutes and I was really happy to see that he was responding," he said.

Go to Times of India for full Story

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