Saturday, March 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Upgradation for PEC, Chandigarh College of Engineering
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
The Punjab Engineering College is all set to be formally given the status a deemed university. The issue will come up for a final approval of the University Grants Commission on April 2. Besides this the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET, formerly the Central Polytechnic in Sector 26) here will get aid from the World Bank for its upgradation, sources said, while adding that a sum of Rs 4 crore was required for infrastructure in the CCET.

The upgradation of the PEC was now a foregone conclusion as the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, had assured the Chandigarh Administration about aid from the World Bank for the CCET. The UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), had met Dr Joshi in Delhi yesterday. The Chairman of the UGC, Dr Arun Nigvekar, had also assured General Jacob about the new status of PEC when thee two had met in Amritsar for a function recently.

On the PEC upgradation issue, sources said, once a full board of the UGC okayed it, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development would issue a formal letter and circulate the guidelines laid down by the UGC.

A team of the UGC, which had come here for inspection, had given a favourable report while recommending the case strongly for upgrading the PEC into a deemed university. The name of PEC would also undergo a change in accordance with its national status.

The upgradation would mean more autonomy in decision making on academic, financial and planning matters. The move would also make PEC eligible for grants under various UGC schemes and projects which required focus. PEC, in its new status, would also be eligible for a countrywide World Bank project which entailed improving technical capabilities of various institutions. ( This would be separate from the proposed World Bank aid for the CCET).

The upgradation would mean that city students, who had so far enjoyed 85 per cent reservation in seats in PEC, would be able lay claim to 50 per cent reservation only which was the minimum prescribed standard. Students and their parents should, however, heave a sigh of relief as there would be no fee hike as the budgetary allocation would continue from the Central Government on the same level as it was now for the PEC . ‘‘There is no question of a fee hike,’’ said a well placed source while allaying fears about autonomy. Besides this all service conditions would remain the same for employees and teachers.

Sources in the education sector said that the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had declined to grant status of an engineering college to the CCET. The grounds cited by the inspection committee were that the polytechnic lacked basic infrastructure facilities like exclusive laboratories and space to house more classes and run additional courses. This required Rs 4 crore which would be provided by the World Bank.

Both the projects had been close to the heart of UT Administrator, General Jacob with this success coming to him at the fag end of his tenure. The move would enhance the status of the city as an educational centre. 

Upgradation means...

* PEC will be at par with any other university. UGC meeting on April 2 will seal the issue.

* Better quality of education with higher level of technological inputs for students.

* Budgetary allocation from the Central Government will remain more or less the same.

* More autonomy in functioning with the Chandigarh Administration retaining some control.

* Service conditions for teachers and other staff will remain unchanged.

* The Central Polytechnic in Sector 26 will get aid from World Bank for its Rs-4 crore requirement for upgradation.


Trends in drug delivery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
To provide a forum to discuss the recent trends in drug delivery and future issues in the field of pharmaceutics, the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences is holding a two-day national seminar on “Pharmaceutics in the light of Drug delivery”. The seminar was inaugurated at the ICSSR complex on the Panjab University campus here today.

Inaugurating the seminar, Dr Amit Ghosh, Director, Microbial Technology, emphasised on the emerging needs of drug delivery to be multidisciplinary. Prof. K. Kanan, Dean, Department of Biotechnology at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprasth University, Delhi, delivering the keynote address emphasised on the role of stem cells for effectual drug delivery. Prof. S.K. Sharma, Dean of University Instructions, Panjab University, highlighted the technological aspects of drug delivery.

The first scientific session was devoted to “Biopharmaceutical aspects of drug delivery”. Participants were: Prof. Ramesh Panchgnula from NIPER, Mohali, Dr. Jyoti Paliwal of Ranbaxy and Prof. Tapas Mukhapadhyay, Chairman, Department of Human Genome Studies. Prof. Panchgnula stressed on drug solubility and permeability as the pivotal characteristics for drug delivery. Prof. Mukhapadhyay talked about gene replacement strategies and designer drugs.


Two murder suspects acquitted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
Two city residents Narinder Singh and Mukesh suspects in a murder case were today acquitted by a local court. The two were acquitted by the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr J.S.Klar as the prosecution failed to prove the charges levelled against them. As per the prosecution, the complainant, the sister of the deceased, had lodged a complaint to the police that certain persons had caused injury with a sharpedged weapon on the chest of her brother Raju. Later, Raju was taken to the GMCH, Sector 32, and he succumbed to his injuries there.

The accused had been booked under Sections 302 and 34,IPC, at police station, Sector 34. Narinder was arrested on August 20, 2001, and Mukesh on August 21, 2001. The police had recovered a knife stained with blood, one slipper, a blood-stained shirt and other articles. The prosecution stated that an old rivalry was the motive behind the murder. The witness in the case had turned hostile and no one supported the prosecution story. Giving details, the defence counsel added that the prosecution had failed to produce the CFSL regarding the recovered shirt.

The defence counsel further argued that the police had not mentioned certain articles that had already been recovered from the spot.


Beant case hearing on March 25
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 14
The seven-year old Beant Singh assassination trial case being conducted at the Model Burail Jail was today transferred to new Judge by the UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S Bhalla, following the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions. Mr Bhalla had been hearing the case for three years. Confirming it, Mr Bhalla said that after getting directions from the High Court, the case was transferred to the UT CBI Special Judge, Mr Balbir Singh. The Judge, conducted the trial today adjourned the hearing till March 25.

The nine persons Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara, Paramjit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Balwant Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Nasib Singh, Navjot Singh, are facing trial in the case. They were booked for murder, attempt to murder, and criminal conspiracy and under Sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Explosive Substance Act.


Woman gets judicial remand
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 14
Mrs Harinder Sidhu, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, yesterday remanded Mrs Dalbaro in judicial custody till March 26. She was arrested by the Kharar police for abducting Mrs Gurvinder Kaur.


Lisa Ray for penetrating roles
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 14
Lisa Ray has never jumped into assignments. Whether it was the breathtakingly strong character she played in Kasoor or the challenging role reversal she accepted in the recent release Bollywood Hollywood, Lisa Ray always calculated her risks well. That is why despite her not-so-frequent appearances in mainstream Hindi cinema considered critical for a performer's survival, Lisa remains in news and for healthy reasons too.

From the last time she visited Chandigarh about two years back, the actress has nor changed a bit. She remains a quintessential charmer, with a familiar streak of grace outlining her very presence. It was this elegance which fetched her the prized role in Deepa Mehta's Bollywood Hollywood, a film that did not do well in India but became a mainstream hit in Canada. As of now, Lisa is shuttling between London and Mumbai, even as she keeps busy with another comedy titled The Arrangement.

In the city today to launch Rado's latest wrist watch Carpe diem (literally meaning seize the time), Lisa Ray talked at length about the outstanding commitments she has made to herself. “I am working on myself as a performer. That requires a great deal of choice when it comes accepting the kind of characters you want to play. I never wanted to be cast into moulds. When I did Kasoor I was already being rated as a glamourous actress. This was not a very healthy development, insofar as my growth as a performer was concerned. So I decided to make a shift,” said Lisa, adding, “I have nothing against Hindi films but since I think in English I also want to perform in English. I am more comfortable that way. Many English language films are coming up. In fact, my next project will be highly dramatic."

The Arrangement, Lisa's new film, is being directed by Sheraz Jaffrey, an Indian based in Texas. In line with her previous film, this one also hinges on comedy and romance. "It will again help me get the best out of myself. I think comedy is the most difficult thing to do," said Lisa, who is also looking forward to working in films that derive strength from both Hindi and English. “I think such films present an interesting fusion of cultures and sensibilities. I am open to all kinds of projects, provided they further my talent in some way of the other. Out of the present breed of directors who are incredibly talented, I would love to work with Farhan Akhtar and Ram Gopal Verma.”

Influenced greatly by Shabana Azmi and her diverse cinematic portrayals, Lisa says she has a long way to go before she can call herself a good performer. Also, she said it was about time Asian film makers evolved a cinematic language of their own. Currently involved with theatre in London, Lisa voiced her anti-war sentiment. Interestingly, Lisa was part of the biggest anti-war demonstration held recently in London, where theatre is also a significant social mechanism. “Theatre in London often draws its content from reality. War, as a recurring theme, is being experimented with. Commercial theatre also coexists. This enables a great commerce of ideas.”

As a woman wedded to the arts, Lisa wants to revive her business. Currently she is learning more about art and its formal leanings. "I am pursuing courses in art back home in London which offers a perfect ambience for growth and fulfillment.

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