C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Coming up: Schools at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Panjab University will introduce the system of schools to bring departments working in similar fields together for sharing resources.

The university is likely to bring all science departments under one roof of the science school while others will be schools of social sciences, languages and laws, besides others.

Vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti has constituted a committee for the purpose.

“The system of schools exists in universities in the country and we intend to introduce it here. The aim is to make optimum utilisation of resources, both intellectual and infrastructural”, he said.

A committee chaired by dean university instructions Veer Singh was expected to submit its report in the coming weeks, following which committee members would visit the Jawaharlal Nehru University to study the system of schools there.

Committee members might go to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, said Prof Veer Singh.

The school system entailed grouping together of university departments doing related work.

“Departments engaged in biotechnology and biomedical technology can be grouped together. This will increase coordination of efforts and sharing of resources. The university has enough infrastructure for science and technology, which if used optimally, can render better results both in terms of research and teaching”, said Professor Sobti.

In a school system, the faculty was shared among different departments, in which teachers taught students of related departments.

A school system would also allow students to do their research using facilities of departments other than the parent department.

Students of a school would have access to the library of other departments within the school.

“Days of isolation and expertise are over. We have two departments for law and those can be brought under a common school. Various aspects of environment studies are shared. Only a school system can do justice to the study of a subject which has multidisciplinary facets”, added Dr Veer Singh.



Duties of Grievances Redressal Officer extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Panjab University Vice-Chancellor has extended the duties of the Students’ Grievances Redressal Officer to include the grievances of the university’s non-teaching employees, as well.

The Students Grievance Redressal Officer, Mr Dinesh Sharma, will now be the Students and Employees Grievance Redressal Officer of the university, said VC Prof R.C. Sobti, here today.

The officer will be assisted by two additional staff members: Mr Aneesh Pathania and Mr Navtej Singh. Mr Pathania will be looking into the complaints of students from affiliated colleges and those of non-teaching employees of the administration branch of the university whereas Mr Navtej Singh will be looking into the grievances of the students on the campus and non-teaching employees of various departments.



She finds avid students of Hindi in USA
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A lecturer from a local college, who has migrated to the USA, has taken the arduous task of spreading Indian culture, its values globally through her mother tongue, Hindi. Ms Sarita Mehta, Director of the New York-based language institute ‘Vidya Dham’, has found avid students who are willing to learn Hindi.

Ms Mehta has devised a novel idea of compiling a book, “Aao Hindi Sekhen”. In her attempt, she has adopted some unconventional and innovative methods to present the subject matter in a colourful and pictorial way. The book has been specially designed for the beginners, multilingual children and adults, who intend to learn Hindi.

Describing the book, Ms Mehta says, “It reproduces the Hindi alphabet and the text in Devnagri as well as in Roman script. In the process, I have tried to use the Roman script for writing the Hindi alphabet so as to make it easy for the English speaking learners. This way they will pick up the correct pronunciation and understand the phonetic details of the language”.

With the growing number of Indian immigrations in the USA and other English speaking countries of the world, our language, “Hindi”, the symbol of “Bharat” and its rich socio cultural traditions, has also crossed the geographical boundaries and gone global.

Sharing her views with The Tribune, Ms Mehta says, “Living far away from their motherland, the Indian immigrants now comprise a big chunk of the western population. The new generation is brought up in a different environment, yet they are striving to preserve and promote their social cultural, religious and traditional moral values”.

Having a brilliant academic career, Ms Mehta hails from Chandigarh. She had served as a Lecturer in Dev Samaj College for Education, Sector 36. She had with her a teaching experience of nearly two decades before shifting to the USA.

In 1999, she got an opportunity to visit countries like the Philippines, Russia, the UK, France, Canada and the USA, in connection with the research project, “Comparative Study of Educational Systems” in these countries. She enrolled herself as a regular student in the Unification Theological Seminary, New York, from where she obtained the master’s degree in religious education in June 2003.

The publication of this book is the direct outcome of her current preoccupation with the teaching and popularisation of Hindi and its literature in the USA.

Lately, US President George W. Bush gave Hindi the approved language status in America. This means that if 10 people or teachers submit their request to learn Hindi the school authorities are bound to provide a tutor for them. This way more and more opportunities for Hindi teachers will generate in America.

“The idea cropped up in my mind through my experience in the USA. The people over there showed keen interest in learning our language. I was astonished to observe that it was not only the people of Indian origin residing there, but also Americans wanted to learn Hindi. So, I decided to devise a way to teach Hindi through English language,” she says.

Interestingly, while in the USA, the majority of Indian Americans want to learn the language because it will put them in a better position to converse with their grandparents, cousins and other relatives residing in India. Most of my students happen to be Americans who are not Indians and have plans to visit India.



DAV students bring laurels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Continuing their winning trend, the DAV college dramatics club -Aaghaaz- won the overall dramatics trophy at the “Mood Indigo- 2006”held at IIT Mumbai. DAV boys were adjudged by renowned film personalities, including Anupam Kher and Joy Fernandes in the stage play competition “Ekanki”. Their play titled “kaalchakra” bagged the first prize competing with over 30 teams from across the country. The Aaghaaz team has bagged this position for the third consecutive year.

Recalling their victory the team members told media persons today that while being awarded one of judges said, “The stage play was theatrically too correct. This is what real theatre is all about”.

In the street play event “Nautanki”, the team brought laurels to the college by winning the first prize. Seema Biswas, the judge for the event appreciated the concept of the DAV street play “Hai ke nahi”. The play emphasised on issues like child abuse and reservation.

In another event “situational acting”, for which the team had to prepare a skit based on a common theme of horror in a short period, the team managed the second place. This event saw judges from the television industry, Meeta Vashishta and Narendra Kumar.

The team members comprised of Gautam Sharma, Gurpreet Saini, Saurabh Mittal, Hardeep Singh Sethi, Sanjay Sharma, Manish Gandhi, Ranjan Pirta, Varun Chadha, Aman Sharma.

Gautam Sharma, president of Aaghaaz said Principal S. Marriya, Prof. Ravinder Chaudhary and Gagan Pradeep Sharma had supported the group.



Former VC was aware of irregularities in data
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Adding a new leaf to the ongoing controversy regarding the fudging of data of the University Business School to secure a better ranking, sources today revealed that the entire matter had been brought to the notice of the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, in March last year.

In March 2006, Senator Mr Ashok Goel had mentioned during a meeting of the senate that the data provided by the UBS to various rating agencies was not factual. Mr Goel is then said to have demanded the data from the UBS, but it was not provided to him. Sources add that despite the matter having come to light, no action was initiated to probe into the allegations.

Interestingly, in May 2006, a few members of the All India Management Association pointed out the same issue to a University faculty member, but the matter was hushed up again. However, on this occasion, verbal orders were given that the UBS will not participate in the ranking process again.

The PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof R.C. Sobti had on Tuesday constituted a fact-finding committee to look into the matter.



Time for fun at the British Library
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
It’s time for fun at the British Library in Sector 9 as its management ushers in the New Year in style. On the cards are activities and extravaganzas which everyone interested in serious reading and genuine entertainment must take note of.

The highlight of all events is the forthcoming video conferencing with William Dalrymple, the noted author of “The Last Mughal” and a special “Bond Week” to showcase blockbuster James Bond films.

Another news is the Library is opening its memberships from January 7. Already riding the crest of popularity, with 9000 strong membership, it plans to add 2000 members this year. Fresh focus will be on those in the 18 to 35 age group - people who are either on the threshold of career or settling into it.

“We are obliged to fulfil the British Council’s mandate, which seeks to train locals in a way that they can think global. Another objective is to target young professionals and students. They will be given priority when we open the memberships next year,” says Manager Bipan Kumar.

Right now 2000 seats are available, of which 400 is family membership, 700 is the classic/DVD movie membership and 900 is individual/personal membership. Interestingly, people have been more eager to join the Library since it introduced a host of clubs this year.

Its renewed focus on English language is something that has won it many admirers. A great hit with members is the Spoken English Club, which Bipan Kumar introduced this year with the objective of imparting technical knowledge of spoken English. There are other clubs waiting to be opened.



Kher to set up acting institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Chandigarh Tourism and renowned Bollywood actor Anupam Kher will jointly set up an acting institute in the city.

The institute will provide high-end training to the youth of Chandigarh and the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir in the various nuances of acting and related areas, a press note said here today.

The space and the infrastructure will be provided by STEPS and Actor Prepares will provide the faculty and the training inputs. The institute will also have a provision for subsidised training for students from the economically weaker sections.



Hearing in Maloya land acquisition on Jan 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) has fixed January 15 as the date of hearing objections on the proposed acquisitions of land in Maloya village.

According to a press note issued here yesterday, the office has received 77 objections under Section 5 A of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The Chandigarh Administration had issued notification under Section 4 of the Act that the land in Maloya village was needed for a public purpose--rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

All affected persons and persons filing objections would be heard in the office of LAO located in the Estate Office, Sector 17, IIIrd Floor, here at 11.30 am on January 15.



Lawyers caution against FDI in retail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Lawyers of the Supreme Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court held a press conference here recently to make the public aware of government policies about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail and special economic zones (SEZ).

They cautioned that in the haste of setting up SEZs and allowing super giants like Wal-Mart into the country, the government had overlooked the need of having rules and regulations in place to ensure the welfare of small traders.

Sonia Raj Sood, an advocate of the Supreme Court, said: “We want the government to ascertain how much of investment Wal-Mart and other multinationals will get in the country. Whether they will buy goods from India, how much of the investment will be used to improve the standard of products in India, and how many jobs will be provided”.



Swang Utsav ends
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, January 5
An immaculate staging of the dance drama ‘Padmavat’ provided the grand finale to the six-day ‘Swang Utsav’ organised by the Department of Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Haryana and the NZCC at the Tagore Theatre yesterday.

Written by legendary folklorist, Pandit Lakhmi Chand who revolutionised the swang tradition in Haryana and its neighbouring parts ‘Padmavat’s was directed and presented by his disciple Shyam Lal of Sonepat.

With a minimal historical authenticity the swang depicts the adventurous life of prince Ranbir Singh of Ratnagiri who, while on a hunting spree, lands in the domain of Karnatka princess Padmavat. After a chance meeting in her royal garden Ranbir is enamoured with the beauty and ethical standards.

The salient features of the Swang Utsav were the unprecedented rush of audience on all days.



Book released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Mr Raghuvir Singh, Speaker, Haryana Vidhan Sabha, released a book on prevention of crime against animals today. The book written in Hindi by Mr Naresh Kadian, Chairman of People for Animals, Haryana, titled, “Pashu Karurta Nivaran’ contains the rules and regulations for preventing crimes against animals.

Mr Naresh Kadian has been actively involved in ensuring the welfare of animals and has got more than 400 crime cases registered for the same in the state.



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