Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 
EDUCATION

Research yes, increment no
Chitleen K. Sethi

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The UT Education Department is at it again. The office of the Director Public Instruction (Colleges) is about to deny the right to advance increments to college lecturers with research degrees.

The payment of these advance increments has been pending since the time of the appointment of these teachers. In some cases, these advance increments have been due for more than 23 years.

The lecturers appointed in various colleges, according to the UGC notification dated December 24, 1998, are to be given four advance increments in case of those who hold a PhD degree during the time of appointment and two advance increments in case they have an M.Phil degree.

Sources in the DPI’s office say they are going to take notice of a letter dated August 16, 1999, they have received from the University Grants Commission, stating that in case the appointment letter of an ad hoc lecturer does not state that he or she is entitled to advance increments, there is no need to allow these payments.

The DPI’s office further states that since the lecturers who have joined service before the first UPSC appointment, done sometime in 2001, are all ad hoc appointments. Even if they have been regularised by courts, their appointment letters do not mention that they are entitled to advance increments.

The college lecturers differ on the issue. More than 140 lecturers in various UT colleges have been regularised after orders from either the Supreme Court or from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court, in its orders dated December 11, 2000, has clearly stated that ‘‘the petitioners are to be treated as having been regularly appointed as lecturer with effect from the dates of their initial recruitment, with all consequential benefits.’’

The DPI’s office fails to notice that the letter is only in reference to those ad hoc lecturers who have been appointed after the pay revision of January, 1996. Majority of these so-called ad hoc lecturers who have been regularised do not fall under the category since they have been appointed before January 1, 1996.

“This rule of the mention of entitlement to advance increment in the appointment letter of the candidate is atrocious. Even the PPSC does not say anything about advance increments in their appointment letters. Even if they have received a letter from the UGC in August 1999, the rules say no benefit can be taken away from persons in back date or ante date. So how can they apply a 1999 rule to appointments made in 1991 or even before,’’ questions Dr R.P.S. Josh, a PU Senator and one of the lecturers regularised after having been appointed on ad hoc basis.

“Earlier, we were harassed because of the Administration’s fault that we are ad hoc employees, now we are being harassed again even after the High Court has clearly said that we are regular employees of these colleges. The Central Administrative Tribunal has also directed the Administration to follow what the rules say and release these increments.” says Dr Anil Mankotia, a lecturer, with Government College for Girls, Sector 42.
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Mature minds convey class
Tribune News Service

A scene from “Somnath Crorepati”, a play produced by Guru Harkishan Model Senior Secondary School.
A scene from “Somnath Crorepati”, a play produced by Guru Harkishan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 38. The play is about a man who gets caught in a maze of game shows and never returns home. He goes from one show to another and is so taken in by the money he wins that he loses interest in filial ties. The play will be staged at the Sukhna Lake at 5.15 pm.

Chandigarh, October 2
A very different form of art is in evidence at the Sukhna Lake these days. Under the banner of the Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA), fourth children’s community theatre festival, a lot of sense is being conveyed with every passing day.

In the line of eight plays to be staged at the Sukhna Lake under this festival, the fort was today held by a production of Government High School, Sector 40. Titled “Raja kithe so gaya”, the script was a hilarious blend of sequences which, when unravelled by participating characters, reflected a lot of meaning. The interesting part of all the productions of CEVA is their creative content. Constructed, evolved and developed by children of respective schools, each play is a great product in its own right. Since the medium being employed is similar to street theatre, each targeted idea is reaching a vast community and is evoking an instant response.

Today’s play focused on the king, who keeps yearning for time to relax. Disgusted with his subjects, who have something or the other to talk about or complain about, the king is left with no other choice but to give them a patient hearing. But as the level of his patience wanes, he employs people to go and mull his subjects, but to no avail. The delectable comedy was conducted by Munna Dhiman, Neerja Chatley, Aarti Sharma and Harkanwal.

The play also used the nuances of theatre to portray the travails of those who have been sent by the king to silence his subjects. Talking about the play, G.S. Chani said, “During the workshop which led to evolution of this play, the children wrote many stories and framed many poems which were later woven into the script. All these were also published in the form of booklets. The children also published a weekly newspaper during the period of the workshop for which they wrote reports, apart from stories and poems.” 
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Multiple play station for kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Last week was special for children at Strawberry Fields Kindergarten. A multiple play station was added to the school’s outdoors.

The children were the most delighted lot. The excitement and natural exuberance on their faces was a sight to behold. ‘‘The entire play area looks straight out of a picture book’’, remarked Mr Malhotra, a parent.

Coming down wave and spiral slides, going over and under clatter and arch bridges, in and out of the tunnel and sitting in the clubhouse were some of the activities the children loved.

‘‘Children need space — both to move unrestricted and to think freely. The environment in the school allows children to be in the midst of nature and enjoy learning’’, says Mr Atul Khanna, Director of the school. ‘‘In an informal setting, focus is on play, natural spontaneity and on an elimination of everything which could condition or regiment the child’s perspective,’’ he added.

Set in the picture perfect environs, Strawberry Fields, run under the auspices of the Durga Das Foundation, is a delight to visit.
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Explore nature, students told
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 2
For creating awareness, more than 400 students from different government schools participated in the ‘wildlife conservation walk’ flagged off by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) at the Leisure Valley, here today. Nearly 300 students also took a pledge to provide grains and water to birds as a part of the national wildlife prevention week celebrations at S.D. High School here.

Before flagging off the march at about 9 am, General Jacob interacted with the students. He motivated them to explore nature and make endeavors to protect the fragile eco-system.

The General donned caps on five student leaders namely Manju Fulara, Vineet Kadian, Renu Thakur and Luxmi Sharma.

The Chief Conservator, Forest, Mr Ishwar Singh, informed the Governor that the basic aim of celebrating the wildlife week was to educate and motivate youth, particularly students, towards the cause of wildlife and nature conservation.

The Forest Department is organising programmes. On-the-spot painting competition on wildlife will be organised at the City Bird Sanctuary in Sector 21 tomorrow, in which 400 students from different schools are expected to participate.

Students, NGOs and other interested groups will be taken to nature trails in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary throughout the week. Students will be educated about the flora, fauna and lepidoptera in the sanctuary.

Trekkers will be exposed to various soil conservation works which are responsible for the habitat improvement and development of water holes in the sanctuary.

The Principal of the school, Mr Vishwa Bandhu, distributed 15 earthen containers and asked children to place grain and water in these pots for the birds.
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Counselling postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The third joint counselling for admission to the first year of the Bachelor of Engineering course at Punjab Engineering College, the Department of Chemical Engineer-ing, Panjab University, and the Chandigarh College of Agriculture scheduled to be held on October 3, has been postponed.

The new date will be notified shortly, according to a university press release.
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Decision flayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Mohan Singh, general secretary, Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), Panjab University, stated in a press note that the party condemned the decision of the PU Senate to ratify the decision of the University Grants Commission to ensure that the college students attend at least 75 per cent lectures to be eligible to appear in the university’s annual examinations.
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Allow career benefits to ex-servicemen: CAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Holding ex-servicemen entitled to the benefit of in situ promotions, the Central Administrative Tribunal, in a significant judgement, has quashed an order insofar as it denied the benefit of a career advancement scheme to the re-employed ex-servicemen.

Ruling on an application filed by eight ex-servicemen working in the Ministry of Health and Family Planning, its Vice-Chairman, Justice G.C. Garg, and member G.S. Maingi, also directed that the promotion would be granted to the applicants within three months of receiving a copy of the order.

The orders are significant as a large number of ex-servicemen were being denied the advantage of the scheme on the grounds that they were given the benefit of Army service for fixation of pay at the time of appointment and as such they would be get double the benefit, if the career advancement scheme was also extended to them.

Seeking directions for quashing the letters declaring re-employed pensioners ineligible for the benefit of the scheme, the applicants, on the other hand, had stated that their juniors were getting higher pay than they were due to the grant of in situ promotion. Arguing before the tribunal, counsel for the applicants Bhim Sein Sehgal had added that the ex-servicemen were forced to approach the tribunal after favourable response was not received on a legal notice served by them.

After hearing arguments, the tribunal observed: “The only point for consideration in this case is whether the applicants, being ex-servicemen, can be legally denied the benefit of in situ (in original place) promotion scheme and whether the classification done by the respondents for such a purpose is discriminatory and arbitrary which offends Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.... In our opinion, the very object sought to be achieved would be defeated if the classification done by the respondents is allowed to exist and the applicants are allowed to be meted out different treatment”.

“It is true that the applicants may have been given some benefit of their military service for the purpose of pay fixation, but that cannot be considered a promotion in any way. In our view, the action of the respondents in not according the benefit of the scheme is arbitrary and discriminatory, violating the mandate of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. In that view of the matter, the scheme insofar as it denies the applicants the benefit deserves to be struck down”, the tribunal observed.
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A festival of realistic theatre
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
With serious theatre now knocking at the doors of the city like never before, its intellectual foundation is sure to improve. This time the much-needed breather of realistic theatre is coming from the Haryana Cultural Welfare Department, which is all set to organise a six-day theatre festival at Tagore Theatre, beginning October 7. Though a little delayed after the such festivals in Kurukshetra and Hissar some years back, the show will be back with the promise to unleash the process of self-analysis at the level of viewers.

The festival will be held in collaboration with the North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC), Allahabad, and will showcase some of the most inspiring productions of our times, including Bansi Kaul’s “Kehan Kabir”, National School of Drama Repertory Company’s “Raja ki rasoi” (directed by Mohan Maharishi) and Kirti Jain’s “Aur kitne tukde.” Talking about the festival, Mr Kamal Tewari, director of the organising department, said, “The idea here is to keep the city in line with the best in theatre. “Saang”, a very rich tradition from Haryana, will also form a part of the festival, which in itself will offer a rare experience.”

The beginning will be made with “Sagun panchhi” — a highly relevant production of NCZCC, directed by Shashikant Sharma and written by Lakshmi Narain Lal. The second day of the festival (October 8) will witness the staging of Kirti Jain’s “Aur kitne tukde”, which has been written by B. Gauri.

Based on Urvashi Butalia’s book, “The Other Side of Silence”, the play chronicles Partition through the personal histories of some survivors. The play draws from many other stories of Partition as well. It highlights women’s memories through some personal histories and tries to lend voice to their silence. Handled by Kirti Jain, who has worked with eminent international theatre experts, the play explores the resultant pain of Partition. The play will be sponsored by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

Bansi Kaul’s “Kehan Kabir” is scheduled for the third day of the festival and will be sponsored by NCZCC. Produced by Rang Vidushak, Bhopal, the play unfolds in a very interesting fashion. It neither speaks of Kabir as a protagonist, nor develops as a linear story around his life and experiences. Instead, the play feeds on his verses, which depict deep anguish against the then prevalent customs. It decries the caste-ridden and ethnically-marooned society and highlights its urge to break free. In the end, the production is relevant, in that it does not confine itself to Kabir alone. Instead, it uplifts Kabir and places him in the context of each living person, actually detaching him from the realm of time and space.

Sponsored by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, the fourth play, “Aap hamare hain kaun” is written and directed by Balwant Thakur. The play is about life — its crests and troughs, its emotional leaning and finally its balance striking capacity.

“Raja ki rasoi” may have a special meaning for the city audience, as it comes from their own director Mohan Maharishi. A production of National School of Drama Repertory Company, this play is a blend of various ideas. The mystery will be better experienced if unravelled by the audience at their own level. This one will be staged on October 11.

As the session of enactment ends on October 11, the stage will be taken over by “saang” — the rich musical tradition of Haryana, which resembles “khyaal” of Rajasthan, “nautanki” of Maharashtra and “naqaal” of Punjab. Entry to each play will be strictly on the basis of passes which can be procured from Tagore Theatre after two days. 
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Recital cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Bharatanatyam recital by danseuse Pratibha Prahlad, which was earlier scheduled to be held here on October 4, has now been cancelled. The function, which was to be a part of the Virasat series being organised by SPIC MACAY, has been cancelled in the wake of the critical condition of Pratibha’s mother.
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