Thursday, August 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jacob inaugurates Microsoft centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
A state of the art 3500 square feet “SPIC-Microsoft” computer centre, offering high demand computer courses, was inaugurated by the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), at the Punjab Engineering College here today.

The centre, set up by the Society for Promotion of Information Technology in Chandigarh (SPIC) and backed by the Chandigarh Administration and global computer software giant Microsoft, offers the latest courses like high demand Microsoft certified professional (MCP), Microsoft certified systems developer (MCSD) and the Microsoft certified system engineer (MCSE).

The centre will also offer early morning and late evening classes and will be open for everyone — employed , unemployed or student. Special incentives are likely to be given to students of PEC for attending courses at the centre, where students from other government institutions and private institutions of Chandigarh and also of the region will be admitted. Further, officials of the Administration would also be imparted training at the centre. Corporate training for executives, and training for students will also be available.

High quality computer education will be imparted at the centre, a spokesperson for SPIC said. Live projects would also be given to the students at the centre.

The centre would undertake high-end software projects on a commercial basis. The various e-governance initiatives of the Administration would also receive the necessary thrust. Enquires can be made through phone number 745502, which will be received at the centre by a counsellor.

The SPIC-Microsoft centre of excellence is a project of the Department of Information Technology, Chandigarh Administration, and has been set through joint funding. SPIC put in about Rs 40 lakh for infrastructure, including computers, while Microsoft pitched in with software and training procedures and implements of an equal cost.

The centre has been established as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Microsoft and the IT Department of Chandigarh Administration. Mr Satish Kaushal of Microsoft handed over the ‘Microsoft Partner Certificate’ to Lieut Gen. Jacob at the inaugural ceremony. Microsoft would provide the latest software developed by it to centre from time to time, as per the MoU.

The newly formed Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC), of which the Adviser to the Administrator is the chairperson, has been given the task of managing the centre. The society office is also located at the newly established centre.

Those present on the occasion included the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof K.N. Pathak, besides senior officials of the Administration, including the Adviser, Ms Neeru Nanda, Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral and Finance-cum-IT Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh. Leading lights of the IT industry, including Microsoft officials, were also present on the occasion.


Badal inaugurates NIPER convention centre
Tribune News Service

Dr C. L. Kaul, Director of NIPER, explains a point to Mr S.S. Dhindsa, Union Chemical and Fertiliser Minister, as the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Prakash Singh Badal, looks on at the institute in SAS Nagar on Wednesday.
 — Photo Pravesh Chauhan

SAS Nagar, August 29
Describing the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) as a premier institute, the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal said it was doing commendable work in the pharmaceutical research and education. Mr Badal was at the institute to inaugurate a convention centre-cum-auditorium, constructed at a cost of Rs 3 crore.

He said research and education were two important components to combat new form of diseases afflicting mankind today. He opined that the institute should also lay emphasis on the agriculture sector. Full cooperation from the state government was assured by the Chief Minister.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Chemical and Fertiliser Minister, said the concept to establish the institute was to produce human resource of high calibre to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, the academia and the regulatory authorities. Admitting that the education programme was nowhere near world standards, he said the country’s contribution to the world production of drugs and pharmaceutical was 2 per cent by value and 8 per cent by volume.

He said due to the fast pace in the pharmaceutical industry, the interaction between the academia and the industry was imperative. The missing link between the academia, industry and the government needed to forged, he said, adding that NIPER was updating the knowledge of the regulatory bodies in South East Asia, West Asia and the African continent.

The Director of the institute, Dr CL Kaul, said the institute set up on 130 acres of land was playing a meaningful role in providing trained manpower to the industry. He said the status of pharmacy education was far from satisfactory. Listing various research programmes being run at the institute, he said the institute required exhaustive funds.

Dr Vijay Kohli, Secretary to the Union, Chemical and Fertiliser Department, Mr RI Singh, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister, were also present on the occasion.


Australia offers various study options to Indian students
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Australia’s popularity as quality source of higher education has grown over the last few years. There has been an average rise of 15% in the number of international students choosing to study at institutions in Australia. Significantly, the number of students from India recorded an increase of 35%, during the year 2000.The Australian universities are likely to host an estimated 100,000 international students during 2001. That Australian universities are well on their way to achieving this figure was much in evidence at Hotel Mountview where a two-day exhibition, “Education Australia”, organised by IDP Education Australia, Australia’s premier international education, training and professional development corporation, opened on Wednesday. A large number of students, in many cases, accompanied by their parents, thronged the exhibition hall throughout the day for counselling on options available to them.

Although Australian institutions are now attracting more and more students to their different programmes and courses, one area that is generating the most interest is that of Information Technology (IT), as the continent offers some great opportunities to study in this field. “We are witnessing a great shift in demand for IT education, mainly from business and management education”, says Mr Henry Ledlie, Country Manager, IDP Education Australia.

Australian institutions offer various courses and modules to cater to this demand for specialisation. Students with a business background at the undergraduate level can pursue their masters in subjects like Information Systems, E-Commerce or Business systems, to name a few.

What is more, says Mr Ledlie, the Indian students also identify a great advantage of cost, as the exchange rates make payments in the Australian currency much cheaper to paying in US dollars. The Australian institutions have also proved to be a good launching ground for students who wish to take employment in other countries, especially the US. A number of leading organisations from the US recruit a large number of professionals from Australian institutions.

“Leading organisations like Microsoft, Apple, IMB and other industry giants have their base at a number of our universities. They are constantly upgrading their technology, and are actively involved in innovation. These developments and research programmes proved very beneficial to the students in terms of course-content as well as prompt recruitment”, says Mr Ledlie.

One of the reasons for the increasing number of Indian students aspiring to go abroad, especially Australia, for education is the present scenario in India where the highly specialised domestic institutions could not cope with the flood of qualified candidates. Entry to these institutions had become more and more difficult as the number of applications had increased but the number of such institutions had remained constant. Another reason is the Indian and global labour market, which has become more international as a result of globalisation of our economy. Now Indian candidates have to compete with people from other countries and operate in international or multicultural environment.


National award for Principal Talwar
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, August 29
National Award 2000, the “highest” award in the field of education — will be presented to the Principal of Sector 8 DAV Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh, Mr Ravinder Talwar, by the President of India on September 5.

Winner of the State Award for Teachers in 1992 and Paryavaran Dronachaarya Award, he has been selected for the National Award on the recommendations of the Chandigarh Administration’s Education Department.

The award is given away under the “Scheme for National Award to Teachers” by the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Department of Secondary Education and Higher Education. Mr Talwar will also get the award money of Rs 25,000.

Mr Talwar (53), started his teaching career in 1970 in the Sector 8 DAV Senior Secondary School. He was promoted as headmaster of A.S. High School in Ambala in 1981. He joined DAV Senior Secondary School again as its principal on November 8, 1986. He has 30 years of teaching experience to his credit and has been appointed Regional Director of as many as 15 schools in Chandigarh Region by the DAV College Managing Committee at New Delhi.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Talwar said, “Receiving such a prestigious award is not only a pleasure, but also a matter of pride for a teacher. I believe, I am being conferred with the honour due to the hard work and labour in the field of education for the past 30 years”.

Giving details, he added “our school has produced national level players. Besides this, we have been able to raise Rs 1 crore through donations for carrying out the development work”.

Dedicating the award to his wife, he concluded, “I thank her for her constant co-operation. I was able to concentrate on my work as she had been taking care of the home front”.


State of Hostels
A small, satisfied lot
Tribune News Service

The College of Architecture Girls Hostel in Sector 11 has one of the most satisfied lot of hostellers in the city. But the name is somewhat misleading since the hostel also houses girls from the Government College of Art.

The hostel with more than 90 rooms has only 80 residents. “That makes life so comfortable. No bickerings between room-mates for space and no problem in the bathrooms. What is best is the fact that since we are just around 40 each from our colleges we are bound together very well. Everyone knows everyone else and that is a good sign,” says a resident from the College of Architecture.

How is the food?

Oh the usual hostel food. Nothing great about it. There have been instances of “things” being found in the dal-sabzi etc and we have been complaining to the mess contractor and to the warden. Things improve for a week after the contractor is pulled up but then things tend to return to the usual routine,” says another resident.

Cleanliness does not seem to be a problem. “There is no problem as far as cleanliness in the bathrooms is concerned, and we clean the rooms ourselves. The rest of the hostel is cleaned by sweepers. At times, there are blockages in the bathrooms and then we have to call a plumber.”

What is that you will want in the hostel to make things better?

“Nothing that we can think of.” Some of the inmates, however, suggest that part of the problem is that it is not home. “But then hostel life is an experience in itself,” says another.” So there is no problem at all, other than the food being unhygienic at times?

“Actually, there is little that one can ask for. We wish that we had some kind of transportation from our college to the hostel. After our classes we have a long walk back to the hostel from the college. We have all the facilities such as a washerman, a person to iron our clothes and even a visiting beautician of sorts. We would like to have an STD booth near the hostel. We have to go to the market to make long-distance calls. For local calls, we have a telephone in the hostel.”


High Court
File report on truant officers, Secy told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Taking serious note of the cases being filed against Punjab Public Works Department, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked its Secretary, Mr Mohinder Singh, to file a personal affidavit giving details of the cases where current-duty charge was given to officers against whom disciplinary proceedings were pending.

Pronouncing the orders, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Amarbir Singh Gill and Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, also asked him to give details of the "persons available for promotion who were not being considered". The Secretary was also asked to give the reasons for the same.

The Bench also directed that the affidavit should inform the court of "the guidelines for giving current duty charge and the government instructions for the same". The affidavit should also specify the total strength of each cadre and the time when the posts available were not filled on a regular basis from the Chief Engineer to the Junior Engineer cadre", the Judges instructed.

Details of the "posts being kept in abeyance by the departmental promotion committee", along with the details of the instructions issued to the Committee", were also asked for. The affidavit was directed to be filed within two weeks. The case will come up for further hearing on September 10.

In their detailed order, the Judges observed: "Mr Mohinder Singh is present in the court in compliance with the court directions issued on the last date of hearing. His presence in court was necessitated on account of various cases being filed against the state government's PWD in respect of giving promotions to those on current-duty charge and ignoring eligible candidates".

They concluded: "The Secretary has been apprised of all such cases pending in the court and asked for the reasons for making such orders. He is being directed to file affidavit covering all the aspects of the cases".

Plea on Sehajdharis' vote withdrawn

The High Court today dismissed as withdrawn the petition filed by General Secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Jagmohan Singh, and another petitioner seeking directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents against holding elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on the basis of the Sikh Gurdwara Act which entitled Sehajdharis to vote.

Seeking the deletion of Clause 10-A of Section 2 of the Act, the petitioners had claimed that the deletion would prevent "so-called Sehajdhari Sikhs from casting their votes and becoming SGPC members".

The petitioners had added that persons not entitled to meddle with the affairs of the gurdwaras were getting themselves enrolled under the garb of Sehajdhari Sikhs. Their counsel submitted on their behalf that several complaints against habitual smokers and even Muslims getting themselves included in the list had been received by the Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections.

SDM, Tehsildar summoned

Mr Justice Amarbir Singh Gill and Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar of the High Court today directed Sirsa's Sub Divisional Magistrate and Tehsildar to be present in the court on a petition seeking directions for quashing admission granted to two candidates.

The petitioners, both residents of Ding village in Sirsa district, had alleged that one of the candidates the had submitted a false affidavit claiming herself to be unmarried. In case of the other candidate, village patwari's report was manipulated for obtaining the certificate describing her as a permanent resident of the village.

Punjab restrained on liquor licence

On a petition alleging move to open a restaurant in basement of a building in Jalandhar's Model Town, Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta of the High Court today restrained the state of Punjab and Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner from issuing a liquor licence to the respondents till further orders.

In his petition, Satinder S. Minhas and another petitioner had earlier sought directions to the official respondents against granting licence to Yankee Tunn. Counsel for the petitioner, had contended that the respondents should ensure that the basement of the building was used only for parking vehicles and not for any other purpose.

Notice on bail plea

The High Court issued notice to the Punjab Advocate-General for September 12 on a bail application filed by former Jail Minister, Upinder Sharma, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case. The notice was issued by Mr Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr Justice A.S. Garg.


Nirupa Roy, others get interim bail
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 29
The additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhangu, today granted interim bail to Mumbai-based cine star Nirupa Roy, her husband, Kamal Roy, and son, Kiran Roy, in an alleged dowry case filed by her daughter-in-law, Una Roy, in January this year.

The accused have been asked to furnish a bail bond of Rs 20,000 each. The bail has been granted for 15 days after the challans against the accused were submitted to the court.

Earlier, both the parties had reached compromise through mutual consent for divorce. The Roys have also decided to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court for quashing of the FIR against them. 



Counselling centre for litigants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Chief Justice of India will inaugurate a “counselling centre” at the Punjab and Haryana High Court here on September 2. The centre will reportedly function on a regular basis on the lines of Lok Adalats and will provide assistance to those involved in cases pertaining to matrimonial disputes and petty offences. According to a circular issued by the High Court, the staff, including the readers, court secretaries, special secretaries, private secretaries and judgement writers have been asked to be present during the occasion.

Special judicial stamp issued
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
In view of the non-availability of the Re 1 and Rs 2 non-judicial stamps, the Chandigarh Administration has issued a special adhesive stamp of equal denominations to the stamp vendors outside the Estate Office and at the lower courts.

The non-judicial stamps of Re 1 and Rs 2 have been exhausted and supply from Nasik is still awaited.



Finance firm penalised
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 29
The UT Consumer Court disposed of a set of nine cases filed by different complainants against the Transword Trading and Finance Corporation and others.The court directed the company to pay Rs 1,00,000 to the complainant with interest.

The complainant, Col T.P.S Anand, Mrs Surjit Kaur and others had deposited various amounts with the company in response to the schemes floated by it to earn lucrative rate of interest. The company had issued a cheque to the complainant towards payment of interest and maturity value. But the complainant alleged that the cheque bounced.

The complainants alleged that they made a number of complaints to the authorities but failed to get the money back. Then they filed a complaint in the consumer court.


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