Saturday, April 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CSIO produces HUD unit
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — Head-up display unit (HUD) designed and developed for the light combat aircraft (LCA) by the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here has cleared all trials and is now being integrated with the LCA prototype.

The CSIO team involved in the development has left for Bangalore to help carry out the integration of the HUD unit with the LCA prototype.

Claimed to be the result of indigenous research and development, the HUD was completed last year and three units were sent to the Aeronautical Development Agency at Bangalore for technical and environmental trials.

The HUD is an electro-optical unit which superimposes vital flight parameters like airspeed, altitude, rate of of turn and bank, compass direction as well as the armament status on the pilot’s vision of the outside world.

The HUD is installed above the cockpit’s instrument panel with its screen at about the pilot’s eye-level and enables the pilot to get all required information about the flight configuration even while scanning the skies outside, thereby allowing him to fly the aircraft with his head-up.

Since the pilot does not have to change his line of sight or visual accommodation by peering repeatedly at his instrument panel inside the cockpit, the HUD reduces his workload and reaction time, while enabling him to take split-second decisions and enhancing his weapon aiming capability.

Data about flight parameters generated by the aircraft’s systems is fed into the HUD and processed by an in built microprocessor. The data, in alpha-numeric form, is produced on the HUD’s horizontal cathode ray tube and reflected by special angled lens above the tube. The lens allows the light to pass through, but traps a particular colour (generally fluorescent green), enabling the pilot to read the information.

Though the Rs 5 crore project was initiated in 1992 under the aegis of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and was expected to be complete in five years, there were initial setbacks which delayed the projects. Finalisation of the design took more time and the meetings of the monitoring body, comprising members from different scientific and R &D agencies, were irregular. The designing team also faced problems in getting certain electronic components.

Some specifications of HUDs manufactured by foreign firms were “borrowed” from catalogues and technical literature. The initial units will be using imported cathode ray tubes and certain electronic components.

While four units have already been fabricated here, five more units will be fabricated by CSIO before serial production is undertaken by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). Technology is reported to have been transferred to BEL by CSIO for the purpose.

Although to 18kg, 72 cm long and 39 cm high HUD was meant for the LCA, scientists say that with slight dimensional modifications, it can also be installed in the cockpits of other aircraft in the IAF’s inventory, doing away with the need for importing this system.Back


By passing personal comments, VC has become controversial, says Vandana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — In a reaction to the statements issued by the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof M.M Puri, Dr Vandana Rakesh Singh, in a statement issued here today, has expressed displeasure that her professional capabilities have been undermined and’’ despite having more-than-adequate qualifications, I have been reduced to simply being the wife of somebody,’’ Dr Singh has stated.

Dr Singh is the wife of UT Finance Secretary , Mr Rakesh Singh, and is working in the GCG, Sector 11.

In a signed statement she says?” I am extremely disturbed on reading the comments of the Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University (PU), and am shocked that anyone holding such a prestigious office and a high position can stoop so low as to make irresponsible and baseless statements of this nature. Perhaps the worthy VC needs to be reminded that a lie repeated a hundred times does not necessarily become the truth.’’

‘’ I take the opportunity of stressing on certain facts that have unfortunately got lost in the unsavoury controversy . I have a degree in MA (English) and a Ph.D conferred upon me by PU and have been teaching for seven years in one of the most prestigious colleges affiliated to the same university. My literary work has been published by the Journal of Indian Writing in English while the Nehru Centre based in London has published my translations. Apart from this, I have teaching experience in other areas as well and have earlier served as a bilingual teacher in the Manchester Education Committee, Manchester, UK,’’ Dr Singh, who works as a lecturer in the GCG, Sector 11, has said.

“How the selection committee could completely overlook these facts and appoint a candidate, who does not hold a doctorate and has negligible teaching experience is an act that defies all comprehension. I also wish to remind the VC that with my qualifications and teaching experience I do not need to pressurise anyone to find a position for myself. What is also relevant is that since I am already part of the Chandigarh Education Service, I do not exactly fall in the category of the educated unemployed, who may perforce go to any lengths in the hope I am shocked that the VC has stooped so low as to make baseless and irresponsible statements by making rash and personal remarks, its VC has become controversial and lowered the prestige of PU of finding a placement and in the process also be subjected to exploitation at the hand of the appointing authorities,’’ the statement says.

“At this juncture I would like to clarify the reasons behind my letter (dated March 25) to the VC withdrawing my candidature from this particular selection process. First and foremost any candidate is well within her right while doing so I fail to see how this amounts to ‘making a fool of literate people ‘ as the VC has stated. My withdrawal was a strong and specific form of protest against the unfair selection and not a hasty act — an impression that the VC has

Continued from page 1 2been trying to create. My letter was also an effort at de- linking my being a candidate for lecturer ship in the university with the position my husband holds as member of the Board of Finance . My concern for my husband’s and own reputation and good name is far greater than my desire for becoming a part of the faculty of the PU.’’

“I would also like to draw attention to the fact that as an individual I have the right to a professional life of my own . It is unfortunate that the worthy VC has chosen to link my professional aspirations with my husband’s professional responsibilities. I am convinced that in this day and age it is possible for people to have separate identities despite being married to each other. The university being an institution where gender issues are thrashed out more often than anywhere else, it is disappointing to observe that despite my more-than-adequate qualifications, I have been reduced simply being the wife of somebody. This is chauvinistic marginalisation of my personnel merit and the uncalled for focus on my spouse and his official position makes one wonder if there has been any real and substantial change in the status of women in our society.’’

She further states:’’ It is ironical that I in my quest for improving my own professional standing, have become a scapegoat in this not-so- subtle attempt at sweeping several irregularities under the carpet . One appreciates the VC ‘s desire to run the university as he thinks fit, but with no stretch of imagination does this give him the right to cast aspersions on the integrity and credibility of those around him. It may not be appropriate on my part to offer advice to someone so respectably placed but I would like to remind the honourable VC that when he makes rash and personal remarks, not only does he become controversial himself , he also undermines the prestige of Panjab University — An organisation that he represents in more ways than one.”Back


Bomb scare delays Shatabdi by more than three hours
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — The Delhi--Chandigarh Shatabdi Express ( train no 2005) that reaches here at 8 30 p.m was delayed by more than 3 hours as a bomb scare forced the train to stop at a nondescript village Radhdhana, near Sonepat.

Combing operations were launched in full swing on the Chandigarh-bound evening Shatabdi Express. The super fast express was brought to a halt after unconfirmed information about an explosive device being planted on the train to blow it filtered to railway officials. According to the personnel of the GRP, a bomb disposal squad has been pressed into action to search for any explosive on the train. The train was brought to a halt at the Radhdhana at about 6 pm. The Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of police besides other officials of the district administration had reached the spot after getting information about the “bomb call”. Since search operations were on till the time of filing of the report, it could not be ascertained whether it was a hoax call or not. Sniffer dogs were rushed to the spot from Panipat. The dogs along with their handlers were put on board the Unchahar Express that was going towards Sonepat when Panipat authorities were alerted, railways sources confirmed.

Railway authorities at Ambala swung into action and started making arrangements for food and water for an estimated 500 passengers on board. A large number of travellers preferred to hire taxis and reach Chandigarh or go back to Delhi. The taxi drivers, realising the business opportunity, had rushed in from Sonepat after getting information about the stranded train that re-started from Radhdhana around 9 p.m.

The Governor of Haryana, Mr Mahabir Prasad, was on board the train when it was stopped. A car was arranged for the Governor who continued his journey towards the state capital. En route he stopped at Panipat and alerted the authorities, asking them to check buses also. The authorities immediately complied and all long route buses were checked. Later railways authorities confirmed that no bomb had been found on the train.

The train chugged into the Chandigarh station just past midnight. Anxious relatives, who had come to receive the travellers had to wait till about 9: 15 p.m when the railways made an announcement that the train was running late by almost 2 hours. Later it was confirmed that the train would reach here just beyond midnight. It was only then did some of the relatives and friends preferred to leave the station and decided to come back later.Back


Jacob takes a break and hobnobs with animals at
Chhat Bir
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — The giraffe and zebra from Africa and the red panda from the Himalayas. These are some of the exotic animals that may add to the animal wealth of the Chhat Bir Zoo. Yes, this assurance came from none other than the animal-loving Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, who took time off to feed the animals.

This was General Jacob’s first visit to the zoo ever since he took over as Governor. He was accompanied by the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, the Principal Secretary, Forests, Mrs Gurbinder Kaur Chahal, and the Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir. And leading the way was none other than the virtual foster-father of the denizens of the zoo, Dr Vinod Sharma, the zoo director.

General Jacob was virtually bowled over by the green cover he saw at the zoo,although he did not like the eucalyptus plantation at the edge of the forest. He did not like it and he did not hesitate to say, “No eucalyptus please”.

The Governor was all praise for the big tiger enclosure. He had never seen so many tigers in one enclosure. He felt the zoo could be used for promoting tourism, a factor which had not been looked into so far.

To promote this factor the Punjab Government was setting up a Wildlife Welfare Society of Punjab with General Jacob being made its chief patron. And with the Punjab Chief Minister also being incorporated as patron, the society would go a long way in bringing in wildlife welfare to the zoo.

It was barely 8 in the morning when the securitymen in khakhi started descending on the zoo. A red cross medical van arrived half an hour later. The scene was just right for a VIP to make his entrance. And barely 20 minutes later the Governor and the Finance Minister arrived. The denizens of the zoo could not have asked for more. The Governor not only went round feeding them but also stroked the tiger as it rubbed its shoulders on the iron fence.

The Governor got into the caged lion safari vehicle along with others VIPs and newspersons.

After stroking the tiger, the Governor alighted at the enclosure of the hippos. He fed the hippos with bananas. The next destination was the tuskers’ enclosure. The elephants were taken out of their enclosure. The Governor fed the tuskers. Dr Vinod Sharma kept the Governor fully updated on the animals. The entourage then proceeded towards the lion safari. A virtual pride of lionesses greeted them. Why just the lionesses. Where were the lions. They were all kept in the cages as the population of the lions had gone up . This was the only way to keep the lion population growth under check. It seems the castration of the males had not borne fruit.

Throughout the zoo tour the Governor talked about wildlife and the animals he had seen. As we were making towards the deer safari, the Governor said he could not forget the thousands of black bucks he had seen in his younger days in Rajasthan. Promising another date, the Governor took leave of the denizens.Back


Shaurya Chakra for Major
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, April 19 — Major H.P. Singh who laid down his life for the country while fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir on April 13 last year during Operation Rakshak was posthumously awarded Shaurya Chakra by the Government of India.

The award was received by Mrs Rupinder Pal, his wife, on April 11 from the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, in New Delhi.

Major Singh was born in Kharar on September 11,1969, and joined the Army in 1992. After commissioning, he joined 18 Grenadiers Battalion. His father Capt Harpal Singh is working as an Estate Officer in the Punjab School Education Board and his mother is working as a teacher in BSM Sikh Girls High School Kharar.

Major Singh was killed when he spotted three militant at a house in Sadar Kotwala village in Baramula district. He got a bullet injury on the left arm and fell down. Afterwards, he got up and killed one militant in the meantime, another militant lobbed a grenade at him, which he immediately threw back.

During the course of action, he killed another two militants with right arm. He got bullet in his temple and died on the spot.Back


Exam on new syllabus basis
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — Last-minute confusion clouds the minds of candidates appearing in a ‘re-appear’ examination in Panjab University this year with an aim to improving their aggregate per centage.

There are scores of queries about whether the examination would follow the current education pattern or they had an opportunity to pick up their old books. “There has been a sea change in the syllabi during the past few years”, a student remarked. Also, the information reached pretty late for students to catch up with the changes in the examination.

A senior functionary of the examination branch confirmed that examination would be conducted according to the new syllabus. He, however, said that students could face difficulties in this development. Students availing a ‘re-appear’ chance should have the facility to have an opportunity to appear according to the old syllabus.

The issue had also stalked the university syndicate in February earlier this year with specific reference to honours class in the final year of graduation. Particular reference was made to papers III and IV in English.

Students of the honours school were then given the option to appear under the old or the revised syllabus.An official spokesperson said that it would be applicable for the forthcoming annual examination. The letter from the office of the Deputy Registrar came following a decision of the Syndicate. It was argued that the change in syllabus had been informed at a very late stage in the session to the students to prepare.

A senior official of the examination branch confirmed that the option to appear under the old or the new syllabi had not been extended to other classes. “Five years was a pretty long time to adjust to a totally new syllabus. In addition two special chances were given which extended the period to well over six years. The change if any should be communicated to the students at the right time”, a student said.

The issue about interest of the students has been raised in the Syndicate in case of honours school and the changes were made. “Does it not mean that similar options should be given to other classes” asked a student said.

The examination branch definitely faced its hardship in managing different syllabi papers and their evaluation. It , however, was not impossible, a teacher noted.

In another classic case related to the re-appear examination, a student appearing in second year of postgraduation faced a peculiar set of problems. An English student, the candidate had ‘Criticism’ as his option when he was a regular student and his option was Paper II. The same number on the list of options this session pertains to Shakespeare.

While filling the form, the candidate mentioned his option specifically as he found the option number changed. The main office did send him back initially, saying his option would now be that on the changed number of the option and the office could not help’. However, after many visits, the candidate managed to have the option corrected in this application form.Back


Western disturbances cool region

CHANDIGARH, April 21 (UNI) — Western disturbances over Jammu and Kashmir and in the neighbourhood coupled with upper air cyclonic circulation over north Rajasthan and Punjab led to slight relief from the five-day-long gruelling heatwave conditions in the north west India today.

With weathermen forecasting light to moderate rain at a few places in Himachal Pradesh, dust and thunder-storms accompanied by light rain at some places in Punjab and Haryana over the next 24 hours, the day temperatures today dipped by 0.2 to 0.8 degree Celsius from yesterday’s maximum.

However, Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan with the high of 45C was the hottest place in the region while Hisar in Haryana was relegated to the second place with the mercury hovering around 44.8C.

Delhi sizzled at 41C , four degrees above the normal temperature.

Reports available with the weather office said in Shimla, the mercury rose to 25.5C, five degrees above normal. The town reported high velocity winds yesterday.

Some upper reaches of the state including Palampur reported rain in the past 24 hours.

The day temperature in and around Chandigarh dipped to 40C, 0.6 degree less than yesterday’s maximum.

Ambala in Haryana reported the high of 40.1C, three degrees above normal while Patiala in Punjab was 40.6C, four degrees above normal. Back


Day of praying and mourning
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — It was a day of praying and mourning for Christians as they thronged various churches in the city and the region for the special Good Friday services today.

According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ was crucified today 2000 years ago. The day is observed as a day of penance, fasting and praying.

Most of the churches held three-hour services. But then there were some devout who knelt and prayed for eight hours. At the Cathedral of Christ the King, a special service was held.

Red cross buns, as pecial bakery item for Good Friday, were available in just a couple of bakeries. Two days from now, it will be Easter Sunday: A day of celebrations.

An eight-hour service was conducted this morning at the St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church to mark Good Friday.

The special prayer concluded with cross veneration. Community kitchen was also organised.Back


‘Public relations a challenging job’
By A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — Public relations is a performing art and quite challenging, said Mr D.P. Malik, Station Director, AIR, here today.

He was addressing participants at a seminar on "Public Relations in the Present Circumstances" here this evening. Mr K. P. Sinha, Associate Editor, The Tribune, presided.

Mr Malik said the PR field has been undergoing major changes during the past three decades due to the information boom. Contrary to perception that it was a field confined to wining and dining, it is a serious and strenuous job, he said.

Prof H. S. Dilgir said PR professionals are communicators. They should be active participants, listeners, students and sensible communicators, he stressed.

Mr Sinha said the tendency to bribe in PR business, should be eradicated. The main purpose of the PR personnel should be to disseminate information, he added.Back


Educate people about road rules & test them
By P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Statistics on the number of accidents, persons killed, injured and vehicles involved send a shiver down the spine. The police has identified areas and sectors which are more prone to accidents. At times, special drives are arranged to ensure safety one the roads. And observing the road safety week year after year has become a mere ritual. The moment it is over, those who had participated in campaigns themselves become part of the chaos that rules the traffic in Chandigarh.

One wonders of what use are all those posters and slogans if the rate of accidents does not get lowered or people do not feel safe and secure.

There is a huge compound in the Sector 29 police complex where the Traffic Police can create a “correction centre” for offenders. Before returning the vehicle documents or vehicles, let the police conduct written and driving tests on rules and regulations. Only thereafter should it restore the driver his or her documents and the vehicle. The compound can be used for parking the impounded vehicles of offending drivers. Depriving people of their vehicles for a week or so may, perhaps, instil some sense in them.

It is becoming a routine for the Administration to go in for slip-roads, slow carriageways, widening the existing ones at appropriate corners and curbs, diverting slow traffic on to some roads, making space for parking by cutting into open spaces and greens etc. This is understandable. But equally important is imparting, as a routine, instructions on driving habits and also on parking. It hurts to see two-wheeler owners squeeze in their vehicles near the cars. This not only causes inconvenience to the car drivers to open the doors but also damage the two vehicles. Moreover, people by habit park their vehicles behind the already parked one, often stranding the other vehicle owners.

Even where parking is provided, it is encroached upon by taxis, three-wheelers, rickshaws, garbage cans and small-time traders like repair-wallas and paan-wallas. People park haphazardly in all parking bays. The more one thinks about the way people drive their vehicles and drive others crazy or park, the more thoughtful one becomes as to why the elite, educated people of Chandigarh do this, causing problems for one and all.

The citizens have to know how many “authorities” function in the city and who looks after what. Besides the Chandigarh Administration there is the Estate Office and the Municipal Corporation. But a citizen does not know whom to approach for complaints and suggestions in respect of road engineering, incomplete patches of roads or other civic matters. There are ways which could be effectively used to ease congestion provided proper mapping of the city is done and a master traffic plan prepared to ease traffic congestion which is expected to further grow. Some reports and surveys are available. Implementation and action is awaited, including on the move for mass road transport system.

Traffic accidents occur due to three factors: human, mechanical and road engineering. Unless the three are in perfect harmony, Chandigarh roads will continue to witness blood, splinters, broken limbs and lost lives. Of late, road engineering and geometry is getting worse. Those responsible for roads’ expansion, widening and repair seldom know what contractors do. Unless citizens, all of whom are road users, join hands in apportioning blame after a life has been lost, a limb rendered useless and a vehicle knocked off, things will not improve.

Traffic rules shall have to be made part of the academics and strict vigilance kept by teachers, parents and police on road users. Till then accident statistics will continue to register high in police records and Chandigarh roads will remain blood-stained will glass and steel shards.

Let the administration set up a special authority or a cell, all-encompassing and responsible for making roads safe and ensuring that people drive with care and concern for fellow road-users.

It happens on roads

* At any roundabout, instead of forming a single row, everyone simply nudges in without regard or knowledge that those driving around from the right have the first right to passage.

* People seldom give any indication which side they would turn. At traffic lights a vehicle parked on the left side suddenly makes a diagonal move to go right as the light turns green;

* The maximum rush is in the morning and evening, during office opening and closing hours. Why not stagger office, shop and school timings to ease congestion?

* The Chandigarh Traffic Police makes its presence felt only when there is some incident or a VIP on the prowl. How about its permanent presence outside educational institutions at the opening and closing time?

* Road markings, in white and yellow, give an aesthetic and impressive look. One finds lanes ear-marked, but for whom? Has anyone educated drivers as to which lane is meant for whom and if so has there been any strict compliance on following the lane system when the enforcement system itself is lazy?

* Speed limit indications are put up on all roads. So are signs prohibiting overtaking. Yet motorists panic the driver in front by constantly honking the horn and trying to overtake from left or right, jeopardising the life of others as well as their own; several road signs are not visible and others improperly placed;

* Given the mixed traffic, it is much better to drive at least 5 km below the specified speed limit for one’s own safety;

* A little patience and perseverance can make lot of difference in reducing traffic accidents and hassles one faces these days. Unless each road-user takes upon himself the responsibility of safe driving the future presents a frightening scenario.

One comes across temporary and permanent obstacles the roads which remain neglected. Likewise, one sees traffic light posts erected behind existing electricity poles and trees. Such light points are scarcely visible.

In this backdrop and frightening scenario who would not like Chandigarh roads to be more safe than what these are now? Roads have been compared to arteries in the heart. Let these arteries not get jammed and become injurious to the heart and health of Chandigarh and its citizens. Back


Two bodies recovered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — The police recovered two bodies from separate places in Mani Majra here this morning.

According to police sources, mutilated body of 70-year-old Hugli Devi was found by some persons near the railway tracks. It seemed that she had been run over by a train late last night. She was said to be having poor eye sight.

In the second instance, the body of a 35-year-old person was recovered from near the Mansa Devi temple. The person had been staying in the area for the past many months and was reportedly getting treatment for tuberculosis. Being poor he was often seen asking for food from shopkeepers of the area.

The bodies were sent for a post- mortem.

Duping case: The police has registered a case against Santokh Singh, a resident of Sector 56, who allegedly duped 15 persons on the pretext of sending them abroad.

He used to charge amounts according to the paying capacity of his clients and the rate charged was between Rs 50, 000 to Rs 2 lakh. He had promised all these persons that they would be provided valid papers for stay in Australia. He, however,failed to fulfil his promise.

A case under Sections 406 \ 420, IPC, has been registered.

Bid to snatch chain: A Sector 16 resident Harminder Kaur reported that a youth had tried to snatch her gold chain while she was strolling in the Rose Garden. A case under Sections 356 \ 511, IPC, has been registered.

Injured: Bimla Devi, a resident of Sector 24, who was riding a cycle, was hit and injured by a Haryana Roadways bus, HR-37-1106, near the Sector 32 general hospital. The driver of the bus, Baldev Singh, has been arrested and a case under Sections 279\ 337, IPC, has been registered.

Scooterist hurt: Umesh Kumar, a scooterist was hit and injured by a jeep, RJ-14-4C- 3055, near the Sector 36\37 roundabout. He was admitted to the PGI. The driver of the vehicle, Ram Sanjivan, has been arrested. A case under Sections 279, 337, IPC, has been registered. Back


She is involved in an art that spreads brightness
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — This art is rare, and rarer still is the intensity with which Delhi-based Vandana Munjal is preserving it. She looks at her candles with a fiery passion and her eyes reflect the resplendence back, as she admits: “There can be nothing more beautiful in life than to involve oneself in an art which spreads brightness. A candle, to me, is not just wax and is a passion which grows with every passing day”.

What makes the girl special is not just the fact that she stands beside none less than cine actress Dimple Kapadia in boasting of this unique art, but also that she manages to make her creations look wonderfully natural. And so inspired she is by the beauty of a candle that she named her firm as Allume (a French word which means lit up).

For Vandana, a French graduate from the Punjab University, it all started very suddenly one day when she found herself playing with wax in her Ludhiana home. “I always wanted to be engaged in something aesthetic. One day I just sat down with little wax and some colours. What emerged was a wonderful piece you call a designer candle. That day I knew this was what I would be doing in the near future.,” says Vandana.

As one overviews her collection, one can read the undertones of passion involved — sometimes in the form of shells, embedded carefully in jelly wax; sometimes in the form bear like candles which Vandana especially created to gift to his niece’s friends on the occasion of her birthday. A dominant feature in Vandana’s creations is the naturality she manages to somehow preserve. So when she makes an orange like candle, one wants to eat it; and when she shapes a flower, one wants to keep enjoying its fragrance eternally. Fine craftsmanship is blended with artistry in the candles which can burn for any time between one hour to ten hours.

Although Vandana has been working for about a year to blend fine craftsmanship with artistry in her creations, she is displaying them for the first time ever. “I have kept the affair quite private because the candles are a little high priced. I don’t want to explain people why I have kept the prices high. Actually, a lot of patience has gone into each piece.”

Another striking feature of Vandana’s work is her thematic aspect. There are candles to suit different occasions. So there are toys and half moons for kids; wagons and shoes for any western theme party; a musical note for a musical evening; and flowers and fruits galore. “I did not choose the themes particularly. They just happened,” she says.

And what makes her candles look so different. “The answer is quality. Each and every ingredient has been painstakingly sourced from different parts of the world. Wax is from Japan and Germany; fragrance from the US and wicks from England.”

What else? Well, Vandana took training in candle-making from the same man in England from whom Dimple Kapadia took the training. Vandana also manufactures hand-dipped tapers, hurricane candles and a whole range of novelty candles in a variety of fragrances and colours.Back


MoU with CITCO favoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — The Federation of Small Scale Industries has demanded that to save the small-scale sector, the existing policy of entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) must continue.

Mr Rajeev Gupta, Secretary of the federation, condemned the move of the Steel Authority of India not to supply the material to industrial corporations.

These industrial corporations were meant for welfare of small-scale industries which could not purchase any material in bulk. The move of the SAIL to enter into MoU with big steel traders or big consumers would badly hit the interest of small-scale industrial sector.Back

ST on paints reduced
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — Sales tax on paints has been reduced from 12 per cent to 8 per cent to bring it on a par with the rates prevailing in Punjab. This is also in line with the Uniform Sales Tax structure.Back


Women power saves crores
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 21 — "Savings of Rs 50.60 crore have been registered in the district under the small savings scheme. This amount was 118 per cent of the target fixed for the financial year 1999-2000," said Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner. He was speaking at a state-level function on Women's Saving Day 2000 organised by the National Savings Organisations, here today.

He said a target had been fixed to register savings of Rs 43 crore in the last financial year. The district had registered savings of Rs 40 crore against a target of Rs 28 crore in the year 1998-99.

The main objective of the function, Mr Aggarwal said, was to provide self-employment to educated women of rural and urban areas by giving them small savings agencies. He said women played a vital role in mobilisation of household savings in the state.

Further, savings agents provide services at the doorsteps of investors, collect household savings from urban and rural areas and deposit these at respective post offices. While women agents were paid commission at the rate of four per cent, it would now be paid at source at the time of deposit of collections in post offices from the next month.

Mr S.R. Vashishat, Subdivisional Magistrate, presided over the function. He said maximum number of agents in rural and urban areas should be appointed from the beginning of the current financial year to raise collections.

To mark the day, mahila pradhan agents were asked to open 50 new recurring deposit accounts in the name of children upto the age of 8 from April 15 to 20. A lucky draw was held and three kids, Prakash and Aketa of Barwla and Kanchan Mani of Raipur Rani were given cash awards worth Rs 400, Rs 300 and Rs 200, respectively. Three mahila pradhan agents, Asha Rani, Kamla Devi and Neena Goyal were awarded Rs 300, Rs 200 and Rs 150, respectively, for opening new accounts.

The Deputy Regional Director of the National Saving Organisation, Mr Rajinder Lal, said there were over 2,500 mahila pradhan agents who had collected more than Rs 152 crore under the post-office recurring deposit accounts and were paid a commission of Rs 7.75 crore in the past year.Back

Ban on taking out processions
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 21 — The District Magistrate, Mr M. Ramsekhar, yesterday banned the taking out of processions, organising of rallies, making speeches, sitting in dharnas and carrying of lathis in areas located north of Madhya Marg. The order has been passed for a period of 60 days starting last night.

The orders will not affect police or military persons or any other government servant on official duty. The processions or meetings for which prior permission in writing of the District Magistrate or the SDM is obtained. The order will also not apply to customary and ritualistic procession in connection with weddings and funerals.Back

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