Children born into low-income families in UK and the US in the early years of the twenty-first century are at a disadvantage when they start school, according to new research by Elizabeth Washbrook and Jane Waldfogel from the University's Centre for Market and Public Organisation.
According to the study, children from low-income backgrounds are raised in environments that fail to promote their cognitive, social and health development adequately and, as a result, they are more likely to begin school with deficits in their learning ability and social behaviour.
The key findings of the research are that:
The poorest fifth of children in the UK are equally as disadvantaged as their US counterparts when they start school
Low-quality parenting can determine the 'school readiness' of children from low-income backgrounds in the United States
Higher-income mothers interact more positively with their children when the children are as young as nine months old
The study analyses data on around 19,000 children born in the UK in 2000 (the Millennium Cohort Study) and parallel data on around 10,000 children born in the United States in 2001 (the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort). The children in both studies were followed from the age of nine months onwards, and completed tests in language, literacy and mathematics skills at ages three, four or five.
The research reveals that there are sizeable gaps in children's cognitive 'school readiness', and that the gaps are of comparable magnitude in the UK and the US. The poorest fifth of children in both countries score on average in the 32nd to 35th percentile across the tests but there are differences between the two countries in the relationship between income and cognitive outcomes among better-off families. The gap between the bottom fifth and the middle fifth is smaller in the United States, while the difference between the middle and the richest fifth is much larger.
So, although the UK appears to be relatively successful in promoting equality among children in families with incomes above a moderate level, the poorest 20 per cent are equally as disadvantaged, in relative terms, as the equivalent American children.
Further analysis of the American children suggests that differences in the parenting of low and higher-income children are key to understanding the income-related gaps in children's cognitive test scores.
The research also shows that higher-income mothers interact more positively with their children when they are as young as nine months old, show greater sensitivity to their needs, are less intrusive and provide more cognitive stimulation. These types of behaviours are then strongly related to children's performance at the time of entry to school, and in particular to language development.
The study also finds evidence that participation in Head Start (an education programme targeted at low-income children) boosts the performance of the most disadvantaged children, and so reduces the gaps to some extent.
(Source: University of Bristol: January 2009)
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LONDON: Two NRI journalists are among several other professionals of Indian origin to have been included in the Queens New Year honours list announced on Wednesday.
Anita Kumari Bhalla, editor of Public Space Broadcasting BBC, has been honoured with an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to broadcasting in Britain. Lakhbir Kaur has also been awarded an OBE for services in Asian broadcasting and to the Media.
NRIs Tarun Kapur, executive head teacher Ashton-on-Mersey and Broadoak Schools, Trafford and Indarjit Singh, director of the network of sikh organizations (UK) and a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4 today programmes Thought for the Day slot received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE).
Other OBE awardees include Kuldip Kaur Bharj, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and Lead Midwife for Educ, School of Healthcare, Leeds University and Uday Kumar Dholakia for services to business and to the community in Leicestershire. Asha Khemka, Principal and Chief executive, West Nottinghamshire College and Kumar Muthalagappan, managing director of the Pearl Hotels and Restaurants Group have also been awarded OBEs.
Individuals of Indian origin honoured with the Member of the British Empire (MBE) are Chitra Bharucha for services to the Animal Feed industry, General Medical Practitioner Parvin Bhatia, founder of Wick Surgical Courses Pradip Kumar Datta, Prof Jagdish Dave, Surinder Singh Jolly, Ranjula Madhani and Narendra Mehta.
The OBE for military personnel included Col Rakesh Kumar Bhabutta.
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Excerpt from BBC article!
"Look before you kiss in India. A smooch can get you in serious trouble in the world's largest democracy.
Earlier this week, a court in Delhi - ah, of all places, in the "happening" capital! - threw out the case against a young, married couple who were picked up by police allegedly for kissing near a railway station."
For clues to why Indians appear to be clueless about kissing, listen to a model-actress Udita Goswami.
"I have pledged that in any of my forthcoming films I will not give a lip kiss," she told a newspaper.
"I am not comfortable doing that. I belong to a traditional family and my values do not allow me to indulge in such acts."
But a kissing famine has led to a curious demand for it in the dark confines of the movie theatre - and become a passport to fame for some.
A Bollywood starlet's film some years ago was hyped as one in which she had kissed her dazed looking co-star 17 times. (It so happened that the kisses were the only memorable thing about the film.)"
"Some people play it down, saying those who protest belong to a "loony fringe" of moral fundamentalists. Others say it is a hangover from tradition in an ancient civilisation. Still others say many Indians long for traditional mores as Western consumerist values swamp the country.
Or is it a response to what the Iranian intellectual Jalal-e-Ahmad called "Westoxication" - superficial consumerist display of commodities and fads produced in the West?"
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The premier institute for Indian Art and Culture outside the Sub-Continent.http://www.bhavan.net/
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
4a Castletown Road
London W14 9HE
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's purpose is to preserve for posterity the
tradition of Indian art and culture. The Bhavan was founded in India
in 1938 and there are more than a 100 branches of the Bhavan in India.
The UK Bhavan was the first independent overseas branch and it is also
the largest institute for Indian art and culture outside India.
The Bhavan provides courses in music, dance, languages, drama, art and
archaeology and yoga. Some nine hundred students attend our courses
during the year. Courses are taught at different leverls – open,
diploma (5 years) and master. Individual training is available in
order to advance students to the highest levels. We are associated
academically with the University of Cambridge and Trinity College of
Music, London, in collaboration with whom we will shortly be offering
the Batchelor of Music degree in Indian Classical Music.
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www.Talenttrove.com - be discovered.
If you believe you have acting or singing talent and your self taught talent is going to waste.. then wakeup... talentrove.com is making waves with its innovative idea of providing platform for amateur artists to showcase their talent using the power of web. You never know, you might get head-hunted through this site.
So don't give up yet and try your best!
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The school, based in Ealing, is a spin-off from the prestigious www.ActorPrepares.co.uk academy in Mumbai, India.
Bollywood star Anupam Kher is among actors and film-makers teaching the intensive three-month course. He said: "To me anybody who lies can act."
London's Actor Prepares school aims to teach 100 students per year, all from the UK or US. The course costs £4,000.
Over a period of three months, the intensive full-time professional course will provide specialist training in acting for anyone with the passion and talent to succeed. Classes will be held by industry professionals who will teach their craft through theories, games, exercises and extensively filmed practicals. In addition, students will receive invaluable advice from Bollywood celebrities, who will share their on-the-job experiences and offer tips for success. Above all, each student will receive individual guidance and counselling from India’s most successful, trained teacher-actor, Anupam Kher, throughout the programme. Mr Kher has performed in 376 movies including Bend It Like Beckham.
To cater for the entertainment industry’s growing demands for trained actors, Actor Prepares also offers a one month, evening part-time programme.
The school is a partnership between Actor Prepares, regeneration agency Heathrow City Partnership and the Ealing Institute of Media at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College.
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Even as the government of India speaks of taking preventive measures to curb the menace of fake currency, statistics show there is nearly Rs 12,00,000 crore worth of fake currency still in circulation in India.
While India managed to seal the fake currency's Pakistan and Nepal route into India to a large extent, Inter Services Intelligence-sponsored operatives have furthered their activities by shifting base to Thailand.
These elements have been pumping in fake currency into the Indian market with help of operatives of the Dawood gang who have a strong base in Thailand.
The key player in this racket today is Aftab Bhakti, a D Gang operative who reports directly to Major Ali and Arshad Khan, both top ranking ISI officers.
The D gang's network is very deep-rooted in Thailand and there was already an existing route between this country and Bangladesh through which drugs were being smuggled.
Earlier, all notes were being printed in Pakistan and then transported into India through Nepal. However, the scenario changed post the November 26 attacks on Mumbai, which prompted the ISI to rethink its strategy.
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