Saturday, September 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Has GNP school stalemate ended?
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 15 — The stalemate in Guru Nanak Public School appears to be heading towards a solution, with parents and teachers forming a coordination committee headed by the Ludhiana mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal.

Meanwhile Mr R. S. Gill, vice-principal of the school, has been given the charge of the Principal. He will function till regular arrangements are made. The committee members have stated that they would work to mormalise the situation in the school.

Several parents along with senior teachers held a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Sandhu, to apprise him of the situation in the school. They also sought his cooperation in restoring the normal and congenial atmosphere there. The DC reportedly assured to look into the problem and offered all possible help from the administration.

The acting Principal, Mr Gill said, he would ensure that classwork resumes from Monday. He disclosed that the examination might be put off for some days and fresh datesheet would be brought out soon.

Later, talking to this reporter, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal said, he would provide all cooperation to the school management and the teachers for restoring the academic atmosphere in the school. Back


PU senate poll 
Bogus voters aplenty
By Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Sept 15 — In the run-up to the Panjab University Senate elections scheduled for September 17, things appear to have taken an ugly turn as reports about names of dead persons, non-resident Indians and retired persons figure in the voters’ list of the graduates’ constituency continue to pour in.

Polling booth number 177 at Government Senior Model School, Punjab Agricultural University, has in its voters’ list the names of a few persons who are dead. The names of Bhag Singh (vote number 185), Prithipal Singh, former Indian hockey team captain, (vote number 134), Gulzar Singh Dhillon (vote number 342) and Daya Singh Sidhu (vote number 281) are some examples.

The list at the same polling booth also includes the names of a few retired persons who no longer live in the city, but their voters’ cards have been received in their offices. These include Mr Patwant Singh Sandhu, who was in the Department of Economics and Sociology, Mr Pritam Singh, Mr Om Parkash Vats and Mr Norata Singh, previously residing at 10/6, 12/13, and 12/5 of PAU campus, respectively.

This is the situation at just one of the total 212 polling booths for the graduates’ constituency. These votes are likely to be misused. While revising the list of the voters, new entries have been made, but no efforts have been made to delete the names of the persons who are dead or have shifted elsewhere.

Since the voters’ cards do not include photographs, the university has ordered that some proof in the form of driving licence or ration card should be produced for minimising the chances of bogus voting at the time of polling. But there is also a provision that if someone is unable to produce such a proof, a certificate attested by some responsible authority be produced. The last option, however, acts as a loophole as it is easy to produce a fake document.

Mr K.B.S. Sodhi, president of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Association, has said the university must appoint some observers to keep a check on the malpractices. Several candidates have been spending a large amount of money these days on postage, travelling and making personal contacts and advertising through newspapers and posters. Some candidate are also paying the enrolment fee of the voters. The candidates are also spending money on arranging transport facilities for the voters on the day of polling.

One candidate is learnt to have spent over Rs 1 lakh on postage. The power that one gets as a member of the Senate seems to be too alluring for people to discourage them from spending lavishly. As a Senate member, one can be put on the selection committee for appointing Principals and lecturers and the administrative staff, including the Registrar. One may be put on the committee for periodic inspection of colleges and matters related to affiliation of the college. Once they reach the powerful seat, they can bring back the money invested at this point of time.

Meanwhile, 26 polling booths have been finalised for the elections in the city. At three of the these booths, polling for three colleges will take place. At SD Government College, there will be polling for the same college, other than GGN Khalsa College and Khalsa College for Women. At Master Tara Singh College, polling arrangements will be made for the host college, Kamla Lohtia SD College and SDP College. At AS College, Khanna, polling will be held for the same college, AS College for Women and Khalsa College, Kotan.


PAU chargesheets ‘not guilty’ scientist
By Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Sept 15— Although an inquiry instituted against a senior scientist of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has reportedly absolved him of charges, surprisingly the university administration has issued a show-cause notice, asking him to explain why punitive action should not be taken against him.

It may be recalled that Dr A.K. Mehta, who is now working as Zonal Coordinator, ICAR, here was chargesheeted by the Vice-Chancellor of the university on Nov, 26,1998, in case of repair of a vehicle. He was charged with committing financial irregularities and transgressing the confines of his financial powers as Associate Director (training), Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Gurdaspur. Dr Mehta refuted the charges. However, the Vice-Chancellor instituted a regular inquiry against him by appointing Mr S.K. Bhatia, comptroller, PAU, as inquiry officer.

After a protracted inquiry lasting over a year and four months, Mr Bhatia submitted the report of his inquiry to the VC on April 28. On the basis of inquiry report, Dr Mehat has been issued a show-cause notice in which he has been told that he is “responsible for the charges of procedural lapses and financial irregularities like spilling of financial sanctions to avoid sanction of the higher authority and also not getting a no-objection certificate from the workshop superintendent and estimates before getting the vehicle repaired.

It is learnt that in his reply, to the show-cause notice, dated Sept 12, Dr Mehta has asserted that the inquiry has nowhere indicted him. He has also alleged in his reply that an old vehicle, which had been left abandoned for more than three years, had been foisted upon him by the Director of Extension Education, on March 3, 1997. He was told to get the vehicle repaired before the end of the financial year 96-97. He has said despite working under severe constraints of time, he worked within the ambit of the rules and did not misuse his financial powers.

Dr Mehta has also alleged that a conspiracy was hatched against him with the motive of maligning him and tarnishing his record as a scientist. Even the inquiry officer, Dr Mehta asserted, found the statements of these witnesses fabricated.

The inquiry officer has also mentioned in his report that the procedure adopted by Dr Mehta can be adopted when time available is short.


Talent search
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 15 — Dance, music, choreography and mime marked the annual talent hunt contest of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College was held today.

Amit Berry was declared Mr Fresher while Sandeep Sethi was declared Mr GGN. Gurvinder Singh won the first prize in poetry recitation. A choreography presented by Anish and his group was adjudged as the best. Jatinder Singh and Amar Singh together bagged the first prize in singing competition. 


Prerna casts spell on students
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 15 — Prerna Shrimali’s kathak performance at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir proved to be a source of Prerna or Inspiration to many young students of both Bhartiya Vidya Mandir and Convent School, Sarabha Nagar.

Nupur and Shradha, class XI students of Convent School said, “Her dance was excellent. It captivated us. We have taken classical dance as our subject, so we could understand her ‘bols’ and have learnt a lot from her intricate footwork.”

Anju and Deepti of BVM were also bowled over by her performance. They said, “We are fortunate to have seen such a mind blowing performance. She made us aware of our heritage. She has made us proud of our culture and we wish more programmes like this are arranged for the students to make them conscious of our rich heritage.”

So the aim of SPIC MACAY to promote art and culture amongst the youth is beginning to bear fruit. The performance was part of Virasat 2000, being organised for the student community all over Punjab.

Prerna Shrimali enthralled the audience by her graceful presentation of ‘thats’, ‘amad’ and ‘kathak nritya’. She is a kathak exponent of the Jaipur gharana.

When most children are not even aware of classical dances, she made her debut at the tender age of four in Jaipur. Since then she has grown in stature as a kathak dancer and has won name and fame not only in India, but outside as well.

Today, she opened her dance performance with ‘Shiva Stuti’. Through this she offered her prayers to Lord Shiva. Prerna said, “All our classical dances are deeply rooted in religion so every dancer, first, invokes God’s blessings. Through my dance moments, I am going to describe all the adornments of Lord Shiva.” True to her word, without speaking she created for the audience an image of Lord Shiva before them, with his ‘long jattas’, his ‘chandra’, ‘sarp’ and ‘trishool’. Imran Khan, the vocalist accompanying her, sang in his rich voice, ‘Om Namah Shivay’.

After invoking God’s blessings, she told the audience, “In kathak we use a lot of ghungroos, almost 150 ghungroos on one leg. Kathak is the only dance which has a tabla player and a sarangi player. Kathak is divided into two categories. ‘Nart’ which is the grammar and vocabulary of kathak and nritya which means abhinay. Our ‘tals’ are based on eight ‘swars’. Every artists interprets the ‘swars’ as he or she wants. Kathak is a language by itself. It can express all feelings through facial expressions and movements of the hands and feet. Improvisation on the spot is the speciality of kathak.” She promptly executed a few impromptu steps to prove her point.

Prerna then moved on to ‘thaat’, a slow kathak piece. She moved with extreme grace and uttered a few bols, which again is a speciality of kathak. The dancer sings about various gods in Bhojpuri, Brij or Avadhi languages, all derived from Hindi, as Kathak originated in North India.

Prerna told the audience, “When I point out to my accompanying artists, it does not mean that I am tired but it means I want my artists to perform solo and show their skills. After all the whole performance is a team effort.”

Fateh Singh Ganghani, accompanying her on the tabla, wove magic by creating rhythmic images with his flying fingers.

In her last piece, Prerna showed a typical piece of kathak revolving around Radha and Krishna. Radha accidentally meets Krishna. He, the mischievous one, embraces Radha. She feels very embarrassed. The gopis also come to help Radha out of this situation. One could clearly understand the whole story through, her facial expressions and the graceful movements of her hands.

She could with the help of her hands make the students understand the difference between a river, jharna and the mighty sea. She demonstrated with her hands the serpentine movement of a snake and her shock and dismay at its sudden appearance.

Infact, one can use only superlatives to describe her hand movements and execution of foot work. Prerna not only excelled in pure dance, but also in the expression of emotions, abhinay and her charismatic chakkars which left the audience dizzy.

Prerna Shrimali in the youngest performing artist to have performed in various cities of Canada and has been awarded the title of Kala Shri by Shri Sangeet Bharti (Bikaner). A truly phenomenal kathak exponent.`

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