Saturday, February 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


No move to privatise schools, says CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit today categorically denied that her government was contemplating to hand over under-performing government schools to private institutions.

She said the government would soon set up a committee comprising elected representatives and prominent educationists for suggesting a range of alternatives to improve the educational standards in these schools.

Inaugurating the Eco Club Meet at National Bal Bhavan, Ms Dikshit said while suggesting alternatives, the committee would broadly assess the cost factor, benefits and possible risks involved in the measures.

The Delhi Education Minister, Mr Rajkumar Chauhan, had recently announced that all non-performing government schools in Delhi would be privatised to improve their standards. He had also said that the management of schools, which were privatised, would be allowed to fix the fee structure.

The controversial proposal mooted by the Education Minister had drawn flak from various quarters, who contended that such a move would lead to commercialisation of education and also deprive the poor students of educational opportunities. 



Second language status for Urdu soon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
The Delhi Chief Minster, Ms Sheila Dikshit, today stated that Urdu would soon become the second language of the National Capital Territory. However, the issue of granting second language status to Punjabi continues to be in limbo even though the Delhi Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution to this effect two years ago. “I personally and my government are attached to the language as it is not only a language but like a honey in a glass of water,” she said inaugurating a four-day International Conference on Minorities, Education and Language here.

Ms Dikshit said her government had taken several steps to ensure that Urdu becomes the second official language shortly. She said there was no better tribute to late President Zakir Husain than to enriching Urdu language — a “symbol of dignity, love and culture”. The conference, organised jointly by the Zakir Husain Study Circle (ZHSC) and the Delhi Government, coincided with the 105th birth anniversary of the late President. The president of the study circle, Mr Salman Khurshid, expressed the hope the conference would provide an opportunity to discuss threadbare the problems faced by Urdu, minorities and their education system and suggest measures to overcome them. 



Govt orders probe into corporal punishment
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
The Government of NCT of Delhi has instituted an inquiry into the corporal punishment meted out to a student of Maharaja Agrasen Public School in north-west Delhi. Education Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said he had written to the officials concerned to submit the report by early next week.

Four-year-old Divluv Sharma was hit on the ear by his teacher for not colouring a sunflower neatly. This was the third case of corporal punishment reported over the past week. The minister said Section 123 of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 laid down the code of conduct for teachers which stipulated that “no teacher shall be guilty of, or encourage, violence or any conduct which involves moral turpitude … (no teacher shall) be guilty of misbehaviour or cruelty towards any parent, guardian, student, teacher or employee of the school.”



Cultural fare the lifeline of Surajkund Mela 
Tribune News Services

Faridabad, February 8
The ongoing annual crafts fair at the Surajkund tourist resort here is not only presenting the rich heritage of Indian crafts at one spot, but it has also become a source of true cultural education-cum-entertainment for lakhs of visitors.

Described as the `Mini-India’, Surajkund hosting this unique mela has earned laurels for the presentation of folk dances of various parts of the country.

As it is an open secret that many of the visitors are not able to purchase the wares spread out at the stalls due to “unaffordable” rates, they find the cultural programmes, including folk dances and songs, quite entertaining and fulfilling. The `chaupal’ area of the mela village is the heart of the fair here. Folk dances are presented by troupes from various parts of the country at regular intervals daily.

Many tourists do feel quite refreshed after witnessing the cultural extravaganza. About 285 cultural troupes have been invited to present traditional dances of rural India. Among these, the dance by `Siddhi Goma’ tribals of Giylat and Rajasthani folk dance have proved to be quite an attraction. The Siddhi Goma people look like Negros of Africa. In fact, forefathers of them had migrated from Africa and had settled in parts of Gujarat and Karnataka about 750 years ago. Sapera dance of Haryana and other presentations from Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have also been enchanting.

Besides the dances presented in the village, a cultural show is also held at the open air theatre at 5.30 pm daily. Some women visitors from Delhi commented that the cultural programmes had been “the lifeline of the mela”.

According to mela officials, about 1.70 lakh visitors had seen the fair by yesterday and an amount of Rs 10 lakh had been collected through sale of tickets. These include about 7,800 foreign tourists and over 8,000 schoolchildren.

The schoolchildren have been provided a free entry except on Saturday and Sunday. While the rush on holidays has been huge, the authorities charge Rs 10 per ticket on working days and Rs 20 on Saturdays and Sundays.

The village also has a public announcement centre, an administration office, telecommunication facility and even a bank for the convenience of visitors and participants. Here, anyone can take a chair (traditional `muddah’) and relax for a while although the number of such chairs is very less. 


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |