Sunday, September 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


The row over classroom lectures
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

A sharp difference of opinion has emerged between the parents and children of Panjab University and affiliated colleges over the UGC proposal to have a minimum attendance of 75 per cent in an academic session.

The unprecedented rally of students on the university campus has shown their reservation about increasing the percentage from the existing 66. The parents, however, almost unanimously favour the proposal to increase the percentage of attendance.

The protests however, came a little early because the proposal is yet to be approved by the Senate which meets on September30.

The biggest grievance of the students is that besides regular courses the arts and science streams also look for avenues of professional studies outside the colleges. Computer education institutions and fashion designing institutes in particular draw a big rush of students who maintain that 66 per cent attendance is more than sufficient to cover the syllabus.

A senior student leader said that there had been no meaningful change in the syllabi of the arts and science streams in the past several years. The same notes and the same chapters meant that they would have the same material to prepare from and the same questions to answer in the examinations. Unless there was a meaningful change in the mode of education and instruction, it was pointless to force students to attend classes, he said.

A parent, however, felt that when the students could attend 100 per cent classes in schools, why they could not go to their classes in colleges. The parents would feel more comfortable if they knew their wards were in classrooms. Or they would keep worrying about the movements of their wards.

A related aspect of this issue is that the UGC has also prescribed minimum of 180 teaching days in an academic institution. These days are to be calculated apart from the days taken by house examination and cultural activities. In reality such days do not exceed 110. If this is true of the colleges which have six working days in a week, the situation in the university which has five working days in a week, can only be imagined.

Scholars also argue that it is not the number of lectures but the quality of teaching which is important from the academic point of view. There needs to be more experimentation with the mode of teaching. Instead of the routine ‘one-way lectures and notes by teachers’ the students need to encouraged to do some work on their own and go to the class to share and exchange their ideas.

The teachers and the parents however, feel that students in the classes will naturally help create a better academic atmosphere and save the system from slumping.


Intra-college competitions conclude
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The acting prowess of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, students was put to a gruelling test on the last day of the three-day intra-college competitions here today. One act plays were held in the college by students of various classes, which produced some wonderful performances.

The first prize was bagged by the play “Mission English” performed by the students of BA final year. Students of BA first year got the second prize for their play “Friends” and the third prize was bagged by BA-II students for their play “Ek se barh kar ek”.

Smriti of BA-III got the first individual prize while Kudrat and Khushboo of BA-I shared the second prize and Neha of BA-I got the third individual prize in acting.

In the poetry recitation competition held earlier, Mandeep Kaur and Manpreet Kaur secured the first and second positions, respectively, while the team of Pritha Sahi, Neha Sharma and Shipra won the quiz. The team of BA-I won the giddha competition.


Cultural show by school students
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
Patriotic songs and rhythmic dances filled the air as underprivileged students of the Sector 25 Government High School presented a cultural programme at the Sector 15 DAV Model School here today.

The programme was prepared by them under the guidance of the teachers.

The chief guest on the occasion was UT Director Public Instructions (Schools) D. S. Saroya. Addressing the gathering, he laid stress on the development of the underprivileged students. The Principal, Sector 15 DAV Model School, Ms Rakesh Sachdeva, said such students should be encouraged to study and work towards the development of the nation. A former Principal of MCM DAV College, Ms Sneh Mahajan, and executive director of YTTS, Ms Reetica Khanna, were also present on the occasion.


Commission dismisses appeal by agency
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission today dismissed an appeal moved by Stic Travels Private Limited against an order passed by the District Consumer Forum.

Aggrieved by the order passed by the Consumer Forum-II the agency had filed the appeal under Section 15 of the CP Act against it.

The complainant, Mr Harcharan Singh, filed a complaint with the UT Consumer Forum against the agency seeking compensation of Rs 1,00,360 for deficiency in its service.

The UT District Forum-II had awarded a sum of Rs 4,500 as the amount spent over travel from Chandigarh to Delhi, and also a sum of Rs 10,000 as a consolidated amount as compensation for inconvenience and harassment to the sons of the complainant and towards the costs of the case.

The complainant had stated in the complaint that his son, Mr Sukhpal Singh, was pursuing an MBBS Degree course at Kieve, Ukraine. Mr Harcharan Singh was providing the financial assistance to his son, who was solely dependent on him. Mr Sukhpal Singh came to India during his holidays in July, 1997, and was due to resume his studies at Kieve on September 1, 1997.

The complainant contacted the appellant — Stic Travel Private Limited — for getting an air ticket booked for his son of Air Ukraine and paid the amount of the ticket and the charges of the travel agency amounting to Rs 800 for which a receipt was issued by the agency.

The complainant alleged that Mr Sukhpal Singh, accompanied by his brother, Mr Sukhcharan Singh, left for Delhi by Shatabdi Express to board the flight to Kieve. Both reached the IGI Airport, New Delhi, and when they presented the ticket for the issuance of a boarding ticket they learnt that the ticket was not confirmed. The complaint alleged that travel agency again issued a ticket but to no avail, as the ticket was again not confirmed.

The commission, comprising of president, Justice K.K. Srivastava, and members Dr P.K. Vasudeva and Mr Devinderjit Dhatt, said: “We find ourselves in complete agreement with the findings recorded by the District Forum-II that Stic Travel Private Limited was deficient in rendering service.”

The commission also observed, “District Forum-II has assessed the amount spent by the sons of the complainant to travel from Chandigarh to New Delhi on 21, 25, 28 of September, 1997, at a sum of Rs 4,500 by assessing the average expenses per visit of Rs 1,500, which cannot in any way be unreasonable or excessive. The amount of Rs 10,000 awarded as a consolidated sum on account of compensation for harassment and inconvenience as well as the costs of case, appears to be quite just, proper and adequate”.


Rekha, Madhuri, Manisha all the way
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Rekha in 'Lajja'‘Lajja’ ( Piccadily) is an enchanting collage of different but striking stories of woman fortitude woven together into an artistic ensemble.

Manisha Koirala is the string that binds the beads of lives of Madhuri Dixit, Rekha and Mahima Chaudhary in a saga of social, economic and mental blocks that a woman faces in everyday life. In the real sense of the ‘world’ the film reveals that no difference exists in the “real status of an Indian woman” be it Manisha Koirala in a multimillionaire family in London or Rekha as a mid-wife in the heartland of rural India. Story of Madhuri Dixit as a stage dancer and Mahima Chaudhary as a typical middle-class girl awaiting marriage has different settings but no one’s pathos is less than the other.

The story has nothing new in it and has been attempted in several films of national repute earlier. However, Raj Kumar Santoshi manages a screen-binding show by sheer force in characterisation and more stronger verbal elements of revolt and questioning of the “norms of society”.

Manisha, Madhuri and Rekha have excelled in their respective roles.

Manisha Koirala is an average middle class girl married to Jackie Shroff in New York. Jackie loves an ‘easy life’. He thinks it does not make any difference till he provides Manisha with all comforts even while he has a good time with the wife of his friend.

Manisha is forced to leave him. She comes back to India but her family thinks “her real place is in her in-laws place”. Jackie loses potency in a road accident. He discovers that Manisha is pregnant. He wants the baby and invites Manisha back. She discovers that the baby and not her was Jackie’s final goal.

Manisha revolts and runs away. She lands at the marriage of Mahima Chaudhary and discovers that Anil Kapoor is also an uninvited guest at the venue. Mahima’s father is being pestered for the amount demanded in dowry. Mahima revolts. Koirala then lands at the place of a dance troupe where Madhuri Dixit is a member. Madhuri is bearing the child of a fellow-dancer but is unmarried. He deserts her.

Koirala ultimately lands in a village of Bihar where Rekha is a mid-wife. Coincidently her son is in love with village chief Danny’s daughter which is “unacceptable”. Danny is helped by his brother Gulshan Grover in all his moves. Anil Kapoor and Ajay Devgan are the torches of hope for humanity in a society where women face tough time at all places — home or workplace. There are ‘super-human’ escapades but they do not misfit. The unending story of woman’s woes has thought-provoking renderings by Madhuri, Rekha, Mahima and Koirala.

Music by Anu Malik is average. Sameer and Prasun Joshi have penned the lyrics. ‘Lajja’ is a Bharat Shah presentation.


In the known Seagal mould

Steven Seagal in “Exit Wounds”.Chandigarh
He was unbeatable once. He is unbearable now. How can one bear the sight of Steven Seagal making a spectacle of himself by playing cop-by-day and vigilante- by-night?

The more one sees him joining forces with mafia don DMX to bust a cop-run drug racket in “Exit Wounds” (Kiran), the worse one feels. When the worst is over, one wonders what he was trying to prove!

If he was trying to demonstrate that he can still pack a punch at 50? Or, he was making a determined bid to show that he can still pull off a winner on the strength of his muscles, no one is impressed. How long can his portrayal of a good cop cleansing the mean streets of baddies work in film after film.

His forays into comedy evoke yawns. When it comes to acting, he can surely be as robotic as a TV newsreader, and his martial arts exploits can no longer hold audiences in thrall.

It is movies like these that can hasten his downfall faster than he can imagine. He has to get his act together and exit from such assembly-line productions as soon as possible.


Cultural function today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 1
The Resident Welfare Association Joint Action Committee, Sector 38 West, will organise a cultural programme in collaboration with the Punjab Public Relations Department (PPRD) at Sector 38 tomorrow.

Mr Jagdish Chand, vice-chairman of the committee, said that children of eight residents welfare association of Sector 38 and a number of artistes of the PPRD will participate in the function.

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