Prof Ranganathan, Secretary EC, ABS Pune attend ABS gathering at Hyderabad




DATE: 19TH AND 20TH March 11


Venue: The Park Hotel, Hyderabad


Theme: Internationalising Higher Education


In attendance: Sally Goggin Director Education BC,India and Srilanka, Jon Lees, Executive Director, The Warwick MBA, Dr Derek Condon, Senior Teaching Fellow, The Warwick MBA, Paul Sellers Director British Council South India, Manjula Rao Head Programmes West India BC and 175 delegates comprising of ABS members from Baroda, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Deharadun, Hyderabad(maximum),Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune(Prof Ranganathan).


The First day (19th March 11)


The delegates arrived at the early morning (In fact I was the first to check in at 6.30 am) and after a brief session of networking, lunch was served at 12 noon and immediately after that the sessions started with the opening of the 2 day activities, Mike Nithavrisnskis, British Deputy High Commissioner, South India presented the opening remarks when he cited the various initiatives taken by the UK Government in conjunction with the BC to develop deep bondage between India and UK. He stressed on the aspects of inclusive society development in order to achieve excellence in all fields.


His presentation was followed by a well documented presentation on Ramanujan, the mathematician who stole the hearts of the veteran masters from UK. It was by DevBenegal, a film maker and writer. The presentation showed as to how Ramanujan was able to win the hearts of the senior mathematical wizards and how his theorems are relevant today in modern applications like ATM etc


Rahul Bose, a leading actor and activist was the next to present his dreams about India where he cited with passion, a role model India as his dream


2 alumni Dharini Bhaskar from Delhi and Shameen Prashantham from Glasgow University shared their experiences of being in the UK


The afternoon sessions turned towards the expectations of developing alumnus net works and how they could foster the bondage between the Universities and the emerging educational scenario across the sub continent. The presentation was led by Jon Lees from Warwick Business School and it was a session that triggered the thought processes of the audience. (I contributed the approvals of the various UK degrees by the accrediting bodies like UGC and AICTE) Jayashree from ABS, Chennai spoke about the need for bringing the alumni network closely and explained few projects undertaken by them


The evening saw the ‘humour’ by Papa CJ and it was well attended with fun and flavor. This was followed by an excellent performance by the Swarathma Band from Bengaluru.


This was along the cock tail where most of the members participated.






Second day 20th March 11


In the morning session a surprise presentation by Karn Grover, ABS Baroda on the topic sustainability of the environment carried away all the participants where he had described the various activities that could be taken up to protect the dwindling species and also the effect of the melting of snow and the after effects of Chernobyl (a reference about the recent happenings in Japan also as made), thrilled the audience. It included video graphic presentation of the activities undertaken by him as an architect.


This was followed by 2 Master classes on Risk Management (Dr.Derek Condon) and Grassy Knoll (Rahul Bose)


I sat in the presentation on Risk as it is my area of interest. Dr.Derek presented the various aspects of risk, its management and the governance issues related to it. The discussions followed cited examples of Enron, Parmlat, Sathyam etc and highlighted the effects of poor governance on the profitability of a company.


Manjula Rao led a session on ABS management and the possible future course of actions to be taken.


The grand 2 day meet ended around 2 pm when most of the delegates started their return journey.



Learnings: It was excellent knowing the various activities carried on by the ABS in India.

Lively interaction at the Personal Tax Planning talk by CA Madhav Ganpule

Personal Tax Planning and financial management. lecture by- CA Madhav Ganpule, Date: Saturday, 12 February, 2011 Time: 6 pm to 7.30 pm Venue: British Library, FC Road, Pune.

Association of British Scholars (ABS) Pune Chapter and British Library organized a lecture by CA Madhav Ganpule on the topic “Personal Tax Planning and Financial Management”. The programme was well attended by a cross-section of members of ABS and British Library. CA Ganpule spoke about key principles of taxation and importance of personal financial management. He explained various avenues of investment and tax planning to optimize one’s tax burden. The lecture was followed by a lively question and answer session where CA Ganpule clarified lots of queries raised by participants.


5 Feb 2011: Shashank Verma demystifies the application process to UK universities.

Shashank Verma, an MBA from Oxford University, gave a 2-hour introductory presentation on the process of applying to UK/US universities for both bachelors & masters courses.

The presentation gave an overall view of the whole application process and got into details of how to prepare for all aspects of the application. As the admission system in UK looks holistically at the whole application including test scores, application essays, statement of purpose, reference letters, academic record and volunteer experience, Shashank gave details on each of these components and the common pitfalls that applicants can avoid.

Shashank also talked about the need for prospective students to first introspect on their long-term career goal and how a particular bachelors or masters program from a particular school/university will help the candidate in achieving that goal. He said, “if you are convinced that this degree from this school is the right decision, it will show through in your application and distinguish you from the others”.

Shashank is a renewable energy entrepreneur working in Pune and also advises applicants on a part-time basis.

He can be contacted on his email

Dittmar speaks about building sustainable cities

23 Oct 2010 (Pune):  Hank Dittmar (CEO, The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, London, UK) spoke about strategies for building sustainable cities of the future at the College of Engineering Pune campus in front of a capacity audience. The event organized by the Association of British Scholars and the British Library was well attended and led to engaging discussion and debate. The event was followed by a dinner gathering involving the guests and  members of the Association of British Scholars, Pune.

During his talk Dittmar emphasized on sustainable urbanism, location efficiency, adequate public transport, walkable street network and community capital. Effective usage of natural resources, involving communities and proper town planning are best practices towards sustainable urbanism. He stressed the importance of planners’ role in achieving goal of sustainable urbanism and emphasized need to train planners and urban designers so that they will bring together citizens, experts and government officials on same platform. He mentioned that inUKthe concept of enquiry by design (EBD) was integrated in the process of planning policy and planners being trained by foundation in Scotland.  He said that in India if we work in collaboration in making cities for people we can curtail carbon emissions. Solution must also consider traditional coexists with modern harmoniously maintaining the local culture. He mentioned that experiences of EBD inJamaicawere encouraging and people wanting to be more involved.



Meeting of EC with Sam Harvey, Director, West India, British Council

17 Aug 2010: The new ABS (Pune) Executive Committee had a meeting with Sam Harvey, Director, West India, British Council and Manjula Rao, British Council, Mumbai.

Sam Harvey

Sam Harvey

Annual General Meeting held on 24 July 2010

The Annual General Meeting of ABS, Pune was held on 24 July 2010.

In this meeting, a new Executive Committee and Office Bearers were elected. The following is the new executive committee.

  • Mr Vijay Laghate,  President
  • Mr Jitendra Palande,  Vice President
  • Prof S Ranganathan,  Secretary
  • Mr S J R Kutty,  Joint Secretary
  • Mr Anant Govande,  Treasurer
  • Mrs Punam Gupta,  Committee Member
  • Dr V Premnath,  Committee Member
  • Dr Sanjay Eksambekar, Committee Member
  • Mr Saurabh Gupta,  Committee Member,
  • Mr Sachin Kulkarni,  Committee Member
  • Mr A N Naware,  Committee Member
  • Mr Pratap Raval,  Committee Member
  • Mr Vikas Ghavate,  Committee Member

Book launch on 11 Mar 2005: “Spouse” by Shobha De

Celebrity author and columnist Shobhaa De on Friday observed that her latest book, Spouse , was written out of the need to learn more about the institution of marriage and the fact that the younger generation was confused and scared of it.  De expressed these views during a dialogue with actor Mohan Agashe and Raj Rao, author and reader in English at the University of Pune. The programme was organised by the International Book Service and the Association of British scholars (Pune).

Talk on 14 Oct 2004: David Crystal, linguist and researcher of the English language.

The future of English depends to a large extent on how it develops in India, said David Crystal, linguist and researcher of the English language.

In 50 years, Crystal said, there would be twice as many people in countries where English is a second language than those in countries where it is the mother tongue.

Presently, 1.5 billion, or a quarter of the world population, speaks English. Crystal was delivering a lecture on ‘Future of language’, organised by the Association of British Scholars and the British Council at Spicer Memorial College, on Wednesday.

More at ….

Talk on 10 Feb 2003 by British ecological economist Professor Charles Perrings

‘Conservation shift needed’
VOICING his concern about the high rate of extinction of species, British ecological economist Professor Charles Perrings today maintained the need for a conservation shift from endangered species in natural refuge to protecting managed eco-systems.

The president elect of the International Society for Ecological Economics was speaking on Economics of Ecology and Biodiversity at a function jointly organised by British Council, Association of British Scholars and TiE Pune chapter.

Policy makers are often dispassionate about biodiversity loss as it is never reflected in market goods, he maintained.