Friday, November 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU panel for time-saving steps in inquiries
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
In order to save inordinate delay in filing the inquiry reports and deciding the cases, Panjab University has constituted a high-level committee to draft out the details of process in conduct of an inquiry.

The committee has been constituted following a resolution of Mr Satya Pal Dang, a Fellow, reliable sources said. The resolutions are also aimed at working out time-saving devices for the Senate proceedings, bulk of which is spent on routine items like appointments and confirmations.

It is also felt that several inquiries drag on for years together keeping in abeyance a sense of security for those under question and those inquiring it. The reports filed in case of Mr M.G. Sharma, Finance and Development Officer, charged with reported misappropriation of funds, had a set of contradictions which led to another inquiry. The inquiries about a former Vice-Chancellor, Prof M.M. Puri on a similar issue also dragged long.

Then there was the classic case of the ‘cement scandal’ where certain bags of cement were found missing. After nearly a decade and several committees, the issue seemed to have been buried ‘God knows where’.

One of the Fellows had pointed out in the Senate that ‘probably the cement did not cost as much money as the university had spent on conducting the inquiries’. It was a matter of about two dozen odd bags of cement.

Inquiries against certain officials of the Administrative branch continued for years without any formal decision which definitely left many holes to be plugged in the university governance.

Another key issue raised by Mr Dang pertained to giving powers of the Senate to the Syndicate in matters pertaining to “appointment of Class A employees with the right to appeal to the Senate by the aggrieved party”. Mr Dang was right in pointing out the matter in terms of hours of ‘wastage’ of the precious time of the Senate which met only about three times in a year and majority of the time was spent in discussing the routine issues.

It was however, pertinent to mention that it would not be easy for the university to amend the rule because as per the PU calendar appointments pertaining to Class A categories needed to be brought before the university Senate which was the supreme governing body of the university.

In a related matter the calendar says “A member of the teaching staff holding permanent position of a professor, a reader or a lecturer will not be allowed without the permission of the Senate to resign his post before the end of the academic term. He shall give reason for his purpose at not less than a three- month notice”.

The Vice-Chancellor had the authority to make temporary appointments for one year. The Syndicate could also make temporary appointments in case of an emergency.


India’s strategy ‘needs shift’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Maritime security in India has not been taken care of adequately in the past, said Dr Amita Agarwal of the University of Jaipur in her paper on “Maritime dimensions of India’s security with special reference to its island territories in the Indian Ocean” at the ongoing conference of the Indian Ocean Research Group at Panjab University here today.

Dr Agarwal said “a major shift and reorientation of India’s national strategy is required in the wake of growing tendencies of terrorism worldwide as well as shift in the global economy due to globalisation and liberalisation which have thrown economy open to outside influences.” It needs to be remembered that maritime strategy is an integral part of a country’s national strategy that aims and promotes its national interests.

Prof Graeme Hugo of the University of Adelaide, Australia, in his paper on “recent population movement between South Asia and Australia” said population mobility between Australia and Asian countries had undergone a number of substantial shifts over the last half a century as a result of changes globally, regionally and in Australia. The composition of the population movement has been studied in terms of their education, occupation and economic characters.

Prof Purnendra Jain also from the University of Adelaide, Australia, in his paper on “Japan and the Indian Ocean” said “being resource poor and dependent on oil supplies from the Middle East, the Indian Ocean is naturally of great concern to Japan. Yet, Japan lacked a clear policy agenda on this area of geo-strategic and commercial significance.”

Other papers scheduled for the day included “External powers in the Indian Ocean region” by Prof Hekken Wiberg from Copenhagen Research Institute.


PU teachers go on protest leave
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Teachers of Panjab University today went on mass casual leave on call given by the Panjab University Teachers Association. The call was given against the “indifferent” attitude of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development towards non-implementation of the pension scheme”.

PUTA has urged for a quick implementation of the pension scheme failing which an agitation will be launched.


Vibrant strokes create warm greetings
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The dry campus of Government High School in Sector 24 is sparkling with colours of life these days. It always sparkles this time every year when winter winds begin to chill the bones and festive warmth works to counter the same. Under the afternoon sky, a group of 20 slum kids from Sector 25 Janata Colony get together to pay an ode to nature every day. They draw lines on plain chart papers, fill them with beautiful thoughts and bring the lifeless canvas alive with colours.

The idea behind the collective effort of these slum children who study under the aegis of Aashaian School of Theatre Age is to create beautiful season’s greeting cards that can later be sold for a price as a heartwarming gesture. Once the cards are ready they will be sold through special outlets to be created in some local government colleges (Government College for Girls, Sectors 11 and 42 and Government College, Sector 11). Principals of three colleges have already confirmed their support in this regard.

Money matters to each one of these 20 children as they belong to poor families, where academics has no value unless it is supplemented with income generation. No wonder these kids work all around the city in the morning and afternoon before they reach the Government High School campus to study. These days they take out some time to paint on their charts, because they are well aware of the target to be met. They have been painting for eight days now.

Surjan, one of the promising painters, said, "We have to finish painting soon. Only after that the charts will be scanned and the cards will be printed. It feels very good to sell one's creations. We have many buyers." Last year their effort was lauded so much that the then Principal of Government College of Art, Sector 10, Prof Prem Singh, not only guided the children through their artistic endeavour, but also managed the printing and sale of all cards they made. Zulfiqar Khan of Theatre Age informed, "Last year we had printed and sold about 5000 cards. This time we plan to get some 7000 printed." This year the informal workshop is being conducted by Prof Ishwar Dyal of College of Art, Sector 10.

With confidence oozing out of their strokes, the children have already completed some 30 works, which are ready to be scanned. Ask them if they fear anything and the bunch shouts back, "There is no fear. We have painted very well. We will surely sell." Inspired by the very thought of reward, both verbal and financial, each one of them sits on the floor for a good over an hour every day, creating vibrant forms with their respective sets of 10 Luxor sketch pens. Interestingly, Panday Book House in Sector 17 has sponsored the entire colouring package. They have given 10 sets of sketch pens to Theatre Age.

Anyone who wishes to buy cards from these children can contact them at Government High School campus, Sector 24, between 3 pm and 5 pm.


Tiny tots impress at cultural programme
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 21
Rain, even sunshine, was not required. Bright cheerful umbrellas were, however, necessary as tiny tots rotated them at an impressive speed while twirling on the decked up stage for a presentation during a three-day cultural programme-cum-annual prize distribution function of Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, at Tagore Theatre this evening. The function started with a prayer and was followed by kathak dance performance by KG class students. A musical play was also presented. However, fusion and umbrella dance were appreciated the most. “A combination of classical and western,” was how the audience described the items.

The Principal, Mr Sanjay Sardana, before the commencement of the prize distribution function, read out the annual report, highlighting achievements of the school.

The DPI (Schools), Mr D.S. Mangat, give away prizes to about 100 meritorious students, excelling in sports, academics, and other competitions.

As per the school authorities, Aditya Puri was declared the sportsman of the year as he had bagged three gold medals and represented Chandigarh in table tennis for more than five times.

Arshdeep Kaur was declared the best all-rounder for standing first in the city in the middle standard examinations, besides being ranked number one in table tennis. Teachers were also honoured on the occasion.


Juvenile Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The date of committing an offence, and not production before the Court, is relevant for the application of the new and the old Juvenile Justice Act, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled on Thursday in a significant judgement.

Delivering the verdict, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice M.L. Singhal and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta, ruled: “A controversy has been raised in respect of the relevant date to determine whether a boy is a juvenile or not. It has been contended that the relevant date is the one on which the person is produced before the Court and not of committing the offence”.

The Judges further ruled: “The relevant date can be the date of the offence alone. An accused of an offence can be convicted only if on the date of occurrence it was an offence. It is the date of committing the offence which is certain and not the date of production before the Court which is capable of being misused by the prosecution and the accused. Therefore, for the purpose of the application of the old Act, or the new Act, it is the date of committing the offence which is the relevant date”.

In their detailed order, the Judges held: “A perusal of the provisions of the two Acts show that a boy less than 16 years of age and a girl less than 14 years of age were juvenile under the old Act. On the other hand, a person who has not completed 18 years, irrespective of boy or girl, would be governed by the provisions of the new Act and will be required to be dealt with the Juvenile Justice Board.

However, the issue which requires determination is in respect of boys who have completed more than 16 years of age, but are less than 18 years at the time of commission of the offence before the commencement of the new Act. The question is whether such boys would be governed by the provisions of the new Act or shall be dealt with in accordance with common law.... The relevant date can be the date of the offence alone”.


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