Thursday, January 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


A don in two languages
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Prof Kapil Kapoor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, is probably one of the few academicians who has the unique distinction of being professor of two subjects as varied as English and Sanskrit.

A product of Panjab University, and a master of both these subjects, Prof Kapil Kapoor has been with JNU since 1973 teaching English. ‘‘I have been made Concurrent Professor of Sanskrit only a few months back and I am proud of it.’’ he says.

Talking to TNS about the changes that had come about in JNU and its culture over the years, Prof Kapoor replied that JNU had changed over the years but it still remained the best place to teach and study in the country, especially languages and social sciences. ‘‘There are no preset subject matters, no attendance, no external examinations. One is free to choose the topic one wants to teach and the student is free to choose the subject he wants to learn. This kind of freedom is unique to JNU.

‘‘But there is no doubt that the place had probably reached its peak like human life where, after a certain high point, one starts to fall. There is a certain fall but then it could be that it is I who have peaked in my life and am degrading. But I am glad this university gave me the opportunity to teach English language students panini’s grammar and many such texts, ’’he says.

Criticising that JNU had become a highly politicised centre for studies, Prof Kapoor said some positive changes did come about in the 1980s when the admission process was changed and an all-India entrance test made compulsory for admission.

Although the university had tried to make a name for itself in teaching and study of science, it had not been possible. ‘‘We are still not attracting the best students in the country in science subjects and we remain second priority. ’’

Talking about students, Prof Kapoor said they had become more disciplined and less politically oriented on the campus. ‘‘Less than 20 per cent of the total students take part in politics on the campus but there are 5 per cent who are nothing short of professional politicians. I keep away from anything remotely connected to politics. I don’t even join any signature campaign. My answerability is only to my students.’’

Prof Kapoor is a staunch advocate of learning by reading the original texts. ‘‘I tell my students to read less but to read it in the original, to internalise what is being read and respect all that they think. Reading the original texts is also very economical.’’

He is one of the very popular teachers at JNU and attributes his teaching style as having been learnt from drishtant, meaning a common frame of reference as given in ancient Indian texts. ‘‘Examples from what one sees around are taken to explain difficult concepts to students and this is something which works very well,’’ he adds.


Panel on copying compiles report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
To combat mass-copying in the examinations of undergraduate and postgraduate classes on campus and its affiliated colleges, Panjab University had formed a high-level committee after Prof P.P. Arya, a PU fellow, had raised a question in this regard in the university Senate last year. Now, this committee has compiled its recommendations.

The committee met at least five times to compile this comprehensive report. The panel comprised Prof S.L. Sharma, Prof Bal Krishan, Prof Akhtar Mehmood, Professor Arya, Mr A.C. Vaid, Mr P.S. Sangha, Mr R.C. Jeewan and Dr Cecelia Anthony.

Professor Arya had taken out a number of slips from his pocket and scattered these on the floor of the House, demonstrating various material for copying. He had found this material on examination duty. At this, Prof K.N. Pathak, the Vice-Chancellor, had constituted this committee.

The committee recommends that supervision of examination centres should only be by teachers and not the non-teaching staff. This duty should be made “compulsory” for all teachers, regardless of their rank or seniority. A large number of teachers had abstained from examination duty.

Refusal to perform examination duty should be “considered a wilful absence” and “mentioned in service records”.

The committee has stressed the need for a comprehensive reformation of the examination system. “Continuous evaluation should be introduced at all levels. There should be two house examinations instead of one. The credit of both papers should be 10 per cent of the total marks which should be added to the final-examination score,” it recommends.

It also says that negligent supervisors should be punished suitably. It should be obligatory for every examiner to remain alert and moving instead of sitting leisurely.

Invigilators deployed outside the centres should keep a watch on watermen and the other Class IV employees on duty. Toilets, corridors and open windows should be checked thoroughly.

The panel recommends holding of a one-day workshop on details of the examination duty. Frisking “with dignity” should be compulsory and the staff need to submit a certificate in this regard.

The university has been asked to segregate private and correspondence-studies candidates from regular students. College principals should not delegate their duties.

The PU needs to set question papers on the pattern of the NET and the CBSE. The procedure for dealing with the unfair-means cases should be made simpler, so that, inspection teams do not face problems in completing formalities. The decisions in these cases should be taken within two months.

Those found copying or using unfair means should be debarred from taking any university examination. Monitoring cells should be established in the university office as well as the colleges concerned.


British Council to hold language training seminars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
For those interested in enhancing their skills in the English language, this one is going to be a golden chance. The British Council is joining hands with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to present the British Council Horn by 2002 ELT (English Language Training) seminars, which aim to provide professional training and development to primary, secondary and higher secondary teachers of English across India. All seminars to be conducted will have a maximum intake of 50 participants, 25 places being open to practising teachers on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Come January 18 and the city will witness the inauguration of the first seminar in the series of four which will take place at different places. The seminars, to be held at different locations throughout India, will last till January 29. The first seminar in the series will be held at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Public Administration, Sector 26, and will be inaugurated on January 18 by Dr Morna Nance, Deputy Director, British Council. The topic to be covered is “Successful strategies for information technology in the primary classroom.” Director Public Relations Vivek Atray will be the chief guest on the occasion. While the first seminar will be held in Chandigarh, the other three will be held in Puri (Orissa), Lonavla village and Bangalore.

According to information available, each seminar will have a distinct topic and all seminars will have an international tutorial team comprising faculty from the UK and senior ELT resource people from India. This year the seminars will focus on teacher development, IT in the English classroom and on teaching spoken English. All seminars will be interactive, skill-based and activity-oriented.

On the completion of the seminar, the participants will a receive a certificate of attendance from the British Council. Also they will be offered membership, free of charge, to an electronic teacher development network, the English Teaching Contacts scheme (ELTeCS), facilitated by the British Council. This scheme aims to provide a virtual forum for teachers in India which will help them to share the best practice and common problems through an electronic discussion list, to share project ideas and to enhance regional cooperation in project planning and implementation, to promote active networking opportunities through proactive provision of information on seminars and conferences across the world.

Applications for participation in the seminar can be obtained from the British Library in Sector 8. 


Roslin Institute professor to deliver lecture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Prof Harry Griffin of Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, UK, will be in the city tomorrow to deliver a lecture at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Sector 29.

Roslin Institute is one of the leading centres for its research in farm animal breeding. When Dolly the sheep was created by Roslin and announced to the world in February 1997, she became the biggest science story of the decade and much of Dr Griffin’s time since has been taken up in responding to the media.

Prof Griffin’s lecture on ‘Social and Ethical Implications of New Biotechnologies’ tomorrow is likely to raise a large number of issues on the matter. Dr Griffin has also contributed to scietific and ethical debates on cloning worldwide and worked with patients’ groups such as Parkinson’s Disease Society and Genetics Interest Group.

The lecture will be presided over by Prof Sue Mayer, Director, Genewatch, UK, a public interest not for profit science policy research group, looking at the implications of the new genetic technologies for society, agriculture, environment and animal welfare. She is a member of the UK Government’s Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission. The lecture is scheduled to be held at the IMTECH Auditorium at 2 pm.


Seminar on second generation reforms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Panjab University Business School is organising a two-day seminar on “second generation reforms settled and unsettled issues” tomorrow onwards, an official press release said here today.

Mr Prem Sharda, Vice-Chancellor of South Gujarat University, will inaugurate the seminar. Prof Ashok Mathur of Jawaharlal Nehru University will deliver the keynote address. The seminar will have four technical sessions.


PU results declared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Panjab University today declared the results of certain examinations of engineering courses conducted during November-December 2001, an official press release said.

The results of BE (production) third semester, BE (production) seventh semester and BE (electrical) seventh semester were declared today. The results of BE (mett) third semester and BE( E and EC) will be declared tomorrow. Copies of the result gazettes will be available at the enquiry counter on all working days.


No arbitrary action in mercy appointments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a significant judgement, has ruled that the state cannot act in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner between similarly situated persons while appointing candidates to government posts on compassionate grounds.

Pronouncing orders, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice Amar Bir Singh Gill and Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, further ruled that the state was required to extend the benefit of compassionate appointment equally to all deserving candidates.

The verdict was delivered on a petition filed by an Assistant Food and Supplies Officer challenging the orders reverting him to the post of Inspector. In his petition, Gulbahar Singh had claimed that he was offered appointment as Inspector on compassionate grounds after his father, a District Food and Supplies Controller, died. He was, however, promoted as Assistant Food and Supplies Officer after he filed a representation following the appointment of another candidate, Sarabjit Singh, to the same post. He was nevertheless reverted after a writ petition was filed in the High Court by a third candidate.

After going through the record and hearing the arguments, the Judges also quashed the order reverting the petitioner and directed the state of Punjab and other respondents to consider him for promotion to the next higher post in accordance with the law within three months.

Interim bail to housewife

The High Court on Wednesday granted interim bail for three months to a Faridabad housewife, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case by a District and Sessions Judge .

In her petition, a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice Amar Bir Singh Gill and Mr Justice V.M. Jain, counsel for 24-year-old Mamta had contended that she was pregnant and her delivery was due later this month.

Notice in custodial death case

In an alleged custodial death case, Mr Justice M.L. Singhal of the High Court today issued notice of motion to the Central Bureau of Investigation at Delhi for February 1 while taking up an anticipatory bail plea filed by a Haryana Sub Inspector Sewa Ram and constable Pritam Singh.

A case was registered by the premier investigation agency on the High Court directions after an Ambala district resident Naram Singh, allegedly tortured at a police post in September 1994, succumbed to his injuries. He, along with his brother, was reportedly taken to the police post following a quarrel.

DPEs’ selection challenged
Legal Correspondent

A Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice M.S. Gill issued notice of motion on a writ petition filed by Mr Sudesh Kumar and four others challenging the selection of DPEs made by the state of Haryana.

In the petition it has been alleged that the government did not disclose any criteria for selection and did not follow the essential conditions incorporated in the advertisement that the number of candidates to be called for interview would be according to their academic qualifications.

It was alleged that as many as 38 candidates had been selected from Sirsa district, the Chief Minister’s constituency. The candidates selected from Sirsa had much lower qualifications than the petitioners, who also had been awarded higher marks in the written examination. Thus the selections were mala fide and had been made allegedly at the behest of the Chief Minister. The Division Bench, while issuing notice, further observed that all appointments made would be subject to a decision on the writ petition.

Probe into boxer’s non-selection

A Division Bench, consisting of Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, took serious note of the allegations made in the writ petition filed by Ms Tapti Sood from Hoshiarpur, who despite her selection in the women’s boxing team for the National Games, was not allowed to participate due to the alleged mala fides of the selection committee. After hearing arguments, the Bench disposed of the writ petition with the direction to the Secretary as well as Director (Sports) to conduct a detailed inquiry into the allegation made by the petitioner and to inform her of the result. 


Accused seeks bail in Beant case
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, January 16
An undertrial in the Beant Singh assassination case, Navjot Singh today said that for the last seven years he was confined in the Burail jail despite the fact that there were no sufficient evidence against him.

Navjot Singh made a statement before the UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla. The accused said that he deserved the concession of bail as he was falsely implicated in the case at a special court in Model Buaril Jail.

The counsel for the accused had argued that the prosecution has so far not been able to produce any evidence against him. The accused was in custody since September 1995 and, therefore, he deserved to be given the benefit of bail.

It was also stated that as per the knowledge of the accused all the witnesses named against him have been produced before the court by the prosecution and nothing substantial came out against the accused.

It was also pleaded in the bail plea that in view of the given circumstances it would be in the interest of justice if the applicant was released on bail pending trial as the same was not likely to be concluded in the near future.

On the other hand, the CBI counsel opposed the bail plea that there was sufficient ground against the accused and number of witnesses had proved his involvement in the case. The CBI counsel had also stated that the agency had seized documents from the accused’s possession which proved his association with the other accused. They also said that the accused had made statement before the CBI for his involvement in the case. The counsel also said that the bail plea moved by the accused had already been dismissed by the High Court. The judge has reserved the order for tomorrow.

Nine persons Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara, Paramjit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Balwant Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Nasib Singh and Navjot Singh are facing trial for their alleged role in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh.

The case will now come-up for hearing on January 22, 24 and 25. Meanwhile, the statement of one of the witnesses, Kamal Kishore, in the case was recorded before the judge. He said that he had identified the body of one the victims, Laxman Das.


Bail in cheating case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 16
A city resident, Suresh Pal, was today granted bail by a local court in a case of cheating and forgery. The accused was granted bail on furnishing a bond for Rs 10,000 with a surety of the like amount. The accused was granted bail by the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr R.C. Godara.

The police had registered a case under Sections 330, 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC in the Central police Station. Suresh Pal was arrested and produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate on January 4, 2002. The magistrate remanded the accused in police custody till January 5. Then the accused was remanded to judicial custody till January 19.

The applicant had moved plea on the ground that he was implicated in the case. As per the prosecution that another accused, Amit Verma, had stolen the cheque of the complainant and the accused, Amritpal Singh, had presented the cheque in the bank for encashment. During interrogation Amrit Pal disclosed the name of Suresh Pal.

The judge said in the order that the accused had already been interrogated by the police and he had been in custody since January 3. The judge also said that no useful purpose would be served to keep him in custody. Hence he was granted bail.

Cops acquitted: Three city police constables were today acquitted by a local court in a case of assault. The three, Jasbir Singh, Dilbag Singh and Balbir Singh, were acquitted by the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L Mohal.

As per the allegation of the prosecution on March 8, 1997, complainant Ashok Kumar along with constable Mohinder Singh, was on patrol duty from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. and carrying an SLR. At about 10.30 p.m. when they reached near one of the houses in Sector 30, the three accused came there on a scooter and assaulted the complainant.

It was further alleged that Dilbar Singh had snatched the pistol from the complainant and hit him with the butt of the pistol. The accused also tried to shot at the complainant. Another accused, Jasbir Singh, had also snatched the SLR from Mohinder Singh and hit him with the pistol butt. The city police had filed a challan against the accused under Sections 307, 332, 353 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Sentenced: An accused, Shamsher Ahmed, a city resident, was today sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment in a case of criminal intimidation by a local court. The accused was also fined Rs 500. The police had registered the case under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC against the accused.

In a different case, an accused, Pummy, a resident of Janata Colony, was today sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment in a case under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act by a local court. The accused was fined Rs 1,000.

In another case, an accused, Satpal, was sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment in a case of cheque bounce by a local court. The complainant had alleged that the cheque for Rs 19, 000 issued by the accused was bounced by the bank due to lack of sufficient fund.


SC decision hailed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 16
The INLD general secretary, Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, has hailed the Supreme Court verdict directing the state of Punjab to complete the SYL project within a year. He said this had laid to rest the allegations that Mr Om Prakash Chautala was in cahoots with Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

He said this was a historic victory for Haryana. He said the canal would serve as a lifeline to most parts of the state that were reeling under water scarcity. He exhorted people of the state to celebrate this victory as Deepawali.

Meanwhile, members of the INLD, led by Mr Chaudhary, distributed sweets at Majri chowk this morning. 


Advocate fined
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 16
The disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana has imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on an advocate in the Improvement Trust, Barnala, versus Navjit Singh Brar case at the District Courts. 

The advocate, Mr Brar, was required to pay the fine within 15 days from the date of order of the committee, failing which his licence as an advocate would be suspended for two years and he would be debarred from practising throughout India, the Secretary of the council, Mr C.M. Munjal, said a press release today. Back


B.S. Bedi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Mr B.S. Bedi has been appointed a member of the UT District Consumer Forum-II following a decision of the UT Administration here today. Mr Bedi was retired as the District and Sessions Judge from the UT District Courts. 



Shail’s voice has a passionate touch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Some people start lucky, just as Shail Oswal did. Fortunately for him, the twilight zone never happened. A year back this 23-year-old comfortably stepped into the ever-bursting space of “pop singers “ and created his own spot, from where he continues to cut music albums. Though market monitors do not entirely dismiss the mettle of this young singer, they do talk about his major promoter, Lucky Star Entertainment company, which is the sister concern of Oswal Chemicals, the unit handled by Shail’s family.

But this connection apart, there is a certain amount of melody in Shail’s voice which draws a listener’s attention. Any one who has cared to lend ears to ‘Teri kuchh yaadein’, the title track of his new album will vouch for the passionate touch in his voice. From his last album, the singer has matured in technique and choice. As he admitted at the Chandigarh Press Club today, “It is very important to feel the lyrics. That is the only way to do justice to music and the music maker.”

The current album, for whose promotion Shail was in the city today, has ;lyrics by Faiz Anwar (the man who writes for Sonu Nigam) and music by Milind Sagar. There are two music videos. While ‘Teri kuchh yaadein’ has been shot in Shimla, the other song has been shot in Mauritius. The latter’s video was shown today for press preview. Although handled by a rather fresh professional in the field by the name of Azim Parker, the video shows promise. It is in consonance with the lyrics.

The company is planning to launch the cassette close to Valentine’s Day so that “it can be exchanged as a gift on the occasion.” As for Shail, he is hopeful from his new album, despite the fact that he would have to counter tough competition. With training in music under Biddu, Shail appears confident of taking on the tide. But he is clear about the fact that he does not want to follow the herd. He said: “I have faith in my ability to be different. It is the depth and range of individual voices that matters the most, never mind the rush of singers.”

As of date, Shail may not be on the wish list of many music directors, but in the long run he is certainly looking forward to films. He has done two playback numbers, out of which one if for Aadesh Srivastava.

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