Monday, September 10, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Teachers’ dilemma: to teach or to get taught
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Hundreds of teachers all over the country have had to forgo promotions because of not attending mandatory refresher classes.

They have not received benefits of the career advancement scheme of the University Grants Commission because, in several cases, college managements have debarred teachers from joining the courses.

The All-India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations, in a letter to the UGC, has highlighted various problems that teachers face in taking up refresher courses that are mandatory for promotions.

Dr B. Vijay Kumar, General Secretary of the AIFUCTO, in a letter to the UGC, has said, “Many times, managements of private institutions do not allow teachers to join refresher courses.”

Hundreds of teachers do not get the benefit of the scheme and, when new scales are announced, such teachers are placed in low grades.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, a former General Secretary of the PCCTU, said refresher courses in subjects like buddhist studies, physical education and music were insignificant, which affected a large number of teachers.

The AIFUCTO has demanded that the refresher courses should be considered not mandatory at least till 2003 or the time when willing teachers can find seats in academic staff colleges.

Teachers have said that several refresher courses are held at any time of the year, including the busiest time of the academic session. This, naturally, leads to the college managements disallowing teachers to join the courses.

The AIFUCTO letter said that, in certain states, newly set up colleges do not have enough teachers and there are several cases of one-man departments. Consequently, such teachers are disallowed to attend the courses.

The action of college managements is in the interest of students as colleges have to ensure that there are at least 180 teaching days in an academic session.

Already, this target is hard to achieve. If teachers attend three-week-long refresher classes in the middle of the session, this is not in the interest of students.

It has also been said that the information regarding the courses is not properly disseminated. Even regional centres of the UGC do not have the required information in some cases.

The intake of several academic staff colleges is restricted to certain states or regions and facilities there do not satisfy requirements of teachers of all areas.

Prof Chawla said, in Punjab and Haryana, a large number of teachers were still waiting to be placed in senior or selection grades as they had not joined refresher courses.



PU admissions ‘done in hush-hush manner’
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A number of Senate members of Panjab University (PU) have sought the quashing of the admissions to the Chemical Engineering branch from the non-resident Indian quota, allegedly filled ‘’surreptitiously without caring for merit and established practice.’’

In a joint letter to the Vice-Chancellor, PU Fellows A.C. Vaid and Charanjit Chawla, said: ‘’It is imperative that admissions under the NRI quota are quashed and counselling is held afresh where everybody should be informed and given a fair chance.’’

The letter said: ‘’It will be worthwhile to verify the antecedents of those who have been admitted to rule out the possibility of favouritism or extraneous considerations as well as to probe that the selection process was fair.’’

The two members said that it needed to be probed how the NRI quota was filled ahead of general admissions against the established practice, adding that the admissions were selectively done without informing candidates raising doubts about the intentions of the selectors.

As per the earlier practice, the NRI quota used to be filled after general quota admissions were done, the letter said.

The letter followed similar joint letters by 18 persons, including Senate members and parents of those candidates who stood very high on the merit list and were most likely to be admitted but were not informed by the Chemical Engineering Department regarding counselling.

Interestingly, the candidates who stood high on the merit list were the children of university teachers or other employees who alleged they were not informed about the counselling on July 23.

They alleged that admissions were done in a hush-hush manner taking advantage of the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s July 16 order to stop counselling for admissions scheduled on July 21.

Following the court order the Dean of University Instruction, Mr A.S. Sahni, issued a press release saying counselling for admissions to first-year BE and B. Arch courses for the 2001-2002 session, scheduled from July 17, had been postponed till further orders.

News reports on July 17 quoted the Convener, Admission Committee, Dr S.C. Jain, as saying: ‘’Since no further date has been notified all process for the admissions will have to be kept pending.’’

The parents of candidates who stood high on the merit, list, including the university’s Director, Public Relations, Mr Sanjiv Tiwari, a Reader in History, Department of Correspondence Studies, V. P. Kailani, and a Reader in Punjabi in the same department, Ms Jaspal Kaur Kang, said their children were not informed.

Mr Tiwari said that no advertisement or no press release was issued from the university to inform candidates about counselling and clarify the July 16 position that the July 23 counselling had been kept pending.

The confusion resulted in a student as low as 62 on the merit list getting admission and those holding the 10th, 12th and 24th positions losing the opportunity and only 25 of 82 candidates turning up for the counselling.

A Professor from the Chemical Engineering Department himself was said to have been kept in the dark and was called for counselling just before it began on July 23.

Mr Jain, who chaired the Department of Engineering and Technology, had in September, 1986, been indicted in an inquiry conducted by Justice B.R. Tulsi and his three increments were stopped.


Glass painting workshop concludes in school
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 9
About 50 students participated in a glass painting workshop for students of Classes XI and XII which concluded at DAV Model School, Sector 15, here today .

The judge for the event was Professor Chug of the Government College of Arts , Sector 10. He said,’’ The standard of the school in organising extra-curricular activities is coming up to the level of metro schools like Delhi.’’

There were about 25 creations by the students. Prof Chug said, “It is must for the starters to know how to make the base of the painting. They should stress on how to give clarity of lines and good sense of colour combination.

“It was a good effort by the girls who had tried their hand on glass painting for the first time. Some of the paintings were remarkable for a fresher trying a hand on glass painting,’’ he added.

Students brought out beautiful colour combinations in the paintings by using vibrant colours. The workshop was organised by Camlin to encourage the students.

The results of the workshop are: first : Kanika and Cherry; second : Shubinder and Neha; third : Malika and Gagan; and consolation: Rashi and Gagan.



Discussion on education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Janshakti, a social organisation, organised an open discussion on ‘‘Ideology-based education — boon or bane’’ at the Lajpat Rai Bhavan here today.

While presiding over the discussion, Mr G.V. Gupta, a retired IAS officer, referred to the present ‘saffronisation’ controversy relating to the introduction of jyotishacharya, Vedic mathematics, and karm kand in the syllabi of university education, changes in history, suiting a particular ideology, appointment of Hindu loyalists as Chairpersons of the ICSSR, the UGC and appointment of several Vice-Chancellors as major issues. He was critical of the tendency to sustain power through ideological changes in the education system

He was of the opinion that relating education to religion would be dangerous. He also criticised the holidays being given on the basis of the ‘denominational’ heroes.

Mr Radhe Shyam Sharma, a veteran journalist, criticised the distortion of history by the Muslims and the British so as to sustain their hegemony over India. He question that when 32 international universities could teach Sanskrit why not the Indian universities should follow suit.

Dr Rajiv Lochan from Panjab University, referred to the diverse perceptions of looking at historical realities and interpreting them to satisfy their own vested interests. This, according to him, was true not only of the British but also of the Congress and the BJP. Dr Desh Raj Bhangi was opposed to the ‘saffronisation’ of education.



700 appear for mock test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Approximately 700 students appeared for mock test on the pattern of the CAT required for admission to management courses here today.

The test was conducted by the local chapter of the IMS Learning Resources at MCM DAV College. The test will evaluate students all over the country in 30 centres of the IMS. They will receive their all-India rank on September 13 from the local branch, an official press release said.



Complainant allowed to cross-examine SDO
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 9
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the Consumer Forum-II to allow the complainant to cross-examine the UT Subdivisional Officer (Electrical) in a complaint case of electricity bill.

The commission observed that the case was four years old and directed the forum that the case be decided within two months from the date of hearing.The two parties have also been directed to appear before the District Forum-II on the date of hearing.

Aggrieved against the order passed by the UT Disputes Redressal Forum-II, the appellant, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, had filed an appeal before the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. The appellant had stated in a complaint that the Subdivisional Officer (Electrical), Operation Subdivision, Sector 10 (respondent), sent him a bill for Rs 23,757 plus Rs 20 as surcharge in case of non-payment by the due date. In the bill Rs 23,554 was shown as arrears without giving any details.

The appellant protested against the inclusion of Rs 23,554 in his bill without any reason. It was pointed out by the respondent that the amount was variable charges, but the respondent could not give any details to the opposite party.



54 lok adalats planned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 9
The Punjab State Legal Services Authority has decided to organise 54 lok adalats and six Labour Courts in Punjab from October to December. This was stated by Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Legal and Legislative Affairs and Justice Minister, Punjab, in a press note here yesterday.

Mr Garg added that the lok adalats would be held in Ferozepore, Fathepur Sahib, Khanna, Amloh and Samrala on October 6; Nawan Shahr, Nabha, Malerkotla, Phul and Malout on October 13; Mansa, Talwandi Sabo, Samana and Batala on October 20; Faridkot, Muktsar, Barnala, Dhuri and Rajpura on November 10; Kapurthala, Amritsar, Baba Bakala, Dhuri and Rajpura on November 3; Moga, Gurdaspur, Jagraon, Zira, Patti, Tarn Taran and Ajnala on November 10; Kapurthala, Amritsar, Baba Bakala, Sultanpur Lodhi, Phagwara, and Phillaur on November 24; Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda, Gidderbaha, Abohar, Ropar, Nakodar, Balachaur and Kharar on December 8.



Exhibition of rhythm, grace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The evening at Punjab Kala Bhavan was today made worthwhile, thanks to the power of rhythm and promise of footwork exhibited by students who attended a five-day kathak workshop conducted by Guru Rajendra Gangani at the Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

The versatility with which the beginners presented three items today is surely hard to find, at least within a short span of five days. But the presentations were delightful and that they also reflected the greatness of Rajendra Gangani as a guru. The fiery exponent of Jaipur kathak gharana has earned tremendous reputation across the world as an instructor of this difficult dance form. He is also known for blending traditional with contemporary.

He spoke with an equal magnanimity before the commencement of today’s show. A disciple of the great Kundan Lal Gangani and Kanhaiya Lal, Rajendra talked about the selfless relationship between the guru and the shishya. He said: “This is not the final instruction. It can never be. These students will continue to learn from their respective gurus, but workshops like this one have a significance of their own because they serve to hone the skills. It’s no instruction in the first place. It is just a give and take of the great dance form which we have inherited from our ancestors. In such seminars, we impart the best we can.”

The first presentation of the evening was a Ganesha stuti, prepared by the BA and MA dance students of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11. Barring the problem of synchronisation, which is obviously difficult to achieve in a small preparation time, the effort was praiseworthy.

The second presentation of the day was more about technical finesse and reflection of the real tenets of Jaipur kathak gharana. Presented by the students of MA dance, this one was highly acclaimed for its precision, power and poise. The students presented the tode, tukde and paran, the typical elements of the Jaipur kathak gharana.The presenters included Bhanuja, Natasha, Gurpreet, Aarti, Pooja, Sharmila, Kavita, Ravneet, Madhavi and Neetu.

The final presentation came on a Ram bhajan. It was presented by the BA (I) and MA dance students of the GCG 11. Throughout the show, Guru Gangani sang himself along with his two disciples from Delhi — Swati and Monisa. Accompanying on the tabla and sarangi were Yogesh and Vinod from GCG 11, respectively.

The programme was organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi. Towards the conclusion, Mr G.S. Chani, Chairman of the akademi, presented bouquets to the visiting experts.


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