Monday December 10, 2018

The ties between Oxford and India

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photo source :http://oxfordhistory.org.uk/

The revered Oxford institution has been here for centuries . Widely celebrated for its world class educational facilities , breathtaking infrastructure and more importantly its maintenance traditional values . It bring together scholars and students from all over the world to study different subjects , this sets the university of oxford a class apart .

Ties between India and Oxford has been strong since the construction of the famed ‘Boden Chair’ for Sanskrit studies in 1832 . Indian presence was further distinguished by the advent of Sir Monier Williams, a well known Orientalist , who was born in India . A massive fan of the Indian culture , He studied ,compiled and documented various Sanskrit texts and wrote an English Sanskrit dictionary . He has always been a major admirer of the Indian culture and the traditional values they uphold . He became the professor of Sanskrit studies in 1860 and got knighted in 1876. Sir Monier Williams built “The Indian Institute” , getting funding from various princes from India, equivalent to 22,000 pounds and acquired the stamp of approval from Queen Victoria herself .

The Indian Institute is a red stoned building with three stories.  Erected with English renaissance architecture , the ground floor is filled with motifs of elephant, bull and other animals .The second floor consists of pictures of Indian warrior gods , depicted with finely chiselled structures.

The Indian institute originally contained a massive library , several lecture rooms and a museum . In 1927 the main library of oxford was shifted to its top floor , which is operational even now. When the library and museum were thus shifted away from the Indian Institute building, the government of India after independence, filed a formal protest on behalf of the families of the original donors, who felt that it was a breach of trust on the part of the University for moving away the library and the Indian artefacts, leaving nothing Indian in Indian Institute .
Many prominent Indians have held posts in oxford including former President, Sarvepalle Radhakrishnan, Noble laureate, Amarthya Sen, India’s chief scientific advisor, C.N.R. Rao, historians, S. Gopal, Thapan Roy Chowdhury and others . Infact former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an alumni of the institute .

link :http://m.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/the-indiaoxford-cultural-bond/article8188572.ece

Next Story

World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

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Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)