Tuesday, February 17, 2009

EU launches Erasmus Mundus Program for 2009-13

Brussels, 18 February (9am to 5.30pm): Info day (open to all)
Registration online / Live webstreaming at:

EU Commissioner for education, and culture, Jan Figel, launched here
Monday evening the new EU scholarship programme for non-EU countries,
Erasmus Mundus II, for the period 2009-2013.

The Earsmus Mundus programme offers the opportunity to third-country
students to obtain a degree in Europe, and to academics to share
know-how and to contribute to study programmes through teaching or
research activities whilst avoiding the brain drain and favouring
vulnerable groups

In 2009-13, the EU will increase its support to the most
highly-talented students and professors from countries outside the EU
with grants to take part in joint programmes in Europe.

It will also extend the scope of the programme to the doctoral level
and give more financial support to European students.

The expected budget for Erasmus Mundus II will be an indicative amount
of 950 million Euro.

The Erasmus Mundus I from 2004 - 2008 offered more than 10,000
scholarships to students and academics from all over the world, with a
combined budget of 609 million Euro.

It contributed 33 million Euro (2005-2009) for scholarships to Indian
post-graduate students .

Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013 is a cooperation and mobility programme in
the field of higher education that aims to enhance the quality of
European higher education and to promote dialogue and understanding
between people and cultures through cooperation with third countries.

The Erasmus Mundus programmes provides support to:

higher education institutions that wish to implement joint programmes
at postgraduate level (Action 1) or to set-up inter-institutional
cooperation partnerships between universities from Europe and targeted

individual students, researchers and university staff who wish to
spend a study / research / teaching period in the context of one of
the above mentioned joint programmes or cooperation partnerships;

any organisation active in the field of higher education that wishes
to develop projects aiming at enhancing the attractiveness, profile,
visibility and image of European higher education worldwide.

The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Agency Executive Agency (EACEA)
is responsible for the management of all actions of Erasmus Mundus
2009 - 2013, under the supervision of the Directorate-General for
Education and Culture (DG EAC of the European Commission) and
EuropeAid - Co-operation Office (DG AIDCO of the European Commission).
Information and guidance at national level can be obtained from the
Erasmus Mundus National Structures.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shocking Taliban style 'moral police" attack in Indian city of Mangalore

"Taliban" in Afghanistan and in some parts of Pakistan are infamous for the kind of behavior which occurred in Mangalore, the educational hub in South Karnataka, a couple of days before the observation of Republic Day of “Mera Bharat Mahan” India.

In the name of upholding the “culture” of India, more than 40 people belonging to a particular nationalist party attacked, dragged, molested and beat up girls and women who were having lunch at the ‘Amnesia” pub in the centre of Mangalore, the city in the South Indian state of Karnataka, whose colleges attract international students.

Walking into the “Amnesia” pub today 24 hours after the attack, I found that there was no physical evidence of violence except that the usually bustling place was empty and the staff was in a sombre mood.

Asked to confirm if an incident of attack on women customers took place there yesterday, Krishna, the waiter attending nodded in affirmative but had a blank look when asked to elaborate.

According to another staff member who did not want to be identified, confided that it all started around 4 p.m. when dozens of men entered the premises and demanded to know what was going on. Soon they started manhandling and assaulting women customers, physically beating them. The men who were with their partners or friends were not spared when they tried to protest and were beaten up.

Today the TV footage repeatedly showed girls falling and being shoved around and beaten openly. Even with all that evidence available against more than 40 men there were no reports of wide-spread arrests or official confirmation of the incident by the police.

In another shameful act that followed, there was the TV footage showing today one of the leaders of “Sriram Sena” claiming responsibility saying it was a “spontaneous reaction against women who flouted traditional Indian norms of decency.”

As if not to be outdone, another right-wing nationalist Hindu outfit, the Bajarang Dal also claimed responsibility and insisted that the attack was carried out by his outfit.

There was talk of the political games in the name of saving culture (define it) and brutal Taliban style attacks on young persons as attack happened during lunch period with two women in hospital and Sriram Sena goes on air to defend the Taliban style attack