Tuesday, 2 September 2014

So help me god...

Thus the oath was rounded off with a hope that deity or deities of one's faith would help an administrator bear allegiance to the Constitution of India. A clause for conscientious objectors was inserted advising them to only solemnly affirm.

The Honourable Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari, administered the oath to the Officer Trainees of the 89th Foundation Course. Prior to that, the inaugural ceremony started off with the national anthem, address by the Course Coordinator,  Director of the Academy, his Excellency the Governor of Uttarakhand and by the honourable Vice President. It may be of interest to note that the honourable VP is an alumnus of the institute having undergone the Foundation Course himself in 1961. One may find the gist of the dignitaries' speeches in news reports. Hence, I am skipping that part.

The course coordinator and the faculty introduced the course module to the OTs in rest of the sessions. A session on Official Language Policy was helpful in shattering myths and preconceived notions regarding the official language. The distinction between national language and official language (rashtra bhasha and raj bhasha) was clearly explained. The visiting faculty, Shmt. Veena Upadhyaya highlighted the nuances in various laws enacted to promote the official language. The question and answer session was informative as well, as the OTs brought in a contemporary perspective in understanding the language debate.

The inaugural ceremony and the orientation sessions were held in the Sampoornanand Auditorium located opposite to the reception area of the academy. The auditorium has an impressive octagonal roof and can seat, as per my estimate, close to 400 people at a time. The auditorium may double up as a theatre for one noticed the cluster of stage lamps overhead on the stage. I was reminded of my days as the lights boy for RK Hall (IIT KGP) dramatics team. It involved rotating a dial on the resistor from a cubby hole above the stage and out of view of the audience. I was a witness for many a fade in and a fade out and gimmicky light effects. The sound was crisp owing to the Bose sound system in place.

The OTs once free from the classes were seen clicking pictures of themselves in the ceremonial attire, around the campus. A point midway between Karmshila and Kalindi buildings (Karmshila houses the Officers' mess, Library, class rooms and Kalindi houses the VIP guest house) offers good view of the mountains all the way up to the Gangotri on a clear day, according to the guide to the peaks placed on a bronze plaque there.

The bandhgala is a tough dress to wear for long periods of time. I felt suffocated and hot all the while I was wearing it, for a good 8 hours. 

I got some time to explore the Gandhi Smriti Library. It is well stocked with journals, books, magazines, reference books, news papers, terminals for accessing the net etc. The feature that attracted my attention the most was the not insubstantial collection of fiction. The duration of Foundation Course, Phase 1 and 2 can be well spent with these books. 

The grind of the FC starts from tomorrow with the famed PT at the polo grounds at 5.55 am. The polo grounds are around 1.5 km from and below the Ganga hostel, reached by a steep path. The ascent will be a challenge. But then which ascent has not been a challenge? And it is not even the Everest, for crying out loud. It is a side of the Happy Valley. As a slogan goes, "No race, no rally, just enjoy the Happy Valley."

I clicked few photos of the campus. Next post, may be? However, I prefer my thousand words to my one blurry photo.

I do not see this daily blogging habit sustaining over a long time. May be this may turn in to a weekly update affair. Let us see how it goes.

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