IGNOU signs MoU with NHRC to develop and update human rights courses for police personnel

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Students of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) can now look out for a new advanced programme on human rights for police personnel. The university signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to develop the new course and update the existing one.

NHRC and IGNOU will jointly develop the programme to generate awareness among the judiciary, police personnel, public servants, parliamentarians, universities, colleges and common people. IGNOU admin registrar SK Sharma and NHRC joint secretary JS Kochher signed the MoU on Wednesday at INA, Delhi. Read | Schools’ syllabus should include human rights, gender studies and health, click here

“IGNOU’s Inter University Consortium (IUC) platform and SWAYAM portal will be used for disseminating information on Human Rights to the proposed target groups. IGNOU’s regional centers will be used as training centers for spreading human rights education. The material developed will be in the form of e-books and printed books,” IGNOU vice chancellor Ravindra Kumar said.

Six units of the current programme on human rights for police personnel and the e-content on the IGNOU website will be updated. The programme will aim to simplify the subject by using interactive and multimedia tools so that about 80 per cent of the police force which includes personnel from the posts such as constables to posts such as sub-inspectors understand.

 

THESE GORGEOUS COOKIES TELL A NATION'S HISTORY WITH A PIPING BAG

Mezeskalacs. (May-zesh-koh-lotch.) Traditional Hungarian gingerbread cookies painstakingly decorated as artwork. With a silver-tipped piping bag, Aniko dots icing into intricate lace embroidery and paints floral designs that mimic the colorful patterns on folk dresses. Whorls of white surround a small square mirror set into a red heart-shaped cookie. “You give it to someone,” she says, “to show they’re in the middle of your heart.”

Aniko is one of the few bakers in America that practice the centuries-old art, one that draws on German and Russian influences but over the decades has become uniquely Hungarian.

“Big social events, you always have mezeskalacs,” she goes on. This is especially true around Christmas, when the designs are the most elaborate. But at her home in Lebanon, New Jersey, Aniko also just finished up batches of heart-shaped cookies for the Valentine’s Day rush. Over the past five years she’s made mezeskalacs into a literal cottage business, selling cookies to the area’s Hungarian community and teaching the decorating art to church groups, school children, and the youth members of the Hungarian Scout Association.

Yes, scouts. There are a lot of them. But instead of merit badges for outdoor survival and physical fitness, the Hungarian scouts study the traditional folkways of their ancestors. Every summer Aniko joins with other scout leaders at a summer camp in upstate New York to teach their charges the Hungarian way to cook, dance, sew, sing, speak, live, and breathe Hungarian. And once every five years the camp is host to an international forum where 700 Hungarians born outside of Hungary (everywhere from the U.S. to the U.K. to Venezuela) gather to celebrate Hungarian culture. Naturally, there are mezeskalacs aplenty.

Hungarian honey cookies

If left in a well ventilated area, the cookies will naturally dehydrate. Aniko uses some of them, like this swan, as Christmas ornaments.

Mezeskalacs begin with typical baking spices: a little cinnamon, some clove, a dash of dried ginger. But their tawny color and characteristic lightness come from a slurp of honey, which brings not just flavor, but also moisture that converts into steam in the oven, poofing the dough high and giving the finished cookie plenty of air bubbles and a slight crispness. This light, mild cookie is the perfect base for royal icing piped into floral patterns (mezossegi) as well as cross-hatched lace, animal designs, and Hungarian aphorisms. “Keep calm and eat gizzard stew,” says one of the cookies Aniko shows me. Not a traditional saying, but one I’m ready to turn into a fridge magnet.

Aniko didn’t learn the art of mezeskalacs from her mother, who makes a mean pacal pörkölt(tripe stew) but doesn’t decorate cookies. As it turns out, she picked it up from the internet, watching videos on YouTube that have racked up tens of thousands of views. Go ahead, try watching just one. Before you know it you’ll have spent hours gaping slack-jawed at the time-lapse creations of cookies just beyond your grasp.

Hungarian honey cookies

Keep calm and eat gizzard stew = words to live by.

One particularly prolific mezeskalacs YouTuber, Tunde Dugantsi in Bowling Green, Kentucky, uses the videos as marketing for her online gingerbread business, where she sells her mezeskalacs as well as instructional books on how to decorate your own. Now Aniko is doing the same. She doesn’t have a website yet, but you can email her at honeycookies16@gmail.com to arrange an order and shipping.

“It’s taken years of practice to learn how to do the designs right,” Aniko tells me. Those multi-colored floral patterns have been the most difficult for her to master, but now she paints them as easily as her own whimsical designs that she often makes up on the fly as she’s piping. She first dove into the painted cookie world as a way to deepen her knowledge of Hungarian culture beyond her experiences as a teacher in a Hungarian school. “The culture is so important to me. With it I don’t feel alone, and I know I can give whatever I know to the next generation.”

Hungarian honey cookies

The mirror in this heart-shaped cookie isn’t edible, but “you give it to someone,” Aniko says, “to show they’re in the middle of your heart.”

That passing of the torch is especially important to Hungarians, many of whom fled to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and parts of Latin America following a bloody revolution in 1956. With such a widespread diaspora, local community ties are vital. Hence the scouts, and their emphasis on traditional folkways. And hence Aniko’s mezeskalacs, which are as much about community as commerce.

Hungarian honey cookies

Mezossegi, the traditional Hungarian floral print, is also a popular design on folk dresses.

Over in New Jersey, the Hungarian social calendar is planned out well in advance. In June, the city of New Brunswick will be celebrating its 42nd annual Hungarian Festival, where over 10,000 Hungarians will gather for cultural performances, folk art exhibits, and massive amounts of traditional Hungarian food. For four frantic days before the festival, Aniko and other scout leaders will cook literal tons of stuffed cabbage, goulash, chicken paprikash, tripe stew, and plum dumplings. The income they raise from sales will all go towards the Hungarian scouts, which have members as young as five and as old as 82.

“Once a scout,” Aniko says with a smile, “always a scout.”

Say yes to fitness with this healthy Chicken Mushroom Lasagna recipe

Enjoy this traditional Italian dish at the comfort of your home.

Chicken and mushrooms are a classic combination. Not only are they good to eat but also a great source of protein. You will find a number of recipes for this all-time favourite meal but not as healthy as this one. Dinesh Prasad Bhatt, executive chef, Eatonomist.com has created a recipe that mostly uses fresh ingredients and is big on carrying the Italian legacy forward but with a twist. The tangy tomato-rich red sauce will make you drool. Try it out this weekend or any other day, really. You will love it.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
150 g- Chicken
½ tbsp- Salt
¼ tbsp- Crush black Pepper
2 mince- Garlic cloves
½ cup- Olive Oil
½ tbsp- Fresh Thyme
1 bowl- Button Mushroom
½ bowl- Chopped Onion
3 cups- Low fat milk
1 ½ tsp- Basil
1 cup- Basil tomato sauce

Method
*Slice the chicken and marinate it with salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh thyme. Keep it in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

*Wash the button mushroom properly and cut it into slices.

*Saute chopped onion, garlic, fresh thyme in olive oil and add the mushroom to it along with some salt and crushed black pepper.

*Add some low fat milk and stir it till the milk evaporates. Keep aside once it is done.

*Now, take out the sliced chicken and seal it in the non stick pan.

*Make a layer with mushroom and add some basil tomato sauce.

*Garnish it with some fresh basil, olives and ricotta cheese and bake in the oven for 10 mins.

How to make Fried Turnip Cake with Vegetables

This recipe shared by chefs at Yauatcha is a delight.

Fried Turnip Cakes might not sound appetizing to you and might dismiss it in a jiffy. But let us tell you this: Life is too short to try out the same food, over and over again. This recipe shared by chefs at Yauatcha, Delhi is a delight and something different to serve your guests the next time they come visiting. Try it for yourself beforehand. A very innovative way to add turnips to your diet, we say!

Fried Turnip Cake with Vegetables

Ingredients
Rice flour-375g
Wheat starch-160g
Potato Starch-75g
Water-675ml
Salt-20g
Seasoning-40g
Sugar-80g
Carrot-200g
Radish-1000g
Mushroom-150g
Hot water-1050ml

Method
* Peel the carrots and radish. Cut them into thick juliennes and blanch them till soft.

* Soak the shitake mushrooms in hot water for at least 2-3 hours. Squeeze out the water before cutting them.

* Cut the shiitake mushrooms into dices and toss them in a hot wok for 2 mins.

* Mix the rice flour, potato starch, wheat starch, salt, sugar and water (675 ml) together till it turns into a smooth and light batter.

* Add the blanched radish and carrots, Then add the tossed shitake mushrooms and mix well. Add 1050 ml of hot water gradually (preferably boiling) to this mixture and mix well.

* Oil the surface of the cake tin and line the base of the tin with butter paper to prevent the cake from sticking.

* Add the mixture in a cake tin (preferably, square shaped and about 2 inch in height) and steam it for 50-60 mins. Once cooked, allow it cool for 2-3 hours and then brush oil over the surface when cooled. Cover and cool it in a refrigerator.

* De-mould the cake and remove the butter paper.

* Cut into small squares about 1cm thick and fry them till golden.

* Make a mixture of fried garlic (finely chopped), fried shallots (finely chopped), chopped spring onions and chilli oil.

* Arrange it into a pyramid, spoon the fried garlic mixture at the base, place the fried turnip cake and repeat till the top of the pyramid.

* Garnish with finely chopped bird eye chillies and Serve!

 

 

How to make Sarson Ka Saag with Makki Ki Roti

Try out some Sarson Ka Saag with Makki Ki Roti this winter.

There’s nothing like Sarson Ka Saag and Makki Ki Roti to beat the winter chill. If you are a Punjabi or have Punjabi friends then you know what we are talking about. Considered as a comfort food, this dish is something which you can easily make at home. Chef Vaibhav Bhargava, Sheraton New Delhi Hotel tells us how.

Ingredients
For Sarson Ka Saag
250g – Mustard leaves
125g – Bathua leaves
125g – Spinach leaves
240g – Fenugreek leaves
200g – Onions
50g – Ginger
20g – Green chilies
20g- Garlic
5g – Red chili powder
1000ml – Water
50g – Maize flour
Salt to taste

For tempering
100g – Onion
20g – Oil

Makki Ki Roti
500g – Maize flour
150ml – Water
5g – Ajwain
20g – Ghee
Salt to taste

Method
For Sarson Ka Saag
* Clean and chop all the greens and then wash them again in running water to remove dirt. Repeat the process 3-4 times.

* In a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients except maize flour and cook it for 8-10 mins.

* Put the greens along with stock and maize flour in a blender and blend it for a min.

* Take a bowl and pour the blended greens in it. Now, take a pan, add the greens and simmer it for 20-25 mins.

* In another pan, heat oil or ghee, add the chopped onions and saute them till brown. Add the prepared saag and stir fry them. Keep stirring for a few mins.

For Makki Ki Roti
* Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the water and knead well. Add more water if required.

* Using a cling film, roll the dough and make small size balls of the dough.

* Roast the makki ki roti on a tava with a few drops of ghee until it’s brown and thoroughly cooked.

* Serve hot with Sarson Ka Saag.

Create Middle-Eastern vegetarian tastes at home with these 2 recipes

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Dubai may be the home of some lip-smacking non-vegetarian dishes like shawarma, oozi, shish tawook or grilled hammour but the tourist hub is witnessing a sudden rise in the demand for vegetarian food items as well.

Here are some easy to cook recipes of vegetarian delicacies provided by Chef Ibrahim Ayoub from Mazehar and Chef Heinz Beck from the Social restaurant in Dubai which will give you the flavours of the Middle East at home.

HUMMUS WITH DRY FIGS AND WALNUTS

Ingredients

2 cups – Drained, cooked chickpeas
3 tbsp – Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp – Tahini
1.5 tbsp – Lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon), plus more to taste
1 – Small clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp – Salt
1/2 tsp – Finely ground black pepper
1 tbsp – Chopped dry figs
1 tbsp – Chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp – Bicarbonate soda

 

Method
* Soak the chick peas for 12 hours, wash and add bicarbonate soda and water then boil it till it becomes very soft.
* Then combine all ingredients chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt in a food processor.
* Blend for 1-2 minutes until it becomes a very smooth paste and scrape down the sides of the bowl to check for any large chunks that exist and blend.
* If your hummus is thicker than you’d like, add more lemon juice or olive oil to thin it out and make it creamier.
* Finally, scrape the hummus into a bowl and top it with chopped dry figs, chopped walnuts, olive oil and serve with pita bread.

SPAGHETTI COOKED IN TOMATO WATER AND PARSLEY SAUCE

Ingredients
2kg – Cherry tomatoes
1 bunch – Parsley
1 bunch – Basil
1 sprig – Thyme
1/2 – Carrot
1/2 stalk – Celery
1 – Small, boiled potato
2 cloves – garlic
Chervil – For garnish

For Pasta
240g – Spaghetti
1 – garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil

Method
* For tomato water, blend tomatoes and wrap them in a cloth. Drain through a strainer and filter the liquid to obtain 200g tomato water.
* For making the parsley sauce: Clean parsley and basil bunches and blanch leaves in salted water for 4 minutes, taking care to cool them immediately in ice water to keep the color alive.
* Mix parsley and basil with 50ml of their cooking water, boiled potato, and some drops of extra virgin olive oil.

For preparing the spaghetti:
Boil it in abundant salted water for 5 minutes.
* Take out of the water before completely cooked and pour in the boiling tomato water while stirring well.
* Add two spoons of garlic-flavoured extra virgin olive oil.
* For the presentation, first, place a strip of parsley sauce in the centre of the plate. Layer this with the Spaghetti and complete the dish with using chervil as a garnish.

With delicacies like these, is it any wonder that there are some 4,500 veggie-friendly restaurants in the UAE?

Make your food bloom this season with edible flowers

People love flowers for their fragrance, colour and texture and just the fact that they can ease your nerves by simply looking at them. Now, you have one more reason to stare at those pretty ferns and petals and thats food.

Mrinmoy Acharya, Head Chef, Ciclo Cafe in Gurugram and Pankaj Jha, Senior Executive Sous Chef at The Suryaa in the capital share the various ways of marrying delectable food with gorgeous edible flowers so that you never run out of reasons to woo your loved ones with flowers.

*Pansy: Mild and delicate, this beautiful garden flower with velvety petals comes in purple, yellow, blue and white and is great for garnishing. Tastes like grapes and mint, this helps adding a slight taste to the dish. You can add these pretty flowers to your salad to enhance its flavour or just use it as a garnish on chocolate tortes or add to the plating while serving pastries or puddings.

*Nasturtium: One of the most popular picks in India, with its mild peppery flavour makes for an excellent pickling and culinary component. The bright yellow, orange nasturtium flowers are easy-to-grow and one of the tastiest herbs in the world. As the leaves of this flower are also edible, simply chop them and add to salad along with the flowers. You can also make desserts and appetisers more appetising by adding as a garnish.

*Marigold: Marigold of the sunflower family or calendula adds a lot to the plate because of its bright colour. Add to salad making it a refreshing summer floral dish or include it in custard to give a citrusy touch for a change.

*Crocus flower: These are easy to grow and look extremely attractive when a dish is served. Apart from using them in salads and main course. You can also mix this bud in beverages for flavouring and can also be used in making tea and wine.

*Snap Dragon: This fragrant specimen come in vibrant colours like red, yellow, pink and adds punch to your otherwise boring food. Mix it with liqueur, cranberry and lots of ice to make a delicious drink or add to pizzas and pies to give a fresh twist to the junk food.

Autistic females face greater difficulty with daily tasks: Study

Women and girls with autism may face greater challenges with real world planning, organisation and other daily living skills, than boys, an analysis has showed.

The findings showed that girls were struggling more with these independence skills of executive function including the ability to make a plan, get organised, and follow through on the plan as needed-and adaptive skills-ability to perform basic daily tasks like getting up and dressed or making small talk.

“Our goal was to look at real world skills, not just the diagnostic behaviours we use clinically to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to understand how people are actually doing in their day to day lives,” said Allison Ratto, psychologist at Children’s National Health System in the US.

This was surprising because in general, girls with ASD have better social and communication skills during direct assessments, the researchers said. “The natural assumption would be that those communication and social skills would assist them to function more effectively in the world, but we found that this isn’t always the case,” Ratto said.

For the study, published in the journal Autism Research, the team collected parent-reported data on 79 females and 158 males meeting clinical criteria for autism spectrum disorders, ranging in ages from seven to 18 years old.

“Our focus in caring for children with autism is equipping all of them with strategies and skills to allow them to function and succeed in day-to-day living. “Enhancing our understanding of how biological differences change the presentation of autism in the long term is crucial to giving every person with ASD the tools they need to succeed in life,” she added.

Eat healthy this week: 5 studies that help you fix what’s wrong with your diet

While obesity and other weight-related troubles are mostly genetic, what you eat can determine the risk of health disasters in people. Your diet can be the defining factor in what diseases and disorders you are at risk of, and, by extension, ensure immunity to fatal health risks.

From studies debunking the widespread usage of frozen foods and the necessity of including iron in your daily intake, to the now scientifically proven importance of coffee in day-today life, here are five facts about dietary norms.

  • Your diet can be the defining factor in what diseases and disorders you are at risk of.

1) A no-stress job: Turns out, you don’t always need a eating schedule and calorie charts to tell you what to eat when. Just a slight variation, and shift to a few healthier dietary habits can do the trick. From picking brown bread over a white one, or opting for fruits over a fried snack can go a long way.

Just a slight variation, and shift to a few healthier dietary habits can do the trick. (HT file photo )

2) Don’t take the cold shoulder: Wellness experts concluded that frozen fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional richness when they are exposed to extreme temperature change and moisture levels. In fact, fruits and vegetables are more prone to losses as compared to frozen meats and grains, because they are mostly rich in water soluble vitamins and minerals, which easily get oxidized in the process of freezing.

Wellness experts concluded that frozen fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional richness (Shutterstock )

3) Strong as iron: An iron-rich diet will not only boost your general immunity (courtesy higher haemoglobin content), it also helps keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. A new study has found a link between low levels of iron and a higher risk of heart disease. After analysing genetic data, a team of researchers have found that iron-rich foods could have a protective effect against coronary artery disease (CAD), a type of cardiovascular disease (CVD) where clogged arteries reduce the amount of blood reaching the heart.

An iron-rich diet can keep heart diseases at bay. (iStock)

4) The healthy oil: Sure, fried food or extra oily foods are not the best regarded eatables. In fact, any weight loss diet will ask you to stay off oil. However, there are four oils that do you good than harm. A moderate amount of fat is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Adding a little fat to your food, either through cooking or drizzling over salads, can help to fill you up and feel more satisfied after a meal, as well as boost health by helping the body absorb several fat-soluble vitamins.

Avocado oil is one of the healthy oils that can be used in everyday diet. (Shutterstock )

5) Coffee to the rescue: Drinking coffee is good for you. In fact, it can lead to a longer life, according to a new study. In a study found that people who drank regular or decaffeinated coffee experienced health benefits, such as increased longevity. Previous research had shown that coffee can lower the risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, liver cirrhosis and Parkinson’s and can reduce chemicals in the blood that can trigger heart disease.

BBAU varsity VC did not deal sensitively with sexual harassment case: Scheduled Caste Commission

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has said that Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), RC Sobti, “lacked sensitivity” when dealing with a case of sexual harassment filed by a woman scheduled caste official.

It said recently that the vice chancellor “lacked maturity” while handling the complaint of BBAU’s woman registrar, a Dalit.

NCSC made these observations after the registrar, Sunita Chandra, moved a petition with the commission, drawing its attention to the sexual harassment she alleged she faced on campus.

Earlier, NCSC had pointed to flaws in the reservation roster for appointment of teachers at BBAU.

The BBAU registrar  has moved a petition with the National Scheduled Castes Commission Sunita Chandra, drawing its attention to the sexual harassment she alleged she faced on campus.

The commission found that vacancies in the reservation rosters, submitted by VC Sobti ‘prima facie’, were not in accordance with the prescribed format of the department of personnel and training (DoPT).

In its report, the commission said Sobti could not explain how the posts were de-reserved if SC candidates had applied for the posts but the selection process was not completed.

“It became apparent that discrepancy arises as the BBAU does not codify the posts as is done in other institutions,” the NCSC report said. When universities advertise vacancies they have to give a code for a particular post.

The commission had summoned Sobti and registrar Sunita Chandra on July 6 to explain allegations of reservation policies not being implemented properly to appoint teachers.

There were complaints of irregular recruitment in the university and ‘unfair’ treatment of students, teachers and employees belonging to the SC category.

To look into the anomalies, the commission has formed a three-member committee, headed by RC Durga as chairman and two others, RD Chandrahas and Tarun Khanna. The committee was asked to give its report within a month to the commission.