|Sunday, February 20, 2000,
will revolutionise education: Kalam
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 In a changed information scenario with rapid expansion of the computer services, the education pattern with special reference to change in syllabi is bound to happen in schools and colleges.
This was pointed out by Bharat Ratna Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Principal Secretary Adviser to the Government of India, at the inauguration of the National High Performance Scientific Facility in Panjab University here today. In alliance for the setting up of the project are the Department of Science and Technology and the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).
The concerns of the coming times which needed immediate pondering included the profile of a teacher to suit the changing scenario. With necessary changes in types of syllabi, the teaching methods needed automatic change, Dr Kalam said.
Dr Kalam observed that knowledge management consisted of practices and policies for deploying intellectual assets to support key economic issues. Universities are knowledge houses and could play a vital role in developing competitive resources with capability to improve. Dr Kalam suggested that knowledge being the most important input should be added to information technology. Computing facilities promised qualitative changes.
Referring to the Prime Minister's recent observation that India should scheme ways for becoming a developed country, Dr Kalam said computer was an important tool.He made a reference to suggestions of 17 documents which had been recommended in the realisation of such a dream.
Dr Kalam said the core areas for future works included food processing, education, health, information, infrastructure and strategic areas. Integration of information and infrastructure (roads and power) needed the maximum push for development.
Dr Kalam said that computer was a very powerful resource. More use gave more strength and it gave more ideas. There was also need to deliberate on the aspects of the Internet, supernet and thoughts on superhighway for better results. He said the local facility had potential of connection with seven other similar centres under development at different centres in the country.
Earlier, Dr V. S. Rajan, former director in the TIFAC, said there was need to understand the importance of the changing computer world. In the absence of access and lack of knowledge, the coming generation was bound to suffer in professional fields as well as in business.
Dr V. S. Ramamurthy, secretary in the Directorate of Science and Technology, said today's technology was tomorrow's infrastructure. It was a fountainhead for future. Dr Ramamurthy said scientific computing needed improvement in India.
Dr N. Balakrishnan said that one area where our technology was poor was 'scientific computing'. The extremely beautiful looking gadget had actual lab work expectancy for three to four years only. They needed to be used 20-23 hours daily.
Dr R.K. Singla from Panjab University gave a presentation of the university Internet services. He talked about various university areas where computers used the new facility, including Masters of Computer Applications, Physics and Chemistry departments.
Prof M. M. Puri, Vice-Chancellor, said that the latest computer facility promised services for colleges and schools in the region. The applications range from data processing, remote sensing, computational fluid dynamics, medical imaging (medical as well as space based terrestrial).
The role of TIFAC was
underlined as 'Undertaking technology assessments and
forecasting studies in selected areas of national
economy; watching global trends and formulating options
for India; establishing a nationally accessible
technology system; and promoting key technologies.
No harm in
Constitution review, says Jaitley
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 The Constitution of India has served well in the past 50 years but there is no harm in review of several constitutional provisions at this stage.
This was stated by Mr Arun Jaitley, Information and Broadcasting Minister, while addressing a seminar organised by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad on 50 Years of Indian Constitution: Need for a Critical Assessment at Panjab University today.
"A committee constituted in this direction in 1976 had more inductions to sport the emergency invoked by the Congress government. The proposed changes were anti-democracy then. The new move is aimed at transformation proposals with larger interests in mind," Mr Jaitley said.
He said there was unnecessary criticism about the new proposal. "The review is not a law. It has to come to Parliament. If the suggestions are found unimpressive, they can be turned down," he said.
Reflecting on suggestions for a presidential form of government, Mr Jaitley said history had shown that powers, when transferred to a single hand, were largely misused.
He also made a reference to a move when it was proposed in Punjab that parties which had religion as a strong component in its reaching out masses not be allowed to contest elections, which was not supported.
Mr Jaitley also pointed out flaws in the Anti-Defection Bill. References were also made to electoral reforms with stress on lowering criminalisation and money in politics.
Presiding over the
function, Justice J.V. Gupta said it was strange that the
word secular was added in 1976 as the country was secular
even before that. He also hinted at unnecessary
objections over introducing religious texts of different
religions in syllabi.
Darshan, a channel to educate masses: Jaitley
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 The impact of convergence in the field of information technology has to be used for the benefit of society as it has completely overtaken us to become the most effective means to reach out masses, says the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mr Arun Jaitley.
Inaugurating the two-day District Conference of Rotary International District 3080 at Law Auditorium of Panjab University here this afternoon, Mr Jaitley said that distant education through the use of information technology was not only economical but also an effective way of reaching out far-flung and remote areas to educate people about health sciences, besides imparting both formal and informal education.
Information technology is becoming cheaper day by day. Television screen at home was no more a TV screen alone as it was now serving the purpose of Internet, cable and video-conferencing.
The paramount question, he said, was how to use this advancing information technology for the benefit of the society. He expressed the hope that a new programme Gyan Darshan would become a regular channel and become an effective means of educating people through the electronic media.
The question before us is how we can put this rapidly changing information technology to the foremost use. The government has to act as a facilitator and play an enabling role. In the past, the government has been accused of playing an obstructionist role. If it was not so, why the entry of colour TV was banned for more than 20 years, he asked.
Today was the time of changing mind set, changing attitudes and emergence of a new vision. In the changed scenario, road map ahead of us wants us to take a decision to which way we have to go to survive. Our minds have been oriented towards creating a welfare society.
Mr Jaitley cautioned that unless the societies demystify themselves, they cannot progress.
Mr Jaitley said that Chandigarh was a marvellous city and Rotary a unique organisation with its wings in 162 countries all over the globe.
Talking about the title of the conference, "Yugantar 2000", the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister said that yug was an unspecified period of time but hoped that it meant "change".
The new millennium we have entered would be significantly different. "It is going to be a millennium in which excellence in society will survive. People will not be judged by families or areas they belong to, or the number of elections and methods adopted by them to win those elections or such other things but by the laid down standards of excellence. Times have changed. technology is changing. Economics is changing," he said.
So much so that even the outlook has been changing. Hill states, for example, because of the hydel power potential were now able to pull themselves out of all their problems. This was not so earlier. Gujarat, for example, became the first state to have no central overdrafting. There are new standards in business, industry besides ethics and morality, he added.
The traders who were earlier painted as hoarders, black marketers were no more viewed the same way. the vision has changed.
The Department of disinvestment of the Union Government was looking into the question whether it was the job of the government to be in business, making breads and selling it. On the other hand, the private sector or industry was doing the same job, paying the government the tax besides generating employment opportunities. O the other hand government's venture in business were running in huge losses.
There are certain apprehensions about the disinvestment also, including unemployment in some cases. He referred to the case of huge losses of Air-India, saying that while the Emirates, one of the best airlines has 110 persons per aircraft, Air-India, the national carrier, has 700 people per aircraft.
The second change is of the change of the yug. Now is the time of knowledge and information. "Are we going to miss the race? India has emerged as a power in the field of information technology. The choice is whether to benefit from this change of yug or let the advantage be bypassed .
Mr Jaitley also referred to drafting of new broadcasting Bill and the telegraph Act. The old laws, he said, have been completely overtaken by the advancement of technology. the new broadcasting law has to be such that it meets the requirement of fast changing information technology.
Later, talking to newsmen, Mr Jaitley said that introduction of FM band in 40 different towns by private companies was in the final stages of implementation. Offers have already been invited and hopefully with one year, private companies in entertainment broadcasting would start operating FM band in 40 major cities. All India Radio would continue as before, he said.
He said that new broadcasting Bill would also take into consideration the challenges of convergence of information technology. It would be designed suitably to the changing pace of technology.
Earlier, Mr Jack Forrest, special nominee of the President of the Rotary International, in his address of welcome, not only traced the history and concept of service above self of the Rotary movement but said that the organisation had a role to play in fostering peace and serving the humanity side by side.
has lost direction
PANCHKULA, Feb 19 The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, here today said that the thinking of the public and the political scenario was undergoing a sea change and the concept of alliances among parties was also on its last leg.
He stated this while addressing a public meeting in Sector 16 in support of the BJP candidate, Mr Sham Lal Bansal.
He said people are now wary of candidates who indulged in doling out empty promises.
Commenting on the position of the Congress party, he said exit polls had predicted that the party would barely manage to get 25 seats each in Bihar, Haryana and Orissa. After 45 years of remaining in power the party was now rudderless, without direction, foresight and leadership.
He said winning and losing was no big deal in elections, what actually mattered was political credibility. A political party with the right attitude maintains its policies and programmes even when it does not get the mandate of the people. We did that and now have come back in full force. What ails the Congress is that it cannot differentiate between a political party and a political family, he opined.
He said the BJP was working on solidifying the economic base of the country to ensure it is on sound financial footing. The Prime Minister has strived to bring about financial stability and it was this effort that failed to destabilise us during the Kargil conflict. Also, the inflation was going down, the stock market was zooming and the industrial base had increased, Mr Jaitley said.
He condemned the trend of frequent elections in the country and added that progress and development in the states was slow since time and again the official machinery had to be pressed into service for the poll. However, now the country had entered into a new era and people were on the lookout for candidates and parties which were capable of providing stable governments, he explained.
SC order on slums here, too
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 Describing slums as smudges on City Beautiful, some residents, including a former Chief Architect and a Chief Engineer, believe that the direction of the Supreme Court of India, prohibiting the mushrooming of inner cities, should be implemented in Chandigarh too. Penalise litterbugs here also, as per the apex court's orders, they insist.
Blaming authorities for not tackling the problem in initial stages, most of the residents Chandigarh Tribune talked to said no city in the world could afford to have slums like we had here.
Emphasising that the city was planned for a population of 5 lakh, they said, "Slums are putting pressure on roads and other essential services, besides exposing residents to the danger of becoming epidemic-victims.
Regarding the imposition of fine on litterbugs, most of them said penalty, in the absence of "complete awareness among residents in general and slum dwellers in particular", would act as a deterrent. Some, however, are skeptical regarding its enforcement.
The Supreme Court, taking serious note of the filth and garbage in the Capital, had banned the mushrooming of any new slum, besides asking the authorities to impose a penalty of Rs 50 on persons found littering.
Pronouncing the orders, the three-judge bench had directed the Union of India, the Delhi Government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council and other statutory authorities to take appropriate steps "for preventing any encroachment or unauthorised occupation of public land for the purpose of dwelling resulting in the creation of a slum".
The court had also directed the civic authorities to frame a scheme "to levy and recover charges and costs" from any person found littering or violating sanitation laws.
Till the scheme was framed and published, the "authorities would recover Rs 50 as charges and costs" from persons littering or violating the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act, bylaws and regulations related to sanitation and health, the bench had added.
Expressing the desire of having the ruling implemented in the "much-better planned Chandigarh also", a former Chief Engineer-cum-Secretary Mr Kulbir Singh said, "Strict directions are essential here, too, as the situation in Chandigarh is equally bad. Besides being a nuisance, slums are putting pressure on roads and basic services, including health."
He said the imposition of penalty for littering was essential. He also said, "At least the fine would prevent people from throwing garbage on the roads, outside the houses. The integrity of the enforcement staff should, however, be beyond doubt."
The first Indian Chief Architect of erstwhile Punjab, Mr M.N. Sharma, agreed with him and said, "The city is becoming shabbier day by day due to unplanned growth. Under such conditions, the Supreme Court of India's directions assume significance here also".
Imposing a fine, he adds, will deter litterbugs to some extent. "Today, things are so bad that you see people defecating in the open without anyone saying anything," he said.
Accusing the UT Administration of "having ruined the city already", sculptor-cum-Chairman of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Shiv Singh, said, "It is now or never. It is high time the Administration did something about the slums. It has been lenient for too long. The top bosses appear to have no time to take action. Whoever comes to the city should be registered and not allowed to stay."
Strict action, he said, should be taken not only against litterbugs, but also against encroachers and pavement sellers. "In case of the non-payment of fine, they should be put behind bars," he said.
Social activist, Ms Shareshtha Mehta, also believes that new slums should not be permitted, while the dwellers in the existing ones should be rehabilitated. She said, "Fine should be imposed on anyone littering the place, without discrimination."
Educate people before fining them, is what advocate Ms Sheila Devi, on the other hand, says. "The Administration should first teach the residents and provide dustbins all over the place before imposing the fine," she said.
Terming the growth of slums in the city as a "planning failure", Mr Aditya Prakash, a retired Principal of the College of Architecture, said, "The slums should not have been allowed to sprout in the first place. The need of the hour is to solve poverty and shelter problems and it can be done through proper planning."
Imposition of fine, he said, was no solution. "Penalising poor people will not solve anything."
Claiming to be committed
towards making the city beautiful once again, the Mayor,
Ms Shanta Abilashi said, "We are already imposing
penalty proceedings on residents throwing garbage and
gravel in lawns and open spaces. As far as penalising
litterbugs is concerned, we will first study the strategy
formulated by Delhi. If suitable, we will adopt it in the
hope to landmine victims
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 Going to school was never so painful and traumatic until a blast changed all that for 14-year-old Manzoor Ahmad of Kupwara. His left foot was blown off when he stepped on a landmine planted by militants when he was on his way to school.
He is among 18 persons who are part of the Army Development Groups Operation Sadbhavana II being organised by 15 Corps. All are victims of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmine blasts in Kupwara district and are being fitted with prosthetic aids at the Nevedac Prosthetic Centre at Daulatsinghwala, near here.
All victims were bitter about the casualties inflicted by insurgents in the state for the past many years and said that something must be done to restore normalcy. We have been suffering for so long and are fed up with the fighting, killings and maiming. You never know when you would step on a landmine or be caught in a cross fire between the militants and the security forces, they lamented.
Zakir Hussai is 14 and lost his left foot in an IED blast when he was in the forest collecting firewood. All that I remember is that I was bending down to pick some wood when there was a loud bang and I lost consciousness. Some of my mates picked me up and rushed me to the hospital where my foot below the knee was amputated. My only regret is that I can no longer play with my friends although they insist on carrying me to the playground on their backs, he commented wistfully.
Constable Ghulam Ahmad Waghi of Manasbal was in the Jammu and Kashmir police when he was shot by militants as he was in the security detail of one of the contestants in the parliamentary polls which the militants ordered to be boycotted. His left thigh was shattered in a burst of fire from an AK-47 rifle and had to be amputated.
The government has done nothing to rehabilitate me. The Army has been kind enough to pay for the artificial limb. The whole village stood by me and even collected money for my initial medical expenses, he recalled.
The pain of rebuilding
from here onwards, is an ordeal, which not many are
capable of coping with for the rest of their lives, but
we try to help them lead meaningful lives, says Dr V.J.S.
Vohra, Managing Director of the centre.
Guru's birth anniversary
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 The birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass was celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety here today.
Special programmes were held at the Sectors 20 and 30 Gurdwaras. The Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), also visited a gurdwara. Addressing the people after paying obeisance to the Guru, General Jacob said the Guru worked for the under-privileged people and raised his voice against the prevalent traditions and system in order to change society. He gave a new voice to the depressed, suffering and untouchables.
Calling upon the people to spread his message, General Jacob said that the message was more relevant today.
A siropa was presented to the Governor.
Rich tributes were paid to Guru Ravi Dass, on his 623rd birth anniversary, celebrated at Ravi Dass Bhavan in Sector 15, here, today.
Mr R. S. Chaudhary, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Board, Haryana, was the chief guest. A cultural programme, including songs and folk dances, highlighted the function.
The chief guest lauded the Guru's contribution to society.
The local Guru Ravi Dass Naujawan Sabha celebrated the birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass in Phase 7. A cabinet minister of Punjab, Ms Satwant Kaur Sandhu, urged the people to spread the message of the guru and work on his shown path.
She donated Rs 1 lakh for the construction of a building of the sabha. A book, Guru Ravi Dass Adyatamik Chintan, written by Dr Avtar Singh was released on the occasion. The Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), Mr O.P. Popli, was also present.
The Guru's anniversary was celebrated here today by Shri the Guru Ravi Dass Sabha, Baltana, at Baltana village.
The chief guest, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies, Punjab, appealed the gathering to help the poor. It was also attended by Mr Dev Raj Sharma, district president, BJP; Mr Parvinder Singh, Zirakpur circle president, SAD (B).
ZIRAKPUR, Feb 19 On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidass, the Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today inaugurated in Nabha Sahab village, a dharamshala, meant for the down-trodden.
While addressing a public meeting, the minister urged the residents to follow the teachings of Guru Ravidass and to maintain brotherhood without the considerations of caste, colour or religion.
The minister said the Punjab Government had in the past three years, spent Rs 191 crore on the uplift of the weaker sections of society under different welfare schemes. Besides this, Rs 9.78 crore had been spent to provide better education to the children of the weaker sections.
He also inaugurated the newly tarred streets and pucca drains of the village and said the road to the village gurdwara would be made pucca soon.
A social organisation, Udaseen Seva Samiti, donated Rs 5,000 to the local Government Primary School for the purchase of furniture and other items.
The Sarpanch of Nabha Sahab and of four other villages Chhat, Narayangarh Jhungian, Adda Jhungian and Dyalpura submitted to the minister, a copy of a resolution demanding transfer of these villages to Dera Bassi Block from Rajpura Block.
Some of the residents also demanded that Nabha Sahab village should be made part of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat.
tributes paid to Col Gill
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 Rich tributes were paid to Lieut-Col Partap Singh Gill, a former Lieutenant-Governor of Goa and father of Dr Manohar Singh Gill, Chief Election Commissioner of India, at the bhog and antim ardas held at the Sector 8 Gurdwara here this afternoon. Colonel Gill had died on February 13 at Western Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, near here.
Among those who joined the antim ardas were the former Prime Minister, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral; Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitely; Governors of Punjab, Lieut-Gen J. F. R. Jacob (retd) , and Haryana, Mr Mahavir Prasad; Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Mr R.S. Mann, and Haryana, Mr R.S. Varma; and the Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh, Mrs Vineeta Rai.
Others present included
senior officers of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh
Administration, retired and serving officers of the
police and armed forces, doctors, academicians,
technocrats, civil servants and others. Also present was
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, Sarb Hind Shiromani
PANCHKULA, Feb 19 Highlighting the achievements of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) at a press conference held today, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Board, Haryana, Mr R.S. Chaudhary, said that 60 lakh units of extra power a day had been provided to the state.
Mr Chaudhary, informing
about the newly launched party's website, said that every
one can log in the network and benefit from the party's
policies, programmes and ideologies. He said that the
various achievements of the party in the field of
industry, agriculture, social reforms, along with the
history and tradition of the INLD, are highlighted in the
website. Mr Surinder Garg, city President of the INLD,
also spoke on the occasion.
poverty alleviation: Gupta
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 Mr Justice J.L. Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in his inaugural address at the annual conference of the Rotary International District-3090, here today urged the participants to sacrifice their petty pleasures and work for the removal of poverty.
Hunger, starvation and poverty are the issues which required the attention of the privileged people in the country, he said. You must reach out to suffering people, and put the best foot forward to minimise their grief.
Drawing the attention of the Rotarians towards rapidly growing population, Mr Justice Gupta said that the country was facing a crisis of numbers. We are too many and all concerned should work hard to control the growing numbers (Population), Mr Gupta said.
Dr Philly N. Karani, a representative of Rotary International President, Mr Carlo Rivizza, at the conference, said it was time for the Rotary to listen to the negative feedback. All of us are happy to hear the gratitude that is expressed for Rotary service, but how much attention do we pay to local residents who say Rotary service projects are irrelevant.
Urging the Rotarians to follow high ethical standards, Dr Karani said that the image of the Rotary would suffer greatly and membership would decline if Rotarians did not live up to the expectations of those whom they serve. We need to shift our focus to new areas. We started with organising medical and blood donation camps. But it is time to focus on poverty alleviation and to remove illiteracy, Dr Karani said.
Representatives of various clubs from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan have come to attend the conference, which will conclude tomorrow after the election of new District Governor.
Earlier enlisting the achievements of the RI District 3090 during his one-year tenure as District Governor, Dr Ram Nath Bhardwaj, said various clubs in the jurisdiction of the district contributed Rs 1,50,000 for the Kargil welfare fund. For cyclone victims of Orissa, a contribution of Rs 4 lakh was made besides useable items worth Rs 7 lakh.
An eye bank was set up in Sriganganagar and 27 blind persons were operated upon. Medicines worth Rs 60,000 were given to poor and needy persons at various medical camps. A major polio surgical camp for handicapped children was also organised in Malerkotla in collaboration with a team of doctors from Bhavnagar in Gujarat.
He urged the involvement of women in Rotary. While in the USA there were 17 women Governors heading various Rotary districts, in India only one woman in Chennai was Rotary District Governor. He called upon Rotary International to declare year 2000 as Year for Enrolment of women as members of Rotary.
Mr Prem K. Aggarwal, president of the Mansa Rotary Club, welcomed the participants. Mr Subhash Sharma acted as master of ceremonies.
One arrested for assault
CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 The police has arrested a Mani Majra resident on the charge of assaulting another person of the same area.
According to police sources, Mr Roshan Lal of Subash Nagar reported that he was assaulted by Danesh and two others at his house at about 6 pm. One of the accused reportedly runs a dhaba. He used to permit drinking at his dhaba, which was objected to by the complainant. As a result, he was attacked with sharp-edged weapons.
He has been admitted to the PGI. A case under Sections 324 and 34 of the IPC has been registered. The police has arrested two of the accused.
Held with liquor: The police arrested Ramesh Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony on the charge of possessing 48 quarters of liquor. A case under Section 61\1\14 of Excise Act has been registered.
stolen: Mr Rakesh Mahajan of Sector 22 reported
to the police that his motor cycle (CH-OI-D-5230) had
been stolen from the Sector 22 market. A case under
Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.
'Quality work hikes
CHANDIGARH, Feb 19 As part of the National Productivity Week, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in collaboration with the National Productivity Council (NPC) organised a seminar on "Quality work, quality life" here yesterday.
Mr D. R. Kohli, Deputy Director-General of the BIS, in his welcome address, stressed the need for quality in the day-to-day work for higher productivity.
Mr A. S. Balhotra, Regional Director of the NPC, said efforts of the worker had a direct bearing on the productivity and quality of the products and services.
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