India to send 300 teachers to China to learn Mandarin



NEW DELHI // The Indian education board's ambitious plans to introduce Mandarin lessons into schools will begin with up to 300 teachers being trained in China.

After a survey at 500 schools this year found that students were interested in learning Mandarin, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) decided to offer the dialect as an optional second or third language, after English.

The plan is to introduce Mandarin to pupils from grade six onwards. But first, the teachers have to be trained.

In August, S Jaishankar, India's ambassador to China, and Xu Lin, the director general of Hanban, the official Chinese organisation overseeing the teaching of Mandarin abroad, signed an agreement to train 300 Indian teachers at universities in China.

The Mandarin option will be rolled out as a pilot project, starting with selected schools in New Delhi where tone and greetings will be taught using software.

"There are enough Chinese speakers here but just not enough good ones," said Jabin T Jacob, the assistant director of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi. "You need two years of concentrated study for anyone to even get the basics in school. This language has no short cuts."

There is no shortage of Indians with Chinese language skills, but those with Mandarin language degrees prefer to work in the more lucrative sectors of translation or private education.

Tourism in India - working in what is popularly known as the "Buddhist circuit", catering for places of religious worship for East Asian tourists - is also a popular career for those fluent in Mandarin.

"Universities do teach the language but very few stay on long enough to get teaching expertise," said Mr Jacob. "Everything is more lucrative than teaching, especially in the private sector."

Indians who speak Mandarin can charge up to 1,500 rupees (Dh106) an hour for private classes or interpretation. It can take up to two years to teach the language. Those who do train to become qualified language teachers often concentrate on one area of expertise instead of general teaching, said Mr Jacob.

India and China have had a troubled and, at times, violent relationship. This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Indo-China war. However, since the early 1990s, India has pursued more friendly relations with its eastern neighbours, including China.

Those efforts have netted huge benefits. Trade between the two countries was worth US$74 billion (Dh271bn) last year and, in 2010, the prime ministers of both countries estimated that figure would reach $100bn by 2015.

That translates into huge potential for Indian businessmen in China.

Mr Jacob believes that there are many reasons to study a rival country's language, although the most important reason for Indians "might be the pursuit of profit".

"If you speak the language, you can negotiate, understand its laws and deal with the authorities," he added.

G Venkat Raman, an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Kozhikode in Kerala, teaches Mandarin to about 60 of his graduate students each weekend.

He also teaches a required Mandarin course to 120 students in an emerging-markets course at the Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai.

He received his postdoctoral degree in political science from Peking University in China in 2008, but first he had to pass a Mandarin language course.

"It is a good move by the government," said Mr Raman. "But they should also spread awareness in universities as well. Schoolchildren may be too young to realise the relevance and importance of a language like Mandarin."

Neil Thomson – THE BIO

Family: I am happily married to my wife Liz and we have two children together.

Favourite music: Rock music. I started at a young age due to my father’s influence. He played in an Indian rock band The Flintstones who were once asked by Apple Records to fly over to England to perform there.

Favourite book: I constantly find myself reading The Bible.

Favourite film: The Greatest Showman.

Favourite holiday destination: I love visiting Melbourne as I have family there and it’s a wonderful place. New York at Christmas is also magical.

Favourite food: I went to boarding school so I like any cuisine really.

Salah in numbers

€39 million: Liverpool agreed a fee, including add-ons, in the region of 39m (nearly Dh176m) to sign Salah from Roma last year. The exchange rate at the time meant that cost the Reds £34.3m - a bargain given his performances since.

13: The 25-year-old player was not a complete stranger to the Premier League when he arrived at Liverpool this summer. However, during his previous stint at Chelsea, he made just 13 Premier League appearances, seven of which were off the bench, and scored only twice.

57: It was in the 57th minute of his Liverpool bow when Salah opened his account for the Reds in the 3-3 draw with Watford back in August. The Egyptian prodded the ball over the line from close range after latching onto Roberto Firmino's attempted lob.

7: Salah's best scoring streak of the season occurred between an FA Cup tie against West Brom on January 27 and a Premier League win over Newcastle on March 3. He scored for seven games running in all competitions and struck twice against Tottenham.

3: This season Salah became the first player in Premier League history to win the player of the month award three times during a term. He was voted as the division's best player in November, February and March.

40: Salah joined Roger Hunt and Ian Rush as the only players in Liverpool's history to have scored 40 times in a single season when he headed home against Bournemouth at Anfield earlier this month.

30: The goal against Bournemouth ensured the Egyptian achieved another milestone in becoming the first African player to score 30 times across one Premier League campaign.

8: As well as his fine form in England, Salah has also scored eight times in the tournament phase of this season's Champions League. Only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, with 15 to his credit, has found the net more often in the group stages and knockout rounds of Europe's premier club competition.

Match info

Uefa Champions League Group H

Manchester United v Young Boys, Tuesday, midnight (UAE)

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder
Power: 153hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 200Nm at 4,000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 6.3L/100km
Price: Dh106,900
On sale: now

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The Bio

Ram Buxani earned a salary of 125 rupees per month in 1959

Indian currency was then legal tender in the Trucial States.

He received the wages plus food, accommodation, a haircut and cinema ticket twice a month and actuals for shaving and laundry expenses

Buxani followed in his father’s footsteps when he applied for a job overseas

His father Jivat Ram worked in general merchandize store in Gibraltar and the Canary Islands in the early 1930s

Buxani grew the UAE business over several sectors from retail to financial services but is attached to the original textile business

He talks in detail about natural fibres, the texture of cloth, mirrorwork and embroidery 

Buxani lives by a simple philosophy – do good to all

The design

The protective shell is covered in solar panels to make use of light and produce energy. This will drastically reduce energy loss.

More than 80 per cent of the energy consumed by the French pavilion will be produced by the sun.

The architecture will control light sources to provide a highly insulated and airtight building.

The forecourt is protected from the sun and the plants will refresh the inner spaces.

A micro water treatment plant will recycle used water to supply the irrigation for the plants and to flush the toilets. This will reduce the pavilion’s need for fresh water by 30 per cent.

Energy-saving equipment will be used for all lighting and projections.

Beyond its use for the expo, the pavilion will be easy to dismantle and reuse the material.

Some elements of the metal frame can be prefabricated in a factory.

 From architects to sound technicians and construction companies, a group of experts from 10 companies have created the pavilion.

Work will begin in May; the first stone will be laid in Dubai in the second quarter of 2019. 

Construction of the pavilion will take 17 months from May 2019 to September 2020.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN MARITIME DISPUTE

2000: Israel withdraws from Lebanon after nearly 30 years without an officially demarcated border. The UN establishes the Blue Line to act as the frontier.

2007: Lebanon and Cyprus define their respective exclusive economic zones to facilitate oil and gas exploration. Israel uses this to define its EEZ with Cyprus

2011: Lebanon disputes Israeli-proposed line and submits documents to UN showing different EEZ. Cyprus offers to mediate without much progress.

2018: Lebanon signs first offshore oil and gas licencing deal with consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek.

2018-2019: US seeks to mediate between Israel and Lebanon to prevent clashes over oil and gas resources.

How to keep control of your emotions

If your investment decisions are being dictated by emotions such as fear, greed, hope, frustration and boredom, it is time for a rethink, Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG, says.

Greed

Greedy investors trade beyond their means, open more positions than usual or hold on to positions too long to chase an even greater gain. “All too often, they incur a heavy loss and may even wipe out the profit already made.

Tip: Ignore the short-term hype, noise and froth and invest for the long-term plan, based on sound fundamentals.

Fear

The risk of making a loss can cloud decision-making. “This can cause you to close out a position too early, or miss out on a profit by being too afraid to open a trade,” he says.

Tip: Start with a plan, and stick to it. For added security, consider placing stops to reduce any losses and limits to lock in profits.

Hope

While all traders need hope to start trading, excessive optimism can backfire. Too many traders hold on to a losing trade because they believe that it will reverse its trend and become profitable.

Tip: Set realistic goals. Be happy with what you have earned, rather than frustrated by what you could have earned.

Frustration

Traders can get annoyed when the markets have behaved in unexpected ways and generates losses or fails to deliver anticipated gains.

Tip: Accept in advance that asset price movements are completely unpredictable and you will suffer losses at some point. These can be managed, say, by attaching stops and limits to your trades.

Boredom

Too many investors buy and sell because they want something to do. They are trading as entertainment, rather than in the hope of making money. As well as making bad decisions, the extra dealing charges eat into returns.

Tip: Open an online demo account and get your thrills without risking real money.

If you go

There are regular flights from Dubai to Kathmandu. Fares with Air Arabia and flydubai start at Dh1,265.
In Kathmandu, rooms at the Oasis Kathmandu Hotel start at Dh195 and Dh120 at Hotel Ganesh Himal.
Third Rock Adventures offers professionally run group and individual treks and tours using highly experienced guides throughout Nepal, Bhutan and other parts of the Himalayas.

Company profile

Company name: amana
Started: 2010
Founders: Karim Farra and Ziad Aboujeb
Based: UAE
Regulator: DFSA
Sector: Financial services
Current number of staff: 85
Investment stage: Self-funded

WHAT FANS WILL LOVE ABOUT RUSSIA

FANS WILL LOVE
Uber is ridiculously cheap and, as Diego Saez discovered, mush safer. A 45-minute taxi from Pulova airport to Saint Petersburg’s Nevsky Prospect can cost as little as 500 roubles (Dh30).

FANS WILL LOATHE
Uber policy in Russia is that they can start the fare as soon as they arrive at the pick-up point — and oftentimes they start it even before arriving, or worse never arrive yet charge you anyway.

FANS WILL LOVE
It’s amazing how active Russians are on social media and your accounts will surge should you post while in the country. Throw in a few Cyrillic hashtags and watch your account numbers rocket.

FANS WILL LOATHE
With cold soups, bland dumplings and dried fish, Russian cuisine is not to everybody’s tastebuds. Fortunately, there are plenty Georgian restaurants to choose from, which are both excellent and economical.

FANS WILL LOVE
The World Cup will take place during St Petersburg's White Nights Festival, which means perpetual daylight in a city that genuinely never sleeps. (Think toddlers walking the streets with their grandmothers at 4am.)

FANS WILL LOATHE
The walk from Krestovsky Ostrov metro station to Saint Petersburg Arena on a rainy day makes you wonder why some of the $1.7 billion was not spent on a weather-protected walkway.

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Power: 592bhp

Torque: 620Nm

Price: Dh980,000

On sale: now

HAJJAN

Director: Abu Bakr Shawky 


Starring: Omar Alatawi, Tulin Essam, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi 


Rating: 4/5

Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5

What is the Supreme Petroleum Council?

The Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council was established in 1988 and is the highest governing body in Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas industry. The council formulates, oversees and executes the emirate’s petroleum-related policies. It also approves the allocation of capital spending across state-owned Adnoc’s upstream, downstream and midstream operations and functions as the company’s board of directors. The SPC’s mandate is also required for auctioning oil and gas concessions in Abu Dhabi and for awarding blocks to international oil companies. The council is chaired by Sheikh Khalifa, the President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi while Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is the vice chairman.

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

OIL PLEDGE

At the start of Russia's invasion, IEA member countries held 1.5 billion barrels in public reserves and about 575 million barrels under obligations with industry, according to the agency's website. The two collective actions of the IEA this year of 62.7 million barrels, which was agreed on March 1, and this week's 120 million barrels amount to 9 per cent of total emergency reserves, it added.

Director: Paul Weitz
Stars: Kevin Hart
3/5 stars

MEYDAN RACECARD

6pm Arabian Adventures – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Dirt) 1,200m
6.35pm Emirates Sky Cargo – Handicap (TB) 87,500 (D) 2,000m
7.10pm Emirates Holiday – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m
7.45pm Emirates Skywards – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,400m
8.20pm Emirates Airline – Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,600m
8.55pm Emirates Airline – Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,900m
9.30pm Emirates.com – Handicap (TB_ Dh87,500 (D) 1,200m


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