Chandigarh, Monday, September 21, 1998
Ordeals of retrenched staff
INDIFFERENT to the possible ordeals that the retrenched staff could face, the Punjab School Education Board continues to phase out its staff. More than 300 employees have been retrenched so far.
Ram Rati (33) is one of those unfortunate who was rendered jobless. She was employed by the board on October 5, 1993, as a daily-wage helper. She continued till May 7, 1998, when she was relieved of her duties.
Thus began her tale of woes. Ram Rati, whose husband expired in 1990, has three sons to feed. The eldest Rajinder Kumar (16) and the youngest Surinder Kumar (10) are studying in Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 45, Chandigarh. The third, Ravinder Kumar (13), lives with his maternal grandmother in U.P.
Finding it hard to make two ends meet, Ram Rati, who lives in a jhuggi in the Phase X Labour Colony, SAS Nagar started a small tea-shop on the road dividing Phases X and XI in May. A kerosene stove, a milk-container, cigarettes, bidis and namkeen makes up her shop under the shade of a tree. She keeps her shop open from 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. and earns Rs 40 to 50 a day. But when it rains, she has to go without her earnings.
Her customers comprise mainly labourers. She says she has to tole-rate comments by ill-intentioned persons. Tears rolling down her cheeks, Ram Rati who has chosen to live with dignity despite penury, says now that she is no longer in a job, no one lends her money. Her children help her after school to clean utensils besides other small tasks.
"When I was cherishing the hope of being employed on a regular basis, I was thrown out of the job," she laments.
She approached leaders of the Punjab School Board Employees Association along with other colleagues who had lost their jobs was advised to meet the Chief Minister and the Education Secretary. This she was unable to do.
The president of the employees association, Mr Gurdip Singh Dhillon, when contacted said the association did take up Ram Ratis case with the authorities but the difficulty was that employees like her were working against "non-existent" posts.
The board is making fresh recruitment of helpers, "I have appeared for the test held at Ropar under Roll No 92531, leaving the rest to fate", says Ram Rati.
Will the board authorities do something to mitigate her sufferings? The Secretary of the board, Mr Jagjit Singh Sidhu, says all retrenched workers who clear the written test will be given due weightage during the interview.
He confirmed the boards decision to retrench work-charged, daily wager workers and those on contract in a phased manner. In all 134 posts of clerks and 52 of helpers are to be filled, he added.
Dhir & Punjabi short story
THE recipient of the Sahit Academy Award for 1996, Santokh Singh Dhir, is endowed with socialist vision and an enduring commitment towards historical consciousness. As many as three dozens of his writings speak volumes for his literary genius.
At the heart of his writings lies the image of a common man, pushing his way towards emancipation.
To his understanding of the conflicting dreams and desires of the common man, Dhir brings to bear almost a personal intimacy, a felt intensity. His opposition to the brute system is as much a proof of his progressivism as his spirited defence of humanitarian values. That is why the revolutionary fervour of his writings do not eclipse their aesthetic quality.
In the field of poetry, Dhir has now offered as many as ten collections. He doesnt allow his commitment to ideology to interfere with the delicacy of human emotions or their sensitive.
For articulating his progressive ideas and values, Dhir often turns to different forms of folk poetry in popular idiom. His poems exude the sweetness of folk songs as well as the bristling warmth of heroic poetry.
Punjabi short story owes a great deal to him. Beyond doubt, some of his short stories, including "Koi Ik Sawar," "Sanjhi Kandh", "Sawer Hon Tak", "Do Chithian", "Mera Ujreya Gawandi," "Ik Sadharan Adami", Bhet Wali Gal" and "Lutere" could easily be placed among Punjabi classics.
Most stories celebrate the man in the street who otherwise remains in the blur of anonymity. It is the rawness of realism and sheer exuberance of his characterisation which brings these lost souls alive. What really makes the characters memorable is a deep understanding laced with a rare insight born personal experience.
Dhirs special talent as a short story writer lies in his ability to create realistic fictional images of a common man within the framework of short story as a form. And this he does artistically.
Apart from the short stories, Dhir has had six novels published date which are "Do Phul" "Uh-Din", "Yaadgar", "Menoon" "Ik Supna Aya", "Hindustan Hamara" and "Nawan Janam". These novels stand out by virtue of their themes, treatment of form and socially relevant message. His self assumed understanding of reality and artistic presentation is what makes him unique in the world of Punjabi novel.
Dhir has made significant contribution to Punjabi prose. His autobiography Brihaspati" has recently been published. A travelogue under the title "Meri England Yatra" has also been published.
Another of his writings in pose titled "Fullan Nal Gallan" is appealing for its simplicity of style. It is addressed to his three-year-old grandson Prageet Singh this. Using the epistolary method, Dhir reached out to children, offering uncomplicated views on a wide-ranging subject from his understanding of history to mythology.
on inter-disciplinary approach
KURUKSHETRA: Kurukshetra University has drawn a blueprint on inter-disciplinary and inter-departmental approach for solution of various problems being faced by students.
The university has decided to launch an AIDS awareness programme for the university students which will be launched by Dr Saida Saidain Hamid, member of the National Commission for Women.
On the initiative of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr M.L. Ranga, the university has also decided to celebrate the 15th year of Universal Human Rights in a big way. Besides discussions, declamation contests, workshops and quiz, an exhibition will be arranged to create awareness among the students. At least 200 students from various affiliated colleges would participate.
The Vice-Chancellor has also launched a programme to green the campus further. The university is motivating its residents to plant at least two fruit trees each.
The Mahatma Gandhi All-India Services Coaching Institute of Kurukshetra University is introducing a UGC sponsored special course on remedial English for Scheduled Castes, Tribes and other weaker sections. According to Dr M.L. Ranga, the UGC has provided Rs 11 lakh for this purpose. The first instalment of Rs 5 lakh has already been received by the university.
The Vice-Chancellor stated that the courses would meet the long-standing need of the students community particularly those from rural areas, who suffered because of lack of communication skills while seeking employment.
Five batches of 40 students would be imparted intensive coaching for 80 hours during a two-month period. Dr Raghuvendra Tanwar, Honorary Director of the Institute, maintained that besides providing guidance for examination skills, emphasis would be on developing personality.
The Womens Studies Research Centre at the campus will organise a two-day legal literacy workshop for lady teachers of colleges and universities of Haryana in collaboration with the Faculty of Law. At least 70 delegates are likely to participate in the workshop which will be inaugurated by Justice S.B. Majumdar on September 19.
The Study Centre will also organise UGC national seminar on October 23 and 24 on "Women politics and developing nations." Thirty distinguished scholars from various parts of the country and abroad will present papers.
A new principal is at the helm of affairs in the University College. Mrs Chand Dutta the first woman to be selected as the colleges regular Principal. Mrs Dutta is the daughter of a freedom fighter.
The campus is abuzz with activity as the Kurukshetra University Non-Teaching Employees Association (KUNTEA) elections are due to be held on September 25. Dr I.S. Gur of the Department of Chemistry has been appointed returning officer.
The total electoral collage is of 1801 votes. The KUNTEA is divided in two camps. Mr Babu Ram Gupta, who remained at the helm of affairs of the KUNTEA politics for about two decades has this time shied away from contesting as president of the union.
However, his protege, Mr Harish Kumar, will contest as president.To oppose him is the sitting president of the KUNTEA, Mr Karan Singh, who is seeking re-election.
The university has taken speedy steps to quicken the pace of decision regarding unfair means cases. Earlier, the students facing charges in such cases had to wait for long. Now, the university has made arrangements to decide about 50 cases.
Earlier only 25 cases used to be decided. The university during the current examination year received 1517 UMC cases out of which 1068 have been decided.
The re-evaluation cases are taking long putting students to inconvenience. The university has received 1,9700 cases for re-evaluation from various departments and affiliated colleges. So far only 287 have been decided.
By Vishal Gulati
ARE you a senior secondary student with a brain for maths? Here is an offer for such prodigies to prove their prowess at a mega event of the mind to be held in Romania next year.
The event is the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), which offers exposure to students who have had no formal education in mathematics at the university level, but have a mathematical brain.
What is the olympiad activity in India? Every year Regional Mathematic Olympiads are held to select 15 to 20 students for participation at the national contest, Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO).
Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh comprise one such region. This year the first round for Regional Mathematic Olympiad will be held on September 27 at the Department of Mathematics of Panjab University, Kurukshetra University, Punjabi University, Guru Nanak Dev University, Himachal Pradesh University, M.D. University, Jammu University, S.D. College (Ludhiana) and Government College (Hoshiarpur).
The competition is open to students of Class 10+1. However, students of Class X can also apply. The aspirants are required to apply through their respective principals to the coordinator of respective universities.
At least 30 top scorers of the INMO are invited to a training camp conducted by the National Board for Higher Mathematics. The duration of the camp is four weeks from May-June. During the camp, the students are imparted intensive training in techniques for solving mathematical problems. Six students are finally selected for the IMO.
"One of the aims of the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad is to spot youngsters with talent early and to nurture them", says Dr Vinod Kumar Grover, Regional Coordinator, Panjab University.
"The Indian team finished with three gold and three silver medals at the just concluded 39th International Mathematical Olympiad in Taipei, China. India was placed seventh among 76 participants, the best-ever achieved by India", says Mr I.B.S. Passi, Dean, University Instruction, Panjab University.
More girls opt for tech courses
From Vimal Sumbly
HISAR: There has been a significant increase in the number of girls seeking admission in various technical courses in Haryana. According to figures available at Guru Jambeshwar University, the only technical university in the state, the past three years have witness a considerable increase in the number of girl students. Most of them, however, have an urban background.
This trend is visible in admissions in various technical and management courses being run by GJU. According to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.L. Johar, if this trend continues, girls in Haryana will soon outnumber boys in the field of technology and management.
"When the university started in 1995, the percentage of girls studying in the university was slightly more than 20. In 1996-97, it increased to 30 per cent and in 1997 it went to 37 per cent. During the current academic session, the percentage has crossed 45", the Vice-Chancellor pointed out.
Prof Johar said, some of the courses popular among girls were environmental science, mass communication, biotechnology and food processing technology. In M.Sc (biotechnology) out of 33 candidates, 24 were girls. Similarly, in mass communication, out of 26 students 16 were girls. In applied psychology and applied mathematics, the number of girls was more than the boys.
Even in information technology and printing technology, considered to be preferred by boys, the girls had exhibited a greater interest. In MIT, a field generally thought to be maledominated, out of 41 students 16 were girls. Similarly, in MCA out of 24 students, 17 were girls.
Dr Johar pointed out that this was a healthy trend and in consonance with the education policy, which envisage involvement of more girls in higher education.
He said the fact that more girls were coming for technology-based courses, was indicative of rapid transformation and modernisation that the society in Haryana was undergoing.
But the participation of girls from rural areas was equally important, he emphasised.
THE UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has invited applications for the 1998 ESCAP HRD award. The theme of the 1998 award is "HRD through adult education."
The award carries a prize of US dollars 30,000 in the form of grant. It is open to individuals (resident nationals), organisations, and institutions in both government and non-government sectors in developing countries.
Organisations and individuals engaged in adult literacy, continuous learning and skills development, gender and adult education, education for peace and human rights and distance learning can apply for the award.
Adult basic education refers to all forms of organised education and training that meet the basic learning needs of adult, including skills, values and attitude that they require to survive, develop their capacities, live and work with dignity and improve the quality of their lives.
S. C. Dhall
|| Nation | Punjab | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu
& Kashmir | Chandigarh |
| Editorial | Business | Stocks | Sports |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | World | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |