Thursday, September 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shifting dates of birth — PU style
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — The requests of a majority of candidates born in the era of pre-independent India and seeking a change in their date of birth as recorded with Panjab University, have been turned down.

A university committee has rejected applications of eight candidates seeking a change in their date of birth and only one person has been allowed to bring about a change. Surely, a period of over 50 years in an independent country should have been enough to urge the “literates” to have the records changed, a senior employee quipped.

The practice to accept forms for change in date of birth was stopped during the tenure of Prof T.N.Kapoor when he was the Vice-Chancellor. Several lacunae on the front, specially, undue benefits were pointed out as the reason for the discontinuation.

Stopping of the practice to accept applications for change in date of birth led the candidates to approach the courts in case of trouble , a senior official of the Examination Branch said. A large number of decisions were ex parte. This led to several candidates approaching the university through the court, whose decision was binding.

“Why do most of the cases of applicants belong to the pre-independence days”, one wonders. Mrs Surjit Kaur, whose date of birth was shown as March, 1948, has been allowed to change it to September 16, 1950.

In her case, the change has been allowed on basis of certificates indicating date of birth by the headmistress of Government Primary School, Pajjodeotta (Hoshiarpur), duly countersigned by the District Education Officer. The date has been relaxed.

Among the cases which have been disallowed, include Mr Dharam Pal, Mr Prem Singh Manjhu, Mr Janak Raj Garg, Mr Surinder Nath Joshi, Ms Amrit Kaur and Mr Basant Lal all born in the pre-independence period, reportedly.

Other cases which have been disallowed include those of Mr Amarjit Singh Kahlon, Mr Darshan Singh and Mr Tarsem Singh, all belonging to the pre-1950 period.

In most of the cases turned down by the committee it was discovered that “there was no clerical mistake in transferring the dates of birth from one registered school to the other. Therefore, question does not arise in making any change in the date of birth”.

A senior research scholar said “it was worth mentioning that for over half a century, most of the applicants did not apply for a change.

The applications now clearly point out the possibilities of certain favours, like on the issue of granting pensions.

“Changes in record, if needed, should be made at the earliest and in one go,” the scholar added. Monetary or other benefits if given to those found deserving should also be highlighted for others, he added.



Teaching science sans labs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — Science can be taught in the classrooms and there is no need of a laboratory in the school. The students can be made to understand the concepts of science right from the laws of gravity, gravitation pull, motion of the earth around the sun to surface tension and the forces of cohesion. This may sound impossible to many, but for Mr Samar Bagchi, a scientist from Calcutta, this is a reality and he has made it possible himself.

He says, simple teaching aids can be helpful in teaching science at school-level with the least possible scientific apparatus. He has conducted workshops of school teachers all over India, training them about teaching concepts of science with the help of threads, empty bottles, containers, cotton cloth etc. He is in the city to conduct a similar workshop which is being attended by teachers from various schools of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.

“The education system prevailing in our country requires changes at the grass-root level as it is forcing students to concentrate on examination-oriented learning and is distorting the personality of the students,” says Mr Bagchi.

He has authored two books on ‘learning science by doing’ which are a collection of simple experiments that a student can himself perform without the help of a teacher. These books are based on a TV programme “Quest” which was started by him and for which he was given a National award for science popularisation in 1992.

He says that science can be made easier with the help of ‘hands-on-activities’. According to him these activities are simple experiments that can be performed even in the village schools without the aid of any laboratory apparatus. These experiments can teach the students all concepts of science.

“The most concerning fact about science education is that the students concentrate on “rote learning” (cramming). They are just committing to memory and vomiting on the papers. They lack an understanding of the subject and do not have clarity about basic concepts. Ironically even the science teachers who have been teaching in the schools for years together are stuck up when they are asked to answer conceptual problems,” he adds.

Every child in a class should have the experience of doing an experiment or activity and thereby discover the process of nature and science himself. The joy and exhilaration is tremendous when the child explores something himself,” he says.



Lay stress on practical learning: Bagchi 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — Mr Samar Bagchi, a well-known educationist and scientist, today stressed the need for changing the education system by laying more emphasis on practical learning rather than mere theoretical concepts to make students more inquisitive, besides developing their mind at an early age.

He was addressing science teachers from Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan at a workshop on the “teaching of science through hands-on-activities” organised by the Haryana State Council for Science and Technology in cooperation with the National Council for Science and Technology Communication.

He said education should be based on learning skills and developing the power of observation and problem-solving skills. He urged the teachers to adopt new methods of imparting practical education to children rather than depending on theoretical teaching and bookish knowledge.

Earlier, Dr M.S. Nathawat, Project Director of the Natural Resources and Data Management System, said a different education system aimed at developing conceptual understanding needed to be evolved so that children were encouraged to observe, explore and think independently and analyse the collected facts. 


New BEO takes over
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Sept 27 — Ms Savitri Wadhawan has taken over as the new Block Education Officer of Panchkula after her promotion. Prior to her recent transfer to Government High School, Garhi Kotah, she worked as headmistress in Government High School, Sector 17, Panchkula.



Researcher does city proud
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — Jagmohan Datt, a research scholar and guest lecturer in the Department of Metallurgy at Punjab Engineering College, has developed a special material called varistor which can save critical systems like computers, CNC machines, supercomputers and power distribution systems from the surge current (the flow of large current in fraction of a second).

Jagmohan recently presented a research paper at the National Symposium for Research Scholars on Metals and Materials at IIT Chennai. He was presented the Best Paper Presentation Award (second).



KV Hindi Chapter concludes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — The concluding function of the week-long Hindi Chapter was held at the Sector 47 Kendriya Vidyalaya today.

During the Hindi Chapter celebrations competitions were held in poetry recitation, art contest, debate, essay writing contest, etc. The students participated in all the contests.

Prizes for the Hindi Chapter contests were organised by the Air Force branch of the State Bank of India, Sector 31. Mr R.K. Sud, branch manager of the sponsoring bank, gave away the prizes.

Mr M.P. Mahajan, Principal of the Sector 47 KV, stressed on the importance of Hindi.


Seats vacant in ITIs
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 27 — Mr N.S. Kalsi, Director of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Punjab, yesterday said some seats were lying vacant in various trades in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) all over the state. To fill the seats the second session of counselling had started. The last date of submission of forms is September 29 and the interview-cum-admission in the reserve category would be on October 5. For the general category the date of admissions was October 6.



Notice issued to Haryana AG
By Our Legal Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — Mr Justice V. M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice to the Advocate-General, Haryana, for October 18, on a petition filed by one Krishan Kumar of Vijay Waha village, Panipat, who sought a CBI inquiry into the FIR registered at Panipat Sadar police station.

It was stated by the petitioner that one Brahmo Devi along with her daughter-in-law Ram Rati went to the fields and while they were cutting the grass in the field four desperadoes tried to molest Ram Rati, but when Brahmo Devi raised an alarm they chopped the hands and legs of Brahmo Devi and fled away. The police has not arrested Ram Rati in a strange turn of events. It is alleged that Ram Rati had illicit relations with the accused and she got the hands of her mother-in-law chopped by those persons, because the mother-in-law objected to the illicit relations.

Direction to SSP

Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday directed the SSP Jalandhar that till necessary action was taken by him on the complaint of Ms Amar Kaur of village Punia in Jalandhar, the passport/passports of one Sodhi be taken into possession by the police. He had allegedly cheated the petitioner of the money which her deceased husband was to get for working in a firm at Dubai.

Buta Singh, the husband of the petitioner Amar Kaur was working in Dubai with a firm named Ahmed Company, Dubai. He died in accident on February 19, 1998. There was some payment due regarding the salary of her husband and it was to be collected at Dubai. As the petitioner had no passport to go to Dubai she executed a power of attorney in the name of a person known as Sodhi and one Laxman, who according to the petitioner, in conspiracy with each other, cheated her of Rs 16,50,000 as they received the cheques from Dubai amounting to 1,50,000 dirhams.

The petitioner alleged that the accused had shared a little bit of the money with the police which was dancing to their tune and keeping the law at bay.

Earlier the High Court had issued direction to the SSP in the case and directed that he should look into the complaint and take action according to the law. The petitioner stated that the accused Sodhi is making all efforts to flee the country so that he may be out of reach of the police.


Anticipatory bail rejected
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — The Punjab and Haryana High Court today rejected the anticipatory bail application of 16-year-old girl Sonia, a resident of Uklana village in Hisar.

Mr Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar while declining the anticipatory bail application obsereved, “Perusal of the FIR ( first information report ) and statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC prima facie show that the petitioner is a part and parcel of a gang which operates in various states, enticing young girls, introducing them to immoral ways of life. Such kind of persons can not be given leniency. No ground for anticipatory bail is made out”.

The FIR against Sonia was registered on the complaint of Uklana resident Bhau Ram alleging that his 14-year-old daughter Santosh had been missing since May last.

According to the prosecution, three persons namely Prem, his elder brother Miyan Singh and Kalu, all residents of Uklana Mandi, had abducted the girl with wrong intention. The Uklana police had registered a case under Sections 366, 376, 377 and 120-B of the IPC in this connection. 



Judicial remand for Jain, Goel 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — The Former UT Home Secretary, N.K. Jain and former UT Administration Superintendent, K.B. Goel were sent to judicial remand by the UT Additional District and Session Judge till October 11.

It was alleged that K.B. Goel had been accepting bribes from people on behalf of N.K. Jain for getting the work of various officials and individuals done privately.

Forged medical certificates

The UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Parkash, today rejected the bail application moved by Naveen Kumar on charges of issuing forged and bogus medical certificates.

The accused was a resident of Sector 20 and had been arrested by the Chandigarh Crime Branch on September 16 for issuing the certificate to persons wanting to get a driving licence.


Jerath case hearing on Sept 29 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — Allowing an application for impleading a former UT Home Secretary, Ms Anuradha Gupta, as a respondent, Mr Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday fixed September 29 as the next date of hearing on the bail application moved by former Chief Engineer K.K. Jerath.

Jerath, in his bail application had earlier prayed for impleading Ms Gupta as respondent No. 2 in the case.

He stated, “Since allegations have been levelled against her it would be necessary to implead her as a respondent so that she can admit or deny those allegations”.

The petitioner further stated, “There are 39 accused in this case and except for the petitioner each one of them has been granted bail. Out of them 23 were never taken in custody, in spite of the fact that the role attributed to them was the same”.

Other 16, the petitioner added, were arrested, but were granted bail. “The case before the trial court”, Jerath stated, “is pending for the supply and scrutiny of documents. The challan was filed in February 1999. Since then a year and five months have passed, but still no charges have been framed .”



Musical evening by folk artistes 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 27 — The richness of Punjabi culture came alive at the portals of the Sector 17 Plaza here today. The occasion was World Tourism Day and the celebration was quite up to the mark with the North Zone Cultural Centre and the city administration bringing rich folk talent to perform before the ever-receptive audience of the city.

As the evening rolled on, a lot of excitement gripped the ambience. The first performance of the evening came in the form of a Punjabi ballet, Mirza Sahiba, which was played on the stage by a Jalandhar-based group. Followed by this was the lively folk song rendering by Sunita Bhatti, a Patiala singer who is now based in the city. Among other highlights of the evening were the Malwai giddha which received a good applause.

The giddha was presented by a team of NZCC artistes who are currently based at Sangrur. Mr Yashwinder Sharma, programme officer of today’s show, informed, “The whole idea is to attract tourists to this part of the region. A major tourist potential of this area lies untapped and we want to let it loose. The only way to do that is by baring our culture to the foreign tourists and also to domestic ones.”

As the show progressed, ghoomer was performed by a Yamunanagar based Haryanavi group which was quite in command of the rhythm.

Bhand artists Jaggi and Sukhi also set the pace of comedy. Their performance was followed by a dance sequence by another NZCC team on the A.R. Rehman’s song Vande Mataram. Other items included a folk song performance by Sukhi Brar and ballet Ragni.


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