Monday, January 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Where wisdom is offered on a contemporary platter
Parbina Rashid

Jagbir Singh, class VI-D

Sandeep Singh, class VIII-B

Sandeep Kaur, class VI-B

Way back in the year 1953, little did anyone imagined that Shishu Niketan, a school for toddlers, which started on a whim, would become a full fledged institute of learning. Started as a nursery school with just 30 students in a shop-cum-office in sector 22, the school had grown step by step and thereby, developing into the first public model school in the city. Still situated in sector 22 in a campus of about three acres of land, the school stands tall and dignified, radiating an wisdom of age which is the basic fabric of its education policy.

Formal education comes with a heavy dose moral values here, a tradition which has been kept alive by its founder director principal S. Khurana with 30 minutes of lecture on moral values every day followed by the teachers doing the same thing during their activity classes. So touching a teacher's feet has not become an alien culture here nor it will shock you to learn that the name Shishu Niketan has become synonymous with the word discipline.

Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School was affiliated to the CBSE way back in 1975 and at present has classes from Nursery to Class XII in science (both medical and non- medical) and commerce streams. The school at present has about 4,500 students and 125 teaching staff. The students comes from far flung places like Kharar, Dera Bassi and peripheral areas to attend classes here.

The school has gone under major face lift from time to time, to keep pace with the changing scenario of education and now possesses all the infrastructure one can think of - a modern computer sections, well equipped laboratories for physics, chemistry and biology and a library with 20,000 books to its credit.

Mental and physical development of body occupies the prime positions in the education policy and the school provides special coaching to students in basketball, volleyball, table tennis, cricket, football, badminton, handball, karate and taekwondo. Excursions, trekking and cycling trips constitute an important part of the school's physical education.

Besides promoting Indian classical music, dance and drama, the school gives emphasis on developing art of public speaking, inter class debates, declamation, recitations, extempore speeches, story telling sessions, book reviews, on the spot story building contests, youth parliamentary sessions etc. to help the students acquiring an outgoing personality.


My School

There are many schools in Chandigarh but only a few help students achieving success in life and Shishu Niketan Senior Secondary Model School is one of these few schools. Successfully led by Ms. S Khorana, the founder and director principal since 1953, the school has been well known or its bright students who attains high ranks in board exams.

Whenever the name of Shishu Niketan is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is its successful 50 years of serving India by educating thousands of young citizens. Till date, students of this school has lighted up every corner of the country with their bright ideas and adorable quality.

The school provides every possible facility to its students for their overall personality development.

— Vishwanath Yaligar, class IX D



Poems by students

The magic World of Books

Sumedha Saini, class VI-D

Parmeet Singh, class VI-C

Manpreet Singh, class VI-C

A book is a world of magic,

which opens its pages

And takes you to different lands,

and in far away ages

In books you can travel,

to any place

it may be near or far,

at the fastest peace

You go adventuring

in some books

And find people

with different features and looks.

Some books take you

to magical lands

Where you meet pixies and fairies,

with wands in hands.

Books are really

very beautiful and wonderful

With excitement and adventures,

they are full.

It's fun to read books

they may be big or small

Whatever you want

in books you will find them all.

— Varinder Saini, class VIII B


Peace is like a cluster of birds going home to roost

Soft like the touch of the petal of a flower.

As aromatic as a freshly baked pie

As melodious as the lilt of music from afar.

Sweet as the fruit of hard earned victory.

As soothing as a tear drop

And as calm as the sight of dawn.

But why do we sense peace missing?

We must bring back peace

For our safety and ease.

— Deepa Anant, class VIII C

Sky 'n' Earth

We both think we are close

Yet we think differently

I think we are close not as a flower and fragrance

But as the earth and the sky

You tell me how are we close?

I know your answer

'Cause you've touched me,

Touched the deepest part of my soul

touched my deepest thoughts.

'Cause when I'm alone

I feel your presence

Somewhere there in my heart

'Cause when I feel lonely

You are there to accompany me

You are there to take the sorrow away.

' Cause when we'll part

Your memories will taker care of me

And hopefully, mine will take care of you

That's why I think

We are as close as the earth and sky

Yet as far as the sky and the earth.

— Priya, class XI D



Shishu Niketan stands for standard & discipline’

Ms S. KhoranaMs. Suchinta Khurana is the backbone of Shishu Niketan. More than the Director Principal of the school, she is like a mother who has been nourishing the school with care and love eversince its inception. When she started the school in 1953 with a few children of the people who came to build the city, she had a vision - to educate them so that they can serve the society in return. She upholds the values with equal intensity even after fifty years, talks of moral values to her students every now and then. Her dedication had got her first the All India Central Parent Teachers Association award in 1998 and later The Life time Achievement Award last year.

*On present education system — Knowledge is above everything. Though keeping the growing sharp edged competitiveness in mind, we teachers have to impart formal education following today's mould, yet one should remember that the depth of education goes much deeper than the sitting for competitive examinations.

*On tuition menace — The competitiveness again is the root cause for this tuition menace. Students are always preparing for some entrance tests which leaves them with little time to prepare or their general studies and this is where the concept of tuition makes an appearance. if there is just one combined entrance test for all the institutions in India, the wasted efforts will be reduced and the students will have enough time to try thing out on their own.

*On maintaining discipline — Imbibing self discipline is more of a focus here, but as everything in life needs incentive we try to impose discipline among our students by diving them into smaller compartments and then luring them with trophies and prizes for maintaining discipline in their respective houses.

*On the future plan of the school — The primary section of the school is going to be shifted to a new complex in sector 43 soon. Besides another new branch of Shishu Niketan is coming up in Mohali. In fact there are demands from people to open branches in different cities in Punjab and we are also thinking to open more branches in Punjab. — PR


Slow progress at coveted chairs of PU
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Work progresses at a snail’s pace at the coveted chairs instituted by the university more than two years ago, with an aim to further academic excellence and a debate- culture in key areas identified by it.

Following up an earlier proposal of ‘golden jubilee chairs’, the university Senate, in May, 2001, gave a formal clearance to setting up of five chairs. The chairs announced by the university included Jawahar Lal Nehru Chair Professor in Technology, Lal Bahadur Shashtri Chair Professor in Public Administration, Sri Aurobindo Chair Professor in Philosophy, Dr B.R. Ambedkar Chair in Political Science and Sarojini Naidu Chair Professor in English. The chairs have much lesser than expected activity to promote academic culture.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said the posts had witnessed activity, however, the pace had been a little slow. He said, Prof Yash Pal, Bisham Sahni and Prof G.C. Pande were some of the eminent academicians who visited the campus with regard to these chairs. “The university is expecting visits by Prof D.P. Chhatopadhyaya and Dr M.M. Sharma shortly,” he said.

Professor Pathak said the university had created the chairs not to fill these with ‘someone common’, just to complete the formalities. There were many contenders, but the university wanted to pick the best for promoting academic debates.

He said the university had earlier written to Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the chair in technology. “But his visit is cancelled in all probability as he now occupies the highest chair in the country”, he said.

The university was on a lookout to spot prominent personalities from different walks of life, however, much would depend on the availability of such personas. Critics, however, feel that the university should appoint a special panel to look for personalities of prominence from different walks of life. The university should make more efforts to ensure interaction of the visiting faculty with students.

The Senate had decided to fund the specially created chairs out of the ‘Fund for Higher Education and Research’. The university had decided that in order to maintain the ‘dignity’ of these chairs no full-time faculty would be appointed. Instead, the university would regularly appoint leading geniuses in their fields for a short period to keep the academic activity going.

The university had decided that the visiting faculty would be invited during academic sessions when normal classes were being conducted and not during the examination days or vacations; lectures delivered by professor’s would be published by the university; minimum duration of faculty’s stay would be two months which could be extended up to year; and more than one person could be invited for a short period who could give a series of lectures against a chair.

Three week refresher course

A three-week refresher course on “Changing Colours of Public Administration” will be organised by the Department of Public Administration at Panjab University from February 14 onwards.

Lecturers and readers who have done an orientation course after a gap of two years of their joining regular jobs can apply. Applications should reach the office at least six weeks before the commencement of the course. The course is being organised in collaboration with the PU Academic Staff College.

Canteen problems

Students of the Biomedical Sciences Block and the Master of Business Administration (University Business Block) Department complain of inadequate canteen facilities. A delegation of students under the leadership of Malwinder Singh Kang, president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council, met Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, and highlighted the problem.

Kang while talking to Chandigarh Tribune said the problem was more aggravated in the light that classes in both the blocks started early in the mornings and continued till late evenings. The students naturally had their lunch here. The university needed to look into the matter immediately.

The UBS canteen caters to a large number of students, but the ongoing construction activity at the site had given rise to unhygienic conditions, he added.

NAAC workshops

Panjab University will host at least two workshops of the National Assessment and Accreditation Committee to educate colleges about the expectations during inspections for grading of institutions.

This is important in the context that the NAAC has fixed December, 2003, as the deadline for accreditation. However, only the local Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, has been accredited among more than 100 colleges of the university till date. Prof Ramesh Kapoor said only a few more colleges were on the list of the NAAC so there was every likelihood of the date being extended. Majority of the colleges affiliated to other universities all over the country were also yet to be accredited.

“The NAAC inspection is not a fault-finding exercise. It was just a means to evaluate the academic infrastructure, implementation of curriculum and examination-related work of an institution to help it overcome the difficulties for future development. If a five-star status is denied to an institution, it can make another effort after updating all the inputs”, Professor Kapoor added.

Pension scheme

Panjab University, teachers and non-teachers met Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Vice-President and the Chancellor of the university, in Delhi on Tuesday and urged him to help in speedy implementation of a pension and gratuity scheme.

The delegation was led by Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of the university. Other members of the delegation included Prof P.K. Mittal, president of the Panjab University Teachers Association, Mr Dharam Paul Gupta, president of the Non-Teaching Employees Federation, Prof S.P. Gautam, Prof A.K. Sehjpal and Mr Matbar Singh.

Mr Shekhawat was informed that without a substantial one-time grant from the Centre, the scheme was unlikely to ever take off. The Chancellor is learnt to have assured to look into the matter.

It is worth mentioning that probably PU is the only recognised university that does not have a pension scheme for its staff.


Competitions to promote use of library
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
The 11th competition master library related competitions, being organised by the Chandigarh Librarians’ Association, were held at the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, today. “Motivation to use libraries, reading books, saving library treasures and building up a personal library.

In her inaugural address, the college Principal, Ms Vimla Bhargava, said developing a book culture among today’s students had become extremely meaningful at the time when knowledge from the Internet, TV and video was making deep forays in their minds. She was of the opinion that no matter how much technology advances, the value of libraries would never become less. Holding library-related competitions, she added, were meaningful and interesting.

Earlier, the CLA general secretary, Mr I.B. Verma, said today’s programme was a part of “Let us popularise books and libraries”, which the CLA had launched to generate awareness among school and college students in particular and the public at large, about the declining reading habit among the populace.

The competitions are being held in three parts. The first part is for parents, teachers and the general public, from whom readymade entries like cartoons, collage, bookmarks, slogans and essays were invited.

On-the-spot competitions, open to school and college students only, were organised under the second part, in which around 3,000 students participated in poster making, slogan writing, cartoon making, handwriting, essay writing, general knowledge, collage making and bookmark making contests.

The final part will include inter-college and inter-school competitions, such as quizzes, book hunting and best reader contests.


KVs to remain open
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
While all government and private schools in the city have been closed till January 15 due to a severe cold, Kendriya Vidyalayas will remain open.

According to Mr D.K. Saini, Assistant Commissioner, KV Sangathan, Chandigarh, told Chandigarh Tribune this evening that they had not received any letter in this regard from the Chandigarh Administration.

Although being an establishment under the Central Government the KVs do not come directly under the Chandigarh Administration, Mr Saini said that they do follow directions of the Chandigarh Administration in such situations. "We will close schools if we get any directions from the local administration. The KVs are open atleast tomorrow," he added.


Music album released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Famous Punjabi singer Mohammad Siddique today released the music album of Canada-based singer Sukhi Lally, who is making his first musical offering in India. Present on the function was Sardul Sikandar, along with other Punjabi singers.

Titled “Kaatil”, the album has nine songs in all, with music by Madan Shounky. The lyrics have also been written by Madan Shounky along with Inda Rai Koti. Most of the songs in the album are on bhangra beat. The title song. “Tere kaatil nainaan ne, chandria katal hazaran kitte”, is already on the air and the rest of the songs will soon be video filmed. Apart from this album, Sukhi Lally has many albums to his credit back home in Canada.


Theatre festival from Jan 28
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 12
The Chandigarh School of Drama, a theatre outfit led by playwright-actor-director Gursharan Singh, has a treat in store for the city audience — a three-day theatre festival starting from January 28 at Tagore Theatre. Named as the Awami Theatre festival, the festival will showcase six major productions, written, adapted or directed by Gursharan Singh.

The plays, already been finalised for the festival, include Maa’, a play written by Maxim Gorky and adapted by Gursharan Singh. The play will be directed by upcoming theatre artiste Rohit Batra. Others are ‘Sayonkh’, written by Gursharan, Singh and directed by Narinder Sangi, a theatre activist from Amritsar and ‘Natak Munchi Khan Da’, a play which was staged in ‘Natyaparv -2002’, a drama festival in Mumbai which was participated by all Sangeet Natak Akademi awardees of the country.

Gursharan Singh, who received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1993 for his contributions towards the Punjabi theatre has been using theatre effectively for social change and civil rights. During the earlier half of his acting career, Gursharan Singh had established Natak Kala Kendra at Amritsar in 1964.

About 50 Punjabi plays written by him have already have been published in six volumes. Besides serving as the president of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1991, Gursharan Singh had also been awarded the Best Playwright award by the Punjabi Akademi, Ludhiana.

The three-day festival, which concludes on January 30, will stage two plays every day. 

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