Sunday, September 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Girls annoyed by irritants
Tribune News Service

The 200 residents of the hostel of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, do not think that things will ever change.... that their problems will be looked into.... that their complaints will not fall on deaf ears.

Things in the hostel are not as bad as is the attitude of those in authority in the college and the hostel. “We are OK here, the facilities in the hostel are what they can be, but there are some things that need to be taken care of, “they say.

The most oppressive thing the girls find in the hostel is the time for visitors. “We are allowed to see visitors only on weekends for two or three hours. Our parents have to make sure that they reach the city well in time and those who have to come from far off places have to stay overnight to meet us. “ says a resident.

Better timings for visitors is their first demand. “If boys were coming to see us all the time, we could see the point in having limited visiting hours but to stop our parents for meeting us is a crime. And it is a problem that can be easily solved. Our parents can be given cards by the warden or the principal which they can show and meet us,” they suggest.

But there are other problems too. “There are only two women care- takers of the entire hostel with 100 rooms. One of them is working only for the warden. She cooks her food and serves her and no one else. The other woman is supposed to take care of the hostel, and she is so overworked that by the end of the day she is barely able to sweep the hostel. As a result , it remains unclean and by nightfall the bathrooms are virtually unusable,” say some of the residents.

“We cannot talk about the problems in the hostel in detail but let us tell you that many of the problems that we face arise from the fact that there are not enough caretakers.”

“The STD connection in the college shifts to the hostel at 7 p.m. But since there is no one to call out for us on the public address system, the girls do it themselves and in case the STD man does it, he charges Rs 5 for calling us,” say the residents. The residents also complain about the unavailability of cold drinking water. “The is a water cooler which has stopped working and no one has bothered to get it repaired, “ they say.

The residents also wish they could have more outings than what they are allowed. “In fact its not so much outings but freedom that we crave for. We are inside the hostel from 6 p.m. onwards and we are not allowed even to talk to other girls in their rooms after 9.30 p.m. There are no indoor games we can play, there is a TV set which needs to be repaired.

The residents seem satisfied about the quality of the food which is subsidised. “And in case the quality deteriorates, we tell the mess incharge and things improve.” There are other facilities such as a dhobi, a canteen, a beauty parlour which is open only during college hours, a book shop, a tailor, all under one roof.

The building is perhaps one of the badly maintained hostel buildings in the city. Broken chairs are spread all over the place and there are some dingy badly lit corners in the hostel. The rooms are small and barely sufficient for two girls. “Some of the rooms are really small and we can either keep two beds or a table and a chair”.

The hostel is still not sufficient to accommodate all the students who seek rooms. Many girls live as paying guests in nearby houses. But do the hostel residents envy the girls who stay as paying guests for their freedom and all? “No, not all We prefer to be in the hostel any day and in fact there is so much sifarish to get a room in the hostel. Our parent did it so we are here”.

Well, that was letting the cat out of the bag.


Upgrading science departments
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
There is need for removing ‘ obsolescence’ in certain science departments of the university. Much of the decades-old equipment and infrastructural facilities have to be replaced or upgraded.

This is one of the long list of suggestions made by the Academic and Administrative Audit for academic improvement in science departments.

This also is the first comprehensive exercise in this direction taken up by the university. The report will be tabled at the forthcoming meeting of the Senate.

The committee has suggested that steps should be taken to ensure uninterrupted supply of power and water to the laboratories as frequent disruptions adversely affect scientific research and damage equipment and research samples.

It has been pointed out that in many disciplines, a number of faculty members are likely to retire in the near future. Immediate steps should be taken to avoid an academic vacuum by planning a rational and timely recruitment policy for filling the vacant positions. Induction of a talented young faculty at different levels should be encouraged.

Inter-disciplinary courses across the departments should be so planned that unnecessary duplication of work, courses and resources is avoided. The committee has given the example of the emerging course in molecular biology at the under-graduate level for the students of Bio-Chemistry, Bio-Physics, Microbiology, Pharmacy, Botany, Zoology and Biotechnology which could be integrated and offered as a joint course.

The committee has suggested that these departments may orient their research to earn resources through consultancy and contract research projects.

The committee has also made observations specific to different departments. The Department of Anthropology has been found to have the potential to do well if the B.Sc (Honours School) courses are restructured to make them relevant and useful for placements.

The Department of Geology has been asked to review its modalities for conducting field study based M Sc project work and practical training in the field of B Sc (Honours School) to make the training more relevant to jobs.

The Department of Botany has been advised to improve the working of its library. The department services need to be made more student oriented by formulating rules to ensure that the students do not depend on the teachers for gaining access to books and journals required by them.

The committee has commented that there is a general feeling among the faculty of the science departments that the provisions made under the IX Plan were very meagre and inadequate to meet the essential requirements for the maintenance of the basic facilities. Some of the departments like the Chemistry Department could not get their equipment repaired as the grant received by them was much below their needs.

It has been suggested that a realistic calculation of the essential developmental needs for the X Plan must be done to avoid the incommensurate provisions made available to the university under the IX Plan.


College website launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
“Information Technology is here to stay. And India can continue to make unparallelled progress capitalising on the promising IT wave which started three years ago,” stated Mr Vivek Atray, Director Information Technology, UT Administration, at a function held at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, here today.

Mr Atray was at the college to inaugurate the college website: Ms S. Roy, a founder Principal of the college, was the guest of honour.

Referring to the alleged slump in the IT sector, Mr Atray stated it was just a hype. “Now with the clouds of hype gone, everyone has a clear picture of how things really are. There is no dearth of jobs in the IT sector and students can be safely advised to go in for IT-related courses. But they should be very careful about the courses,” he said.

Mr Atray also referred to the task force established by the Administration to regulate the working of computer education academies in the city and the steps being taken to ensure that the city students got their money’s worth.

Ms S. Roy who had visited the college after years recalled the time she had spent in the college, remembering her old friends and her activities as the first Principal of the college.

The college Principal, Ms Usha Gupta, also spoke on the occasion. Students of the college presented group songs. Ruchi, a student of the college presented a novel double dance on the famous old film song, ke chal hat natkhat, posing both as a woman and a man.

Ms Prasoon Raza, NSS in charge of the college, announced the inauguration of a 10-day NSS camp in the college from today.


Success with computers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Seventeen years ago when she got married while she was still pursuing her post-graduate studies, Anupam Jain thought it would put paid to her dreams of having a career. Family became the first priority and despite clearing the Civil Services main examination, she did not go for the interview. Today, she has no regrets and she finds herself in a position more satisfying than it would have been if she had opted for a career in the civil services.

Anupam today manages four computer centres including MMC Computers, the venture she began her career with in 1991, seven years after her marriage.

“The urge to accomplish something remained even after it appeared that I would be a housewife for the rest of my life. But with the support of my family, I started this venture and am quite content with it”, says she.

After starting MMC Computers in 1991, Anupam tied up with Hartron and now has three Harton (computer education) centres. At MMC they also assemble computers.

Not that she got everything on a platter. There has been a tremendous amount of hard work behind her image of a successful business woman. She studies hard to keep herself up-to-date on the latest in IT. Besides a doctorate in Economics, she has also done a two-year course in Software Engineering.

“To be successful, one has to do one’s homework well, and be aware of the minutest details about one’s profession”, she says. About the traits that have helped her do well, she says: “Managing time is my plus point and I do everything according to a planned schedule”.

Emphasising the need for working on a set schedule, Anupam says: “If there is no proper planning or implementation of the plan, things tend to go haywire. That also increases the stress levels and affects your performance.”

Anupam belongs to a conventional family of Ludhiana, but gives full credit to her husband who, she says, has been very supportive. “Family support is a must, I feel. If the family is not happy with what you are doing, things really become tough”.

While expansion will not stop, she has one dream — to open an institution where she can provide IT education to those who are economically weak.


Importance of IT education stressed
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 22
The Canadian Institute of Computer Science and Technology (CICST) celebrated its founder’s day here today.

Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber (retd), a former Punjab Governor, and Mr Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary, Punjab Government, were among the guests. They laid stress on the importance of IT education.

It was the first anniversary of the CICST, an extension of the campus of Georgian College, Canada. The institute has been awarded the ISO 9001:2000 certificate.

The CMD, Lieut-Col B.S. Sandhu (retd), said 50 per cent of the faculty comprised Canadians. Degrees would be given by Georgian College.

He said up to the secondary level education in India was the best but thereafter there was no synchronisation, proper infrastructure was lacking and the standards were not on a par with North American standards. Indian engineers were not “marketable” in the global market, he added. Later in the evening students, their parents and guests enjoyed songs, skits and dances.


VC inaugurates new interactive centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Zee Interactive Learning Systems Limited (ZILS), the education arm of the Zee network providing learning through interactive and physical classrooms by satellite link, opened its fifth centre in the city today.

The centre was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Mr R.S. Chaudhary. Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ZILS, Mr Dilip Mahapatra was also present on the occasion. Mr Mahapatra said ‘’our central studio is linked to the Zee Education Career Academy (ZeDCA) centres at multiple locations across the country through a dedicated V-SAT network.

The network will present faculties from Indian Institutes of Technology, Sun Microsystems, Carnegie Technology Education and other centres of excellence to students across the country, he said.

He added that ZeDCA was probably the first company in the world to impart training though internet, satellite communication and television to individual and corporate clients at its 400 centres in the country. Mr Mahapatra said that the company had taken permission from the Insurance regulator for training officials in the newly-opened insurance sector.

Mr Chaudhary said Kurukshetra University, a certifier of ZILS courses, was a pioneer in the distant education programme and had been growing rapidly across the country and had been rated highly by an independent assessor in the category of a four star university.


New facilities for children
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
City children between the age of 4 and 14 will have the facilities of a library, regular hobby classes and weekend workshops at the Wonder Years Kindergarten, from today.

The Besten Foundation, which had organised Pakistani children’s play in the city in June, launched the programme in the city.

Mr Nek Chand, creator of the Rock Garden, dedicated the facilities to children today.

Starting with 500 books on reference, classics, fiction, comics, periodicals, newspapers, mythology and encyclopaedia, the Futurekids Club also provides CDs and access to the Internet.

The library also has books for young parents on parenting, child behavior and socio-economic relationships.

The hobby courses will have regular classes on music, dance, painting, singing, marshal arts and computer education.

The weekend workshops will mainly concentrate on breathing, meditation, personality development, stress management and conversation.

Mr Nek Chand while talking to reporters said, “Children should be given freedom to unleash their creativity.” He said he had been spending time with them to encourage them to do creative works.


Tastefully soothing impressions
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, September 22
Julius Macwan likes to define himself as an artist with a free soul. It is the element of freedom of the American soil that motivated him to do a series on different locales of New York, which the artist is exhibiting at the Art Folio in Sector 9 here.

“Freedom is like oxygen to me,” says this good-looking young artist from Chennai. “And a recent trip to New York city , the most happening place in the art scenario, was a real treat for me. For the first time, I realised how does it feel to be exactly what one wants to be,” says Julius.

His impressions of America are reflected in his works “The Window”, “Sagoti’s Loan”, “Jet Stream”, “Philadelphia Sunlight”, “Bunny House” and many more, all tastefully done in soothing water colours that shows the artist’s complete control over the medium. “Water colour is the best medium to capture light,” says Julius. He has used blue colour on plenty in his paintings to capture the hue of New York, which changes into pale yellow in “Philadelphia Sunlight”.

Looking at his New York series, coupled with a few works from his previous Nude series, one can safely say the artist does not like to take deep plunges into philosophy. “I pick up the theme to suit my mood,” says Julius. “The object of my interest may be insignificant to the naked eye, but if I can feel some sort of positive energy radiated by it , I like to capture it through my brush,” he adds.

It is the underlying honesty of his work that makes his paintings attractive. “I try to maintain honesty both on and off my canvas life,” he states. It is the inner voice that guides me to convey the right message through my paintings, he adds.

Judging from the number of paintings he sold during the first day of his exhibition, Julius has struck the right chord with local art lovers. “I have sold 11 paintings so far,” says the booming artist, who has exhibited his works in Chandigarh for the first time. Julius does not regret that he has had to lower the price to suit the clientele of the city. “I have kept the prices low as I want the works to find homes,” he adds.

Ask this J J School of Arts graduate about his objective and he replies, “I will like to do some serious work that has the strength to coax society to move on a progressive path. Society has a tendency to stagnate if not constantly poked and art is a very effective medium to do so”.

Do not get worried if you feel this casual young man is about to turn into a serious unapproachable kind. “I will of course continue to paint the non-serious pieces, which are meant for sheer pleasure, without much of underlying heavy philosophy”, he adds.


Jacob spends holiday at crafts fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today went on holiday shopping and visited the Punjab Crafts Fair organised by the Punjab Tourism and Development Corporation at Parade Ground.

The Administrator reached the fair like any ordinary visitor and mingled with the holiday crowd. Accompanied by his ADC, the Governor inspected various stalls to buy small items for his home in Delhi and something for Raj Bhavan. Finally, he purchased four china crockery tea mugs and paid Rs 100 for them.

Visitors to the fair were excited to find General Jacob shopping along with them in the stalls. Children and some over enthusiastic girls utilised the opportunity to get themselves photographed with him.

The Managing Director, Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, Mr Sanjay Kumar, explained to the Administrator that artisans and craftsmen from all over the country had come to this crafts and food festival. The Governor while appreciating the fair said the fair had given an opportunity to ordinary people to buy crafts from various states.

Meanwhile, ‘Dandia’ on ‘’Dhol baje dum dum dhol baje’’ sent the people crazy forcing the organiser, the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), and the 25-member ‘dandia’ dance troupe to extend the programme on public demand.

The intermingling of cultures was witnessed when in ‘dandia’ dance for the public, the localities performed ‘bhangra’ movements.

The Gujarat Ras Garba Mandali from Sujanpur first offered Mata ki bhent, ‘garbi’, followed by women ‘dandia’, men ‘dandia’, children’s ‘dandia’, couple’s ‘dandia’ and ‘garba’.

The measured movements of singer-dancers namely Mahesh Chatur, Jagdip Chatur, Rajshankar, Saba Ben, Ekta Ben and Meenu Ben enthralled the crowd.

Children dancers namely barsha, Alisha, Twinkle, Pooja, Anjali and Pinki performed exquisitely.

‘’Hey navrang chunri lehre’’, ‘’Sona nam thal ma patan,’’Pawan the gad uthi Kali’’ were heard by the crowd with rapt attention.

The mela drew a very large crowd today posing problem for the police to manage traffic.

A Bengali visitor to the city, Mr Tushar Kanti, could not resist his feelings of joy to move to the stage to say he would take ‘dandia’ and ‘garba’ to his state.Back



Oil paintings on display
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 22
An exhibition of oil paintings by Suresh Kumar and his students was inaugurated by famous artist Shiv Singh at the art gallery of Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, here today.

The artists have made a generous use of vibrant red, orange and green in all their 50 paintings which are mainly based on simple themes like rural women and wildlife. However, the excessive use of bright colours has robbed some of the beauty of the works.

Some of the works done by Suresh include “Born to be tough”, “Sunflowers”, “Beauty of Punjab” , “A wild tiger”, “Silence” and “From darkness to brightness”. Machal, Nirlep and Manoj, have also put their works on display.


A typical Bollywood masala mix
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

‘Kyo ki... Main jhuth nahin bolta’ ( Batra and Suraj, Panchkula) is a typical Bollywood ‘masala mix’. It is only that David Dhawan has an artistic class in mixing the cinematic ingredients in the right proportions for mass appeal, with comedy largely having the upper hand.

Remake of a Hollywood hit ‘Liar lawyer’, starring Govinda does not allow the component of comparison with Jim Carrey to crop in. The styles are totally different. The movie does not attempt ‘larger-than-life’ encounters and succeeds in retaining grace in simplicity.

Govinda is a law graduate from Hoshiarpur who lands to make his future in Mumbai. Satish Kaushik is an old connection who gives him place to stay and chance to practise at the court. Govinda sees an argument in a legal case where Anupam Kher is arguing and is impressed by him.

Govinda is more impressed because Kher has an unmarried daughter (Sushmita Sen), who is the “key to Kher’s riches which Govinda dreams about. Kher is impressed by his dedication and surely Govinda marries Sen.

On the day after the wedding, Sen has packed her luggage and wants to stay in the house where Govinda stayed because she thought Govinda was a self-made person. So she wants to go to his house. Govinda’s dreams are shattered and he travels back to the house of his friend.

Here he saves the brother of Ashish Vidyarthi in a case of murder and that passes Govinda’s way to riches. This also brings along trouble which he faces ultimately.

The film is a Jeetendra presentation. The music is average.


Exploring the feminine mind
Rajiv Kaplish

When an incorrigible skirt-chasing ad executive, Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson), tried to experiment with mascara and pantyhose, it was all in good humour. Because he wanted to know what it was like to be a woman.

Only this time he had gone a little too far. Fun and frolic was all he had bargained for. But acquiring the scary power to hear women’s thoughts was not what he had asked for.

Soon, he would be listening to everything women were thinking about. And when it came to what they really thought of him, it was pretty nasty. Taken aback initially by this uncanny ability, the rogue, prodded on by his shrink (Bete Midler) would soon turn what he thought to be his discomfiture to his advantage.

He would seduce once-reluctant coffee shop clerk Lola (Marisa Tomei) and build bridges with his estranged daughter, Alex (Ashley Johnson). He would also use his clairvoyance to sabotage the plans of his new boss, Darcy (Helen Hunt), by stealing her ideas from her mind. Feminine reeducation would, however, tame him ultimately.

From the macho-man posturing of “Mad Max” and “Lethal Weapon” to the breezy banter of ‘‘What Women Want’’ (Kiran), Mel Gibson has shown that nothing escapes his range. Listening to Frank Sinatra as he dances with joyous abandon, you cannot help but smile as you watch him explore his comic potential.

Helen Hunt lends elegance and sensitivity to her effortless portrayal of an intelligent and down-to-earth genius of the ad world who has unsuspectingly been manipulated by Gibson.

Flaunting her carnal desires at the drop of a hat, Marisa Tomei is grandly wasted as the coffee-shop girl.

The top priority of Ashley Johnson, who portrays the role of the 15-year-old daughter of Gibson, is to lose her virginity.

If the predominantly female attendance of the Friday show is any indication, director Nancy Meyers has a fairly good idea of what women really want.Back


Chinese food fest at city hotel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Sick of the same old cuisine of chowmein, chopsuey and manchurian?

Well, a Sector 22 hotel has brought some new flavours of China to tickle the palates of the Chandigarhians who would like to experiment with the exotic fare and don’t mind dishing out money to be served in style.

The festival specials include such delicacies as sesame lamb, chicken in lemon/honey sauce and veg and non-veg rice or noodles steamed in white sauce.

For starters, you may have kimchi salad (Chinese veg salad with a hint of red chilies) or dragon rolls or steamed dumplings, besides the soup, of course.

And top it with the delicious dessert of date plums or apple or banana.Back

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