Monday, September 17, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SPIC centre to start functioning today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Chances are, it is the snazziest place in town to learn computers. And considering the style and environment, may be the most economical too.

The Chandigarh Administration’s SPIC Microsoft Centre of Excellence at Punjab Engineering College inaugurated by the city Administrator a fortnight ago, is all ready to take on its first batch of students tomorrow.

Starting its classes, the centre is focussing not only on good quality, but also on economical computer education for the city’s college and university students.

The Department of Information Technology, (DIT), UT, set up the Society for Promotion of Information Technology in Chandigarh (SPIC) which then roped in Microsoft for a joint collaboration and this centre of excellence was born.

The short-term courses which the centre offers include Microsoft certified system engineer course, a computer awareness programme, Microsoft certified database administrator, Microsoft certified solution developer, web designing, programming in C, Microsoft visual basic and MS office. Other than these some other courses are also on the anvil keeping in mind the varying demand of city students. As an introductory offer the course are going to be priced at anything from Rs 6,000 to 17,000.

The trainers employed at the centre are also Microsoft certified programmers. ‘‘This place is new and we are looking forward to this job. And it’s an open system here. Since some of these students might be working during the day, there will be classes in the evenings. And some of us will also be developing software and that can be as challenging and satisfying as teaching’’says a faculty member of the centre.

Developing advanced computer software is the other major thing the centre will be doing for government, semi-government and private companies. The centre engineers are looking forward to developing complex software for use in various organisations.

And how does the centre differ from PEC’s computational lab? ‘‘The CCL in PEC is working on a large amount of data collection and processing projects and not so much on software development. Here since we have the Microsoft technology with us, the kind of software that we will provide will be highly advanced and helpful in solving very complex problems which large organisations are faced with,’’ informs one of the centre’s engineers.

The centre which is located at PEC is also being given day to day attention by the Director, Information Technology, UT, Mr Vivek Atray, who spends at least an hour everyday at the centre.

‘‘The centre is open six days a week and initially we are focussing on the classes getting underway. The courses are the best among the various options available to city students and computer professionals,’’ he says.

With state-of-the-art laboratories, workstations, classrooms and bright blue decor, this place certainly makes it difficult to believe that its a part of the dull grey buildings of PEC.


Party fissures plugged for PU polls
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
All major student organisations on the Panjab University campus have developed internal fissures which are being plugged to present a fortified look before the forthcoming elections to the PU Campus Students Council.

The Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) has been the most strong student camp on the campus for the past about three decades. However, the group lost its lustre about four years ago when Dayal Pratap Singh Randhawa was elected president of the council.

PUSU saw the emergence of a dissident group recently. Gurdeep Singh Sandhu was named as the president of the Panjab University Students Association. Other office-bearers of PUSU who left the original camp included H.S.Hundal (convener), Parminder Sihag ( joint secretary), Amandeep Virk ( joint secretary) and Rushpinder Mahal (executive member).

The breakaway group has failed to elicit a populist response from the students. So, a press note of SOPU which announced PUSA support for the elections does not come in as a surprise. The ‘promised’ support has been confirmed by Gurdeep Singh Sandhu.

SOPU has witnessed internal rambling with rumours of its former presidential candidate Bhupinder Beniwal not supporting the parent organisation. Beniwal had also announced a new party under the banner of the Haryana Students Union, a couple of years ago. Internal party sources have confirmed last minute parleying where differences have been “smoothened” out and Beniwal has now committed himself to SOPU.

There have been reports that on the day PUSU-HSA-ABVP announced a joint forum, Beniwal was seen congratulating them. Any differences of Beniwal with his commitment to SOPU have been vehemently denied by Dayal Pratap Singh Randhawa, a think tank of the SOPU campaigning.

The Haryana Students Association which had emerged as a strong camp during the past about three years witnessed a major divide with infighting leading to nine members landing in the police lock-up for a night.

The new camp, headed by Mahavir Prasad, named Amit Rana as the chairman. Chand Singh Madaan, the founder chairman, was not taken into confidence. This led to unpleasant differences. Now Madaan has taken a backseat to keep out of the ongoing poll process.

ABVP till now presents a uniform camp. However, the organisation till now has not been able to manage an independent stronghold. The process of direct elections, after a long gap, was started in 1997. Munish Anand was elected president in the first elections. This was followed by two terms of Dayal Pratap Singh Randhawa and the last student to hold the post of the president was Bhupinder Singh ‘Bhuppi’.

Any strong student campaign activities is not visible till now. However, the campus is going definitely going to witness a hectic activity in the coming week.


Principals attend NCTE workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The National Council for Teacher Education, (NCTE), New Delhi, organised a one-day information and communication technology workshop at Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, here today.

As many as twelve Principals and a large number of senior teachers from various teacher education colleges and training centres in the city attended in the workshop.

The NCTE has planned to organise about hundred such camps all over the country to initiate an information and computer literacy campaign among teachers of education colleges and institutes. The participants were given CDs to practice at their institutions.

The Regional Director of the NCTE, North Zone, inaugurated the camp, while, Dr J.M. Joshi, an eminent educationist, was the guest of honour. Earlier, Dr Satinder Dhillon, the college Principal, welcomed the participants and assured the NCTE of all cooperation in organising more such like camps. 


Tiny tots regale oldage home inmates
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
Tiny tots of Evergreen Academy, Sector 34-C, visited Oldage Home, Sector 15, here today. They gave handprinted cards to the inmates of the home.

The kids entertained the old grandfathers and grandmas at the home. The programme started by a band display followed by Punjabi songs. Even the inmates of the home and guest grandparents joined in by clapping and singing. The winners were later awarded by the inmates.

The tiny tots and the staff gave gifts to the 20 home inmates.


120 given stationery sets
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 16
Under a project ‘Sayhog 2001’ for needy students, the local unit of the Bharat Vikas Parishad organised a function at Government Senior Secondary School in Phase III B0-1 here recently. As many as 120 students, including 12 handicapped students of fourth and fifth level class of different government primary schools were given a stationery set each.

Mr Jaipal Singh, Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), who was the chief guest on the occasion.

Mr SR Chaudhary, patron of the parishad, said aid to the students was provided under a ‘Siksha Kosh Fund’ being looked after by Mr KR Marwaha, secretary of the organisation. 


Japanese film festival opens today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
A festival of Japanese films is starting here tomorrow. Masayuki Takahashi, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan, said this here today.

The inaugural film, “Hearts & Flowers for Tora” is from the 48-part series made in the ’80s by Yoji Yamada.

The festival, being organised by the Chandigarh Film Society at the Government Art Museum auditorium, will be inaugurated by the Punjab Governor, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). The films centre around the familial ties.

The other films in the festival are by Akira Kurosawa “Doomed”, Yasujiro Ozu “ Late Autumn”, Kon Ichikawa “The Makioka Sisters” (1983) and Shinji Somai “Ah, Spring” (1998).

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