C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


EDUCATION

Student body’s roadmap on poll reforms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
While ‘protesting’ memorandums are believed to have the desired result in garnering attention both of the students and authorities, this one seems different.

The Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) has submitted “a model and road map” for election reforms aimed at reducing the money and muscle power in students union elections to the vice-chancellor of Panjab University, Professor R C Sobti.

Elaborating on the model prepared by them, he asked that the University give recognition to the student's organisations on the basis of the previous year performance and votes polled for the organisation thereby eliminating those that are barely making inroads in the electioneering process.

Addressing a press conference on campus today, Rathee said university should provide separate notice boards to all the recognised students’ organisations where they could put up their policy, programmes and publicity material. He said that looking after the board and preventing other parties from tearing posters off would then be the responsibility of the party members.

Further, INSO has decided to protest the proposed August 12 Syndicate meeting where it will stage its protest by handing out its objections to the Syndicate members. Their specific complaint deals with the clause in the Lyngdoh Committee Report which states that any person who has been “tried and / or convicted” cannot participate in student elections and which, according to Rathee, has been changed by the Senate to “tried and convicted” to allow certain persons, who belong to parties which are backed by some Senators to participate.

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US-based Indian on a mission
Bringing varsities, communities closer
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Surishtha G. Sehgal, an alumna of Panjab University and founder president of the Atlanta-based Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter Partnership Foundation, is here on a mission.

Daughter of Dr Piara Singh Gill, a former director of the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Surishtha, wants universities and corporate houses to play major role in raising their civic engagements. Accompanied by Rajanbir Singh, treasurer of the Shiromani Akali Dal, she visited The Tribune office this morning.

Credited with bringing former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalyn, to India in October last year, for the awards ceremony of her foundation, Suristha is here for closer interaction between universities and communities for meeting educational and economic needs of the latter.

She met vice-chancellor of Panjab University R.C. Sobti on Thursday afternoon to announce the establishment of an affiliation between her foundation and the varsity to advance civic engagements at the universities and colleges in Punjab.

“I want to give back Punjab what all it has given me,” she says revealing her foundation would give awards to projects that represent the best practices of campus community partnership.” Affiliation with the foundation will make Panjab University one of the leading universities in the country for promoting community development programmes as an integral part of education.

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Seminarians warned against materialism

Chandigarh, August 9
A two-day national seminar on ‘Science and Spirituality in the Indian Context’ was inaugurated today at Panjab University followed by a welcome address by vice-chancellor, Professor R C Sobti. Professor Dharmanand Sharma, convener of the seminar, elaborating on the theme of the seminar said the theme needs to be understood in order to simplify the complexity of today’s contemporary life.

However, it was the keynote address by Swami (Dr) Parthasarthi, member of the Prime Minister advisory council, New Delhi that drove the point home succinctly. “Our civilization has always inculcated the scientific temperament and spirituality simultaneously without falling prey to philosophy of materialism. However only we are conscious of our consciousness,” he explained.

This was followed by an informative lecture by Professor Pranav Pandya, Chancellor, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar. Swami Parthasarthy also released ‘The Philosophy of Vivekananda’, an anthology edited by Professor Rekha Jhanji, sponsored by Centre for Vivekananda Studies, Panjab University and published by Aryan Books. — TNS

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Contractual teachers stage protest

Chandigarh, August 9
More than 350 teachers hired on contract from various government schools of city held a protest at Plaza, Sector 17, here, today.

The teachers have been demanding the formulation of policy matter for regularisation of their services for the last two years.

The administration has advertised to fill some of the vacancies neglecting those who have been working hard, alleged the teachers.

The respite in age limit given to us is less than that of the departmental candidates and none of the representative of teachers on contract was involved to frame this policy, lamented the teachers.

On one side, it is said the teachers are in surplus while on the other side new teachers with no experience are being recruited under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, they rued.

The delegation of these teachers handed over a memorandum of demands to the administrator of the UT Chandigarh, General S.F. (retired) Rodrigues. — TNS

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Scout and Guide function
Setia late; Sobti in a hurry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The supposedly well-disciplined one-hour Bharat Scout and Guide Centenary commemoration function at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47, here, was delayed by half an hour as chief guest S.K. Setia, (DPI) (S), could not make it on time.

To add to it, the programme was conducted in a hurry. The guest of honour, R.C. Sobti, PU vice-chancellor, who reached the venue on time, concluded his address hastily. He hurriedly took the microphone from the anchor, while she was about to announce the programme, saying that he had to attend another programme.

In his address, Dr Sobti said units of Scouts and Guides should be introduced in every school as it inculcated discipline in children.

Before leaving, the vice-chancellor gently told the organisers that the money spent on mementos for guests could have been spent on the students instead. “The flowers looks more beautiful on the plants, rather than in bouquets,” advised Dr Sobti. The organisers, however, requested the vice-chancellor to accept a memento.

A cultural programme was presented by schoolchildren on the occasion.

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PU Notes

Roll numbers despatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Roll numbers of all eligible candidates appearing in the Panjab University Lateral Engineering Entrance Test 2007 to be conducted on August 12 have been dispatched by registered post. Those who do not receive the roll numbers by August 10 should collect the duplicate rolls numbers from the university office (CET Cell, Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall, near post office) on August 11. Candidates can call 0172-2534829 for any further enquiries.

Results

Results of the following examinations have been declared: BE (Chemical) 6th Semester, Special Exam (February, 2007), Post-Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication(April, 2007), Prak Shastri I & II, (April, 2007), B Sc (Bio-Informatics) Honours -1, (April, 2007), BSc (Bio-Technology) Honours-1, (April, 2007), BE (Mechanical Engineering) (UIET), 6th Semester (April, 2007), BE (Food Technology) 2nd Semester (May 2007), MBBS Final Professional Part-I.

Fresh applications invited

The Centre for Women’s Studies and Development has invited fresh applications for admission to MA (Women’s Studies) course as some seats are vacant. Students who have graduated with 50 per cent marks in any discipline are eligible to apply for the course.

Invited: Panjab University vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti has received an invitation to visit the United States of America to participate in a special international visitors’ leadership programme (IVLP) for Indian vice-chancellors. This is a follow-up of US under-secretary of state for public diplomacy Karen Hughes’s visit to India in March 2007. The visit will focus on “furthering the Indo-US relationship through higher education.”

Professor Sobti will be one of only nine other Indian VCs, who will meet US government officials, visit universities and meet their counterparts in higher education there. The aim is to develop international-education partnerships and student-exchange programmes besides discussing degree equivalence, accreditation, student aid, admission policy, counselling services, curriculum and institutional infrastructure.

Programme: Dr Anil Kumar, reader in pharmacology at the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, attended the neuroscience programme held at RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) in Japan from July 23 to August 3. He has received several meritorious awards, honours and grants from reputed international agencies like the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) amongst others. — TNS

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From Schools

Pupils told about importance of festivals
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 9
Students of the Deepmala Public School, celebrated Teej in the school premises here on Thursday. Deepmala, chairperson, of the school inaugurated the function organised on this eve. In her speech, she told the students about the importance of the festival. Anita Mittal, Principal read out a report on cultural activities of the school. On the occasion, Mehandi and dance competitions were organized to mark the celebration. The eatable stalls for students were also installed.

Students of Small Wonders School, in Mohali
Students of Small Wonders School, in Mohali on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

SESSION: Students of Small Wonders School, were subject to an enlightening session on the need and importance of healthy and balanced diet here on Thursday. The session saw renowned dietician of tricity, Neelu Malhotra giving necessary and desired tips to the little children. The exercise was conducted as part of school's on going efforts to keep its students abreast of the best possible advice and tips related to several aspects of their growth.

Camp: In this competitive world when the students don’t get any time for physical exercises, Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School Phase IV, Mohali, organised a five days Yoga Camp to relax the students from their anxieties. The camp was conducted by the eminent professionals who taught them numerous exercises, which can perk up their concentration, eye-sight and height.

TEEJ: Students of Shastri Model School celebrated Teej with great homh and show on Thursday. The programme began with the beautiful songs of the ‘Teej’ sung by the girls. The children ate ‘kheer ’ and ‘purae’. The school manager Ram Lal Sewak and principal R. Bala told the students that we should not forget our rituals and traditions but we all should celebrate them happily.

TRIP: Students of Doon Valley Public School, Nalagarh, organised a five days trip to Kullu Manali which included various dare-devil activities like rock-climbing, rappelling and river-crossing. The students visited the museum and Hadimba Temple. The zealous students also paid a visit to Rohtang pass. Some other activities that were carried out included vocal-music, art and craft and development of language skills.

COMPETITION: To make things interesting school, Saffron City School, Fatehgarh Sahib, had organised an inter house scrabble competition for the seniors, and word making competition for the students of junior and primary section. The students also tried to prepare ‘Potato Chat’ with their teachers and friends. Excited little ones brought boiled potatoes and chickpeas as the basic ingredient. They also brought grapes, guava, paneer and chutney to garnish the preparations.

VISIT: Students of class III, Doon International School, visited the old age home, Sector 15, Chandigarh. They were also blessed with grand mothers and grandpas who loved and shared their experiences with the children, each giving the other much needed love and attention. A small cultural programme was held at the old age home.

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From Colleges

Chandigarh
BLOOD DONATION: A blood donation camp was held at Government College (Boys), Sector 11, here on Thursday. The camp, which was organised by the Blood Donors Society of the college, was inaugurated by Mandeep Singh, managing director of PUNSUP. Several students of the college are regular donors and have donated blood more than five times.

INSTALLED: The Rotaract club of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, installed a new board in the college, here on Thursday. Rotarian Shaju Peter was the chief guest and Arvind Mehan, president of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh, was the guest of honour. Deepika Ahluwalia of BA III was made the president. Namarta Shing and Swati Baweja were nominated as vice-presidents. — TNS

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Female Foeticide
Frenzied prayers make CJ take up PIL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Counsel for Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh UT as well petitioner H.C. Arora were today at their persuasive best urging Chief Justice Vijender Jain to hear a PIL on female foeticide.

The Chief Justice observed that it would not be fair on the division Bench’s part to hear the matter, given his much-publicised and vocal stand on the issue. This stunned the courtroom and led to frenzied prayers by the counsel and petitioner that the Chief Justice should not disassociate himself from the case.

They urged him that the matter involved a social cause over which all respondent-states and the UT administration - were deeply concerned.

Finally, the Bench, comprising the Chief Justice and Justice Mahesh Grover, agreed to the request and widened the purview of the PIL. The Bench permitted the petitioner to place on record comprehensive suggestions for creating awareness and sensitising people on the vital issue.

The petitioner had sought directions to the respondents to consider formulating a policy for giving monetary awards for secret information leading to the detection of incidents of female foeticide.

During the previous hearing on April 19, the division Bench had expressed its surprise that Chandigarh was having a sex ratio of 773, much lower than Punjab (874) or Haryana (861).

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High Court
FIR should carry exact age
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
In an important judgement, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Chandigarh administration, Punjab and Haryana, that an FIR should record the exact age of the accused.

The judgement came in view of a PIL filed by advocate Gurmeet Singh, who had averred that

FIRs usually recorded the approximate age of the accused, causing myriad problems in juvenile crime cases.

The High Court concurred with the averments and directed the respondents to ensure that an FIR was prepared accordingly.

The court said it was not difficult to record the exact age of the accused, given the easy availability of birth and educational certificates.

The petitioner had submitted that FIRs often contained inaccurate mention of ages and this made the handling of juvenile justice cases difficult.

Saini case

Following the high court directions, UT SSP Dinesh Bhatt today placed an affidavit on record regarding the status of persons declared proclaimed offenders (POs) relating to bomb explosion aimed at killing Sumedh Singh Saini, the then SSP.

The bomb explosion had resulted in the death of head constable Amin Chand, ASI Lalu Ram and constable P.A. Reddy.

In the FIR, the accused, Navnit Singh, Manjeet Singh, Manmohanjit Singh, Gurjant Singh Budh Singhwala and Balwant Singh were declared POs.

The three co-accused, Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, Partap Singh and Gursharan Kaur, were tried in the court of R.S. Bawana, the then additional sessions judge, Chandigarh. The sessions judge acquitted the three on December 12, 2006.

The UT then moved the high court in an appeal against the order.

On July 10, 2007, the high court asked the administration to report as to what steps had been taken to procure the presence of the POs so that they could be brought to justice.

The court took the reply on record and adjourned the matter to August 22.

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Former KLF militant moves HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Daya Singh Lahoria, a former member of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), facing several criminal cases, moved the High Court today challenging the fresh proceedings initiated against him under the TADA Act.

Following the plea, the court issued a notice for September 14.

At present, Lahoria is serving a 20-year sentence in the Nabha jail, following conviction in a terrorism-related case. He was extradited from the US.

Lahoria, who had kidnapped the son of a Union minister to get Devinder Singh Bhullar, another militant, released, has claimed in the petition that the proceedings initiated against him under the TADA Act and the order of a Gurgaon Court were in violation of the extradition order of a US Court and also against the directions of the Supreme Court.

Lahoria has sought directions for quashing of the order (dated February 25, 1999) and an FIR registered against him (dated March 18, 2005) under the TADA Act, which was registered against him at a police station in Gurgaon, and all other proceedings.

The petitioner and his wife, Kamaljeet Kaur, have contended that they had gone to the USA to settle there.

In 1995, they were arrested from the Miniapples Airport, Minnesota with regard to a kidnapping case, which was registered in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

A case was registered against them for kidnapping and various other Sections, including 120 A and B (criminal conspiracy), (300 and 302) murder and punishment for murder, (307) attempt to murder wrongful confinement (341) and assault (353) of the IPC.

The petitioner has averred that on June 11, 1996, United States District Judge, Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, passed an order allowing the extradition of the petitioner to India for trial.

The petition said in the final judgement, the judge had clearly mentioned that the petitioner could be tried only for offences in which cases were already registered. After extradition, the petitioners were taken for trial in the case registered at Rajasthan.

The petitioner has further said the CBI had also filed a challan under the above-mentioned sections and other sections of the TADA and the Arms Act before the TADA Court, Ajmer.

The petitioner challenged this move first in the Rajasthan High Court and then in the Supreme Court on the ground that the criminal courts in the country had no jurisdiction to try him for offences which did not form a part of the extradition judgement.

The petitioner has submitted that production warrants for him and his wife had been received in the jail for their involvement in a TADA case of February 1995, registered at Gurgaon.

Taking up the petition, the High Court issued a notice for September 14.

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Kaleidoscope of talent
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Some people never travel without roots, like this group of eight artists from West Bengal, called Dimention 9. A rage on the art circuit, they bring with them nuances of the Bengal school of art, famous for its splendour and reach.

Forty of their artworks will open tomorrow in an exhibition, to be hosted by Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi at Punjab Kala Bhavan. But the works are already in place. “Works also need time to settle,” quips Nagaswar Sharma, leader of the group featuring promising young artists from Kolkata, namely Avjit Sengupta, Chandan Das, Chandan Sengupta, Partha Roy, Sanjoy Singha, Surajit Sarkar and Sanjib Mallick.

A cursory glance at their works explains why Nagaswar is leading. Five of his canvases, with their sheer novelty, stand out among the rest. He uses scratch technique for texture. Beginning by spreading out one colour on the canvas, he goes on to scrape it with blades, scissors, sand paper and sand grains to reveal endless possibilities. Unique patterns emerge - mostly abstract, sometimes realistic.

Nagaswar’s works may be in a league of their own, but he has competition from almost all others. The show is impressive with its range of realistic works, each one uniquely different and commanding. Avjit’s female forms, painted in Indian settings, are extremely striking, so are Sanjoy Singha’s figures painted with acrylic and charcoal.

Surajit Sarkar’s canvases are hauntingly beautiful. His figures are dark and relatable. The use of colours is superb, with canvases reflecting reds, blues and greens, all at once. Sanjib Mallick and Chandan Sengupta are almost on Sarkar’s plane but they seem more generous in their use of Bengal’s culture as an influence for art.

Abstracts come from Chandan Das and Partha Roy, celebrated artists both. They impress with their technique and provoke with their patterns. Beginning tomorrow, the works will remain on display till August 17.

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‘Dear Bapu’ in city on August 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
After a film on Mahatma Gandhi, here’s a play. Called "Dear Bapu", the unique production, written and directed by thespian Mohan Maharishi, will be staged at Tagore Theatre on August 17. It is being brought to the city by the Durga Das Foundation, The Tribune, HDFC Home Loans and department of tourism, UT.

The two-hour play is an adaptation of the original version created by Kamla Choudhary, former executive trustee of the Vikram Sarabhai Foundation. Structured as a multimedia presentation, it revolves around 21 original unedited letters exchanged between Gandhi and Pandit Nehru.

Sunit Tandon, Bhaskar Ghose and Sabina Mehta will play major roles. Entry to the play is by invitation only.

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