Saturday, January 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU to nominate teachers for scholarships
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The University Grants Commission has asked Panjab University to send in nominations for the proposed scholarships for teachers in seven countries. The nominations will have to reach the UGC office by February 15.

The university has been asked to communicate the information on scholarships to teachers in the university and affiliated colleges. Interested teachers should apply to the university directly along with a copy of their bio-data and work plan intended during the scholarship.

There are a total of 27 scholarships being offered by the UGC. Panjab University has been allotted a share of three scholarships. The university should preferably appoint a committee to select the meritorious teachers from among the list of applicants. The UGC will not consider the applications sent to them directly. Also teachers who have received the UGC and university assistance during the last three years are not eligible to apply for the scholarship.

Hungary has six scholarships in the fields of human and natural sciences which can be done within a period of 350 days. The maximum length of one study trip is 21 days. Greece has an exchange programme of two teachers. During the maximum stay of 20 days in one trip, the teachers are expected to deliver lectures, exchange information and participate in other academic activities. Finland will offer three fellowships and Croatia and Russia two each.

Institutions in the countries of the proposed programme will exchange highly qualified teachers, researchers and experts to promote cooperation between sharing countries. The partner sides will offer a period of 80 months which can be utilised for study tours of three to ten months duration.

The UGC will defray travel cost while the host countries will provide for the maintenance charges. The teachers availing themselves of scholarships will be paid full salary and allowances during the course of their stay abroad. They will be treated as per normal university rules.


Over 40 attend inaugural ELT seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Representatives of over 40 schools from all over India today turned up in the city to be part of the inaugural English Language Training (ELT) seminar being organised by the British Council and Hornby Trust in India. The seminar, to be further held at Puri, Lonavla and Bangalore, is part of the mandate of the British Council that supports teachers of English in India. The basic aim of the seminar, which will be held till January 29, is to create opportunities for English language professionals worldwide.

Present on the occasion of launch at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Public Administration, Sector 26, were Dr Morna Nance, Deputy Director, the British Council in India, Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Information Technology and Public Relations, UT Administration, Ms Atiya Zaidi, Chief Editor, Ratna Sagar Publishing House, which is sponsoring the seminar series and Mr Sushant Banerjee, manager of the British Library in Chandigarh.

Inaugurated by Dr Morna Nance. the seminar will have a two-pronged objective: one to enhance professionalism of English teachers in India and another to encourage teachers to network with their colleagues in India, South Asia and the world through the Internet. An interesting relationship between IT and the teaching methodology was woven by Mr Vivek Atray who was the chief guest on the occasion. He talked of computers as enablers and stated that the current age was an age of visuals, which is possible only through multimedia techniques. "Learning software engineering is not all that important. It is more important to pick up nuances of IT to improve teaching at primary and secondary levels. With the use of interactive CD ROMs, you can help the child visualise what you are talking. Where picture is worth a 1000 words, a CD Rom is worth much more."

A mention of the upcoming IT Park in Chandigarh was also made by MR Atray, who said that leading companies were being invited for investments in the project.

Ms Atiya Zaidi talked of Ratna Sagar's association with the British Council in promoting English which, she said, was a way of life. "Our 18-year-old publishing house attempts to create flexibility within the given framework of Indian Boards. For the past five years the thrust has been on ELT through which English has to be enhanced as a medium of communication."

Among the resource persons roped in by the council to conduct the seminar are Graeme Reid from Barcelona, Spain, and Mrs Meera Balchandran, founder principal, Ramjas School in New Delhi. Both the tutors are experienced trainers in the English language teaching and the integration of IT in the English classroom. Mr Graeme Reid, the UK consultant, has been teaching for nine years and has conducted several teacher training courses in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and India. He now works for Santillana Net Languages in Barcelona who design and teach language courses over the internet. Graeme also specializes in non-linear interactive narrative and video making on the web.

During the course, the tutors will cover a whole range of topics from the resources available on the net to planning a lesson from the internet. As Graeme put it today, "We will begin with an introduction and go on to create a project which can later be implemented in school situations." Doing the coordination was Dr Rajni Badlani, manager, ELT, the British Council. 


British Council working on ‘learning zones’
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
With the British Council planning to expand its services as a facilitator of education in India, Chandigarh stands to benefit largely. Over the next about three to six months the British Library in the city will become a centre of not only various online library services, but also a range of English language learning materials, including books, audio materials, videos, CD-Roms and other online services.

At the helm of affairs is Dr Morna Nance, a dynamic British officer, currently posted in New Delhi as Deputy Director of the British Council in India. In an interview with the Tribune today she informed that the ‘Knowledge and Learning Centre’ recently introduced by the council in Delhi, had a new look library with state of the art equipment, over 72 computers to enable members to access Internet-based services like databases in the UK, apart from journals and newspapers. The centre in Delhi had been set up as a pilot project which, if successful, would be implemented in many other Indian cities.

In the city to inaugurate seminar on English language training (ELT) today, Ms Nance talked highly of Chandigarh’s response to the council’s services through the library. “We are absolutely delighted by the huge response from the city. We are here to provide facilities and we are constantly monitoring our own services.” The Deputy Director mentioned that shortly Chandigarh would also have a full-fledged English learning zone. Under the zone’s activities, monthly seminars on the resources available in the centre would also be held.

Apart from that, the council’s faith in city’s ability to assimilate learning techniques is evident from the fact that the first in the series of many ELT seminars to be held in India was today inaugurated in the city. Talking about the seminars, Dr Nance said the British Council and the Hornby Trust had earlier held a series of such seminars last year. “But this year we planned to introduce the seminars in India, because we treat India as a master in information technology. English, being the language of the world, had to be promoted in modern context where new IT techniques can be introduced in its teaching methodology in classrooms. We are working with the regional institutes in India on a regular basis.”

Personally, Dr Nance says: “She is constantly stunned by the size, variety and diversity of India.” On her seventh overseas posting to India, Dr Nance also took a two-month training in Hindi before joining office in New Delhi. In fact, she is heavily into reading contemporary Indian literature. But more than the country, Dr Nance was intrigued by the great architecture of Chandigarh. She said, “I think Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is an amazing environmental space. I will also visit the city museum where Le Corbusier discussed the mega plan of the city with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.”



PU back to old hostel timings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Following a protest rally by girl hostellers late last night, the Panjab University authorities have decided to revert to old timings for closing the hostel gate.

Earlier, the university had issued guidelines asking girls to be back in their hostels by 9 p.m. Until Wednesday, girls were allowed to stay outside till 10.30 p.m. and guests were let in till 9.30 p.m.

A group of agitating students from Sarojini Hall and Kasturba Hall along with leaders of the Panjab University Students Union and the Students Organisation of Panjab University representatives reached the residence of the Dean Student Welfare where it was decided to revert to old timings.

Girls said the change in the timings was ‘too sudden’ and was not acceptable to them. 


Entrance tests may go
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Panjab University is planning to do away with entrance examinations for several courses from the academic session 2002-2003.

High-level committees have recommended scrapping away entrance examinations for courses like Master of Commerce, Master of Science (Information Technology) and Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Application. Another committee has recommended scrapping entrance tests for a number of other postgraduate courses on the campus. Such a decision would need to be cleared by the university Syndicate and the Senate.

The panel had recommended that the demand for additional seats and fresh affiliation for M.Com, M.Sc (IT) and PGDCSA courses be considered only in exceptional cases. Otherwise, a status quo should be maintained in terms of already sanctioned seats to maintain minimum academic standards.

The committee recommended that admission to M.Com, M.Sc (IT) and PGDCSA courses in affiliated colleges be made strictly on merit, as per the eligibility criteria of the university and the reservation policy of the state.

There was a general agreement that admissions should be college wise. However, a college principal said, in cities where there were more than three colleges, the PU should have centralised admissions.

The committee proposed that 10 per cent seats for these courses be reserved for candidates of economically weaker sections with a first-class score in qualifying examinations.

Another committee said, for admissions to the M.Com course in colleges and the Department of Correspondence Studies, there should be no entrance test. About the course in the University Business School, the panel said the matter should be discussed by the Board of Control.

There was a consensus on the issue that the university should not conduct entrance examinations for MA (Education), MA (Physical Education), B.Ed, B.Lib and MIS, Master in Library and Information Science, PGDCSA, M.Sc (Anthropology) honours, M.Sc (Biophysics) honours, M.Sc (Mathematics), M.Sc (Statistics) and M.Sc (Biotechnology) courses.

The panel said when the number of applicants was smaller than the number of seats, there was no point in holding an entrance test. It was decided that the examination be abolished from the coming session.

It was decided that there should be no entrance test for admission to M.Sc courses in affiliated colleges.


Nishatha, Avinish win debate contest
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 18
Nishatha of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Avinish of the Dev Samaj College for Girls, Sector 45, jointly won the inter-college debate competition organised by the Chandigarh Librarians’ Association as a part of the Competition Master Library-related competitions held at the Dev Samaj College for Girls in Sector 45 here today. The topic for the debate was “A nation that reads leads.”

As far as 10 colleges of the city participated in the contest. Latika of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Anant Modgil of Government College, Sector 11, shared the second prize while Jaswinder Kaur of Government College, Sector 46, and Lal Singh Thakar of the Government College of Education, Sector 20, were placed in the third position.

Giving away the prizes, Ms Lalit Joshi, Mayor, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, who was the chief guest on the occasion, urged the students to make use of the libraries for their mental growth.



Business quiz on Jan 31
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 18
Third annual mastermind business quiz, will be held on January 31 at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18 here.

Modelled on the “Brand Equity Quiz”, the Mastermind quiz is the only business quiz in the region sponsored by leading companies. This time the quiz has been combined with a marketing game in which teams will present campaigns on a chosen product and compete for prizes. The game is being held for the first time in the city. The total prizes are worth Rs 2,500 for which teams from schools, colleges and corporates are being invited.

A unique aspect of the quiz is that it is being organised entirely by students. According to one of the organisers, Shikha Chadha, “The quiz is a part of the personality development programme. It helps in building up the confidence as the participants are made to speak in front of a crowd”.


Seminar ends 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The national seminar on second generation reforms organised by the University Business School (UBS) ended at Panjab University here today.

Six technical sessions relating to financial, banking, public sector disinvestment, foreign trade, social sector and conceptual framework of second generation reforms were held during the conference.

Prof Rudra Dutt of Delhi University felt that the growth rate has increased but poverty had not declined. Prof B.M. Lal Nigam, Delhi University, stressed upon the need of having reforms in the regulations governing the financial sector. Prof S.L. Kansara of the Department of Economics, PU, said that there had been an intensification of competition in the Indian industry after economic reforms. Prof P.P. Arya, UBS, stated that reforms had increased the exploitation of labour and led to more of alienation because of emphasis on contractualisation and casualisation of labour.

Prof B.S Ghuman, Department of Public Administration, PU, pointed out that although aims of disinvestment included wider public participation, increasing performance, penetration of market besides raising revenue, all three phases of disinvestment had concentrated only on the latter.


College students block road
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 18
Students of Government College in Phase 6 here blocked the Chandigarh-Kharar road today for more than two hours. The students were protesting against the transport authorities for not halting buses at a stoppage near the college.

The students also said that a student of BA final year was injured today while boarding a bus. Another complaint against the government and private bus operators was that the students were asked to pay fare despite holding bus passes.



PU results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Panjab University has declared results of the following engineering examinations held during November-December 2001: BE (Production) II semester, ME (E&Ec) VI semester, BE (Computer Science and Engg) V semester and BE (Computer Science and Engg) VII semester.

The copies of the result gazette are available at the PU main enquiry counter only for personal consultation on all working days during office hours only.


Good turnout for council poll
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 18
About 17 candidates of 104 affiliated government and non-government colleges contested for the 15 seats of the Panjab University Academic Council (Lecturer category) here today.

The elections in various colleges saw a huge turnout of voters, with the Sector 46 Government College registering 98 per cent voting, while the SGGS College registered about 92 per cent voting. The result for this category will be declared on January 21.


SP told to register case against jailers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
In less than a year after a convict was allegedly refused permission by the jail authorities to appear for the BA (II) examinations following his reported refusal to bribe officials, Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed Gurgaon’s Superintendent of Police to get a case registered against the Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendent of Gurgaon’s district jail.

Delivering the verdict on a petition filed by Gurgaon resident Rinku, who is undergoing 12 years rigorous imprisonment, the Judge Mr Justice Jain ordered that the first information report should be registered either by the local police or by the state Vigilance Bureau on the basis of the petitioner’s complaint addressed to the Station House Officer of the police station concerned within seven days of receiving a copy of the order.

The Judge also directed that the matter shall be investigated by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police since the allegations were against the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Gurgaon’s district jail. “The investigations shall be completed within three months of registration of the FIR and depending upon the investigation result, the final report shall be submitted in court forthwith”, he concluded.

In his petition, Rinku had claimed that on May 29 last year, the Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendent informed him that he would be sent to Delhi to appear for the examination only after he paid Rs 1,000 to them. Since the money was not paid, Rinku was not permitted to appear for the examination, his counsel added.

Order to IAS select panel

On a petition filed by a PCS officer in less than a week before the select committee was to meet to decide promotions under the IAS (Appointment and Promotion) Regulations, a Division Bench of the High Court today directed that the Committee’s recommendations should be kept in a sealed cover.

Claiming to have been selected for appointment as an IAS officer, along with seven others, Mr G.R. Bansal had asserted that the Union Public Service Commission had asked Punjab’s Chief Secretary that the select committee’s meeting, for considering Mr Ashok Kumar Singla, was to be held on January 22. The UPSC had also stated that a de novo meeting would not be held for considering all 27 officers.

Act against jail officials

Taking up a suo-motu case pertaining to the alleged excesses committed by the jail authorities at Ferozepur Central Jail, Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the High Court on Friday ordered the Inspector-General of Police (Prisons) to take necessary action in accordance with the law as directed by the court in another case.

In a ruling, Mr Justice Jain, however, clarified that “aggrieved party would be at liberty to file a criminal complaint, if so advised”. The court had taken suo motu notice of the matter after a letter was written by Faridkot’s then District and Sessions Judge to Mr Justice M.L. Singhal about the excesses on undertrials in the jail being allegedly committed by the authorities.

Disposing of another petition, Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the High Court had, meanwhile, directed the Inspector-General of Prisons to look into the recommendations contained in a report by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and take appropriate action.


Chief Postmaster-General told to conduct probe
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 18
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) here today directed the Chief Post Master General, Punjab Circle, to get an inquiry conducted by either the local police or the CBI against 27 candidates from Punjab for the post of Postal Assistant, whose candidature was rejected on the alleged ground of producing forged documents of Class XII from the Bihar Intermediate Educational Council, Patna.

“In case the certificate obtained by them is found to be have been obtained in a fraudulent manner or sources, or obtained without actually attending regular classes or without actually taking examination, the police or the CBI should be requested to prosecute them”, said a division bench of CAT comprising judges, Mr J.S. Dhaliwal and Mr J.L. Negi.

CAT further said that” the Postal Department as well as the investigation agency will be at liberty to take further steps against these applicants and the officials of the Bihar Intermediate Educational Council and “ other guilty persons” as per investigation or inquiry report”

The applicants belonging to Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Sangrur and Gurdaspur had moved two different applications before CAT, alleging that despite their selection to the post of Postal Assistant, their candidature was cancelled by the Department of Posts on the ground that they had obtained certificates through dubious means.

CAT observed that the certificates relating to the passing of Class XII examination from the Bihar Intermediate Education Council, Patna in the year 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1993, which were issued enblock on June 27, 1995, were bearing almost consecutive serial number.

The Bench also observed that the detailed certificate had glaring discrepancies such as word “intermediate” was printed as “Entermediate” and the certificate relating to examination passed in 1991 were purportedly issued in 1993. The tribunal also noticed that the officials of the Bihar Intermediate Educational Council had not shown relevant records to the investigating team of the Postal Department and had only stated that the certificate under reference was issued by the said council.

While rejecting the applications moved by the candidates, CAT opined that “it would be much better for the Postal Department to adopt a process of holding its own competitive test or examination in various subjects for recruitment to the posts of Postal Assistant even when the minimum qualification for such recruitment is provided. That at least would have ensured examination of the merit”.



Statement recorded in murder case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 18
The statement of a witness was recorded before a local court in the murder case of former MLA of Kharar, Bachiter Singh, here today. The case has now been adjourned till February 25. Bachiter Singh was allegedly shot dead by the accused, Jugraj Singh, along with five other persons.

Blast case adjourned: The Sector 34 bomb blast case was adjourned on Friday for January 21 after argument. The defence counsel argued that two accused, Sher Singh and Gurbax Singh, were falsely implicated in the case in the Sector 34 bomb blast case as the scooter in which the bomb was kept did not belong to the accused. The defence counsel also said that documents of the scooter were also in other persons name.

On the other hand, the prosecution alleged that the scooter had been in the possession of the accused and the number plate of the scooter was also recovered on the statement made by the accused.

Bail plea dismissed: The bail plea moved by one of the accused, Navjot Singh, in the Beant Singh assassination case has been dismissed by the UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S Bhalla. The judge dismissed the bail on the ground that the statement of about 200 witnesses was yet to be recorded before the court.

Even one of the accused in the case, Jagtar Singh Hawara, had made statement before the court that the accused, Navjot Singh, was involved in the assassination of Beant Singh.

Anticipatory bail: A local court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to Shweta Gupta in a rape case. The applicant was granted bail with the directions to the police that a five-day notice should be served to the applicant before arresting her.

The applicant had pleaded that she was falsely implicated in the case. The five accused in the case had already been granted regular bail. One of the accused in the case had been granted anticipatory bail by the court.

10-yr RI: A local court on Thursday sentenced Surinder Kumar to 10-year rigorous imprisonment in a case of dowry death. Meanwhile, three other accused in the case were acquitted by the court.

The complainant, the father of the victim, had alleged that the accused, Surinder Kumar, along with her family members harassed her daughter. The body of the woman was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her in-laws house.

Rape case: Shankar Yadav was sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment on Thursday by a local court in a rape case. It was alleged that the accused had raped a minor girl. The police had registered a case under Sections 307 and 506 of the IPC.


Special lok adalat today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January18
The District Legal Service Authority will be holding a special lok adalat to settle the bank and summary cases and traffic challans tomorrow, informed the UT District and Sessions Judge here today.


Ajaib Chitrakar felicitated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 18
Prominent Punjabi artist, writer and lyricist Ajaib Chitrakar who is currently holding his solo exhibition at Punjab Kala Bhavan art gallery was honoured by the Punjab Arts Council here today.

Expressing his joy over the felicitation, 78-year-old artist and writer of more than 60 books on children said he has been drawing inspiration from the life and emotions. Besides poetry, Ajaib Chitrakar has also contributed in Punjabi ghazals as a lyricist.

Chairperson of the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi Mehar Singh said the artist who has been leading a low key life created just for the sake of creativity, never bothering for limelight. Mr Harcharan Singh, chairperson of the council, hailed his contribution as a lyricist of Punjabi ghazals. Noted writer Santokh Singh Dhir and famous artist Shiv Singh also spoke on this occasion.


Swedish author in city
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, January 18
You may not understand the phrases of Swedish poetry he recites in his deep voice, but his intense look and the aura he wears around him are mesmerising enough to make you to listen to every single word he utters. He is Lars Anderson, author of nine Swedish novels and translator of many articles, who has come to town to help out our own poet Teji Grover in some translation work.

Working for the Indo-Swedish translation project funded by the Writers Union, Sweden, and Sahitya Academy here, Lars is working for Teji Grover’s anthology “Barf ki khusbu”.

“I am not a poet,” says Lars, “but working for this project has given me an insight into the world of poetry which is fascinating,” he adds. And not surprisingly, when it comes to writing, lyrical expression is his strong point .

Among his novels, Snocljus (Snow light), Pestkungens legend (The legend of the plagued king), Vattenorgeln (The water organ) are a few that have attained him the position of one of the most popular writer in Sweden.

The success of first novel “Brandlyra” (Lyre of fire) that came out in 1974 changed the entire course of his life. “After this I started taking writing seriously,” he says. He was so devoted to writing that he abandoned his medical studies midway to be a full fledged writer.

Proficient in many languages including English and Norwegian, Lars has done a number of translation works. His recent translation work includes Arundhoti Roy’s essays on Narmada river. An avid traveller, Lars has also written a few biographies and a travelogue besides contributing in many newspapers and magazines.

Awarded with several major awards including the prestigious Salma Lagerlof award in Sweden, Lars is already into his next project that will be based on his lifetime experience.

“The book will not be exactly an autobiography but something based on experience,” he says. And the good news is that in his book India will have a special place.

“India is a special place with its rich cultural heritage and historical background.

The land is so vibrating with spiritualism and intellect, that one can actually feel some kind of energy here,” he says. What about Chandigarh? It is a nice place but does not trigger the Indian feeling, he adds.


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