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Monday, October 12, 1998
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Admn orders cold storage resumption
CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — The Assistant Estate Officer of Chandigarh Administration has ordered the resumption of cooperative cold storage converted into a car showroom in the Industrial Area here after an enquiry committee pinpointed several serious "irregularities" in the case.


Chandigarh map
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Round-the-clock eyecare
for Divali

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — The Department of Ophthalmology at the PGI will deploy doctors on around-the-clock duty to provide emergency services for eye injuries on Divali.

Foreign powers 'out to
destroy unity'

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — The president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Mr Ramashish Roy, alleged today that certain foreign powers were out to destroy the unity of the country.

80 academicians honoured
CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — At least 80 academicians, including three Vice-Chancellors, were honoured by the National Forum for Education Research and Development at its annual function here today.
Chandigarh calling
Campus beat
Task force report gathering dust ?
Roots of Kashmir crisis traced
Crime file
Yet another case of drugging, robbing
An enchanting evening
A musical extravaganza


Admn orders cold storage resumption
by Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — The Assistant Estate Officer of Chandigarh Administration has ordered the resumption of cooperative cold storage converted into a car showroom in the Industrial Area here after an enquiry committee pinpointed several serious "irregularities" in the case.

The Administration had ordered an enquiry into the manner in which a cold storage belonging to a cooperative society was allowed to be changed into a car showroom after Estate Office approved the new building plans. Besides, large-scale violations were made even in the building plan approved by the Estate Office.

Sources in Administration maintain that the enquiry into the case had been completed and a report submitted to the higher authorities for initiating action against those found guilty.

The enquiry panel reportedly maintained that before the change of the trade of the site, a large number of "non-genuine members" were inducted into the society in an illegal and illegitimate manner before a new building plan for the conversion of the site into a car showroom was submitted to the Estate Office for approval.

Under the rules no construction work could start at a site belonging to the cooperatives without the prior approval of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies.

As the building bylaws are specific for the construction of a cold storage, no prior sanction of the authorities was obtained for the construction of a car showroom. For a car showroom another set of rules apply.

While the deviations and violation of rules came to the notice of the authorities, nothing except action on papers was initiated. At one stage directives were issued to get the construction work stopped.

The Secretary, Cooperatives, had ordered a probe into the entire episode. Interestingly, the probe was never carried out and the order remained only on files.

The enquiry committee held that there were gross violations of the building bylaws in the construction of showroom-cum-workshop at the site. There were serious violations in case of basement where a workshop was being run, the report said.

Neither the office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies nor the Estate Office intervened to check the conversion of the site and subsequent construction on it during the course of the case, the enquiry report said.Top


Round-the-clock eyecare for Divali
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — The Department of Ophthalmology at the PGI will deploy doctors on around-the-clock duty to provide emergency services for eye injuries on Divali, Dr Amod Gupta, head of the Ophthalmology department, said while talking to the TNS on the concluding day of the biennial conference of the Strabismological Society of India.

Dr Gupta said every year dozens of cases were reported at the PGI where children lose their eyesight. Dangerous crackers like the "rockets and anaars" should be lit only under the supervision of elders.

Dr Pradeep Sharma from the All- India Institute of Medical Sciences said eye injuries could lead to partial or a complete loss of vision. Dangerous crackers should not be allowed to be sold in the market. Parents should also remain alert for injuries due to bows and arrows which had become popular among children after serials on TV.

Dr Prem Prakash, a former head of the Ophthalmology department at the AIIMS, and Dr H. Reddy, President of the Strabismological Society, also felt that prevention was the best cure against injuries due to crackers.

Dr Kanwar Mohan from the PGI referred to a study conducted by his team. Of the 16 cases reported with ocular injury it was discovered that 31.58 per cent patients suffered sufficient visual loss. The injury in the left eye was found to be twice than that in the right eye. All patients sustained injury by lighting bomb of 1.5 inches to 2 inches. Of the patients who had sufficient visual loss, 83 per cent sustained injury due to bottle rockets.

Dr Sharma said first two or three years were extremely important in development of eyesight and treatment should be taken during this period. There was, however, very little public awareness. "People come at a stage when the loss cannot be compensated".

Dr Reddy said 25 per cent of the general population consisted of children. Approximately 4 per cent children suffered from eye disorders. It was a tragedy that a large number of ophthalmologists was unaware of the necessity of early intervention of specialists in eye disorders.

Dr Prakash said if people with squint came at a later stage there were very less chances of the vision improving. The surgery would merely be a cosmetic exercise. In children, often squint could be cured by using glasses.

Dr Marilyn T. Miller of Chicago, USA, pointed out that blindness in children in the developing countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia occurred mainly due to malnutrition, cataract and injury while in the West it occurred due to problems of the retina.

Dr Yadavinder P. Dang (California) said eyes of children who had problems at birth should be screened. Dr B.S. Goel, Director of the Institute of Ophthalmology, Aligarh Muslim University, suggested that the school teachers could play a big role in the detection of visual defects.

Dr Mohan emphasised the need for educating the public and ophthalmological practitioners.Top


Foreign powers 'out to destroy unity'
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — The president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Mr Ramashish Roy, alleged today that certain foreign powers were out to destroy the unity of the country.

Mr Roy, who was addressing a "Yuva sammelan" of the Morcha workers at the local office of the BJP in Sector 33 here, said these powers, particularly the USA, were not able to digest the success of India in the field of nuclear weapons. As a result , they fearing the rise of India as a nuclear power, were busy encouraging regionalism and terrorism in the country, particularly in the North-East.

Mr Roy chided the US, saying that it was particularly inimical as it did not want India to attain the status of a world power. "The US concern is based on the CIA reports that if India continues to rise at the present pace it will be the biggest power of the world by the year 2007", he added.

He cautioned the youth against the advent of the multinational companies in the country, saying that these companies could be creeping in India under a well-planned conspiracy like the East India Company in the past. The biggest danger these companies posed was that with extensive use of computers these firms were encouraging joblessness among the youth, which was contrary to our need for generation of more employment avenues.
Mr Roy stressed that there was a need to oppose the sanctions by different countries collectively. But it was a matter of shame that instead the Congress, the CPI and the CPM were opposing the nuclear tests.

The general secretary of the local unit of the BJP, Mr Mahavir Prasad, expressed concern about the brain-drain from India to the West. He said according to a ITI Mumbai report, as many as 5,000 doctors migrated to foreign countries resulting in an annual loss of Rs 27 crore. As much as Rs 5.5 crore had been spent by the country on training of each of these doctors.

The mayor Mr Gian Chand Gupta, said the BJYM was a major force behind the success of the party. He appealed the youth to fan out and educate the people about the policies of the party.Top


80 academicians honoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — At least 80 academicians, including three Vice-Chancellors, were honoured by the National Forum for Education Research and Development at its annual function here today.

The three Vice-Chancellors are Prof R.P. Bambah, a former VC of Panjab University; Prof M.L. Lakhanpal, a former VC of Jammu University, and Prof G.S. Randhawa, a former VC of Guru Nanak Dev University.

Other teachers who were honoured included scientists recognised for their work by the Indian National Science Academy and school teachers who had won national awards.

Mr G.K. Chatrath, president of the forum, said a function to honour prominent personalities of the legal profession would be organised in November. He said the forum provided an opportunity for academicians from all over the region to interact.

Those who were honoured included teachers and teacher-activists from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and UT.Top


Campus beat
Task force report gathering dust ?
by Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH , Oct 11 — One can't help but be skeptical about the examination reforms committee which will be formed to submit its report at the principals' meeting scheduled for November 6.

The reforms debated at length over the past few years remain very much denied to a common student. One wonders as to what has happened to the 65 page report submitted by the task force constituted by the Vice Chancellor last year.

"Butchering" of answersheets of students remains a matter of concern. While the university did not manage to speed up its time for the declaration of results this year, a large number of cases had to be referred to the third examiner after re-evaluation .

It was discovered that the difference between the first and the second evaluator was more that 15 per cent . This directly implies that either the first or the second evaluator was not sincere with the job assigned to him .

While one of the suggestions of the task force which said students who score below 15 per cent should not be allowed to apply for re-evaluation might find merit with those concerned about standards of academics. It, however, becomes imperative then to ensure that the evaluation was justified.

The university would also find it difficult to explain cases where a student manages to raise his score from a zero to 42. A committee found the staff guilty. There would also be no justification of for a recent case of speeding up the re-evaluation process to benefit certain "influential people". These reflect the chinks in the administrative wing as well .

Best teachers continue to distance themselves from paper setting and evaluation process. Whether recent enhancement in the rates of paper setting and evaluation proves useful remains to be seen.

The task force constituted last year in its report had submitted 65 long-term and short-term recommendations. It strongly recommended a cut off date for the declaration of the normal as well as re-evaluation results. The schedule so prepared "should be followed in letter and in spirit".

The committee had recommended that steps should be initiated to ensure 180 working days. The syllabi is often not finalised before the session. The committee had recommended that syllabi must be finalised approximately two months before the academic session .

The committee had also recommended that the Board of Studies should meet before April to recommend a change in the names of paper setters. A model, question paper should also be prepared to prevent cases of 'outside the syllabus'.

The committee had strongly recommended a one-window system for students which will streamline the process of obtaining roll numbers and other enquiries of students.

The "farce" of practical examination at the undergraduate level is well established yet no steps have been initiated.

Whether the committee, which will submit its report at the principals' meeting, take notice of the earlier recommendations remains to be seen.

It would be noteworthy to mention a letter of the Principal Secretary in the Department of Education (Punjab ) : "It has been observed that universities and colleges remain closed due to a large number of public holidays. This is adversely affecting the teaching programme."

The Principal Secretary had asked for suggestions from institutions. Suggestions had also demanded from the faculty members on the recommendations of the task force.

There seems to be no follow-up action. There also is no indication of an action report on various related issues discussed at the Senate meeting in April.

Roots of Kashmir crisis traced
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — The two-day seminar on "Culture, history and time" organised by the Department of Philosophy of Panjab University at the ICSSR complex concluded here today.

While delivering his paper, "History and culture in the context of Kashmir", Prof. P.S.Verma of the Department of Political Science traced the roots of the Kashmir problem. Communalisation of political issues which subsequently led to erosion of the age-old harmony among Buddhists, Shanvites, Sikhs and Muslims of the valley was the main problem. He pointed out that the social protest movement led by Sheikh Abdullah and other National Conference leaders was brutally dubbed "a communal movement" by the ruling elite. Contrary to the contemporary perception of forced conversion of Hindus to Islam, the reality was that the conversion of a large number of Hindus was due to persuasive influence of Sufi Muslim Saints. He lamented that owing to interference of certain vested interests the distinct composite culture of the valley was destroyed further during the post independence era.

In his paper "Ideology and culture of Khalsa in the context of history of Punjab", Prof Nirbhai Singh from Punjabi University, Patiala, referred to revisions introduced in the Puranic narratives by the Sikh Gurus.While pointing towards "Krishnaavtar" in the Dasam Granth, Professor Nirbhai Singh pointed out how a new character of Kharak Singh was introduced in the narrative of the life of Lord Krishna. "Through these revisions,the Sikh Gurus were creating a new history in the pursuit of human dignity and freedom, "he added. He saw a contrast between the characterisation of Krishna in "Bhagwat Purana" and "Krishna Avtaar" and suggested that there was a complete transformation of the character from mythological time to historical time. He stated that Sikhism,which took off as a pacifist movement,ultimately emerged as a militant order in defence of moral and eternal values.

Presenting his paper on "Culture History and Time," a former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Prof. J.S. Grewal, said there were varied definitions and usage of the term "culture". He suggested that culture was a historical creation, a whole way of life in comparison to the training of intellect and habit of mind. He referred to the role of tradition in culture which linked the past and the present.

In her paper, Prof Indu Banga of the Department of History pointed out that there was a blurring of boundaries among different schools of historiography which was responsible for generating an identity crisis among historians. Different agendas were demanding competing reconstruction of the historical past for their specific concerns, she stressed.

Prof R.C. Jauhari of the Department of History while reading his paper,"Changing definition of history in Islamic thought" traced the genesis of Islamic philosophy of history which accepts a linear conception of time.He emphasised that for proper interpretation of the sacred texts, the reading of Koranic narratives containing history was essential.

Prof Oniam Bhagat, a research and editorial associate from the PHISPC, Delhi, dubbed history as "futuristic", a way of projecting and creating culture.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr S.P. Gautam of the Department of Philosophy, Prof Randhir Singh of Delhi University, and Dr V.T. Sebestian of the Department of Philosophy of Panjab University.Top


Crime file
Yet another case of drugging, robbing
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 11 — Yet another case of duping after drugging has come to light in the city.

The incident occurred with Mr Pratap Mehra, a resident of Sector 46, while he travelling from Delhi to Chandigarh on October 7. Mr Mehra alleged that the youth did not even spare his pair of shoes.

Mr Mehra who works in a private firm that produces shaving blades boarded a bus around 9.30 p.m. at the ISBT. A youth around 20 and apparently from a good family, sat next to him. In the course of conversation, the youth told Mr Mehra that he had come from Singapore to meet his uncle at Meerut.

He offered potato chips to Mr Mehra as soon as the bus started. The offer was declined by him as he was offering evening prayers. After the bus stopped at Samalkha, the youth offered him a biscuit . Having consumed the biscuit, Mr Mehra lost his consciousness and woke up next day at his residence.

Mr Mehra told TNS that he did not remember how he managed to reach his home. "There is faint memory that I entered the house of someone else. I was admitted to a private clinic. I feel slightly better now".

A complaint has been lodged with the police. Mr Mehta lost two brief cases, a golden ring and, of course, his pair of shoes.

Robbers held: The police has arrested two employees of a farmhouse near Darua village for trying to run away with the belongings of fellow employees.

Mr Nagendra Prasad, a manager and Mr Bal Bahadur, a chowkidar on a farm on the Darua-Makhan Majra road were joined by two employees recently. The manager and the chowkidar lived with their families.

Hari Om and Bhola, both residents of UP, said on Saturday that they had found Rs 300 on the road and would like to throw a party. They purchased "burfi" and also cooked chicken. All except two kids of the chowkidar had their fill and soon fell unconscious.

The duo allegedly, tried to rob their belongings. When the children who did not have the meals, tried to raise the alarm, they were locked in a room. When they were running away, the children got help from an adjoining farm.
When the police arrived on the scene, a team of cops was despatched to the station. On seeing the police, the robbers tried to run away, but were nabbed.

A case has been registered.

Complaint: A local journalist has lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that he had been swindled by two persons in a car deal. The journalist said the duo first "impressed innocent consumers with their lavish style and promised to arrange for interest-free loans and later escaped with the amount".Top


An enchanting evening

CHANDIGARH: An ecstatic experience it was! Yes, one could feel sheer music reaching the very core and drenching the soul with bliss. It was an evening, the 28-monthly baithak at Pracheen Kala Kendra, which demanded surrender to the euphoric power of music. Helplessly, one just closed the eyes and swayed to the beats and rhythms, absorbing everything with the senses. Such moments, so rare and precious, make mortal-beings raise their eyes in gratitude to the Almighty for giving the gift of hearing.

The magic wand was waved, engrossing everybody, by Sumana Sanyal. She with her rich and deep voice opened the session. An exponent of 'Kirana Gharana' she presented a recital of rag Pooriya Kalyan in Vilambit ek taal, followed by 'Drut Khayal' in teen taal. An instructor of vocal music at Kala Kendra itself, she concluded her programme with a Meera bhajan 'Tumhare Karan Sub Sukh Chodda'. Sumana, full of potential, should explore it to the maximum. She should also try her hand at radio and making cassettes as well.

Next came the main attraction of the evening. This was the 'Taal-Vadya Kacheri', presented by Nandi Dwani of New Delhi. It is a troupe of five musicians — V.S.K. Annadurai, Lalgudi R. Sriganesh, Kumbakonam Padmanabhan, G. Venkatesh and P.G. Somnath. They played violin, mridangam, kanjira, ghatam and morsing, respectively. The concert began with a devotional composition by Muthuswamy Dikshidar set to rag hamsadwani. This piece in adi taal was dedicated to Lord Ganesha. After this was played a piece in rag varamu in adi taal which had a cycle of eight beats. The 'bols' of the same were spoken aloud by Sriganesh which were then resounded on the different instruments turn by turn. Then a solo pattern was presented by the same artist and the 'bols' of which were repeated on kanjira, ghatam and morsing. All the instruments when played individually or collectively had a magical effect on the audience. They sat spell-bound transported to another world altogether.

Words fail to describe what the experience was like. It had to be heard to be felt.
Priti Verma


An evening of musical extravaganza

CHANDIGARH: The city has fast grown out of its small-town syndrome by hosting a plethora of musical extravaganzas, fashion shows, exhibitions and street plays et al. Unfortunately, most of these not only appear to be similar, but also usually amateurish.

But 'Tarannum' — a musical bonanza on Sunday evening at the Tagore Theatre was a pleasant surprise. Organised by the Swar Saptak Club, the show, without being flashy, had in store six talented Chandigarh-based singers who presented 15 geets, written by Mr S. Rakesh President of the club.

The club has been an outlet for talent since 1989 and today's programme was the 17th in its series of musical nites. Interestingly, all programmes of the club are based on non-film songs composed by Mr Rakesh, who has also penned Pankaj Udhas "Thoda-thoda piya karo", Usha Uthup's "Dil mangda" and Jagjit Singh's ghazal "Ye Peene wale" in his album titled "Visions".

In keeping with the tradition of club's earlier programmes, the evening began with the introduction of artistes, who sang a couple of lines. The first song of the evening, "Aansuon ka kya bharosa", was sung by Veenu Kautish, who has several cassettes to her name. A soft romantic number, "Pal pal sham-o-sahr tera khyal aata raha" in Neelam Chauhan's dulcet voice, followed the previous sombre song. Neelam, who has often been participating in such shows, it seems, is appreciated more when singing foot-tapping numbers.

Brijesh Ahuja, a popular face in Chandigarh, after having sung for Jaspal Bhatti's "Ulta Pulta" "Flop Show" and forthcoming Punjabi film, "Mahaul Theek Hai", rendered song heralding the New Year — "Khushiyon ki khushboo se maheke naya saal". Kanchan Kulkarni sang "Paat jhare patjhar ritu aaye" in her melodious but sometimes shrill voice.

The attractive feature of the evening was the expressive lyrics, which offered a respite from the simple-rhyming lyrics of the Hindi film music. But the next composition, a duet — "Tujhe bahon main bahon main tujhe kas lun" — was in keeping with the fashion of the glaringly passionate film lyrics of today which was sung by the melodious team of Rinku Kalia and Rajarsh. — Sonoo SinghTop


Divali time

GUESTS from other states who participated in the Special Olympics at Panjab University recently went back with two fond tales of honesty — one involving a washerman of Hostel II and another involving a washerwoman of Hostel I.

A coach from Kerala thought he had lost for good a sum of Rs 5000 having misplaced it somewhere and given up after a thorough checking at all possible places. Mr Suresh Kumar, the washerman in Hostel II, proved to be his saviour. The amount did matter a lot keeping in mind the short duration of stay and distance from hometown.

The grand "iron lady" of Hostel I was only living up to her old reputation when she returned Rs 2900 to a team member from Andhra Pradesh. In her late seventies, the iron lady has scores of such tales of honesty to her credit which hostel veterans can vouch for . Her only grudge: "Many students have not paid my dues. Anupam Kher, the noted actor, also owes me a little money", she adds.

Stray cattle zone
The stray cattle menace has been continuing in the city since long. One of the readers has come up with a bright idea. "Why not name certain areas as Stray Cattle Zone," writes Pankaj Chandgothia, in a letter to Sentinel.

He further adds that certain cattle have made particular road points their permanent abode.

If the MC or the Administration cannot effectively remove the stray cattle, Mr Chandgothia writes, they should at least install road signs "Stray Cattle Zone", in a triangular format all such places. This would serve as a warning to the road user.

The symbol can be used to warn the motorists of any traffic hazard ahead.

H.S. Dilgir
Prof H.S. Dilgir, a former Head of the Department of Journalism at Panjab University here, has been invited by Nordic Black Theatre, Norway, to conduct a theatre workshop there.

Professor Dilgir is an educationist, poet, playwright, film writer and a teacher of journalism. He has authored 20 books. He retired as Chairman of the Department of Mass Communication, Panjab University, in 1985. He, however, continues to be Visiting professor to various universities, including Punjabi University, Patiala.

Besides, he is founder of Kala Darpan and Centre for Rural Environment Education.

In fact, he was the first person to present bhangra on American television in May, 1962.

For Mrs Pritpal Kaur Wasu, her nomination to the Punjab Legal Services Authority has been yet another feather to her cap. She was one of the first women to break into exclusive citadel of men in the domain of law as early as 1953.

In 1953, she organised the Pepsu branch of the All-India Women's Conference which was later rechristened as the Punjab branch of the conference. She has been the Secretary of the branch since its inception.

In 1958, she was nominated to the Punjab Vidhan Parishad in recognition of her excellent work in the social welfare field. She got a second term in 1966.

In between, in 1964, she was invited by the State Department of the United States for a six-day tour of the States as a state guest under the Leaders' Exchange programme. At an international meet on Decade for Women organised by the United Nations at Copenhagen in 1980, she represented the country and spoke on the sensitive issue of Palestinian refugees. Very next year, she was assigned to represent India at a conference of the leaders of the National Commissions for International Year of the Child at Sophia (Bulgaria).

In recognition of her continuous work for the welfare of women and children, the Punjab Government appointed her Chairperson of the Punjab Social Welfare Advisory Board in 1975.

First prize
The District Education Officer (DEO), Mr Brahamjit Kalia, has won another honour. His project has been awarded the first prize at an all-India competition held by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), recently.

The project — "Problems of delinquent students at the senior secondary level in UT schools" — was undertaken by Mr Kalia when he was the Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33. He was assisted in the project by two other teachers of the school, Ms Anjana and Ms Harjit.

Mr Kalia, whose interests vary from social work, writing to environment preservation, became the first DEO from the UT cadre earlier this year. He also won the state award for teachers last year.Top

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