Saturday, April 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Private schools for review of resumption notices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Chandigarh Private Schools Association in a memorandum submitted to the UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) yesterday demanded that resumption notices issued to private schools in residential areas be reviewed and the schools be allowed to function with certain restrictions.

The Administration has earmarked 50 sites of 1000 sq. yd for preparatory/kindergarten schools. Preparatory schools have 100-125 students and could not afford such big sites. With powers under provision 9 of the rules under the Act, the Administration has allowed nursing homes to continue in residential premises on certain conditions.

The matter concerns 41,000 students, 82,000 parents, 3500 female teachers and other staff. The association said that the problem should be seen as that of human hardship, which is avoidable within the law and in public interest.

As per a judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, it is a requirement that recognised schools and those unrecognised schools, which fulfill the norms, may be allowed to continue for the present and the high-powered committee under the chairpersonship of the Advisor should examine the feasibility, viability and justification of allowing continued running of these institutions. The committee shall take appropriate decision, and if necessary, suggest amendment of relevant rules and regulations for allowing the educational institutions to be run at the present sites, the association said, while quoting from the judgment.

It, therefore, implies that all unrecognised institutions functioning from residential premises should first be evaluated to see which of them fulfill the norms, and action to issue notices is to be suspended in the first phase.

The present policy of the Administration is explained by taking average area of a site offered with many sites for primary school. The cost of 6228 sq yd land @ Rs 1800 is Rs 1.48 crore, the cost of building Rs 50 lakh, furnishing and fixtures Rs 15 lakh and annual lease money Rs 3.70 lakh. Under these circumstances, only very rich Trusts, or industrialists/businessmen will invest in it as a business proposal.

The association pleaded that schools with 200-300 students can't dream of such money. Big private schools with palatial buildings are only for the elite. Our schools are those run by widows of militant victims, as self-employed teachers, feeding their families in the absence of bread winner. Then there are senior citizens well past the age of 65, who started their schools some 40 years ago, and could not construct afresh at this age.



When teachers rose to welcome kids
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 12
Newly admitted Class Nursery students of The Gurukul, Sector 20, and their parents were given a unique welcome by the staff members of the school on the first day of the new session.

The school management had organised three sessions of welcome address for different groups of children. As soon as the children entered the school premises, each child was presented a friendship band. This was followed by a welcome song by teachers.

A puppet show by teachers caught the interest of the students. A choreography on “Old Mac Donald Had A farm”, was also presented. When one of the teachers dressed up as Old Mac Donald appeared in the class, the children reached out to him to shake hand with him and demand presents, thinking Old Mac to be Santa Claus. Some teachers were dressed up as cat, dog and a duck.

Later, the students played ‘pass the parcel’ game, where they were taught to match objects that appeared on their chit with the ones displayed by the teachers. The teachers then told the parents about the ‘early learning development programme’.

Meanwhile, Amravati Public School welcomed its students by organising different talent search activities over the past one week. A press note stated that quiz, music and dance competitions were organised in the school from April 8 to April 12.

The school principal, Ms Poonam Gupta, said the main objective of these activities was to tap the talent in children.



Class V scholarship exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
Students of M.R.D. Model School, Mani Majra, have turned in an outstanding performance in the Class V scholarship examination, 2002, which was conducted by the Education Department, UT.

The school has obtained 100 per cent result and bagged the first seven positions among Chandigarh institutions. All the eight students who appeared in the Class V scholarship examination have been placed in the merit list. They are Pankaj Giri who secured 251 marks and obtained the first position, Naseema Khatton obtained 249 marks and secured the second position, Kaptan Chauhan secured 247 marks and was placed third, Lata Giri and Balwinder Kaur secured 246 marks each and were placed fourth, Kusum obtained 245 marks and was placed fifth, Jannat obtained 244 marks and was placed sixth, while Nisha Dhiman secured 237 marks and was placed ninth.

According to Mr M.R. Dhiman, principal of the school, students of the school bagged the first, second, third and fourth positions in 2000 and the first, second, third and fourth positions in 2001.


Law Department Alumnus website
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The website of the Panjab University Law Department Alumnus was launched by the PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, at a special function held here today.

The site contains a brief history of the Law Department, faculty profile, admission criteria, information about the placement cell, law review, students exchange programme with Sweden, Asian Law Students Association, etc.

The students who have become members of the association have formed PULAK (Panjab University Law Alumni Klub). The biodata of each student along with his or her photograph is published on the separate pages in the website. Dr G.K. Chatrath, Dean, Faculty of Laws, and Prof V. K. Bansal, Chairman were also present on the occasion.


School cooks up hot b’day bash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The Old Stephonians’s Society (Toss) today organised a cooking competition at the Sector 45 St Stephen’s School on the occasion of the 20th birthday of the school.

About 50 students took part in the competition. Various dishes were prepared tastefully.

The principal of the school said during the past 20 years the school had progressed in various dimensions. He said Abhinav Bindra, who holds the junior world record in shooting, is also a student of this school. He brought laurels not only to the institution, but to the country also.

The Principal, Mr Carver, said the contribution of the students to the success of the institution has never been sidelined nor has the importance of the teachers been taken for granted. He said the best part of the cooking competition was that the dishes had to be prepared at home and submitted to the school during school hours. The contest was open to students of all ages.



BCA II students demand grace marks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
BCA second year students, studying in different local colleges today, complained that their paper for Object Oriented Programming (Using C++) was out of syllabus.

A delegation of SD College, DAV College, Dev Samaj College and Sectors 46 Government College which visited The Tribune office, said question no. 1 of the Part B carrying eight marks, question no. 3 carrying 20 marks and question no. 5 also carrying 20 marks were not from the syllabus prescribed for them.

Shephali, Rahul and Atul students of the SD College, Suksham and Shagun of the Sector-46 Government College, Varun of DAV College, Rajpreet from Government College for Men and Geeta from Dev Samaj College claimed that the question paper was also not on the pattern which was given to be understood. There were eight sections in the syllabus. One section carried only 20 lectures out of 120 was earmarked for 48 marks.

On April 5 also the question paper for Computer-Based Numerical and Statistical Methods (Using Fortran) was also out of syllabus. In this paper, question 2 from part A carrying eight marks and question no. 3 from part B carrying eight marks were not from the syllabus prescribed.

They urged the university authorities to grant them grace marks.


Ravi Sidhu’s bail plea dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
A bail plea moved by Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) Chairman Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu under the Arms Act was today dismissed by a local court. The accused was yesterday remanded to judicial custody till April 24 by the Magistrate in two different cases registered against him under the Excise Act and the Arms Act.

The case against the accused was registered after the recovery of 14 bottles of foreign liquor, 250 rounds of .12-bore gun and 225 rounds of Springfield rifle from his house in Sector 39. The accused was arrested by the Vigilance Department, Punjab, on March 26 allegedly while accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh.


A local court today adjourned the case filed against a senior Punjab IAS officer, Bikramjit Singh, under the Prevention of Corruption Act registered by the CBI for May 1. Earlier, the CBI had filed a charge sheet against the accused in the Court of UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, on January 25 after getting sanction from the Government of India to proceed against him.

The CBI had filed a charge sheet against him under Section 5(1)(e) read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, and Section 13(1)(e) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, accusing him of “amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income”. 


Nanda DBA chief for third time
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 12
Mr N.K. Nanda won the election to the post of the president of the District Bar Association (DBA) here today by defeating his rival Mr Rajinder Mahajan by 456 votes. Mr Nanda has been elected to the post for the third time. He got 735 votes compared to Mr Mahajan’s 279. The results of the DBA elections were declared by the Returning Officer, Mr H.S. Awasthi, in the Bar association room at 8.30 pm.

Mr Sajal Kossar was elected the vice-president of the Bar body and he received 602 votes. Mr N.K. Kapil was elected the DBA secretary and he got 732 votes, while Mr Vikas Sagar was elected the DBA treasurer.

The voting began at 9.30 am and the turnout was good, with 1,158 lawyers of the District Courts, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Kharar court, the Panchkula court, the Ambala court and the Ludhiana court casting their votes. More than 100 lawyers deposited their membership fees during the elections. According to sources, the amount collected in fees was about Rs 1.5 lakh and deposits were made with the help of candidates.

The campaigning continued even during the voting, with candidates and their supporters distributing pamphlets among voters who were in queues outside the polling booth. Candidates had put up a number of banners and posters in every corner of the court building. The DBA also organised an ice-cream party for voters during the elections.

The other contenders for the post of the DBA president — Mr S.P.S. Bhullar, Ms Kulwant Kaur and Ms Anita Ahuja — got 94, 15 and 25 votes, respectively. There were 27 candidates for various posts. The Returning Officer, Mr H.S. Awasthi, said the results of elections to the seven posts of the executive would be declared on Monday.

The other candidates for the post of the DBA vice-president — Mr Karam Singh and Mr Munish Chaudhary got 170 and 360 votes, respectively. For the post of the secretary, Mr A.S. Gujral got 333 votes and Mr Ravi Kant got 63.

Earlier, Ms Savita Saxena was elected unopposed to the post of the DBA joint secretary. For the post of the DBA treasurer, Mr Neeraj Sahni got 433 votes and Mr Phool Singh received 183.


Dream merchant Tak hunts for talent in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 12
The city has suddenly become a dream merchants’ paradise. So where about a year back star maker Harry Baweja was around searching for North Indian charms that could fit his latest film project, now it is time for Sawan Kumar Tak to follow the same line.

In fact, so particular is this film director-producer and lyricist about the cast of ‘Dil Pardesi ho gaya’ that he has kept the project in abeyance for a fairly long time. Now with the May deadline approaching, Tak is hunting for talent all across the country. He was in Chandigarh today to do justice to his film, which draws inspiration from peace.

As the legendary maker of ‘Sautan’ today clarified during a meet at the local Press Club; “The film addresses the gobal need for peace. It talks about how the world has been fragmented into fractions which are busy furthering their respective interests. In my film ‘Dil Pardesi ho gaya’, I am trying to initiate a peace dialogue.” Tak, who has written lyrics for the film himself, has roped in Usha Khanna for the musical scores.

The mettle of the film, as the director says, lies in its universal theme. This one will again be a heroine-oriented film like many others which Tak has made in the past, including ‘Khalnayika’, ‘Chand ka tukda’, and ‘Sautan’, of course. The cast of the film will decide its substance finally. The director minces no words in stating: “The youngsters to be launched will be fortunate ones, because the roles in this film are star making roles. I have scanned large areas but I have not yet come across a face I want for the script. The girl I am looking for is a Pakistani. I did not want to cast the routine faces of Karisma, Kareena and others simply because that would amount to playing with reality. My search is on and the day I find the face, I will look no further.”

Tak is also looking for a boy to play the male lead, as also another one to play the second male lead. He will conduct some 40 interviews today and after a trip to Manali tomorrow, he will again come for further screenings in Chandigarh. Currently he is staying in hotel Piccadily.

With a strong creative past in over 18 movies, including ‘Naunihal’, ‘Gomti ke Kinare’, ‘Hawas’, ‘Saajan Bina Suhagan’, ‘Sautan’, ‘Sanam Bewafa’, ‘Khalnayika’, ‘Chand ka Tukra’, ‘Salma pe dil aa Gaya’ and ‘Mother’, Tak is moving forward with both ideas and production. Supporting him is wife Usha Khanna, who often does music for her.

Tak’s latest film is a love story involving a boy from India and a girl from Pakistan. For the script he wants fresh faces to do lead roles which include two Indian Army officers and a Pakistani girl. The director said: “The boys should be tall and handsome, six-foot, while the girl should be around five feet, four inches. She should be between the age of 18 and 22 years. The boys should be between the age of 20 and 26 years”.


A taste of modern theatre
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, April 12
If our local theatre groups have introduced us to modern interactive plays, then ‘Daya’, a theatre company from Romania gave us a taste of real modern theatre, a blend of theatre and film, that kept throwing surprises at the audience for which they were hardly prepared for.

As the curtains were raised at Tagore Theatre today, the audience simply could not comprehend the significance of a huge net with funny settings inside. However, as the story unfolded, it became evident that the netted area symbolised a mother’s womb. The story revolved around a foetus being taught the quintessence of human knowledge by a genius scientist. Appalled by the problems of this world, the baby refuses to get out of his mother’s womb.

The hilarity of the concept struck an immediate chord with the audience as the expectant mother, the scientist and his dimwit assistant pulled crazy stunts to feed the baby doses of scientific and general knowledge. But the fun soon turned into panic as the bewildered audience became witness the historic birth of the baby.

Then came the second jolt, as the baby, still inside the mother’s womb holds a press conference and the audience once again gets an tangled with the plot having to ask questions to the baby. The baby, whose brain is 35 per cent more functional as compared to average human beings justifies his decision to remain within his mother’s womb as all happiness’ in the outside world is ‘a fantasy of ordinary people’. However, this brainy child in the end falls prey to the lure of love provided by a glamorous yet ordinary girl and dies of heart break. The play ends with a note that intelligence has the capacity to make difference.

The combination of stage play and films used on and off was simply superb. Ms Ada Raicu, the stage designer and light director of the play did a wonderful job at creating two entirely different worlds under the same roof. The play was directed by Ms Chris Simon.

The play was staged by Alliance Francaise “Le Corbusier” de Chandigarh in collaboration with the Embassy of Romaina and the Embassy of France.

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