Archive for October 8, 2009



None of the Malaysian universities figures among the world’s top 100 universities, with the U.S. and the U.K. dominating the scene.

Harvard University has retained its top position in 2009, while Cambridge University, U.K has moved up from third to second position. Yale University of the U.S. has slipped one position to third.

According to the QS/Times Higher Education rankings, the University College London (UCL) leapfrogged Oxford University as the latter slipped from fourth to joint fifth position along with Imperial College, London.

Overall, the U.K. still punches above its weight, second only to the US. It has four out of the top 10 slots and 18 in the top 100.

Tokyo is highest ranked Asian university.

The number of Asian universities in the list of top 100 has increased from 14 to 16. The University of Tokyo, at 22, is the highest ranked Asian university, ahead of the University of Hong Kong that stands at 24 and National University of Singapore (NUS) is at 30.

However, Malaysia’s top university, University of Malaya (UM), is back in the world’s Top 200 varsities at no 180. This is 50 places better than last year. Wow what a showing!

It is really a pity that none of the Malaysian Universities could figure among the Top 100 universities in the world. From this, one gets a clear picture of where we stand in the global education scenario.

It is high time the matter is looked into seriously, and fruitful measures taken at the earliest before we slide even lower. Why we are sliding down so badly is very obvious. The quota system is screwing up everything. Besides, our education system in Malaysia doesn’t allow our students flexibility and the opportunity to explore a subject in depth and worst still meritocracy is not favored at all by our political masters.

Politicians should stop experimenting with our education system. UMNO and BN is responsible for our sorry state of affair. Wonder what happened to our great APEX University, the University Sains Malaysia (USM)? Habuk pun tadak ini USM. This goes to prove that we are just JAGUH KAMPONG lah. Our University of Malaya used to be on par with National University of Singapore during the 60’s and 70’s, where are we now? Why have we fallen so badly? Is it not because our education system and civil administration here is politicised?

Our education must be liberated from racism and capitalism then only will we be able to see some change in our international ratings.

Anyway, the top 10 Universities are: Harvard (U.S.), Cambridge (U.K.), Yale(U.S.), UCL, London (U.K.), Imperial College, London and Oxford (both U.K., joint 5), Chicago (U.S.), Princeton (U.S.), MIT, Massachusetts (U.S.) and California Institute of Technology (U.S.). See the full ranking here


The historic house in Johannesburg where Mahatma Gandhi lived almost a century ago has been snapped up by a French tourism company, for what is believed to be almost twice the asking price of $3,77,029, outbidding others, including Indians.

Voyageurs du Monde plans to turn the property into a museum, in line with its philosophy of investing in heritage properties worldwide.

As young lawyer, Gandhiji lived in the house from 1908 to 1910.

Referred to as ‘the Kraal,’ the house in the suburb of Orchards is one of several that Gandhi lived in during his stay in South Africa as he developed his Satyagraha philosophies and led the local Indian community in its struggle against oppression.



Venkatraman Ramakrishnan becomes the ninth person of Indian origin to win the coveted Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009.

Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, 57, who was born in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India, is the senior scientist and group leader at the Structural Studies Division of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. An American now, Dr. V Ramakrishnan won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for atom-by-atom mapping of the protein-making factories within cells.

Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize, when he was honoured for his contribution to literature in 1913.

Renowned physicist C.V. Raman was conferred the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him.

Hargobind Khorana won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 for his interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis. He shared the Prize with Robert Holley and Marshall Nirenberg. Born in Raipur in 1922, he migrated to England in 1949 from where he moved on to the U.S. and settled there.

Subramanyan Chandrasekhar won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of stars. He shared the prize with William Fowler. He was born in Lahore in 1910 and joined the University of Chicago in 1937.

Peace prize Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work in the slums of Calcutta (now Kolkata) through the Missionaries of Charity, an organisation founded by her. She was born in Skopje (then in Turkey) in 1910 and came to India in 1931.

In 1998, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Amartya Sen.

In 2001 Literature Prize went to V.S. Naipaul.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, chaired by R.K. Pachauri, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the former U.S Vice-President and environment activist Al Gore.

In 1989, Dalai Lama, who has been living in exile in India since 1959, got the Nobel Peace Prize.