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Spud McLaren
719275.  Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:23 pm Reply with quote

Should be able to do a whole programme on this vast subject, including:

Indira Gandhi was born into the politically influential Nehru Family. It's a common myth to relate the name Gandhi with Mahatma Gandhi, but her surname is from her marriage to Feroze Gandhi, himself unrelated to Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi.
[from various Wiki pages]

Spud McLaren
719276.  Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:30 pm Reply with quote

Chir Batti

Spud McLaren
719277.  Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:32 pm Reply with quote

Indian white-rumped vulture, which suffered a near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle.

719280.  Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:59 pm Reply with quote

Indiana Dors - Benny Hill sketch based around curry.

719291.  Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:56 pm Reply with quote

Phoolan Devi - bandit queen and later politician.

Great film too.

Ian Dunn
719316.  Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:25 am Reply with quote

India has more universities that any other country, with 8,407.

719338.  Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:14 am Reply with quote

Possible question related to what people call Arabic numerals properly being Indian numerals, or is that too well known by now? Related to the invention of zero, which is interesting.

719494.  Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:49 am Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
India has more universities that any other country, with 8,407.

As factoids go that one interests me - got a source for that, Ian?

719503.  Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:22 am Reply with quote

My initial thought on the question "Which country has the most universities" would undoubtedly have been the USA.

It's quite difficult to come up with a definitive number of universities, because we then have to define the term "university", and there are any number of ways of doing that. If we allow any "post-secondary degree-granting institution" to be a university, then in the year 2007-08 the USA had 4,352 of them. (source)

How many has India? If we adopt the definition "Central Universities, State Universities, Institute of National Importance and Deemed to be University (Deemed Universities)" - which definition I do not claim to understand - then I got to 480 by adding the figures linked from here.

Which is a long, long, way from 8,407 - I think we need a source for Ian's assertion.

Ian Dunn
719518.  Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:17 pm Reply with quote

I think I may have spotted my error.

According to this, there are 196 "Recognized Universities" and 8,111 "Premier Colleges". This actually brings the total to 8,307 - 100 short.

There are also 887 polytechnics.

The list does date back to 2002-03, so it is somewhat out of date.

719609.  Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:44 pm Reply with quote

It rather seems to hinge on what a "Premier College" is. This doesn't seem to be an official term and I can't find a formal definition anywhere, but my suspicion is that such institution is more like an FE college than a university.

And indeed, the figure of 4,352 for the USA includes two year colleges. They are not really universities as British people would understand them - the highest qualification available is usually an Associate's Degree, which is comparable to the Foundation Degrees that have never really caught on in Britain. The number of institutions offering four year degree courses (three year degree courses are uncommon in North America) is 2,675 - which is thus perhaps a better figure to use for the number of universities in the USA.

719681.  Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm Reply with quote

which is comparable to the Foundation Degrees that have never really caught on in Britain

aka "We don't actually believe that you have the qualifications that your previous college/school says you have so we need you to take our test"

Which is a hell of an indictment really.

Spud McLaren
719928.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:19 pm Reply with quote



Ian Dunn
719931.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:28 pm Reply with quote

Out of the whole of the regular cast of the sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum, the only one of them born in India was Michael Bates. The other actors who played the roles of the Indian characters, Babar Bhatti and Dino Shafeek, were Pakistani and Bangladeshi respectively.

Source: Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, Second Edition by Mark Lewisohn, page 414.

719962.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:42 pm Reply with quote

Although Pakistan didn't exist until 1947, or Bangladesh until 1971. Dino Shafeek was born in 1929, and hence this occurred in India. I can't immediately discover when Babar Bhatti was born, but there's every chance that he too was born in India.


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