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Saturday, March 13, 1999
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On the campus

A belle from Gujarat strikes a pose as Jasbir Jassi belts out his number "Dil lai gayee" at Cyanide '99 at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Friday
A belle from Gujarat strikes a pose as Jasbir Jassi belts out his number "Dil lai gayee" at Cyanide '99 at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Friday — A Tribune photograph

CBSE, PU rules differ
CHANDIGARH, March 12 —Several students with compartment in the plus two examination conducted by the CBSE who were admitted as regular students in colleges affiliated to Panjab University are being denied roll numbers at the fag end of the session.

PUDA to hand over plots
S.A.S NAGAR, March 12 — The Punjab Urban Development Authority has decided to hand over the physical possession of 900 different types of residential plots in Sector 69 to allottees from March 15.

Watch dealer fined
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Putting off a consumer a number of times has resulted in penalty on a time-piece dealer.

Bhattal calls on sacked teachers
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A former teacher, Mrs Tejinder Kaur, who was on an indefinite fast for the past four days in front of the office of the Punjab DPI (S), and was shifted to the General Hospital yesterday in view of her deteoriating physical condition, restarted her fast here yesterday.

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Auction of booths put off
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The Chandigarh Housing Board today postponed the auction of commercial booths in the Modern Complex, Mani Majra.

Ramasekhar may join next week
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The Chandigarh Administration today issued formal orders for the appointment of Mr Ramasekhar as Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer of Chandigarh.

‘Take consumer movement to masses’
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Even after a decade of existence of consumer courts in the city, consumer protection and awareness have not reached the desired level, with the average consumer complaining of inordinate delays and little relief.

Mini Handicrafts Expo begins
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, inaugurated the Mini Handicrafts Expo’99 at the Sector 17 Circus Ground here today.

Councillors await official intimation
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Science students go elsewhere
BARWALA, March 12 — Despite Government Girls Senior Secondary School here, local girls studying in the plus two science stream have to go to Ambala and Panchkula for their studies. It is not that the Haryana Education Department has not thought of starting classes in the science stream in the school.

Kalinga wins trophy as Archo ‘99 ends
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Kalinga house won the overall trophy at the 38th annual prize distribution function held at the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Sector 12, here today.

Folk orchestra from Kyrghyzstan
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — An orchestra performance by artistes of Kyrghyzstan provided a rare opportunity of viewing outstanding folk traditions of the republic at Tagore Theatre here this evening. The show was presented by the folk orchestra group in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Traditionally dressed and seated with their folk instruments in their laps, the Kyrghyz artistes succeeded in winning the admiration of a thinly crowded theatre.
A folk orchestra from Kyrghyzsthan performs at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Friday.
A folk orchestra from Kyrghyzsthan performs at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Spring Fest-99 begins today
PANCHKULA, March 12 — The two-day Spring Fest-99 will be inaugurated by the Governor of Haryana, Mr Mahabir Prasad, here at Town Park tomorrow.

Symposium on secret of love
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A seminar-cum-poetic symposium on the theme of “Secret of Love” was organised today at Gandhi Bhavan Auditorium, Panjab University.

Garbage litters Leisure Valley
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The 10-day Kalagram craft fair, organised at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10, by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, and the Chandigarh Administration, was a great hit with the Chandigarh crowd.

He owns a tartan, flag, coat of arms
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Mr Iqbal Singh, Lord of Butley Manor in Suffolk (UK) who owns Little Castle — a 20-room Elizabethan mansion in Lesmahagow — has his own tartan; flies his own flag and has his own coat of arms. He is in the city on a personal visit.

Make a fashion statement
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Bugli’s Creations — the designer label synonymous with hand painted salwar kameezes and saris — are once again in the city with their latest summer collection.

Women staff voice demands
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Members of the Istri Mulazam Coordination Committee staged a rally in Sector 17 in support of their long-standing demands this afternoon.

Big response to ‘path bodh’ project
CHANDIGARH, March 12 — More than 300 persons have enrolled themselves for the month-long unique programme called the “Gurbani Path Bodh Samagam” that began at the Sector 34 Sri Teg Bahadur Gurdwara here on Wednesday.

   
 
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CBSE, PU rules differ
Students with compartment may lose year
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 —Several students with compartment in the plus two examination conducted by the CBSE who were admitted as regular students in colleges affiliated to Panjab University are being denied roll numbers at the fag end of the session.

These students also cleared their compartment during the ongoing academic session.The students stand to lose one full academic year because of disparity in rules between the CBSE and the university.

University rules provide that students who score less than 20 marks in the plus two examination are not eligible for admission in the first year of undergraduate courses. A candidate scoring less than 20 marks is declared failed. Meanwhile, the CBSE allows students who score less than 20 marks to appear as compartment cases.The university allows compartment in one subject only.

Technically speaking, a fault in the case of students not receiving their roll numbers this year could be ascribed to the colleges who admit such students, despite the existing provision.

However, there is another category where hundreds who score below 20 are denied admission at the beginning of the session by various colleges. Students and parents complained to the university about the disparity in the rules of two academic bodies — one for schools and another for colleges.

A committee was constituted to study the matter which suggested that students who are able to clear the compartment before the last date of the admissions for university is over be allowed to join as regular candidates.The committee forwarded its recommendation to the “higher authorities”. However, no formal decision in this regard has been announced.

A candidate from Ludhiana district who is being denied his roll number said he had no option but to approach the court.The college admitted him as a regular candidate and he cleared his compartment during the academic session.When the Principal of the college forwarded his examination form to the university, he was declared “ineligible”.

Another anomaly pointed out in this case is that a candidate who has compartment securing more than 20 marks was eligible.Even if this candidate fails to clear the compartment, he would still be eligible. While the other candidate, who has less than 20 marks, even if he clears the compartment is ineligible.

Sources said the case was pending with the higher authorities and would have to be accepted by the syndicate.The issue gains importance in wake of the fact that only a few days are left for the annual examination to commence.They, however, said the final decision would be in the larger interest of the students and the reputation of the university.Top


 

No takers for scholarships
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 —There seem to be no takers for scholarships for poor students in Panjab University, according to Dr R.S.Grewal, Dean, Student Welfare.

Only 31 students applied from the entire campus last year despite the fact that the circular was issued more than three times. The scholarships were worth Rs 1000, Rs 1500 and Rs 2000 anually.

Dr Grewal said there were also several scholarships which went unutilised in various teaching departments where no students applied.

The DSW said that not a single girl students from among all the hostels had applied to avail the aid under the poor residents fund and not more than 25 had applied from among boys hostels.Top


 

Cyanide sways to Jassi’s tune
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — It was a damp squib for Vikrant and Akbar Sami, the two artistes who thought of making it big, with the hero of the day Jasbir Jassi at Pop Funda held as part of Cyanide ‘99. The show was organised by the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, here today.

Vikrant made an effort to catch the attention of the crowd with the catchy “Kaan me jhumke” but was forced to make an unceremonious exit due to an overwhelming demand from the crowd for Jasbir Jassi’s numbers.

Jassi took over over and there was no looking back for him as the mammoth crowd swayed to his songs. He began with a song in praise of the Almighty but the mood of the crowd changed as he began “Kajra mohabbat wala” and went to to “Aaho aaho, hanji hanji”.

This was followed by “Dil lai gayee kuddi Gujarat di”, which had the whole campus vibrating with the beat of the ‘dhol’ and the crowd’s thunderous applause. They danced and jived for one hour.

“Munda pyar di padhaee vich fail ho gaya”, “Ik kuddi ne roomal”, a folk number “Dhola” were among the many songs he performed. Some students who were denied entry, enjoyed the show by climbing onto trees. Time and again the police swung into action during Jassi’s performance to control the crowd.

He wound up with a repeat of “Dil lai gayee kuddi” and the crowd was ecstatic and the noise deafening.

His exit brought in Akbar Sami of “Jalwaa” fame to the stage but the crowd became uninterested and indifferent at his entrance.

The crowd puller had left and the crowd followed suit, much to the disappointment of the two performers who had come to the city with high hopes. All Vikrant could say was,”I’ll be back in three months and then we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, Cyanide ’99, an all-India inter-college cultural festival, ended today with the Jasbir Jassi nite.Top


 

PU defends fee hike
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Panjab University defended its proposal to hike the fee on various accounts from the forthcoming session.

Dr R.S.Grewal, the Dean, Student Welfare, while addressing a press conference here today said the hike was justified, keeping in view the comparative charges in the neighbouring universities at Patiala and Amritsar.

There was a meagre hike of Rs 30 per month on all monthly accounts in hostels. The only hike was in terms of electricity charges.The annual fee would be a burden worth not more than Rs 100 in hostels, he added.

To support comparative rates in neighbouring universities a list provided by the university showed that while Guru Nanak Dev University was charging Rs 200 as monthly tuition fee, PU proposed to charge only Rs 50. The fee in LLB in Patiala was Rs 300 while the proposed rate in PU was Rs 100.

Similarly while students in MA and M.Sc paid more than Rs 300 in Patiala, students would pay only Rs 100 in PU. The list highlights more than 10 more subjects where the fee structure of PU was much less.

Dr Grewal said the fee structure in several cases had not been revised from the past more than two decades.PU being an old university had to spend a lot on maintenance .

The DSW also highlighted various other fees which were charged by other universities but not by PU. These included seminar fee, guest visiting, students council fund and infrastructure development charges.Top


 

Watch dealer fined
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Putting off a consumer a number of times has resulted in penalty on a time-piece dealer.

In a complaint filed before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II, the complainant, Mr Rohi Ahluwalia of Sector 21 here, alleged that he had purchased a watch worth Rs 498 manufactured by M/s Khanna Watches Ltd., from its dealer,M/s New National Watch House, Sector 22-D. The time-piece became defective within the two-year guarantee period, but the watch dealer kept on putting off the consumer. The complainant requested for replacement of the watch and damages for harassment and costs of the case.

During the pendency of the case, the manufacturer replaced the defective watch with a new one, thus satisfying the main relief sought by the complainant.

The forum comprising its President, Mr R.P. Bajaj, and members, Mr H.S Walia and Mrs Kamlesh Gupta, further imposed a fine of Rs 200 on the watch dealer on account of harassment and costs of the case.Top



 

PUDA to hand over plots
Tribune News Service

S.A.S NAGAR, March 12 — The Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to hand over the physical possession of 900 different types of residential plots in Sector 69 to allottees from March 15.

PUDA had carved out as many as 1400 plots in the sector, but only 900 persons have been allotted these residential plots since 1995, when the allotment process was initiated by it. PUDA is, however, still to decide about the mode of allotment to be adopted for the disposal of the rest of 500 plots in the sector being developed by it.

With a view to compensate those who have been affected by the delay in handing over of possession of the plots PUDA has decided to give possession of the plots after charging the old rates prevailing at the time of allotment to the allottees.

According to Ms Seema Jain, Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA, public camps would be held at the site, where officials will assist the allottees in getting possession of their plots after completing various formalities.

She said the process of handing over of the plots had already been started as demarcation of plots was being done by officials. She said the allottees would not get affected on account of the delay in handing over the possession as they would be charged rates, applicable at the time of the allotment of plots.

She said PUDA was yet to decide on how to dispose of the rest of plots.” For this, we are working on several proposals,” she said.Top


 

Auction of booths put off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today postponed the auction of commercial booths in the Modern Complex, Mani Majra.

According to sources, the auction had to be postponed on account of poor response from the public. Only three bidders turned up for the auction of the 15-odd booths, forcing the CHB authorities to put off the auction.

The CHB has proposed to put 15 booths under the hammer in Phases I, II, and II. While five booths were to be auctioned in Phases I and II, 10 booths were to be auctioned for a period of 99 years on leasehold basis.

The next date of the auction would be announced later, the sources added.Top


 

Ramasekhar may join next week
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The Chandigarh Administration today issued formal orders for the appointment of Mr Ramasekhar as Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer of Chandigarh. He will relieve Mr R.K. Rao, an HCS officer from Haryana, of the additional charge.

Mr Ramasekhar is expected to join his new assignment any time next week.Top



 

‘Take consumer movement to masses’
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Even after a decade of existence of consumer courts in the city, consumer protection and awareness have not reached the desired level, with the average consumer complaining of inordinate delays and little relief.

Although lots of efforts and resources are being applied in the direction of consumer protection by way of government grants and support to voluntary consumer organisations, a general disillusionment has set in the consumer mind-set. This could be gauged by views, expressed by a cross-section of persons interviewed by Chandigarh Tribune in connection with the World Consumer Day which falls on March 15.

Mr Pankaj Chandgothia, a consumer activist, maintains that consumer awareness is high in cities like Chandigarh because of a high literacy rate. This can be gauged from the fact that a second consumer forum had to be created to deal with the increasing number of complaints here. This is, however, not true of consumers in the rural areas as they are not so literate. He is of the view that in order to make the consumer rights reach the grass roots level, a consistent effort should be made to educate the rural consumer. According to him, such consumers are often found wanting in dealing with procedures and technical loopholes, which are taken advantage of by advocates appearing for the defaulting parties.

Contrary to this, Rakesh Kumar, owner of a printing shop in Sector 17, says that only about 20 per cent of consumers are aware of their rights. Long procedural delays in deciding the matter along with inadequate compensation is responsible for dissuading many of them from approaching the courts. In fact, the very purpose of setting up these courts seems to be defeated. He suggests that more publicity should be given to the court so that consumers are able to contest their cases without the help of advocates. Complaints dealing with matters concerning telephone, electricity, gas connections etc. should be given priority and preferably decided on a day-to-day basis as is the case with Lok Adalats, he adds.

Similar views were echoed by Dr M G Trehan of CMC who also feels that on an average the consumer is not so awakened. “The very system of justice in our country is so faulty that in most cases one is not given a proper hearing and also by the time he gets the desired compensation, the charm of getting it is lost,’’ he opines.

An average consumer is cheated at various levels because of his ignorance and inertia. Therefore, consumer awareness ought to be given greater publicity.

In the opinion of Mr Surinder Singh Sodhi, a college lecturer, there are many Acts their effectiveness remains to be seen. People of the rural areas have to come all the way to a district to file their complaints, he says. Mr Sodhi suggests that for greater penetration, consumer protection should be brought to their door steps and consumer courts should be set up at tehsil levels.

Vineet Sidhu, a young dentist, says that people may be aware of the existence of consumer courts but a majority of them do not possess the required knowledge of approaching the courts and the formalities involved. The authorities concerned should now concentrate on making all such information readily available to the consumer so that he could exercise his rights.

Consumer is not aware of his rights and in the absence of this, he continues to be exploited. Government authorities alone can come to his rescue by exercising stringent quailty control, says Mrs Suman Kataria, a housewife. The competition in the market is more in terms of prices than the quality of product. She suggests that printed forms should be made available at various public places for people to fill in their grievances and the same could be later processed by the courts. This will make justice more accessible to the common man.

Mrs Manisha Chopra, a government employee, is of the view that the Consumer Protection Act had made a difference as shopkeepers had become more accommodating. A vast majority of them replace a product without much fuss for the fear of being dragged in the court. This changed attitude of a trader is particularly beneficial to middle-class families, she adds.

Mr R. P. Bajaj, Presiding Judge of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II, is of the view that consumer today has easily available remedies before consumer forums, as he is neither required to pay any court fees nor are strict rules of civil courts applicable. Many times private shopkeepers such as those dealing in readymade garments, watches and shoes etc come and settle the matter by way of compromise at the very first hearing of the case.

Detailing the nature of consumer cases, Mr Bajaj said the majority related to telephone matters, electricity supply, fixed deposits in financial companies and banking services. The awareness among consumers in the city is evident from the fact that more than 4000 cases are pending before the two forums.Top


 

Bhattal calls on sacked teachers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A former teacher, Mrs Tejinder Kaur, who was on an indefinite fast for the past four days in front of the office of the Punjab DPI (S), and was shifted to the General Hospital yesterday in view of her deteoriating physical condition, restarted her fast here yesterday. The fast of Mrs Ritu Joshi from Sangrur has entered its second day.

According to doctors at the General Hospital, she was administered 10 bottles of glucose intravenously after she refused to take anything orally. On her persistence and after an undertaking about being responsible for any mishap herself, she was allowed to come to the venue where she restarted her fast late this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, accompanied by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, a former Minister, and other Congress leaders like Mr Gurcharan Singh Dirba and Mr M.S. Bhattal today visited the venue of the fast and asked about the wellbeing of Mrs Joshi.

Mrs Bhattal expressed her solidarity with the protesters and assured that her party would continue to support their cause.Top


 

Mini Handicrafts Expo begins
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, inaugurated the Mini Handicrafts Expo’99 at the Sector 17 Circus Ground here today. The expo is being organised jointly by the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) of the Union Government and the Haryana Small Industries Development Corporation.

The 10-day expo will feature more than 200 artisans and their societies from all over the country.

Talking to newsmen before inauguration of the expo, Mr A.R. Chaudhari, Director in the office of the Development Commisssioner (Handicrafts), said that handicraft exports from the country were more than the small-scale industrial sector. In 1997-98, India exported handicrafts worth Rs 6457.69 crore. Rajasthan was at the top of the list followed by Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

Mr Chaudhari highlighted various schemes of the Union Government to keep the art of handicrafts going. He said that the Development Commissioner was responsible for development, promotional and welfare activities of artisans. At present more than 80 lakh artisans were dependent upon handicrafts.

Mr Chaudhari said that under the craft development centre scheme of the Union Government, two more emporia were coming up in Punjab. The Devlopment Commisssioner provides a grant up to Rs 15 lakh for raising a new emporia by any crafts development centre.

The directorate also organises a series of melas and expos all over the country and spends about Rs 1.7 crore on them so as to provide a middleman-free marketing facility to the artisans.Top


 

Kalinga wins trophy as Archo ‘99 ends
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Kalinga house won the overall trophy at the 38th annual prize distribution function held at the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Sector 12, here today. This came after the conclusion of the annual festivities, Archo ‘99, which had commenced on March 1.

Winners of 45 events held during the fest which included paintings, plays, a fashion show and vocal and instrumental music contests, were given prizes. Special prizes were awarded to Sunit Bhasin, who was selected for a mountaineering camp, Shivani Guleria, who was adjudged “Best Girl” and Navdeep Sharma who was the “Best Boy” title.

For sports events, the first prize went to Anu Deora and Jasmine and Shivani Singla were declared second and third, respectively. Among boys, Pawan, Vikas Kumar and Harsharan Singh were declared first, second and third, respectively.

The Principal, Lt-Col I.J.S. Bakshi, read out the annual report, highlighting achievements of students. He put forth the requirement of computer professionals for the computer-aided design cell and raising the remuneration paid to the guest faculty for lectures.

The Home-cum-Education Secretary, Mrs Anuradha Gupta, the chief guest, agreed to raise the amount paid to the visiting faculty from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 and promised to further the requirement of additional posts to the central government.

She added that Archo ‘99 was an ideal break, which should be organised more often, since architecture required an intelligent creation of forms, shapes and images.Top


 

Spring Fest-99 begins today
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 12 — The two-day Spring Fest-99 will be inaugurated by the Governor of Haryana, Mr Mahabir Prasad, here at Town Park tomorrow. Seasonal flowers will be exhibited at various competitions in the show.

A fancy dress competition, hasya ras Sammelan, “antakshri” and folk dances will be the other features of the show.

A baby show would be held at Yavanika, an open-air theatre located in the centre of the garden.

Meanwhile, workers of the Horticulture and Engineering wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) were busy in sprucing up the venue of the festival. A fountain which had not been functioning has been repaired and painted afresh. Small water bodies which had been lying dry for a long period have been cleaned been filled with water.

In one corner of the garden, fountains made in the shape of animals out of concrete have been painted in vibrant colours. Animal topiaries made out of marigold flowers would welcome visitors at the garden.

A record 1800 entries had been received by this evening in different categories of flower competitions which would be on display during the festival. HUDA officials are hopeful that the total number of entries in the flower show would cross 2000 as more entries are expected by tomorrow morning.

Following are the results of some competitions which were held today:

Best Garden in Panchkula: Garden in 2 kanal house and above — Mr Salig Ram (second); garden in 1 kanal house — Mr Bhim Singh Thakur (first) and Mr Vikas Malik (second); garden in 14 marla house — Mr Sudershan Jindal (first) and Ms Indu Kackria (second) and garden in less than 14 marlas house — Ms Madhu Jain (first).

Best Garden in Cantonment Area: Garden in 2 kanal house and above — Maj-Gen Inder Singh Dhillon (first) and Lieut-Gen H.R.S Mann (second); garden in 1 kanal house — Brig S.K. Sinha (first) and Maj-Gen P.Vig (second); garden in 14 marla house — Lieut B.Mahajan (first); garden in less than 14 marla house — Sub Maj K.K.Tiwari (first) and Col John Joseph (second)

Best Garden in a school: Hans Raj Public School.

Best garden in an institution other than school — Jeep Company near Golf Course, Chandimandir Cantt (first), station headquarters, Chandimandir and Haryana Warehousing Corporation (second).Top


 

Symposium on secret of love
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A seminar-cum-poetic symposium on the theme of “Secret of Love” was organised today at Gandhi Bhavan Auditorium, Panjab University.

The symposium was organised by Khayal, a multi-lingual group, formed by poets, writers, authors and scientists of Chandigarh.

Justice Surinder Singh, one of members of the group, said the group was formed with the idea of promoting culture, and encouraging intellectuals from the fields of art, literature and science.

Swami Navneet said love is the most important fabric running through our lives, and that the search for unconventional love within the creation is the cause for disappointment. He also released Avtar Singh Deepak’s book ‘Boldey Akhhar’ at the symposium, which includes poems in five different languages— Punjabi, Persian, Urdu, Hindi and Harayanvi. Reading out from a portion of his book, Avtar Singh Deepak said, “Cheekhdi, khookdi, Punjabiyat........sisak-sisak muk rahi Punjab di Punjabiyat”.

Mr M S Chandla said the secret of love is a conundrum, because no one in love can give reasons of falling in love. Mr Chandla gave an interesting talk on what love was all about, while quoting Rishi Vayasa and Kalidasa. He said the basic ingredients of love included kama, rati and basant.

Mr D.R. Vij, Principal (retd), Government College of Education, Jalandhar, delighted the audience on what he called the “topic of experience and not of Khayal”. Expounding on the power of love, he gave the example of Hindi film heroes who get all the strength to fight “baddies” as soon as the lady-love arrives on the scene.

Other speakers included Mr A.S. Pooni, Mr Madhav Kaushak, Mr R.D. Sharma ‘Taseer’, Prof G S Bhatia Aarif and Mr Nirmal Dutt.

The chief guest on the occasion was Prof B.M. Sagar of Baba Farid Chair, Panjab University, Chandigarh, and the function was presided over by Mr Samir Abohri. Mr H.S. Ahluwalia was the convener of the symposium.Top


 

Garbage litters Leisure Valley
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The 10-day Kalagram craft fair, organised at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10, by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, and the Chandigarh Administration, was a great hit with the Chandigarh crowd. Craftsmen were satisfied with their sales. Vibrant cultural dances added colour to the fair. But the state in which this part of the Leisure Valley can be found today, five days after the fair concluded, is dismal.

Disposable paper cups, demolished structures, and broken bangles lie all around the place. Mounds of the base of the two ‘tabla-gates’ erected at the entrance still exist.

A young couple sitting in this area, says, “We frequent the place regularly. But this is disgusting. With days being so windy, all the paper and cups sometimes blow right into our face”.

While the Administration has allotted a place to an artist to display his ‘sculptures’ made of sanitary-ware in the Leisure Valley, the beautification of this place calls for more attention. Once huge crowds were attracted to this place, but now stray dogs move through heaps of garbage.

“Our job was to invite artists and craftsmen to this fair. We had put up this fair along with the Chandigarh Administration, but the restoration part of this place, after the programme, does not fall under our purview”, says an official of the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala.Top



 

He owns a tartan, flag, coat of arms
by Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Mr Iqbal Singh, Lord of Butley Manor in Suffolk (UK) who owns Little Castle — a 20-room Elizabethan mansion in Lesmahagow — has his own tartan; flies his own flag and has his own coat of arms. He is in the city on a personal visit.

His mother, Mrs Harbans Kaur, was perhaps one of the oldest women of the city when she died last week at the age of 108 years. Mr Iqbal Singh came yesterday to attend the bhog ceremony which was held at the Sector 34 Gurdwara this afternoon.

At the ceremony, Mr P.Lal, Managing Director, Punjab Police Housing Corporation, representing the Punjab Police, paid rich tributes to Mrs Harbans Kaur, recalling his meeting with her on her 105th birthday in 1995. Mr Lal said that Mrs Kaur, widow of Punjab Police Inspector Kahan Singh, was the “Mata of the Punjab police”.

Soft spoken, Mr Iqbal Singh minces no words to say, “What I am today is all because of my mother, my brothers and all our family members. My mother was a very pious and religious lady and died a saintly death. It is because of her prayers and religiousity that we all are living a peaceful and contented life.”

The 69-year-old property developer moved to Britain from India exactly four decades ago. He began his career with weekly wages of 12 a week at a plastic moulding factory in London, but his main career started in 1960 when he bought a half-share in a house for 1500, which led to buying and selling houses, and considerable wealth.

In 1987, he moved to Scotland and, for 2,50,000, bought Little Castle. Another of his dreams was fulfilled when he had his own coat of arms designed by Sir Colin Cole, the former Garter Principal King of Arms. It includes the religious saying “Akal Sahay”, a horse, a lion and a “khanda”. Now he has got is own tartan, using kesri, blue and white.

Mr Iqbal Singh has devoted his life to perpetuating the memory of Scotland’s poet, Robert Burns. It is he who mooted the idea of renaming the Prestwick airport in Glasgow as the “Robert Burns International Airport, Prestwick.” He has a reason and conviction to do so.

The island he bought in the late 80s Vacsay Island comprising, 100 lone and blasted acres offshore from Lewis in the Herbides, is now officially Eilean Vacsay Burns —Vacsay Burns island. He vows to fight on for his hero poet.

Recently, he sponsored a competition asking students to write 12 lines to evaluate Robert Burns. “It got tremendous response. There were 20,000 entries,” says Mr Singh. Being a Lord and appreciated by the media when they describe him as “the Laird of Lesmahagow”. He is now writing a book, titled “From Lahore to Lasmahagow”.

On the eve of Christmas in 1994, there were floods in Glasgow. He wrote a letter to the authorities concerned, formally inviting a group to his own 20-bedroom home. Some of the flood victims came and lived with him. In fact, he has seldom refused an appeal from a worthwhile charity.

During his fortnight-long stay here, he will visit his native Dhigana village in Muktsar. It is after 15 years that he has come to India. He is staying with his elder brother, Col Didar Singh (retd), here.Top


 

Make a fashion statement
By Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Bugli’s Creations — the designer label synonymous with hand painted salwar kameezes and saris — are once again in the city with their latest summer collection.

A room in Aroma Hotel, Sector 22, houses the apparel for an exhibition-cum-sale that will last till March 13. The suits, predominantly in white colour, give a pleasant feeling and seem to herald a cool summer season. They beckon young girls and women to give a distinctive character to their wardrobe.

Mainly targeting the rich class, the fabric is creatively painted with acrymin dyes and fevicryl colours under the direct supervision of the designer, Mrs Kiranreet Singh. Having done a course in this art from a South Delhi polytechnic in 1991, this wife of a retired Army officer, has come a long way since she set up shop in 1992. She has held exhibitions all over India and recently returned from a successful business trip in Dubai.

Since hand painting of clothes is uncommon and by its very nature, unrepetitive, each creation is unique and exclusive in the true sense of the word. And unlike other such ventures where you can find hundreds of assembly-line production items, this project offers a handful of 100-odd pieces. No wonder the fashion conscious misses who want to make a statement find it difficult to resist make a buy. They have a choice of elegant florals, Egyptian art, abstracts and geometricals in crepe silks, chiffons, cotton, georgettes and tussar.

“Punjabis prefer florals while abstract designs find favour in Mumbai,” says Mrs Kiranreet Singh while justifying the huge range of flowers in umpteen mixes of shades on suits. A particular variety of apparel gives the effect of stained glass. Bead work on some painted shawls and dresses enhances their beauty, making ideal for evening or party wear. Laces and chikan embroidery complement the brush work in others.

The admirable feature of the saris is that the around 6-yard material when bought from the market is white. But when it acquires the label of Bugli, it has been transformed into a colourful petal of a flower. The blouse piece is also painted as the shades she uses are difficult to come by.Top


 

Folk orchestra from Kyrghyzstan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — An orchestra performance by artistes of Kyrghyzstan provided a rare opportunity of viewing outstanding folk traditions of the republic at Tagore Theatre here this evening.

The show was presented by the folk orchestra group in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Traditionally dressed and seated with their folk instruments in their laps, the Kyrghyz artistes with each subsequent performance succeeded in winning the admiration of a thinly crowded theatre.

The most successful were the performances on a single musical instrument. Three women played a guitar-like tune with a small wire string in their mouth. Apart from the music it was the synthesis of their action in execution which won an instant applause. Another performance worth mentioning was three artistes on a “rabab” like musical intruments.

Singers were impressive too with the depth in their voice. The one-hour show was compact and made definite impact on the audiences. The highlight of the performance was the Alisha song “Made in India” rendered by a Kyrghyz woman. The crowd clapped during the entire rendering of the number.

The folk orchestra was established in 1936. The orchestra’s programme is a continuously evolving one, “using new images and themes”. Professional musicians explore the works of world-famous composers and develop national folk melodies.

Eminent artistes Anarbek Ilraev and Tamara Isabekova shone with their talent among the soloists as does Samara Toktakunova. The orchestra is currently headed by Sardarbek Jumaliev.The orchestra has performed in several countries, including the USA, Canada, France, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark.Top



 

Women staff voice demands
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — Members of the Istri Mulazam Coordination Committee staged a rally in Sector 17 in support of their long-standing demands this afternoon.

The employees demanded the implementation of the guidelines issued by the National Commission for Women against sexual harasment at the place of work. The government should constitute complaint committees in all the departments with due representation to their members. The gathering also condemned the rape of Christian women and of Anjana Mishra, besides the evil practices of dowry and burning of daughters-in-law.

The rallyists expressed their solidarity with the girl students of Madras University for bringing them under the purview of the code of conduct against sexual harasment at educational institutions. They supported the cause of the Nav Niyukt Adhyapak Union and hailed the appointment of Mrs Kiran Bedi as the new IGP of Chandigarh.

Mrs Surinder Kaur and Mrs Amarjeet Kaur, President and General Secretary of the committee respectively said that due to the sustained efforts of the committee, the state government had agreed to implement the reccomendations of the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission to allow a woman employee to come back into service after 10 years of resigning or marriage, right to change district after marriage without losing seniority and preference to single woman in house allotment.Top


 

Big response to ‘path bodh’ project
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — More than 300 persons have enrolled themselves for the month-long unique programme called the “Gurbani Path Bodh Samagam” that began at the Sector 34 Sri Teg Bahadur Gurdwara here on Wednesday.

Being organised by the Gurmat Prasar Seva Society along with the Management Committee of the gurdwara, it is part of the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa.

Mr Narinder Bir Singh, Vice-President of the society, says that it is the first such programme in the region. Its aim is to teach the sangat the way of life as propounded by Guru Granth Sahib.

Well-known philosophers of Sikhism explain the grammar, pronunciation and content of the holy scripture to the young and old, both Sikhs and non-Sikhs who have joined the class. The participants are provided with “pothian” (four volumes of Guru Granth Sahib) that have reference notes. They can also refer to the well-stocked library of the gurdwara.

The famous katha vachak, Giani Sahib Singh of Shahbad Markanda, and the gurdwara Head Granthi, Giani Mohan Singh, field the questions and doubts raised by the enthusiastic congregation, while conducting the sessions held from 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.Top


 

commodity watch
Ice cream cool on the pocket
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — There is a good news for ice cream lovers. They will be able to beat the heat this summer without shelling out extra money as there has been no fluctuation in the prices of most of varieties of locally made ice cream during the past one year.

A survey of the market today revealed that in spite of a sharp hike in the prices of most ingredients used in manufacturing of the dessert, almost all varieties of the ‘summer favourite’ were available at the prices prevailing last summer.

According to sources in the market, there has been a little hike in the prices of only a few varieties due to stiff competition among city-based icecream manufacturers who were offering most of their products at the old prices in order to dominate the market at the very outset of summer.

If a good quality 800 ml butter-scotch brick was selling for Rs 35 during last summer, it was still available in the market at the old price. The same was the case with an 800 ml vanilla-strawberry flavoured brick as it was available in Sector 20 today at the old price of Rs 25. The price of other varieties of bricks such as ‘kaju pista’, ‘kesar pista’ ‘malai-kulfi’ has also been stable at Rs 35.

There has been no difference in the price of a good quality 800 ml pineapple-mango brick as it was still available in the market for Rs 30. There was no change in the price of ‘roasted-almond’, kaju-kishmish’, flavoured bricks, as these were still available at most shops for Rs 35. Similarly, a 55 ml vanilla bar was available for the old price of Rs 3.

How a 100 ml ‘cassatta’ was priced at Rs 45 during last summer. It is available today for Rs 60. Similarly, the price of a vanilla cup has gone up from Rs 6 to Rs 7 and that of the ‘choco bar’ from Rs 8 to Rs 10 per piece. The price of an orange bar has gone up from Rs 2 to Rs 3. There was, however, no change in the prices of an icecream cone and ‘softy’ as these were still priced at Rs 5 per piece.

According to Mr Ajay Kapoor, an icecream manufacturer, the prices were almost stable due to increasing competition among manufacturers. “We are forced to do that as others are doing it,” he said. He added that despite a sharp increase in the prices of inputs, they were forced to offer the products at the old prices. The prices of butter and vanaspati ghee, which are extensively used in icecream have gone up from Rs 110 to Rs 125 and from Rs 32 to Rs 42 per kg, respectively. Similarly, the price of cashewnuts has increased from Rs 180 a kg to Rs 240 a kg during the past one year alone, he added. According to manufacturers, if the price of artificial flavours have gone up by 10 to 15 per cent, the power-tariff for semi-industries has increased from Rs 3.25 per unit to Rs 3.75 per unit during this period.

According to sources, two of the six Sector 20 ice cream factories have been closed down by the manufacturers due to dwindling profits during the past one year.Top


 

Crime file
Man falls from CTU bus, dies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A man fell off a moving Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus and died at the hospital a few hours later last night.

The deceased, Bhola Ram of Sector 36 fell off the bus near Kisan Bhavan late last night. He was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 16, where he died. A case under sections 279 and 340-A of the IPC has been registered.

Meanwhile, in a separate accident, Abhishek Sharma of Sector 22 was injured when he was hit by a CTU bus (CH—01—G—1196) near the ISBT in Sector 17. He was admitted to General Hospital Sector 16.

Cash stolen: Nearly Rs 40,000 was stolen from a Sector 23 house on the night of March 10 and 11. Mr Sudesh Kumar Agnihotri said the family was offering puja in a room made on the rear side of the house. They came inside the home to find the money and some important documents missing. A case has been registered.

Two held: Two persons have been arrested for allegedly assaulting and threatening a neighbour with dire consequences. Guriqbal Singh and Sukhwinder Singh of Sector 23 have been arrested following a complaint lodged by Mr Rajesh Malhotra.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, the police has booked Arun Jain, Neeraj Sharma and Arun Sood on a compliant lodged by Ashok Kumar of Sector 15.

Scooter stolen: A scooter (CH—01—U—3698), owned by N.K. Gupta of Sector 20, was stolen from his residence.

Injured: Two persons were injured in separate road accidents since morning. A pedestrian, Gagandeep Singh of Sector 43, was hit by an Esteem car. In a separate accident, a resident of Ropar, Sukhdev Singh, was hit by a CTU bus in Sector 17. Both were admitted to the PGI.

Suicide bid: A minor girl, Meha of Sector 15, was admitted to the PGI after she reportedly consumed a poisonous substance at home this evening, according to police sources.

PANCHKULA

Booked: The local police has booked Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 15, here, for allegedly harassing his wife, Manju, to bring dowry. The police has registered a case under Sections 323, 406, 506 and 498-A of the IPC on the basis of a complaint lodged by the woman. According to information available, the complainant, a resident of Adowa in Ambala, was married to Mahesh Kumar in December, 1998.

Cyclist hurt: A cyclist, Manto Prasad, a resident of Bitna, was injured after being hit by a car near here on Thursday. A case has been registered under sections 279 and 337 of the IPC against the car driver.Top


 


Councillors await official intimation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The controversy regarding the reconstitution of the committees of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) by the Mayor, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, refuses to die.

Even as the BJP-SAD alliance has termed the reconstitution as “illegal”, the councillors are yet to get official intimation about their nomination even after five days of the panels having being recast.

The delay on part of the municipal authorities in sending the formal letters to the councillors has delayed the elections to the posts of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson. Earlier, March 11, 12 and 15 were fixed as tentative dates for the elections.

While the ruling group claims that it has tried to give representation to all councillors by nominating them to two committees, the alliance has questioned the very recasting of the panels, alleging the matter pertaining to the reconstitution of the committees was never listed in the agenda of the meeting of the corporation held on February 1.

Not only that, the alliance members, while terming the minutes of the meeting defective, charged that the matter was never put to vote despite certain members demanding it.

The alliance members had met the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Jagdish Sagar, several times and sought his intervention since the matter was under dispute. They had also urged the Commissioner, Mr Satish Gathwal, not to implement the decision regarding “illegitimate” reconstitution of the committees.

On the other hand, the ruling group claimed that all councillors had been given fair representation in the committee which was a welcome step, as in the earlier committees certain councillors found place in three committees while others were members of only one committee.

Mr Addiwal, when contacted, said since certain councillors from the ruling group were to be out of stations, the elections had be “deferred”. The new dates for the elections would soon be finalised after consultation with the Commissioner, he added.Top



 

Conference on lithotripsy
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A three-day conference for techincal persons who use a particular brand of lithotripsy machines for painless removal of kidney stones, opened in a private hospital in Sector 9 today.

Around 70 delegates from all over the country and abroad are attending the conference, which emphasises patient-friendly lithotripsy for treatment of kidney without surgery.

The conference was inaugurated by Dr P.S. Bakhshi, a surgeon from Jalandhar.Top


 

AIR to broadcast mushaira excerpts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The local station of All India Radio (AIR) will broadcast a special programme on the excerpts from the Indo-Pak mushaira on March 14 at 9.15 a.m.

The mushaira was held at Tagore Theatre before a select audience on February 28. Eminent Indian and Pakistani poets, including Bashir Badr, Jagan Nath “Azad”, Krishan Bihari “Noor”, Mehak “Bharati”, Tejinder “Adaa”, Zahid Fakhri, Sahir Zaman and Hassan Rizvi, had participated.Top


 

AN-32 crash report soon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — The Court of Enquiry into the crash of AN-32 aircraft at the IGI airport in New Delhi on March 7 is expected to submit its report either by the end of this week or early next week.

According to reliable sources, the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, which were brought here on Wednesday afternoon, have already been decoded. Air Cdre R.V. Kumar, who is heading the Court of Enquiry reportedly have left the city last evening after analysing the data made available by decoding of both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.

Members of the Court of Enquiry spent more than six hours in the laboratory here yesterday before flying back to the Union Capital in the evening.

Twentytwo persons, including two civilians, were killed in the worst- ever crash of an AN-32 aircraft after its induction into the transport wing of the Indian Air Force.Top



 

Science students go elsewhere
From Our Correspondent

BARWALA, March 12 — Despite Government Girls Senior Secondary School here, local girls studying in the plus two science stream have to go to Ambala and Panchkula for their studies.

It is not that the Haryana Education Department has not thought of starting classes in the science stream in the school. Four posts of lecturers which were sanctioned in 1995, are vacant. Students desirous of taking up science have to enrol as students of arts stream. A determined few, however, seek admission in other schools in the surrounding areas.

Sources say the problem of shortage of staff was compounded after some teachers of the school were sent on deputation to the Government Primary Teachers Training Institute at Dharla in Morni by the directorate.

The lecturers of Sanskrit, political science and bio-science are teaching Hindi, history and English, respectively, whereas commerce is being taught by a part-time teacher. According to the Principal, Mrs Reeta Sharma, the school needs one trained graduate teacher each for Hindi and physical education and a junior librarian. The matter has been discussed with the District Education Officer, she says.

The school authorities are willing to start science classes from the next session if the department fills the vacant posts of physics and chemistry teachers.

The school is also without a peon, a sweeper, a chowkidar and gardener, complaints, Mr Amar Singh, a former sarpanch of Barwala village. He demands the introduction of Punjabi up to the plus two level for the benefit of students of the area. He alleges that contrary to the policy of the government to promote girl education, vacant posts have not been filled so far.

Besides, the school is functioning in a dilapidated building. With 630 students and just 10 classrooms, the plight of students can be well imagined. Due to a shortage of space, classes are often held in the open, exposing students to the vagaries of weather.Top



 

Workshop on watershed management held
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — A workshop on watershed management was organised by the Indian Environment Society and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung here today.

Inaugurating the workshop, Ms Meenakshi Datta Ghosh, Chairperson, CITCO, emphasised that women were the main victims of environment and water mismanagement in India.Dr C.R. Hazra, Agriculture Commissioner, Government of India delivered the keynote lecture on watershed management for holistic development of rainfed areas.

Dr Deen Bandhu, President of the society, pointed out that the message about proper watershed management could be spread by organising more workshops on the issue.The workshop was attended by over 40 delegates from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Chandigarh.Top




 

18 teachers court arrest
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 12 — As many as 18 teachers courted arrest in the ongoing month-long agitation of the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union in front of the residences of the Punjab Chief Minister and the Finance Minister here this afternoon. Ten teachers courted arrest in front of the residence of the Chief Minister.

Mr Surinder Sharma, a spokesperson of the union, said the employees belonged to Ropar district.

Meanwhile, the arrests would continue and larger batches of teachers would court arrest in the coming days. A state-level rally would be held at Moga tomorrow.Top



 

Lack of medical facilities
From Our Correspondent

MANAULI (SAS NAGAR), March 12 — Non-availability of proper medical aids in case of crisis marks scores of villages in the periphery. Even the first aid facilities in case of emergency are non-existent.

Manauli, Chilla, Mauli-Baidwan and several other villages lack well-equipped dispensaries. Residents in the area demand a big hospital at least to meet the minor emergencies.

There are several “unqualified doctors” practising in the area. When this correspondent wanted to know about their qualifications, the answers were far from satisfactory about the place from where they got their degrees.

However, where qualified doctors fear to tread these “doctors” come as a saving grace. The villagers are aware about the risk involved, but are forced to go there as they have no option. Mr Kewal Singh, a resident of Mauli-Baidwan, said: “Something is better than nothing”.

The dispensary at Manauli village is too small to meet the medical needs of the 10 villages that it covers. According to Ms Surinder Kaur, sarpanch of Manauli village,”one has to cover a distance of at least 13 km to reach government hospital in Chandigarh. It would be better if a hospital is established in the area”.

A resident of Chilla village, Mr Gurmel Singh, said: “Often the condition of a serious case, which has to be taken to a ‘doctors’ in the vicinity, worsens and leads to complication till the time the patient reaches a hospital”.

In one case a 12-year-old girl had to be admitted to hospital after she was administered a wrong drug. A number of practising medical professionals in the area admit that they are not competent enough to tackle serious cases. Dr Gurmeet Singh, who runs a clinic at Manauli village, said: “We offer treatment to the villagers at very cheaper rate than in cities and we refer serious cases to hospital. The clinics only provide first aid”.

Mrs Swaran Kaur, a local resident, complained that there was no maternity home in the area.

Meanwhile, the Manauli village panchayat has demanded that the level of the village road should be raised as the present road level is lower than another approach road, according to Mrs Surinder Kaur, the village sarpanch.Top


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