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A college with a difference
Hindu College is steeped in history and it has seen generations of scholars walk down its hallowed precincts. In spite of its name, it is out and out a secular institution, report Varinder Walia and
Neeraj Bagga
Size does not matter, brains do. The small building of Hindu College in the labyrinthine narrow lanes of the city hogged the limelight when its alumnus, Dr Manmohan Singh, became the Prime Minister of the country.
A view of Hindu College at Amritsar EDUCATIONAL HERITAGE: A view of Hindu College at Amritsar.
— Photo by Rajiv Sharma



EARLIER EDITION

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Platinum jubilee show of ‘Faasle’
History of sorts was created in the world of Punjabi Theatre when the Punjabi play “Faasle,” written by Jatinder Singh Brar, celebrated its platinum jubilee with the screening of 75th show at the fully computerised revolving stage at Punjab Naat Shala here recently.


A scene from the play staged at the Punjab Naat Shala in the city. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

A scene from the play staged at the Punjab Naat Shala in the city


‘Female foeticide a blot on Indian society’

Presenting an unique performance, students of Ryan International School vociferously took on the mantle to sensitise the society, including adults, to the scourge of female foeticide. Holding up a mirror to the society, the message was presented forcefully using several art forms after a week-long training workshop.


A view of the puppet show enacted by students of Ryan International School. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

A view of the puppet show enacted by students of Ryan International School

Holy City’s ‘superhit’ Bollywood connection
“Rang de Basanti” is the latest hit to complete the hat-trick of three movies that were consecutively shot in the Holy City and topped the charts. The movie with Aamir Khan in the lead is reporting a good attendance in the cinema halls here.


Lucky Mascot: Amritsar is fast becoming a favourite destination for Bollywood producers. Box office hits ‘Balle! Balle! Amritsar to LA’, ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Veer Zaara’ had shots from various locales of the district.

Seminar on future of Holy City
The issue of the haphazard urbanisation of the Holy City was discussed during a seminar, “Amritsar Vision — 2020”, organised by Greater Punjab Chamber of Commerce here.

Guru Nanak varsity secures third position in tennis tournament
Guru Nanak Dev University secured third place in the North-East Inter-University Lawn Tennis Tournament that concluded at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on January 26.

Education conference organised
Expressing their deep concern over the “loss” of moral values in the society, principals and scholars from DAV schools said it was the primary duty of the schools to inculcate moral values among children at the school level.

‘Bharat Mata Pujan’ by Amritsar Study Circle
The Amritsar Study Circle, under its “Bharat Mata Pujan” programme, organised a series of quiz contests on the lives of Guru Gobind Singh, Swami Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose.

School celebrates foundation day
A cultural programme was presented by tiny tots of the Mamta Niketan Convent School, located on Amritsar Road in Tarn Taran, to celebrate the school’s sixth foundation day.

Special Lok Adalat on Feb 5
The District Legal Services Authority would organise a special Lok Adalat on February 5 at district courts here under the guidance and supervision of Mr H S Bedi, Executive Chairman of Punjab Legal Services Authority, and Mr Gurdev Singh, District and Session Judge, Amritsar.

Doyen of textile industry passes away
Pyara Lal Kapur, a doyen of textile industry, passed away last week after illness in New Delhi. A post-graduate in textile technology from Bradford University, England, Pyara Lal (78) took over the reins of Amritsar Rayon and Silk Mills Pvt Ltd as its managing director. Born on July 29, 1928 at Amritsar in the family of Lal Kapur, he had been in the business of textile since he completed his studies.
Pyara Lal Kapur

Pyara Lal Kapur

Weekly Round-up
The National Youth Day was celebrated under the banner of the Swami Vivekanand Study Circle at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1, Amritsar Cantt here. Mr C S Talwar, senior PCS officer, was the chief guest on the occasion. A cultural programme was organised on the occasion.

Hutch road show
One of the leading cellular service providers, Hutch recently organised a road show to make the residents of the Holy City aware about its Voice Response platform.

Frankfinn in Amritsar
Frankfinn, an institute providing air cabin crew training would inaugurate its institute at Ranjit Avenue here on February 8.
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A college with a difference

Hindu College is steeped in history and it has seen generations of scholars walk down its hallowed precincts. In spite of its name, it is out and out a secular institution, report Varinder Walia and Neeraj Bagga

A file photo showing Lal Bahadur Shastri (holding garlands) as a chief guest during the annual convocation of the college
A file photo showing Lal Bahadur Shastri (holding garlands) as a chief guest during the annual convocation of the college.

Size does not matter, brains do. The small building of Hindu College in the labyrinthine narrow lanes of the city hogged the limelight when its alumnus, Dr Manmohan Singh, became the Prime Minister of the country.

Forget its nomenclature ‘Hindu’. The college has carved a niche for itself by proving to be a secular institute. The alumni of the college include the son of Dr Saif-ud-Din Kitchlew, a Muslim and hero of Jallianwala Bagh, Sikhs and Parsis like Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Maneckshaw. The college premises served as a refugee camp for all those who had migrated from Pakistan at the time of Partition.

It was a pleasant surprise for the college management when it received a touching letter from Dr Manmohan Singh, rekindling his old bonds with his alma mater Hindu College, despite his busy schedule. The letter is likely to be a permanent source of inspiration for staff and students of the college, which has been lately mired in controversies.

Communicating his indebtedness to the college, Dr Manmohan Singh said, “I am happy to say I have carried with me throughout my life all that I learnt at Hindu College.”

A galaxy of stars

The college has had many reputed teachers, who guided and shaped the future of the institution. They have been considered stalwarts in academic circles.

Some of the noted teachers associated with the college have been Mr B.M.L. Tickoo, Mr Atma Singh, Mr Dwarka Nath and Mr Harnam Dass, Mr Arjun Nath Mattoo, Mr Mehar Chand, Mr M.L. Mathur, Mr D.K. Kapoor, Dr J.K. Trikha, Mr K.K. Suri, Mr S.R. Kalia, Mr M.L. Joshi, Mr U.C. Naval and Mr H.L. Sharma.


Famous alumni

Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Maneckshaw, Justice H.R. Khanna (Supreme Court), Ms Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya, DGP (Uttranchal), Maharaj Krishan Rasgotra, former Indian Ambassador to France, Lieutenant General B.K.N. Chhibber, a former Governor of Punjab, Mr P. Shiv Shanker, a former Union Minister, Justice R.L. Anand of Punjab and Haryana High Court and Mr R.L. Bhatia, Governor (Kerala), Mr Hans Raj Khanna, Judge, Supreme Court, Dr R.C. Paul, a famous physicist and retired Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Dr S.S Manchanda, a physician of international fame, Professor Vaishno Dutt, a renowned historian, Mr Prabodh Chander, a former minister of Punjab, Mr Girdhari Lal Dogra, a former minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, a former minister, Punjab government, Mr Kedar Sharma, a reputed writer, producer, director and dramatist from Bollywood, Mr Charanjit Sharma, a poet, actor, dramatist and former chief of the All India Radio’s Drama Division, Mr R.K Bali, IRS, Mr Anil Kumar Mehra, IRS, Dr Ashok Amrohi, IFS, Mr C.L Bharani, a writer of philosophy are among the alumni of Hindu College.


Roll of Honour

Despite the fact that the college has a limited space and is located in the narrow lanes of the city, it has produced famous players, especially in the game of cricket.

Famous left arm spinner and former captain Bishan Singh Bedi, and Madan Lal, former Test player, were the products of the college. Their sporting skills were honed by the dedicated college coach Gian Parkash.

He himself, along with Prithviraj and Roshan Lal, represented the Southern Punjab Association against the Australian cricket team in 1935. Mr Bedi was awarded a Padam Shri. Gokul Inder Dev rose to become the captain of the Services Cricket Team.

 In the early fifties, Sardari Lal of the college went on to join the Indian Volleyball team. An alumnus of the college, Vijay Mehra, has the distinction of being the youngest player to represent India in a test match during his time.

He played against New Zealand. Another student Dinesh Khanna became the Asian Champion in Badminton.

Recalling the brilliant academic record of Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr K.K. Arora, Director (of the college), said that their common teacher, Professor S.R. Kalia, continued to cite the example of Dr Manmohan Singh to inspire the students. Once Dr Manmohan Singh scored exceptionally good marks that evoked immediate reaction from the staff and students.

So much so that Professor Dingra, another teacher of the college, asked Professor Kalia to check his (Dr Singh’s) paper again. Professor Kalia replied that he could not find even a single answer from where he could deduct any marks even as the paper was re-checked.

Dr Manmohan Singh studied in the college from 1950 to 1953. All these years he topped in the college and his name still adorns the “Roll of Honours”, which serve as a constant source of inspiration for the students.

The elevation of Dr Manmohan Singh has had a perceptible impact on the students of the Economics Department. It was evident from the result of last year’s examination. In M.A Part-I Manpreet Kaur of the college topped Guru Nanak Dev University, while another student Smriti Lumba (MA Economics Part-II) clinched the first place by securing a record 80 per cent marks.

Mr Arora said the elevation of Dr Manmohan Singh to the top most executive post of the country had fulfilled the dreams of the founding fathers of the institution.

He said though the name of the college indicated a ‘communal nomenclature’, its founding fathers had formed the institution on the ideals of secularism in true spirit. They desired to create an institution in which students from different backgrounds could understand one another and contribute in the progress of the country.

The first Field Marshal of the country and hero of 1971 war S.H.F.J Maneckshaw, a Parsi, did his FA (second year) from the college. He joined the college on March 3, 1934, and left the institution in January 1935 to join the IMA. He visited the college after winning the 1971 war against Pakistan to pay regards to his alma mater. This visit is still fresh in the minds of old teachers and students.

Mr Talat Mahmood Kitchlew, son of great freedom fighter Saif-ud-Din Kitchlew, belonging to Muslim community, graduated from the college.

Interestingly, Professor V.P Lumba, Principal of the college, said that management of the college was always ahead of its time and wanted to give the best to its students. Therefore, in 1936, co-education was introduced in it. This was a revolutionary decision, keeping in view the orthodox environment prevalent at that time. The same year it was elevated to the degree level. Girl students of all communities, including Muslims, joined it.

But after some years, owing to certain compulsions it was again turned into all boys’ college. Eventually, in 1957 co-education was re-introduced.

Located inside the walled city, Hindu College had its genesis in the Hindu Sabha, Amritsar, which was founded by Rai Bahadur Lala Gagar Mal, along with a group of spirited men in 1885.

Dr Arun Mehra, a senior professor, said that in the same year, the august society launched the Hindu Sabha School.

The school was elevated to the level of High School in 1908. Mr S.M. King, the then Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, performed the stone laying ceremony.

Meanwhile, the sabha had to pass through tough time during its formative years. Limited sources and scarcity of funds proved a great hindrance in its development. In 1897, the then British government of India to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Victoria granted a piece of Nazul land in Dhab Wasti Ram to the society, which proved a shot in the arm for the sabha.

Eventually, Hindu College was branched out of Hindu Sabha School in 1924. The idea of it was conceived by philanthropist, Sir Gopal Das Bhandari, and Rai Bahadur Gagar Mull, the then President of the Hindu Sabha, Amritsar.

The founding members of the college were famous figures of the city and known for their integrity and honesty. Professor Arun Mehra, a senior faculty member, said that the reason for establishing the college was the need for an educational institute in the city at that time which could share the ever-increasing burden of sister institution Khalsa College situated at a considerable distance from the city.

The college was also used as a camp for refugees coming from Pakistan after Partition of the country in 1947. Mr Ram Pratap Mehra, a prominent businessman of the area was the incharge of the camp.

Significantly, an eminent educationist, Mr R.K. Kapoor, succeeded the Founder-Principal, Mr K.L Bhatia. Mr Kapoor’s fame was so widespread that it was said that students from other colleges of the city made it a point to attend his class. If there was not enough space in the room, they tried to ‘catch his words’ through windows. In 1948, he left the college for Washington DC to join as the Second Secretary in the Indian Ambassadorial staff.

The college has had the distinction of playing a host to an array of distinguished visitors, including Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Babu Parshotam Dass, Mr N.N. Sarkar, Dr S.S. Radhakrishnan, Dr Gopi Chand Bhargava, Lieutenant General Thorat, Mr Partap Singh Kairon, Mr Lal Bahadur Shastri, Acharya J.B. Kriplani, Mr Jai Prakash Narayan, Mr Gobind Vallabh Pant, Mr Darbara Singh, Justice Jiwan Lal Kapoor, Dr A.C. Joshi, Field Marshal S.H.F.J Maneckshaw, Dr D.C Pavate, Justice H.R Khanna, Justice Shiv Shankar, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr N.M Chaudhary and many others.

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Platinum jubilee show of ‘Faasle’
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

History of sorts was created in the world of Punjabi Theatre when the Punjabi play “Faasle,” written by Jatinder Singh Brar, celebrated its platinum jubilee with the screening of 75th show at the fully computerised revolving stage at Punjab Naat Shala here recently.

Mrs Davinder Kaur Brar, President, Punjab Naat Shala, said thousands of viewers not only from Amritsar but also from Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Patiala, New Delhi and Lahore (Pakistan) had come here to view the play.

The play had artistically highlighted the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, the upper and the lower caste and the privileged and the under-privileged sections of the society.

The story, which revolves around the unvoiced liking of a young girl named Noori (a snake charmer) for a government-employed doctor, is set in a village situated in a backward area of Mand.

The play depicted the role of the present day corrupt government employees and their nefarious practices of exploiting and fleecing villagers. The play sends a strong message among the audience to do away with social evils and disparities by inculcating a spirit of brotherhood.

Veteran artistes like Pavel Sandhu, Sukhi Pawar, Vedh Sharma, Jaswant Jas, Pawandeep, Satwinder Soni, Sarbjeet Ladda, Harmeet Kaur Sanghi, Soni Sidhu, Dolly Saddal, Bharati, Mamta, Vinod Mehra, Rajinder Nagi, Chowdhry, Gurpreet, Master Harjot Singh and Baby Sandeep performed to the best of their abilities.

Set designer Balwant Singh, light in charge Jaswinder Singh and sound in charge Subash Rao contributed in making the play a success.

Director Narinder Sanghi has attempted several novel ways in staging the play. He used technology for creating a realistic effect. Artificial rain, stars and greenery were effectively created on the stage. The creation of artificial rain was like a charisma for the traditional audience.

Jatinder Brar claimed that for the first time in the Punjabi theatre the theatrical skills and effects equivalent to international standard had been used to present various scenes of the play. He further said the theatre boasted of sophisticated light and sound systems.

“What started as a mere passion has now become a 250-seater, fully air-conditioned auditorium, thanks to the active support of theatre buffs,” added Brar.

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‘Female foeticide a blot on Indian society’
Rashmi Talwar

Presenting an unique performance, students of Ryan International School vociferously took on the mantle to sensitise the society, including adults, to the scourge of female foeticide.

Holding up a mirror to the society, the message was presented forcefully using several art forms after a week-long training workshop.

The approach through various art forms to convey the message through children of the falling sex ratio was conveyed powerfully.

The students presented a puppet play, “Ladoo — My Girl Child” about a life that was put to sleep even before it was born. With puppets designed by Sudip Gupta’s Doll Theatre, Kolkata, and Vahib Patil, Mumbai, and trained under Utkarsh Marwah, New Delhi, the show was a resounding success.

Using puppets as characters, children innovatively used realism, pathos, humour and satire to convey the message. However, the highlight of the play was when the foetus questioned her mother.

Simultaneously, a select set of students performed  a street play, “Ek Kahani Tumhari Zubani”,  at the Novelty Crossing area, Guru Nanak Dev  University grounds, at Ram Bagh Gardens, and finally at the Naatshala theatre.

A day-long painting exhibition was also held at the same theatre highlighting the same theme.

In another session, a tale was narrated through the medium of Kathak.

Dr AF Pinto, Founder Chairman of the Ryan Groups of Educational Institutes, and Director Dr Grace Pinto, in their address, exhorted the students to follow the right path and commit themselves to improving the society. “Female foeticide is a blot on our society. We must strive to fight against it,” they said.

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Holy City’s ‘superhit’ Bollywood connection
Rashmi Talwar

“Rang de Basanti” is the latest hit to complete the hat-trick of three movies that were consecutively shot in the Holy City and topped the charts. The movie with Aamir Khan in the lead is reporting a good attendance in the cinema halls here. Ms Poonam Khanna, an avid movie buff after the matinee show of the movie, said the film was gripping as it had the right blend of modernism and patriotism.

Earlier, two other movies, including an international production “Balle! Balle! Amritsar to LA” and “Veer Zara” proved to be chartbusters at the box office proving that the Punjabi flavour was here to rule and the Holy City was lucky for a host of Bollywood films.

“Balle! Balle! Amritsar to LA”—an Hindi version “Bride and Prejudice” had the Bakshis of Amritsar depicting the family from Jane Austin’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice “ by director of Indian-origin, Gurinder Chadda.

The fact that the title of the UK production even carried the name of city is no mean achievement! The movie topped overseas charts owing to its bilingual status, the colour and vivaciousness of Punjabi culture, besides a mixed cast of Aishwarya Rai, Martin Henderson, Namrata Shirodkar and Sonali Kulkarni. It was shot at the Golden Temple, Rajasansi Airport and Hall Gate besides township of Jandiala Guru and Chiddan village near here.

“Veer Zara” shot here by Yash Chopra filled the air with whiff of romance cementing bonds of growing Indo-Pak friendship and broke records and won several awards. Starring Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, Manoj Bajpai, Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, the emotional love story was shot at one of India’s biggest wetlands Harike, besides Ishar Dham Nanaksar Gurdwara, and the Khalsa College as the Lahore High Court, besides the Indo-Pak border.

“Rang De Basanti”, too proved a hit here. With Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan and Kiron Kher, the Punjabi colour dominated the screen. The film with a social message to the new generation proved a disappointment to many cine-goers who had expected the scenes of horse riding by Aamir Khan and of Gatka. These shots were censured in the movie hall even as they were shown in the film’s promos. The film shows scenes shot at the Golden Temple, Johal Dhai Walla village, Gharka village at the local Pir Ka Mela, and the Khalsa College as National College, Lahore.

Directed by Rakeysh Om Parkash Mehra, the heavily-publicised film’s treatment, according to the audience of the Holy City, had just the right chutzpah for the young generation. The unique mix of past and the present was the main USP of the film, they added. But some felt it made a heady mix. Keeping with the Punjabi touch, Aamir Khan played the role of a Sikh named Daljit Singh, as well as that of revolutionary, Chadrashekhar Azad, while Tamil actor Siddharth played Bhagat Singh. A.R. Rehman’s music with loads of Bhangra touch added charm to the film.

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Seminar on future of Holy City
Ashok Sethi

The issue of the haphazard urbanisation of the Holy City was discussed during a seminar, “Amritsar Vision — 2020”, organised by Greater Punjab Chamber of Commerce here.

Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra, editor-in-chief, Punjab Kesari Group said the awareness was dawning on the people and the administration that cities should have a complete, planned and comprehensive development. “This requires urgent attention in view of the overstretched civic amenities and infrastructure.”

He said people were keen to live in cities. “By 2020, the country is likely to emerge as an economic superpower and it is imperative that the city should also present a similar vision.”

Mr Chopra said he should only dream that kind of concept about the development of the city, which could easily be developed. He pointed out that government and public participation was required to fulfill the dream of every family living in the cities.

“The detailed project submitted by the urban development authorities should not remain only on the charts or on the blackboards but it should be implemented in true letter.”

Earlier, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr K.S. Kang, elaborated about the various projects conceived and planned by the civic authorities to upgrade infrastructure. Giving a presentation on the occasion, Mr Kang said the corporation had planned to implement Sri Guru Ram Dass Integrated Project, which included the construction of elevated roads to decongest the city by giving devotees a faster access to the Golden Temple. He said the Holy City had been included in the National Urban Renewal Mission for a comprehensive development. “The work on this ambitious project would commence soon.”

Delivering the keynote address, BJP State President and Member of Parliament from Hoshiarpur, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, favoured the setting up of an Amritsar Development Authority for the overall development of the city. About apprehensions over the problem of financing of such an ambitious project, Mr Khanna said the public must offer funds for their cities.

Leading experts on urban development from Guru Nanak Dev University, Mr Sarup Singh, Mr Sarabjot Singh Behal, besides Dr Sanjay Bedi, Mr S. K. Chadda and
Mr Kapil Mehra spoke on the occasion.

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Guru Nanak varsity secures third position
in tennis tournament

Neeraj Bagga

Guru Nanak Dev University secured third place in the North-East Inter-University Lawn Tennis Tournament that concluded at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on January 26.

The local university team, comprising Arjun Talwar (Captain), Kushagra Mahajan and Nikhil Sharma, entered the semi final after defeating Aligarh University. However, they lost to Panjab University in the semi-final.

The local varsity’s team slugged out Allahabad University to secure the third position.

All the three players were pivotal in ending the drought of victory in tennis for the university when they clinched a silver medal in the same tournament last year. It was after five years that the university got any place in the champion’s list.

Arjun, studying MBA, had played in the school nationals and his team clinched a silver medal while he captured a bronze in individual capacity. He was ranked top 20 in the doubles in AITA ranking. He has also played in the International Tennis Federation’s Men’s Tennis Future.

Nikhil Sharma, Captain of the Hindu College team, is another significant player of the team. He remained a state champion thrice and played in the school nationals.

Kushagra Mahajan stood third in the school nationals. Studying in DAV College, he captained its team.

The trio said they offered a good fight to the players of Panjab University. But the rivals got the advantage of their powerful service and volleys.

They said they had identified their weaknesses and were preparing to eliminate them and consolidate their strong points with the help of their coach, Vipul. They hoped that they would offer a tough fight in the next championship.

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Education conference organised
Pawn Kumar

Expressing their deep concern over the “loss” of moral values in the society, principals and scholars from DAV schools said it was the primary duty of the schools to inculcate moral values among children at the school level.

They said this while participating in the national-level “Education Conference” of heads and managers of government-aided DAV Schools. The conference was organised under the aegis of the Arya Vidya Sabha, DAV College Managing Committee at DAV Senior Secondary School here.

The experts and intellectuals stressed that there was an urgent need to inculcate moral values amongst children at school level and steps should be taken in this regard.

Dr H. S. Bedi, former head of the Department of Hindi, Guru Nanak Dev University, said, “Morality is the primary basis of life, and moral education has its roots in the Vedic times.” Punjab was the birthplace of moral education, he added.

Dr Aruna Anand, Principal, DAV College of Education, said truth, non-violence and Indian perspective of life should be adopted to promote moral values. She said the advancement of science had led to a kind of confusion in the society and it was necessary to combine moral values with modern education, which should be the primary duty and endeavour of all teachers. She called upon the teachers to bring children closer to moral, human and social values.

Mr B R Abrol, Vice-President, DAV College Managing Committee, was the chief guest on the occasion, while Mr Mohan Lal, Secretary of the committee, and Mr Raj Pal Seth, Educational Advisor, Arya Vidya Sabha, were the guest of honour.

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‘Bharat Mata Pujan’ by Amritsar Study Circle
Neeraj Bagga

The Amritsar Study Circle, under its “Bharat Mata Pujan” programme, organised a series of quiz contests on the lives of Guru Gobind Singh, Swami Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose.

The final contest held here last week was won by Prem Ashram School.

Mr Tarun Chugh, Chairman of the Circle, said the aim of organising the quiz was to create awareness among youth about real heroes of the country. He said young minds, under the influence of TV channels, were mindlessly imitating reel heroes and heroines. He said it was a need of the hour to acquaint them with the real heroes.

The Circle also distributed books on the lives of these great men to students of DAV Secondary School, Hindu Sabha School and Prem Ashram School.

Nine students were selected from each school and asked to compete with one another during the contests held on January 11, 18 and 21. Eventually, three students were selected from each school for the finals. Apart from this, experts were called to deliver lectures to the students.

Meanwhile, the Ram Krishna Vivekananda Centre (RKVC) conducted a quiz contest on the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda.

Students from various schools and colleges of the city participated in the contest.

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School celebrates foundation day
Gurbaxpuri

A cultural programme was presented by tiny tots of the Mamta Niketan Convent School, located on Amritsar Road in Tarn Taran, to celebrate the school’s sixth foundation day.

The programme, “Mehak Watan Di,” directed by famous Punjabi stage director,
Mr Kewal Dhaliwal, succeeded in conveying the message of nationality, love for Sikh religion to the audience.

In a choreography dance on a song, “Dukhre Punjab De,” the students showed the tragedies faced by the state in the past six to seven centuries. An English play was also presented by the students. In the play, the tiny tots showed how a beautiful girl was cursed by a witch and she slept for hundred years and later she woke up when a prince come to her rescue. The traditional Punjabi musical instruments were used in the programme. Mr Ranjit Singh Brahampura, MLA from Naushehra Pannuan, was chief guest on the occasion. Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, former President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee, was also present.

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Special Lok Adalat on Feb 5
Pawan Kumar

The District Legal Services Authority would organise a special Lok Adalat on February 5 at district courts here under the guidance and supervision of Mr H S Bedi, Executive Chairman of Punjab Legal Services Authority, and Mr Gurdev Singh, District and Session Judge, Amritsar.

The Assistant District Attorney (Legal Services), in a statement issued here, revealed that the Chief Justice of India would be the chief guest on the occasion. He said judges of the Supreme Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court would also be present on the occasion.

The Assistant District Attorney said the objective of the Lok Adalat would be to dispose of maximum number of cases through mutual compromise. All kinds of cases, including those of civil appeals, motor accident claims, matrimonial disputes, criminal cases and appeals, labour disputes, consumer disputes, cancellation and untraced reports, rent cases, bank loan cases, cases under the Negotiable Instrument Act and many other pending cases would be taken up in this Lok Adalat.

In addition to this, pre-litigative cases of bank loans and disputes of telecommunication companies would also be taken up. Separate benches would be constituted for the settlement of the cases of security proceedings and municipal committees and cooperative society cases, he added.

He said anyone who wanted to get his case decided through the Lok Adalat for expeditious settlement of his dispute could apply by filing application before the chairman or secretary of the District Legal Services Authority at the earliest.

On the occasion, permanent Lok Adalat for public utility services would be inaugurated by Justice Ruma Pal, judge Supreme Court and Executive Chairman, National Legal Services Authority, New Delhi. The proposed Adalat has the jurisdiction to decide cases pertaining to transport services, postal and telegraph services, power, light and water services, sanitation services, medical services, insurance and other public utility services, as declared by the Central and state governments. 

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Doyen of textile industry passes away
Ashok Sethi

Pyara Lal Kapur, a doyen of textile industry, passed away last week after illness in New Delhi.

A post-graduate in textile technology from Bradford University, England, Pyara Lal (78) took over the reins of Amritsar Rayon and Silk Mills Pvt Ltd as its managing director.

Born on July 29, 1928 at Amritsar in the family of Lal Kapur, he had been in the business of textile since he completed his studies. He was a man of indomitable spirit who contributed to the growth of textile, including woollen, synthetic, art silk industry in the Holy City.

He had been a member of the Federation of Indian Art Silk Weaving Industries, Amritsar, president of the Regional Committee of All India Art Silk and president of Sasmira Textile Technology, Amritsar.

He was closely associated with the upgradation of the infrastructure for the local textile industry. He was also nominated as the director of OCM Woolen Mills.

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Weekly Round-up

The National Youth Day was celebrated under the banner of the Swami Vivekanand Study Circle at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1, Amritsar Cantt here. Mr C S Talwar, senior PCS officer, was the chief guest on the occasion. A cultural programme was organised on the occasion. Mr Ashok Sharma, a Hindi teacher, sang a patriotic song which enthralled the audience. Poster-making and fancy dress competitions were held and prizes were distributed among the winners.

Honour

The Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association honoured Dr J S Dalal, Principal, Government Medical College, for accepting the genuine demands of the association. Mr Sushil Kumar and Mr Jagdish Thakur, district president and general secretary, respectively, were also present on the occasion.

Decision hailed

The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) welcomed the government’s decision to merge 50 per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) in basic pay, give house rent allowance of 5 per cent to the teachers working in unclassified cities or towns, extend refresher course exemption limit up to 2005, continuation of 95 per cent “Grant in Aid Scheme” and to clear arrears pertaining to various allowances. Professor H S Walia, state vice-president and Professor Daljeet Singh, district president, thanked the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, for taking the initiative to solve the various problems of college teachers.

Teachers’ union

The decision of the Education Department to merge the primary schools with middle, high and higher secondary schools came under heavy criticism from various teachers’ fraternities. The Elementary Teachers’ Union, led by Mr Navdeep Singh, in a press statement issued here, said the decision had led to controversy between secondary schools and primary schools. He said the association would not tolerate such “anti-teachers” policies of the government. Meanwhile, anti-privatisation teachers morcha said that while more than 40,000 teachers posts were vacant in the state, this decision was a step to abolish these posts. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the decision.

Book release

A poetry book in Sanskrit, “Puranshardhshatak”, with Punjabi and Hindi versions was released here at Guru Nanak Dev University. This book has been written by Dr Dalbir Singh Chahal of Sanskrit Department and published by the university. Dr Chahal, an established poet in Sanskrit literature, in this book has presented the life, history and philosophy of Bhagat Puran Singh in 150 Sanskrit verses along with Hindi and Punjabi translation. Through his verses, Mr Chahal has showcased the life and philosophy of Bhagat Puran Singh. He has penned this kavya on Bhagat Puran Singh according to Sanskrit poetics.

Theatre festival

The tiny tots of Spring Blossoms Kindcare presented a heart-warming show on the occasion of their annual theatre festival on January 28 here. The theme of the show was selected from the annual curriculum. The show was presided over by Mr S.S. Sandhu from Spring Dale School.

Inauguration

Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA and Chairman, Improvement Trust, inaugurated the Khadi and Gram Udyog exhibition here recently. The exhibition would conclude on February 5. Mr A K Garg, Assistant Director, Punjab Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Mr K K Sharda, Chairman, Punjab Khadi Federation, Mr Mulakh Raj Rattan, District Manager, Punjab Khadi and village industries, were also present.

(Compiled by Pawan Kumar)

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Hutch road show
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

One of the leading cellular service providers, Hutch recently organised a road show to make the residents of the Holy City aware about its Voice Response platform.

Mr Arun Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, Hutchison Essar, Punjab, said the idea behind the road show was to reach out to the maximum number of subscribers, while providing them an opportunity to explore the kinds of services being offered by Hutch-123.

Mr Kumar said they had designed a unique dart game for the road show during which participants won prizes by hitting a dart board and then answering a related question correctly. A live astrology session was also organised.

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Frankfinn in Amritsar
Ashok Sethi

Frankfinn, an institute providing air cabin crew training would inaugurate its institute at Ranjit Avenue here on February 8.

The Chairman of the institute, Mr K.S. Kohli, in a press release, said it would open its 45th centre in Amritsar to train young aspiring smart boys and girls for air cabin crew training.

Mr Kohli said Frankfinn had recently launched training in a real airbus A-300 aircraft to impart simulated training on cabin crew functioning.

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