C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU Syndicate meets on Sept 24
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Panjab University Syndicate, at its meeting on September 24, will discuss the delegation of power of signing cheques to various university officers for better working. It is proposed to raise the amount authorised to the Office Superintendent, Accounts (OSA), G and P, OSA, salary I and II, and OSA, E and P I and II, from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

For the Assistant Registrar accounts I, II, III, the amount up to which they can sign a cheque is Rs 1 lakh. It is proposed to increase it to Rs 2.5 lakh.

There is, however, no change proposed in the amount that the Deputy Registrar, Accounts, and the Finance and Development Officer can sanction. They are authorised to clear cheques up to Rs 5 lakh.

The Syndicate will also discuss the holding of Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA) elections in August instead of December every year. Categories of awarding degrees in the upcoming PU convocation will also come up for discussion.



City to host Asian space contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The city will play host to the second Asian Regional Space Settlement Design Competition to be held in January next year. This was stated by the Chairperson of the local chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India, Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal (retd), at a press conference here today.

In the event, as many as 2,500 schools from the country and Asia are expected to participate. The winners will go on to participate in the space settlement design to be held at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. The registration of teams for the event is already under way.

“The teams can register at www.arssdc.org to participate. They have to send in the design proposals by November 15 and the result of the preliminaries would be out by November 25,” teacher adviser to last year’s winning team Abhishek Aggarwal said.

Eight teams will be shortlisted from among the applicants in an on-site settlement design programme, which will be held in the city.

The eight teams will be clubbed into four companies for the semi-finals and an intense two-and-a-half day contest will be held on the lines of the final contest to be held at Florida.

These teams will represent Asia on the basis of the project.

“Last year, we had only two participants from abroad — one from Pakistan and another from Malaysia — since the contest was not open to the rest. This time we are including a number of other countries like China, Japan, Iraq, Male, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Turkey, Egypt,” Wg Cdr Sabharwal added.



College Principals attend workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A one-day workshop was organised for Principals of accredited and non-accredited colleges affiliated to Panjab University here yesterday. It was sponsored by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore, and organised by the College Development Council, Panjab University.

The morning session saw participation of Principals of non-accredited colleges while Principals of accredited colleges took part in the evening session. The aim of holding of the workshop was to motivate the participants to ensure quality education in colleges.

Dr R.K. Chauhan inaugurated the workshop. He laid stress on accreditation of colleges in the wake of globalisation.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, emphasised the need to maintain quality of higher education, particularly in colleges. He said though a number of colleges had come up the higher education was still not within the reach of 38 per cent people of the country.

Dr L. Madhuranath from the NAAC, Bangalore, spoke on the mission of the council.

Dr A.C. Vaid, resource person, highlighted the basic requirements for accreditation.

The evening session was presided over by Prof S.S. Bari, Registrar, Panjab University.



Imaging course at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A two-day imaging course on neuroradiology, including head and neck imaging, was inaugurated by Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, at PGIMER here today.

Organised by the Department of Radiodiagnosis, PGI, in collaboration with the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, the course was presided over by Prof V.K. Kak, renowned neurosurgeon, and other eminent faculty from the three institutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sudha Suri highlighted the utility of plain x-rays and stressed upon their complimentary role to MRI and CT scan. A lecture on, “Imaging and interventions in stroke”, was delivered by Dr S. Gaekwad.

A book titled “Neuroradiology, including head and neck imaging” was also released by Professor Pathak.



NET on Dec 31
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The University Grants Commission (UGC) will conduct national eligibility test (NET) on December 31, 2005.
Giving this information, Prof D.C. Kataria, an educational expert for UGC NET test, said this time also the Aryans Educational and Charitable Trust , an NGO engaged in creating awareness for UGC NET exam in the region, would provide forms and a complete information brochure to students free of cost from today onwards.

This test is conducted in 77 subjects at 65 centres all over India. The last date for the submission of the form is November 7, 2005.

The forms can be collected from 164/2, Sector 16-A, Chandigarh. A free helpline (98762-99888) on which students can obtain detailed information about the test has also been started.



Court adjourns defamation case against CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A local court today adjourned a defamation case filed by the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) against the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh to December 17.
Mr Badal had filed a defamation suit against the Chief Minister for lowering the reputation of the Badal family in the public eye.

Both Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Badal sought exemption from personal appearance today in view of their busy schedule. It may be recalled that in the run-up to the Punjab Assembly elections in February 2002, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee(PPCC), then headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, had launched an intensive advertisement campaign against the Badal family for allegedly “amassing huge wealth through corrupt means” during his tenure as the Punjab Chief Minister.



Film Review
‘James’ has velocity
Rama Sharma

The hi-flying life of Mumbai shot by first-timer director Rohit Jugraj in “James” kindles a hunters’ soul. In all its facets, it is the picturisation of the film which stands out. The contents in “James” are state, but its infusion is fresh.

Radhe Narayan (Shereveer Vakil), brother of Shanti Narayan, a politician with underworld links, eyes an upcoming model, Nisha (Nisha Kothari). But the girl is loved by (Mohit Ahlawat), who is a bouncer in a discotheque. A girl-meets-boy story, highlighted umpteen times, earlier is no different here.

The hero and heroine on the run are treated with a velocity, which sustains your interest throughout. Debutant hero Mohit has a good physique, a twinkle in his eyes and a face which cannot yell but the perfectly jells with Ram Gopal Verma’s Film Factory. His hero-like miracles can arouse the envy of many. Nisha, making her appearance for the second time, is picking up the threads of acting.

There are some frames in black and white which conveniently convey the director’s ability to portray nerve-wrenching fight sequences. However, in the second half, muscle man overpowers the script and romance takes a backseat here.

But James is not altogether a bad bargain.



No Hindu marriages for another two months
Arvind Katyal

The period of navrataras which come twice a year are considered auspicious for any new venture, be it marriage, grah parvesh etc. But this year as per astrologers, the navrataras will not be auspicious, reason being two planets Venus, the house of love, and Jupiter are not in proper placement as per its planetary position.

The prospective brides and bridegrooms will have to wait not only till navrataras but further till November 16 as the stars would be favourable from November 17. Moreover, the businesses might also suffer during the above period in general and those related to wedding purchases in particular.

Mr Ashish Khunger, an astrologer from Sector-18, says from September 17, the shradhs have begun and the navrataras will begin from October 4. He says many among Hindu religion usually stop buying any new product during shradhs and with the above impact of Venus and Jupiter during navrataras, there would be no time left for the shoppers who would then delay their purchases since no marriage could be fixed before November 16.

He says in Punjabi terminology, people call it “tara dubbna” (unfavourable planets), so elderly people do not want to take risk of fixing marriage or any grah parvesh since these activities are done mainly once in a lifetime. He adds that Sikhs and Christians have less belief in this system and their marriages are performed at noon time and preferably on Sundays, which is considered to be auspicious.

Mr T.R. Sharma, a practising astrologer of Sector 38, says with many cases of broken marriages coming to light, people have started laying more emphasis on planetary aspects. This would lead to non-fixing of marriages this navrataras due to the adverse position of Venus and Jupiter. He says this inauspicious period in navrataras has come after a long time and people especially Hindus will have to wait for almost two months beginning today.

Mr Sharma says though for those having Aquarius in their Moon sign will have their beneficial period beginning September 27, for another four months, but even people ruled by this sign will not be able to get married till November 16.



Infusing life into statues
Sunil Kumar

One of the creations of Parwinder Sethi depicting the sacrifice by Bhai Subeg Singh and Bhai Shahbaj Singh
One of the creations of Parwinder Sethi depicting the sacrifice by Bhai Subeg Singh and Bhai Shahbaj Singh. — Photos by writer

He possesses the art of infusing life into statues. A look at his lifelike creations makes people impulsively speak out some words of praise for the artist. All this despite the fact that he did not undergo any training in statue making and don't even have any proper workshop or studio to bring alive his creations.

Parwinder Singh Sethi, a scooter mechanic by profession, creates these works of art using fibre glass, M-seal and other such material in his shop, Sethi Auto Repair, at Buterla village in Sector 41, Chandigarh.

Whenever he is not busy repairing some vehicle, he spends time working on a statue. He has a good number of creations to his credit. These are on display in a temporary shed at Lakhnaur village on the Mohali-Landran road, opposite the BSF camp. He has named it Sikh Museum. It was inaugurated by the SDM, Mohali, Mr M.L. Sharma, on January 18 this year. Before that, his works remained on display at various gurdwaras in the city. He also held an exhibition at Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, last year.

The museum remains open from 11 am to 7 pm everyday and there is no entry fee. Parwinder Singh says he had a creative bent of mind since childhood and used to create innovative models that won him praise in the neighbourhood. Since he did not have much interest in studies, he quit the school and took to the work of scooter mechanic.

He recalls the first statue that he made was that of Lord Rama. It was made of cement. Those were the days when Ramanand Sagar's "Ramayan" was making waves in the country. His creation was appreciated by the people and it was placed in the village temple. This encouraged him to take this art seriously.

In 1990, he created the statue of a soldier. It remained installed in the Punjab Raj Bhavan for nine years. Now it is back with him and is on display at the museum. Then he prepared the statue of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief. It took him around one year to make it and cost around Rs 40,000. He wanted to present it to Mr Badal, but has not succeeded in his effort till now.

Of late, he has taken to creating statues depicting moments from glorious Sikh history, sacrifices made by the Sikhs and the atrocities inflicted by the Mughals on them.

The statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh recreated the royal aura of the great Sikh ruler. The statue depicts him sitting majestically in his golden throne. He has also created statues depicting sacrifices made by Bhai Mati Dass, who was cut into two pieces by the Mughals with a saw.

His another creation depicts the sacrifice made by Bhai Subeg Singh and his son, Shahbaj Singh, who were killed by rolling between two giant wheels for not converting to Islam. Statues of Bhai Taru Singh and Banda Singh Bahadur are also on display. The recent addition to the museum are the statues depicting Mughal atrocities on Sikh women whose children were brutally killed in front of their eyes.

“This creation is my tribute to those Sikh women who did not betray Sikhism for Islam despite facing inhuman atrocities at the hand of the Mughals,” says Parwinder Singh.

About his next creation, he says he is planning to create a statue of Bhai Bachhitar Singh, a valiant Sikh warrior who single-handedly killed a drunk elephant let loose by the Mughals at "Guru ki sena". The statue will take around six months to complete and would cost around Rs 50,000.

When asked about meeting the cost of his creations, he says so far there has been little help from other quarters and he had been spending money from his own pocket. That is the reason why his family is not very appreciative of his effort although they consider him a good artist, he says.

Around 50 to 70 persons visit the Sikh Museum daily. Some of them even make small donations towards financing his new projects. The money so collected is not really substantial, but this gesture of the visitors encourages him to go on. Parwinder Singh is grateful to Mr Kamal Mohan Singh for allowing him to erect this temporary shed on his land without charging any money. Parwinder looks forward to help from some other quarters so that he could create a permanent museum dedicated to Sikhism. — TNS



‘Mujhe Rang De’, a laugh riot

The complicated, albeit hilarious twists and turns of a marriage gone off track, are depicted with amazing comic timing and sharp dialogue as the star spangled "Mujhe Rang De" comes to the city, courtesy the Durga Das Foundation, The Tribune group of publications and Spice Telecom, on September 21 at the Tagore Theatre.

Divya Dutta, Ayesha Jhulka and Anant Mahadevan, all hugely talented actors enact roles which they most certainly seem to enjoy playing, in a laugh riot which focuses on a marriage that is threatening to collapse and how skeletons tumble out of the cupboard at the least expected moment, throwing things comically out of gear.

Divya is the suppressed, harried wife. Sachin Vaidya is the intimidating husband who refuses to understand her point of view. Mahadevan is an artist who enters her home, hoping to hoodwink her. He stumbles onto the discovery of her alleged affair with another man and before Divya can take stock of the developments, there is the entry of Ayesha, the crazed wife of the man Divya was supposed to have had an affair with. As the beans are about to be spilt, the situation develops multiple dimensions with each character's punch lines adding to the riveting narrative.

An entertaining theatrical production, it's a light take on marriages and one, which most people would be able to identify with. Limited donor cards will be available at Nehru Bhavan in Sector 24 from September 16, on a first come first serve basis. TNS


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