1-2-1 Moments with Dr Navniit Gandhi
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Dr. Navniit Gandhi is an academician, writer and an author. She also writes poetry in Hindi and some of her poems have been published in some literary magazines in India. She presently teaches at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Kuwait Centre. She is a member of the Writers’ Forum, Kuwait and the Indian Women In Kuwait (IWIK). She also contributes to IndiansinKuwait.com news portal
IIK: At the outset, accept our best wishes and congratulations... on the publication of your book of poems in Hindi. Tell us something about the book and also that how do you manage to write in Hindi, as well as in English?
Dr. Navniit: Thank you so much, for all your wishes and support always. For me, IIK is a place where I belong and where I can share all my thoughts, achievements and concerns. I always wrote articles, feature write-ups and research papers in English, but I was fortunate enough to get some outstanding and amazing teachers in school and college for both, English and Hindi. Hence, I could make a modest attempt to write in Hindi as well, particularly after coming to Kuwait and joining the Writers’ Forum.
My new Book is titled: Kuch Lamhe hi... and it shall soon be officially released.
IIK: Dr Navniit, you have been a sincere academician all throughout and prepared many civil service aspirants back in India during your own formative years. Can you tell us more about your education, career and all affiliated activities?
Dr. Navniit: I was educated in Mumbai, and have been an academic topper all throughout till my post-graduation. Following my post-graduation in Political Science from the University of Mumbai, I joined a college affiliated with the University of Mumbai as a Lecturer in Political Science and International Relations, while also trying myself for the civil services. In 1995-96, I completed a one-year post-graduate diploma in Advertising and Public Relations. I continued writing and also began to teach Journalism to students of Mass Media in the University of Mumbai. I also began teaching Indian Constitution and International Affairs to the civil services aspirants in some of the leading training centres for civil services in Mumbai.
In 2000, I also launched my own centre for personality development, offering a six-month certificate course in total personality development.
In 2005, I was selected to represent India and go to the US (Fulbright American Summer Institute Program) to join a selected group of 18 scholars chosen from all over the world to understand and debate on the American Foreign Policy. On coming back from US, I initiated my studies for a PhD on the changing dimensions of national security.
In addition to being a Lecturer, I taught in several training centres from 1995-2007 and then I was selected to teach in the Indian Military Academy (Dehradun), for teaching the Indian Political System to the army recruits. I began teaching there, but ultimately had to shift residence to Kuwait in 2007.
IIK: When did you begin writing articles? What was your first published article about?
Dr. Navniit: I wrote my first small article at the age of 13 years. I was disturbed with the raging menace of terrorism in the country (particularly, Punjab) and the piece appeared in the Indian Express. From then on, I wrote several small articles on issues such as quality of teachers, lack of good governance in the country, communal riots, the plight of unorganised labour, etc. My first feature article on the Edit page of a national newspaper appeared at the age of 19 years in Free Press Journal. It was whether we really needed the position of ‘Sheriff’ in our cities. After that I went on writing on issues such as Juvenile Diabetes, Coolies, Skin donation, Suicide prevention, etc for several newspapers and magazines on a freelance basis. I wrote a regular column on International Affairs in the Free Press Journal.
IIK: Can you tell us about your first book titled “Beyond the Obvious”? And also, which other books have you authored?
Dr. Navniit: In 2006, my first book was published by Better Yourself Books, Mumbai. The book is titled Beyond the Obvious. It is about managing people, situations and relationships.
Later on, I authored two work-books in 2006 on Personality Development, for students of Class IX and X, according to the syllabus prescribed by the Maharashtra State Board.
I also authored two E-Booklets in 2007: one, on Growing Regional Chauvinism in India and the other on Electoral Reforms in India.
My book titled National Security: The Emerging Dimensions was published by Pentagon Publishers, New Delhi in 2009 and My Page for Tonight, was published by BYB, Mumbai in 2012.
IIK: Do you enjoy teaching more, or does writing give more satisfaction?
Dr. Navniit: For me, teaching is the mainstay of my life... it is something that has given me pure bliss and a powerful sense of fulfilment. Whenever I find myself in any classroom, and young enthusiastic learners before me, I feel transformed myself. And, I have learnt and grown as a person, either because of my teachers or because of my students. Both constitute my life-line, which motivates me each moment... Of course, writing is almost as satisfactory as teaching is... All of us need to talk, express and share in whatever ways possible and only then all our pressing concerns will be addressed. For me, in Kuwait, IIK is the platform which allows such sharing of ideas and expressions.
IIK: Can you brief us about various other achievements that have highlighted your path till date?
Dr. Navniit: Well, achievements have not been very big or noteworthy... They mean a little in so much so that they have given a feeling of contentment and due to which, I have a treasure of memories.
In 2005, I was selected to represent India and go to the US to join a select group of 18 scholars chosen from all over the world to understand and debate on the American Foreign Policy. It was one fine, memorable and a rare opportunity for a person who is deeply interested in International Affairs.
In 2012, I presented a paper on the relationship between India and Iran and what turns it ought to take, in an international gathering of scholars in New Delhi, and the Conference was hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs and other Centres that do academic research in the realm of International Affairs. The interactions and conversations that always happen at the academic fora are a valuable treasure for me.
All throughout, I have participated in several International and National Conferences and presented papers on contemporary issues and also have been writing for several magazines and newspapers in India.
IIK launches 1-2-1 Moments, an exclusive platform to chat with Dr Navniit Gandhi. 1-2-1 Moments is about 500 or a little more words on matters of personal, social, national and international interest—preferably in succession, towards the end of the first week, every month.
1-2-1 Moments is a voice from the heart... There cannot be an intended offence, malice, or putting anyone down; rather these are a few moments we can spend reflecting together...You can read 1-2-1 Moments here
Dr. Navniit Gandhi is an academician, and a freelance writer/columnist. She has been writing extensively for several newspapers, magazines, web-portals and academic publications and has authored five Books, till date.
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